Sunday, October 30, 2016

Lucky Star Review

Lucky Star Review

Warning: The following review may contain spoilers of the show Lucky Star. If you wish not to know some plot details, or simply don't wish to find out what happens in the series, please exit the tab, and join me once you've watched the show. Or you know, you can continue to read, since you don't care about spoilers.

Anyways, with that said, thank you, and onto the review:

I first heard about this show one morning before I sang at a church service in 2011. I watched a bit of the first episode and immediately found myself attached. A few months later, I would binge watch almost the entirety of the series on Youtube dubbed, which probably wasn't the best decision on my part, but I was young. What I liked most about Lucky Star back when I first watched it was how charming it was, how it would instantly make me feel more relaxed after a hard day, and the comedy.

Someday I knew I would watch the show fully in Japanese, though with other shows getting higher priority, and no legal streaming sites to be found, this had to wait a while until FUNimation re-licensed it and officially re-released this anime, even providing this show's first time on Blu-Ray in the US. After buying a copy of the new set at an anime convention in the summer and watching it with a friend, did Lucky Star still provide me with bundles of joy and love as I braced myself for a new school year, as well as a chance to unwind once school got back in session?

Yes to both of those questions, ladies and gentlemen. Out of all of the slice-of-life shows I've watched, Lucky Star still remains one of my favorites due to being the best show about nothing, having some great characters and comedy, nice animation, and a pretty good score. Plus, both Japanese and English are awesome overall, and there's definitely something to like based on your preference on how to watch anime series.

Overall, I'm glad I rewatched Lucky Star, due to it not only being an anime classic of the past decade, but for being something that's pretty meaningful now that I'm actually in high school as the characters are in this show. And maybe when I get older, there will still be something that's a part of me that will find this show dear to my heart and love to rewatch it even more, no matter what episode it is.

Oh, look at me getting all sentimental. I should probably put the brakes on that so I can talk about the story:


Since this is a slice of life anime, this show doesn't really have an overarching plot. But it does focus on four second-year high school girls and their daily lives. We have Konata Izumi, a fan of all things anime who slacks when it comes to school. Tsukasa and Kagami Hiiragi, fraternal twins who have different appearances and personalities, but can still be quite similar. And finally, there's Miyuki Takara, who comes from a rich family and is very smart and intelligent (while also having an endless supply of moe points).

Watch as the four have interesting conversations like which side of a chocolate cornet is the head:

Other conversations include Konata liking to inject anime and manga references into most conversations, Tsukasa's phone problems, and Miyuki being scared of the dentist. As the girls get older, a new school year begins, and with it comes some new first years, including Konata's cousin, Yutaka, and other fun characters. There's even a segment at the end of each episode called Lucky Channel, which introduces two more members into the series, the "super idol" Akira Kogami and her assistant Minoru Shirashi (based off of an actual person who voices said character in the show in Japanese).

Basically, if you're looking for an anime with a concrete story, you won't find it in Lucky Star, and you might get bored with it pretty quickly. However, comedy fans who love seeing how certain character interact, rejoice! This is the perfect series for you. Plus, there's some great character development to be found here for some of the characters, as the girls discover new things and the tension builds between Akira and Minoru. Lucky Star always delivers on something fun and exciting and always managed to keep me entertained and focused on what possibly hilarious joke could be told next (marathoning this show probably wouldn't be as enjoyable though TBH).

Also, Lucky Star's story in itself is actually not too bad. I'm sure that some of you could find yourselves relating to at least a few of the characters either through some of their quirks or how they act. Sure, the show is pretty much about zilch, but sometimes we need that in our lives, a more laidback show that doesn't need to take risks to stand out from the crowd. And that's one of the reasons why I love Lucky Star as much as I do.

It also helps that this show, for what it's worth, is pretty damn hilarious. Examples abound:

Overall, the story of Lucky Star may not have much in it, but it's still very enjoyable with its funny humor and engaging characters, as well as being just a ton of fun overall. And that's not even touching the pop culture/anime references that sneak in there, which I'll mention later on.

Time to move on to the characters!


There's a good amount of characters that I could talk about in this review, but I honestly want to keep it contained to the main four, since they're easily the most recognizable and my personal favorite characters from the entire show. There are tons more, of course, but I think most of the people who watch this anime can identify themselves in the lead group, like I can.

First up is Konata:

Konata is the main main character from Lucky Star, who has an obsession for all thing anime, manga, gaming, and Aya Hirano. Though she doesn't put all of her efforts towards studying, she does pull a lot of all-nighters (which isn't recommended BTW), and is actually smart when she makes a good effort. Her love for anime in general comes from her father, though she typically has enough money for herself to buy all the things she wants, minus the eroge of course. That comes from her father's paycheck.

In order to further fund her interests, Konata decides to take up a part-time job at a cosplay cafe in Akihabara, where her main costume of choice is Haruhi Suzumiya. She also has a wide knowledge on all things anime, weirding out her friends with her references and obsessions. Despite that though, she's still incredibly loyal to her friends, and even with her occasional teasing and just being a big oddball, I think she'd be pretty fun to hang out with if she existed in real life.

