Lucky☆Star follows the daily lives of four cute high school girls—Konata Izumi, the lazy otaku; the Hiiragi twins, Tsukasa and Kagami (sugar and spice, respectively); and the smart and well-mannered Miyuki Takara.
As they go about their lives at school and beyond, they develop their eccentric and lively friendship and making humorous observations about the world around them. Be it Japanese tradition, the intricacies of otaku culture, academics, or the correct way of preparing and eating various foods—no subject is safe from their musings.
#01: "Uchuu Tetsujin Kyoodain (宇宙鉄人キョーダイン)" by Aya Hirano (ep 1) #02: "Shouri da! Akumaizer 3 (勝利だ!アクマイザー3)" by Aya Hirano (ep 2) #03: "Sore ga, Ai Deshou (それが, 愛でしょう)" by Aya Hirano (ep 3) #04: "Sailor Fuku to Kikanjuu (セーラー服と機関銃)" by Emiri Kato (ep 4) #05: "Cha-La Head-Cha-La" by Aya Hirano (ep 5) #06: "Valentine Kiss (バレンタイン・キッス)" by Kaori Fukuhara (ep 6) #07: "Chijou no Hoshi (地上の星)" by Aya Endo (ep 7) #08: "Monkey Magic" by Aya Hirano (ep 8) #09: "Kogarashi ni Dakarete (木枯しに抱かれて)" by Aya Hirano (ep 9) #10: "I'm Proud" by Emiri Kato (ep 10)
#11: "Doraemon no Uta (ドラえもんのうた)" by Kaori Fukuhara, Aya Endo, Aya Hirano, Emiri Kato (ep 11) #12: "Ike! Godman (行け!ゴッドマン)" by Aya Hirano (ep 12) #12: "Makenaide (負けないで)" by Kaori Fukuhara, Aya Endo, Aya Hirano, Emiri Kato (ep 12) #13: "Ore no Wasuremono (俺の忘れ物)" by Minoru Shiraishi (ep 13) #14: "Hare Hare Yukai (ハレ晴レユカイ)" by Minoru Shiraishi (ep 14) #15: "Koi no Minoru Densetsu (恋のミノル伝説)" by Minoru Shiraishi (ep 15) #16: "Misoji Misaki (三十路岬)" by Hiromi Konno (ep 16) #17: "Motteke! Sailor Fuku (Aimai Sunshine Ver.) (もってけ!セーラーふく(曖昧サンシャインver.))" by Minoru Shiraishi (ep 17) #18: "Kaorin no Theme (かおりんのテーマ)" by Minoru Shiraishi (ep 18) #19: "Otoko no Iki-sama (男の生き様)" by Minoru Shiraishi (ep 19) #20: "Omuko Rumba (お婿ルンバ)" by Minoru Shiraishi (ep 20) #21: "Shikaidaa no Uta (シカイダーの唄)" by Minoru Shiraishi (ep 21) #22: "Shiraishi Medley (白石メドレー)" by Minoru Shiraishi (ep 22) #23: "Mikuru Henshin! Soshite Sentou! (ミクル変身!そして戦闘!)" by Minoru Shiraishi (ep 23) #24: "Ai wa Boomerang (愛はブーメラン)" by Minoru Shiraishi (ep 24)
"This is so BORING!" is what most of you will say if you watch it.
I'll admit, that is what I thought at first, and I stopped watching on the first episode when they were talking about which side is the head of a "chocolate cornet bread"... But after a while, I gave it another try, and this time, I watched patiently and watched through the entire first episode. I was still not impressed, and still bored. I moved on to the next episode, and as you can tell by my over-all rating of a 10, I loved the rest. Now here is why:
The story, is
non-existent (as I will put no emphasis on story in this review). But that was one of the main reasons I loved it. There was no tension, no fighting, no drama, no heart-breaks. Just pure comedy.
Comedy? Well, there's nothing that will make you roll over. But, there are countless moments where it makes you smile, many times even chuckles if you get the jokes.
