The Red Crystal and the Girl
What They Say
Sogo Amagi has spent a good portion of his young life looking for rare crystals in abandoned Giftdium mines, but it’s not until he’s lost in the ruins beneath his own home town that he and his friend Kaon make the most incredible discovery of all: a giant crystal with a girl trapped inside! Things only get wilder when the girl is unexpectedly freed. Suddenly, the mines are invaded by giant robots controlled by a secret military organization, which is in turn fought off by a mysterious being made of crystal! That leaves Sogo, Kaon, and their friends scrambling to figure out what to do with Felia, a red-eyed girl with strange powers who doesn’t even speak their language! They need to figure everything out quickly, because unless they can unravel Felia’s secrets and learn why the military is after her, their whole planet may be in danger of complete annihilation in COMET LUCIFER!
The audio is decent enough. The dialogue is crisp and clear, but there are times when sound effects or music will overpower the dialogue. This is a problem that most television shows have, so it’s not surprising that this one has it. Another huge issue was that some characters were louder than others. While this could be attributed to the fact that they are just loud characters, these characters also tended to remain loud even when it was clear that they were supposedly far away.
The quality is about average, maybe a little above, in terms of line crispness and colors. There are no overt issues with the video itself. While I have seen anime with better quality, I have also seen anime with worse quality.
Featuring a standard black cover, the artwork on the front features a rather dynamic shot of the main characters as they soar above the planet this anime takes place on. With Sogo on a type of hoverboard, Felia hugging his neck, and Kaon riding on the back, it shows the love triangle that happens with them in the anime. Likewise, Roman is chasing them alongside his servant in a red shuttle, showing how he is chasing Kaon. The back likewise details how Sogo and Felia are the couple in this series by having her being carried in Sogo’s arms. There’s a yellow background, which kind of clashes with the red text up top, making for a poor choice in colors. The bottom third is black and features several screenshots of the anime, while the last third of the cover is gray.
The menu is fairly standard and gives you all the options you would expect. You can select to play the series from the beginning, or choose which episode you would like to watch. There’s also the special feature selection.
The extras featured in this are the clean opening and ending animations without subtitles and text, Garden Indigo’s train shots, and music videos.
Comet Lucifer is a mess. Sometimes it’s entertaining. Sometimes it’s frustrating. Sometimes it’s heartfelt. And sometimes it makes you want to bash the characters and director over the head. That was pretty much how I felt watching this, a mixture of emotions, both good and bad, that made me wonder how something with so much potential could be wasted.
Mecha anime has always been dominated by Gundam and Macross, and thanks to that, it’s difficult for other anime such as Comet Lucifer to stand out. That said, the story itself has a lot of potential. It seems like a coming of age story mixed with action, mecha battles, and a slightly unusual but still interesting enough romance. The beginning introduces us to Sogo, the young main protagonist as he descends down a cliff looking for rocks, specifically red crystals, which we don’t learn about until later on. Oddly enough, during this time, an old man is rambling in the background, speaking like a cryptic old man. While I feel like the nonsense he spoke was pointless and added nothing to the series, I can appreciate how the times we saw him during this beginning sequence foreshadowed a plot twist that even I didn’t see coming until the very end.
While the series itself is laden with typical tropes you’d expect from a coming of age story, those didn’t always bother me. There’s a reason they’re tropes. On the other hand, there were a number of times where the anime would do something that just didn’t work.
A few of the more problematic issues was the introduction of certain characters, the poorly handled backstory of one of the supporting characters, the use of a “mystery” in a bad attempt at increasing intrigue, and the fairly pointless romance that never went anywhere.
The reason these are problems isn’t because they were used, but because they weren’t used well. One of the villains that we get introduced to in the first few episodes is given an entire scene where he goes on a mass murdering spree of the military guards. Meanwhile, the lead villain for most of this series, who happens to work with the military, just watches the whole thing happen. This was a poorly crafted attempt at making the guy we’re introduced to seem psychotic, but if they wanted to do that, it could have easily been done later on. In fact, he stays psychotic throughout most of the series, making his introduction completely pointless.
A lot of the backstory is introduced through a number of characters and centers around Do Mon, a former member of the military and the man who takes care of Sogo. The backstory is disjointed. We learn a whole bunch of useless information that’s never important to the story itself. It feels like the entire reason we’re given this information is so we feel bad when he dies, but it seemed like such a poor attempt that it ended up doing the opposite.
Mysteries. Everyone loves a good mystery, but mysteries can only hold a person’s attention for so long. Comet Lucifer held numerous mysteries but never attempted to solve them until we were more than halfway through. This wouldn’t have been a problem, but a lot of what we learn should have been given at the beginning. The reason is because Moura, who is the protector of Felia, a girl that Sogo stumbles upon, is the one who holds many of these secrets. There were plenty of opportunities for the information to be given. However, Moura held back and so a lot of the intrigue when she finally revealed them just made me apathetic and not like Moura all that much.
Possibly what conflicts me the most about this series is the romance. It starts off with a somewhat clear idea. Kaon is Sogo’s childhood friend and loves him, but she’s set to marry Roman. There sometimes seems to be something between her and Sogo, though Sogo himself is hard to figure out. When Felia is introduced, she’s more or less relegated to the little sister role until something happens and she suddenly grows up. Then Sogo seems to gain feelings for Felia, while Kaon is left standing in the background for most of the series. While I actually knew that Sogo and Felia would get together—obvious pairing—the problem comes from how she went from being in a familial role to a potential love interest role. I also wasn’t a fan of how they handled the conclusion after bothering to bring about this romantic tension.
I would say that Comet Lucifer was an entertaining series overall, but it had a lot of problems that kept it from making any real impact. Years from now, I doubt anyone will remember this anime, which is sad because I think it really did have a lot of potential. The idea was interesting, the characters were likable, and the plot twist at the end actually surprised me. However, the way the story was handled, the directing of certain scenes, and how the ending made most of the development everyone went through pointless keeps this from becoming something astounding.
Content Grade: B
Audio Grade: B
Video Grade: B
Packaging Grade: B
Menu Grade: B+
Extras Grade: C
Released By: Sentai Filmworks
Release Date: February 17th, 2017
Running Time: 300 minutes
Video Encoding: 480i/p MPEG-2
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
55″ Class AQUOS HD Series LED TV LC-55LE643U, Xbox 360 DVD player