12 Days, 12 Moments: Day 6–Lucky Star Gets Serious

How do you insert something heartfelt, even serious, in the middle of a show dedicated to jokes–and otaku jokes at that? You do it the way this year’s Hirano Aya/KyoAni lovefest, Lucky Star, did it in episode 22. 

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Day 6: Lucky Star Gets Serious

My initial skepticism of Lucky Star was made public a while ago. I was expecting character gags along the lines of Azumanga Daioh, not one otaku reference after another; I was expecting genuine ensemble interaction rather than Konata being the fulcrum of most of the sketches. It took about 7 or 8 episodes for me to become used to the way Lucky Star does business and for me to realize that there were, in fact, characters with definable roles and schticks. Konata had a home life, albeit a strange one. Tsukasa and her family had one too. It just takes time for these things to build, and I was hasty in judging them, and had conveniently forgotten that it took a similar amount of time for Azumanga to do the same thing.  

The thing that still set Azumanga apart, though–especially during the second half–there was an occasional wistful (never angsty or truly sad) moment that would cement our connection with the characters and, by the final episode, would induce tears simply by cashing in the affection that the whole series had accumulated over the season.  Lucky Star did not have this for the longest time; little time seemed to pass. So when episode 22 arrived, it was a very noticeable change of mood and pace. It thus became instantly memorable and while I wish there were more of these kinds of episodes in the show’s latter half, it stands up well enough on its own. It is hopeful, not angsty; warm and not overdone (leavened considerably by humor). It helps makes someone who really ought to be an implausible character (a girl with all the obsessiveness and tastes of a male otaku) more endearing.

I suppose KyoAni was saving the angst and sorrow for Clannad later in the year. 😉

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Author: gendomike

Michael lives in the Los Angeles area, and has been into anime since he saw Neon Genesis Evangelion in 1999. Some of his favorite shows include Full Metal Alchemist, Honey and Clover, and Welcome to the NHK!. Since 2003 he has gone to at least one anime convention every year. A public radio junkie, which naturally led to podcasting, he now holds a seminary degree and is looking to become Dr. Rev. Otaku Bible Man any day now. Michael can be reached at mike.huang@animediet.net. You can also find his Twitter account at @gendomike.