Happy Lesson

July 27, 2007

Learning is a never ending and continuous process. One cannot finish learning in one’s entire lifetime. So far what I have learned from watching too many animes, my experience and knowledge tells me that Happy Lesson is gonna be another one of those harem animes. How true I was.
 
The title may sound like a show for younger audiences or for those with an ecchi mind may think that it contains explicit adult material. Well, it’s none of those. It’s more like your usual teenager anime series with some comedy-cum-drama-cum-romance and some lessons in life. Well, maybe the lessons in life part isn’t that obvious but if you do some deep thinking and analysis, I’m sure you’ll find one.
 
With 13 episodes of video study material (just kidding), we have this usual main male protagonist guy, Chitose Hitotose. As any other typical teenager at his age attending high school, he lost both his real parents while he was young but they left him a substantially large house in their will to him before their demise. Therefore, you’ll find his personality as somewhat a grumpy, grouchy, cranky, sulky, lazy, idle, lethargic, untrusting towards other people, full of angst teen.
 
But his ‘lonely’ life will soon take a turn for the better (or worse, depends on how you view it) when 5 ladies turned up at his doorstep and Chitose finds out that they are going to be his ‘mamas’. Yeah, each of them has their own unique and weird characteristics. Wow. Not only that, these mamas also turned out to be his teachers in his high school he attends. So it’s really going to be 1 big messy noisy and ‘lively’ place as they start living together. I guess Mother’s Day and Teacher’s Day is gonna be an expensive affair. So that’s the harem part. But unlike most harems, Chitose isn’t the peverted kind nor is he interested in any romantic relationship with the girls around him due to his nature.
 
I don’t really remember how did those 5 ladies ended up being Chitose’s moms and teachers I feel that those ladies look young enough to be his sisters or even his girlfriend! Don’t you think so? But each of them are sincerely doing their best to turn Chitose into someone respectable and useful. Hmm… Seems Chitose’s has a long way to go before achieving even close to that. So to avoid any confusion, I’ll sometimes make reference to Chitose as their son and the 5 ladies as his mom.
 
Before I continue, let me go through briefly Chitose’s fab five mother-cum-teachers. First up we have Mutsuki Ichimonji. This gentle bespectacled lady does most of the chores in the house like cooking and cleaning. Also, she is Chitose’s homeroom teacher and teaches Japanese classic literature. Then there is Kisaragi Ninomai. This is my favourite gal because she is plain weird. In addition to as Chitose’s physics teacher, this introvert, ’emotionless’ and ‘shy’ (soft-spoken in a way) lady has lots of weird inventions which does a lot of weird things. Plus she seems to defy laws of physics at times as sometimes you could see her sitting, hanging and appearing upside down from the screen. Another thing I happen to notice about her is that she doesn’t sit with the rest of the ‘family members’ during meals and has a table of her own. Uh-huh, she doesn’t eat normal food either but just some juices.
 
Next the miko priestess of the quintet is Yayoi Sanzenin. Sometimes wielding a sword to fend of any spiritual attacks and sometimes sticking it to Chitose’s neck just to make him change his mind or such. She is also the school’s physician or the school’s nurse and it seems Yayoi is quite popular with the boys. I’m not really sure they’re feigning it or not but the boys would come rushing to her room in a stampede just to get their whatever check-up. But she always reserve a place for Chitose. Too bad other boys. Looks like she’s already ‘taken’.
 
Uzuki Shitenno reminds me so much like Sakura from Da Capo. Yeah, she’s a cosplay fanatic and her personality is like those of a child which matches with her small physique. Some people don’t really grow up. Makes you wonder if she could really do her job as a mom and teacher. She can. In her own ‘unique’ way. She is the art teacher in school and is a happy-go-lucky girl. At least she’s the positive type. Finally, which harem wouldn’t be complete without that brute and crude gal. That’s Satsuki Gokajo alright. You might want to stay away from this gal because to her, brawns is better than brains (yeah, power is love) and she may get violent and aggressive at times, acting without thinking first, and her strength makes her a formidable opponent. However, this athletics teacher is generally a nice person, though she and Uzuki gets into arguments and squabbles (like stealing each other’s food) but in the end they make up pretty fast rendering that spat "What on Earth was that for in the first place?". Funny to watch them do that.
 
But because it would be really weird for other people to know that a kid has 5 moms, but his mama is also his teacher at school. The gang try their best to keep their relationship a secret from the rest like Chitose has to address them as senseis in school and as mamas back home and also going to school and coming back home at different times. This is so not to arouse any suspicions either. Since Chitose’s not the kind to mix around with others, I guess that’s okay. But for the teachers… I mean, who wants to know where their teachers live, right? Okay, maybe some obsess admirer. But I don’t see any of that here. Not even Yayoi’s crazy male fans.
 
