6/03/2007

Track & Field Lucky Star 8

What is eternity doing tonight? has become Mega Megane Moé. For the latest posts, please change your links accordingly. It's still a good series, but it's beginning to feel like more of the same.

Maybe that's the issue with slice-of-life/school days stories, in that since there's not a lot of plot or exposition, it's mostly a lot of the same gags used before, in subtly different ways. You can Konata being a video game geek or an anime geek, at school or at home, but it's still the same thing.

Maybe I'm just spoiled though, from all the series I've been watching/blogging that feature extensive character/plot development, such as Kanon, Shuffle!, pretty much every eroge anime in existence, and, uh, Haruhi.

Still, it seems that, despite all my complaining, if the next episode of Lucky Star featured a solid 24 minutes of nothing but Tsukasa knocking over hurdles, I'd probably watch it and love it anyway. Tsukasa seems to be my halo character for Lucky Star; much like Yuki from Haruhi or Mai from Kanon, the second they pop up on screen I get this big smile and fanboy like there's no tommorow.

lol, fanboys, gtfo noob.

Anyway, so, episode 8! The athletic meet is the big star of the episode, making up the main block before the first eyecatch. We've also got some more Hiiragi sister dynamics, Konata going Lucky Channel on Kagami, and, uh, Lucky Channel itself. Hit the jump for a boatload of screenshots (79 of them!) and, y'know, text.


WTF a guy!? Konata's father shows up on camera, for the first time (facing the camera, anyway), and talks about getting great shots of his 'daughter'. Which, incidentally, for a lolipedofin, is pretty much all the daughters out there. Meanwhile, Konata stays at home and is amused.


The athletic meet apparently takes place over many days as the next scene as the girls - minus Miyuki, who gets no love (isn't it sad?) - walk around school and discuss things, which as always leads to Konata connecting everything to Kagami's 'lovesickness'. This has to be the ren'ai games at work here.


Speaking of. Bipolar - a.k.a tsundere (I think Konata actually uses that phrase) equals twin pigtails? I can't think of many examples of it, aside from Kagami. Just thinking of the Type-Moon characters, I've never played Fate/Stay Night, but I've heard Rin was one of that type, and the hair fits. But Akiha from Tsukihime keeps her hair down, so...point negated?


For some reason this scene also screams of Azumanga Daioh, because of 1) the bread eating contest (also depicted later), and 2) the scavenger hunt where Konata never knew what she was being picked for. I don't think she'd be an idiot, as per the original scene. Find a loli? Also, for the bread thing, how common is that? Somehow it's missing from American track meets, I wonder how popular it is on that side of the ocean.



Naive Tsukasa, take 1. I hope to get up to take 50 by the end of this episode. Also, Konata points out that Miyuki has breasts and a butt, one thing that we haven't quite noticed; plus, first time Miyuki really looks shocked? It's the art style, depriving those poor fanservice-depraved people. And that's why you convert to moe, kids.

Do Miyuki's looks really befit her personality, anyway? Usually the rich girls aren't very developed (see: Akiha), and the shy, reserved girls usually don't have it; or don't flaunt it, anyway (see, but also perhaps exception: Nerine). Not that I'm checking. I like cute Miyuki better.



Here, have some proof. This is capped from the scene where Konata actually goes and asks Miyuki about why she would get picked for a scavenger race. As Konata puts it quite nicely in prodding the fourth wall, when in doubt, ask Miyuki.


Who comes up with a semi-plausible but not really solution which dodges the situation, and creates a nice out-of-context screenshot. Fighting game Miyuki? Sounds like a plan. Hey, if they can get Akiko and the Kanon cast into a fighter, Lucky Star just could work too.

Continuing the off-topic and the posing of a million questions, were there ever Haruhi or Shuffle! doujin fighters? I'd like to try that.


It's never a good season to study for tests, Miyuki. It's just like the smart girl to steer the subject towards testing in a mostly irrelevant conversation.



