Important Importables: Lucky Star

January 8, 2011 - 3:00 am No Comments

Hot Japanese Imports: Lucky Star

Section: Exclusives, Originals, Features, Columns, Japanese Imports, Consoles, PS2, Handhelds, DS & DSi & DSi XL, PSP & PSPgo, Gear, Comics-and-Graphic-Novels, Ads & Media, TV, Home Video, Genres, 2D, Adventure, Educational

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Lucky Star manga vol 1 らき☆すた
Let’s start out the new year right! Let’s get hooked on a manga series. After all, it’s going to be a few weeks before first few major released of 2011 start showing up. So kick back with a classic anime and manga.

Today in Hot Japanese Imports we’re going to look at Lucky Star. It’s a good starter manga for gamers who like comics, but aren’t sure if they’re ready for the commitment a standard manga series or anime may require. It’s falls into the slice-of-life genre, which means it chronicles the everyday life of its main characters. And since the main character of Lucky Star happens to be an otaku, there may be a fandom cameo you’ll recognize.

What’s Lucky Star?

Lucky Star, often seen as Lucky ☆Star, began as a manga series by Kagami Yoshimizu. It is a character-driven, four koma series where each comic was almost always four panels long and deals with everyday life. Sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s not. Most of the time, it’s slightly nerdy. That’s because of it’s star, Konata Izumi. She’s an athletic otaku who loves video games, anime and manga. (Some of her favorites are adult gal games.)

When the Lucky Star manga first began, it focused mainly on Konata and her friends, Kagami and Tsukasa Hiiragi and Miyuki Takara. Since time does pass in the manga though, they don’t always remain the stars. As they get older and graduate high school, a number of other students show up as supporting characters, like Konata’s cousin, Yutaka, Minami Iwasaki, Patricia Martin and Hiyori Tamura. The series still retains its casual feeling and geeky humor though, since all of the girls tend to have some kind of interest in manga, anime, music or games.

About three years after the Lucky Star manga debuted in 2004, an anime was released. It could be considered similar to the Azumanga Daioh anime, as it combines multiple situations found in the original manga into 24 episodes that show Konata, Kagami, Tsukasa and Miyuki’s daily life. What made it really unique was the fact that each episode of the Lucky Star anime had a different ending theme song, which has the girls doing a karaoke rendition of a theme song from another anime series. There was also an OVA released in 2008 that had six unique and original stories starring the four main Lucky Star girls.

Lucky Star Ryouou Gakuen Outousai PS2 らき☆すた

Lucky Star games

Given how often the cast of Lucky Star talks about games in both the manga and anime, it’s a given that actual video games were inspired by the series. The thing is, the games aren’t exactly what you’d expect from a comic series about fangirls. If you were hoping for a simulation, platformer or perhaps even a fighting game, then keep hoping. You get visual novels and trivia games instead.

Lucky Star: Ryouou Gakuen Outousai is a visual novel adventure game that originally appeared on the PS2 in January, 2008. It was so popular that, almost three years later, it was ported to the PSP in December, 2010. Players step into the shoes of an original male character who has just enrolled at Ryouou Gakuen. A festival is coming up, and you get to help make it great with all of the character from the Lucky Star manga and anime. It also features a new original female lead, Yamato Nagamori.

The other two Lucky Star games are both for the DS, and are both edutainment games with the Lucky Star girls acting as, well, mascots. Lucky Star: Moe Drill first debuted in December, 2005, and did so well that Shin Lucky Star Moe Drill: Tabidachi, the sequel, was released two years later in May, 2007. Both games do have a story mode where players work with one of the main characters and hopefully do their best on math, memory and vocabulary tests. The second game worked with the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection so players could team up together to breeze through quizzes. Think of it as Brain Age for otakus.

COMING NEXT WEEK: Hot Japanese Imports looks at some 2011 import games to look forward to.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week listed the top 20 import games released in 2010.

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Full Story » | Written by Jenni Lada for Gamertell. | Comment on this Article »

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