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