So overall, I definitely enjoyed Konata. For me, there weren't any moments where she annoyed me, and she's a perfect character for a show like this or in any comedy in general. She's just a fun person in general, as well as being incredibly entertaining consistently throughout Lucky Star's run. I couldn't see another character who'd work really well in combating some of the personalities that this show has to offer, and when Lucky Star first came out, there weren't a lot of characters like Konata (I believe so anyway), so I think that makes her more special in a sense.

Moving on to Kagami now:

Kagami is the older twin sister of Tsukasa. Compared to Tsukasa, Kagami has longer hair and a more brash attitude, having the tendency to get angry more often than her sister. She acts very much like a tsundere, and despite being in a different class than her sister and Tsukasa, she typically comes over to visit them (which Konata claims is because she gets lonely) in their classroom. She also seems to be the straight man out of the group, typically responding to Konata's references bluntly or just giving her the look. 

Despite either being the punching bag for Konata's jokes or the boxer herself when mentioning Konata's bad studying habits, it's clear that Kagami still cares about her friends way more than she lets on. She also has slight problems with her weight, occasionally eating more than expected amounts of food than she wants to, causing her to fret whenever she takes on a few more pounds. She shouldn't need to worry though, as she looks perfectly fine.

She also has a interest in anime, though it is definitely not as strong as Konata's is. So while Kagami does get annoyed with Konata's talk, she does at least understand the gist of what the latter is saying.

In the end, Kagami is easily my favorite character out of the series because of how I can relate to her in a sense. While I may not have some of the same qualities she has, I can play the mediator in situations where things may get a little out of hand, plus I do have some friendships where I can be a bit of the odd one out. But I think Kagami's just generally funny in how she acts in Lucky Star, along with some of her own moments, because some of those are gems.

Time for Tsukasa!

Tsukasa is the younger fraternal twin, and also the youngest member of the Hiiragi household, which is also comprised of two older sisters and a mom and dad. Tsukasa is very energetic and often in high spirits, but she struggles with her sleeping hours and planning, and comes to her sister for help on her homework sometimes. Unlike Konata however, who's too lazy to even do it and wants to just copy off of Kagami's, Tsukasa generally needs help or just forgets to do her work.

One of the more naive characters from the show, Tsukasa doesn't fully understand the full scope of things, such as when she accidentally says a double entendre during a conversation about pets:

She also doesn't understand some of the references that Konata makes, nor has good luck with her cell phone once her parents get her one (though that improves as the series goes on), but she's still a pretty sweet girl. One recurring gag throughout the series involves the fact that she looks like the main female character from To Heart, as Konata gives her the character's uniform in Episode 4, and some men demand a picture from her later on. I actually didn't get these when I rewatched the show, but now that I know about them, I can see why they're funny.

While Tsukasa may be my least favorite out of the main cast, I still do like her. She's really sweet, plus there's the fact that she gets along incredibly well with her sister and it's genuine (they don't typically bicker). I like the moments where she breaks out of her shell ("Damn you, Kona-chan" comes to mind), as well as when she interacts with everyone in the show. She's genuinely friendly despite being a bit confused on some events around her, but if she existed in real life, I could see her getting along with nearly everyone aside from the scary kids.

Last one to discuss is Miyuki:

Miyuki is one of the smartest girls in her class (a part of the top 3 in fact) and comes from a fairly wealthy family. She is very polite and well-mannered, showing off her smart abilities occasionally with long-winded explanations on certain topics.

She also is afraid of wearing contacts, as she's afraid of putting things in her eyes (like me) as well as going to the dentist, as she doesn't like having a cavity or having to fix something else (I'm not worried about that per say, but flossing on the other hand....). She also occasionally shows off traits of cuteness, according to Konata, who tracks them using Moe Points. She also is the most built out of the girls in terms of bust size, which Konata will mention occasionally when Miyuki's not there. Compared to the other three, she doesn't appear as often, but she's still there.

Miyuki definitely reminds me a lot of Tsumugi from K-On, but I find the former more interesting due to the fact that as a character, Miyuki is just simply more engaging. There are parts to her that instantly remind me of myself, especially with the glasses, and her moments where she monologues about various topics always make me smile. She's definitely the most mature out of the main cast, and she doesn't ring as flat to me (not chest-wise. Get your heads out of the gutter!) compared to other characters who are like her. And for a comedy series to do that too, that makes me all the more grateful.

Other characters include Akira Kogami, a so-called super idol, and Minoru Shirashi (who's basically a character representation of the seiyuu of the same name) who host the end of episode segment called Lucky Chanel, where Akira showcases her bipolarity while Minoru stays mostly calm and collected until temper overflow, but their interactions are always pretty funny.

There's also Kagami's classmates and friends named Ayano and Misao (the latter being the more entertaining out of the two), Yutaka, Konata's cousin and her cousin Yui's sister, who arrives halfway into the series as a first-year (like the ones to follow), Minami, a neighbor of Miyuki's who also comes from a wealthy family who's concerned about her breast development, forms a bond with Yutaka, and owns a dog named Cherry, Patricia, a foreign exchange student from the US who works at the same cosplay cafe as Konata, and credits a lot of her knowledge of Japan in general from anime and manga, and Hiyori, an amateur doujin artist who often imagines Yutaka and Minami in romantic situations (along with those sneaking into her doujinshi).

