Space Patrol Luluco – Mid Season Review
Space Patrol Luluco:
Original Air Dates: April 1st, 2016 – ???
Synopsis: Luluco is just your normal junior-high student whose father happens to be a detective at the Space Patrol Police force– wait what!? Luluco lives in an alien immigration city, for aliens seeking to become a part of the Earth’s population. She lives alone with her father after her mother moved out and took all the furniture. After her father does a stupid and eats a space freezing capsule, Luluco is forced to rush him to the police office to make sure he doesn’t clock in late! In order to pay off the expensive procedure to return her frozen father to normal, Luluco is drafted into the Space Patrol force. But Luluco just wants a normal life!
Mid Season (6 Episodes) Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: The second you see the Trigger label and the animation, you know you’re in for a wild ride with Space Patrol Luluco. Not only are the visuals insane, the story and personalities are as off the walls as possible. Unlike other short form anime though, Luluco actually manages to have a strong overarching story line, telling a cohesive story with lots of action, comedy and even suspense in each short episode. We get build up and information along with intense doses of visual and physical gags, making the experience highly dynamic and entertaining.
Tom: Luluco’s story is simple and easy to follow because most of each episode is spent spewing out gag after gag, keeping the story beats evenly spaced and moving Space Patrol Luluco along at a clip, but never too fast for audience members to get lost. Luluco is all about humor, much of it simplistic plays on words or flashy displays of absurdity. Luluco’s novelty wears off in this respect. The first episode is so bizarre that it catches you off guard, but by the third episode you’ve come to expect the zaniness. Thankfully the show begins to utilize more meta-based humor to offset viewers catching onto Luluco’s shtick. The show isn’t going to win any points with the crowd who dislike hyper bombastic anime, but for anyone into the more eccentric, bouncing off the walls style, Luluco is everything you could want from it.
Linny: It definitely suffers from the common flaw of having a short attention span and the rushed pace of short form and when you combine that with Trigger’s tendency to be over the top, it’s clearly not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. It is somewhat consistent with its style and pace of comedy, for better or worse, depending on how much you like the style. The quality of its jokes do fluctuate a bit, but since the show is so quick, even if you aren’t feeling a particular episode, it’s over and done with before you grow sick of it.
Tom: Luluco does start to do some fun story stuff as we move further and further away from the premiere. We get call backs to episode one and surprise reveals as to why Luluco’s father ended up frozen in the first place. It honestly feels like Luluco’s creative team is poking fun at more dramatic series that pepper tiny hints in its opening episodes setting up big reveals for later. Whether it’s grander story telling commentary or not, the result is something that’s both fun and cool in the way it connects later plot developments right back to the very start of the series.
Linny: The fact that every single character is so over the top and clearly a caricature is a sign that none of them are to be taken seriously and are mostly meant to be parodies of the more popular tropes.
Tom: Luluco is our straight man, and caricature of a young middle school girl love struck. She’s generally fun, but she never goes beyond that initial template. I also worry that Luluco’s love struck depiction may come off as vaguely sexist to those tired of girls portrayed as incapable of thinking beyond thoughts surrounding their current crush. Comparatively, her love interest, Nova, speaks very little and doesn’t have much of a role to play besides as Luluco’s motivation/inspiration. Midori, a ‘rival’ for Luluco, gets far more to do and say compared to Nova. She’s twisted, and her VA Mayumi Shintani brings so much to the role, although her’s is a voice that is often divisive amongst fans. The show is then peppered with additional characters such as Over Justice, who drives the sheer absurdity of the series, along with Luluco’s mother, a latecomer to the show, who catapults Space Patrol Luluco in even more absurd directions. Despite the short form nature of the series, which prohibits anyone getting too much development, it’s always a blast watching this cast week to week as events only get more and more insane.
Linny: From its visuals to its characters, the entire show screams Studio Trigger and there’s no mistaking it even for a second. For hardcore Trigger fans, this show remains everything they could ask for. For those who aren’t, the hyperactive comedy and characters could start to either become predictable or grating. Hopefully, the quick run time and absurdity will prove to be a winning combination for most viewers. The quality of the animation itself deserves praise for being damn impressive given that it’s for a 8 minute show and these short shows usually make do with the bare minimum.
Tom: The animation is actually fairly low budget, especially if you know what to look for, but its quirky flare and bombastic visuals hide that very nature of the production, fooling the viewer’s into seeing something far more visually impressive and pleasing than the actual quality of what’s on screen.
Linny: Luluco started off strong thanks to its absurd and unexpected comedy but halfway in, it’s starting to become a little humdrum. If you’re trying to constantly one up yourself, you’re bound to stumble, especially when you start off as ridiculous as possible and the constant barrage of insanity loses its impact. It’s still a great show, with eye-catching animation and ridiculous jokes, but its hyper nature may turn away those who dislike that in general.
Tom: Space Patrol Luluco is a wholly original work from Studio Trigger, one of two efforts this season and honestly? Even though Luluco is the side project I feel it’s quite easily the stronger of their two offerings this Spring. Besides its ongoing joke calling every three episodes a separate season confusing some viewers, Luluco is the far stronger offering that holds more personality and far more fun than Kiznaiver. It loses a little bit of its charm as it continues, once the punch of the sheer zany humor has worn off, but overall Luluco is an enjoyable ride and at just 8 minutes an episode it rarely outstays its weekly welcome. It’s fun, light entertainment.
Space Patrol Luluco is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.com.