The Salty Anime Challenge Day 16: Least Favorite OP or ED

This one will probably earn me some enemies, but here we go.

You know what I randomly remembered while I was making this entry? ‘Oh yeah, I hate Lucky Star.’

This is also a great example of me forgetting something that is more deserving of a ‘least favorite’ spot because I’ll randomly remember something more deserving after I’ve posted it.

I made a rough draft list many many years ago about ideas for a ‘Top Ten Worst Anime Themes’ so I thought I’d dig it up for this, and lo and behold Lucky Star’s OP was on there.

But let’s get to that later. What I was mentioning before was the ‘A Popular and/or Hyped Anime that You Didn’t Care For’ category. I chose Kill La Kill for that while completely forgetting about Lucky Star.

I hate Lucky Star. And even I find it ridiculous how much I hate it because I have never watched more than two episodes.

Here’s the deal – I watched the first episode three times, each about one to two years apart. I repeatedly tried to like this show because I kept feeling like I was missing something.

I can’t emphasize enough how massive this show was when it first came out. It was friggin’ everywhere. People ate it up. It was being referenced everywhere, people were constantly making parodies and AMVs about it, talking about it in every anime-related forum thread. When I finally gave it a chance….I didn’t get it.

It was a horrifically boring half hour of inane dribble. Constantly talking about various ways to eat different foods and shooting the shit about stuff so boring that, despite watching it three times, I’d be hardpressed to remember it. It was so…..mind-numbingly…..boring.

I’m no stranger to SOL shows – I know there’s a good chunk of random conversations, but there’s no joke. It was just…..’lol this conversation is funny because…quirky?’ How do you eat ice cream? I don’t care. How do you eat popsicles? I don’t care. How do eat choco-coronets? I. Don’t. Care! When do you eat the strawberry on a strawberry shortca-SHUT UP.

From what I’ve read, it doesn’t get anymore interesting in the ‘passing conversation’ department either. They just talk about stuff in the most boring, brain-rottingly way possible.

“I like anime and talk about it.” That’s great, I do too. Are you going to say anything substantial or funny about it or is your shtick that you love anime?….Thought so.

“I like MMOs and talk about them.” That’s great, I do too. Are you going to say anything substantial or funny about it or is your shtick that you love MMOs?….Thought so.

I couldn’t even get a lock on if it was worth it to keep going. Some people said it sucks for the first half of the series, then gets better – and just as many people said it was the opposite. I think after the last time I watched the first episode, I decided to choose a random later episode to peek at just to see if it does get better. Admittedly, there are more actual attempts at jokes and comedy….but so much of it is just referential humor. It’s the Family Guy or Big Bang Theory of anime…only add about 500% more inane boring drivel.

But no, it’s not that. As I was writing this, I thought more of referential comedy anime that are popular in the west and I came to the realization that, in my opinion, a lot of people don’t find these jokes particularly funny – they make them feel special because they understand the jokes.

I understood that reference
Yo dawg, I heard you liked references, so I referenced a scene that references references in response to a reference and then captioned it in meme-style because memes are like references but worse.

“I’m such a geek that I totally got what they were referencing. If you don’t find the joke funny, it’s because you didn’t get the reference.”

That last line is something I saw pop up in so many positive reviews of Lucky Star. It’s like it’s saying any negative review of the show is invalid because ‘Well, if you don’t like it, it’s just because you don’t get the references. You’re not a big enough anime geek to truly get the genius of Lucky Star.”

I get the references, I don’t get the ‘jokes’. They’re references for the sake of references. Take a look at the TV Tropes page for Lucky Star’s references.

A good chunk of the references aren’t even obscure things geeks would pride themselves on knowing. If I can hipster for a minute, a majority of the references are very mainstream shows. Sgt. Frog, Fate/Stay Night, Full Metal Panic!, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Yugioh and even popular stuff in the west like Street Fighter, Saw and Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Most people who even just dabble in the world of anime would at least be aware of these things enough to get the references.

Or is that the point? This stuff is so well-known that many people would get the references in the west too, but anime still not being really ‘mainstream’ at the time, they think they’re geeky because they understand it?

Maybe that’s a cynical view. Maybe I really don’t understand whatever I’m supposed to understand. Maybe I’m just a bad anime geek. I don’t know.

Just recently I was rewatching some episodes of Teen Titans and they had a more obscure anime reference – in Stranded, Beast Boy, in an attempt to reassemble Cyborg, turns him into Giant Robo and then he dresses up as Daisaku and they fly away. And that reference actually had a point because it was a part of a montage of jokes as Beast Boy screws up his assembly.

