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Old 2008-07-07, 07:26   Link #101
DragoonKain3
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I dunno about you, but it is a fact that since Asian women are generally small, they are generally 'squeakier' as you call it. The fact that this is even contested makes me go .

I mean, just listen to loads of different female VAs with their normal voices, and the majority of them ARE 'squeakier' than Sora as of right now. Or even watch live-action J-dramas; God knows stars like Hirosue Ryoko and others are very squeaky, <_<
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Old 2008-07-07, 07:51   Link #102
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Well, I think it mostly has to do with the types of roles Sora's VA, Kana Hanazawa tends to have. In almost everything she does, she is diminutive and/or is a little sister type. Like for example, she is Yuka in Kyouran Kazoku and she fits perfectly because her character is like a pipsqueak. I guess we'll see once we see more of Sora later on.

Also, I sorta say that she sounds squeakier than usual because all I do is interact with Asian girls and women. I think seiyuu/VAs typically concentrate their voices as to 'squeak' when they're playing little girls all the time. I definitely agree that Asian women tends to speak more demurely and consequently higher pitched at times, whether it's because of the culture and/or physical makeup of the racial features. I just think that the seiyuu does that to accentuate it. Especially with Hanazawa.
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Old 2008-07-07, 08:10   Link #103
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I definitely agree that Asian women tends to speak more demurely and consequently higher pitched at times, whether it's because of the culture and/or physical makeup of the racial features.
Honestly? Most of the time, I think they sound like that purposely to sound cute. I, myself, am an Asian woman (pretty short at that), and in no way do I have a "squeaky" voice. That goes the same for most of my Asian women friends as well. So, no, I don't buy the whole small people as "squeaky" as fact.
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Old 2008-07-07, 08:15   Link #104
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Oh, I'm sure a lot of people do that to fit their personality or whatever. To me, that fits in the 'cultural' category so to speak. But it's just that it's almost default for Asian women to never reach the 6 feet tall mark that a lot of western women do, or to live up to some super-mature (as in physical size, again, with women growing nearly 6 feet tall or something) image of some western ideal for the most part. I think that's perfectly fine the way it is. And if some seiyuu decide to sell it accordingly with their voice, then so be it. That's why I think they're so good at what they do compared to western voice actors struggling to do little-kids' voices in comparison.
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Old 2008-07-07, 08:30   Link #105
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As for Slice of Life, as I see it the main attribute of these kind of shows is the absence of a classical plot beginning with a problem and ending with a resolution. Because that's not how "slices of life" are. At best you have intertwined story lines of variable length without a clear beginning or end. Instead of a system of scenes arranged under the diktat of the overarching plot of the episode and/or the series. Slice of Life does not mean having a somehow relaxed, laid-back, sorrow-free etc. atmosphere or something like that. (And the other way around.) Slice of Life stories can well be placed in world war trenches.

Anything that can be described with the formula "xxx of the week" is most likely not Slice of Life. MTTK wasn't Slice of Life. I admit that these thoughts have no practical value whatsoever.
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Old 2008-07-07, 08:42   Link #106
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Well, my personal view on what exactly is slice of life represented is based on a focus on the setting. You can have a series with a focus on the characters (standard comedies or dramas), series with focus on the plot (epic mecha/shounen series) and series with a focus on the setting. Even when there is a plot and a characterization, the main highlights of these shows have to do with the "atmosphere" where the characters and the story develop. It doesn't mean it has to be a sorrow-free or laid back atmosphere, though.

Just my opinion on something that's clearly too young to be defined properly.
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Old 2008-07-07, 08:46   Link #107
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If you're referring to the way I worded it, by 'relaxed', I didn't mean in some peace-only aspect. I do think the word 'relaxed' gets tossed around a lot for slice of life style shows, but I think that's only because most of them do feel that way compared to conventional anime. That, and let's face it; relaxed atmosphere + comedy = automatic slice of life it seems. It's like a Western comedian taking humor from the mundane and that's precisely what a lot of slice of life comedies do.

As for my own take on what 'relaxed' means in regards to slice of life shows, it's in its pacing. Instead of a highly action-oriented anime where you get a lot of time-leaps going from one day to the next in a single episode just to progress the story, I simply find that slice of life shows relaxes that fast rhythm and focuses it down more to some sort of an even pacing at least within the episode.

