Luck & Logic
by Lauren Orsini,
How would you rate episode 1 of
Luck & Logic ?
How would you rate episode 2 of
Luck & Logic ?
How can an anime be so familiar and yet so completely out of left field? It helps that Luck & Logic is based on a card game where the gaming strategy is far richer than the story. This show lovingly pays homage to just about every anime cliché you can think of, and yet it also manages to create a steep learning curve for any viewer who isn't taking copious notes on its unique lexicon. With action scenes reminiscent of fighting games (and visual kei outfits to match), gods and goddesses, archdemons, a protagonist who can do nothing wrong, a doting little sister, a veritable harem of love interests, and the future of the entire world at stake, Luck & Logic has something for everyone, but risks pandemonium by tossing all these elements into just one anime.
Yoshichika Tsurugi is “a stereotypical lead character,” according to his instantly recognizable cliché of a little sister. He's an average carefree teen who just happens to effortlessly be the best Logicalist this world has ever seen. Despite his celebrity status, he's been living undercover with his family thanks to his missing Logic Card, which contains the power that allows him to fight anomalies in this world. You see, every couple of hours or so an archdemon appears through a paradox gate from some kind of hell-world in order to possess somebody, and Logicalists need to break their “trance” over that person in order to contain the Paradox Zone. This process requires Logicalists to pair up with Covenanters, literal goddesses from a heavenly parallel world who choose high-Logic humans they want to work with. Since their monstrous opponents only appear where people are, they're always battling in big crowded places like malls, and yet there are still hundreds of people still shopping at these malls at risk of mortal peril.
All of the Logicalists we meet are beautiful teen girls (except the enigmatic rival Olga Breakchild, but that's another story), and despite their hard work and hours of experience, Tsurugi is somehow ten times as talented as anyone else without even trying. Naturally, all the girls that surround him in their scanty battle suits have crushes on him, but the girl in the lead is Athena, the goddess who chose to be Tsurugi's Convenanter after finding his Logic card washed up on a beach somewhere. It's anime logic in action—this is a main character, so he deserves a gorgeous love interest, and now here she is! We're not sure why she's here now, or how she managed to find Tsurugi's Logic card, or what the arbitrary numbers and stats that indicate Tsurugi's insane power mean, but we do know that it's all especially designed to look super cool and a little bit sexy. Not only must every Logicalist share a bedroom with their Covenanter, but in order to fuse their power (er, “share their Logic,”) they embrace and kiss. Like many other elements of the Logicalists' lives, this has yet to be explained. It's also yet to be explained why—in a world where every living thing consists of 1000 Logic cards—an elite few have supercharged Logic.
This technicolor digital fantasy world is high tech eye candy with lovely production and a powerhouse soundtrack, crowned by a pop-rock opening theme. It looks great, it sounds great, and yet the confusing premise is anything but logical. Logic is “a concept that transcends atoms,” so it should really just be called magic. Characters live in a chaotic multiverse where random events may befall populated public spaces at any time, and yet with work, school, and shopping, their everyday lives are quite similar to our own.
So far, this has been a reactive plot, where things happen so quickly that Tsurugi is simply forced to respond to things that occur instead of creating his own choices, and it's hard to tell just what kind of person he is yet, at least until we find out more about what happened to him two years ago. At the moment, we are still building up a world that has its own rhyme and reason, not to mention a fairly complex lexicon of Inappropriately Capitalized Nouns. But it wouldn't be the first time that a card game has made you carefully learn the rules before it became fun to play. Right now, Luck & Logic is as oversaturated with chaotic details as it is with colorful digital effects. The best thing the show can do from here to clarify itself is delve into Tsurugi's past, which just might be coming up soon, with a little luck.
Luck & Logic is currently streaming on Funimation.
Lauren writes about anime and journalism at Otaku Journalist.
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