Space Patrol Luluco Anime Review: Obscurity on the Weekly #3


Welcome to Obscurity on the Weekly, a home for obscure things retro to modern. This time we’re taking a look at Space Patrol Luluco, an anime series from the mind of Hiroyuki Imaishi.

Photo by William Whelchel
The show’s logo


Imaishi is a personal favorite director of mine, by which I mean he is my favorite maniac with a pen, with a whopping 3 of his six main directorial roles sitting on my favorites list. His signature style is very punchy and energetic animation, although somewhat simple and crude, with near constant motion, and Luluco is no exception.

Despite the usually dynamic animation, the show also employs limited animation fairly often. The lack of movement serves as hilarious contrast to the insane pacing of events. There’s even one character, the justice obsessed Chief Over Justice, who only bends at the elbow. Well, at least until he turns into a gun. Oh, did I mention he is a skeleton?

Luluco defies genre in the traditional sense. If I was pressed to name a genre that the show fits into, the best I could come up with would be “Action romantic comedy sci-fi police drama…thing.” Despite the eclectic nature, the shows core is probably the romance between Alpha Omega Nova and Luluco, and the themes that sprout from this romance.

The biggest barrier to entry is the plethora of references to other Imaishi, Studio Trigger, and Studio Gainax, Imaishi’s former studio, works. Leaving out any references that aren’t important to the plot, it still leaves you with Kill la Kill, Little Witch Academia, Inferno Cop, Sex and Violence with Machspeed, just to understand a lot of the plot. If you want to get everything you can out of the show, that adds Gurren Lagann, Kiznaiver, Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt, and Gunbuster, and that’s just what I could pick up on. A more complete list of the references in this show can be found here.

Photo by William Whelchel
The main cast doing their signature pose.
From left to right,
Nova, Luluco, Chief Over Justice, Secretary, Midori

However, despite the abundance of said references, the show is worth a watch, even without having seen many of the referenced shows. Luluco is fun, sweet, and crazy, mixed in the perfect ratio, and the references only serve as the cherry on top. Watching Luluco without getting the references is still a worthwhile experience, especially given its less than 2 hour length.

As well as being amusing, Luluco has themes and ideas that can really resonate depending on the person you are. Luluco features some “power of love” style cheesiness, but the show also comments on individuality and what it means to value something. While not the deepest things in the world, the usage of these ideas is very resonant with me personally, and will likely connect with fans of Imaishi’s other works.

If you’re a fan of spastic comedy, or themes of love, value, and individuality resonate with you, you might enjoy Space Patrol Luluco.

Be on the lookout for more Obscurity on the Weekly.