I do agree that they can have slice of life events that has to do with grievous situations (Grave of the Fireflies..), but I'm not sure how open ended it is really is indicative of the genre specification. I mean it surely can be for a lot of shows because they simply don't have a singular aim, but look at Azumanga and you can basically sum it up as something that happened in highschool. I think as far as how open-ended slice of life stuff can go, I think that argument can go anywhere. Heck, I can even argue that Potemayo was a slice of life show because of that very combination of open-endedness to the individual stories, but then again, it did have some sort of a structure because of the furry things' lifespans and how they influenced the characters.

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Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post
Well, my personal view on what exactly is slice of life represented is based on a focus on the setting. You can have a series with a focus on the characters (standard comedies or dramas), series with focus on the plot (epic mecha/shounen series) and series with a focus on the setting. Even when there is a plot and a characterization, the main highlights of these shows have to do with the "atmosphere" where the characters and the story develop. It doesn't mean it has to be a sorrow-free or laid back atmosphere, though.

Just my opinion on something that's clearly too young to be defined properly.
Honestly, I don't think it's too early ever since Azumanga made the term not only popular, but something that a lot of anime/manga has striven for. Surely the earlier examples were the romance anime of the 80's, so the idea isn't that new. Just that people seems to be realizing the goal of certain storytelling styles of anime.

Also, I agree with the idea that no matter what the genre, setting or characterizations, you can still attach the slice of life tag there as long as an anime focuses singularly on a single character and his/her life. As in the literal 'slice of life'. If an anime is more focused about a goal other than that, that would make it less slice-of-life-ish, but that doesn't really negate its impact on the storytelling either. In a sense, I don't think anime can truly be slice of life. To me it's like an add-on genre of sorts. Even conventional anime may have a special episode or two that focuses only on several characters' individual lives and let viewers get more intimate and discern the life of those few.

I mean, there's literary examples too, in that the term slice of life comes from literary ways of telling characters' stories in a more concentrated, singular point of view instead of a focus on story progression. And those literary works that has been coined as 'slice of life' usually did have a proper flow of story progression and even conclusions too.

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Originally Posted by Slice of Life View Post
As for Slice of Life, as I see it the main attribute of these kind of shows is the absence of a classical plot beginning with a problem and ending with a resolution. Because that's not how "slices of life" are. At best you have intertwined story lines of variable length without a clear beginning or end. Instead of a system of scenes arranged under the diktat of the overarching plot of the episode and/or the series.
I would only disagree half with that because that's what only some slice of life shows tries to do. Like I said before, it seems there are plenty of shows with some sort of a beginning, middle and ending to have the tighter character introspection that goes with that metaphor of 'slice of life'. Haibane Renmei is one great example since it did have a proper story, but it did have just as much, if not more, to do with the everyday lives of the characters.

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Anything that can be described with the formula "xxx of the week" is most likely not Slice of Life. MTTK wasn't Slice of Life. I admit that these thoughts have no practical value whatsoever.
I can fully say without any doubt that is false. Why? Look only at one of my favorite shows in Pretty Cure. It has the 'monster of the week' and the 'problem of the week', but it DEFINITELY is slice of life in how it tackles things in a personal level. Surely, the entire structure and aim of the show is definitely magical girl, but the individual structure and storytelling? They're as slice of life as they come. Heck, even Nanoha had several episodes like that.

Last edited by SuperKnuckles; 2008-07-07 at 09:09.
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Old 2008-07-07, 09:37   Link #108
WanderingKnight
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Having a strong and rich characterization doesn't particularly make it slice of life, you know. I believe SoL's comment wasn't aimed at that.

