Kaon is the focal point of this episode, but that doesn’t mean she gets to win.
A Field Trip When You Should Be Running Scared
In my continuing quest to understand why this series isn’t working (I’d much rather discuss why it is, but I can only work with what I’m given), an interesting comparison occurred to me in regards to its scale and tone. Comet Lucifer reminds me of Robotics;Notes. In both series, the governmental (and extra-governmental, and even worldwide) scale of the conflict is at odds with how badly equipped the protagonists are to effect change at this level. Just as the narrative of Robotics;Notes had to tie itself into knots to make a robot built by a school club the pivotal element that saves the day, Comet Lucifer is tying itself into knots making a nobody like Sougo (and Kaon, and their other friends to a degree) relevant in a high-level conflict when he has no combat strength, no strong motivation, and no personality. It would actually work better if Soguo was a typical ordinary high-school student (trope), which is to say, if he wasn’t ordinary at all. You need to have something extraordinary to function at this level, and Sougo doesn’t have that.
I say all that, but I still enjoyed Robotics;Notes in the end. Its basic premise was flawed from the get-go, much like the more recent Charlotte, but also like Charlotte, there were signs of strong execution in its anime adaptation. (Charlotte clustered all of that in maybe two episodes, whereas with Robotics;Notes it was most evenly distributed throughout.) Comet Lucifer, on the other hand, has the persistent tonal mismatch between the serious plot’s potentially life-endangering conflicts and Team Felia’s seeming obliviousness to the dangers involved. When the government (or extra-governmental groups) is mobilizing to get them, they act like they’re on a field trip, and stop for a break so Sougo can be in a wedding. Come to think of it, that’s more like Charlotte, where the tonal shifts are liable to result in whiplash. If I were 8bit, Charlotte probably isn’t the anime I’d like to hear my new original compared to.
Ahhh, Kaon. You’re the primary redeeming element about this show, and this episode was the death knell of your romantic possibilities with Sougo. Or was it?
We’re about to delve into an area of predictive critical analysis known as, “Trying to guess what the author has planned.” Which, and I doubt this will come as a surprise to any of you, isn’t easy to do ahead of time, even though it often seems so painfully obvious in retrospect. We authors are wily sons of bitches—just when you think you know the kinds of twists we favor, we’ll throw a straight punch just to fuck with you. This episode heavily features Kaon hesitating with regards to Sougo, and a seeming preference (on Sougo’s part, and the show’s part) for Felia over Kaon. There are three main ways they can take things from here: Straight ahead (Sougo x Felia), a curve (feint with Sougo x Felia, end up with Sougo x Kaon), or other (Sougo is tossed into a cheese grater and Felia shacks up with Kaon, Moura is actually a prince and marries Felia after her kiss frees him from his curse, the moon crashes into the planet and everyone dies, etc). Where we’re going depends not only on the writer’s plans, but on whether this episode was intended to be the pain that will make Kaon’s eventual romantic victory all the sweeter, or whether it’s supposed to push forward the Sougo x Felia ship now that she’s physically mature enough to make it not weird (if you don’t think about it too much, and you probably shouldn’t).
I imagine most viewers will assume this was intended to push forward the author’s preferred coupling of Sougo x Felia. Yet I don’t think all hope is lost, precisely because it feels like all hope is lost. Much of fiction (and marketing) is about setting expectations and then either subverting or exceeding them, and coming in at the halfway point of the series, this could very well have been designed as the exploration of a character flaw of Kaon’s which, once surpassed, will (hopefully) lead to her happiness. That would be the feint toward Sougo x Felia, only to curve to Sougo x Kaon. However, that assumes a certain amount of skill and creativity that Comet Lucifer hasn’t displayed so far.
I guess my point is that it’s not over yet. It could still go either way, even if I do tend to think one is more likely than the other. Though even if Sougo does end up with Felia, I hope Kaon comes out of this a stronger person, rather than being sidelined for the prince and princess.
