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Imagine Azumanga DaiohmeetsSeinfeld, on even more sedatives with a fair helping of Otaku Bait.Lucky Star is a Slice of Life manga by Kagami Yoshimizu, featuring four high school girls. The main focus are on four characters: Konata Izumi, an Otaku Surrogate whose Japanese pop culture knowledge is truly staggering; her best friend Kagami Hiiragi; Kagami's twin Tsukasa Hiiragi; and the wealthy and intelligent Miyuki Takara. Drawing on a huge number of Otaku references, Lucky Star is more or less a show about nothing in particular. Notable for being the largest example of the Puni Plush style and its rather eccentric fanbase.Kyoto Animation used the manga as the basis for a highly successful anime series, which got acquired for American distribution by Bandai Entertainment, and dubbed with around the same casting as Haruhi... or some of the in-jokes would not be translatable at all. It should be noted that most of the references were Kyo Ani's own additions, in order to cash in on the merchandising of anime in general, mainly from Haruhi. It worked; Lucky Star is currently the studio's most marketable show, with many CDs and video games being made even 3 years after the anime ended. A stage musical adaptation has been green-lit in 2011.This series also has a character sheet, Memetic Mutations, WMG, Headscratchers, and fanfic recommendation. A Shout Out section is being built to put all the references that Lucky Star makes to other series.There have been several spin-off mangas. The first, Lucky Star Pocket Travelers, was later created and features the four main characters for no discernible reason whatsoever shrunk down to a few inches tall. Cue hilarity. A different bizarre spin-off, Boo Boo Kagaboo, was made by the creator of Nyoron Churuya-san. It was licensed by BANDAI, but they later cancelled its release. Another spin-off manga, Miyakawa Ke No Kuufuku, was created in 2008, written and illustrated by Kagami Yoshimizu himself, starring Hikage and Hinata Miyakawa, two minor characters from the manga (who also briefly show up in the anime) who have money troubles and thus have trouble keeping food in the house. Hinata, however, is an avid otaku, and her impulse-buying tendencies only worsen their money troubles, much to Hikage's chagrin. An ONA adaptation was produced by Ordet in 2013 for the Spring season.The anime is now available on Crunchyroll.Not to beconfused with a certain Madonna song, or with the science-fiction novels byIsaac Asimov, or a Paper Mario item, one of the "Chinatown bus" lines operating between Boston and New York City, or anything else named as such.
This show provides examples of:
Adam Westing: Aya Hirano as herself, Daisuke Ono as himself, Yuko Goto as herself, and many others. Unfortunately, the show only plays with this using famous Japanese actors, so the English dub invariably loses a lot in translation (even though Bandai tries to maintain a pairing of seiyuu with dubbers).
The manga features more sketches: Hiyori (tanuki), Kuroi (cat), Misao (monkey), Ayano (ferret), Yukari (bear).
Animated Actors: The cast of Lucky Channel, one is an aspiring anime actor, the other is a fading starlet whose upbeat persona conceals a moody, selfish, cynical side when she stops remembering/caring that she's meant to be acting.
In the final episode, they nearly break character outside of the segment.
Anime Accent Absence: Although Patricia is stated to be an exchange student rather than someone who has lived in the country for several years, she speaks Japanese just as well as the other girls and with just a slight trace of a foreign accent.)
Lampshaded in the last non-omake episode, when she claims to 'not know those hard Nippon words.' And is subsequently told that she has 'been speaking fluently until now'.
In the manga, the author mentions that Patricia is only fluent on Japanese relevant to her hobbies.
The writers for the English dub realized that the joke wouldn't work in English, since Patricia and Kagami are both fluent, so they replaced it with Patricia saying, "I can't hear you! La la la la~"
Animeland: Patricia seems to believe in this, Konata is usually just hanging a lampshade on it.
The anime will randomly show transition artwork of highly-detailed characters, completely different from those of the regular show. This is pretty funny when they actually are sitting next to the Puni Plush characters themselves.
The Mobile Newtype strips of the manga manage to make the characters even morePuni Plush.