The comedy works in this anime by having the characters go through moments where you go like, "OH I feel you!", "I totally know what you mean!, or "Ah so glad I am not the only one who does that!". That's why it's really funny in a way, making this the most accurate "slice of life" I have ever viewed.
The English dub for this anime is pretty amazing (for once), the voice actor for Konata, the main character, does a wonderful job of bring her to life. The characters are all likable, but Konata is one of the best characters I have seen, and she manages to do all that without geass powers or sword skills, too. I don't want to spoil anything, so I will leave it up to you to find out more about why I find Konata so great.
Also, it's a huge plus if you are exposed to Japanese culture (real life), because many of the jokes is about the daily life there and you will only get the jokes if you have experienced it (there aren't that many, so don't worry).
To sum it up, Lucky Star is about the daily life of the girls, there won't be any conflicts like there are in many slice of life anime, this anime is very peaceful, and you can relate to many of the characters.
Give it a try! Watch a few clips of it! Type in "Funny Lucky Star Moments" on Youtube and see for yourself! If you like it, WATCH IT. Don't marathon it, in fact, watch an episode after a long day, or better yet, watch it to calm your nerves after something like Code Geass/Death Note. Thank you
There is nothing in entertainment worse than bad comedy.
Bad drama, horror, romance, or action at least has the possibility of being amusing, if only for purely ironical purposes, and watching something which is intended to be serious completely fail can be surprisingly fun (see MST3K). However, watching something try to be funny and fail is hardly ever amusing in the slightest, and amounts, for me at least, to the epitome of nauseating boredom. In the anime world, Lucky Star is perhaps the best (and at the very least the most popular) example of bad comedy ever made.
Now, it is more or less universally agreed upon
amongst Lucky Star's detractors that the show is, quite simply, "unfunny." At the same time however, it is not always explained in detail why or how it is unfunny. But before delving into the specifics, I will freely admit from the outset that comedy is probably the most subjective and difficult of all genres (I myself have some bizarre comedic tastes) to review. Nevertheless, I believe Lucky Star merits special attention, along with a special place in Hell, for how unprecedentedly unfunny it is. This is also why I chose it for my inaugural anime review.
Basically, the "humor" of Lucky Star is derived from two sources: 1) Discussions about everyday life experience (e.g. food, homework, clothes), and 2) References (either verbal or visual) to other anime franchises and various anime-related tropes. As for the first, Lucky Star makes the awful mistake of assuming that simply because something is true or commonly experienced, it is funny. Thus the episodes are crammed with inane, excruciatingly detailed conversational gems like
Person 1: "You know how when it's cold outside, you want to stay inside for longer?"
Person 2: "Haha yeah, I've totally been there!"
Person 1: "You know how when you have a lot of stuff to do, you clean your room instead?"
Person 2: "Haha yeah, I've done that before!"
You get the idea. The whole "funny because it's true" thing in my experience only works if it is comingled with an adequate amount of absurdity or exaggeration (for an example, see Mike Judge's films). Lucky Star, on the other hand, aims for pure realism in all its dullness. With this "comedic" logic, they may as well assume that simply because I have eaten food before, I will think that watching people eat food is funny; furthermore, I will think that people talking about eating food is also funny. What makes this method even more ridiculous for Lucky Star is the fact that one must be rather extensively versed in Japanese culture to even "get" a lot of these "jokes," let alone find them funny.
As for the anime references, this is where the annoyance factor truly rears its ugly head. Typically, an outside reference to another anime is funny because it is unexpected and well-timed. Lucky Star on the other hand, crams in as many references as it possibly can, many of which are to other works from Kyoto Animation. As one might imagine, this not only gets incredibly dull, but also unbearably irritating as the show progresses. By far the most frequent and most facepalm-inducing are the references to the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Granted, this trick was somewhat amusing the first time, but by the end of the series, the Haruhi references become so frequent, so bland, and so obvious that I literally began slamming my head into my desk. Thus like the reference to "everyday life," the references to anime make the assumption that just because we have seen the shows referenced, that we will find the references funny. Are we really supposed to pat ourselves on the back and quietly snicker to ourselves for being "in the know"? It seems like the real reason for all these anime references is a) a clever form of product-placement and b) riding on the success of vastly superior franchises (Full Metal Panic, Haruhi Suzumiya, the Key-game shows). The only reference that actually made me chuckle a bit (and not immediately roll my eyes or want to punch my computer screen) was the part in episode 13 where one of the shop employees uses his "Geass" on Konata to get her to buy a DVD, only to find that she is three yen short.