Looking Ahead – Honeybee
So, er, from the sound of the last scene it looks like Vee is spying on Sougo and Felia. That’s probably the only good twist this series has had so far, because I liked her and Do Mon, and insinuating that she’s tipping people off on Felia’s whereabouts means some drama could be headed for the potentially happy beta couple. I’m not mad. It could be interesting. I just still kinda hope she and Do Mon get together in the end, if she’s anything like how she’s been portraying herself up to this point.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Team Felia takes a field trip to fix her power or something. They almost get a bride killed on her wedding day. Whoops #cometlucifer 06
- A fun pastime while watching this episode: Timing how long Kaon took her eyes off the road while driving. By my count, she did it at least four times, for 11 seconds, 19 seconds, 10 seconds, then 27 seconds respectively, before (on that last one) crashing the car into a tree and almost killing a wedding procession. Someone please take her drivers license away now, and fire the animator who decided that characters who are talking to each others must face one another.
- Yes. Hit the mech with a rake, Kaon. That’s bound to work.
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Full-length images: 34.
ED2: 「裸足のままでもこわくない」 (Hadashi no Mama Demo Kowakunai) by Ohashi Ayaka
“Other”. Please go “Other”. They can’t go back to the cute parents/child relationship that was almost working, and Kaon deserves better. I’ll bring the cheese grater.
Kinda hoping for that too, to be honest. If this ain’t working, they might as well go nuts with it. If you can’t be remembered for being good, be remembered for going out of your mind.
Unrequited love.. we’ve all been there.
I kinda agree with you ! There is lot of strong content / potential but is poorly executed ! I still like this but got to take my punches when it stumbles !
One thing is the same group did Infinite Stratos and we sell how scattered that turned out to be!
Does anybody look at a final edit ! Felia had 2 different colored eyes ! She isnt Neko from K !
Also WTH was Gus’s Flashback. Was that other guy running the Mech squad that went after our trio? It didnt make no connection at all !
Yes they should be heeding more caution ! I dont mind the romance bit but dont take away from the problems at hand !
BTW I just like how they dropped Kaon out of the last episode then make her a major role this week ! It doent work well here!
I really dont know who is really plotting evil deeds ! Yes we have the Mech / miltary but there seems to be two factions wanting Felia!
Well at least this anime doent put me to sleep like some others this weekend !
The studio matters much less than the staff in Japanese animation. Even that varies by studio—you can generally judge a KyoAni or a SHAFT anime by studio, P.A. Works and Bones to a degree too, but J.C.Staff, Silver Link, White Fox, 8bit, Production I.G, Sunrise, and especially A-1 Pictures (which has NO consistent staffing) need to be judged by the people, not the studio name.
Think of them like a sports team. Take—what’s a team people outside of the US would know. Is Manchester United a team? The New York Yankees. I’m going to assume people know them.
It’s hard to make generalizations about the Yankees over the years they’ve been playing. You’ve got to talk about certain teams. The Yankees ten years ago were probably nothing like they are today (I don’t know, I don’t watch baseball, shits boring). Anime studios can be like that—only they can switch their entire staff from season to season.
Save for the outliers, don’t pay the studio name. Pay attention to the staff.
I have to tip my hat to you, sir Stilts for being able to put up with this series and even trying to write a balanced review. I just can’t imagine your angst while trying to look for a decent creativity parts that the author perhaps slightly possess. You’re just like a lawyer that’ve been paid to defend an obvious criminal, you know the verdict is probably guilty but you can’t say “I give up! He’s a criminal.” don’t you?
Haha, thank you. It’s actually becoming an interesting challenge,
defending an obvious criminalfinding an angle to write about. When a show’s good, I can gleefully talk about the same things each episode, and nobody would mind ’cause we’re all happy to be having a good time. But when it’s bad (or a comedy, which are hard to write about), I’ve gotta constantly look for angles to extrapolate into something worthy of exploration. It’s a fun challenge!
I’d rather the show be better, BUT HEY I’ll take what I can get.
Reading the weekly reviews, it seems that my decision to drop was a wise one. :/ Ganbatte Stilts, ganbatte!
What can I say? When I say I’m gonna do something, I do my best to do it. No matter the pain it inflicts on me, Orz
I don’t have faith that the writer has the foresight or ability to deviate from the straight, flat road he is paving for this story, but I truly hope he does.
