Space Patrol Luluco

November 12, 2016

For the umpteenth time, whenever a teenager yearns for a normal life no matter how rough and tough he or she has got it now, this seems to be jinxed a lot. Because you know, they usually become the hero and catalyst to save the world and the entire human race with their whatever hidden latent power. Or that destiny crap whatsoever. This is the case for our titular character in Space Patrol Luluco. Life is already hard enough for our middle school girl but at least she isn’t suffering. Her hopes for a normal life (despite living in a world where abnormal is the norm. Geddit?) takes a turn for the worse when she is drafted to become part of the Space Patrol and endure all the shenanigans as part of her mission. Did I mention that involves falling in love with her fellow colleague too? Oh yeah. Life is pretty normal in anime standards.

Episode 1
Luluco lives with her dad, Keiji who works at the Space Patrol. Their poor apartment life is because of mom’s messy divorce and she took all the furniture. Keiji accidentally bites a freezing pill. To Luluco’s horror, it is one of those things he confiscated from work. In her panic, she accidentally breaks him. Feeling the need to make him punch in at work, she brings him all the way to the Ogikubo branch and meets its chief, Over Justice! As Luluco tries to explain, Justice has the habit of arresting her first and then releasing once she makes her story clear. Luluco knows how much this place sucks but she is forced to work for this branch seeing Keiji cannot take anymore advance pay. There is some crime rampant in her middle school and Justice wants her to help out since adults cannot interfere. Luluco goes school like normal. During the exam, her alert rings and thus activating her patrol suit automatically. To her embarrassment, her classmates think she is some sort of exhibitionist, flaunting her curves. When the exam cheater is caught and is trying to make a run, Luluco transforms into a lame looking gun! Even more laughing from the rest! Totally embarrassing! But I think she’ll have the last laugh because the blast is so powerful that it made a hole in the wall. Okay, nobody’s laughing.

Episode 2
The cheater is willing to confess when a large meteorite crashes into class. The teacher forgot there is a new transfer student, Alpha Omega Nova. It seems he is also summoned by Justice to work at the Space Patrol. Since Luluco needs to bring the cheater him, he also has her guide her around town. He notes how this place is a melting pot of aliens and humans. Luluco doesn’t notice it since she lived here all her life. Though, it is mentioned that Japan sold off Ogikubo for a dirt cheap price because they were too broke. After that, aliens moved in and there was chaos at first. After meeting Justice, he tells Nova to interrogate the cheater. Nova transforms into his gun mode. At least his looks cool. The cheater reveals the school is being controlled by a terrifying alien called Save the World who is distributing quasi-legal Black Hole app to students. Justice orders the duo to eliminate this evil. So Nova blasts the cheater with his gun! Because he looks so cool doing it, is Luluco falling for him! Because she’s like falling through the universe! This causes her to transform into her gun mode and also blasts the cheater! Plus a hole in the wall. Man, how is the cheater still alive?

Episode 3
Nova suggests they split up looking for the culprit in her school. It’ll be much faster that way. When Luluco bumps into her friend, Midori, she thinks Luluco wants to buy a Black Hole app and is willing to sell her. Luluco is in a dilemma whether to get it or not but since Midori allows her to check it out, she somewhat agrees. It seems Midori is Save the World. Her members are worried since one of them has ratted on them and Space Patrol will raid them in no time. Midori remains confident that it won’t happen yet when suddenly Luluco and Nova bust in to arrest them. Surprised her friend is from Space Patrol? Nova wants to use gunfire to solve things but obviously Luluco disagrees as it might hit her friend. Midori uses the app to kidnap Nova since she is into handsome guys. After Luluco transforms into a gun and fires away all the lackeys, Midori uses Nova to fire back. Luluco is afraid she will hit Nova but he tells her not to worry. If she can’t resolve this without firing, then all she needs to do is fire! Although Luluco fires a shot, it ricochets till it his Midori. After Midori is arrested, Luluco apologizes for that dangerous move. He tells her shooting enemies with her gun is perfectly normal. She is still unsure what to do about her future so he says to remain as she is. You mean stay normal? No, stay wonderful. Midori is handed over to Justice and learning that how awesome it is to be part of Space Patrol, Midori also wants to join. At first Justice rejects her for being a criminal but when she threatens him, he agrees because nobody has ever volunteered before! Unprecedented justice? Looks like Luluco’s days will be getting far from normal.

