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AKA: コメットさん (Comet-san), Princess Comet
Genre: Sci-fi / fantasy magical girl
Length: Television series, 43 episodes, 24 minutes each
Distributor: Currently unlicensed in North America
Content Rating: G (all audiences)
Related Series: N/A
Also Recommended: Card Captor Sakura, Minky Momo, Mary Bell, Ultra Maniac, Petite Princess Yucie
Notes: Based on a shoujo manga by Yokoyama Mitsuteru that ran in Margaret in the 1960s. There was also a live-action television series that used animation for visual effects.
Rating: Two StarsTwo Stars

Cosmic Baton Girl Comet-san

Synopsis

Twelve-year-old Comet is the princess of the Harmonica Star kingdom. She was to meet the prince of the Tambourine Star country at a ball where he'd pick a bride. But on her way to the ball, she runs into the prince as he flees the ball. He escapes to Earth, where Comet is to follow after him. Thus begins her search for the prince of the Tambourine Star kingdom, with only one clue to his identity--he'll be known by the starlight in his eyes.


Review

Now all of you should know by now that I am a mahou shoujo freak. I wrote my senior thesis on it (and I believe Carlos has a copy somewhere) and spent an entire two years researching its history and cultural significance. Along the way I came across Comet-san.

The first few episodes were really engaging, in the classical majokko sense. In that I mean the subgenre that started the magical girl genre originally. This series features a young girl not of this world, much like Sally in Mahou Tsukai Sally, the first magical girl show, and like more modern incarnations Mahou no Princess Minky Momo and most recently Nina in Ultra Maniac. These series serve more as sitcoms than anything else, in which the majokko uses her supernatural powers not to battle opponents (that is only a recent thing in magical girl shows), but to help their Earthly chums accomplish normal tasks, solve neighborhood troubles, or even just make a mundane day more exciting.

While I appreciate these type of shows for their function and role in the anime medium, as a viewer I cannot strongly recommend this series to any anime viewer beyond the scholarly level in which I viewed it. The plot, while promising, progresses to a nearly non-existent pace across the sixteen episodes I have seen. I really struggle to write a review for this series because, frankly, it's a serious load of fluff. I mean, there's not even fan service to whine about, annoying characters to tear apart--

--it's total sugar candy.

The character designs (which I think are done by the same folks who did Card Captor Sakura) are among the most appealing and eye-catching that I have seen in a long time. Comet herself is quite charming, though very subdued and calming. Comet's pet puppy-balloon thing is downright adorable, and is probably one of the most redeeming aspects of the show. That is, if cuteness is reason enough to watch an anime.

Sadly for me, it's not. I need sentiment, at the very least. Or maybe I'm just not hanging in long enough? She will go back to looking for the prince, right? There will be some romance later on, right? She's not going to spend the rest of her existence on earth baby-sitting two five-year-old munchkins, is she? I need some plot, please! Give me a reason to care about what happens!

Far too often in this series I found myself skipping around, and going back to see if I missed anything, and I never did. This show is like a bunch of magical girl filler episodes woven to be a series. These episodes would be great sprinkled between maybe the more condensed series Ultra Maniac, where we actually have reasons to be rooting for the characters. But in this case, the goal just seems to be an excuse for Comet to get on Earth and dilly-dally around with some kiddos that are--surprise!--the same age as the viewers! Oh, if only Comet-san was visiting our home!

I think the best analogy I could make for Comet-san is this: Comet-san is to Sailor Moon (or insert magical girl show of choice here) as Mister Rogers' Neighborhood is to Sesame Street. Ya dig?

This anime really does work for what it's made for. Unfortunately for a series like Comet-san, anime's primary audience in the West is above the age of ten, therefore this series is lost on American audiences.

Add a star if you will watch an anime simply for great visuals and cuteness, or if you are a catering to an audience under the age of ten.Melissa Sternenberg

Recommended Audience: Absolutely nothing objectionable. I think I made it clear that this series is perfectly safe for just about any kiddo. Not recommended for teenagers or older that actually want something to chew on.



Version(s) Viewed: Prerelease fansub
Review Status: Partial (16/43)
Cosmic Baton Girl Comet-san © 2001 Toei / Nippon Animation / TV Osaka
 
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