Lucky Star The Complete Series is a three-disc set that includes all 24 episodes of the series, the OVA, and extras.
Lucky Star The Complete Series
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Release Date: May 14, 2019
The focus of Lucky Star is on four high school girls, and each one has a different personality. Konata Izumi is a lazy girl who spends most of her time watching anime, playing video games, and reading manga instead of doing her homework. Kagami Hiiragi is the studious one who has good grades but can also act more boyish and be a bit egotistical. Tsukasa Hiiragi is Kagami’s younger fraternal twin sister. She can be a bit of an airhead at times, but she’s good at cooking. Miyuki Takara is beautiful, smart, and comes from a wealthy family.
In the second half of the series, a group of younger girls is introduced to the cast. These additional characters include Konata’s younger cousin, Yutaka Kobayakawa, and some of Yutaka’s classmates. Yutaka’s older sister (a traffic cop) and one of the teachers at the school also serve as recurring characters. In addition to this, there is the “Lucky Channel” segments that appear the end of the episode, which is supposed be a television program hosted by idol Akira Kogami and her assistant, Minoru Shiraishi, that covers the Lucky Star franchise. Minoru also appears in the series as a classmate in Konata’s class. The character of Minoru is rather meta, though, since he is being portrayed as actually being the voice actor that provides his voice.
Lucky Star is a series that focuses a lot on “cute girls doing cute things,” but it intersperses various anime, manga, video game, and other otaku references in it as part of its humor. Overall, this series is lighthearted, but it can have its serious moments. The most “serious” this series got was in Episode 22, when we see the ghost of Konata’s mother popping in and checking up on her husband and daughter. The flashbacks were touching, and the humor was scaled back for this portion of the episode. I wish there had been more moments like this in Lucky Star.
When I watched this Blu-ray release for Lucky Star, it was my second time watching the series. I don’t know why, but I didn’t find the references in the series to be as amusing as when I saw them during my first viewing. Maybe it’s because I already knew they were there, so I didn’t have the element of surprise? When it comes to the various references, though, I’m sure there are still some things I didn’t pick up on. However, I know I saw visual references to The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Sgt. Frog, and Mobile Suit Gundam. There were also dialogue references to Pokemon and Code Geass that I picked up on.
Since Lucky Star is based off of a four-panel manga, it’s going to have the storytelling that accompanies that format. The first few episodes were a little rough, though, because it felt like there was no real overarching narrative for those episodes. Not only that, it was basically just the characters talking, and not really doing anything. Because of this, it just felt like these early episodes were jumping around from bit to bit with little to nothing to tie the vignettes together. After Yasuhiro Takemoto took over as director and found his footing, it felt more like there was an overarching narrative to the episodes that helped to tie the various vignettes together.
When I watched the OVA, I felt it was a step backward. The storytelling style returned to the more disjointed format of the early episodes, with nothing to tie anything together. For the ending credits, there was an extended live action piece that featured the voice actors for Akira and Minoru doing a “Lucky Channel” segment in character. Honestly, I felt it ran on for too long and lost its amusement value rather quickly.
Lucky Star isn’t bad for what it’s trying to do, but it’s only going to appeal to viewers who already enjoy vignettes done in a “moe” style.
This Blu-ray release has 1080i High Definition 16:9 (HD Native) video. The audio in the set includes Dolby TrueHD: English 2.0 and Dolby TrueHD: Japanese 2.0. I had no complaints about either the video or audio quality of this release.
There are a handful of extras on this release, in addition to the OVA. The first is “Lucky Racer: Checker Flag in Akihabara & Lucky Racer Highlight,” which is a short recap program for the live-action Lucky Racer cart-racing spin-off of Lucky Star. Minoru Shiraishi, along with some of the staff and voice cast of Lucky Star, competed in cart races for this spin-off. I hadn’t known about this prior to watching this feature, but this live-action cart-racing spin-off just felt a little… odd. I don’t really know how cart-racing fits in with Lucky Star, but it seemed like Shiraishi had fun doing this, though.
The next extra is “Radio Kansai’s Public Recording of ‘New Lucky Channel’.” This feature is a live recording with Minoru Shiraishi, Hiromi Konno (the voice actress for Akira Kogami), and another voice actress from the series. At one point, they have director Yasuhiro Takemoto on as a guest, and seeing him in this feature reminded me that we lost him in the Kyoto Animation Fire in 2019. Whenever I see him appear in bonus features now, it reminds me of that tragedy.
There is also an “On-Screen Text Reference Guide.” This is a slideshow that the viewer navigates through, and it provides translations for Japanese text that appears on the screen in some of the episodes. There was quite a bit from the OVA, thanks to the section where Konata, Kagami, Tsukasa, and their teacher are playing an online game and we see the game as its being played. There are also shots from other episodes that provide translations for what’s written on the chalkboard or on posters that are hung up on the wall. I like the idea of this bonus feature, but the English text on some of the slides could be a little hard to read.
The remaining extras in the set are the U.S. trailer for Lucky Star and trailers for other releases that FUNimation Entertainment was promoting at the time this Blu-ray set was released.
If you’re a fan of Lucky Star and want to add the series to your anime home video library, then this Blu-ray release would be the best way to acquire all of the television episodes and the OVA.
Additional post about Lucky Star: