Space Patrol Luluco Manga and Anime Comparison
Space Patrol Luluco
Comparison based on Chapters 1&2 and Episodes 1-9
Compared by: Linny
Synopsis: Based on the original anime by Studio Trigger of a young girl forced to join the Space Patrol, the manga gives its readers a slice of life account of the anime’s protagonists in the form of a 4-koma comic and plenty of fourth wall breaking humour.
(Warning: Spoilers to Follow):
For most of us, our first encounter with Space Patrol Luluco was through its insanely popular original anime. As I type this, the anime is still ongoing having just aired its 9th episode and the manga has been released only upto its second chapter by Crunchyroll, so this comparison will be more of a first look and impression rather than an all conclusive and comprehensive report.
Right from the very start, it becomes obvious that the manga is more aimed at fans of the show as it is regularly makes heavy references to incidents from the show which might not be clear to non viewers. We get very basic and quick introductions or references to the characters compared to the anime, and a lot of the incident that occur in the anime are glazed over in a rush. For example, the whole Midori story line is pretty much non existent in the manga so far, and the entire first episode of the series is condensed into a couple of panels. So, if anyone were to limit themselves to the manga, there’s a chance they’re going to miss out on a lot of what makes Luluco stand out not only story wise but also visually as it is impossible for a static manga panel to ever capture the insane graphics and animation of the show.
However, what the manga lacks in visual appeal, it more than makes up for in comedy. The manga matches the anime’s pace by constantly cracking jokes that break the fourth wall or exploring topics that the show omitted, even giving us panels that feel like a behind the scenes look at the show.
Storywise, as the manga is in a 4 koma format, there isn’t a real overarching story besides the basic premise of Luluco starting and living her life as a member of the Space Patrol with every story or gag limited to 4 panels. So far, the manga has introduced or mentioned almost all the major characters save for one even though we are only 2 chapters in. For now, it is mostly focused on Luluco, Midori, and Nova and original jokes based on their characteristics or habits exhibited in the anime, and is especially sure to delight those who wanted more about Luluco’s unrequited crush and her attempts to win Nova’s affections.
Now, the obvious deduction is that the manga is meant to offer more media for the anime fans to consume but due to its simplistic 4 koma layout, it’s perfectly approachable for new manga readers who haven’t had any contact with the show. In fact, it might even be a good way to attract new viewers as the manga spends more time acquainting the readers with its characters’ daily and personal lives than the anime ever does or probably will. Once the readers are attached to the characters through getting to know them in a more laid back atmosphere, they might find the show even more endearing and hilarious as they watch their beloved characters face true insanity. Due to the anime’s recent trend of inserting its characters into its other original works every episode, it can feel a little alienating to viewers who are not fans or unaware of their other works. So far, there’s no such issue with the manga as it limits itself to the Luluco universe and society and helps make the story feel more cohesive.
If you love Luluco for it’s cross universe references, over the top jokes and visual impact, the manga is going to disappoint you and is best left alone. However, if you enjoyed the show purely for its characters and 4th wall breaking jokes, the manga is a must read. The manga is not a faithful scene by scene adaptation so there’s no fear of feeling like you’re merely retreading the same old story. Instead, you get completely original snippets and gags highlighting the characters themselves rather than Studio Trigger’s other creations. Regardless of which media you decide to stick to, or if you decide to pick up both, both of them have such short and quick formatting that neither will demand too much time and effort on your part to consume and catch up on.