Now typically, in order to use reference-parodies like this successfully, one ought to find a way to integrate them in a creative and subtle way, and there are many examples of this in anime alone. Lucky Star, on the other hand, particularly when parodying well-known anime tropes, squanders its comedic potential by feeling the need to tell you exactly what they are parodying. Therefore, whenever Miyuki trips or turns off the light by accident, or Yutaka mentions that she is frail and "sick all the time," we are sure to have Konata not far off to immediately comment how incredibly "moe" she is. Ha. Ha. Ha. There is a similar delivery style with "tsundere," "fanservice," and other related terms and cliches. Watching this is like listening to someone tell a joke only to quickly explain the punchline before the audience even has a chance to laugh.
Aesthetically, there is not terribly much to say other than I find it amazing that even here Lucky Star manages to add yet another layer of annoyance. The characters were clearly designed to resemble the (equally unfunny) manga as closely as possible, and the result is not pleasing. The foreground and background art is lackluster and totally generic, not to mention the core girls all look waaaay too young (and not just in a typical "moe" way) for being in high school. Such failure in this department is all the more surprising knowing that this show was produced by Kyoto Animation, a studio which, among other things, is particularly well known for its beautiful and groundbreaking visual styling. In Lucky Star, there is no such evidence whatsoever that this is the same company who did Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid, Air, or Kanon. I suspect the real reason Kyoto took this project on was because of potential legal issues surrounding the ludicrous amounts of references to their other works. Other than that, the music consists of bland, forgettable five-note pieces typical for this kind of show. Except worse.
Setting aside for a moment what Lucky Star has brings up the important issue of what it does not have. In fact, one of Lucky Star's most subtle and yet most serious detriments is the almost complete absence of visual humor of any kind (the stock anime-facial-expressions aside). The show is quite simply a bunch of talking heads, and as something in the medium of animation, Lucky Star feels incredibly out of place; 99% of the show consist of dialogue and dialogue only. Suffice it to say, this show was a complete and unfortunate waste of Kyoto's talent.
All in all, my biggest problem with Lucky Star, and the reason why I have been compelled to write this review, is that it basically gives slice of life comedy a bad name--something which is all the more compounded by its rabid popularity. It is not at all unlikely that someone who has never seen a slice of life show will first see Lucky Star and then assume that the entire genre is of similar quality. After all, comments like "nothing happens" and "there's no plot" are fairly common amongst complaints from Lucky Star haters. Unfortunately, I believe people may be missing out on a lot of great, funny, clever slice of life shows "where there's no plot" (Fumoffu, Azumanga Daioh, Minami-ke) if Lucky Star does indeed manage to taint them so severely. It is interesting to note that Lucky Star is perhaps most often mentioned along with the classic Azumanga Daioh, and the comparison is not at all unmerited: both shows are based off of a four-panel manga about a group of quirky high school girls and their antics. However, once the stylistic similarities are brushed aside, you are left with two anime which could not be more diametrically opposed. That is, whereas Azumanga Daioh represents the pinnacle of comedy done right, Lucky Star represent the pinnacle of comedy done wrong; whereas Azumanga Daioh uses "random conversations about food" in a broader, situational context to give them humorous contrast, Lucky Star takes this device to a ridiculous extreme--it makes an entire show out of it to the expense of nearly everything else. The difference between Azumanga's Osaka and Lucky Star's Konata is that the former is one character amongst many, whereas the latter is only an otaku-pandering, watered-down Osaka amongst many other watered-down Osaka's, without any significant personality contrast. In Lucky Star, there is no one to sarcastically say "wow, you have a really vivid imagination..." but rather the one-note "joke" of "randomness" continues on into senseless oblivion. If Azumanga Daioh is a bright beacon of joyful, energetic laughter, Lucky Star is a dark pit of disparaging, cynical boredom (if you'll excuse the melodramatic language). It basically takes the slice of life genre but does not fill it with any real content, leaving naught but an empty husk.
