As anyone who has seen Lucky Star will remember, most of the references to other anime and manga are censored. The most obvious examples of this are references to Gundam or Sgt. Frog (both of which are notably Sunrise shows). Presumably this is done to avoid KyoAni getting sued. This also explains why references to Haruhi and Full Metal Panic weren't censored (as far as I remember). Interestingly these instances of censorship probably could have been removed in the English release since it was licensed by Bandai, but I don't know if they actually were, so this question might only apply to the Japanese version.

However, there are still a few cases of references which weren't censored despite no obvious connection between the Lucky Star team and the source. The one that immediately comes to mind is To Heart, which is referenced several times. To Heart is associated with VN studio Leaf as well as animation studios Oriental Light and Magic and AIC, neither of which have anything to do with Lucky Star (KyoAni and Kadokawa). I can't find any connections between them, but of course that could be oversight on my part, and I didn't check all of the individual staff members.

Is there some connection that I missed? Barring that, what sort of policy would a studio typically use for references like this? Would they try to obtain permission for all of the references, or just bleep the ones that seem risky to them?

  • How about Strawberry Panic!? (Konata is shown watching Straberry Panic!, though it wasn't shown, the anime's 2nd opening theme song was being played.) Is there any connection to Lucky Star and Strawberry Panic! ?
    – xjshiya
    Apr 25, 2013 at 8:53

3 Answers 3


Not sure if this is just a random connection or actually the reason, but here's the connection between Lucky Star and ToHeart:

Lucky Star's manga and anime are published by different branches of Kadokawa. The ToHeart manga was published by MediaWorks which was owned by, you guessed it, Kadokawa.

I don't know if every single branch of Kadokawa is allowed to mention a work in every other branch, but there is at least this connection. If someone bought Lucky Star DVDs and saw ToHeart mentioned and then decided to go buy the ToHeart manga, that's a double win for Kadokawa.

  • That's a nice connection that I wasn't aware of. I don't know how these sorts of big studios work, if the different departments would be in contact, but it's certainly possible.
    – Logan M
    Dec 12, 2012 at 4:33
  • Well, I'd imagine it would at least be easier to request something like this from a department owned by the same company rather than a completely different company. Just speculation though.
    – atlantiza
    Dec 12, 2012 at 4:38
  • While this is just speculation, I think it's as good as we're going to get unless someone on the Lucky Star team happens to be here (unlikely). I've accepted this, though a better answer could still appear in the future.
    – Logan M
    Dec 12, 2012 at 22:38
  • I'd love to see a more definitive answer as well (and wouldn't care at all if mine was un-accepted for it), but like you said, doubt we're going to get one.
    – atlantiza
    Dec 12, 2012 at 22:39

A major concern might be whether they has consent from the references' company.

An example would be Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai, they show some vender's H-GAME cover in Kirino's H-Game pill, which have offended those companies and the production studio later apologized. (If I remember correctly)

Updated: 2013/12/26

I found something interested when investigating a recent news, I'm not sure it's relevant or not though)

http://www.itmedia.co.jp/news/articles/1312/20/news095.html (Japanese):

A recent episode of Yuri Danshi in Japan was said to infringe the copyright of some manga. (Hidamari Sketch, A Channel, Golden Mosaic)

enter image description here I thought this should be in the range of fair use (just like quoting sentences from another book), after checking "Fair use" the Japanese Wikipedia, it turns out "Fair use" doesn't exists in Japan's copyright laws. You must have consent from the author.

  • 1
    I think romanized titles (e.g. Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai) should be used unless there's good reason to use the Japanese, since not everyone here reads Japanese. As for the answer, are you just speculating that KyoAni got permission, or do you know that they did? Not that I have a problem with speculation in cases like this, but it's not clear to me from your answer.
    – Logan M
    Dec 12, 2012 at 3:38
  • I've replace the Japanese. Yes, I speculate Kyoto Animation got permission.
    – albb
    Dec 12, 2012 at 3:50

Mainly due to copyright reasons and the animes not belonging to the animation studio.

If they decided to un-blur them they would have to give copyright claim for all of them or get permission from other companies.

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