To add further to the harem, Chitose himself has 2 sisters. At first I thought they were his actual siblings but I found out that they’re just his adopted siblings but they treat each other as real ones and share quite a close bond. Yeah, they even have different surnames. Hazuki Yazakura is Chitose’s elder sister and is some sort of a rising and popular pop/rock star artiste. Because she has to go tour several cities for her concerts, she rarely comes back home, unless when she wants to, that is. The moe one of the gang has got to be Chitose’s adopted little sister Minazuki Rokumatsuri. Yeah, she’s cute when she puts both her little hands near her mouth on her cheeks whenever she speaks. Though she lives in Hazuki’s apartment nearby Chitose’s house, sometimes she gets lonely because Hazuki’s away doing one of her tours, therefore on occassions she comes to stay with Chitose.
 
If that’s not enough to the harem Chitose’s got, then be prepared to add another 1. She is Fumitsuki Nanakorobi who is the class rep and in the same class as Chitose. Besides being the president of the 3 member literature club, Fumitsuki harbours a deep secret crush for Chitose, but that Chitose jerk is bloody oblivious to it. Well, Fumitsuki’s partly to blame, everytime she gets her chance, she somehow gets nervous and blows it, whether it’s taking too long or due to some unfortunate circumstances. Though this doesn’t stop her from trying again. But that’s only within herself. In the eyes of the public, she is seen as a tough girl trying to discipline and tell off Chitose for his laziness and such (more like being concern for him actually). Because of that, nobody else knows of her secret crush on Chitose and I suppose she wants to keep it that way.
 
Or is it that she only herself knows that secret. That’s because she has 2 irritating and annoying self-proclaimed followers of Fumitsuki, nicknamed Student B and Student C (you can see the alphabets on their respective foreheads) who are always putting up mock plays and ‘what if’ love situations whenever Fumitsuki thinks about Chitose. And everytime, a very annoyed Fumitsuki would give them a super punch which sends them flying into the air. So funny. But I guess those 2 never learn because they’ll get it at least once in every episode. Don’t tell me that they enjoyed getting punched like that. Must be lah.
 
So most of the episodes are gonna be something like this. There’s some sort of a theme for a particular episode, sometimes focusing on just 1 particular mama, Chitose reluctantly gets involve and usually gets some sort of a torture or torment from it. Yeah, I wonder how that guy could stand so much suffering. It’s ironic because the mamas in a way you could say subject their poor little son to some torment whether it’s Kisaragi’s invention (always exploding in the end) or getting into some locked wrestling moves by Satsuki. Not sure whether they’re blur and ignorant or what because they seem to be thinking that Chitose’s having fun. Can’t they see their son’s in pain? But I guess that’s what makes it funny. In the end, Chitose bonds closer with them though he’s generally that stubborn person and perhaps learn a thing or two. A happy and feel good ending for that particular episode.
 
Thus episode 1 is when Chitose has his usual parent-teacher conference at his Koyomi High School. I guess there’s a dilemma when they’re his mama and teacher altogether. So they decide to put up a friendly challenge to see who gets to go with him to the conference. And the theme is being nice to him. You’ve already guessed it. More pain and torment. Then in episode 2, a couple of property realtors (1 looking so much like that booty shaker from Rave) threaten to expose a photo they took of Mutsuki and Chitose together (which will result in the former getting fired from school) if Chitose don’t sign an agreement to sell his house. Of course, their plans are foiled in the end and Chitose’s secret is safe and sound. Plus, they got their memories erased. Convenient.
 
Yayoi sense that Chitose may be in danger and having bad luck in episode 3 and tries several methods (red: torture and painful methods) to rid of him of his bad luck. So you could say that perhaps in a way it’s Yayoi’s cure that’s causing the bad luck and spirit of misfortune but I suppose Chitose’s got 5 lucky mamas and the spirit of mosfortune is eventually gone in the end. Chitose’s adopted sisters make their first appearance in episode 4. Hazuki and Minazuki wants Chitose to move back to their apartment so the trio can be together again but the mamas want to keep him as well. So another round of contests between the 2 sides to see who gets to keep Chitose and of course, Chitose getting hurt in the process. We find out Hazuki here is really a big eater. Yeah, she could gulp down dishes after dishes and she still has room for more! She’s definitely every girl’s dream of wanting to eat their favourite desserts and staying slim at the same time. In the end, after hearing Minazuki’s words and some comforting words from Chitose himself, they come to a conclusion to let Minazuki stay here from time to time since Hazuki has to be away for her tours. The catch is, even though I find the house to be quite ‘roomy’ somehow they don’t have enough rooms and because of that, Chitose has to move out of his room and sleep in the living room’s couch whenever Minazuki’s here to stay. How ironic. Can’t they share rooms? Can’t they see their son is in discomfort? Well, maybe Chitose don’t really mind them with his ‘bo chap’ attitude. He just lives with it. Yeah, this is nothing compared to his mamas torture.
 