In conclusion, if you want a creative, genuine, funny slice-of-life comedy and not simply a long otaku in-joke set on repeat, avoid Lucky Star like the plague.
When I first looked into Lucky Star, I thought I was going to be impressed. People in the anime club I help run wanted to watch this series so bad and it ended up in 4th place, so we weren't able to show it this semester. Still, I wanted to know what the appeal of Lucky Star was. The chibi art made the anime look unique and interesting, and I thought that I couldn't go wrong with an anime series that was so popular. This is where "looks can be deceiving" really comes into play.
Despite the cute art, which got annoying very quickly, Lucky Star
really fell on its face form the get-go. The story had nothing to offer. Basically, you spend twenty-four episodes watching a group of high school girls run around, talk to each other, make jokes, and dance. I have completely summarized the entire series for you in that last sentence, and I'm not kidding. Each episode was a repeat as the last, except for character problems and issues, and after every episode I said, "Alright, it still has to get better from here," and it never did. The only thing that ever improved was the Lucky Channel, but that was because I didn't have to hear Akira's annoying squeaking in the last three or so episodes.
I know that the story is suppose to be based around a comedic high school cast, but to be honest, the comedy was terrible. In order to get most of the jokes, one would have to know a lot in video games, anime, and Japanese puns. Now, I don't know a lot of video games or Japanese puns, so those jokes failed, and the anime jokes that I did get surfaced once in a while, and that type of comedy was absolutely terrible. I think I snickered maybe once or twice during the entire series. Yes, the entire series.
Along with Lucky Star's terrible story and comedy choice, I found myself hating most of the characters. The only half-way decent characters were shown in the last half of the anime, and those characters really weren't anything special. Most of the weren't dynamic, lacking originality, and went along with the same thing over and over again. When those sparks of originality were shown, they were quickly covered by the same old, bland things that happened through out the entire series. A great example comes from Konata, the main girl with blue hair and green eyes. She runs around every episode, talks about food, anime, video games, and how she was late or tired because she stayed up all night playing video games. Kagami, one of the lavender haired twins, is exactly the same way - smart, angered easily, and is very poor at house chores. Miyuki, the pink haired girl with glasses, is klutsy, "moe", intelligent, and formal with her speech. I could go on and on, but I don't think it's needed.
With the characters, art, and story quickly falling apart, I turned to something I thought would work - the music. I learned quickly, however, that the music was only a little better than everything else. Some of the songs sounded like they were recorded on a cellphone and then placed into the show. It wasn't that the quality was bad, but rather than the music used was very bland, unoriginal, and lacked dynamic, not that the story had any of those or anything. The music fit the series alright, but by itself, the music would just be a waste of space on whatever drive you would be listening to it on. Even the opening theme was annoying.
So, with all of these things said, I'm surprised that I made it to the last episode. Now, it's safe to say that just because I didn't enjoy it doesn't mean that others won't. Obviously, the MAL rating for Lucky Star fights any point that I've made against the series. However, I will not be recommending Lucky Star to any of my friends. Ever. In fact, I will tell them to avoid it, and to be fair in my fight, I don't think it deserves the popularity it has. Sure it's cute, but that's about it.
