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Lucky Star, Vol. 2

Review

Lucky Star, Vol. 2

Lucky Star is pretty different from a lot of the manga out there. Instead of having a central plot or nail-biting predicaments, it’s about the laid-back life of four high-school girls as they go about their lackadaisical lives. Much of the appeal lies in the quirky characters and their love for otaku things like anime, manga, and video games. (Otaku refers to someone obsessed with these things.) Otaku is usually used as a badge of self-pride, though sometimes it can be used as an insult, but, in the case of Lucky Star, it’s shown more as easygoing humor.

The very first page starts with Konata showing off her amazing sports abilities, then insisting she can’t join a sports team because she’ll miss her anime shows. She’s very matter-of-fact in this. It moves on to a semiheated discussion on how it’s best to eat a choco-cornet. Which side is the starting side? Lucky Star revels in pointlessness and making humor out of pointlessness. The back of the first volume describes it as a “leisure” read, and that’s a good way of putting it. It’s an unworried, carefree, and relaxed series.
 
Someone wanting a plot probably won’t find much use in this series. However, its success, and the success of the anime version, shows that many people find it charming. This seems to be especially true with people who consider themselves otaku. While otakudom is poked fun at, it’s also shown as an important way of life. More than once, Konata’s friends remark to her that if she put her concentration into studying instead of anime, manga, and video games, she’d really shine in school. That doesn’t mean she listens, and even if her study habits aren’t recommendable, they’re relatable to many people.
 
Each page consists of eight panels neatly lined up. They’re read downward, not sideways, and titles above each column make that easy to figure out. This is an unusual, though not unheard of, way to format a manga. While mostly in black and white, each volume gets a few colored pages mixed in there. The girls very much look like a stereotype of manga—huge eyes, unrealistic hair colors, and absolutely cartoony. They don’t look like real girls at all, and this seems to be the point. They look like the very anime and manga characters they can be so into.
 

Lucky Star has been a fairly big name in manga and anime the last few years. It offers up otaku jokes and accessible light reading as it travels along with four high-school girls and all their foibles and high jinks.

Reviewed by Danica Davidson on July 10, 2012

Lucky Star, Vol. 2
by Kagami Yoshimizu