The Manga's chapter eye-catches are the characters with the Puni Plush toned down considerably, with more detailed characters to the point of Fanservice.
This seems to be one of the standard reactions to nearly everything—many questions and situations throughout the series are reacted to with rage or dread.
Bolivian Army Ending: The main series of the anime ends just as the girls are about to perform their cheerleader routine in front of an audience.
But then again, we've seen the same routine rehearsed a few minutes before... It's not like they'd just resort to Stock Footage and add crowd cheer anyway.
Bondage Is Bad: In episode 1, Konata blames the confinement crimes that have been happening in town, one incident lasting for two months, on dating sims. Kagami tells her that that's just her perspective.
In the 143rd chapter of the manga, Konata comes to a conclusion to which end of a chocolate cornet is the head, referring to the discussion she had with Tsukasa in the very first episode. Tsukasa points out that it was two years ago.
There's another one in manga volumes 6 & 7. In one strip in vol. 6, Konata's graduation prank of putting a love letter in Kagami's desk fails due to Kagami not going anywhere near her desk after the graduation ceremony. In vol. 7, Kou finds it in what is now her desk, and Love Letter Lunacy ensues until Konata happens to mention her graduation prank to Kagami.
Early in the anime, Konata decides to give Kagami the nickname Kyou-channote The reasoning being that both mean "mirror" in Japanese, and Kagami decides that her nickname should be Kagami-sama (Kagami the Great), until Konata abuses it and she asks to just be addressed normally. In Episode 23, Konata uses that nickname again, well after the episode that joke was made in.
Butt Monkey: Tsukasa flips between this and the Woobie depending on your sympathy. Konata and even Kagami certainly don't have much issue with pointing out much less academic, athletic and skilled she is.
Captain Ersatz: Tsukasa is arguably an ersatz of Akari Kamigishi from To Heart, which is Lamp Shaded when Konata gives her Akari's school uniform in episode 4. Another similarity is that between Hiiragi twins and Rin and Sakura from Fate/stay night (lampshaded by Konata's father in episode 10, and by Kagami briefly cosplaying as Rin in the OVA). A further possible example is the similarity of Kagami and Tsukasa to that of Kyou and Ryou, respectively, from CLANNAD, even including the purple hair. Hell, they practically ARE the same. Tsundere protective, long-haired big sister, and calmer, Always Second Best, short-haired, little sister. These pictures◊ testify◊
This is even FURTHER lampshaded in Ep. 16 when, stopping by a bookstore in Akihabara to buy some manga for Konata, several otaku start taking pictures of her, forcing her to say, "I'm not Kamigishi." One even asks her to say "Hiroyuki-chan" to further fuel the whole thing. Also, Konata attempts to give Kagami the nickname Kyou.
Color Failure: Hiyori whites out and slowly dissolves away after staying up all night to beat a deadline.
Happens to Shiraishi a lot too. This is also a pun on his name, as the "Shirai" in Shiraishi means white.
Comic-Book Time: Konata's circle were first-years when the manga started in February 2004, and were promoted to the second year in May 2004 and the third in May 2005, fitting a real-time timeline— then they remained third-years until finally graduating in September 2008. And even after that there were still the odd strips where they're back in their high school uniforms for some reason.
Averted in the anime, where they are second-years for the first half and third-years for the second half.
Continuity Cameo: The anime has thrice showed the Miyakawa siblings (omake-only) in episodes 12, 16 and 24, and Hikaru Sakuraba (who was replaced by Shiraishi) in episode 24.
Cringe Comedy: In episode 5, Narumi meets Kuroi. She thinks Kuroi is one of Konata's classmates, commenting on how endowed she is compared to Konata. After Kuroi says that she's actually her teacher, they have some small-talk conversation. Then the two forcibly laugh, but Narumi doesn't know why.
Cry Cute: Kagami, who is absolutely adorable whenever she cries.
Crying Wolf: In episode 4, Konata gives two excuses to the teacher, one saying that she was helping a boy out and the second saying that she was hiding in a cafe with a girl. The teacher dismisses both excuses. Later, Konata gets a summer cold and calls the teacher asking for a sick leave. The teacher immediately declines the request while laughing. This is lampshaded in the next scene.
