「一つ屋根の下で」 (Hitotsu Yane no Shita de)
“Under One Roof”

This story reads like someone’s first novel.

Good Ideas, But Execution is Slightly Off

Comet Lucifer, as a story, reads like someone’s first novel. Understand that I know what I’m talking about when I say that. The problems of first novels from promising artists are unique. I’m not talking about those people whose first novels are utter trash—in Comet Lucifer, Nomura Yuuichi is showing off some interesting ideas. Not necessarily groundbreaking ones—a story need not be unique to be enjoyable—but between a bestial mech (which was built like a linebacker, but moved like a tiger … kowai), a mysterious girl who is genki instead of emotionless, and the setting that attracted so many people to this series, there are signs of interesting ideas here. Executed well, they could take the series far.

But the execution is slightly off. I call it a first novel because the mistakes are egregious. They’re either oversights, or a product of ignorance. Take the fall Sougo and Kaon mysteriously survived last episode, without any explanation telling us how. A more seasoned storyteller might have realized they needed to address that, and likely, Nomura Yuuichi will too, after people point it out here. Editing or proofreading would be nice too. That’s another thing this show feels like so far—a novel that wasn’t beat read enough.

This week, the biggest offenders were any scene with Captain Gus Stewart (Hamada Kenji) that wasn’t shared with the protagonists (i.e. the initial fight was fine). He’s summoned by some mysterious geezer, gets a new mech (foreshadowing! Menacing foreshadowing!), then recruits some kid who spits out a tooth(??) and kills some people, who is then recruited for some unspecified mission, and the entire time I was thinking, what the hell is the point of all this? I feel like a more experienced (or better edited) storyteller would realize that all this is coming out of left field, and that we hardly care about the main characters, so we’re not going to give two shits about this antagonist guy.

Another big one: The production team did well to initially imply that Moura (Minase Inori) was the bestial mech, so they didn’t need to make it obvious (with spilled curry, of all things) at the end. A more experienced storyteller might have known they could trust their audience to pick up their clues. The episode was scattered with examples like these, of small mistakes born of inexperience whose solutions will become second nature after a second or third or tenth book. Or in this case, anime scripts.

The Line Between Moe and Childish

I remember driving with one of my non-anime watching friends, and just to be a weirdo, I put on some JPop anime OPs and EDs. He’s a singer himself, so he had to comment. He found it bizarre how so many Japanese women in these songs tried to sound like they were prepubescent. Which, if I extract myself from the anime sphere long enough to get some perspective, I agree is kind of weird. Full-grown women, trying to sound like children! Though of course, we know there’s a difference. The Cult of Kawaii, and its Little Sister Moe (and of course, it must be a little sister), are different from straight-up childishness. The line, though, can be hazy at times. I feel like Felia stepped over that line.

It was probably Koan carrying her. Or how her exuberance is so youthful, with no mysterious hints at a deeper personality somewhere below the bubbles. Which isn’t a bad thing, necessarily, but it does prevent a minefield going ahead. Because let’s face it, anime characters are often sexualized at ages that would be utterly disgusting if it happened in real life. But it doesn’t rattle our alarm bells because (1) They’re fictional characters who are distant enough from uncanny valley (much less absolute realism) so as to not automatically trip our existing social conditioning, and (2) they often don’t act their age. But at least for this episode, Felia is acting like a child. So when Koan mentions that they can’t leave her alone with a starving mongrel like Sougo, my first response is, “Eww.” That might become a problem later on.

Looking Ahead – More Slice-of-Life, Please!

While the serious scenes are flailing, I feel like there’s real potential in the more slice-of-lifey ones. If they can weave hints of serious conflicts into a larger tapestry of Felia experiencing the world (and through her, us experiencing it as well), that could be something worth watching. We’ll find out next week if that’s what on the docket.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Aside from the initial battle, all the serious stuff falls flat. Felia is all cute and innocent, though #cometlucifer 02

Random thoughts:

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

Full-length images: 24.




  1. Or how about how Felia had to use telekinesis three fricking times before anyone was shocked by it?

    When she floated the desert across the table I gave it the benefit of the doubt, these people were tired and having an important conversation so they overlooked it. But then after the bath a towel just levitates off the bed and flys across the room and smacks Sogo right in the face and it’s like nothing even happened?