The whole gang takes a trip to some snowy mountain in episode 5 but a skiing lesson gone wrong causes Chitose and Satsuki to be separated from the rest. And since there’s a storm coming and it’s getting dark, the 2 have no choice but to be strong as they try to find their way back in the blizzard. So we can see Chitose’s good side, though he may seem uncaring on the outside but on the inside he deeply cares for his family. As everyone else prays for their safe return back at the cabin, the 2 eventually manage to get back but we see the cabin been ‘torn apart’ due to an avalanche and the rest are ‘drunk’ from the fun they had last night while waiting for their return.
 
Kisaragi wins a boat through a contest in episode 6 and takes the gang on a trip but halfway their boat went out of control, leaving them stranded on some weird island. Here we’re introduced to a girl called Kanna Togakushi. Supposedly she and Kisaragi were childhood friends and had plans to take over the world! But because Kisaragi left to become a teacher and a mama, Kanna is furious and wants to kidnap Chitose so that Kisaragi would come back to her side and continue their world domination plans. Uh-huh, this island is full of weird traps and inventions and it’s like Kanna’s base. Plus, Kanna’s afraid of Kisaragi whenever she gets mad (umm… there isn’t any such expression on Kisaragi’s emotionless face. But I suppose she can tell). And because Kanna’s not used to men, she gets all flustered up whenever Chitose’s near her. Eventually this would turn into affection as later in the series, Kanna would come to the city and try and ‘capture’ Chitose for herself with whatever weird inventions of hers. So I suppose she has given up on taking over the world after Kanna’s plans has been foiled (partly due to her ‘dumbness’ as well) and real intentions exposed. Oh yeah, Kanna seems to call and refer Satsuki as a bear because of the latter’s display of brute power, much to Satsuki’s dismay. Also, Kanna calls Kisaragi Ki-chan but I’m thinking there’s a very good reason why she doesn’t call her Ki-sama. Hahaha! For those who don’t know the meaning of that, kisama means bastard in Japanese. Besides, Ki-chan sounds cute.
 
The usual sports festival in episode 7 as Minazuki is eager to get her brother to win the Most Valuable Player award so much so she fixes a race so that Chitose could win but it ended with disastrous results. When the mamas find out, they go all out to help Chitose win the coveted award. But of course, more pain for the poor guy. Though in the end, Minazuki’s plan didn’t turn out the way it should be, Chitose won the MWP award, which is Mottomo Waraetta Player (The player that laughed the most). Well, Chitose’s feeling pretty happy about it, until the announcer tells him that he didn’t do anything specific to get that award, making everbody laugh. Yeah, he’s also the guy who gets laughed the most too. In episode 8, Uzuki meets a small boy at the playground who thinks she’s an angel. To cut things short, that boy is actually a ghost as Uzuki and him continue to have the greatest time of their lives before the boy one day tells her that he’ll soon ‘vanish’ and never see her again. This episode is the only episode which I find Chitose isn’t subjected to any torturing from the mamas. A brief relief, I’d say.
 
Remember Fumitsuki’s 3 member literature club? In episode 9, the school principal decides to disband the literature club because it has too few members since the school is limited on their budget for the many other clubs. Yeah, and Student B and Student C are her other members. But the principal gives Fumitsuki a time frame and chance to recruit new members, failing which, she’ll have her club disbanded. With that, Fumitsuki tries to recruit as much people as possible and especially Chitose (who’s more interested in the going home club) and Minazuki. But the other mamas to wants Chitose to join their club and lets Chitose and Minazuki have a trial sit in in their clubs. Whether it’s Satsuki’s swimming club or Kisaragi’s chemistry club, you’ll expect lots more pain for this poor guy. In the end, Chitose said something like how unfair it is for the other mamas if they were to join one of theirs, so both Chitose and Minazuki eventually settled in joining Fumitsuki’s literature club, in a way saving her club from being disbanded.
 
After Hazuki has finished perfroming at some famous venue where she has always dreamed of performing, she decides to retire and comes back to live with Chitose and his mamas in episode 10. So some flashback here and there on how close Hazuki is with her siblings as she remembers the reason why she sang was because it made Chitose and Minazuki smile. With that, she decides to continue with her singing career. Oh yeah, we also see how Hazuki gulps down her food. She doesn’t really chew them! That whole piece of steak just entered her mouth like that. Not like she has a very big mouth too. Kisaragi uses one of her invention to change her personality in episode 11. It’s like 1 mom per day and it’s quite funny to see her in the other mama’s personalities. Of course it all doesn’t fit her because Kisaragi is best when she’s her normal self. That’s what Chitose thinks even though her inventions causes him a lot of pain. Well, looks like he does miss the suffering. With that Kisaragi changes back to her old self but not before something went wrong with the machine which causes Chitose and the other mamas to have their personalities changed. Don’t worry, they’ll be back to normal by the next episode.
 
