By Paul Browne.
On the world of Gift, Sogo Amagi spends his spare time exploring abandoned mines for rare crystals. It’s an engaging hobby that gets somewhat derailed when Sogo runs (quite literally) into Kaon, a young girl fleeing from an arranged marriage.
Gift appears similar to our own world in many ways, but it’s a culture filled with advanced technology, including monorails, a variety of cool mecha designs as well as zippy hover scooters (which also serve as Sogo’s main form of transport). With Sogo unwittingly forced to help the runaway bride, the pair stumble into a deep underground hole. Here, they encounter Felia – a mysterious blue-haired girl with red eyes who appears to have emerged from the crystal-embedded rock itself.
As anime stories go, there’s far wackier ways to kick-start a plot. But if you’re intrigued by the basic set-up then buckle up as Comet Lucifer straddles several popular anime genres as it teases out its story over the course of the series. While this should deliver a choppy, uneven plot the various strands of the narrative somehow hold together as it delivers action, romance and comedy hitting every anime trope on the way.
Comet Lucifer comes from 8-Bit, the anime studio responsible for titles such as IS <Infinite Stratos>, Tokyo Ravens and Busou Shinki. They also dabbled in the Macross universe in 2009 with the anime film Macross Frontier the Movie: The False Songstress. There’s certainly a more than subtle mecha influence on Comet Lucifer that’s carried over from some of those titles. Having the concept dreamt up by Yuichi Nomura to begin with reinforces that theme. This is the same Nomura who was previously involved with the likes of Mobile Suit Gundam Seed, Code Geass and Overman King Gainer after all.
Once Comet Lucifer gets its opening episode out of the way, the various plot strands begin to be revealed as the story unfolds. This includes an intriguing side plot concerning a sinister military faction and their search deep in the ground for a mysterious item.
Meanwhile, Sogo and Kaon have to deal with the quirky antics of Felia. With a childlike innocence, Felia is delighted with the new world around her, from cake to the bird-like Meowgeons (which are exactly what their name implies…) that fly the skies of Gift. In fact, much of the comedy in Comet Lucifer revolves around Felia’s energetic curiosity, which delivers exactly the kind of anime antics that you’d expect. To ramp up the comedy credentials, Felia hasn’t emerged from the rocky underground alone. Accompanying her is the sharp-tongued Moura – an eccentric rock creature with its own secrets, but who mostly seems focused on antagonizing poor Sogo.
While you can enjoy much of the comedy aspects of Comet Lucifer on the surface, many of the strengths of the series lie in the way the larger pieces of the puzzle are gradually ladled out over each episode. Sogo’s mother had a theory related to the crystals, but what is it? What exactly are the sinister military types searching for? When will Felia get bored of cake?
The music for the series is also a delight with the bright and breezy opening theme courtesy of Fhána. Meanwhile, Ayaka Ohashi delivers a fine slice of perky J-pop in the form of ‘Oshiete Blue Sky’ to wrap things up.
While many anime titles can appeal to very niche audiences, Comet Lucifer does an admirable job of covering a broad selection of interests from mecha through to screwball comedy. Comet Lucifer will certainly appeal to fans of such diverse titles as Chobits, Sgt Frog and Eureka Seven – with a touch of Evangelion thrown in for good measure.