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Honestly, I don't think it's too early ever since Azumanga made the term not only popular, but something that a lot of anime/manga has striven for. Surely the earlier examples were the romance anime of the 80's, so the idea isn't that new. Just that people seems to be realizing the goal of certain storytelling styles of anime.
It IS too early. Genres take years, sometimes decades to find a strong definition, and even then there's going to be dissent. The whole "slice of life" thingie started only a couple of years ago (and now it seems everyone in the fandom wants to call stuff "slice of life" simply because it's based on real life... which is definitely not at all the case). When you've got people calling Lucky Star a slice of life show, then you've got a problem, because that series is better defined by an already existing and well established genre (say, since 700 BC?) which is comedy. The only reason why people insist on calling it slice of life is because it gives the series some kind of "status" that makes it different from the rest... when it's only just a random collection of gags based on real life. No slice of life elements needed to describe it.
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Old 2008-07-07, 09:50   Link #109
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Very nice first episode. Seems they're sticking with the "girl from the sticks" angle. Felt very much like a preparation for the real deal - something we didn't have with Yume.
Character design kind of felt out of place at certain points - you had awesome looking scenery but the people looked kinda bland and out of place at some points. Maybe it'll grow on me, dunno.
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Old 2008-07-07, 09:56   Link #110
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I wouldn't call Haibane Renmei a Slice of Life anime for the most part because there's definitely a plot. Even the initial filler episodes are there for a resaon. They do character work and explain the world of the Haibane.

"xxx of the week" means there is a repeated plot structure so it's probably not Slice of Life. I've seen only little of Pretty Cure but the appearance of villians that are defeated at the end doesn't look like Slice of Life to me.

Of course you can always have a mixture of elements.

I also don't see why strong characterization and Slice of Life should exclude each other as WK says. If you could watch random interesting "slices" of my life I'm quite sure you'd get a good impression of my character. You just won't get "a plot".

It seems our understanding of that term differs drastically. Which brings me back to the beginning: it's a very vague term.
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Old 2008-07-07, 10:02   Link #111
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Originally Posted by Sorrow-K View Post
Anyway, I thought that from the fact that her mother couldn't face the right direction to wave goodbye. It did seem a strange action if she was blind since she'd at least be able to hear which direction they were headed in. I guess she's just eccentric (or emotional).
That part threw me for a loop too, but then I rewatched it and I thought it's most likely because although the scene showed the truck going off-screen, it did not show the truck making a U-turn to go on the main road.

Yeah, not exactly a very good use of animation there.
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Old 2008-07-07, 10:04   Link #112
WanderingKnight
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I also don't see why strong characterization and Slice of Life should exclude each other as WK says.
Not exclude each other--just saying that a strong characterization doesn't necessarily make it slice of life. Azumanga Daioh had an excellent character development and I think few here would not categorize it as a slice of life show.
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Old 2008-07-07, 12:00   Link #113
Kaoru Chujo
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I've always had trouble with "slice of life" as the name of a genre, and maybe now I can see why, since different people have different ideas of what it is.

I guess I think what "slice of life" refers to is something where the daily lives of the characters are the most important thing, rather than the plot. But how to judge that?

Very few shows actually dispense with plot. I think of Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou as the archetypal slice of life show, but it has a plot, just a slowly developing one. Even ARIA has little plots in each episode and some overall plot movement. I think a slow, dreamy atmosphere makes me think of a show as slice of life.

I think the term must have been invented by someone who normally liked shounen adventure but found himself enjoying a show without that kind of action and plot, so instead of calling the show "plotless and slow," he called it "slice of life." It's not a term I've seen in Japanese, but I'm not sure what term they apply to such shows, if any.

Of new shows, Hidamari Sketch is the one that will seem most "slice of life," I think, since it really is the daily lives and characters of the residents that is the important thing there, and the large or small plot is quite secondary. But very few shows are so pure in that regard.
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Old 2008-07-07, 12:04   Link #114
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Episode 1 article is up:

[RIUVA] Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto ~Natsu no Sora~, Episode 1
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Old 2008-07-07, 12:23   Link #115
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Ah, the slice-of-life debate. When I think of recent shows that call the term to mind, I think of Minami-ke (the first one) and Sketchbook. As different as those are , just goes to show how broad that term can be. Yet, for me, they both meet the definition.
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Old 2008-07-07, 15:22   Link #116
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Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post
When you've got people calling Lucky Star a slice of life show, then you've got a problem, because that series is better defined by an already existing and well established genre (say, since 700 BC?) which is comedy. The only reason why people insist on calling it slice of life is because it gives the series some kind of "status" that makes it different from the rest... when it's only just a random collection of gags based on real life. No slice of life elements needed to describe it.
Why should anything get a 'status' if it's slice of life? Again, look at something like Binbou Shimai Monogatari and tell me how much 'status' it has. Because it had none. Lucky Star is a slice of life because it tends to follow the mundane and leads to comedy and the show DEFINITELY falls into the category of not having a one goal in mind. It seems to fall into the more easy to understand definition of what slice of life shows are about.

