「ガーデン・インディゴ」 (Gaaden Indigo)
Did no one proofread this script?
This is a Mess
I don’t know where to begin. This episode was an utter mess. All of the problems from the previous two episodes—the characters are ill-defined, their motives are nonexistent, the captain antagonist and his pet murderer feel shoehorned in, and the direction of the entire plot so far is utterly aimless—are continuing to compound. Add onto that a new antagonist, whose name I already don’t care about, and who is after Felia for reasons, and who only sees her powers because of another food-based mishap (and one I saw coming a mile away, like heart disease in a bacon aficionado), and—and there. That’s why. That’s why I’m at a loss for words.
I’d like to note that, as far as blogging moods go, I’m not in one. I feel like I would look more kindly on this episode in my usual state of mind, if only to delude myself that there could still be something here for a few more episodes. But episodic blogging is done whether you feel like it or not, so write I shall. And today, that’s going to mostly mean pointing out flaws.
The Idiot Ball
Every character holds the idiot ball (trope.) at some point in this episode. Sougo throws a broom at Moura. Kaon gives the cake to Felia. Felia … everything Felia does, basically, but especially the public telekinesis. The scriptwriter holds it when computer hacking skills inexplicably make Alfried McCarran (Majima Junji) able to shatter glass and pressurize sewer water, which makes NO friggin’ sense (unless everything is digital now, which I could possibly believe, though since they somehow still use USB, I’m disinclined to assume their technology is that advanced). Probably the biggest ones are when they split up (Sougo & Moura’s fault), Kaon and Felia get on the cable car (Kaon’s fault), and they then freak out when Alfried summons a ghost cat pigeon (what is this I don’t even) and lament that Moura can’t transform without Sougo nearby (everyone’s fault). Then why the hell did you split up!? Moura stays with Sougo from now on, PERIOD. It’s useless otherwise, so there’s no reason for Moura to go with anyone else.
How Do You Save Comet Lucifer?
My hopes for Comet Lucifer are sliding. I’m not giving up, but I’m starting to settle in for a cour of examining why this isn’t working, which, as a storyteller, is perhaps more useful than why stories do work. The stories that work usually work for a plethora of reasons, but the ones that fail often fail in ways that are easy to diagnose. “How not to do it,” is more illuminating than, “How to do it.” So, how would I fix Comet Lucifer? Other than throwing out the first three episodes and starting over.
“13. Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it’s poison to the audience.” – Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling
First, pay more attention to the characters. Too many of them are passive and malleable, Sougo in particular. Three episodes in and we still know next to nothing about him, which engenders apathy as a viewer. But all the characters need work, even the simplistic Felia and Moura. About the only one I kind of like is Kaon, if only because I’m surprised she hasn’t been utterly sidelined yet, and because she is nicely motherly to Felia. But they all need work. If we knew why Sougo and the antagonists were doing what they were doing—not with exposition, but through character-defining moments—it would help a lot.
Next, I’d decide what kind of story I want this to be. If you asked me to tell you what this show is about in two sentences, I couldn’t do it. It’s a mess. But if you asked me to say what my own book is about in two sentences, I could. And more tightly-scripted stories can do it even better (see: The original Avatar: The Last Airbender TV series, which comes to mind because cat pigeons sound like something it would do). But if you can’t do it without a paragraph? You’ve fucked up. I’d take Comet Lucifer and decide what I want it to be. This feels like a first novel that’s try to do too much, and it’s failing. Simplify to win.
Looking Ahead – Fixer Upper
There’s more. There’s much more. But I’ll have plenty of time to pick out more. And hopefully, the production team will start realizing the problems themselves and right the boat. It’s not over, and if the B-plot with the antagonists leads to anything interesting, it could still be good. But that needs to happen soon.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – It’s Felia & crew vs a random hacker, where everyone holds the idiot ball, especially the scriptwriter #cometlucifer 03
- Why does the rock mecha need to eat sandwiches?
- “Felia is a unique being who controls the breath of planet Gift.” Hello abrupt exposition. I feel like important information shouldn’t be the setup for a crappy joke.
- Why did the construction mecha transmit his voice?
- If those mecha tear up road anytime they use their wheels, why does the city leave the wheels on?
- Why do I keep asking questions when I know there aren’t any answers? Wishful thinking, that’s why.
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: Momentum & mental space, The best content is in email, My morning routine, and True Ends