The first episode of a series is like the first sentence of an essay in that it should get your attention, but also give you an idea of what to expect for the rest of the series. Lucky Star succeeds at presenting what to expect from the series but in the least engaging way possible.
The episodes start with an establishing moment of Konata where we see her outpacing other runners in a track meet. When Konata’s friend, Tsukasa, asks her why she is not on any athletic teams, Konata replies that it would interfere with her anime and gaming hobby. So in the first minute, we pretty much have an idea of who Kona is, someone who can apply herself to various fields but values anime and games above everything else. Now you think in a series centered around the interactions of four main characters you would want to establish moments like this for the rest of the main cast, but that is where Lucky Star throws you for a loop.
The next eight minutes of the first episode is a discussion between Tsukasa, Kona, and Miyuki on how to eat various foods. To a new viewer, this is a baffling decision as there is almost no visible point to the discussion nor any obvious gags, instead, it is just three characters (who the audience did not have a chance to get to know yet) going in-depth on probably the most mundane conversation put to animation. While this might have been the worst way to get the attention of new viewers it makes sense if you think about this scene as an introduction to what the rest of the series is going to be like.
Outside of gags about half of the content of Lucky Star is the four main characters discussing various topics. In these moments the series becomes more of an animated podcast than gag show. Now that’s all fine and dandy but the problem is that most people aren’t interested in the podcast if they don’t know the people who are talking. Which is why I think this eight-minute discussion on food would have been better in the latter half of the episode once the audience is familiar with the characters. Speaking of the second half of the episode that is where the character introductions come in.
Perhaps an introduction isn’t the right word, more like character immersion as we have to figure out what the four main charters are like through there interactions with each other. For instance, we Miyuki and Kagami are the book smart members of the group because Konata and Tsukasa go to them when they have a question. We also are introduced into more the visual gags and otaku references of the series where we get a street fighter animation to represent a story Konata fabricated.
So the first episode of Lucky does its job at introducing what the rest of the series is going to be like, but It fails to really create an engaging start due to the audience not being familiar with the characters. But I would like to know your thoughts on the first episode and what the introduction of series should be like? Was the food conversation too dry, or did it actually help you grasp what the show is going to be like?