Konata may not know the lyrics to Saiyuki, but most Brits of a Certain Age will know it by heart
Cultural Translation: The dub or the manga follows the Japanese text pretty closely (sometimes too closely), but sometimes have this, like translating normal people into "mundanes" in the manga.
Cute but Cacophonic: Quite a number of the karaoke endings featuring Konata, but the mauling of the Dragon Ball Z theme suffers at her hands in the ending to Episode 5 is a particularly illustrative example.
Miyuki. Konata mentions that Miyuki's clumsiness and air-headedness get her 'Moe points'
In addition, Kagami asks Konata if she acts out this trope at her job at a Cosplay Cafe, like dropping her drinks (complete with demonstration), but Konata dismisses it as something cute in fiction but just annoying in real life.
The appearance of many of the extras (Kagami's classmates, Yutaka and her own classmates) at the opening sequence ever since the first episode. Namely, many people wondered what's with the emotionless green-haired girl performing her cheerleading routines along with the other characters before even having any idea of who Minami was.
Ending Theme: Subverted — the endings for the first half of the series are the characters singing karaoke for the themes to other series. The second half consist of live-actiona-cappella karaoke from Minoru (and in episode 16, Hiromi Konno)...
Expy: Meito "Anime Tenchou" Anisawa may be an expy of Gai Daigoji from Martian Successor Nadesico: both share the love for flamboyant, over-the-top mannerisms and, of course, anime. Not to mention that both a voiced by Tomokazu Seki. The Other Wiki, however, also suggests that he may be related to Domon Kasshu from G Gundam, which is explicitly lampshaded in episode 17, not to mention both of them are created by the same person.
Meito is actually the mascot of the An!mate (Animate) store chain. You can tell that he's voiced by Tomokazu Seki just by looking at him, and yes, he looks exactly like Domom Kasshu.
Considering that Anime Tenchou was created by Kazuhiko Shimamoto, the god of the humorous hot-bloodness, and that he has participated in G-Gundam's characters creation... Well you can see the relation...
The relationship of Minami and Yukata in the show is a straight Expy of Sakaki and Chiyo from Azumanga Daioh.
Eye Scream: Hiyori tries out contact lenses, and fellow Meganekko Miyuki is interested... until a breeze blows dust in Hiyori's eyes.
Fanservice: The series is very well known for its sheer abundance of the nonsexual variety. However, there have been complaints that too much of it revolves around Kyo Ani and their associates. The other variety shows up occasionally, but even the requisite Furo Scene is rather clean.
Freeze-Frame Bonus: Hiyori's first appearance in the anime is actually in episode 12, right before the Animate employees ask Konata what she thinks of their book.
Freudian Slip: Hiyori Tamura (yuri fangirl) refers to herself as uke when discussing dodge ball positions before quickly correcting herself to "defender".
Innocent Innuendo: Uke is actually the common martial arts term for the defender in sparing. It's use in yaoi is much more obscure and noticing the innuendo is more revealing then just ignoring it.
Frothy Mugs of Water: In the Lucky Channel of episode 16, we have seen Akira, supposedly a ninth grader, ordering some "brown stuff" in the karaoke. Although her drinking that was only a sound effect, its effects was unmistakeably alcoholic...
Funny Background Event: There are tons, but one funny event is in Episode 13, the Valentine episode. A few seconds before cutting to the main characters, we see one boy hand chocolates to another boy, who gets shocked-expression-lines. Later, we see them walking together and talking about it being the chocolate-hander's first time.
Generic Cuteness: In the manga, the "Tsundere ought to have pigtails" line was, if Kagami cut her pigtails, she would look "utterly forgettable." This explained why Kagami answered "Sorry that I look so boring!"
Could apply to the entire case since Kagami and Tsukasa are described as being "plain." Also, most would agree Ms. Kuroi seems to be much more attractive than Narumi, who has a husband, but have trouble finding a husband. This could be explain by 4 things: 1) Her standards are too high, 2) Her personality, 3) The fact that she spends most of her free time playing MMO RPG games, or 4) Her looks are due to Generic Cuteness.
