WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE, WHAT MORE DO YOU NEED?
What They Say
What’s the best way to eat dessert? Do twins really have a psychic connection? What kind of guys are into moe girls? These are the kinds of questions that float through the inquisitive mind of anime super-fan Konata Izumi. When she’s not lost in her favorite manga or logging hours in one of her online games, she’s debating the mysteries of the universe with the best friends a girl could ask for.
And while they might not share Konata’s eye for anime tropes and trivia, she doesn’t hold it against them. After all, Miyuki Takara is a precious moe dream girl, and twin sisters Tsukasa and Kagami are always there when she needs a helping hand or a notebook to copy homework from. At the end of the day, Konata could look far and wide but she’ll never find a better group of girls to get her through the horrors of high school!
I was impressed with the audio for this anime. What first stood out to me was the soundtrack. The opening theme song is rambunctious and chaotic, exactly what I would expect from a parody slice-of-life anime about an otaku girl who spouts anime references like they are going out of style. The music is upbeat and fun to listen to. They also had really interesting closing music, which was different in each episode. I’m not sure how they acquired the rights, but they had music from all kinds of anime like Dragon Ball and Full Metal Panic!. Outside of the music, the vocals are topnotch for both the subtitled and dubbed versions. The two casts did a great job.
While I feel like the video was not at the same level of HD that I’ve come to expect from Blu-ray, I am aware that this anime came out in 2008 and Blu-rays have improved a lot since then. While the definition is a little lacking, the video itself is stellar. What I enjoyed the most was the unique art style and animation, which featured a wide range of styles. There was the normal style we usually see, which is cute and very moe, but then it would sometimes shift to a grittier style like something you’d expect from Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure or a softer girlish style expected from a shojo series. I heard different people were brought on to do specific scenes because it was their signature style. It shows.
Contained in a standard Blu-ray case, Lucky Star features the title at the top in front of a background that looks like the notebook page of a girl who likes to spend her time drawing stars. Below the title is an image of the main cast, Konata, Tsukasa, Kagami, and Miyuki. They’re featured in what is a full Polaroid photo. It’s a surprisingly well-thought-out front cover that compliments what the series is about. The back has the same notebook theme. On the left are all the information regarding what this anime is about, the catchphrase and the blurb, and the right features screenshots.
The first thing you see when the menu flashes on your screen is Izumi Konata’s face. It’s literally right there. Wonky music plays in the background, capturing the essence that is Lucky Star. From the menu, you can select options like play all, select episode, extras, and settings.
Extras include Lucky Racer: Checker Flag in Akihabara & Lucky Racer, On-ScreenText Reference Guide, Radio Kansai’s Public Recording of “New Lucky Channel”, and U.S. Trailer & Trailers. To be honest, out of all these, the only one I didn’t find interesting was the trailers. They just could not compare with the other extras, which were skits and hilarious OVAs that never failed to make me laugh.
Content: (Please note that this portion of the review may contain spoilers):
I’ve always heard of Lucky Star ever since 2010 when it exploded in the west due to all the anime references and the popularity of moe slice-of-life anime. At the time, I was more of a shonen mainstream guy, so the series didn’t sound very interesting. An anime about a moe anime girl who likes otaku stuff? Count me out. Those were my thoughts at the time.
I regret waiting until now. This anime is great. I can honestly see why so many people swear by it and why it picked up a cult following.
Lucky Star follows the life of high school girl Izumi Konata, an otaku girl with a light novel father who loves to play video games, watch anime, and read manga. She’s a complete slacker, the kind of girl who copies her friend’s homework and never studies until the very last night and then cram studies for the entire night before somehow managing to pass her tests. When she’s first introduced in the series, it’s between her and Tsukasa regarding how to properly eat a chocolate croquette. The series spends nearly ten minutes on this discussion, which made me confused for a moment until the series began moving again.
There are four main cast members in Lucky Star. Izumi Konata is what could be called the main protagonist, but there is also Miyuki, Kagami, and Tsukasa. Miyuki is like a moe anime girl brought to “life.” She’s very smart, but she’s also a complete airhead, super clumsy, cannot stand going to the dentist—dentists are a recurring theme for her—and is also really kind. I sometimes feel like she doesn’t quite know what’s happening all the time. Not only is her personality spacey, but her character design lends her an ephemeral demeanor. One of my favorite moments with her was when she was talking about how she tried to make some tea, but every time she heated the water in the microwave, she would forget about it and have to reheat it. In the end, she went without tea.
Tsukasa is like a friendlier and less otaku version of Konata. She tends to sleep in a lot, constantly finds herself forgetting to do her homework, and ends up copying her sister’s homework as a result. I wouldn’t say she’s spacey like Miyuki, but she’s definitely not all there. Her personality isn’t as outgoing as Kagami or Konata, but there are quite a few moments involving her that hit me where it hits. I felt like I was looking at a female version of myself at times.
My favorite among the four main cast members is Kagami, who embodies the most tsundere traits of any character in the series. A part of what I like is her design. Kagami’s eyes are still big like everyone else’s, but they are also sharper, which makes her seem more intelligent. The long purple hair and blue eyes are a combination I found attractive. Beyond that, I thought her ability to play the straight man to Konata’s antics was more appealing than the interactions with any of the other characters. However, for as much as Kagami complains about Konata and her otaku habits, she’s a great and kind girl who goes the extra mile for her friends. That was what I liked the most.
Because of its nature as a slice-of-life anime, Lucky Star does not have what I would call an overarching plot. Each episode feels almost like several skits that are supposed to embody the daily life of high school girls. Every scene is a joke or the setup for a joke that will be played several scenes later. While this kind of comedic tone doesn’t always work, I think for this series it worked very well, and I would even go so far as to say this anime had some of the best humor found in a slice-of-life anime.
I think if this anime came out more recently, it would probably come under a lot of fire due to certain issues regarding things like men with a lolita complex and visual novels with sexual content. I remember one episode where Konata asked her dad about why her mom married him. Her dad is a light novel writer and seems to have a very big lolita complex, though he claims he doesn’t. Because of the recent hate, some anime fans are getting for this issue, I could see this create a lot of conflict in the fandom. That said, I actually thought that the episode was sweet since it discussed how he believed no one else in the world could love Konata’s mom as much as he did.
While all of the episodes were great, a few stand out among the others. The first was the episode where Konata, Kagami, and Tsukasa travel to Comiket. That is the largest comic convention in Japan. I have never been there before myself, but I’ve heard about how hectic it is and how difficult it is to move around while stuck in crowds of thousands of sweaty otaku. Poor Tsukasa had never been to a Comiket before and nearly died trying to get Izumi’s doujinshi. Kagami did a better job, though she did find a surprise upon picking up a yaoi doujinshi. Other great episodes include the obligatory beach episode, and the very last episode, which tied into the opening theme song. The girls end up doing the full version of the dance they do during the OP, which I thought was interesting.
Lucky Star is one of the better slice-of-life anime. Out of all the moe series I’ve watched, this is one of the only series I know that can compete with K-On!, though the direction this series takes is far different, being a comedy that subtly pokes fun of various themes and tropes. It was as much of a parody as it was a slice-of-like. I think what helped really sell that was the Lucky Channel skit that happened at the end of each volume, which featured two characters who never really showed up in the anime. This was overall a great series that I believe I can enjoy watching over and over again.
Content Grade: B
Audio Grade: B
Video Grade: B
Packaging Grade: B
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: B
Released By: Funimation
Release Date: May 14th, 2019
Running Time: 48 minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78: Widescreen
55″ Class AQUOS HD Series LED TV LC-55LE643U, Xbox 360 DVD player