Once again the topic of reality in fiction is touched upon, which I find pretty amusing. For example, if we started talking about reality in Kanon, it'd be a lot different than reality in real life or in many other anime for that matter. A girl with an ordinary life and no troubles at all? Come on, what does this look like to you, Earth?


Token Yui scene? I rank Yui up there with Miyuki in the 'meganekkos who need more screen time' category. She seems to be almost like a Tsukasa Lite, at least in this screenshot.


Meanwhile, we have the crazy overcompetitive Nanako-sensei in another scene, urging the class to beat the crap out of the other team in the upcoming festival. Also, this spurs Konata to make remarks about the true gender of the cast. (but not really.)


And now for the sports festival, round two! Complete with Konata's father's extremely high-res (and by high-res, I mean huge and well-drawn) camera. Mayumi and Tomoyo would be proud.


First up is Kagami in the bread eating contest. Konata as always messes with her mind, cueing up the Marimite reference from an episode ago. As for the event itself, Kagami is overenthusiastic as always and topples over the entire bread-hanging-equipment-thingy. The Shocked Tsukasa Face(tm) ensues.



Konata's 100-meter dash is next, and she talks about visualizing something while running. As such, we get a brilliant Track & Field reference. To be honest, I'm not old enough to be supposed to get it, but luckily the video game heritage comes to the rescue. We also get to see 3 techniques to "mash the button as hard as possible". I've never seen the ruler one before, and the penny one I've only tried with a pen. I found, for at least the Gamecube controller (since Mario Party is the king of annoying button mashing), using two thumbs on the A button works suprisingly well.


Konata wins. I think. Now what I really wish is that every time I hear "Goal" in anime that I don't immediately think of AIR. *starts weeping*



Intermission, with Random Girl (from the intro, supposedly). Kagami gets two events, with the long jump as well, which, in typical Hiiragi fashion, goes very clumsily.

Why do I say Hiiragi fashion? Let's flip over to Tsukasa's hurdle race:

Yup.

Speaking of the hurdle race, it's time for your weekly Faces of Tsukasa Hiiragi Stop Action 56K-Killer!

All the 1-2-3-ing is part of Miyuki's simple tactic for staying on pace and rhythm. Step one, step two, jump! Step one, step two, jump!


Of course, while she's concentrating so hard the starting gun goes off and the strategy goes out the window.



Much hurdle abuse follows. How hard is it to count to three, you ask? Very hard. I take Calculus, I should know. (true story: the further you get, the more you forget. "OMG WTF I've been doing this problem for half an hour and I can't get the answer to match up!!one!1!" "...three times two isn't five, it's six." "...oshi~")


In conclusion, no Lucky Star dominance of the track meet today.

Miyuki's the final event in the sports event (note how many different ways I can name it), with the team relay. And you see this? This is awesome.

(THIS IS LUCKY STAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR) It's badass competitive Miyuki, complete with the eurobeat energetic music from Episode 6's Initial D parody.


Some funny cheering faces and poses from the rest of the crowd. Note that there are actual people in the background this time.


And get this: we've got a right Nayuki Minase on our hands. Miyuki takes the team from last (or at least 4th) to the win, sprinting the whole way - and in true Nayuki fashion, by a cup size as well. Miyuki awesome++.


Konata sticks in another fourth wall quote, since I'm too prude to stick in a screencap of Miyuki winning by a chest.

Eyecatch; and we now turn to the Hiiragi sisters at home.

Tsukasa fails at music (which, speaking as the only not-musical person I know, is awesome++), which really annoys - and strangely enough, worries - Kagami, who is forced to intervene.


See, look, it's worried Kagami. Isn't it scary? It must be, as Yukito puts it, the sister complex.


Most people look at this scene and see Ayu. I look at this scene and see Tsukasa devolving in years as we speak. Seriously, she could be 10 in this shot and I wouldn't doubt it. Why is it that anime girls are always so short? They're all about the height of armrests, speaking as a tall white guy. We're not scared of tall people. Really.









