Review-Roundup: Comet Lucifer 01, Concrete Revolutio 01
Comet Lucifer’s first episode is just choke-full of insightful commentary like this one. Thanks Kaon for summarizing something we have JUST SEEN!
This time I review:
Comet Lucifer 01: A dude digs in a mine all on his own and the heavens send him a girlfriend! Also, mechas! And some dude wants to rape some other girl but then tries to kill her because she doesn’t like him for some “mysterious” reason.
Concrete Revolutio 01: The Japanese version of Batman recruits a magical girl to deal with an Alien-spy and the girl discovers a whole new world of trouble in the process. Also, the flash-forward shows us that the girl REALLY wants to fuck that Batman.
Comet Lucifer 01 Review:
You know your series’ hero is a braindead moron when he can shrug off “Something weird happened to me…” by simply accepting that it was merely a hallucination.
The purpose of a first episode is to make an impression. This means on one hand to clarify what the show is about and on the other hand to convince the audience that it’s worth their time to watch the show on a weekly basis. And it’s difficult to judge just how much you want to tell the audience about the story in the beginning since you don’t want to make the experience too overwhelming. The audience needs to be guided to its enjoyment and not drowned in an overload of information. I can only imagine that this could be theoretically a problem for some series because this series’ first episode does the complete opposite by barely telling the audience anything of value or having much of a plot really.
It’s kinda amazing how little storytelling actually happens in these 20 minutes. The writing is inane to the extreme in this episode. Multiple times you can describe what the characters are saying as “pointing out the obvious”. When Sogo and Kaon are in the underground and the water is starting to glow, all they have to say is “What…?” and “The water is shining!” or when the magical girl appears Kaon asks “Did that girl just fall out of that crystal?”. And at the same time the writing doesn’t clue in the audience on what the deal is with those crystals, the mine or what Sogo’s mom had been researching. When we see Sogo look for glowing stones in a dark mine, talks about proving his mom’s research and then throws out terms like Giftidium all of a sudden, I wonder whether the writers have ever heard of exposition. In one moment the characters’ observation-skills are on the level of a toddler and then the character talks about a thing without the script ever providing an explanation for the audience.
There are also a couple moments in this episode that display a questionable lack of common sense. So Sogo is in a mine, some sort of meteor hits him, he wakes up and finds a red crystal in his hand – and he doesn’t question the event AT ALL. Only later after he has finally returned home he remembers the weird visions and the strange circumstances of acquiring that red crystal and he’s like “Was that a hallucination…?”. Why would he think that?! He has no rational explanation for acquiring that red crystal except believing that this strange occurrence had really happened! Even later when the work of the soldiers coincides with Sogo getting thrown into the air and landing on Kaon, he doesn’t question ANY of it! Jesus, how dense do you have to be to not notice that the red crystal is weird?!
And what kind of plot-writing is it that this random explosion led to Sogo finding Kaon who was running away from some jackass who’s supposed to be her fiancée thanks to an arranged marriage and as it turns out Kaon is also secretly in love with Sogo. What a coincidence! Also, since we mentioned strange coincidences: How is it possible that Sogo would nearly run over this little girl and then later when he gets thrown into the air the same girl catches his bread? And then during the high-speed-chase with the jackass how does Sogo never acknowledge that he was supposed to deliver bread to his father? He never mentions the loss of the bread AT ANY POINT during this episode. And can we all agree that when the jackass orders his driver to push Kaon and Sogo off the street he’s actually trying to kill them. I don’t know why he’s so shocked that Kaon and Sogo would end up tumbling down some pipe and fall into that big hole in the middle of the town. That’s what he wanted, wasn’t it?! Also, Kaon and Sogo receiving NO injuries from that fall into that big hole is implausible to the extreme. It’s established that their glider-thingy needs to be repaired which Sogo can do for some reason. Another weird random thing is that one commander drinking on the job without having that tidbit pay off later on. He just drinks booze and then sobers up at the very end as he declares that he would go out with his own mecha.