      1. It actually turns out that the towel scene is when Sogo started to realize something was up. During the tart tartin scene, everyone had their attention turned away from felia so they didn’t notice her using her telekinetic/gravity?? Powers to move the plate. During the scene with the towel, felia was pointing at sogo but no one could discern that it was actually her who manipulated the towel. To sogo n crew, it just seemed like felia was playfully calling sogo a lolicon, whoever sogo still questioned the phenomenon as he couldn’t comprehend why the towel spontaneously smacked him in the face. It’s not until kaon n sogo directly see felia using her powers are they then suddenly shocked which makes sense because up to that point, they weren’t privy of her being the culprit behind the weird stuff.

        In the end, these sequence of events don’t have flaws in their execution however I do agree with your other points. Technically this episode answers the question as to how sogo n kaon survived their fall in ep 1: It was felia who saved them. The problem with the execution in that scenario is that kaon n sogo don’t question how they survived. It creates a disconnect because it makes the viewer question the legitimacy of any sense of danger within the narrative. I get that the sceenwriter was trying to create a sense of mystery behind the existence of felia (hence why she didn’t appear until the very climax of ep 1) but it sacrificed the coherency of its narrative which you never want to do as a storyteller. As I alluded to, all they had to do in that scene was have sogo n kaon question how they survived which in turn would have assured the viewer that something unusual must have happened to assure their survival. The mystery of who or what saved them is still kept in tact and the viewer is not questioning the logic of the series.

        As for moura transforming into its mech form at the end of the ep, I don’t think that had to do with the show not trusting the audience that it couldn’t piece two n two together. I admit that I myself was under that impression at first n I sort of rolled my eyes until I sat back and realized that the scene was indicating how sogo’s fate had become tied to felia and moura. Our little critter friend doesn’t transform until sogo perceives the hot soup falling on his arm as a instance of danger. In that moment, the audience learns that sogo can affect moura’s transformation, that he can do it when he feels he is in danger, n is now tied to felia n moura, which is ultimately what our climax was going for rather than revealing moura as the mech. I mean the show gave it away when 1. The critter was shown to be protective of felia n 2. When it attempted to transform in front of sogo n couldn’t (because sogo influences its transformation now)

        As for the eps focus on the antagonist, I also agree that it could have used a bit more polish as the show has yet to properly illustrate to the audience their significance in the grand scheme of things. They feel disconnected from the world of the narrative so there’s a lack of flow to their scenes with what’s happening with our protagonists. It almost feels as if this series should be bigger than it is as in ep length. But yea overall this series is brimming with a lot more potential than it probably should given what has happened in these two eps n it would be nice to see where it heads

      2. You have a good point. The main problem is that characters don’t question things. How did they survive, might Felia be a danger, how is this TK stuff happening, etc. Hell, they don’t even comment when Felia wakes up. They didn’t seem surprised. It was odd. They roll with the punches TOO well.

        As for the transformation, that’s another thing that was fairly clear (once Moura reacted with shock at seeing Sougo with the crest). But they pounded the point home with spilled curry, of all things. Regardless of the intent, it was convenient and forced. We feel the hand of the writer too much. Not great storytelling.

  2. The best description I’ve heard for Lucifer so far is a children’s adventure show, something akin to early Pokemon/Yu-Gi-Oh, or even first season Digimon. We have the sci-fi setting using fantasy-esque (i.e. lighthearted, colourful, upbeat) storytelling, the young MC and childhood friend who encounter the thing which changes their lives, and the pet sidekick who also functions as comedic relief. Felia herself also evokes the categorization as she is “true” moe, the innocent child ignorant and naive to the world around her (at least so far).

    Now none of the above is concerning, these types of shows when executed well are a treat to watch. My concern with Comet Lucifer is that the show as is does not have enough time to execute the script well. Adventure shows are slow burners by design because of the combined episodic SoL aspects and serious story. While the former builds up the characters to interest the viewer, the latter gets the viewers caring about them. Two cours is often required, so only one season here is worrying for the final result.

