Love will save the universe!

I confess, I’m not a massive Trigger fan. In fact, most Gainax shows haven’t appealed to me either, but I still give them a shot and anything Trigger produces is worth checking out. Those who loved Kill la Kill are sure to be sold on the studio’s style and direction, but I never bought into it – until this past season. With both Uchuu Patrol Luluco and Kiznaiver airing, they’ve given us two very different, yet similarly stylistic shows that I’d consider their best TV works to date. They haven’t got the greatest backlog to compare to, but I can now say I’m a fan of what they’re going for. I appreciate a studio that has a sense of style and that knows what sort of content they want to produce – content that is distinguishable and can be associated with their brand; that’s why I love Kyoto Animation and Studio Ghibli, and have respect for Shaft even if their titles aren’t always to my taste. It now feels like Studio Trigger have solidified expectations and attracted a sizeable fanbase. And not only that, but it appears they’ve got themselves a mascot in Luluco.

My expectations were pretty low going into this – and in the first few episodes it wasn’t anything too special. To me, it just seemed like something fun and silly that Trigger felt like doing; a passion project more than anything else. But with every three episodes being lumped into its own ‘season’ I quickly realised that the ceiling was rather high from what Uchuu Patrol Luluco had to offer. The First Season introduced our cast in a standard but mildly amusing way, the Second introduced a Luluco’s mother, stepping away from the gags to deliver something personal, the Third was all about Trigger referencing their previous or current projects – whether it be an entire episode set in the world of Little Witch Academia, an Inferno Cop reference, or Nova’s secret kizna scar on his back – while the Fourth and Final wrapped everything up in a more serious fashion, giving us some twists with Nova’s character as well as focusing on Luluco’s innocent middle school crush.

Not many short anime are this well planned out and diverse. The result is that some episodes (or whole Seasons) are more engaging than others, but I appreciate the ambition here. This could have just been a flat gag show, and that would have been fine, but what we got was better, if less consistent.

More than anything, this gives me hope for the studio’s future. It feels like the directors and key animators had a blast with this; the attempts to preserve their animation chops is smart in the way the art quality never dips, but instead relies more on still frames and panning shots. I’ll take that method of money and time saving over episodes that just look plain shoddy. When Luluco was on it – like in the finale – it was bold, colourful, and the characters burst off the screen. They may not be the most original, and the comedy is definitely similar to what we got in Kill la Kill, but Trigger have done a good job with this passion project. With a Trigger-chan mascot now revealed, and a Little Witch Academia TV anime announced, things is looking good for Imaishi Hiroyuki and company. I’m excited to see what else they offer next in their inter-connected universe.

9 Comments

  1. I love Trigger and have been a fan of their work since they first released Inferno Cop. This was not only a love letter to their fans, this was telling their own story; it is their 5 year anniversary this year after all.

    Trigger Girls was some anime idea that released as a drawing on April Fool’s Day 2015. Coincidentally, or not, Luluco also premiered on that day in 2016. So, Samu is absolutely right that this was an origin story for (one of) their mascot(s). I think it also tells the story about their studio too. You have Luluco who just wants to be normal but comes to realize that her normal is whatever she wants it to be.

    The crossovers were great, shout-out to their Animator Expo short Sex and Violence with Mach-Speed. As I said, this was them not only doing a love letter to the fans but also acknowledging all the original work they have done in the last 5 years. I look forward to what they are doing in the future, especially the new Little Witch Academia TV anime.

    Gouka Ryuu
  2. Trigger had a good season. If you like their wacky and zany stuff, Luluco was for you. And even though Kiznaiver had its problems, I’d say Mari Okada did a good job on it. I enjoyed both their shows this season.

    But still, I’m waiting for Imaishi and co. to wow us with the next Gurren Lagann. Kill la Kill was great, but it wasn’t Gurren Lagann great.

    Mormegil
  3. I didn’t ever think this random show would actually be the origin story of TRIGGER’s mascot. …. mainly because I’m from the United States where barely anyone has even HEARD of the TRIGGER girl, even anime fans. So I had no way of knowing. I even had to read this information after seeing the finale to find out!

    starss
  4. After watching the entire series, to me, Space Patrol Luluco isn’t just about a normal girl becoming a defender of justice, beating bad guys, and experience romance. This anime is about the world of Studio Trigger itself.

    Two things surprise me though, one: Luluco is Miss Trigger, and two: Trigger’s way to end the anime(“passing the torch” to LWA).

    Rak
  5. Not to down play your wonderful write up, Samu, but the main thing I got out of this was “Little Witch Academia TV anime.” 😀 😀 😀 😀

    Trippwire
  6. One of my favs this season. The gags were well done and not beat to death.
    I really liked the ED song, too. The episode’s direction was good as well and
    seemed well thought out with a definite plot and story line.

    Nice write-up Samu, thanks!

    mac65
  7. I was really pleasantly surprised and enjoyed this short 8 episodic burst of my life with Luluco.
    And also thanks to Luluco, I discovered Bonjour Suzuki! Great listen for a late evening.

    ornehx

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