Happy Sugar Life [Review]
“Satou Matsuzaka is a beautiful high schooler who has a reputation for being permissive with men. However, a chance encounter with a young girl named Shio Koube makes Satou realize that this is her first and only true feeling of love. Telling others that she lives with her aunt, Satou secretly shares an apartment with Shio. Despite her innocent appearance, Satou is willing to do anything to protect her beloved, resorting to desperate measures to ensure that their “happy sugar life” remains intact.” -MAL Rewrite
Happy Sugar Life catches your attention with what seems like an innocent and happy show but is actually about a twisted girl’s mind and her obsession with the concept of “love”. The show deals with dark themes such as rape, pedophilia, Stockholm syndrome, using the elevators during a fire, and inaccessible fire stairs (sorry it’s the architecture student inside of me coming out). Jokes aside, this show is dark and will make some feel very uncomfortable. The dark themes were what got my attention but as the story began developing and seeing the rash actions taken by the entire cast makes for a tiring show.
Artwork & Animation:
Happy Sugar Life unique take on the artwork is intriguing, to say the least. The use of two styles which depended on the main casts mood creating an eerie and uncanny atmosphere throughout the show. The “sweet” segments of the show would have a warm and sweet color palette: pinks, whites, and yellows, along with a cute and detailed art styled. On the other hand is the “bitter” segments featuring cold and brutal colors: dark blues, purples, black, and occasional reds with a rough and scribble art style almost as if someone drew the key animations through pure anger.
Happy Sugar Life takes the cake for the largest mentally unstable cast in an anime show. Each character had an unhealthy obsession with something or another person, to the point where it feels over exaggerated and forced. It’s easy to understand how the obsession began but its exponential growth feels unnatural and irrational making the characters themselves feels edgy and highly unlikable. Shio’s mental fight with herself was interesting and more development with something similar for the other characters would’ve made the show more engaging.
Sound (OST & Voice Acting):
When you think about Happy Sugar Life, the opening theme should be the first thing that pops into your mind as it embodies what the entire show is like. This idea of sweet and bitter moments translate into the song as a sudden instrumental change and tone of the voice. The soundtrack featured in the show lacks variety, only featuring a couple of tracks and slight variations in each.
I enjoyed the concept of the show and the first episode as I’ve never heard of Happy Sugar Life before. As the show dragged on, it became almost a pain to watch as the characters would make irrational decisions.
While the concept of Happy Sugar Life is interesting, the execution lacks the finesse that it needed to bring out the full potential of the plot. But the art direction and the opening does make the show a worthy watch if you’re into those types of things.
Best Girl: Hida Shouko
Shouko is the most tolerable character and the most logical choice in the show. Her rebellious side has a charm along with her dedication to her best friend makes for a lovable character. With brains to go along with her beauty, she’s as sharp as a knife! 😀