Episode 4
Luluco hopes Nova will have eyes for her one day. She might be getting her wish soon as he starts getting poetic with her. And then the stupid alert had to sound. Seems a meteorite will crash into Ogikubo and to prevent that from happening, Space Patrol will be going up there and plant a bomb to explode it to pieces. The agents will be blasted there in 3 stages using their gun form. Midori thought she got the raw end of the deal when she becomes the base to launch the duo. Luluco thought she could be alone with Nova but he too uses his gun to propel her further. Now she has to do this mission alone! Her only solace is that she has to come back alive if she wants to see Nova again. After planting the bomb on the meteorite, she finds herself stuck. Justice says to use her gun form to blast her way back but Luluco feels embarrassed about it. That is when Nova interprets she doesn’t want to see him again. It’s not nice to lie. Luluco bites the bullet and blasts her way out before the meteorite blows up. She is breaking apart as she re-enters the atmosphere but is picked up by her mom! She was riding that meteorite and is not too happy she has joined Space Patrol.

Episode 5
They crash into Ogikubo’s Space Patrol base. Better than the meteorite crashing down, right? Luluco doesn’t understand why her mom, Space Pirate Lalaco Godspeed is doing this. Flashback mom and dad were always fighting till she left. Luluco was always caught in between. Lalaco is not impressed her daughter is trying to be normal. She reveals it was part of her plan to freeze Keiji or else her job would be tough. Justice for once stands up to fight back. His gun had no effect on Lalaco although Lalaco’s gun turned him into broken bones! Useless chief. Lalaco’s minions have got Keiji. Luluco pleads not to take Keiji away but when Lalaco is about to beat her up, Nova comes in between. It is not nice to hit a girl. Even by a girl? After Lalaco and crew return to their ship, they initiate the next phase of their plan. They lift the entire Ogikubo from the ground. Midori then spots an online auction of Ogikubo by Lalaco. I don’t know how many zeros are there… Justice is going to call HQ for backup but it seems they’re closed for today. They’re screwed.

Episode 6
As Luluco is holding Keiji’s brain, Justice gets an idea to microwave, defrost and electrocute it to start up. Don’t ask. It worked. Keiji leads them back to his apartment whereby there is a secret spaceship behind the closet! Didn’t even know about this, did you Luluco? They blast up to Lalaco’s ship while the adults banter something about their twisted version of justice. Keiji demands Lalaco return Ogikubo but do you think this bad woman will do what her ex-husband says? Somebody has hit the required bidding price so Lalaco is going to package Ogikubo and warp it away. Thankfully Midori still has those Black Hole apps as she uses them all to combine into one giant warp hand to grab Lalaco’s ship. Luluco attempts to persuade her mom to stop doing bad things but Lalaco reminds her if she sees someone else destroying something, she can’t rest easy till she destroys it with her own hands! The double warp causes some sort of space distortion as both ships are sent away to some unknown parts of the universe.

Episode 7
Team Luluco is now before a giant planet made out of yarn. According to the website, it consists of many Ogikubo and is the universe’s biggest tourism hub. Checking out the planet, Luluco finds some familiar local shops. Suddenly this Nova clone claims he has everyone tied to his red string of destiny. This of course intended to feed the space life fibres and provide them energy. While Luluco is in a dilemma which Nova she should fall in love, her alert sounds. This means Nova clone must be doing some kind of space fraud. However she cannot transform into her gun mode as the strings everywhere are entangling her. Nova clone is dumb enough to tell how to cut the strings loose. He forgot his end is also connected to the strings so Justice’s burning flames burn the strings and set everyone free. Our Space Patrol agents can now transform into their gun form to arrest him. However Nova clone would rather burn himself this way. And burn himself he did as the entire planet is now on fire! Everyone escapes as Nova mentions about their feelings creating this Ogikubo world so it is not the real Ogikubo. Perhaps that dude was just lonely after spending all that time in space by himself. Not that Luluco understands anyway.