    We can already see the problems the pacing produces. As you highlight Stilts the serious half of the show has been sidelined in favour of the SoL so far. While fun to watch (I must admit, Felia is incredibly cute), I have my doubts that by the time Comet Lucifer gets back to the central story that adequate time will be left to give us all the answers entertainingly. This of course doesn’t even get into the (arguably minor) script issues with explaining outlandish events like the infamous fall or Felia’s telekinesis going unnoticed.

    Overall my interest hasn’t lessened in Comet Lucifer, but my expectations are starting to dim. We shall see what the next few weeks bring.

  3. LOL yeah, prototypes in a mecha show seems always become the best out of other mechas. Even though they’re supposed to be riddled with problems like software bugs/hardware failure out of new technology etc. And I wonder how they can fix these prototypes so fast when the spare parts production lines probably haven’t even built yet? XD

  4. That’s harsh Stilts… but I think you are right.

    That super-soldier kid should been able to smell that he had an interesting guest. Unless they showed us in-world that the warden did BAD things to that kid… he really wasn’t worth a tooth.

    I share Moura’s annoyance Show Spoiler ▼

    Unless she is going to become “the baggage” I think Felia will age up to the rest of the cast by ep4 — at least on speaking articulately.

  5. So when Koan mentions that they can’t leave her alone with a starving mongrel like Sougo, my first response is, “Eww.”

    That looks like a flag lol… I hope they won’t make him fall in love with Felia btw, somehow I’m wary with triangle set ups. “Childhood friend with unrecruited love because the main character is way too dense suddenly fall in love with a girl appearing out of nowhere and will be more than willing to go into danger for her while sidelinening the childhood friend. In the end she gives up, marries with the side character while the guy remains oblivious with the new girl.”
    Slap me please if my prediction is right later. (I really really hope I’m wrong though)

    1. im almost positive it wont go down the route of sogo falling for felia. It’s more like he has a responsibility to be her protector/father figure more than a love interest. Felia seems like she’s twelve while sogo and kaon seem like their 18 and up (someone correct me on the ages if im wrong)

  6. And then there’s the fact that Sogo, and especially Kaon, seem to completely forget that Roman was the one who shoved the two of them into the freaking giant hole (that they magically somehow survived the fall of) that almost lead to them killed by a mech battle and subsequent collapsing cavern. You’d think that, when Roman mentioned delaying the wedding until they figured out what to do with Felia and the situation, Kaon would remember that and just go off on him, but nothing.

    1. Yeah ever since his first appearance he’s annoying, though I bet later the show will make him looks like “He is actually a good guy deep down inside. Let’s just erase all his previous improper behaviour from everyone’s memories.”

      1. Yeah, I thought the same. Everything is forgotten because he’s really a jerk with a heart of gold. Right.

        Of course, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. I mean, precisely after witnessing such bizarre events and being almost killed by several mecha, suddenly the annoying big brother is an almost welcome return to usual, everyday problems. “Better the devil you know…”

    2. Honestly, the running-his-fiance-and-friend thing is an instance where I feel like Roman was handed the idiot ball for the plot’s sake. “We need to get them into that big hole in the center of town. How can we do that?” And characterization be damned.

      When I feel the hand of the scriptwriter too much, I largely discount those actions from the character’s personality. It’s not the, to me. It’s the writer. Though having to do this yanks me right out of my suspension of disbelief, which is obviously no bueno.

  7. I feel like the biggest issue with the military sub-plot is that it took up close to half the episode when all we know is that they have some vague desire for Felia. For as much info as it gave they may as well just shown the part where Gus gets his new suit as the episode’s stinger. Which is a damn shame too, because I liked the jail cell fight sequence. That gunfire frame-by-frame effect was pretty cool.

    That being said, I’m glad the fight scenes and cg are good.

    1. It’s international phonetic alphabet for the letter L. International phonetic alphabet is used even today all the time (per SOP) in military radio communications. It’s more rarely used in the military in other situations like the phone or even in person.

      Alpha, Beta, Charlie… Lima. That’s all I can think of.
      Felia has an L in her name. It’s even the middle letter! But the military doesn’t even know her name yet. That ends that line of reasoning.
      I think it’s just a military code name for the thing they’re after. It doesn’t make sense though. Names for real military operations are poetic, like “Operation Desert Storm.” Operationally, a key strategic point might be referred to as “Point Bravo.” “Bravo” wouldn’t be used on its own except to describe the letter B itself.

