Comet Lucifer Review — It Did Not Need More Episodes

No seriously, that’s what people are saying about this show. Haven’t we all gotten over that tired argument by now?

You know one anime myth that really needs to die in a ditch? Original shows can always be counted on to be better than adaptations. How in god’s name does that make any sense in any sort of capacity? First off, you’re basically saying that every manga, novel, visual novel, and light novel out there is shit with that statement, and whilst I definitely agree that finding something good in the latter two categories is about as hard as finding a good Crash Bandicoot game after he left Naughty Dog, any hack writer wanting to create an original work of art can make the same mistakes they did – especially when they’re visual novel writers themselves. Second, you don’t honestly believe that Ghost Hound, Galilei Donna, or Yatterman Night are good shows, right? Seriously, let me look at your favorites list, and I’d better not see those shows on there.

Okay, that’s a bit of a harsh introduction, but I seriously have no idea why anyone ever thought Comet Lucifer had potential when it showed up in the first place. Just because it borrows many elements from successful adventure anime like Eureka Seven and Castle in the Sky? How is that a positive if it doesn’t execute any of said elements with any sort of flair at all, particularly with regards to its horrible characterization? You remember in the first episode of E7 when we first see Renton, he’s established as a kid who hates his life due to his father’s legacy giving him unwanted attention along with his grandfather putting down his dreams? When we’re introduced to our main character, Sogo, we literally learn nothing about him besides the fact that he collects rocks. He had no dreams. He had no troubles. How am I supposed to believe he can carry a show if you don’t give me anything interesting about the dude that’s non-cosmetic?

What you don’t do in an attempt to make us believe he’s leading man material is to drop a magical girlfriend in his lap, who sweeps the awards for “worst anime lead female” in every category imaginable. Most Irritating. Most Convenient Plot Device. A bunch of other categories that I won’t name because doing so will cause me to projectile vomit on the screen I’m reading whilst typing this. The show doesn’t even give us a good reason for why she’s the catalyst for Sogo’s journey to exist in the first place. She has telekinetic powers and a magical mustached pet that can turn into a mecha or a scantily clad female depending on what the writers want to show off, but Comet Lucifer doesn’t do a good job of explaining why the bad guys want her abilities considering it takes place in a fantasy world where robots and powers are treated about as normally as a Hispanic window cleaner. So if we don’t know why the bad guys are after the good guys and we don’t care about the good guys on account of them not having any story or interesting character flaws, then who is supposed to anchor me in regards to what’s going on?

Comet Lucifer is hard to really criticize properly because it’s just bad in all the most basic ways. It’s a textbook definition of a “lacking” product – full of cliches and never pushing them to anything it can call its own, like it was written by someone who’s a fan of adventure anime but didn’t get what made them good. The mecha fights are as fun to watch as an action scene in a Jon Favreau movie, and the journey as a whole is just not very interesting. It takes an unusually long time for the characters to even leave their hometown to begin with, and said journey itself is padded with so many inane slice-of-life scenes that don’t add to the story in any significant manner when they should be spent on giving me a reason to care about the journey. The bad guys don’t even seem to be doing all that much evil when they’re not threatening our heroes to begin with. Not once did I ever see them do something evil that didn’t involve trying to capture Felia, and they don’t even hurt innocent people or cause significant collateral damage in the process. For all we know, maybe they’re the police and Felia is secretly a wanted criminal on accounts of mass murder and being criminally mundane.

And whenever something resembling personal stakes does occur, it always happens to the adult characters who don’t have much screen time and whose story is mostly just told to us whilst being completely nonsensical in the process. For example, there’s this old man named Do Mon who failed to protect Sogo’s mother during his time as a soldier, forcing him to take Sogo in whilst the kid cursed his existence for years due to said failure. Fair enough, although the fact that Sogo forgave him by the time the series started takes away some of the impact of that scene, but then there’s this idiot soldier named Gus who wants to kill Do Mon for retiring from the military even though he was a hardened adult war veteran at the time the old dog took his leave. No seriously. That’s all we know about his grudge, and it was mostly told through whining rather than actual imagery. Although given how Gus consistently fucks up even the most basic of soldier tasks on account of his mentor not being around to teach him how to do them properly, perhaps it’s understandable to a degree, but that would then put into question how he managed to stay in the military so long to begin with. This all leads up to Do Mon’s death (spoilers) at the hands of an alien creature who looks just like Sogo’s mother, but considering his connection to practically anybody in the show was as poor as restaurant Wi-Fi and said death being caused by everyone – including him – being a complete moron, it falls completely flat on its face.

Speaking of everyone being morons, the entire story gets particularly unfocused in the end because the writers had as much of a grasp on the story as I did when it came time to wrap things up. 95% of the villains suddenly switch over to the good guy side for no real reason and when the show finally reveals why Felia is so important in the first place, it turns out that it’s because an alien was behind everything. No seriously. That’s it. With no foreshadowing whatsoever, it turned out an alien crash landed on Earth and manipulated the main bad guy off-screen so he could use Felia’s powers to turn Earth into the new Krypton, General Zod-style. Said bad guy never questioned the plan once in his life, and thus has no one to blame but himself for killing the people who warned him when said alien turns out to be just as evil as he looks. What’s that? Why yes, that is my suspension of disbelief melting in the sun. Why do you ask?