A school cultural festival in episode 12 sees the mamas trying to get Chitose to attend the event that they organize. Meanwhile, Kanna is bent on ‘capturing’ her love but is foiled everytime. Then there’s 1 dating-like boyfriend-girlfriend-matching-like game on some stage whereby several boys and girls sit and asks each other some questions before with a push of the button they get to see which boy/girl they prefer. But when Chitose reluctantly participates, he’s the only guy there while the mamas, Fumitsuki, Minazuki and even Kanna are on the opposite. Yeah, real harem. He’s wondering how it all end up like this. It’s quite funny when Chitose’s asking what a disguised Kanna’s favourite hobby (I can’t believe everybody’s so blur in not recognizing that Kanna) and Kanna’s reply is "Seifuku". Of course everybody’s stunned at first. That word is a pun in Japanese which can mean world domination or school uniform. Hehehe. And everybody’s calmed down when Kanna said she meant the latter. But turning point of the series is at the end of this episode when Fumitsuki eavesdrop at the backstage when Chitose is having a chat with Minazuki and his mamas. Yup, she’s thinking that Chitose and the teachers may be living under 1 roof as she sounds pretty concern. Yeah, previously Fumitsuki tried to follow Chitose back to his house but failed to do so because for instance one time she got hit on the head by Kisaragi’s hammer from behind and was knock out cold. But this time, oh oh. Chitose’s secret is hanging in the balance.
 
Thus episode 13 Fumitsuki reveals to Chitose about her new found knowledge which causes him to sweat a little. Chitose in turn reveals this to his mamas. Of course they too are worried as it could change the way they are now. Thus Chitose and Fumitsuki had a private chat near the river with the mamas spying from afar (since it’s quite a distance they can’t really hear what they’re saying). Chitose begs to her that he doesn’t care for himself but doesn’t want anything to happen to his mamas. But it seems Fumitsuki doesn’t care for all that she just wants to be with Chitose as she tries to confess her feelings. It’s quite hilarious when Fumitsuki stammers as she’s saying "Su… su…" while a blur Chitose’s trying to guess what she’s saying by replying ahead by saying sudako and sukiyaki, before pissing off Fumitsuki as she tells him to let her finish her sentence. Hehehe. Anyway, Fumitsuki manages to confess that she loves him, shocking Chitose.
 
But at the same time, Kanna who’s still bent on capturing Chitose emerges from the lake and throws some electric net at them. With that, the electrocution wipes out both their memories a little. Bummer. I was hoping that these 2 would eventually be together in the end. Looks like the producers don’t want to end it that way. The mamas arrive and though they don’t know what happened, they thanked Kanna who’s still unsure of what she has just done. But when Kanna saw Kisaragi, she panicked and ran away before her usual I’ll be back again ranting. In a way, Chitose’s secret remains safe and everything is back to normal with everyone happy being together.
 
However, it doesn’t all end there. That’s because there are more lessons to learn as we continue into season 2 called Happy Lesson Advanced. The story here does continue off where the first season left and those who want to jump right into this season is advisable to watch the first one first. It makes sense right? I mean, how can you go on to the next chapter when you haven’t finish the previous chapter. Plus, it makes it easier because the previous season is like a foundation as it builds up certain things and makes you familiar with the series. Just like studying itself, right?
 
So with another additional 13 episodes, you can expect more or less of the same thing. Lots of wacky comedy and comical slapstick humour. And as usual Chitose bears the brunt of it all. However, I find this second season to be a little more serious with drama in addition to its usual comedy element. And since the way things ended in the last season, I suppose it makes it easier for the producers to continue off.
 
In the first episode, we see the school having some parade to choose for this new semester’s school uniforms. So our mama teachers are to model the potential uniforms. It’s so funny to see that when it’s Satsuki’s turn, everybody couldn’t recognize her and they’re wondering if she’s a new teacher because Satsuki don’t normally wear a dress. Then this causes Satsuki to get violent as she ‘pounds’ her male escort. With that, everybody recognizes it’s her and cheers on for her. I see, bruteness is her trademark. Also, we see beforehand Chitose having a new neighbour (a girl clad in red chinese cheongsam) moving next door to his house but she looks pretty suspicious. So when it’s Mutsuki’s turn to go onstage with Chitose as her escort, some guy which looks so much like their new neighbour comes down and attacks Chitose. He mentions that Mutsuki is his mom and calls her Mucchin.
 
So in episode 2, besides Kisaragi’s uniform won and would become the school’s uniform, we find out that the person who attacked Chitose then is Nagatsuki Kuron from China. To cut things short, he is actually a she and is that new neighbour girl, who seems to be spying on Chitose’s house everytime and even in the dark when it’s nightfall. She dresses like a guy because she’s more comfortable in clothes which aren’t too ‘breezy’. Anyway, during art class while making some head bust, Chitose receives a challenge letter (stuck on a knife as it was thrown in from the window) from Nagatsuki to challenge and fight him on the school rooftop. Funny to see Fumitsuki misinterpreting the situation and thinks Chitose dislikes the bust of her head so much. Anyway the 2 met and Nagatsuki says if she wins, Chitose has to stay away from her mom. As the 2 trade punches (I suppose Chitose could fight too) the mamas learned about this and rushed to the scene. Mutsuki manages to calm the 2 down (just before Kisaragi could activate her whatever multi-counter attacking device).
 