Episode 8
Before another planet, Justice sends Nova and Luluco to go investigate. Luluco panics as she is now alone with him and doesn’t know what to talk. Fearing he might think she is as boring as sh*t, she strikes up weird conversations. No response. Sh*t! They hide when Nova spots a witch flying. This causes Luluco to worry the boy-starved witches might kidnap Nova. She wants them to go back but Nova hears something from the tower and wants to investigate. Luluco immediately transforms into her gun mode to investigate it herself. Then this witch, Sucy Manbavaran starts stuffing mushrooms in her hole! I wonder which hole… She thinks Luluco wants to steal the Sorcerer’s Stone which is giving off the same power as Ogikubo. When it is learnt that the mushrooms are poisonous and she has about 6 minutes to live and no magic can save her, Luluco resigns to her fate and wants to die a normal death. But then she realizes she has so much to do and can’t go out like that. She requests to kiss Nova. She is wondering if her first kiss is her last but Nova doesn’t care. So as the dying seconds count down, Luluco manages to get the most epic kiss from him. Bye Luluco. But she’s not dead? Sucy realizes the poison only takes effect in 60 years. Phew, right? She thinks she is now closer with Nova but sees him wipe his mouth. Heart break… And he doesn’t mind she has 60 years left…

Episode 9
Luluco is on some yellow planet seeking a shark detective’s advice not to find Ogikubo but relationship advice with Nova! But the agency is attacked by crocodile ruffians who accuse him for some loans or sleeping with other people’s women. They escape while the entire town turns into one big chaotic messy chase and fight! When sharky’s doll secretary is sliced up, he becomes the Hulk to smash everyone and everything to bits. That is when Luluco gets some advice from the doll about men being shy creatures. They treat you like crap but actually care about you. Before Luluco is owned, she is saved by Nova who believes she is precious to him. Love metre rising! Nova then explains they have discovered so many Ogikubo but those in space are fakes. After refining his online search, they find the real Ogikubo is gathered at the centre of the galaxy. This means it is no other than the Space Patrol HQ itself. They are welcomed by the commander who in turn promotes and rewards them with prizes and gifts. The best gift for Luluco is that she gets the real Ogikubo back. All nicely packed and wrapped up. What a happy ending.

Episode 10
While Luluco is feeling so happy, Nova suddenly steals back Ogikubo and her heart and hands it over to the commander. He is revealed to be a Blackholeian who has taken over the HQ. Blackholeians exist to shoplift anything with value but how does that make Ogikubo valuable? Once it has reached a certain technological level and cultural hotspot. But what about Luluco’s heart then, the so called Aflutter Jewel? It has no value at all. Especially if you’re talking about Luluco’s sh*tty first love is all the value it has. Blackholeians have been stealing valuable things for so long that they find those without value to be valuable. So the sh*ttiest thing in the universe with no value still holds some value? Confused? He continues explaining that Nova is a Nothingling, shallow beings hailing from a planet with nothing. Isn’t it no wonder their conversations felt so hollow? Heartbroken Luluco feels betrayed. She really loved him so much. Was it all a lie? Well, he never minded it anyway! In a twisted move, Blackholeian then smashes and destroys Aflutter Jewel. As the rest are thrown into prison, they try to revive Luluco but since she’s dead, might as well hold a funeral for her. Yeah, so sad for Luluco that she doesn’t even want to continue the next episode. RIP Luluco.

Episode 11
Sorry Luluco. You still have to continue this crap! As she wanders in hell and feeling regretful and hurtful over Nova’s betrayal, she meets a guy who looks like Justice but isn’t. He is someone who just knows Justice. Luluco talks about her betrayal so he gives her some hope that he was killed many times but cannot die. Because justice never dies! Even what is normal or not, you yourself dictate what it is. But Luluco is still worried on how to face Nova. When asked how she was lied to, Luluco realizes Nova never lied to her once. He was just being himself. She only assumed it all because she thought he was on the same side. Luluco is resolved to confess her feelings and ask him about his. Her feelings won’t go away just because they were stolen. After all that, she will arrest him. After all, he shoplifted her most prized possession. Sorry to break it to you mourners because Luluco is back with a bang. She bursts out from her funeral! Literally.

