Sunday, October 25, 2015

"Comet Lucifer" First Impressions

Comet Lucifer (コメット ルシフャー) is a very pretty, new anime this season that caught my attention straight away with its science fiction fantasy aesthetics. I wonder if it is a coincidence that something whose first episode begged a comparison to Star Wars is released in the current climate or if it was done deliberately.

The first episode introduces us to who we assume will be the main character, Sougo Amagi.

(Note that this is written in katakana, ソウゴ アマギ, so I am assuming that the naming conventions are following Western style of given name first, family name last. You can never really tell when an anime isn't set in Japan unless the characters have relatives around.)

Sougo is an errand-running, hover-scooter-bike-riding typical SFF teenage protagonist, and, through no agency of his own, gets tangled up in both his friend's (Kaon, カオン) arranged marriage fleeing and an autonomous god-mecha protecting a magical girl (Felia, フェリア) hibernating in crystal. His greatest skill appears to be his scooter riding, able to hold his own in a chase with a veritable pod racer. (From right-to-left in the picture above, we have Kaon, Sougo, and Felia).

This was all in the first episode mind you, and it set up wayyyyy too much to really get a feel for what the anime will be like. The aesthetics, particularly the landscapes, are gorgeous, and the characters seem interesting, although the arranged marriage plotline seemed rather absurd (not that arranged marriages happen, but how the characters handled the arranged marriage happening). In fact, the male fiance chasing the runaway bride seems to be there almost solely for unnecessary, absurdist, comic relief. It was a little weird since the chase was super-high production quality, but the reasoning behind the chase seemed pointless.

At one point, it is clear that the creators don't have much care for physics. Unless there will be some reason explained in the future that a mile-long fall didn't result in any negative consequences.

I understand a lot of anime has things like this happen, but when you set up the show to be science fiction, it feels out of place. The characters can't fly (without machines) and aren't particularly trained in martial arts or anything. They should be dead.  Sorry audience, time to start over with new characters. These ones died from reality.

When the mecha started showing up, the feel of the show shifted more in the direction of Escaflowne, which wasn't necessarily a bad thing, but again, just another thing thrown into this first episode.

All in all, I'm interested, but I'm not enthused. There seems to be a lot of potential and any one thing in this episode could be expanded on and fleshed out successfully, but there are a LOT of things going on. I'll go ahead and give it the 3 episode rule to see if it can manage some of its pacing issues. I hope so, I'm very interested in the potential of the show and setting.

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