Some talking as we find out Nagatsuki has managed to find Mutsuki through someone and that Mucchin is actually Mandarin for the word mother (mu qin for the exact pinyin). Yeah, it make sense. A flashback telling us that they’re really not related but because a young Nagatsuki was taken in by Mutsuki’s kindness then, she decides to call her her mother and would look for her in the future. Another non-blood related case. Also, Nagatsuki becomes a new transfer student in Chitose’s class. But another love storm is brewing because Fumitsuki too is confused as she has feelings for Nagatsuki. Though she always keep telling to herself that she’s a girl but I suppose this gives an opportunity for Student B and Student C to put up another one of their acts. Not with their usual punishement.
 
It’s another Uzuki-Chitose in episode 3 as they head to the amusment park. Earlier on, Nagatsuki asks why Uzuki became Chitose’s mom and the former says because it’s fun. Nagatsuki of course couldn’t accept such an answer as she followed and spied on them there. She’s always thinking how could a cold hearted and ungrateful Chitose end up having 5 moms. While riding some ride, some mechanical glitch causes it to breakdown halfway and causes a fire. Uzuki and Chitose tries to escape but saw a trapped mother and her child and proceeds to rescue them. After witnessing such events, Nagatsuki now understands why Uzuki becomes Chitose’s mom. So episode 4 sees Nagatsuki visiting Yayoi in the infirmary as she explains her problems about Chitose’s attitude and reveals more info than she should like how her dad is some sort of a gangster which Nagatsuki isn’t aware of (it’s the way she say it and choice of words). Also, we learn that Nagatsuki is a big fan of Hazuki and when Hazuki was doing one of her concerts in China, she told Nagatsuki about Mutsuki because of the family picture Nagatsuki saw of her in. Yup, Hazuki’s back in this episode and we see Chitose has been sleeping in the infirmary all day long, missing his classes.
 
The school takes a field trip in episode 5 as Fumitsuki again tries her best to confess to an oblivious Chitose but is further unsure about her feelings for Nagatsuki. Hey, why is Kisaragi sitting upside down on Chitose’s head in the bus? Doesn’t anybody else notice this? I like the funny part whereby Fumitsuki’s gonna do some bungee jump on some fabled suicide bridge whereby eternal love awaits the couple who bungees off it. But because Fumitsuki took too long, Chitose’s gone and Student B and Student C bungeed down along with Fumitsuki. Haha. Those 3 will always be together. Besides, that we see Mutsuki’s a terrible driver. Don’t get into any car with her behind the wheels. Because Fumitsuki’s acting strange, a sharp Nagatsuki thinks she’s in love with Chitose and even sets up those 2 to meet in some room at the hot spring inn. However the futons fell on them and they’re in a compromising position. Yup, Chitose’s passed out but Fumitsuki’s mind is running wild and thinking that this may be her chance to kiss him. But after realizing her embarrassing position, she does her super punch which frees them from the entanglement. Fumitsuki later finds out that it was Nagatsuki’s doing and they both had a little chat. Fumitsuki thanks Nagatsuki for her advice and it seems the both of them have become good friends. Well, I suppose Fumitsuki prefers to do it at her own pace.
 
Because of Chitose’s laziness in episode 6, Minazuki decides to help her big bro do some assignment on the history of the city they live in by heading into some cave inside Koyomi Temple. At the same time, a couple of bungling treasure hunters dubbed the Honey Team, Hachi Fujiko and her henchman Takechi Kogorou, have arrived at the temple as well because they believed that there is some hidden treasure there. Of course when they spot Minazuki, they think it’s their competitor and try to capture her, but was unable to do so. Meanwhile Chitose and the mamas noticed Minazuki hasn’t returned yet and went to find her, eventually leading them to the cave. It’s quite funny to see the mamas turned into Miko Rangers (also come in different assorted colours) because of Yayoi’s advice that this is a holy place. And Chitose… He gets to dressed as a kappa. So both sides meet and Honey Team thinks that Chitose kappa is the treasure. Chase chase chase. Explosions, explosions, explosions. Yeah, some mecha battle between Honey Team’s grasshopper and Miko Ranger’s giant centipede. Most probably why Fujiko needs the treasure is to pay off her 24 payments and 2 bonus payments when she bought that mecha grasshopper. Of course they lost lah but they escaped. That’s the last you’ll see of them. So I hope Chitose learns to be more responsible next time after learning why Minazuki does so. And that catalogue book has an odd profile outline resemblance to Kanna.
 
