Space Patrol Luluco

Nothinglings: emotional connections in Space Patrol Luluco and Kiznaiver

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Hiroyuki Imaishi’s Studio Trigger have made a large name for themselves with admittedly few series produced — Space Patrol Luluco as a five-year anniversary celebration seemed a bit excessive — creating their own strong fanbase and distinct style rooted in Imaishi’s oeuvre and the studio’s first major project: Kill la Kill. Trigger’s Kiznaiver and Space Patrol Luluco easily invite comparisons, with the studio sometimes overshadowing both projects in the same way that series composer Mari Okada is brought up as a point of comparison between Kiznaiver and Mayoiga — her two series of the spring season.

Despite their different directors — Imaishi heads up Luluco while Kiznaiver is Hiroshi Kobayashi’s series debut as a director — the two properties find common ground in the way they address emotional connections with others.

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Space Patrol Luluco and my shitty first love

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“And we realized that a reckless, ignorant middle schooler’s foolish first love was the most worthless, trashy garbage in the universe . . . The first love of a stupid middle schooler is a boy who is nothing but his looks. This is the pinnacle of worthlessness!”

-Blackholeian, Space Patrol Luluco, Episode 10

After a few weeks spent bogged down by references to other Studio Trigger material, Space Patrol Luluco returned to form with more hilarious and poignant musings on female adolescence in its tenth and eleventh episodes, addressing the vapid yet passionate nature of a first crush. Worthless, trashy garbage — in the words of the series itself — first loves are something that have little meaning to anyone but their source, often based on superficial factors and well-advertised ideas of what love is supposed to be or look like.

What better time to look back on my own, ultimately meaningless, first love: Tyler [last name redacted because that actually is his real first name], my third grade classmate.

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Don’t Lose Your Way: Fanservice and Space Patrol Luluco

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Let’s talk fanservice.

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“Kids can’t choose the adults in their lives.” Luluco and FLCL’s Ninamori

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“Kids can’t choose the adults in their lives, least of all their parents. Ninamori’s father is the mayor of our town. I don’t really get it, but it must be hard for her.”

-Naota Nandaba, FLCL, Episode 3

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The New Adolescence of Studio Trigger: Kiznaiver and Space Patrol Luluco

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“I just wanted to live a normal life.”

“Nothing amazing happens here. Everything is ordinary. ”

These phrases summarize the two primary teen narratives found in anime — in addition to a myriad of other media and fiction. The former is from Studio Trigger’s latest short, Space Patrol Luluco. The latter is from the gold standard for male adolescence in anime: Studio Gainax’s FLCL. Naturally, the fact that Trigger is in many ways an offshoot of Gainax, founded by former Gainax animator and director Hiroyuki Imaishi is highly relevant.

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