Girls Are Really Scared of Horror Movies: Subverted. Only Tsukasa is particularly shown to be, while Konata and Kagami are shown to actively enjoy being scared by it. Tsukasa tells Miyuki later on that she only watches because she doesn't have a choice, though this is most likely her not wanting to be rude and just going along with things, rather than anyone actively forcing her to.
Give Him a Normal Life: Of course Soujiro and Kanata were not superheroes, but Kanata said exactly that after she gave birth to Konata. She didn't want Konata to inherit her body and his personality— but, well, we know it turned out to be the opposite of what she wanted...
Giving Up the Ghost: Konata gives hers up after gaming for 3 days straight in episode 15. In the next scene, Miss Kuroi gives hers up after rushing to class so she wasn't late, then hurriedly telling the class to shift gears out of summer vacation and back to focusing on the start of the school year. She wasn't prepared herself.
Hiyori Tamura does this after pulling off an all-nighter to meet her manga submission deadline.
The Glomp: Konata imagines glomping a guy one episode.
Go Out with a Smile: Kanata in the manga is shown to be bearing an angelically sweet smile as she went to heaven. And right after that...
Soujirou: I wish I can also die this way.
Konata: But what kind of death would come with a smile?
Gratuitous English: It's used straight sometimes, but more notable is the opening theme, which tends to keep a Gratuitous English-like tone and contents even when, as for most of the lines, it's in Japanese.
A minor example was that the manga author thought Patricia's name should be spelt "Patoricia."
Hair Colors: Sort of lampshaded in the beach episode: Miyuki explains how the combination of salt and sunlight can bleach hair, turning it light brown. This coming from a pink-haired character addressing blue and purple-haired ones.
Hatsuyume: Miyuki points out that the list follows on with a fan, tobacco, and a blind man. Konata wonders who dreams about these sorts of things anyway, what sort of dream will include all these elements, and how many people remember what they dream about that clearly.
Heroism Incentive: Konata's father offered her video game systems depending on the rank of school she got into.
Patricia pulls this tactic out when dealing with Konata as well. Konata had heard about Patricia's cheerleading request in advance, and was going to politely turn her down. But before Konata could do so, Patricia informs her that she has a rare ticket to see Aya Hirano perform, and what was it that Konata was going to say?
Soujiro x Nanako and Minoru x Akira have a following.
One could possibly ship Tsukasa and Minoru, especially after Minoru's ED song "Kaorin no Theme" (Kaori(n) Fukuhara is Tsukasa's seiyuu). Then again, seeing Tsukasa's reaction to "Sebasatian" in one of his few in-show appearances...
Then Minoru did a second song called "Emirin no Theme". Emiri(n) Katou is Kagami's seiyuu.
Every single character has shown interest in the opposite sex though, in fact the only characters who shown interest in the same sex are the three otaku girls and Kagami in the OVA.
Inexplicably Identical Individuals: Voice of the cake restaurant waitress/Comiket vendor/Kyoto tour guide/etc. Sounds odd and a bit unnerving that all these people would have the same husky middle-aged woman's voice. You might recognize that voice as Orochimaru's seiyuu, Kujira. The dub does one better by having most of them be voiced by a male, though it isn't Steve Blum... but Derek Stephen Prince, who does Shino. And even better: at one point, you see six of the very same middle-aged woman at once!
Love Letter Lunacy: During the trip to Kyoto, Kagami turns the episode from a comedic to a poignant one when she receives a letter from what she believes is a secret crush. Turns out the guy just wanted a trinket that would be embarrasing to ask for in public. It crushes her spirits, but leads to one of her most heartwarming moments in the show.
Medium Awareness: In the OVA's Lucky Channel, Akira points out the credits in the middle of the screen.
The series theme song is also hummed by Tsukasa during the Beach Episode, and the final scene of the anime is the girls performing the same cheerleader routine they did in the opening, to the theme song.
Miko: Tsukasa, Kagami and their two older sisters. Pretty much inevitable given that their father is a Shinto priest.