I would love to see Kaon and Sougo get together, although I don’t know why. Sougo has as much personality as a saltine cracker without salt. I don’t have strong general feelings about whether the ‘childhood friend’ or the ‘new girl’ should always win, but I’m usually not on the side of ‘the childhood friend who never acted.’ In this case, however, I want to see Kaon win.
On second thought, Felia has done nothing at all to garner affection from Sougo, except to go from a little girl to a woman(?) with breasts and if that’s enough to sway his heart then he really is a horrible person and Kaon deserves better (but not Captain Douchebag who she was supposed to marry).
Regardless, this anime should die in a fire. Can’t wait for next week.
Hah! I laughed out loud at that. It sounds like you’re tsundere for Comet Lucifer.
It brings to mind the good old days of Guilty Crown. Ah, memories…
And just like with that show, reading people’s reactions (both blog posts and comments) is more fun than the show itself!
Robotic;Notes though, having a distinct curve of tension on as a whole series. Slice of life parts for a few episodes which is happy go lucky building a robot, then after that problem occurs a few episodes hinting something amiss and the character slowly climbed out of their happy go lucky interactions, and for the last part climax they go full fledge high tension. At least in Robotic;Notes they got the tone consistent per episode, they know when to put happy moment should be happy and serious moment should be taken seriously. Comet Lucifer they crammed all of that into a single episode, one minute goes happy field trip one minute later military assault, then goes back to happy where everything is good, on the next episode nobody in that universe remembers what happened last weak episode.
Agreed. That’s why I switched my comparison to Charlotte when it came to the tonal shifts. Only, that series had at least two standout episodes, whereas this has had, at best, one serviceable one. And that was the first one. Orz
The Wanderer approves of this option! Who needs male-leads anyway? Especially boring ones.
Here’s my thing about Kaon’s chances vis a vis your explanation of general fictional paths:
Anime romances VERY RARELY deviate from the norm. This is why something like ‘first girl wins’ is a trope. Here’s the thing though, Kaon is actually the first girl IIRC. That said, I still don’t think that makes her chances high because I think ‘first girl wins’ is a misunderstanding of the trope due to a misunderstanding of correlation and causation. The actual trope is ‘obvious girl wins.’
99% of the time, you can tell who the ‘main’ girl is in any romantic entanglement in anime by the end of the first episode. She’s USUALLY the first you see, but not always, but she is almost ALWAYS obviously the lead. That’s why it’s so freaking weird when the obvious girl DOESN’T win (Ichigo 100%, Tomodachi ga sukunai (sp?)).
Kaon is so not obvious she can’t even be bothered to show up in the opening. I put her chances at 1%. And even if she ‘wins’ I don’t think we’ll see her win. I think what we’ll see is Felia die/ascend to a higher plane/insane anime ending and Sougo and Kaon will be the two left behind with the vague implication that they might end up together at some point.
True, and a good point on how the trope is really “Obvious Girl Wins.” (Add Mashiro-iro Symphony to that list, by the way.) Which, to be honest, isn’t always a bad thing.
I like to use the US version of The Office as an example (though I think the British one, and probably all of them, work on this too)—we always know from the get-go that Jim and Pam are going to get together eventually. It’s not about whether, it’s about how, and to a degree, whether the show is going to last long enough to see it done.
The only time it’s a bad thing is if the first girl isn’t so good. Infinite Stratos has the problem where a sizable portion of the fanbase would prefer someone other than first girl Houki, which is a big risk with harem anime. Contrast that to Love Hina, where there was always a definite obvious girl (Naru) (she was first girl, too), so the rest of the harem was more for wish fulfillment (“I wish I were a nerd like Keitarou who had a bunch of girls fall in love with him … but I’d be a good guy and only get with one too”) plus funny hijinks.
So yeah, you’re right. Mostly I just wanted to delve into the curly issue that is anticipating what an author is going to do, especially when an author becomes skilled enough to know how to tweak the reader around (I was reading a book last night where I totally bit on the red herring, which made it all the more chilling/amazing when I fell for the author’s twist) (Heir of Fire was the book, by the way). That’s why I added “…even if I do tend to think one [way] is more likely than the other.” to the last paragraph of that section. We all know which one I think more likely 😛
Were it me, and I had set up the romantic angle to how it is at this point (though hopefully better, and not all the crap around it), I’d definitely be setting up for the swerve into a Kaon end for the surprise ending. Or, ya know, set up a better obvious girl from the get-go.
