ANIME & MANGA - Review
15:05 - 3rd September 2013, by NEO Staff

Lucky Star - Complete Collection

There's something about school girls, anime and comedy that mixes together to make something magical. Whether it's The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and its bizarre science-fiction segues, or Azumanga Daioh's continual jaunts into the surreal, there have been some real comedy classics from this rather niche subgenre. Although we have to say we laughed our heads off at the masculine shenanigans of Cromartie High School, there's just something about laughing along with a bunch of girls that gets us every time. Maybe it's their skewed innocence (some might say ignorance...), maybe it's the cute / moe factor, maybe it's just because all-female character-based comedy is so hard to come by in the west, but whichever way you look at it, the aforementioned shows were just hilarious. And so we move onto Lucky Star, which sits somewhere in between the two shows, lacking Azumanga's weirdness and Haruhi's sci-fi bent.

The show follows the non-adventures of Konata Izumi, who is the poster-child of the otaku scene for the purposes of the show. She's friends with the bespectacled moe vision of loveliness that is Miyuki, along with fraternal twins Tsukasa and Kagami. The main 'action' of the show (if you can call it that) revolves around the girls' wacky conversations about all manner of everyday things - from how to eat a chocolate cornet, wearing ponytails, playing online games, attending summer festivals, and so on. The conversations range in entertainment from hilarious all the way to incredibly boring, and at times it really feels as though you're the fifth member of the gang, listening in on everything the girls say throughout the day. Although this might seem charming at first, the fact that it's like a near-unedited version of what borderline-insane school girls might actually talk about indicates why most teenagers can't wait to become adults... Let's just say that conversation can be somewhat lacking. Also, if you're a veteran of the anime scene, you'll pretty much know in advance what sort of episodes to expect from the series, and when they're coming up - i.e., the obligatory festival show, the sports day, Christmas, etc. They're all covered here in a by the book kind of way, and the mileage you'll get out of the parody value really depends on how many parodies you've already seen. Although the show is self-aware enough to be tongue-in-cheek about its content, it's not clever enough to rise even further away from the bog-standard spoof and take it into the next level.

Thankfully, that's where the Lucky Channel section of the show comes into its own - a tacked on clip at the end of every episode which features two presenters - one, the long-suffering bit-part actor Minoru Shiraishi, and the second, the bipolar Akira Kogami. Akira has a dual personality, as her professional demeanour is one of a perky idol, and her real personality is a jaded and cynical industry veteran who has seen it all. These sections are the most consistently amusing parts of the show, and make a great addition to the cast.

Although Lucky Star won't be universally adored in the same manner as those aforementioned comedy masterpieces, it's sure to find a cache of ferocious fans who will lap up every episode. Whilst it certainly deserves success, and is, at times, laugh out loud funny, it does seem as though it think it's funnier than it really is, and a tad self-indulgent at times.

A comedy slice of life series for the otaku - and the perfect way to pass the time waiting for the new Haruhi release!
SCORE: 4/5
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