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Originally Posted by Slice of Life View Post
I wouldn't call Haibane Renmei a Slice of Life anime for the most part because there's definitely a plot. Even the initial filler episodes are there for a resaon. They do character work and explain the world of the Haibane.
Again, I fail to see how having a continuous plot really detracts from its slice of life aspect. That's the thing. I simply can't see how a single anime can be only slice of life or have its slice of life aspects stripped apart simply because it strives to do other things.

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"xxx of the week" means there is a repeated plot structure so it's probably not Slice of Life. I've seen only little of Pretty Cure but the appearance of villians that are defeated at the end doesn't look like Slice of Life to me.
A ton of slice of life shows tends to have repeated cliques and structure. Minami ke basically drives around the archetypes of its sisters for example. Even with Aria, it usually tends to do with the Undine training. It depends on what you're willing to identify as a repeated plot structure. I don't think it only falls into the idea of a weekly action show that can be identified as something with a pattern. Slice of life shows too. And you're looking too superficially at Pretty Cure. Villains that get defeated? So what? You aren't looking at the closer introspection of the individual characters that happens week in and out in the show. That's why the show has gotten so popular, because it comes in where Sailor Moon left off with the shows takes a break from the 'monster of the week' stuff by following the daily lives of the girl. That in by very definition is slice of life. Again, the classification is easy because it's definitely magical girl. But that does not detract from the daily, mundane, 'slice of life' aspects of the show. And I can say that for SURE as a Precure fan. I don't think you have much of a point to make as far as Precure is concerned. Hell, even shows like Shugo Chara definitely has a lot of slice of life aspects when the action pares down and looks closely at select few characters, though that usually is Amu.

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I also don't see why strong characterization and Slice of Life should exclude each other as WK says. If you could watch random interesting "slices" of my life I'm quite sure you'd get a good impression of my character. You just won't get "a plot".
I never said that they did exclude each other. That's why I said a lot of anime has the slice of life aspect to them especially in episodes that more closely follow around the daily happenings of the character rather than concentrate on the show's overall premise. Different anime simply have different levels of 'slice of life' aspect they have. It doesn't skip from one genre to the other entirely unless they make a real point of the episodes being a conglomeration of daily events. Again, sports anime are the best example for this: Aside from the training and fighting/competing, it's usually about characters comingling on a more personal level that gets the plot moving. I simply feel that shows that concentrate more on such aspect are more easily identifiable as slice of life. Again, I have NO IDEA why WK says 'slice of life is a term of status' because it isn't. It's only a way the storytelling is told. That's it. It has no indication on how good a certain show is.

And I still disagree that plot progression being excluded really makes sense, because while you don't get the straight up plot in conventional sense, you do get a conglomeration of it by the end of the series for a lot of its type. It's almost like in real life; you have all these different experiences coming together upon retrospection. While you seem to disagree with Haibane Renmei, all its smaller character introspection did lead to the unveiling of the overall mystery.

Quote:
It seems our understanding of that term differs drastically. Which brings me back to the beginning: it's a very vague term.
For your name being 'slice of life', you surely don't seem to appreciate the terminology quite the way most people I've known seems to. And I don't entirely disagree that the term is vague. It's just not 'very vague' because slice of life is a dead metaphor. As in that it's VERY literal: Slice. Of. Life. Once you have the slower than usual character introspection and the anime focuses on it more than conventional types of storytelling, that is simply slice of life. Again, it doesn't matter what type of show it is that can have slice of life aspects (again, Pretty Cure and sports anime being the best examples of this).

