OP Sequence

OP: 「コメットルシファー ~The Seed and the Sower~」 (Comet Lucifer: The Seed and the Sower) by fhána

「大地と少年」 (Daichi to Shounen)
“The Boy and the Vast Land”

While the setting is still clearly the star, the plot and characters progress just enough to get a good hook in at the end.

The Setting Is The Star

In my Heavy Object episode one post, I mentioned that a good way to do exposition/infodumps is to use them as an opportunity to reveal character. What I neglected to mention is that there’s actually a better way to do it: To not speak on exposition at all. Better than infodumping is to not infodump, and instead to naturally reveal how the world works as you go along. Which isn’t easy! Trust me on this—you worry that people aren’t going to understand the strange little intricacies of your world, and that it’ll look like you’re pulling things out of your ass that you actually planned long ago. But if you can hold back and thread the needle carefully enough, showing is always better than telling.

Which brings up an interesting paradox in the first ten or so minutes of Comet Lucifer. Though it did a good job of hinting at the world, of painting rather than infodumping, it took until the chase scene for it to reveal anything of interest about the characters. Until then, the most only interesting character was the world itself, which actually made the first two-fifths of the episode—well, I wouldn’t call them boring, but they didn’t grab me either. I was mildly curious about the world, but it took until Felia (Ohashi Ayaka) showed up for anything of real interest to happen, and I still can’t say I really care about any of the characters, especially protagonist Amagi Sougo (Kobayashi Yuusuke), who’s still a blank slate. Which suggests a lesson: Use a light hand for the world, a heavier hand for the characters. Not that a story should tell instead of show with the characters either, but I’d rather it frontload the character reveals than spend time on gorgeous scenery. Scenery only comes alive when you can imagine real characters living there, so the characters need to come first.

A Brand New World

I really did enjoy how well this first episode wove together so many SFF elements without it feeling overburdened. Okay, the intro scene was a bunch of prophetic-sounding mumbo jumbo, which felt both overwrought and instantly forgettable. But I was worried how they would integrate mysterious girl with new planet with mechas, and so far, they’re lining up all right. I think it’s that the girl summoned the mecha and it fought on its own, rather than the protagonist inexplicably finding a super prototype (trope!) and inexplicably being an awesome pilot who beats military professionals. None of my worst plot fears came anywhere near to being realized, which is a huge sigh of relief (for now). But there are a lot of balls in the air, so it’s going to take at least another episode or two to see how it shakes out.

Organic Cliffhangers

The episode was interesting, primarily in a cerebral way, up until the lake started shining and the crystal shattered, heralding Felia’s entrance. That’s when Comet Lucifer came alive. The battle against the military mech left to a nice, organic cliffhanger. Once again, I’ll contrast it to Heavy Object (i.e. the only other Fall anime I’ve seen so far—I’m already behind on all my shows, guys, this isn’t good), where the cliffhanger was out of right field. This promises a direct continuation of what was happening before, so I’m already impatient to see what’ll happen next.

Looking Ahead – Slice-of-Life? Action? Other?

I’m still not entirely sure what genre this show is going to try to be, which is cool with me. Don’t put Comet Lucifer in a box, maaaan, it can be what it wants. Though am I the only one that’s getting a Plastic Memories vibe? Probably it’s mostly the art. Either way, I’m pumped for more!

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – The characters are still underdeveloped, but the world is interesting & the plot has begun in earnest. More please! #cometlucifer 01

Random thoughts:

  • I’m really hoping Felia isn’t the standard emotionless mystery girl, and with what we’re seeing in the ED, her having an actual personality seems likely. Huzzah!

My first novel, Wage Slave Rebellion, is available now. (More info—now in paperback!) Sign up for my email list for a FREE sequel novella. Over at stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: The best content is in email, My morning routine, True Ends, and Rejection, the secret place, & fundamentals


ED Sequence

ED: 「おしえてブルースカイ」 (Oshiete Blue Sky) by Ohashi Ayaka


    1. contrast between idyllic town and militaristic mecha “black ops” and technology versus magic looks very like final fantasy settings – with a bit of Escaflowne hint (the sky-gazing telescope guy…)

    2. A little late to this, but came just to say the same thing, the setting reminded me of Castle in the Sky and the town from Kiki’s Delivery Service. I thought it was great. Now let’s see how the story unfolds.