Satsuki’s getting engaged in episode 7. But we’ll never see the face of her fiancee. Unfortunately because of that, she and Chitose got into an argument which strained their relationship a little. Something like Chitose one hit some drum together with her. I think. So a lot of chatting and drama as Satsuki tries to decide whether to go ahead and live with her new family or stay back with her old one. Quite funny to see Kisaragi got knocked out cold in her seated position when she tasted some super spicy curry dish. But I suppose Satsuki still prefers Chitose and the other mamas and in the end the omiai is cancelled after she and Chitose mend back their ties. It wouldn’t be fun if there is no brute power girl in the family, right?
 
The gang is invited to the beach in episode 8 because Hazuki is putting up a concert there. So you’d expect the sun, sea and swimsuits. Remember those 2 idiotic property realtors? Yeah, they’re back but this time they want to take over the beach and turn it into some resort. Of course the duo spots Chitose and his 5 mamas and are gonna get their revenge too and at the same time forcefully make Chitose sign the agreement to sell his house. It’s killing 2 birds with 1 stone. They managed to capture and tie them up one night. But since Kisaragi isn’t feeling well, she couldn’t unleash whatever invention of hers and kick their butt. Luckily she contacts Kanna and that girl got so excited that her Kisaragi called her that she rushed over to the scene and foiled those property losers’ plan. But instead of erasing their memories again, they made a deal not to developed the beach. They must be really afraid of Kanna’s weird inventions. But it ended when Kanna notices something is wrong with Kisaragi and that she hasn’t much time left.
 
Chitose is all home alone in episode 9 because the mamas along with Minazuki and even Hazuki took a trip to the hot spring. Since they don’t want to forcefully take Chitose along, they brought along a robot Chitose so as not to waste their tickets. And they treat it like the real Chitose so much so it makes you wonder whether they’re blur cases or not. Because of this, Kanna uses this opportunity to capture Chitose. But because of her usual flustering, she still can’t do it. Here the duo also befriended a puppy named Chibisuke and Chitose took the chance to teach Kanna how to be less nervous when interacting with others. Of course Kanna’s who’s living in solitary for so long would find it hard to do so but she eventually softens up and manages to do so. Though they had some moments here and there but it doesn’t amount to anything much, Meanwhile the mamas are relaxing at the hotspring and it’s quite funny to see that robot Chitose going "Don’t be kidding me" in nearly every sentence. Fumitsuki’s there too and just like any blur case she thinks this robot Chitose is the real one but fainted when she punched his head because robot Chitose’s head got loose. Anyway when the mamas come back, Kanna saw them and made her usual escape. Because there are 2 Chitose’s now, they couldn’t tell which is the real one. What the? And when Satsuki points out the robot Chitose is the real one, the real Chitose says how he is way past anger and it’s somehow really painful. Yup, I can’t believe after living for so long with their Chitose son, they can’t tell which is the real one. Or maybe they’re just pulling a fast one. And to think he had a day of no torment (unless you count Kanna’s one), but this has got to be the worst of them all.
 
The reason why Kisaragi’s acting weird recently is because she has to go back to her ‘kins’ in episode 10. To cut things short, Kisaragi is an alien!!! WHAT THE??!!! This explains why she’s always doing strange and weird things. But I felt that this alien thingy puts a damper on it all. Come on. An alien? Though Kisaragi is reluctant, she has to anyway. Even Kanna is scared of her ‘kins’. Because of that, Chitose and the other mamas try to bring her back. Yeah, the producers go through all that trouble even designing and putting those alien subtitled wordings on screen when Kisaragi had a chat with them. But in the end, they allowed Kisaragi to have her stay on Earth extended until Kisaragi completes her mission by turning Chitose into a respectable adult. Uh-huh. Like I’ve mentioned, he’s got a long way to go.
 
Hazuki decides to fulfill a long time dream by opening her own little shop in episode 11. Of course everybody helps out. Nagatsuki and Fumitsuki patrons the new store and Nagatsuki thinks of buying a scarf for Mutsuki. As Nagatsuki returns later to purchase it, only to find Chitose at the counter (covering for Hazuki as she wonders off) as the latter wouldn’t sell it. So an argument ensued. But when Hazuki comes back, Nagatsuki gets all flustered up and leaves. So Hazuki later has a little chat with her and the next day planned for Nagatsuki and Chitose to work together in the store. They didn’t get along at first but eventually they tolerated and understood each other. Yup, they both handed that scarf to Mutsuki. In the end, Hazuki has to leave for another world concert and left the keys to the store to her trusted families. At least, now Nagatsuki has a more favourable view on Chitose. 
 
Okay maybe not so. That’s because in episode 12, Mutsuki decides to ‘run away’ from home and temporarily stay at Hazuki’s store for the time being. I’m not sure what it is, but it has something to do with Chitose though it’s not his fault. Because of that, the other mamas took turns doing chores and even become Chitose’s homeroom teacher. Kisaragi’s turn is the funniest one, because she just stood there stone cold and only answering when she’s supposed to, before leaving when the period’s over. Hahaha. Anyway, Nagatsuki went over to have a chat with Mutsuki as Chitose has his flashbacks with Hazuki and Minazuki when he was younger and how they bond so well. Of course tension is mounting between Nagatsuki and Chitose because the former is pissed off with the latter’s ‘don’t care’ attitude. Why, Nagatsuki even came close in spilling the beans that Fumitsuki has a crush on him but was just stopped in time by her. So another duel? Well, not really, Nagatsuki’s pleading in tears for Chitose to bring her Mucchin back.
 
