Some people have all the luck. That phrase especially rings true for Ichiko Sakura, the teenage star of Good Luck Girl – a humorous manga created by Yoshiaki Sukeno. Thanks to the bountiful amounts of happiness energy surging through her veins, Ichiko has been blessed with good fortune throughout her sixteen years of life. Miss Sakura was born into a wealthy family, excels in both sports & school studies… and she also has a fabulous rack (earning her the nickname Tit-chiko.) Unbeknownst to Ichiko, her eternally long winning streak is fuelled by her body sapping good luck away from anyone in the vicinity – a fact that has not gone unnoticed by the gods residing in the Misfortune Realm.
The thirteen-episode anime adaptation of Good Luck Girl (distributed in the UK courtesy of Manga Entertainment) begins with poverty god Momiji coming to Earth. She has been instructed to drain Ichiko’s happiness energy and redistribute it across the land, in order to bring balance to the force or something like that. Ichiko, as you can imagine, isn’t keen on being robbed off her good luck, particularly as the process involves getting impaled by an elongated hypodermic needle. Thus the hijinks begin. Using her unearthly powers Momiji tries to complete her mission, but things rarely go as planned. Trying to get the upper hand on a target that is perpetually lucky is no easy task – resulting in Momiji’s schemes often going the way of Wylie E Coyote’s attempts to nab the Roadrunner.
Ichiko and Momiji’s feud ends up attracting a whacky cast of supporting characters including Keita Tsuwabuki and Ranmaru Rindo. Keita is the dreamy classmate who dozes away during lessons, as he is exhausted from working part time jobs (necessary to support his siblings after the family was abandoned by their debt-ridden parents.) Ranmaru, who debuts in episode seven, is a transfer student who often gets mistaken for a boy. Her masculine appearance and street-fighting prowess stem from the fact that a strict martial artist raised her. Other characters of note include Bobby the perverted priest and Momo’o Inugami, a canine god who transforms into a Chihuahua whenever he gets aroused.
Comedy shows from Japan tend to be hit or miss with me, as I find that certain jokes can get lost in translation. Thankfully I can say that Good Luck Girl is a lot of fun thanks to its slapstick gags, fourth wall breaking shenanigans and a slew of giggle worthy anime references. The show is also a good example of how dubs can be just as watchable as subs, with the English language voice cast enhancing the material through some energetic performances. If eye candy is your thing you’ll be pleased to learn that there is a decent amount of fan service on display. Ichiko often finds herself in skin revealing situations, whilst cosplay lovers are well served by Momiji’s propensity for switching outfits.
The reason why I enjoyed Good Luck Girl more than some other comedies is because its characters have heart. Ichiko for example starts off as a selfish brat, who is accustomed to getting her own way, but as the series progresses we get to see glimpses of her more generous side. Even though she normally distances herself from others, after a kindergarten spat caused her to distrust people, there are several occasions were she uses her good luck to aid the downtrodden. Although she constantly butts heads with Momiji, as events unfold, their relationship transitions from an openly hostile one to a friendly rivalry of sorts. Nice touches like that sprinkled atop the zaniness is what makes this a four star series in my eyes. I’d be delighted if a second season were ever to be commissioned… but I doubt I’ll ever get that “lucky” as the Japanese DVD sales have reportedly been sub par.