      Frog? No. Hippo!
  1. Definitely going to need 3 episodes to start forming opinion on this, this episode seems to indicate the usual plot (MC finds strange character targeted by an organization) while the OP/ED point towards more of a SoL focus. The latter may or may not be concerning depending on how strongly Lucifer emphasizes it over the main story as this show is a single cour.

    The Bones feels are strong however and the Eureka Seven comparisons won’t be long in coming too. Will be interesting to see where things go from here.

    1. The main creator and script writer is Yuuichi Nomura, he worked on the script of Eureka Seven and was the main writer of Xam’D. It is going to be inevitable to mention those Bones shows.

  2. M’kay, before anything else, there’s just one teeny tiny little thing that I have to get off my chest…


    Show Spoiler ▼

    M’kay, unnecessarily long rant over. Honestly, in retrospect I don’t know why that scene bothered me so much. I’ve seen so much worse and just shrugged it off. Maybe I’m not getting enough sleep?

    Plot-wise, I’ve honestly no idea what’s going on here, but I’m inhterested enough to see what that adorable gradient-haired loli brings to the mix. She looks like she could be fun, at least. 🙂

    That aside, two things that stood out for me:

    – The soundtrack was stunningly captivating, particularly at the end. That right there? Keep that s*** happening.

    – After Iron-Blooded Orphans‘s awesome battle animation and designs, I would think I’d be a little meh to having to watch CGI, at least for a little while, but Lucifer did a better job than I would’ve expected. Props for them for that.

    All in all, a better opening than I would’ve expected, even if the main characters do need more fleshing out.

    Ryan Ashfyre
    1. Yeeeeah, on that fall, I wrote in my notes, “Good job, Roman. You killed your friend and fiance.” Then I thought they fell into the water, which would have STILL killed them. And they could have easily fixed this plothole via the hoverboard too.

      1. Aside from that there is still the fact that the main character commented that he “heard” water, and later made a remark regarding the lake as if surprised. So it seemed like they didn’t fall INTO the water or else they would’ve been wet, miserable, and had the knowledge that there was an underground lake. This therefore begs the question (Again), HOW IN THE FROZEN APOCALYPTIC HELL OF SCHOOL DAYS MARATHONING DID THEY NOT DIE FROM THAT!?

    2. The only Solution for this Problem…

      When they show up, this Big Hole was not direct over their Heads, it was a bit far away.. Perhaps they did not fall straight down. Perhaps something like a ramp going down.. But still… aww…

      “Do not fret the Small details!!, it only make you an Old Hag!!”… 🙂

    3. Well the rock in his hip bag did already lift him up a good distance earlier. But it is bad I have to fan wank the rock saving them this time unless this is a secret reason the author did not want to spoil. Still not a fan of that approach.

    4. Yeah, the lack of explanation was really bothering me as well. They showed the water and it was way too shallow for them to land in there. Also, where the heck did he magically get tools to repair his hoverboard? =/

    1. >] “Mecha ruins everything.”

      Gurren Lagann, Code Geass, Full Metal Panic, Escaflowne, Blue Gender, Star Driver, Mobile Suit Gundam and so many other excellent mecha series would like to have a word with you.

      Ryan Ashfyre
      1. >] “Otherwise we haven’t gotten off Start.

        I have no idea what that’s supposed to mean, but I stand by my response in that in addition to the aforementioned shows having mecha, many also contain widely admired stories and characters that are talked about even to this day.

        The idea that “mecha ruins everything” is, with all respect, an idiotic and narrow-minded POV that’s plainly untrue and I firmly believe that the overwhelming majority of the anime community would agree with me.

        Ryan Ashfyre
  3. I don’t know. I found this to be incredibly dull. The concept was too familiar without adding anything unique to the concept.

    It was less like Eureka 7 and more like Basquash (without a good OST).