Well, it seems Nagatsuki will be heading back to China in episode 13. So there lots of talking and drama as the gang try to say their goodbye to her, though Mutsuki’s back with them. But they have to find Nagatsuki first and she’s no where to be found. So Chitose eventually manages to find her when Nagatsuki returns to her home and they both have another round of chatting on the rooftop. Something like how Nagatsuki always wanted a warm family and such. You know this kind of stuffs money can’t buy. Bla bla bla. To cut things short, the next day, Nagatsuki says her goodbye to everybody and she even hugged Chitose and says she loves him too. In sibling sense, that is. Looks like they accept each other. Well, the end credits show how everyone gets on with their normal lives. Like Fumitsuki looking and admiring a photo of herself with Chitose sleeping on her lap on that school field trip return train trip which Nagatsuki gave to her earlier on. Yeah, Kisaragi’s still ‘exploding’ things and Kanna seems to be quite friendly with Chibisuke. But I wonder if Kanna’s part of the family because you could see her in that group photo in the end.
 
If you think it’s over, well think again because there is more to learn as the lessons continue in Happy Lesson The Final. This one isn’t much of a series but an OVA with just 3 episodes only. And from the title, you may have guessed that this is gonna be the final instalment of the Happy Lesson series. Yup, graduation is near for those who have sit through thick and thin watching this series.
 
The first episode begins with a Star Wars like opening words of narration about the mamas arrival. But other than that, everything remains the same. From Chitose’s attitude to the mamas, Fumitsuki’s and her failed confession attempts to Student B and Student C’s mocking love plays. It’s a hot summer spell when the principal wants the teachers to each give their suggestions on how to make the school a better place. Well, Mutsuki’s suggestion for a place for a library got picked but the thing is in order for her wish to be carried out, an old unused building within the school grounds is set to be demolished. Since Mutsuki has many fond memories during her time as a student there, she’s hesitating and spacing out a lot. It’s quite obvious. So much so the other mamas ‘forced’ Chitose to go have a talk with her. The sudden of it all made Chitose and Mutsuki in a ‘compromising’ position as they blushed. Once they composed themselves, they have a little chat.
 
But before the old building is to be torn down, the principal suggests a test of courage one night before the tearing down and it seems it’s Fumitsuki’s lucky night because she gets paired up with Chitose. Yup, she’s gonna confess alright. What are the chances of success? So the mamas played the monster scaring part and even Hazuki’s there! Umm… Minazuki looks more cute than scary in that cat outfit. Along the way, a broken floor board caused Fumitsuki to injure her feet so Chitose has to carry her. Once the duo accomplished their mission, they’re greeted with that ‘unbelievable stares’ from the other students. I mean, a guy like him giving the class rep a piggy-back ride? Chitose immediately drops her when he realized his situation and gives the excuse that the test is over. But wait… Summing up all her courage, Fumitsuki finally confesses she likes him. Finally! Everybody’s in shock, students and the mamas alike. At the same time, Mutsuki is alone at some classroom. Probably remembering the time she had back then.
 
So the second episode has the whole school excited and abuzz about the new couple. I’m not sure if Fumitsuki is regretting her actions but Chitose doesn’t seem to be bothered, though he’s been thinking about Fumitsuki’s confessions. Even the other mamas are supportive about Chitose having a boy-girl relationship. Besides that, most of this episode is about Mutsuki school girl days. During that time, Mutsuki had a crush on her former teacher. Because he was her first love, Mutsuki has come back to visit the classroom every night since the building’s demolition is announced. More spacing out and drama. Chitose went to talk with her 1 night there. Chitose’s talk seems to be full of anger. Yeah, something like how he’s telling Mutsuki to stop dwelling in the past, always talking like an honour student and that she has never considered his feelings. Bla bla bla. In the end, Chitose just ran away. Later that night, Chitose and Fumitsuki met at the park. What’s the occassion? Chitose’s there to apologize to Fumitsuki that there’s someone else he loves. What the? This jerk is in love with his Mutsuki mama-cum-sensei? Well, like I’ve said before, the mamas are young enough to be his girlfriend. It must be really heartbreak for Fumitsuki to hear those words after all those attempts.
 
