What a run. I do not recall any such patchwork of brilliance and mediocrity in the same anime. Fortunately, the good parts prevailed.
Liked: On the whole, yes.
Rewatch: If time permits.
Shirukii (Anime Blog ga Arimasu)
And of course how could I forget Lucky Channel, almost a show on its own. These short segments often made me laugh more than the main episode, mostly due to the hilarity of Shiraishi Minoru. It was funny seeing the animosity between Shiraishi and Akira build up throughout the series and then suddenly explode at the end. Many lulz were had.
Oh, and sleeves. You can’t forget about the sleeves.
I wish I could share the sentiment. But many liked it, so…
Lucky Star is really two shows in one though, with the Lucky Channel segment at the end of each episode–and Lucky Channel is probably one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. Anywhere. Ever. Sometimes it was better than others, but that episode towards the end with Minoru finally going on a rampage was just Legendary.
Another Lucky Channel partisan. IMHO, the title of the Legendary episode belongs to The Rant. Rampage is trivial by comparison.
Kabitzin (Sea Slugs)
However, the biggest weakness I saw in Lucky Star was Lucky Channel; every time that little cat mewed, I would get a nervous pang and check to the progress bar to see whether or not it was signaling the start of Lucky Channel. I thought the parts where Akira threw the ashtray at Shiraishi and how Akira and Shiraishi hated each other in the last episode were ok, but overall I consistently found Lucky Channel to be an unfunny pandering to those who love Shiraishi.
… if I buy it when it comes out over here (doubtless in a cheap box, I can’t imagine buying this show disc by disc), I’ll be skipping the Lucky Channel segments.
Well, if the industry insider cannot take the portrayal of the industry… Hmm.
P.S. I enjoyed the most the moments when Lucky Star stepped beyond the referrential humour, such as the ep.23. Reviewers mostly glossed over how the show gelled together when it hit longer arcs, but I think it was really noticeable.
UPDATE: Steven asks if Kamichu had the the same quality swings. I think not, but perhaps I fail at explaining it. Most obvious difference is that segments of Lucky Star come in all sizes, the longest taking one whole episode (IIRC, Comiket). Best segments after ep.23 and the special visit were in ep.11, which had two: the Christmas cake and the father/daughter duo again. And in general, Kamichu tried to tell a story in each episode, which Lucky Star did not attempt as a rule (the ep.24 being an exception).
Ironically, one of the most grating issues with Kamichu for me was its pretentious art contrasting with bad lapses and poor animation. In contrast, art of Lucky Star remains consistently impressive throughout the worst storytelling since… I don’t even know what. Galaxy Angel, maybe?
UPDATE: fatestaysmart (atamaga warui)
I don’t know about the rest of visual culture otaku fandom, but I was highly disappointed with how the Director, or whomever had the final say, executed the final ending of Lucky Star. I have nothing against Minoru Shiraishi and his playful, shameless antics that took the place of the karaoke endings. However, I do have a problem with them ending the series with him spinning around in an office chair and surveying nature while doing another anime theme song cover (Urusei Yatsura’s “Ai Wa Boomerang” (Beautiful Dreamer)) as the closure to the series. Once again, no gripe against the song, but rather the ending.
The answer, I think has to do with weather one considers the ED a part of the show or not. If ED is a part, then the series finale calls for a suitable adaptation, like in Stellvia. In this case though, the ending is the blinding light. Or I suppose this is the thinking. Average person stops their TiVo when the credits start to roll anyway, right?
I was a bit disappointed, too. But not too much.