Mood Whiplash: While Episode 22 is by far the most notable case of this, this actually happens quite often throughout the series. Konata herself seems to love invoking this trope (it's unclear, perhaps deliberately so, whether or not it's intentional on her part).
And the 24 style presentation of Sou, Yui and Yukata preparing for Konata's birthday.
Mutual Envy: The Huge Schoolgirl Minori envies her best friend Yutaka for being small and cute, all the while Yutaka envies Minori for being tall and cool.
N-Word Privileges: The word otaku is considered degrading in Japan, so in Japanese manga or anime, that word is avoided unless if it's an otaku (Konata, Hiyori etc.) who said it. However, the word is no longer considered degrading outside of Japan, and the Kadokawa-Bandai dub uses the word as much as needed.
No Fourth Wall: Konata tends to make asides about Tsukasa to the audience.
No Hugging, No Kissing (This is the best way to describe the romance in this show, as confirmed by Word of God. The Les Yay are very subtle at best and any more than that is in the heads of the fanboys (or fangirls). The closest thing to hints of romance is the Lap Pillow scene between Yutaka and Minami. There's the tease confession scene between Kagami and a nameless boy, but considering Kagami's change in behavior after receiving the supposed "love letter" is safe to assume she was hesitant if accept the boy or reject him for Konata.
One of the more subtle examples is Kagami worrying that it would be problematic if her pet goldfish came back in human form as a wife beater, a reference to the anime Angel Tales.
Arguably, subverted in the games (at least the PS2 version).
No Theme Tune: Subverted in the last episode, it starts out without one but all the girls perform it near the end.
Played straight for Miyakawa Ke no Kuufuku, where we only see a similar opening shot to that of the main show's while Hikage's class says "All assembled". Likely justified, considering that the ending theme for each episode is cut short due to an in-universe shoestring budget courtesy of how much money Hinata blows on all her otaku bullshit.
Noodle Incident: Frequently we hear only the tail end of a humorous story, usually ending with "It stunk, didn't it?"
Probably talking about kuso— literally "shit," but meant parody in East Asian Internet culture.
Episode 20 had a scene where Hiyori said "...but I got confused and I was stuck for 3 hours". Stuck where?
Older Than They Look: Puni Plush made every teen and adult to fall in this except Soujiro. And the extreme cases of this fell on the women around Soujiro: his late wife Kanata was 1.43m, his 17-18 year-old daughter Konata is 1.42m, and his live-in niece Yutaka is 1.38m. Being Genre Savvy, Konata wondered if Soujiro has a case of Lolicon, and knew she and Yutaka would certainly be Fetish Fuel for other lolicon.
Only Six Faces: One strip lampshades this: Hiyori's uncle read the doujinshi she drew, and while he had no problem on the content, he complained about everyone looking the same. Then Hiyori asked Kou: "Isn't Tsurime Eyes and Tareme Eyes different enough already!?"
Out of Focus: Miyuki slipped out throughout the anime's run (see the Character Sheet). In subsequent manga episodes (the anime only got up to Volume 4), the four main girls themselves have actually gone out, since they have graduated in 2008 and went to separate colleges, with only Konata and Misao going to the same school. The focus in 2010 has more been on a New Generation as well as health teacher Hikaru Sakuraba and school nurse Fuyuki Amahara (Hikaru only made a cameo appearance in the last TV episode of the anime).
Parental Hypocrisy: An example with a teacher rather than a parent. Kuroi Sensei plays the same online game as Konata, and has been into MMORPGs since before she was Konata's age, but she tells Konata off for doing that very thing, and uses in-game chat to remind her to do her homework.
Didn't Kagami call back Konata and say something like "Twins can have different bloodtypes and Konata was right", at least in anime version?
Pervert Dad: Though he tends to at least attempt to keep focus on Konata's classmates instead of his own daughter. He does like taking pictures though...
Phenotype Stereotype: Patricia Martin, who has the orange (presumably intended to be reddish-blonde) hair and blue eyes compared to the rainbow spectrum that is the rest of the cast. She's also one of the taller cast members, as well as one of the more, er, prominent.