  4. Imo a terrible first episode. Nice visuals but no setup at all. I have no idea what to expect from this show besides that it will look pretty. Cristal girl reminds me of Chaika. Then I remember how that anime ended. That is definatly not a good thing.

    I halp
  5. Curious. Girls are falling clothed from crystals now it normally nude. Could be good story could be nothing but good visuals.

    Advantage of books you can info dump because you have to when writing, you can’t show so you must tell. You can even add footnotes 😉 (yes enjoying your book so far Stilts)

    1. Thank you! Though it’s not true that books can’t show, and must tell. Just because there are no visuals doesn’t mean there’s not plenty of showing. It has to do with whether you reveal how something works in the natural course of the narrative/dialogue, or whether you make a point to divert and have a character reveal something that they might not (in the natural course of the story) have to talk about.

      For example: In Wage Slave Rebellion (my book, for those who haven’t noticed the little messages at the end of all my posts, lol), I have eight flashback-style sections (which I personally refer to as Magick 101 sections) which are baldfaced exposition. Within them I try to show as much as I can, but there’s still an awful lot of telling. (Like I said, it’s hard to do exposition well, and I’m not there yet.) Whereas in the very first scene, I show that there’s magick of some sort (enough to make someone survive a crossbow bolt to the head) without going into detail until later on. THAT’S the difference.

  6. Forgot to add loved the old telescope set up used by the old man. Top of technology then when built. But as my Astronomy magazine covers the old way there was always a log jam of people wanting to use them and the modern scopes will be set up to put everything online for everyone so that there will be no reason for astronomers to even travel to a scope.

  7. i do agree about the characters feeling a bit bland. The only mildly interesting character was kuon (takahashi Rie), which im surprised you didnt mention about as i would figure that her spunky persona would be right up ur alley stilts

    1. I like her so far, but then again, nothing about her sticks out so far either. Which is fine, not every character (or even person) needs to light the world on fire in the first five minutes they’re around, it just means I didn’t have anything to say about ‘er, haha

      1. I find it kind of sad that Kuon’s almost complete absence from the OP suggests that she will follow in the footsteps of so many mecha ‘childhood friend’ girls and be totally unimportant to the overall plot

  8. I think one major reason why Comet Lucifer has a lot less blatant exposition than Heavy Object is because Comet Lucifer is an anime original, while Heavy Object is an adaptation of a light novel (by the author of Index, who apparently tends to go pretty heavy on exposition, though supposedly HO was deliberately written to be easier to adapt than Index). I’ve seen several anime originals by the screenwriter who is adapting Heavy Object, and I don’t remember any of them being particularly exposition heavy (actually despite the writer’s bad reputation among Western fans he’s actually written some very good first episodes in the past).

  9. I really don’t how Kaon managed to stay on the hovercraft when she let go of the MC to cover her ears while they are racing through the highway at high speed. But the greatest offender was that drop. The hover craft is a tough one to absorb the impact as they skidded down the slope then it was followed by the fucking free fall by several hundred meters. I was actually thinking that the mech will suddenly materialize to catch them or the red crystal will levitate to cushion their fall but nope, it went straight to the aftermath seeing them survive the fall without even a single broken bone or scratch. This pulling me in the wrong places.

  10. For me the biggest difference between this and Heavy Object was that while watching this was that this was more captivating.
    At one point I looked down and realised there was only 2 minutes left and I was amazed how much it had sucked me in.
    I’m really enjoying the gradual reveal of things but I agree that it’s less exciting than it could have been.

  11. Now, I won’t be watching this, but I’d like to talk about the setting…

    Y’know, I originally thought that this show would be about mining and gathering ‘shiny things’. I don’t know what is it with me and precious, shiny objects but they’re just such a blast to know about and collect ’em! I even thought that since they mentioned rebellions, strikes and the ‘mysterious girl’, I imagined that the show would depict a story centered around these ‘spiritual’ lifeforms that are connected to the planet somehow and are either being rediscovered or facing extinction amidst general socio-economic unrest.