Also, by most definitions regarding shows like MTTK, Aria, Azumanga, Potemayo, Lucky Star, Binbou Shimai, Haibane Renmei and others I've talked about, just about all the opinions I've heard elsewhere seems to agree definitely that they are slice of life in the lion's share of the storytelling they consist of. Again, the term more seems to be like an addendum genre than something that is a genre onto itself unless a show focuses squarely on that aspect (like Azumanga). I don't think a small discussion in a single thread really equates to everyone being up in the air about slice of life. I think most people have a pretty good grasp of the *idea* of it. If different anime experiments in different ways of storytelling, that is up to them. It's not up to us to discern them in scientific terms all the time. And of course, sites like Anime News Network has it right like I say all along. Instead of worrying about taking a show into a single genre specification, if a show sufficiently has slice of life aspects, just put it as an addendum. Problem solved.
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Old 2008-07-07, 15:33   Link #117
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Why should anything get a 'status' if it's slice of life? Again, look at something like Binbou Shimai Monogatari and tell me how much 'status' it has. Because it had none. Lucky Star is a slice of life because it tends to follow the mundane and leads to comedy and the show DEFINITELY falls into the category of not having a one goal in mind. It seems to fall into the more easy to understand definition of what slice of life shows are about.
It seems I forgot to put "they believe it gets some status". I definitely don't think the series get that sort of thing, hence the quotation marks I used with the word--but there's people who do, and thus start applying the moniker to everything that apparently represents real life (which is an idiotic way of classifying a series).
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Old 2008-07-07, 17:08   Link #118
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Might I suggest that this discussion of the term "slice-of-life" has now deviated far off-topic for this thread about Mahou Tsukai? Perhaps if you all would like to continue this discussion, you might want to start a thread in General Anime on the subject?

(Personally, I don't usually find genre debates to be all that fruitful. Who cares what genre a show falls into? All I care about is whether the show is worth watching given my tastes. Nevertheless I see perennial debates about what's "shounen" versus "seinen" or comedy vs. SOL, etc., etc. I've watched excellent programs in most every genre and expect I'll continue to do so.)
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Old 2008-07-08, 01:37   Link #119
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Am I the only person who can look past the whole slice of life debate and say that I thought the first episode was full of win. From the amazing OP, to the amazing sound experience, to the jaw dropping backdrops?

This series has rocketed into my favorite watch lists, right up there with macross frontier and code geass.
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Old 2008-07-08, 02:52   Link #120
SuperKnuckles
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Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
Might I suggest that this discussion of the term "slice-of-life" has now deviated far off-topic for this thread about Mahou Tsukai? Perhaps if you all would like to continue this discussion, you might want to start a thread in General Anime on the subject?

(Personally, I don't usually find genre debates to be all that fruitful. Who cares what genre a show falls into? All I care about is whether the show is worth watching given my tastes. Nevertheless I see perennial debates about what's "shounen" versus "seinen" or comedy vs. SOL, etc., etc. I've watched excellent programs in most every genre and expect I'll continue to do so.)
Yep. You're right. Even with slice of life style shows, the boundaries are always pretty blurred out by the fact that they strive for a lot of different things whether it'd be comedy, romance, action, etc. Maybe in the 80's, when people really did not tag slice-of-life to the show description, things were a bit easier to identify (that and the fact that olden shows really strove for the conventions of their own genres in their time. You didn't really see school-life-comedy + mecha or something like that in the 70's and 80's).

I mean, I still heartily disagree that slice of life is that hard to distinguish, but if people think it needs to fall into more specific line of thought like Slice of Life has said, then so be it. I actually agree with that too as far as shows that strictly tries to sell itself in that regard. In the end, it really doesn't matter as long as the show's characters, plots and production values hold up.

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It seems I forgot to put "they believe it gets some status". I definitely don't think the series get that sort of thing, hence the quotation marks I used with the word--but there's people who do, and thus start applying the moniker to everything that apparently represents real life (which is an idiotic way of classifying a series).
Maybe in some circles, I would agree. 4chan and all its elitist glory tends to put some weird status on the slice of life aspect, because it feels more 'real' and convincing. In some ways I'd agree, but I don't think the old conventions needs to be demonized or marginalized like that. If the very term slice of life is meant to put some weird political spin on the outlook of a particular show, I would agree that is very silly. To me, it's just a descriptor for how the story is told. Nothing more, nothing less. If someone calls Lucky Star a pure comedy, I would really have no beef with it at all. Though I'd still argue that its storytelling style is slice of life.
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