In the year 2007 A.D., a fire was brewing in the Kyoto Animation studio. Fresh off the success of Haruhi Suzumiya and smelling of farts and ramen-scented body odor, the staff of KyoAni developed an ingenious plan to further milk countless wads of cashmoney from pathetic losers and pedophiles on both sides of the pacific: take a popular 4 panel comic series ripe with the elements that made Suzumiya a financial success (pandering to shut in weeaboos with lolicon action figure collections and terabytes of hentai) and turn it into an equally horrendous anime series. After spending tireless hours handcrafting only the stalest jokes, the
blandest artwork, and the most mindnumbingly boring scripts in Japanese television history, Yushiro Takemoto opened his anus and took a massive shit onto a nearby Tokyo sidewalk. Millions gawked at the magnitude of his feces: proportions this great hadn't been seen since U2 released the waterboarding-like torturefest that was "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" in 2004. Once Norwegian scientists had been given proper time to mass, perform tests on, and take pictures with said shit, Takemoto was told he needed to give it a name. He chose Lucky Star.
Much like those gag electric shock pens you gave out to your friends as a prank in the 4th grade, Lucky Star tricks you into watching it under the guise that it's a "comedy", but in reality it's less of a laugh-fest and more of an exercise in sadomasochism. Half-way through the first episode I was convinced that having to watch this must be the wrath of a vengeful God, intent on punishing me for my past missteps and failures. By episode 2 I had been reduced to a vegetable, as the show had literally sucked all the energy from me. By episode 9 this condition became chronic, as I had turned my once-lovely living room into a wasteland and my once clean underwear into a net for catching the diarrhea that seeped from my petrified asshole. By episode 16 I had gathered enough energy to attempt suicide. After a short recovery stint in the hospital, I was put on anti-depressants and bear tranquilizers, and sooner or later I told my therapist that I needed to conquer my demons once and for all and finish this series. He approved, but only on one condition: that I watch it with him present in the room. I tried to talk sense into him, but he insisted that "he's seen a lot of things in his time, alot of them a lot worse than anything a Japanese cartoon could throw at him."
He later shot himself in a Staples parking lot.
To put it plainly, Lucky Star is the antithesis of entertainment. There is nothing funny, clever, witty, or remotely interesting about the show. Weeaboo faggots will desperately try to convince you that this series is a comedic masterpiece and a pinnacle of artistic achievement, but as the first five minutes clearly establish, this couldn't be farther from the truth. Lucky Star is only revolutionary in how much it's able to bore anyone that isn't a drooling fuckstick with social anxiety disorder---you will truly think that this anime transcended time and space to deliver you a universe-shattering kick in the nuts, unless you find Meet The Spartans type reference jokes funny and obviously pre-pubescent anime girls hot, in which case you will love this show like the fucking loser you are. Many have compared this show to Seinfeld because the two share a "show-about-nothing" approach to narrative storytelling, but this is where all logical comparisons end. Seinfeld is a groundbreaking TV series about the hilarious exploits of a group of really big assholes in New York. Lucky Star is a show about the various non-incidents in the lives of a bunch of "this-is-what-weeaboos-wish-girls-were-like" high schoolers that have dull-as-fuck conversations, fit neatly inside cliche archetypes without ever evolving, and make a lot of cringe-worthy pop culture references.
But pure shittiness alone is not enough to propel this anime to the bottom-of-the-barrel status it's currently at. What really gets me about Lucky Star is just how much the "FEED ME MORE MONEY" attitude of Kyoto Animation leaks into the actual production. Every time I endure a painfully boring discussion about some every-day life topic, another unfunny Lucky Channel skit, the explanation and, in turn, ruination of what otherwise would've been a passable joke, or some reference to Haruhi/[insert video game and/or anime here] it brings me back to the actual intended purpose of this series. The characters, situations, and jokes are all purposely written to be engaging to shut-in dorks who spend most of their lives watching anime, playing video games, and posting on internet message boards. It's the hollowest anime I've ever watched; it soullessly and maliciously appeals to people who are too pathetic to realize that they're being pandered to for cash---if you paid money to see any part of this show and AREN'T one of these people, you will walk away from the experience feeling like someone shot you in the knees and proceeded to steal your house, car, identity, and wife. It's an anime designed to be watched amongst anime club meetings filled with people who force out dry heaves of laughter so they can feel like they fit in with everyone around them, and on projector screens at anime conventions filled with freaks dressed up as animals and Sailor Moon characters. This show was not created out of passion, or a general love for the medium, or an actual belief that the show would be funny, it was created to exploit the lowest common denominator of anime fans for a quick buck. It's taking money from people who don't know any better, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth and takes away any respect you might've had for anyone involved in making the series.
