This turned out to be the greatest linguistic challenge yet. I maybe get 5% of what's being said. The problem is mostly in the casual. Vocabulary, certainly, but the turns of phrase are odd and the sentences are so long that I cannot keep up. There is very little action to back the talking heads, too.
I am using the family enterainment stack for this, and quality is rather bad. It may be some undesirable interaction between my DVD player and TV, which are linked with a component cable at 480p, but the saw edge is awful on many lines. It gets much worse when I pause, as the player fails to deinterlace. Undoubtedly, I have bad equipment. On the other hand, this was not an issue with Haruhi, so something in the way Lucky Star was mastered makes this effect heavily pronounced.
Here's a zoom of the above picture:
Bad enough for a pocket camera to capture it. It also captured the 4:3 burn-in outline in the full-size picture.
P.S. Shiraishi really was a star back then, but I completely forgot about him. I wonder, what has happened to him?
UPDATE: Hit an easy episode right before Yutaka appeared.