Then we have the art, which is simultaneously ugly and so overly cute I can feel myself getting diabetes. The characters are all 16-18 years old…..Bull. Shit.

They look like they’re ten, max. The super ultra kawaii desu art makes them look insanely young, and I gotta say, that makes it a little creepy to me. It, in no way, helps that the colors are overly bright pastels with an OP that practically makes you go blind.

Did someone just make a great segue? I think I just did.

The OP is very famous because it was one of the most parodied and overplayed things about the show. Not to mention I fault this OP for the endless string of OP’s with all the characters doing some stupid dance to their theme song. I know some shows did it before them, but I fault them for popularizing it.

Lucky Star’s OP is like Alvin and the Chipmunks learned Japanese, took a lot of meth, suffered brain damage and sang a song written by a three year old. I feel like my teeth are being put into a blender whenever I hear it.

Not only that, but they’re evil enough to have some sections, like the one at .46, where they intentionally do that insanely annoying skipping effect to the audio. At the very least the song is an earworm, but it’s an earworm with razor sharp teeth and acid saliva.

Runner-up: Colorful (The Series) was going to win this before I was reminded of Lucky Star. I’d link to that OP too, but we have a benevolent God and I can’t find just the OP online. You’ve been spared.

Objectively, Colorful’s song is worse mostly because it’s an incoherent mess of noise. It’s like a drunk woman scream-talking a Japanese rap song at a karaoke bar and then jamming an ice pick into your eardrum. However, subjectively, I hate Lucky Star’s more on every level.

The Salty Anime Challenge Day 4: The First Anime You Hated And/Or Dropped

Yikes. You’re going to make me trudge into ‘Goddamn, I’m old’ territory and look up…..My first reviews.

And I mean like the old old stuff that hasn’t even seen the Madhouse.

I do believe that honor goes to the dumpster fire that is School Days.

I don’t have much left to say about this series that hasn’t already been said by others or I haven’t personally said. At the bare bones, it’s a stupid harem anime with one of the worst main characters ever.

But when you really get down to it, School Days is just mean-spirited and makes you feel awful for watching it.

Admittedly, back in the day, I said I gave it some points for being so ridiculously over dramatized and stupid that it had some entertainment value in that regard. However, now that I am far more schooled (no pun intended) on anime, the series as a whole isn’t ridiculously over dramatized enough to stand out that much. It just decided to have the main character actually sleep with all of these girls as opposed to just wacky ecchi shenanigans or making out.

When you get down to it, though this show is really only remembered for the batshit ending.

Let me save you a headache for those who haven’t watched it. Sekai, Kotonoha and Makoto are in a love triangle. Makoto’s a dick to both of them and cheats on both of them without a care in the world, but ultimately chooses Kotonoha because he felt bad for emotionally breaking her through his dickishness (and she got raped by his best friend, but this doesn’t even seem like it’s a real plot point at all) Sekai is pregnant with Makoto’s kid, but maybe not. She doesn’t take being dumped well, so she viciously stabs him to death.

Kotonoha finds his body, beheads him, kills Sekai, slices up her body to prove she’s not pregnant (or maybe was?) then spends her last days on a raft in the middle of the ocean while clutching the severed head of Makoto.

Got all that? Good.

The ending catches people off guard because nothing alludes to it beforehand. It’s a brutal, bloody murder followed by another brutal, bloody murder in the tail end of a harem anime. Granted, the games have several bloody bad ends, so this might not have been a shock to people who had played the (Hentai) games before, but still.

Either that, or people were cheering their heads off that Makoto was killed at the end because he was such a massive douchewhistle. Bonus points for Sekai for some, though that might be controversial if she was indeed pregnant (they never made that clear.)

Then there’s the controversy that sprung around it back when it was first released. In many versions of the series, the blood is painted black to censor it so it looks like Makoto bleeds oil (I wouldn’t be surprised to be honest). They censored it because the ending episodes were being released right as a string of murders were happening in Japan. Upon first release, they didn’t even show the episode and instead showed some clips of boats – which is what spawned the ‘Nice boat’ meme.

If you ignore the ending, all the series is about is Makoto banging most of the cast of female characters and giving zero shits about who he hurts. You’re constantly wondering why Makoto is so highly sought after when he has absolutely no redeeming traits, and around every corner there’s someone else being a dick to someone. You root for no one. You like no one. And past me was overtly generous to give it a 2/5 score. I may have been easy on it in the original review, but I definitely believe this was the first anime I ever really hated, especially as time went on.