Episode 12
With the power of love, Luluco blasts away the underlings! She gets help from Lalaco too as she sarcastically quips she was here to attend her funeral. Luluco pleads to her for a favour. She doesn’t want Ogikubo, her dad or a normal life. She wants to confess to a boy. Seeing the determination in her eyes, Lalaco lends her ship to her. Keiji doesn’t approve but he has no say! Then the rest set off an explosive fight to let Luluco find her love. When Luluco finds Nova, she tells him he can steal her heart as many times he wants. However, take it without permission and that is a crime. So she arrests him by hugging him and confesses she loves him? Blackholeian laughs at this farce for he knows it won’t affect Nova. He has him steal her Aflutter Jewel and then break it. However Luluco is able to create a new one. Break again, create new one. Just how many can she make? She blasts Nova with her multiple Aflutter Jewels and has him remember all the feelings and times they went through. Nova starts to feel something as Luluco pleads for him to go back together. As Blackholeian attacks, Nova protects her with his body. He now understands feelings and just fell in love with Luluco. Blackholeian transforms into a hideous monster. Nova and Luluco hold hands tightly and believe they can go through this together. You’re under arrest for shoplifting! Although nervous, Luluco believes this makes her feel she can do anything.

Episode 13
Combining both their jewels to become a Lovey-dovey Diamond, the power of their requited love is going to beat the sh*t out of Blackholeian. Justice is love! However Blackholeian has foreseen this and previously installed some micro black hole in Nova’s head. It will consume him entirely. But all the power starts flowing into Luluco. I’m not sure about the explanation here but it seems Luluco has been the spark plug to power the universe. The chosen one who has the power to patrol across dimensions. The epic power battle begins with Luluco trying to bend the dimensions and lecture Blackholeian about his evil ways. His shoplifting makes him no worse than a middle schooler. Of course this upsets the bugger. Luluco is out of ammo when Nova suggests she uses him. You know what happens when black hole and black hole with each other. No, seriously I don’t. Luluco is sad that this means they can’t be together. This was all part of fate. If that is so, why are they fated to meet? So they can meet again. In another dimension. Luluco uses Nova as a bullet as the black holes engulf each other and return normalcy back to the universe. Luluco feels sad so reluctant Keiji gives her hope to chase him to the ends of the universe to arrest him. She has to introduce her boyfriend to her dad someday, right? In the aftermath, Justice is promoted to the HQ Commander with Midori taking over as Ogikubo branch chief. Keiji is now under Space Patrol’s piracy task force since Lalaco is still going strong with her piracy. I guess it’s a reason to chase her down. Finally, Luluco is a super dimensional special officer codenamed Miss Trigger. She’s got a cool gun-bike to go with too.

Justice Is Served!
I can contribute the short duration of each episode which is roughly about 7.5 minutes that makes this series highly enjoyable. And with its no punches pulled nonsense, it makes this quite a high octane comedy where it is concerned. I’m not sure if it would work had this been a full length anime series because at the end of it, I was wishing more from it but when I think about it, perhaps everything in this short condensed form is better. Everything moves along at its lightning pace so there is no time a-wasting. Everything that is needed much to be told is already told in this season. Though, I find it odd that they consider ‘a season’ after every 3 episodes. I know. It’s a big joke even when the final episode is actually a single final episode and single season by itself. Crazy, right? That actually sums up what this series is supposed to be. Heck, even dividing episodes into seasons feels like trolling since they are closely link to each other in a way that it shouldn’t be called another season. Season cliff-hanger?

As this series is produced by Trigger, you will notice that this series is one big parody of all the other series under their belt. So if you have seen some of their past works, I am sure that you can spot many trivia and cameos like Kill La Kill, Inferno Cop and Little Witch Academia among the episodes. There is even a line reference, a very famous ‘quote’ from Ninja Slayer The Animation. Yeeart! Since Trigger studio was founded by former employees of Gainax, there are also very few references to Gainax’s animes like Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann especially Justice’s pointy shades that resembles closely to Kamina’s. Thus these parodies are highly appreciable and the fun doubled for those who know these series. I guess they have an absurd reputation to keep up.

Despite the lack of character development, I’m sure we couldn’t care about that since we’re laughing so hard at all the nonsense. Thanks to that, we find almost everyone lovable. Like Luluco as your average tween experiencing her first love. That’s pretty normal, right? It’s just sad that her first love is also her first heart break but I feel that could be a blessing in disguise as it made her reflect on her actions and grew stronger to confront it all. And true to the age old adage, the power of love conquers it all. When Nova first appeared, he looked like that cool guy who doesn’t say much. But then you start figuring that something might be wrong with him because he has this habit of saying that he doesn’t mind. Everything. Of course when a girl in love like Luluco, naturally she’ll start misinterpreting what she wants to interpret and thus her heartbreak has only herself to blame. It’s just sad that Luluco couldn’t end up with Nova for a happy ending. However if it did, it would have been so normal and seeing this show is about everything abnormal, it works out. You don’t feel sad that Luluco and Nova are away because they imbued in our minds that they will meet someday. Someday.

