Now I’ve become increasingly familiar with anime references, whether it be through personal experience having seen the show, or via screen-caps, memes and word of mouth. Lucky Star is a show that is jam-packed full of references, and in the case of sharing staff members who worked on Haruhi, can be very, very meta about it.
And it’s hilariously awesome when you get it. Even if there’s no joke, it’s the kind of reference that feels so welcome for both the show and the “learned” viewer. I may not get every reference on-screen, but that’s what makes the show so re-watchable, because you have a reason to keep coming back and get something new out of it.
However, there is one reference I’d like to draw specific attention to because it was executed in the perfect blatantly hyped way I’d want it to be, and that is the inclusion of the character Meito “Anime Tenchou, Jouji Gouda” Anizawa from the OVA Anime Tenchou. I’m an amateur appreciator in every way, but I will try to be clear in what I appreciate about this particular aspect in this episode. In the OVA Anizawa is portrayed as hot-blooded and highly energetic matched with a heavily stylized appearance and lively movements and poses. How does he appear in Lucky Star?
Just like how you’d want him to. His character does more than remain the same, as he has not wavered in his fiery passion and spirited enthusiasm as manager of the Animate shop. As soon as he sees Konata, a staunch devotee of her hobbies, with anime and manga being high priorities in her life, Anizawa bursts into action in the ardent and heavily stylized manner fitting of his character. This is very, very enjoyable for me. The animation itself is a whole lot of fun and has a very inventive flair to it within the context of the show. Lots of jumps and flair sweeps all combined with very fast and fluid animated action sequence that remains still very interesting and entertaining to me. The overall feel is zany, which makes it really stand out in a show like Lucky Star, but at the same perfectly fits in in that meta otaku way.
What’s more is how this says a bit about how much Konata frequents this store, with a subtle implication she knows the staff personally to such a degree that they’ve become informants intent on keeping Konata in the know on what they have in store, keeping within her interests, so that she is persuaded to spend more. Not that this is surprising in that Konata frequents these stores so often, but that she has an intimate relationship with the clerks to the extent that they go out of there way to service her, and are this excited upon her arrival. Then again, that really isn’t surprising either, considering how much anime and manga Konata already has.
Not to make it sound like I’m explaining the joke or anything, but I did really enjoy the punchline after the exhilarating build-up to get Konata to buy something, with Anizawa proudly convincing himself that there’s no way they don’t have what Konata is looking for, only for it to turn out that that’s exactly the case and she decides to check if another store (Gamers) has it. The crushing defeat the staff feel isn’t exactly the kind of exaggerated reaction I was expecting, but I very much enjoyed it, them blasting off like Team Rocket – was that an intentional reference as well, or a happy incident?