Lucky Star Manga, Volume 8 (English)

August 3rd, 2012

I know many people out there will rejoice at this post. Please make sure you quote this next line out of context for maximum effect:

I admit it, I’m an idiot.

Despite the fact that I lecture about manga, I write about it, I provide my beloved readers with insight and insider information about the industry, I am absolutely, utterly, fail when it comes to Lucky Star. Lucky Star, Volume 8 has brought me to my knees.

I cannot figure out what the heck anyone sees in Lucky Star.

I watched the anime, I watched the OVA (because I was assured I would totally “get” it after that). I’ve read 8 volumes of the manga and I just don’t get it. What are people seeing in this horribly dull, barely comprehensible series? I just have absolutely no idea whatsoever. I’ve stopped halfway in this volume because I cannot tell the characters apart – still – and the jokes don’t make any sense at all.

I get the whole “Wow, teen girls who play bishoujo games! Schwing!” thing or “Wow, teen girls making stupid old-man puns! Schwing!” I mean, Yuru Yuri does it too. At least the jokes in that series make some kind of sense, even if they are mostly teen girls making old-man puns, (which is apparently the height of hilarity for some percentage of Japanese otaku.)  I “get” stupid 4-koma jokes. I “get” stupid otaku jokes… But… This… I… I don’t even know what to say….

I’m especially puzzled by the fanaticism with which Japanese fans have latched onto this series.

Well, it’s moot. Bandai has pulled the plug on this series in English and I feel nothing.

Bye, Lucky Star! You were one of the most boring, incomprehensible things I’ve ever tried to care about for my fandom…. (^_^)/

No ratings.

Thanks very much to brand new Okazu Hero, Andreas L, who sent this to me! You taught me that I do have limits. Who knew? ^_^

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12 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    “What are people seeing in this horribly dull, barely comprehensible series?”
    Answer: Themselves

    Look, the fun of Lucky Star comes from the fact that the watcher can relate theirself to what he/she is watching and say/think: “Oh!!! me too!!!
    In my case…
    -Marimite adiction…check
    -Oversleep because of gaming…check
    -Oversleep because of anime/manga…check
    -Active 2chan/4chan member…check
    -Neglect studies because of gaming/anine/manga or any other otaku stuff…check

    Seeing where we are going? It’s not about the otaku jokes or “teen girls who play bishoujo games” or “teen girls making stupid old-man puns” If you can relate to their doings THEN you’ll get Lucky Star.

  2. dmunder7 says:

    So noble to take this one for the team, Erica.

    I did get a bit from the anime (and there were bits of the OAV that I enjoyed, mostly Kagami cosplaying as Rin from Fate/stay night).

    But the manga? Life is too short.

  3. @Anonymous – I’ve commented a number of times that I get that. What I am saying is that after over 1000 pages of that same thing it’s just not that riveting.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I can’t say anything about the Manga but I enjoyed the anime well enough. However, there are three caveats that change the series for me: I’m a gamer, for one. For two, I watched exclusively the dub (didn’t even know the show existed before I saw a DVD on Amazon and said “what the hell?”) where a lot of my favorite voice actors were present playing their parts as hard as they possibly could. Lastly, once I got there, I did really like the bits with Hyori because several of the gags in the anime really were stuff that I actually do as a writer (I’ve caught myself making faces when describing expressions, I have specific pens I love and the moment when you walk in to find someone looking at your notebooks is pure, utter horror).

    However, my enjoyment of it no more makes you a bad person than your dislike of it makes me a bad person. We both just have opinions that differ, which is why no part of this is intended to change your mind. Just thought I’d throw in my two cents.

  5. redfish says:

    I saw a talk by a guy researching “contents tourism” (MLIT buzzword) at Hokkaido University at a conference last year. This kind of tourism where people go after media-related experiences seems to be quite a growing area (though still small compared to domestic tourism overall) and related projects are receiving government support these days. Apparently Lucky Star is one examples of this that everyone knows and the guy (who was also a fan) was quite enthusiastic about the matter.

    (Personally, I found the Lucky Star anime somewhat amusing but haven’t missed it since then. I think I’ll do some Aoi Hana tourism next week instead ^_^)

  6. @redfish – “content tourism” – thank you for that phrase. Heavens knows I’ve done plenty of that in my time…even anime/manga related.

    What puzzles me about LS is that sure I understand the jokes…but they are not funny. It’s remarkable to me that the “yes, I buy three copies of things too!” is enough to sustain this franchise long beyond its time.

  7. @redfish – You’re going to the Aoi Hana / Enoden Fair? Bruce just came back from that. Have fun!

  8. Andreas Larsson says:

    That unnamed Okazu hero would be me :)

  9. redfish says:

    @Erica Yes, I’m thinking Kamakura on Tuesday. I could do some touristy things for a change, instead of growing my stash of bookstore ポイントカード. I wish Japan Post had a ポイントカード too. And Comic Market (two Sakuraike 新刊!).

  10. @Andreas Larsson – Can you please email me at anilesbocon01 at hotmail dor com? I want to send you a Hero Badge! Thank you very much for your kindness.

  11. Mark Goff says:

    Huh. I’m hear often but never really noticed I could comment!

    Never read the manga.

    I really like the Lucky Star anime. Much to my surprise. To date it is one of the only animes my brother recommended that I actually ended up liking. Actually, I watched a few clips then closed it not thinking much of it. Then I watched a few more and got hooked!

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with you not being able to get into this show. There are several comedy animes that hardly made me laugh even once despite my watching entire seasons. Pani Pony Dash. Azumanga Daioh and School Rumble. (I do wonder if I would have liked Azumanga Daioh more if I had seen it before Lucky Star)

    I think humor is just so subjective. After I first saw Excel Saga I thought these over the top anime comedies couldn’t fail. But several of the ones I watched afterward did not amuse me.

    I just think Lucky Star is funny. I suspect that was pretty much the entire goal and for me it works. I love watching Konata and Kagami take shots at each other. I like the varying effects the personalities have on the conversation. There were even a few times were a previous conversation is continued so other friends can chime in. I like that cop girl too. Her scenes are just so funny. Oh and the teacher. So sad and funny are some of her few scenes. As others have said, they see themselves in many of the gags. I actually don’t but I still find them pretty funny I guess I feel like I can just understand them. Like getting your cellphone confiscated. Telling terrible April Fools jokes. Having a generous social life that allows you to be online even …on…holidays. <–>

    I also think the characters are just fun. Most are probably pretty cliche tho.

    I also really like the fact that, for the most part, its just gags and no drama. There are things I don’t quite get into. Like the cosplay-cameo jokes. I don’t know who they are referencing most of the time and I’ve heard that people find them annoying which I can kind of understand. I know they joke around during karaoke endings but I’ve never been able to sit through those.

    There is also the Yuri! Of course it’s the kind you have to imagine. And make up. And make are art and fiction for.

  12. Motormind says:

    I think the base appeal of Lucky Star is the interaction between Konata, Kagami and Tsukasa. Those three have some sort of chemistry that just works to some audiences, with most of it being in subtext, while most other characters just seem to be faceless satellites. Despite heavy shipping from the fanbase I just can’t see Kagami and Konata together though. I could see Tsukasa and Konata work, but only if Konata starts being a bit nicer toward Tsukasa.

    And this brings me to the main problem with this manga: the characters very often just act like jerks toward each other. A lot of things they say are often rather mean-spirited. In reality, relationships in which friends who act like this constantly would not last very long.

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