For the rest of the supporting characters, I can’t say much because like Midori, I figure she is the dumb comic relief sometimes spewing one or two punch lines but that’s about it. Then there is the cool flaming Justice who is always spewing stuffs about justice and the likes. And then there is his silent secretary who doesn’t have a single dialogue in this series and sometimes you think she might be there just to add up for the numbers. But she is no pushover either as she can hold her own and does what is expected as a secretary would do. Keiji is the passionate loudmouth guy of the series but thankfully he spends a short time conscious otherwise our ears will be ringing with his constant barrage of high volume shouting. Finally, Lalaco. Ah, the pirate mom wannabe who wants to be anything but normal. She’s not as bad as you think she is. As mean as she might look, Luluco is still her daughter and if a mother doesn’t support her own child’s first love, I don’t know what is. With parents like these, do you think Luluco has a shot at being normal?

So it is really true that what constitutes being normal or not is basically down to your beliefs and stereotypes. What is normal? Only you can decide that for yourself as Luluco learns to be herself and even if it looks abnormal in the eyes of others, but who cares what others say as long as you feel pretty normal and comfortable about it. Remember, better to have people around you who would prefer you to be as you are instead of forcing you to fit into what is normal. Heck, none of these folks here are normal but seeing wacky they are, it’s pretty normal for them in that case.

Art and drawing are of course funny and cute. But I can’t help notice how the characters resemble those from Panty And Stocking With Garterbelt, another series under Gainax. At least the outline and overall design. Thus it has that overall cartoonish feel. Some of the backgrounds like the buildings and shops of Ogikubo feel like they are cut outs from real blocks. Being true to their style over substance flare, there are lots of special effects and special especially in the epic final episode fight for the heck of it. When I first look at the Aflutter Jewel, I thought it resembles a lot like the heart shaped jewels from Pretty Cure. Because this series wasn’t animated by Trigger or Gainax but Toei Animation. I know it could be just coincidence but it looks too close to call.

The only seiyuu I recognized was Nobuyuki Hiyama as Blackholeian. This guy seems to be the alumni of Trigger and Gainax animes as his voice is featured in many of their productions. From Gurren Lagann to Kill La Kill, it is like he is omnipresent in most of their animes. Of course he is also a veteran and has voiced many roles in other animes as well. Some of the other casts who also played in other Trigger animes are Mayumi Shintani as Midori (Jakuzure in Kill La Kill), Tetsu Inada as Justice (Gamagoori in Kill La Kill) and Mitsuo Iwata as Keiji (Fukuroda in Kill La Kill). The rest of the casts are Mao as Luluco (Renge in Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku No Zvezda), Junya Enoki as Nova (Shoutarou in Sakurako-san No Ashimoto Ni Wa Shitai Ga Umatteiru) and Youko Honna as Lalaco (Nagisa in Pretty Cure series).

The opening theme, Cry Max Doheijitsu by Fujirokku Kari is a crazy rock n roll song despite lasting only for 30 seconds. It gets you into the crazy pace of what to expect from this series. I don’t think the singer is even singing. He’s just talking fast. If you have heard that ending theme from Naruto, Hajimete Kimi To Shabetta, you will have an idea how this song will sound like. But the oddest song is the ending theme. Pipo Password by Teddyloid featuring Bonjour Suzuki feels like a creepy space song. How should I put it… Because it feels like the singer is whispering as she sings, thus the creepy cosmos-like feel of the song. It somewhat reminds me of the ending theme in Yuri Seijin Naoko-san…

Overall, this series feels like it has everything packed under one roof. It has action, explosions, it has adventure (in space), it has romance, it has drama and it has the funny stuffs to tickle your bone. It is so silly and ridiculous but at the same time so fun to watch. And it all blends it so seamlessly that it seems so perfect that you might not even notice. If I might say so, it could be one of those few series that mashes up a little of everything and turning out right. Thank goodness, right? For a short show filled with whirlwind space action adventure romantic comedy, it sure gives a great value and justice to many other animes out there with similar length. Oh wait. There aren’t that many of such same length. But I guarantee you will be blown away by the greatness of epic universal proportions of this little gem. Justice is indeed served.

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