4/24/2007

Lucky Star 3 (vaguely)- Cherrrrrrrrrry pieeeeeeeeee

What is eternity doing tonight? has become Mega Megane Moé. For the latest posts, please change your links accordingly.

Yup, it's official Lucky Star Post(tm) time. Like many others I found myself attracted to this series by the alluring Kyoto Animation label. While about five lightyears off course from the previous Haruhi and Key works that I'd come to love KyoAni for, a light-hearted anime seemed like a good change of course and, besides, there wasn't much else to watch.

So, do I like Lucky Star? Is it the greatest slice of life insanity since Azumanga Daioh? Should KyoAni be left to burn in the lowest depths of hell for producing this trash?

I find myself rather lonely in the middle, between the people who denounce this alternatively as fluff or 'not Haruhi 2/Clannad' and the ones who rave over the waterfall of moe. It's a good show for watching during downtime, when you just want to unwind and watch some light stuff rather than Air something that will leave you an emotional wreck. It has its funny moments and the cute moments.

Yet it's nothing that will make you break out in laughter. The topics average in at decent (although, I must say, the food conversation in Episode 1 probably turned many people off), and although I never really cracked up at any of the lines I found myself with a nice smirk for a lot of it.

I think the main problem with Lucky Star is that it's produced by KyoAni. If it was made by any other studio I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be forced into all the comparisons to the Haruhi and the Kanon and all. KyoAni has built up a huge reputation for it's stunning art and perhaps plot skills that sets the bar for all following anime, and that hurts Lucky Star, which is a far departure from the previous works of KyoAni; mind you, not in a bad way.

There's not a whole lot special about Lucky Star at the moment that makes it Top Tier, for me, but I will continue to watch it. Perhaps a little rabidly.

Right about now would be where I launch into a plot summary of this week's Lucky Star episode. But, what's the point? This is Lucky Star we're talking about here. There is no coherent plot, rather a bunch of unconnected scenes strung together in no orderly manner - or at least with no transitions anyway; I have no doubt that the original 4-komas were the same (these are comic strips we're talking about here).

So I've opted for an alternative discussion: a bit o' character speculation. With 4 overly, ungodly moe heroines to this story, who's going to be the fan favorite? Time to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of main characters in...

KyoAni's Next Nagato/Nayuki
And by that I mean the next (moe) character that's ridiculously popular with the fanbase - usually not the central character to the story. And by ridiculously popular, I'm making educated guesses based off the Megatokyo forums and, um, me.

4) Tsukasa Hiiragi: The normal moe

In the process of ranking, I found that picking a last is as hard as picking a first. Maybe it's just because 3 episodes doesn't give me enough time to find someone to hate, or because, well, all these characters are just designed to be annoyingly adorable.


That said, Tsukasa doesn't stand out from the crowd, as she says so herself. She's a rather average girl that comes the closest to the 'clueless naive girl' in this anime. She especially has been marked as the dim bulb in the crowd, especially with the Golden Week saga in episode 2.


This is probably one of her strong points for fanpeoples also, as her cluelessness and clueless look can be really adorable at times, and if you're the type that likes to be superior in knowledge to others, Tsukasa's a pretty low hurdle to jump.


Not to mention the bonus points merited from the ponytail effect.

3) Kagami Hiiragi: The counter-moe

Kagami can be described in fanboy terms as the 'least attractive' of the four main characters here, not in appearance but in character.


This is because she's got what can be described as a bit of an attitude, as opposed to the rather humble Miyuki and the naive Tsukasa. Konata sums it up quite well in the picture above in stating Kagami's not "cut out for cute style."


But this may be what gives Kagami the edge over Tsukasa for 3rd as she appeals to those who like their girls to have a bit of a backbone. Her wit isn't too bad either as in episode 3 where she logic's Konata into a corner over the legality of copying homework (above screenshot); although, arguably, her intelligence can leave a bit to be desired - but that goes for many in this anime.

Kagami will likely get her most appeal out of the tsundere attitude that she seems to assume.

But overall, picking Kagami over Tsukasa or vice versa can be a moot point as most people would rather take the twin package over one individually. Fandom has no shame.

2) Miyuki Takara: The ideal moe

As Konata professes, Miyuki pretty much is the definition of moe. If you had a list of moe options and checked off all the boxes, you'd get Miyuki: Super Moe LE Special Edition Type-R.


List 'em up: We've got clumsy, forgetful, smart (meganekko will be a huge draw), cute, well-proportioned (she is supposedly the largest character in Lucky Star, although the art doesn't seem to emphasize this point), shy, modest, kind, and, uh, pink-haired. What's not to like?

Why does she lose out to Konata?

Mostly this cannot be attributed to any fault of her own. Many fanpeoples, myself included, will find Miyuki to be Number One for any number of reasons.

But, perhaps this perfect amalgamation of characteristics can serve as a detriment too - the anti-faction can find faults from these same characteristics, in the same way people don't like Lucky Star not because of what is it, but what it isn't (Haruhi).

Overall, however, Miyuki loses out in fandom for not being Konata, for Konata is...

1) Konata Izumi: Fourth wall moe


If Miyuki is the definition of moe, Konata is the definition of those who pursue moe. She appeals to the otaku in nearly every fan, being an avid anime-watcher and gamer.


She shares many of the characteristics that these people would have, including a general dislike of work (hello, Golden Week procrastination) and an obsession with collecting things, so on so forth. Girl gamers are a rare breed and so they are pounced on. Rabidly.


Konata's awareness of moe also allows her to broaden her own moe horizons, in a way. Her knowledge of dating sim tropes (see screenshot), among others, may be attractive in a way to people who know much more about anime and games than more mundane subjects, such as math and science. Indeed, her conversations with the less enlightened in Lucky Star (i.e. the other 3) about moe and anime and collecting certainly are amusing.


And plus, despite being a horrible procrastinator, she's actually pretty bright too - cramming pays off for one person at least.

Otaku-ness, brightness, and sharp wit aside, there is one final factor that makes Konata perfect for fans: her height. Let me spell it out: L-O-L-I-C-O-N.

And that is what matters in the serious business of the Internet.

-CCY

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