“Under One Roof”
Sundays at 10:00 am EST on Crunchyroll
Sogo and Kaon escape from the cave and return back to Sogo’s home with the mysterious girl in tow.
This was a workmanlike second episode for Lucifer, building on its er…workmanlike opening. What’s encouraging in particular to me is that the show appears to be taking its time in terms of slowly opening up its plot and character development. The trick of course will be to ensure that we get enough actual substance to enhance the likable if shallow characters we’ve seen so far.
The big talking point of this episode is obviously the introduction of three brand new characters, or at least their introduction as actual characters per se. Let’s deal with Felia first, since all indications are she’s going to be the most important one of them. I’ll say straight off the bat that I’m not a huge fan of making her ultra-childlike, for no reason other than it also makes her very irritating, at least in this initial appearance. Still, there’s a tried-and-true growing up and learning to cope with the world story if they do it right there. My hope is that she’ll rapidly drop the toddler-speak and start interacting with the others on a slightly less co-dependent basis. On the plus side, making her clearly childlike should rule her out as a love interest…theoretically, as this episode does take an opportunity for a cheap lolicon joke that felt very out of character.
The other major new character we bump into on the heroes side is Moura, aka the squeaky, diminutive form of Felia’s guardian robot. I’m not super certain about your giant scary robot protector doubling up as cute mascot, but it works here, mostly because of Inori Minase’s squawkily agressive performance and some nice scripting. Moura’s initial attempt to transform is a great little out-of-nowhere scene and it gets a funny payoff at the end. What’s intriguing as well is his inability to attack Sogo and the revelation of Sogo’s weird
Command Seal mark on his hand. Obviously the implication here is that Sogo and Felia are bonded on some sort of deeper level and that whatever magic bought her into existence has tied the two of them together. This development I’m not a big fan of, since I prefer our characters to be together through choice or necessity or circumstance, rather than relying on a McGuffin to form our main group. Still, as long as it doesn’t edge too far into creepy territory there’s some places they could go with this.
The third and final new character introduced in this episode is Pack, who I’m perhaps the least invested in and most cautious of. The white haired ‘psycho child’ is such a well worn cliche in the anime world that it’s pretty difficult to make it shocking or edgy at this point, and so it proves here. Given that this episode also reveals that Gus Stewart (what a name) is going to be our primary antagonist as well, I’m not so sure how sold I am on him either. He’s a little bland and flat so far, although that’s partially the fault of his unappealing character design. However, he doesn’t come off as the kind of man who would have commanded a unit full of bloodthirsty crazies, so his history with Pack may lead to a slightly darker backstory for the character. They’re going to have to make hay fast with these two though because neither of them are that interesting right now and the show is rapidly approaching the point where it needs conflict of some sort to stay engaging. As it is though it continues to be a bright, charming morsel. The question is can it step up to the next level?
- Do Mon seems remarkably calm about his ward bringing home a mysterious preteen from out of nowhere.
- The mech fight in this episode is excellent and continues to show the animation team’s ability to slickly integrate 2D and 3D to good effect.
- Stewart’s history as a hero of the ‘Great War’ also offers tantalising glimpses of his past – is he perhaps a fallen hero? For that matter Gift looks pretty good for a planet that’s not even one generation removed from a massive conflict. Of course the Super Prototype Robot is painted red.
- Who’s going to pay for that roof?