Aw, yeah, there’s also a mecha in this episode that just… appears at some point after the girl has fallen out of the crystal. The writing in this episode is simply abysmal! There’s stuff in this episode that needs to be explained and then there’s stuff so obvious that it’s a waste of time even dwelling on it and then there’s all the little random plotholes. This is an episode that seems like a pleasant if not very good straightforward adventure with romance, action and so forth but the more you think about this episode the more you start to dislike it for all its inconsistencies and lack of depth.
Concrete Revolutio 01 Review:
Uhm, that’s an odd thing to say to the guy you’re trying to hunt down…
The creative team behind the first Fullmetal Alchemist series has teamed up with BONES again for this series. The most striking element of the show are the visuals. It is very stylized in some sections and the fights are these explosions of various shapes and color. I wonder if BONES wants to specialize in that style in the same way Shaft has its own artistic style because the closest thing you could compare this series too visually is Rolling Girls where BONES played second fiddle in the animation-department.
Story-wise the series made me curious to watch the next episode because this episode introduces the audience to a ton of crazy ideas and concepts. I just don’t know whether the first episode manages to really bring all those elements together. Part of the charm of this episode how many disparate elements get united here and interact in an interesting way. You got aliens, weird science, superheroes and magical girls all in one and the best thing is that the entire world is aware of it (to the point that when a superhero-battle happens the other people are more annoyed than anything else about how their daily lives got disrupted because of this). And there’s a central national agency that watches over superhumans. They keep track of them and make sure they keep their secret identities if they have ones. But they also keep superhumans that are too strong from running wild. Those are all ideas you would expect to see in Western comics. Stuff like The Avengers or the whole Civil-War-storyline from the Marvel-universe come to mind for example or with DC it’s the Justice-League and there are a lot of interesting stories you can tell with that sort of setup.
The actual first episode doesn’t quite work so well, though. It’s mostly the flash-forward-portions that really seemed like a waste of time. I don’t know what the benefit of this is supposed to be unless the series is dedicated to running these two timelines parallel in each episode. It’s getting even more confusing towards the end of the episode as the flash-forward seems to operate as if we’re all already invested in what Jiro is doing and how this affects his relationship with Kikko. At the beginning I actually needed a second to realize that the events on the train are a flash-forward and it got even weirder when one of the plottwists of the flash-forward relied on me just having seen the misleading incident from the present of the show.
It’s a very weird structure for an episode. A horrible thing happens in the present-plot with a flash-forward-plot running parallel to it ultimately revealing that the horrible thing didn’t REALLY happen. I mean, can’t I be trusted with believing Jiro to be somewhat evil? Just make it a plottwist a later point that he had been a hero-in-disguise from the very beginning. It’s like the series fears to lose the audience by even hinting at a character’s dubious morality. But I hope the series has been structured around this and not that episode 08 or so reaches the point shown in the flashforward and now we’re supposed to be amazed by the same thing happening. The series deliberately spoiled one of its future plottwists with this episode, so I expect that it has an even bigger plottwist in store later on or otherwise this has been a really stupid decision. Imagine the fourth Star Wars movie opening with Luke on Tatooine and then shows Darth Vader on the Deathstar and then there’s a flashback showing Darth Vader’s connection to Luke. Some plottwists need a little bit of build-up before they become effective and what this episode did felt like the series just carelessly throwing a revelation at the audience without laying the groundwork for it.
To say this is a series with a lot of potential is more an indication of what could be in the future than what it has shown in this episode. There’s stuff which is worrying like whether Kikki will develop any more depth than just being an energetic girl with magical-girl-powers and having a crush on Jiro. And the battles are flashy but interesting elements like superhumans moving too fast for anyone except other superhumans to be able to see them shouldn’t just remain a gimmick. There needs to be more stuff like that in this series. With its very wild and chaotic setting this series can tap into a lot of genres for its storylines and a lot with this series depends on how creative the writers are.
Posted on October 6, 2015, in Anime, Comet Lucifer, Concrete Revolutio, Reviews and tagged Anime, コメット・ルシファー, コンクリート・レボルティオ～超人幻想～, Comet Lucifer, Concrete Revolutio, Concrete Revolutio: Chōjin Gensō, review. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.