After the disappointing fifth volume in “Lucky Star,” I really hoped for a good wrap-up for this series. After all, “Lucky Star” is one of the most educational series about Japan for Americans.
And thankfully, “Lucky Star” wraps up with far more exciting end-of-high school activities in episodes 21-23 and a stylish cheerleading routine in episode 24.
Considering that “Lucky Star” was more of a mix-up of jokes compared to Azumanga Daioh, volume six is much more neatly organized from episode 21 to 24. There’s still the same mixed bag of anime jokes with some dramatic side stories, but each episode has a unique theme to it in volume six.
In episode 21, Kuroi-sensei announces that her senior class will be taking a field trip to Kyoto. The episode opens with a fascinating look at the Buddhist temples. In the middle of the trip, Kagami receives a letter from a boy to meet at a bus stop in the middle of the night. It’s an emotional, but surprisingly realistic side story for the series. And thankfully, Konata makes sure to cheer up Kagami from her melancholy mood.
However, the series also features a touching spiritual reunion with Konata’s mother. Or rather, the ghost of Konata’s mother. Konata (with an “o”) actually spends some special time talking with her father about her mother, who died a few years after Konata was born. And then the ghost of Konata’s mother appears in the room. Even though Konata cannot see her, this is a very heartwarming episode where her mother checks up on how her daughter is doing.
Some of the best jokes of “Lucky Star” take place in episode 23. Konata, the most observant high schooler, actually catches on to the secrets of her little cousin’s friends. It’s a little too embarassing for the cute cousin, Yutaka, to read the explicit manga drawn by her friends, or to hear from Konata that Minami secretly hopes to grow bigger breasts. But thankfully, Yutaka doesn’t seem to mind, and they actually become far better friends thanks to Konata.
The humorous “Lucky Channel” segment of the series also takes a dark turn when Minoru Shiraishi arrives on the set with his body scratched up and his clothes tattered. Turns out he was getting water from Mount Fuji for the selfish host Akira Kogami. From then on, Minoru Shiraishi yells that he’s so tired of working with Akira, picks a violent fight with her and rips apart the “Lucky Channel” set in his rage.
Now that’s edgy stuff that we will never see in the “Animaniacs” show. But it’s probably the funniest turn for “Lucky Channel,” in which the audience is left wondering whether Minoru and Akira will even have a job when the series is over.
However, probably the best episode is episode 24, also known as the infamous episode with the full cheerleading routine of the “Lucky Star” girls. Sure, it’s really just an excuse for cosplay fangirls to perform the same dance routine at anime conventions. But it looks great, and it sounds oh so irresistably nonsensical. And surprisingly, the serious, studious Kagami is really hyped about the cheerleading dance.
It’s a tearful but wonderful farewell to one of the best slice-of-life anime series I have ever seen. Certainly it’s a little more based on down-to-earth everyday life than most anime, but this is exactly what makes “Lucky Star” so special. It’s a simple anime about schoolgirls who love talking about anime and manga, without magical powers or flashy special effects.
It still doesn’t beat out the cute everyday humor of “Azumanga Daioh,” but volume six of “Lucky Star” is a definite must-buy, with some of the most heartfelt moments of the series.
Image courtesy of kurogane.animeblogger.net