Headline: 5-Star Masterpiece
Originally posted August 18, 2014
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
With a title like Lucky Star, many people would probably wonder what this series is even about – especially as it really has nothing to do with luck or outer-space. Well, it’s like this. Lucky Star is about 4 (later 10) high school girls, who talk to each other about normal everyday things, e.g. the dentist, what type blood they have, how best to eat a chocolate cornet and what they did with their old uniforms after elementary school. That’s it. And amazingly enough, this is exactly what makes Lucky Star one of the most ingenious and well-loved animes ever made – to the point where some would even call it legendary.
Unlike most animes that focus more on fantasy and/or over-the-top humour, Lucky Star aims to be as realistic as possible to its audience. This is done most effectively through the portrayal of its main characters. Each of them is individual and loveable in their own right. But what makes them memorable is how they relate to real people and their personalities: Konta is the otaku fanatic, who hates studying and loves gaming, manga and anime; Miyuki is the walking encyclopaedia who’s polite, well-mannered and explains things in great detail; and Tsukasa and Kagami are fraternal twins, who share different interests and are about as unalike as sisters can get. Plus, more relatable characters are introduced as the series progresses.
If you were to watch Lucky Star, chances are you’d recognise at least one character or scenario you yourself have experienced (e.g. having a good idea, but then forgetting it later because you didn’t write it down straight away).
Another thing that’s good about Lucky Star is the way it uses pop-culture references over fan-service. Normally, animes would resort to showing a lot of big action sequences or slightly inappropriate moments to keep fans interested. Lucky Star does have some moments of fan-service, but not too many to the point where the series relies on them. Instead, fans are treated to things they recognise, making the series feel more believable. Examples of pop-culture references used include Pokémon and Loisia May Alcott’s Little Women.
One final thing I love about Lucky Star is the Lucky Channel segments at the end of each episode. These are entertaining and unpredictable to the point where they work well enough on their own. Half the time you don’t know whether to love Akira, hate her or love-hate her, because she can be cute and loveable one minute then spiteful and depressing the next. Either way, you can’t help but feel excited to see her – and wish she was part of main segment of the show.
Judging by the fact that every Amazon review of Lucky Star (so far) has been 5/5 stars – and it’s been sold so many times the website has run out of copies – it’s not hard to see why this series is an absolute must-have for any fan of anime. It’s a shame the box-set is no longer available on Amazon (in Europe), but the episodes are available on YouTube. If you’re truly a devoted fan of anime, it’s highly recommend that you watch this series, because it’s the standard by which most other animes are compared. Some may think the concept is a little basic and lacks a plot. But when it comes right down to it, the simplicity is what makes it a masterpiece. To put things simply, Lucky Star is so simple, it’s actually genius.
On November 23, 2015 – more than a year after the review was first posted – I received this comment:
“I’ve not seen Lucky Star yet but I have wanted to for a while. What you described above is how I feel about Non Non Biyori – another great slice of life Anime. I’d highly recommend it if you haven’t seen it yet – if you are like me and prefer more character-based Anime.”
It was rather unusual reviewing Lucky Star when I did, because at the time, I didn’t own it on DVD – I’d only seen the episodes on YouTube. The downside to this was not knowing about the extra features, like Tsunderella or Minoru Shiraishi, so I wasn’t able to talk about them. Regardless, I think this review was probably my favourite one to date.
I decided not to focus too heavily on the episodes themselves, since they were self-contained and didn’t have much plot to them. Instead, I focused on the characters and how their personalities moved the series forward. Also, I made it clear how different Lucky Star was compared to other animes I’d seen and why it’s simplicity made it successful. This review took me longer to write than my previous ones, because I spent more time thinking about what I wanted to say before writing it. Only 8 other people had reviewed Lucky Star (on Amazon) before me, so I was keen to make mine stand out.
Let me know what you thought of this review in the comments below. Also, see the other reviews I’ve posted this week – Spice and Wolf (Seasons 1 and 2) and Moon Phase (Volumes 1 and 2).
(Image courtesy of http://luckystar.wikia.com/wiki/Lucky_Star_(Series))