Fumitsuki didn’t really freak out but just accepted that in the beginning of the final third episode. I wonder if it’s alright having such a relationship with one’s mama even though they’re not blood related. I’m a bit confused too. Demolition day arrives but the night before, Chitose along with his mamas (except Mutsuki) decides to stop the demolition by staying at the building. Even Fumitsuki’s there. The next day, the head of the demolition team seems annoyed that there are people blocking the path to his demolition destiny. By that time, all the other students and teachers joined in the protest as well. For the 1st time we see Student B and Student C getting a hug from Fumitsuki because they decide to join in too. Yup, no super punch. Even the principal joined in because she values the opinion of her students. Mutsuki arrives and asks that demolition guy boss 1 hour to persuade them to evacuate. So some talk about hope and dreams and I felt that it was like 1 big reunion because soon Nagatsuki, Kanna and even Hazuki made their appearance. That demolition boss couldn’t wait any longer and sends his team of robot construction workers to settle it.
 
As predicted, those robots are no match for their human counterparts and are soon defeated by what each of the characters are good at. In a way the building is saved from being demolished. Later that night, Mutsuki and Chitose are having a private chat on their rooftop. We find out that Mutsuki’s real intention of going back to the building is to find a letter to her beloved teacher she lost back then. However she was unable to find it and mentions that it would be quite embarrassing if someone would’ve found it and read her letter which contains her true feelings in it. But now Mutsuki says that there is someone more important to her and that her beloved sensei looked so much like Chitose. Before you know it, those 2 lock lips! A mother and son kissing each other?! Oh my goodness. Even though they’re unrelated but the though of it still… Soon the 4 other mamas turned up and wants a kiss from Chitose too. Yup, just like they say, what Chitose now doesn’t need is a mother nor a teacher as they changed themselves into bridal outfits. Looks like they’re upgrading themselves into Chitose’s lovers! Wow. Now it’s really 3 in 1. From mamas to teachers and now girlfriends! And with 2 sisters, this guy has it all! A truly harem anime! With that, Mutsuki says that this is Chitose’s graduation from his Happy Lesson. Congratulations!
 
So in the final scenes as the end credits are rolling, we see everyone still doing the same thing and finally, on the school rooftop, Chitose seems to have found Mutsuki’s letter and gave it to the latter. Mutsuki allows Chitose to open and read it and to Chitose’s disappointment, it didn’t sound like a love letter, though Mutsuki says it’s one. We won’t really get to see what she really wrote but I guess, they’re all happy in the end.
 
Overall, I guess everything’s pretty okay. The hilarious slapstick comedy makes it enjoyable to watch and life’s never dull especially when Kisaragi’s around. I just want to note that there’s actually a 5 episode OVA which were released before the 1st season. It’s just about how Chitose and the mamas met and the relationship between Chitose and his 2 sisters. But it it doesn’t amount to anything serious. And 1 of those episodes is actually the 1st episode of season 1 itself. Plus, the DVD version has added extra episodes which are actually from the other seasons like episode 11.5 of season 1 is actually the 9th episode of season 2. Pretty confusing.
 
The name of the titles starts off with some double/twin Japanese words (the right term can’t come to mind) like ‘doki doki~’ or ‘fuwa fuwa~’, which in Japanese have real meanings. Sounds cute the way they say it. Though the voice acting fits each of the character’s personality well, I kind find the colouring to be a bit ‘dull’ and it’s not so brightly coloured like in today’s anime. Perhaps it’s a year 2002-2004 production and probably they want to maintain some consistency in the drawing, art and animation throughout its seasons.
 
Perhaps cuteness is the theme for the first season as you can see 1 character in chibi form at the title screen and during the mid-intermission, it’s like a character transforming from her normal bishie self into a little chibi version before once again transforming too big to fit the screen. You should see it if you want to know what I mean. And there’s this cute little dance from our ladies at the end credits in chibi form. But all that chibi form has been discarded in the second season as the title screen has just the title, the mid-intermission is just a group photo gone wrong and the ending credits just show a pic of the group posing on some street. Same thing in the final season. But this time there is no mid-intermissions and the end credits show a little aftermath of the episodes.
 
I happen to notice why most of the female characters have their names end with ‘~ki’. Then upon doing a little research, I find out that they are actually named after the old names of the Japanese months like Mutsuki is January, Kisaragi is February, Yayoi is March and so forth. In addition to that, their surnames start off with a number which corresponds to the month number that they are named after. I see. Since there are only 10 main female casts, I guess nobody’s named after Novermber or December.
 
After watching so many Happy Lessons, it’s impossible not to learn anything from it. Yup, it doesn’t matter if you’re not blood related, as long as there is love and trust, even friends and aliens can be part of your family. And a mom doesn’t necessarily have to be that 1 female person who gives birth to you, but anyone who’s caring and treats their child with proper love and care. Uh-huh. It’s the power of being together as a family and staying happy as one.
 
Though I’m not really sure if Chitose has really decided to be Mutsuki’s girlfriend, but I rather felt that he and Fumitsuki would make a cute couple. As the series progresses, you’ll see how Chitose changes though generally on the outside he’s still the same person. He’s sure got a different way in showing how he cares for others. Yeah also, everyday’s a lesson for him. With that, I’m done with this series and I too have graduated and passed with flying colours! Wohoo! Congratulations to me! Masters or PhD anyone?

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