      The name of the mineral they are mining on this planet is “Giftdium” (or whatever spelling you want) and the planet’s name is Gift. No L’s in there.

      1. yeah im familiar with alphabetic codewords, but what type of target does Lima refer to?
        some special crystals? aliens? angels? demons?
        does Felia look any different from “usual” Limas?

  8. This episode felt… fragmented? Incoherent, perhaps? There were pieces of things in it, things that felt like proper peices of a larger story, but because they were just pieces they failed at conveyign that story effectively, I feel.

    For instance, Captain Gus, whatever his name is, was ordered to get Lima, and instead he focused on fighting the lizard mech in front of hiim, even though he was accomplishing nothing in doing so beyond collapsing the cave on top of everyone. I thought that when he was ordered back to HQ, he’d be getting a reprimand or some such thing for failing to properly focus on his mission, and getting someone under his command killed, stuff like that. Maybe then someone could have stepped in and spoken up for him, ending up recruiting him to pilot their new mech or whatever.

    Speaking of the mech, they recruited him for what purpose? That’s another thing: they just gave him the mech and said “here, have a shiny new toy. No, we won’t tell you what to do with it, but just getting a new toy means you get to have a new squad, so go collect some psychopaths. We don’t really care what you do with it, we just want you to have it, have fun.”

    You’ve already touched on several other things that felt off as well. It felt… This felt to me like the author wanted to pack as many “cool things” as possible into the episode that they ended up neglecting the proper connecting material, the proper pacing, to making all those cool things make sense.

  9. I agree completely with stilts. This was an original anime, wasn’t it? Maybe that’s why it gives off such a feel. Interesting ideas with a somewhat rookie’s approach.

    The fall that didn’t cause harm (if next episode they reveal they live in an asteroid with low gravity, I will buy it), the scenes just to be cool (the psycho boy at the end had a heavy-handed scene just to prove how dangerous he is) and the strange mixing of tropes: after so many strange things everyone has seen, why did the protagonist try to keep Moura’s existence secret? Everyone meets a girl that came out of a crystal who has psychic powers; a talking stone-animal is nothing and could be useful to explain the situation (that reeked more of a setting where the hero needs to keep his superpowers secret or something like that, but here made no sense).

    And the general anime obsession with childishness. I wouldn’t mind much in Feria’s case if I didn’t fear that they are trying to use her as the hero’s love interest in the future.

    Still, can’t say I’m not intrigued about the setting and the action looks great.

  10. The moe/childish issue Stilts is talking about is emblamatic of Japanese pop culture’s obsession with youthful innocence, leading to the popularity of the cute-voiced doe-eyed girls/pretty boys in their mainstream culture. This is even more prevalent in their animes, which as you know cater to a specific demographic of viewer there.

    For example, I still recall a late-night variety show featuring a gravure idol whose sweet, innocent face and speech completely contrasted her sexy, big-boobed body. You’d never have imagined someone like that in that type of industry if they never told you.

    1. Oh yeah. I enjoy showing pictures of some of the seiyuu to my non-anime-watching-singer friend. His reactions at seeing the fully-grown woman whose voice makes her sound like she’s twelve is hilarious, ESPECIALLY when I reveal that the character is supposed to be in high school, haha

      It’s a cultural difference, neither bad or good, but it can trip into a really strange place when moderation goes out the window and it gets too far. The same is true of anything, of course.

  11. Can I say how refreshing it was to have a scene where a girl comes out of the bath in a towel out of concern for someone else, and we DON’t get the ridiculous scene where the guy blushes and the girl screams “Nooooo!” and he gets smacked in the face.

    Of course it could just be like the telekinesis situation, where they were supposed to be made aware of it but weren’t due to either oversight or sloppy writing. Either way, it’s sad and telling that I noticed it as the exception instead of the rule. Thanks anyway for not troping all over it.

    1. That’s a good point! I mean, she was more covered than she would have been had she been wearing a bikini, and she came there in full knowledge that it was Sougo’s room, so no reason to freak out. Fortunately, she didn’t.

  12. somehow I feel like the target audience for this show is between 11-14 year-old. mind you is not a bad thing I was still entertained by it. I feel I would get more enjoyment out of it if I wasn’t so old and jaded by life and what my expectations on good story telling are.