    Turns out, this show comes off as your oh-so-typical mech show with these ‘crystals’ and mysterious girl serving as the icing that attracts you… Man, man, man, man…

    Alright, in any case, while I no longer care about the show anymore, I do have to admit that I like the visual style that they’re going for and I really dig the main love interest’s character design. She’s just plain attractive, lawl, but is that what they were aiming for and putting all their hopes on all this while? Man, now that’s a distressing thought…

    Nishizawa Mihashi
    1. I feel like some of y’all are making a lot of assumptions. First, about what you thought it would be about (even though they never hid the mecha they had plan). Now, about what all this means, and what the story will be going forward.

      Ya might be right (on the latter—obviously the former has already been debunked), but guessing seems wiser than assuming to me. It leaves ya open to be surprised, and the surprise could be pleasant.

      1. Oh hai there~ Judging from the screenshots posted, I think the show might center around ‘spiritual lifeforms’ that are contained within the crystals and then physically manifest? Maybe. I hope they develop that plot point. BTW, which was the former though? The sentence beginning from “mining and gathering ‘shiny things'”, or “mech show with these ‘cystals'”? Kinda confused ‘cuz there’s 3 different points I raised.

        Regardless, I’d like to read more posts on this series just to see how the Fall season generally goes its course. Will be looking forward to it Stilts! 😀

        Nishizawa Mihashi
  12. I don’t know. This premiere didn’t hook me at all – Sougo and Kaon feel almost like cookie-cutter trope vehicles, and what’s-his-name in the bigger car seriously deserves a Darwin award. The setting and world is potentially interesting, but hasn’t yet fulfilled that potential, and thus isn’t yet making up for the almost cringeworthy character interactions.

    Maybe it’s because I was hoping for more, but from the premiere this feels kind of… dated, actually. Like the kind of mecha anime that would have shown up a decade and a half ago. Hopefully it does better from now on, but I’m revising expectations downwards for now.

  13. First a bit of a disclaimer. I’m not really a mecha fan. I’ve watched a few mecha shows here and there, but on the whole just isn’t my thing. Still, this looked interesting enough that I figured I’ll give it a shot. Have to say, while I wouldn’t call Ep. 01 stellar by any means, it was good enough to keep me watching for at least another episode. Certainly not the worst first episode I’ve watched this season.

    I agree with a lot of what Stilts and others wrote – including an “Eureka Seven vibe” (was wondering if I was the only one who thought that). On a visual level it was well done, vibrant without being nuclear glowing like some shows (not a big fan of that so points there). Still, a lot of stuff just happened and even one or two WTF moments. Easily the biggest IMO was Roman (who’s car was a bit too cartoonish in design) running his finance and friend off the road to what should have been their deaths. Honestly, I just decided to ignore the whole thing (“whatever”) rather than waste time attempting to justify what happened. Still, I think the show went overboard in trying to be visually flashy and “over-the top” for that scene. Not a good idea to challenge audience suspension of disbelief, especially from the get-go.

    The other thing is, as Stilts noted, there was surprisingly little substance to go along with the visual flash. While there’s certainly a risk of too much exposition, after watching this I think the show erred in going too far the other way. I guess the world setting might be the primary hook, but how much do we even know about that? You can only “show” so much. Granted, first episode and all so I give it a pass, but still… As it is, the show needs to explain some things, and excessive delay won’t be a good thing. I’m in for another episode, but that’s not the same as hooked for the season. I hope there’s some substance beyond the visual flash here because the latter won’t keep me around for long.

  14. Finally got around to watching this and I am impressed. It’s something different and I like the setting and the characters all have potential. I was surprised when the protagonist wasn’t piloting the mecha.

    To all of you that say this has no substance you’re just too used to having everything spoon fed to you. Have some patience and I’m sure all of this will be explained eventually.

  15. It’s hard to care about these characters, except the three girls are cute. They gotta explain some of this stuff so that we care about them. Why is having gifdium (I guess the thing they are mining?) important? Like they explain in Valkyria Chronicles what is Ragnite and why it’s being fought over.

    The hole in the middle of their town looks like a thermal borehole from Alpha Centauri. From PVs and the OP and stuff, it seems like this type of hole is all over their planet.


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