Curiously enough, Kagami's classmate Ayano has hair a slighty darker shade of orange, and Kuroi-sensei is actually blonde and green-eyed.
Playing Sick: Konata used this, among with others, to skip from school.
Which turned into a case of Crying Wolf when she did get sick.
Porn Stash: Discussed like everything. Konata said her father does not peek into her communication records since he knew what happened when "people peeps into his D: drive."
It's also made fun of in the episode where the Hiiragi twins sleep over at the Izumi residence: Kagami looks at Konata's closet, insinuating that this must be where she keeps hers. Konata responds that since she shares that stuff with her dad, he handles storage.
Product Placement: Works published by its publisher Kadokawa Shoten kept appearing in the series. The appearance of Animate and Gamers references was not coincidental; some of the series' strips were published in the in-store magazines of the said chains.
Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: The Hiiragi sisters Inori, Matsuri, Kagami and Tsukasa were all Shinto-related, meaning "prayer," "festival," "mirror" and "priest" respectively. (The mirror's religious significance in Shinto is adequately explained by Kagami herself.) Justified, since their father is a Shinto priest.
Retcon: In manga vol. 7, Patricia Martin is introduced as a new character, ignoring all of her previous appearances.
Patty had mostly been an Omake-only character before.
Shout-Out: Too many to count. One particularly notable one is Konata's gift to Kagami in the fourth episode of the anime: a red armband that reads Brigade Chief. Kagami is confused when she receives it, and says that it would look better on Konata instead; considering Konata's voice actress is none other than Aya Hirano, the same seiyuu who played Haruhi, this little exchange becomes both brilliant and hilarious.
...And guess what Konata's costume is at her cosplay cafe? Haruhi, which again is hilarious since Aya changes her voice to be perfect for the role.
Sibling Yin-Yang: Yui and Yutakalampshaded by Konata in front of Yutaka, saying one sibling "absorbs" attributes from the other. When Yutaka mentioned that to Minami, Minami wondered if Miyuki absorbed something else from her, since the two were pretty close and often acted like siblings...
Stupid Statement Dance Mix (Something about the cute voices makes this preposterously easy. As such, stupid statement dance mixes amount to roughly 87% of the show's total Memetic Mutation. And it doesn't help that most of the character song singles come with official ones — Kanata and Soujiro's CD avoided this and were given a duet instead.)
The opening thems song "Motteke Sailor Fuku" itself has about a dozen or so official remix versions ranging in every form of techno, electro, trance, and house music you can think of. Also, Minoru Shiraishi too.
Hiyori is a Yuri Fan / artist, though it's apparently nonsexual for her.
Some people assume that Konata and Kagami, despite the personality clash, may secretly be these. Konata playfully flirting with Kagami and Tsukasa after a Marimite session doesn't exactly help her case. Don't forget Kagami's Freudian Slip in the OVA. Word of God says either Konata or Kagami has an unrequited crush on the other, without specifying whom. Konata has said she's not a lesbian, which implies that she might simply be bisexual.
Yutaka and Minami are even more blatant, even after you remove all the parts of the show that were viewed through Hiyori's Yuri Goggles. Konata remarked on this a couple times, though it's not entirely clear if she's joking or serious.
Two-Teacher School (Actually a One Teacher School in anime. Hikaru from manga's Lucky Channel later ascended to be Kagami's class teacher.)
Understatement: In one strip in manga vol. 6, Minami's clothes are scuffed up, and when asked about it states that she "took a notable spill." In the next strip, the "notable spill" turns out to have been saving a little boy from being caught in a traffic accident.
Vitriolic Best Buds: Konata and Kagami can be quite vicious to each other, although they'd probably happily donate every organ in their body to the other if the need arose.
Weddings in Japan: One discussion revolves around the religious complexity of a Miko wanting to have a Western-style wedding dress and ceremony.
Miyuki, who is (physically and mentally) more mature than the rest of the characters, was often mistook as much older than they were. Lately, this has became her Berserk Button, especially when her mother Yukari is taken to be younger than Miyuki herself.