Psh, I say down with love triangles and unrequited feelings! Why can’t we have a proper OT3 so that everyone can be happy? In fact, if they were to remove the entire dumb subplot (perish and sink into the ocean, I say) Comet Lucifer would actually be better.
… Or maybe we can just take Sougo out of the picture and have slice of life adventure times with Kaon and Felia. I would watch that.
OTPs and dissonance between the SoL elements and main plot line? Pft that’s old news, everyone is missing the star of this episode: the motherf*cking Tiger I wreck sitting in the middle of
Arizonathe desert. How the hell it found its way onto a sci-fi fantasy planet god only knows, but it certainly kept me amused.
Also loved the Petra reference with the church and the subtle dropping of Pantera by the mech leader. The references were the highlight of this episode, hands down 😛
If a Tiger I was really in the middle of the Arizona desert, that’d make sense. I think that’s what the Arizona desert is for, getting rid of useless junk. Also, Arizona. GAUNTLET THROWN DOWN!
I chuckled at Pantera. They shoulda just started throwing other other references to 80’s/90’s American cartoons. Woulda been great. If they used the Skeletor maneuver, I’da lost my shit.
wow…did someone crank up the manipulative writing to 11?…what is this….just….what is this? it almost like as soon as felia grew up, the writers turned to look at the screen, cocked up their eyebrows like on some tom and jerry shit, and then said “Look, you guys know where this is going so just fuck the subtlety right? now let’s devise this in a way where you now have to root for felia and feel bad for kaon, and we’re gonna do it in the most haphazard of writing techniques, NOW JOIN ME IN EVIL LAUGHTER MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA”. See, it’s not even the fact that this couple is happening (which is a bit of a letdown) it’s how the show is going about doing it; it feels contrived and forced along with everything else in the plot that has occured since the end of episode 2. And like i said last week, what makes the writers think they can sell felia as a romantic interest after portraying her as a daughter figure for about 5 eps…..why…just why
I don’t think the discussion was that fully-formed. I think the writer and director were looking over the shoulder of an animator, watching him put the finishing touches on Felia’s new grown-up rack. Then they turned to each other:
“Make ’em fuck?”
“Let’s make ’em fuck.”
They’re actually going out of their way to get their preferred ending, after the suits rejected their idea for a seven-episode H-ending.
ROFL….i just imagined that whole ridiculous scenario…im done
Sougo…another to add to the list alongside ones like (male) Natsuru from Kampfer, Ichika from Infinite Stratos, and so on…but somehow is even worse than either of them as he has no real personality or backstory at all.
What are you talking about, Stilts, about this SougoXFelia or SougoXKaon. It’s quite obvious that Sougo will end up with the busty baker lady. She’s been pretending to visit the diner to deliver bread just to see a glimpse of Sougo all this time. /s
Poor Kaon. I want her to win, but there’s nothing to win really. All male characters (expect maybe Do Mon) suck. Her best option would probably be Vee.
I still can’t see Felia as a romantic prospect for Sougo. She’s grown up, right, but her emotional and mental maturity still isn’t on Sougo’s level (and considering his character, that’s actually kind of an achievement).
The whole show reminds me of Captain Earth fiasco. A mecha/SoL show with nice designs and animation, killed by disjointed plot, bland MCs, lack of logic and cringeworthy antagonists. Yup. At least CL is not that annoying…
Its going to be too predictable and boring if Felia ends up with Souga. It is more interesting if it is Kaon and Souga as they are some what opposites but also compliment each other what he lacks she has and what she lacks he has for example he is lacking financially but she has, she is impulsive rational but he is calm and rational etc etc. Volov guy is too annoying. Regarding the baker lady I think she is much older than she looks and has a thing going on with doMon.
You seriously overate Kaon and shit on Sougo and Roman too much.
Hey, aren’t you that one guy from MAL with FFXIII Lightning avatar?…
Give Kaon some credit. She may not be the best character ever, but she’s a sole human in a cast of cardboard cutouts.