Hey! Do you remember Azumanga Daio? Of course you do, and you liked it!... Well, you at least thought it was a pleasant, if not a silly, diversion... Okay, I know a few people who loathed it, but that's not the point. The point is for you to guess what the anime series Lucky Star is juuuust liiiiiiike.
Lucky Star IS Azumanga, just with a slightly different cast. It's a show based on a comic strip about a bunch of school girls, their teachers and their acquaintances as they jump from one quick set-up and punchline to the next, over and over and over again throughout each episode. There is no plot that lasts more than 2 minutes, and if you don't like the conversation that's going on at the moment, well, just stick around because the topic will change very shortly.
Not that this is a bad thing (or a bad show), it's just not for everybody. Do you like to watch a bunch of (overly cute) high school girls talk off hand about homework, MMORPGs, Japanese variety shows, or their pedo dads? Do you like half-hour stretches of your life filled with non-sequiturs and adorable nonsense? Personally, I'm not opposed to it when the characters are this entertaining, but honestly I could not take more than 1 episode every 4 to 5 days. If you're still not sure if you can handle it, give the opening song and animation a quick watch. If you think it was perky, but catchy and delightful, you can take it. If it makes you want to claw your eardrums out of your skull then just stick to your shows about faggy ninjas in day-glo orange track suits. Once again, Lucky Star isn't bad, it's just that something so non-plot-oriented is only meant in small bites, say in like a daily four-paneled comic, or once a week on television with seven days of breathing room in between each new, well, for lack of a better word "adventure."
Another warning of sorts about Lucky Star: If you don't like talking head shows, this ain't for you, bunky. LS is nothing but girls sitting in a classroom talking, or sitting in a living room talking, or sitting in a bedroom talking, or even sitting on a bus talking. If you like things moving on the screen (more than just lips opening and closing), you won't like what you see.
Lucky Star kept me entertained and made me chuckle a few times throughout its run, but the bust-a-gut moments are actually pretty far and few between. I'd say that 1/6th of all the jokes are silly-dumb; 4/6ths are okay (not laugh out loud, but you don't frown at them); and the last 1/6th are smile-inducingly funny (with maybe 1/6th of those actually making me emit a chuckle to a "Ha ha ha HA!").
As for the characters, they're each their own separate persons, but their personalities are mainly just there for the joke d-jour. There's the brainiac girl, the dopey girl, the moe girl and the slacker otaku girl (who's also the sporty girl to a degree). They have all the major stereotypes covered for whatever punchline is needed. Once again, that's not a bad thing, but you have to understand that it IS Lucky Star's thing. It's like the original writer would think to himself, "Hmmmm, it's about time for the Giant Summer Manga Convention to take place. I'll write some jokes with Kona (the otaku) as the punchline as she goes to the con itself," or "If I was in high school right now I'd probably have to start turning my homework in. I think I'll write some jokes about the dope and the slacker trying to borrow the smart girl's homework.... again." Their personalities don't really grow as the series goes on. It's like the author was afraid that he only knew jokes about otaku, moe girls, homework and pedophilic dads. That's actually kind of sad, but really, this show is just based on a comic strip. Imagine a Farside TV show. That thing would stay on track even less than this bad boy.
Anyway, my favorite Lucky Star character is not even in the show proper: Lucky Channel's Akira-chan. Lucky Channel is the segment that closes out each episode and is shot like a news broadcast — two anchors (a boy and a girl) behind a desk, usually talking about the episode of Lucky Star that just aired, or about the girl's (Akira-chan) career as an aspiring idol. The problem with this is that Akira-chan is hardly idol material. Well, she talks like a child and acts all bubbly and kawaii when she's "on," but when Akira-chan lets her guard down (every thirty seconds or so) she talks in a guttural growl, has a lined scowl on her face and threatens her co-host with violence whenever he upstages her or doesn't do her bidding the instant she bellows a command. It could have been really stupid, but Lucky Channel really nails its tone and humor... And better yet the conversations in it usually last a full five minutes without randomly jumping into another topic — unlike the main show.
The only other thing I want to talk about is the ending credit sequence; for the first half of the series all we see as the production credits roll by is a door to a karaoke suite, though we hear the voices of the four main girls as they sing out classic anime themes from years gone by. But the SECOND half of the series has the best ending credits ever. I'd be ruining the joke if I tried to explain it to you, and I don't think I could even give it proper justice either if I attempted to do so. But they are seriously silly. In a non-retarded way... No, wait, they are retarded, but that's 90% of their charm.
No frickin fa-shizzle this nizzle, bizzle! The Rossman told me this show was filled, FILLED, with perky high schoolers! Well, they may have been portrayin' 18 year old chickidos but they was played by elementary schoolers! Well, painted like elementary kiddos... You know what I mean, homey, stop playin.
It was actually quite disturbin' to see and hear these tykes talk like they's in the third grade or sumptin' — you know, about candy, video games, comics, holidays and shit — and then have it repeated over and over that they's actually in they last year of high school. What?! They'd talk all about how boys is "icky" and be shocked when they found out that one of them got an after-school job, but then the next sentence would be "and what about that college entrance exam mock-up we's had to take, bitches? Was that tough as shit nails or what?" Nooooo thank you. Either make a show with hottie high school girls who look the part, or make a show about elementary kids doing dumb things and label it as such so's that I don't watch it by mistake again.
This show was just so unbeleivably adorable! All the characters were just so cute and well, so very, very cute! I loved them all!
I liked how they just talked about things. Every topic under the sun. They'd talk about school work, boys, lunch boxes, more school work, TV shows, and school work. There was no "world about to end" apocalypse that the writers would try to shove down us viewers' throats, and no "Oh no!" lame, overly dramatic, been there, done that plot contrivances that have been done to death 30,000 times already. Nope, just cute girls shooting the... Well, you get the idea.
I liked how they all had totally different personalities, but they all melded together so well! They were more of a complete team than that old show with the lion robots that all came together to form that giant Power Ranger robot. They covered for each other when they needed help, and they all knew how to have fun and just be themselves in front of each other, just like me and all my friends back in high school. Honestly, it was just like watching a flashback to my own life, except with pencil drawings instead of home movies.
(The Rossman here: I don't know what world my sister is living in, but Jaime spent all four years of high school sitting alone every Friday night eating a couple of pints of Ben and Jerry's "Chunky Monkey." I think she's just seen too many John Hughes movies and started placing herself in the Molly Ringwald characters in her own warped memories. Last year she swore that we forgot her sixteenth birthday; that was the year that she FORCED us all to all get Glamour Shots with her.)