  13. I think the authors haven’t decided which way they’re taking felia. the OP suggests it’s a pairing, but the scenes themselves suggest felia is the yui to kaon and sougo’s asuna and kirito

    as for the pervert joke, i think it’s that the all men are perverts trope is so ingrained in anime they couldn’t not make it

    1. @nyanlol: Agree about the pervert “joke”. It’s just such a standard thing to do, and the “comedy intent” was backed up when Filia mimics Koan and calls Sougo a perv… after both barge into his room and he just stands there. I just do not see this going down the lolicon road (sure hope it does not) or even an ecchi one. Bath scene was primarily skipped, and no ecchi accidents after that. When Sougo had a towel wrapped around is head, I half expected a Yuuki Rito moment but it didn’t happen. Could be wrong, but that’s my impression so far.

  14. Sorry but I am one of those who find Felia’s involvement in the scenes made little sense. More so, the show used too much Anime Physics for the first two episodes. The fight scene’s still good though.

    With that said, I really appreciate the traditional approach of showing a mecha show with some sort of magic in it. I like this one but not without irks.

  15. Well, that was uninspiring. That had basically all the flaws I mentioned last week and more besides.

    The problem isn’t just with the writing, I feel – the director is also utterly failing to put the stops on the writer’s missteps. I can actually excuse some of the writing errors, like Puck somehow not showing any cues of having notices Gus at all, because these are the kinds of things a less experienced writer can and does miss when writing a scene. But when transferring it to a visual interface the director really should have noticed ‘hey, isn’t there something off about this scene…?’ and at the very least added some small visual cue somewhere.

    I do hope it picks up sometime soon, because right now the generic LN adaptations are actually looking better than this.

  16. Eh, honestly Ep. 02 didn’t do much for me. :/ In fact, probably a bit weaker than the opening episode. As others have mentioned, it still has some (or at least one) conspicuous WTF moment(s) (e.g. the third time. characters go “Oh yeah, what’s with the whole telekinesis thing?”). That’s going to get old fast. Bad anime. Stop doing that.

    I also get a sense of the show trying to be several things, and it’s not meshing all that well. We have happy-times, “comedy” SoL complete with cutesy mascot in Moura, and then go to young teenager killing machine who apparently has the “skill” of being bullet proof (“he tenses his muscles” to stop the blood loss or whatever, but he looked perfectly fine other than a couple bullet holes in his clothes (with no blood stains around them even) and a bit of other peoples blood splatter). I’m not suggesting that this is going the way of Chaos Dragon – throwing in the kitchen sink along with anything and everything else, but it’s not the most cohesive presentation either thus far.

    I don’t have some of the complaints that Stilts does. Moura transforming into a mecha was fine IMO. Wasn’t “insulting to my intelligence” even if not a surprising revelation. I do wonder about house repairs. That ain’t gonna be cheap. Same goes for Felia’s voicing or acting childlike since she is childlike (reinforced by Moura’s comment that “everything is new to her”). I’ll be honest, that came across better to me than what Amira was like say from mid-season on in Bahamut. However, I do agree with Stilts that the execution in general is off. It’s not abysmal, but certainly room for improvement.

    So… not sure here. So far there’s just no real “hook” for me – even a small one. Like a bunch of other shows this season, guess I’ll give this one another episode or two.

  17. I was enjoying watching this show. Then you had to go and pick it apart like a vulture on a carcass. Maybe I’m just too forgiving of the errors. I’ve liked how they gone about this introductory arc a whole lot. To me, it’s kind of like a sun rise, where you start getting a small glimpse of things as the plot slowly rises and then the whole world and characters start shining bright right in your face. I haven’t minded the nameless antagonists running around doing antagonistic things without much explanation. So long as we get one at an appropriate time. Not even the protagonists know what’s going on at this point, so I feel an explanation isn’t necessary at this point. Also agree with the above; Moura transforming wasn’t so much to say he can but it was to say that now Shogo is tied to him in a certain way (maybe explaining the miraculous survival).

    I’ll hold judgment for later when it seems like they won’t tie up the loose ends.

  18. Ep 03:

    Show Spoiler ▼


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