Lucky Star's art is sickeningly sweet moe-trash. For a studio that is clearly focused more on animation than story, the level of mediocrity shown here is unacceptable. At least when I watched that shitheap Haruhi Suzumiya I could compliment aspects where it was clear that an effort was made to produce a quality product---here, we have a prime example of the new-age, assembly style artwork that is plaguing modern anime. With our huge advantages in technology, one would think that the seemingly limitless possibilities would spark breathtaking results, and while we have seen glimpses of that (i.e. 2009's Summer Wars), most of what has prevailed in the industry has been streamlined, sterilized, and soulless.
I do have to give the anime props in the sound department, however. The OP is probably the most engaging part of the entire show, as each time you hear it you will be pumped for what has to be the episode where the series starts to pick up. Although it never does, I can't fault the OP for giving us hope. The various EDs run the gauntlet in terms of quality, but overall they're a nice break away from the mouth breathing dynamics that are the actual show. As for the voice actors, they all came and turned out respectable performances, giving the show at least one bearable quality in between credits. This is one of the few anime that I watched subbed however, so I have no idea if the American VAs are any good.
The fact that people say they can relate to characters on this show is frightening. They literally amount to little moeballs stuffed with every possible high-school girl cliche the writers could dig up, and never develop past that point. Konata, however, is not only that, but something much, much worse. While the rest of the characters seek to appeal to the section of the anime market that fawns over overt cuteness, Konata is an interesting look at how far an animation studio will go to squeeze money out of otaku fucks. She was created solely so weeaboos would have someone on the cast they could identify with, and keeping in tune with Kyoto Animation's opinion of their viewers, she's painfully one-dimensional. Her hobbies include video games, anime, and being a bitch. That's it. Unfortunately, not much else can be said about the rest of their characters either. Miyuki is the intellect of the group, but she's also moe. Tsukasa is the shy one, but she's also moe. Kagami is the fiery tsundere, but she's also moe. At the very least, when you give a one line description of Seinfeld's characters, you're leaving out a lot of character information. They may not really change as time progresses, but you certainly learn a lot more about them. In Lucky Star, one line descriptions define our characters for the entire show. There's more character development on an episode of Cops than there is here.
As I reached the end of the final episode, I turned to my therapist who was, at that current moment, sobbing into my shoulder due to sheer, unfettered boredom. His bloodshot eyes looked up at me and as I looked down at him with a mix of pity and remorse, I could see his lips faintly whisper out "save me". As the girls geared up their cheerleading performance of the opening song, I could see his last glimmer of hope, of faith in humanity, slip away from him and float towards the abyss.
He thought he could save me.
I refuse to believe that Kyoto Animation could, as they watched over the series for the last time before officially releasing it, say with complete honesty that this series was not only acceptable for public consumption but also legitimately enjoyable. It's possible to relish in a show's badness if you're able to respect the sincerity of the people that made it. It's why I love movies like The Room and Batman and Robin, and it's why I think Mars of Destruction deserves to be shown nightly on HBO. However, when something this bad is actually just a cruel joke at the expense of a bunch of weeaboo faggots, the insincerity of it all taints what could've just been a run of the mill bad show and turns it into something mean-spirited and unlikeable. I don't think otaku realize that this show isn't actually celebrating the things they love, it's passive-aggressively making fun of them and their interests, and they're actually paying to have it happen to them in real time. Has this community sunk so low that even the people making this shit can get away with calling you all fucking losers? At what point will you stop yelling "FEED ME MORE MOE GIRLS" and start clamoring for real, quality entertainment? Don't you want to know what it feels like to laugh without having to force it out?
What's that? K-ON!!'s on? Sorry, I'll come back when you're finished.