Finally, there's Nanako (or Mrs. Kuroi), Konata, Tsukasa, and Miyuki's homeroom teacher who's very much like the first girl earlier mentioned as she loves video games (mainly RPGs), Sojiro, Konata's father who has a few odd tendencies to his personality, but is nonetheless entertaining, Yui, Konata's cousin who works as a cop and is constantly mistaken for being single (even though she has a commuter marriage with her husband), the rest of the Hiiragi household, and Miyuki's mom.


The animation for this series was produced by Kyoto Animation, who are also known for their work on Clannad, Amagi Brilliant Park, and Myriad Colors Phantom World.

As this is a slice-of-life show, the animation is pretty simplistic. Much like with Kyoto Animation's work on K-On, but even more so. In the end, I think this helps with Lucky Star's appeal. Animation doesn't need to be bold and daring, and as such, a laidback approach is the best way. The show never kicks back too much though, since that would make iconic moments for all the wrong reasons, but there's some cool approaches to a couple of scenes, and the animation is pretty fluid once we get past Episode 4, as there was a director switch.

Probably the moments where this show has the best animation would be in the Legendary Girl A segments, as the characters from those are animated in a style that is incredibly different from the main show, with some interesting shading and colors that really pop out from the screen. But of course there's a few more, and I'm zipping my lips on those.

So in the end, the animation of Lucky Star is pretty good, with some great moments and a few beautiful scenes. Kyoto Animation has easily risen as one of the more prominent animation studios of the decade, and I'm always interested in seeing what they will put out next (even if some of their projects looks the same nowadays, but that's my opinion).


The score for this series was composed by Satoru Kousaki, who also contributed his work to series such as Bakemonogatari, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (the parallels keep coming full circle!), and Oreimo.

When I first watched this show a few years ago, I never really paid that much attention to the OST and mostly tuned it out. But when rewatching this show, I definitely wanted to focus more on it, since as I'm sure you've seen before in my other reviews, scores pay an impact in my liking of a series. whether big or small.

And in the end, this score easily matched the series that it was setting for. The pieces are bubbly, cute, endearing, and help make the funny moments all the more hilarious. Some pieces use quite similar elements, but none so that a good portion blended together (they also weren't used in a row, so that's good). There's a few iconic pieces that stood out, and helped set the mood of the special times they were used. My favorite would have to be this piece, since the "aeeeah, aeeeah"'s get me every time:

As for the topic of voice actor performance, both the original Japanese and English dubs for this show are quite good. While the Japanese will give you something more authentic, along with some better hitting puns, the English dub remains pretty faithful to the original, and the voice cast is pretty impressive. One of the most ironic casting decisions is Aya Hirano and Wendee Lee as Konata respectively in either language, as they both play Haruhi in The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, who Konata typically cosplays as and is a fan of Hirano's work in general. It's pretty fun.

That aside, I don't really have any major weaknesses in either version of Lucky Star. other than the fact that I'm used to some voices compared to others (Kari Wahlgren as Kagami gives me life), so no matter what you end up watching the show in, you'll get something great. I'm sure of it.

Highlights from the original Japanese are Aya Hirano, Emiri Kato, Kaori Fukuhara, Aya Endo, Hiromi Konno, Minoru Shirashi, Kaoru Mizuhara, Shizuka Hasegawa, Minori Chihara, Nozomi Sasaki, Kaori Shimizu, Konomi Maeda, Hirokazu Hiramatsu, Sui Shimamoto, Saori Nishihara, Mami Kosuge, and Yuko Goto.

Highlights in the English dub are Wendee Lee, Kari Wahlgren, Michelle Ruff (as both Tsukasa and Minami), Karen Strassman, Stephanie Sheh, Sam Riegel, Lara Jill Miller, Hynden Walch, Patrica Ja Lee, Philece Sampler, Kate Higgins, Tony Oliver, Rebecca Olkowski (otherwise known as Rebecca Forstadt), Julie Ann Taylor, Bridgett Hoffman (as Miyuki's mom), and Megan Hollingshead.


Without a doubt, Lucky Star is my favorite slice-of-life anime series, as well as one of my favorite anime to date that I've seen. Everything about this show is really special, whether it'd be mainly from the comedy or the characters or that the show itself is quite fun to watch, plus incredibly relaxing. It set a pretty good standard for slice-of-life comedies in anime that I've watched, and I haven't found one that's disappointed me yet (which I'm sure I've mentioned before). Lucky Star easily stands atop them though, and I doubt it's going anywhere anytime soon.

If you haven't watched this slice-of-life show yet and you're a fan of those kinds of series, what are you waiting for? I definitely think you'll end up liking or loving Lucky Star as much as I did.

Score: 10/10



Story isn't groundbreaking, but still moves along fairly nicely.

Great character development.

Lovely cast of characters.

Nice animation.

Fun score.

No matter what language you watch the show in, it impresses.

Relaxing, and will no doubt put you in a good mood.


None major.

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