And just to add insult to injury, the finale is more rushed than a shotgun wedding in the middle of a snowy blizzard. Characters suddenly declare they love each other for no reason and there’s an environmental message at the end that’s so ham-handedly crowbarred into the narrative it probably would have sent Hayao Miyzaki into a fit of laughter if there was anything worthwhile to laugh at in regards to Comet Lucifer. In fact, why am I devoting my precious time and energy to this worthless show in the first place? Why don’t I just end this review right now and go eat some M&M cookies?

So in conclusion before I cover myself in crumbs, Comet Lucifer is a worthless show that rips off much better anime you could be watching instead, and I advise you to forget it ever existed, as well as realize that that “original shows being more interesting than adaptations” mentality is about as truthful as the existence of vagina dentata.

10 responses to “Comet Lucifer Review — It Did Not Need More Episodes

  1. “You know one anime myth that really needs to die in a ditch? Original shows can always be counted on to be better than adaptations. How in god’s name does that make any sense in any sort of capacity? First off, you’re basically saying that every manga, novel, visual novel, and light novel out there is shit with that statement”

    I’ll stop you right there. While it’s true that *always* is definitely a bit of too broad a statement, I think the issue in this case is one of satisfaction delivered. Of course both categories can contain shit, but when properly done, an original anime will tell a satisfying, oft self-contained story over the arc of its episodes, often with a brisk pacing. Even when adapting good source material, on the other hand, there’s a lot of trappings. Too many anime episodes? Enter anime-original shitty fillers! Not enough anime episodes? Savage, poorly thought-out cuts. Caught up with the manga? Anime original ending that ignores everything established until then about the franchise and creates a thousand plot holes! You don’t really feel like doing an ending? Just cut it where it is and leave the watchers starving for more – anime adaptations are only a glorified commercial for their own source material after all!

    …so you can see. Both anime originals and adaptations can be victim to the “being utter shit” syndrome; but adaptations are also often victim to the “being actually good but still turning out shit due to poor choices or commercial constraints” syndrome. Which is a far more frustrating experience for a viewer once they’re engaged by a good enough start.

      • Honestly, Parasyte anime’s problem is that the direction is terrible. It’s like a high school student reading Shakespeare without understanding the underlying emotion. That anime could be enjoyable with a lower episodes count and having someone competent, like Erased staffs, adapting it.

        It frustrate me to see a huge amount of good source materials got squandered by faithful but lifeless adaptation. No, copying the story panel by panel do not make good anime, no matter what source material fans said.

      • Eh, “sticking close” is relative. I didn’t hate Parasyte nearly as much as everyone seems to have, and I suspect a big part of that is also my lack of hate for dubstep music (that everyone seems to feel compelled to find appalling by default). But either way – if the source material was so enjoyed, and the adaptation is not, that’s because it didn’t really “stick close” – it merely parroted some aspects of it but strayed away in more fundamental, though maybe less evident, elements of its core appeal. Of course the opposite can also happen – an adaptation elevating its source material above its original value. The thing with adaptations is – they still require some amount of synergy between the original artist’s understanding and the ones that work on them. It’s a bit like translation. A great director might spectacularly fail an adaptation just because they’re trying to impose their own artistic sense on someone else’s, and the two clash badly. So I think with original anime people feels safer that there’s at least going to be some sort of unitary vision behind it. It’s not always that way, and it’s obviously not the only thing that matters to make a good anime, it just seems more likely.

  2. This is a show where the first episode is the best among its run. It tried to mimic Guilty Crown by a series of flashbacks then, it collapsed. It’s not even funny or irritatingly bad. Just bad. It is basically the anti thesis of ConRevo last season.

    Uhm… I have less faith in original animes but these interests me more on how they will succeed or fail. Eitherway, it’s amusing.

  3. Ghost Hound was really great, definitely deserves a place on everyone’s list of favorites. Yatterman Night was good too 😛

    But yeah this show definitely didn’t need more episodes. The way to go would have been with less episodes. Like, zero.

    • I don’t get Yatterman. Ghost Hound I can sort of understand because it starts off good (although man did it end lame), but I can’t take Yatterman seriously. Too cartoon-y, and it gets to the point where I question the characters’ poverty. Doesn’t help that its take on the hero formula didn’t appeal to me at first, and when it was revealed that the real bad guy was a Doronjo head all along (although I saw that coming), it appealed to me even less.

  4. I never thought Comet Lucifer would be great, but I definitely didn’t think it’d end up being one of the biggest trainwrecks of the Fall season. I just thought it would have been a forgettable, mediocre, poor man’s Eureka Seven. Now it’s the kind of show where I get a smile on my face seeing the MAL average drop.