I didn’t expect to like Space Patrol Luluco all that much.
While it’s sacrilege to say this in front of the Studio Trigger faithful, I couldn’t really get into the antics of Inferno Cop. Studio founder and former Gainax star Hiroyuki Imaishi’s latest short, Sex and Violence with Machspeed did not interest me at all. I enjoyed Kill la Kill and, more recently, Kiznaiver, but neither of them are lasting favorites for me personally.
Until Luluco, the only Trigger properties that I truly loved were this short films of Little Witch Academia.
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.
“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.