Happy Sugar Life - Anime review
Rating: ⭐⭐ (2 stars)
Length: 12 Episodes
Aired: Jul 14, 2018 to Sep 29, 2018
Happy Sugar Life is a show about Satou Matsuzaka, a beautiful high schooler with a reputation for being flirtatious with the men in her school. The truth is that she has never felt love. Until, that is, she meets the seemingly abandoned 8-year old Shio Koube and falls in love with her. She then takes Shio home with her and begins to plan their ‘Happy Sugar Life’ together, including getting married and moving away together, and she refuses to let things like ‘the law of consent’, and ‘the crime of kidnapping’ get in her way.
To address the elephant in the room: I would suggest this anime is an attempt to emulate ‘Lolita’ in a way, with an unreliable main character performing terrible acts for the sake of their own perverse desires, but it doesn’t do a fantastic job of illustrating her desires as ‘wrong’ so much as her way of going about it. It’s an awkward watch and may not be great for anyone who has had to deal with issues like abusive family members as it handles everything in a very careless manner.
Moving on from that, a lot of the characters in this show tend to do some ridiculously dumb things for the sake of the plot, and it’s hard to dispute whether or not it’s in- character for them to be that ridiculously thick since almost nobody gets characterisation outside of some surface level traits, and then a laundry list of neuroses. The end is mostly spelt out at the beginning of the show so there’s no tension and zero stakes. Its a show about a person who was actually just three psychotic breaks wearing a trench coat. And they are also a paedophile. There isn’t a single wholly likeable character in the show outside of Shio, and even Shio is mostly just pitied.
The reason I don’t give it one star is because I did binge it, and finish it, but I don’t know if that says more about me than the anime. It’s written in a way that made me need to know just much worse it could get. It felt like each episode was another level of “wtf” and I needed to know how deep the rabbit hole went. I didn’t find the show ‘difficult’ to watch, outside of the obvious, the pacing is snappy and there’s always some ridiculous scenario to be wormed out of, so you keep watching to try and figure out how everything is going to fall into place.
If you want examples of this kind of style (Cute on the surface, but then suddenly psychological horror) but done well, try School Live, Higurashi, and Magical Girl Raising Project. I assure you you’ll have a much better time, and considerably less paedophilia. I award Happy Sugar life two stars, and with that, will hopefully not think about it again outside of examples of contenders for the ‘trying too hard to be edgy’ awards (Working title).
Author: Jace Cowan
Manager - Let's Go Akamaru!