Lucky Star Manga, Volume 6 (English)

January 18th, 2011

For a comic that has nothing to say, but keeps saying it over and over, getting more self-referential and introspective every time, I’m amazed to tell you that I actually found Lucky Star, Volume 6…funny.

Not hysterical fall over onto the floor funny, like say Hyperbole and a Half. (You are reading Hyperbole and a Half, aren’t you? If not, you really need to, because you’ll lose your cutting edge geek cred if you don’t and your 13-year old niece will roll her eyes at you because you are so lame.

No, Lucky Star is still basically this: Konata and Hiyori are otaku – and so are a few other characters whose names escape me all the time. Overall, I feel like the less Konata-Kagami time we get, the better the story is. Mind you, I really can’t keep all the characters straight, even with character personality inserts at the beginning of chapters, for one simple reason – the character highlighted almost never appears in the next comic and by the time they do appear, I’ve forgotten them again. But the characters themselves are merely here to deliver lines that we all think (as, obviously we, the readers, must all be otaku), “yeah, I hate that too.”

The art has not changed. Which means that the art is primarily strangely shaped heads floating just barely over the bottom of the panel. This strongly increases the “talking head” feeling of this manga, which then increases my inability to tell anyone apart, as they are all teeny, blob heads just barely floating over the bottom of the panel. Nonetheless, I laughed. I too thought, “Oh yeah, I hate that,” or “Oh yeah, I’m like that too.” I guess I should congratulate myself for being a good otaku.

….I would like to take this opportunity to say that, however good an otaku I am, I have no intention of visiting the city of Washimiya or its shrine.

The readability of the English edition has significantly improved since Bill Flanagan took over the translation. Either Bill is really doing his editor’s job or the editor has finally started to get into the game, as this was the first volume (we really wouldn’t want to rush these things!) that reads almost like normal people speak. Even jokes that complain about weird otaku-speak actually have a natural distinction between average conversational language and the slang-laden drivel that passes for conversation among fans.

There is no Yuri. If you see Yuri in this volume, you are working harder than Hiyori at it.

Ratings:

Art – 5 Floating blob-heads a the bottom of the panel…
Story – 7
Characters – 7(0)
Yuri – 0
Service – 10 for in-jokes that only an otaku could love

Overall – 7

I’ll never be a huge fan of Lucky Star and, to some extent making me wait ’til Volume 6 before it’s funny is simply too little, too late. However, for fans of the series, Volume 6 is closing in on a masterwork of in-jokes about in-jokes.

Many, many thanks to Okazu hero Nadia C for her sponsorship of today’s review!

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3 Responses

  1. “Not hysterical fall over onto the floor funny, like say Hyperbole and a Half. (You are reading Hyperbole and a Half, aren’t you? If not, you really need to, because you’ll lose your cutting edge geek cred if you don’t and your 13-year old niece will roll her eyes at you because you are so lame.” Erica Friedman

    Best comment ever, LOL

  2. Dakuro says:

    Thanks for sharing, Ilove lucky star.

  3. stealthmomo says:

    Can’t argue with your opinion of the story. If you don’t like it you don’t like it. I find it hard to believe you can’t tell the characters apart… they are each pretty distinctive from one another.

    Now, if you had simply said you don’t like Yoshimizu Kagami’s artwork, then OK. To each his or her own. And aren’t most 4com manga kinda “talking head-ish”. I mean, Hidamari Sketch, A-Channel, Nichijou, etc. Just saying.

    As to the Yuri factor, the creator himself has said that Kagami is definitely crushing on Konata. Konata’s own feelings are left ambiguous, but judging based on her character, she’d have to at least be bi.

    Ah, well. At least there is always fan-fiction and dojinshi to fulfill fan’s Yuri-filled Konami fantasies.

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