We know, we’re coming to the end of the summer season of anime in a couple of weeks, but a lot of us have a massive list of anime we really meant to watch when it was airing, but somehow skipped (we didn’t mean to, honest). There’s a lot of pressure to stick to the shows that everyone is talking about, and when we’re done with those, often we don’t have time left for those edgy, weird shows – the ones that only dedicated anime critics and reviewers will care to give a chance. Now that another season has gone by, we can play catch-up with the past few months. We did watch Erased during the winter and Flying Witch in the spring, but who’s seen Space Patrol Luluco? It didn’t get much attention when it aired, but it’s been gathering a lot of speed in the anime reviewing world. Here’s why.
If you glanced at a promotional image for Luluco, you’d probably just assume it was another anime for little kids. Its simple shapes and vivid block colours are enough to have you believing your first impressions. And even the name could seem a little juvenile. Oh, and the synopsis. It’s about a middle-schooler named Luluco who lives with her dad in a place where aliens and earthlings live in harmony. Everyone around her is strange, and all Luluco wants is to be a normal kid. However, one morning, her father accidentally swallows a pill which freezes him solid, and Luluco smashes him to bits. In order to pay for his repair and unfreezing, she must take up his job as a space patrol officer to keep the peace among aliens and humans alike. Add into the mix an attractive male love interest, and we have the 101 on Luluco.
It sounds completely wacky and a bit unrealistic – perfect for kids, right? Well, I guess, but we’re the main audience here. Don’t let first impressions put you off – there’s a lot more to the show than meets the eye. True, it looks a bit weird and wonderful, but we have to look a bit deeper to get why this show shouldn’t just be skipped from this year altogether.
The studio in charge of this creation is studio Trigger. They’re famous for creating oddities like Kill La Kill, one of the stand-out original shows from 2013. It wasn’t especially amazing, but it was different, and that goes a long way in an industry saturated with repetition. Much more recently, they made a hit with Kiznaiver. Luluco is a bit different even from these two. What all three have in common is a quirky animation style that has become Trigger’s trademark and a plot that seems way too wacky to be taken seriously at all. But that’s part of the fun of it. Trigger is great for making entertaining shows that break some of the boundaries that other anime has restricted itself to. Luluco is a show to check out for everyone – from average Joe (with an open mind) to the anime connoisseur.
We’ve banged on a lot about ‘having time to watch all the shows you want’ and how it sucks to be a (sort of) adult with real life responsibilities and an obsession with anime. Luluco has come to save us all from the dark, for each episode is barely eight minutes long. Loads of us skipped it simply because it looked too simple and just too weird, but there’s no harm in giving one short episode a try. What Luluco is great at is squeezing in tonnes of antics into a tiny time slot, making the episodes punchy, exciting, and extremely funny.
A lot can be gained from stepping outside one’s comfort zone. This might mean watching a super-long anime, or a show from a genre we don’t usually go for. With Luluco, it means being open-minded enough to give this middle-school space patrol officer a chance. She’s adorable and a super bubbly narrator. Her interactions with other characters a uplifting, and despite appearances, the show does get a little deep sometimes. One of Trigger’s latest creations could turn out to have been their best yet.