Tsukasa Stop-Motion, take 2. Her playing improves, but she seems to be lacking a bit of oxygen, as she looks a bit more frazzled every time she comes up for air. (note that even her hairband gets all wrinkly) Another great Tsukasa scene.

P.S. If you saw any bit of innuendo in that scene, please take yourself to the nearest cliff and leap. I won't take any of it.

Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to, uh, go out for a bit, and, uh, go fling myself into the, uh, Pacific Ocean. (as you can tell, I like my anime more cute than fanservicey)


The lunch lines are huge in the Lucky Star School, and actually filled with - once again - actual people.


The girls discuss the horrors of long lines, whether it's Miyuki who accidentally lined up for the bathroom (must be single occupancy), Tsukasa who found out they were all out when she reached the front, or Konata who makes more anime con references.


Incidentally, as you may have guessed, both Miyuki's and Tsukasa's mistakes come to pass once again. Hehehe.


I have no idea of the context of this screenshot anymore but I like the combination of Konata's and Kagami's faces.


The same goes here, as Kagami mentally denies her sister complex after Tsukasa unwittingly (is there any other state of mind for her?) refutes one of Kagami's comments.




Cute meter, through the roof, go. Now. Tsukasa imagines being the older sister, instead of the clumsy imouto. Shiny dream sequence ensues as Imouto Kagami begs her sister Tsukasa for help.



Meanwhile, Epic Konata. I say that both in terms of in-character and scene. Konata's enthusiasm over getting her letter published (which actually happened, or so it's said, just to be annoyingly fourth-wall-breaking) is very amusing in the dramatic poses of this scene (and the switch to Kagami's WTF look.)


Not to mention a sort of Lucky Channel-esque Konata, who goes all gloomy when Kagami fails to react, and then turns hyper again when she does. By the way, one more thing to look forward to buying? I wish I had the kind of cash flow to justify something like that. Maybe I need a job at a maid cafe too then. XD


This sequence is a bit predictable, in that the opposite is of course true, but Konata buys a volume of the Shuffle! manga (one she already owns, as the gag turns out), so it's all good. Who is that under Nerine on that cover anyway? It's hard to tell. I'm betting Lico, but it could be Rimu as well. It almost looks like Tsukasa, strangely.


Here's a scene, which as Konata says, is ripped straight from a ren'ai game. They also mention how they thought it didn't happen in real life (or, real life in anime, again), but, clearly, it does. I like this idea. Time to fill up the backpack with keychains.

And, is that the return of girl-with-flower-in-hair from Kanon? The look isn't really the same, but that's the first thing I think of with that unique fashion statement. Although I'd imagine it's probably more common than I think.


RAKI CHANNNELLLLLUUUUUUU~ Amusing, if not predictable as always. Even Shiraishi admits the material is pretty overused.


And strangely, Shiraishi has boatloads of fanmail, as opposed to Akira's one, but not really, postcard. I wouldn't imagine this would be the case in Real Japan - there aren't a lot of big-name male singers as opposed to female idols, or so I've heard anyway. I know I've got like only one anime song sung by a guy on my music player anyway, as opposed to about 20 for the fairer gender.


Here's your ice-cold stare Akira, who mentions how replaceable Shiraishi is.


And your genki Akira. Ahhhhhh it's the >< onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_wffVHYrbC7s/RmLr7BD4sII/AAAAAAAABfY/0FsugTGwSVE/s1600-h/shot0176.png">
And your Tsukasa Akira, with Please-Don't-Kill-Me Shiraishi bonus. And that's the episode!

Who? Me? Running of time to post? Eheheh. Pictures are a thousand words, or whatever...


And as always, a completely ambiguous episode preview, with Miyuki narrating something random, while the other three girls walk, and uh, talk or something. Episode previews really are amusingly worthless in this genre.

-CCY

21 comments:

I believe the highlights of this episode were Tsukasa knocking over all the hurdles and Konata's dad being a l337 photographer.

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