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How Lucky Are You?

May 10, 2009

     After their smash hit anime, the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya,  Kyōto Animation decided to adapt a popular 4koma series to the screen: Lucky Star, by Yoshimizu Kagami.  Lucky Star, like another series, Azumanga Daioh, features the daily lives of a group of high school girls.  The main character, Izumi Konata (voiced by Hirano Aya, who also voices Suzumiya Haruhi), is a female otaku, spurred on in her lazy habits by her father’s behavior.  Then, there are the Hiiragi fraternal twin sisters, Tsukasa, the sleepy airhead, and Kagami, a hardworker who frequently criticizes Konata.  Lastly, there is Takara Miyuki, a typical meganekko who uses the most polite Japanese possible and knows the most random facts.  Together, these four friends, along with their other friends, families, and their crazy gamer of a teacher, Kuroi Nanako, navigate the difficulties of Japanese high school.

     Since both Lucky Star and Azumanga Daioh are 4koma based on high school written by a guy, it’s difficult not to compare them.  Now, both shows are quite popular in Japan, though Lucky Star occupies a bit of a different niche because of the way it caters to otaku.  Nonetheless, Azumanga Daioh is, in basically every way, the superior show.  The jokes in Lucky Star are often amusing, but there are other times where they just seem to ramble on for no particular reason.  Like the whole choco cornet thing.  That wasn’t that funny.  Some of the funniest moments are in the Lucky Channel segment, featuring Kogami Akira and an animated adaptation of real-life seiyuu, Shiraishi Minoru.  The two of them are a hilarious pair, and I’m surprised it took so long for Minoru to finally get fed up with Akira.

     This show has some gorgeous visuals, and the main characters being in basically constant chibi-mode (Konata especially) stays both true to the manga and fits the style of the story.  The soundtrack is really cute, fun, and memorable, and the opening theme song, Motteke! Sērāfuku, is a nice song that really reminds you of the famous Hare Hare Yukai.  Overall, this is a really enjoyable show.  However, it’s not the best of its kind at all.  Maybe it’s a show that is better understood if you really get Japanese culture.  But I also just think that its reputation suggests that it is better than it really is.

Story: 8.6      Artwork: 9.0      Soundtrack: 8.8      Acting: 9.4      Overall: 8.8

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