Anne Happy

October 16, 2016

It is always funny when misfortune happens to others. It is always close to never when it happens to you. Therefore by using this logic, I suppose that is how the concept of cute girls doing cute things but with the theme that each of them has some sort of misfortune came about. I mean, when you make it into a comedy series, nobody is going to feel bad, right? Instead we’ll all be laughing at you! Oops! I mean laughing with you. And thus this is how I think Anne Happy (a clever play on the word ‘unhappy’) came about. A group of girls with their own streak of bad luck throughout their lives meet at a school that has a special class that will ‘blow away the misfortune’. Wait. What? They have a school like that? If it is so effective, why didn’t they apply it for the entire nation and the world? Oh who cares? We’re supposed to laugh at all the silly nonsense and fawn over those cute girls, right?

Episode 1
Ruri “Hibari” Hibarigaoka is on her way to Tennomifune Academy when she spots Anne “Hanako” Hanakoizumi hanging on the edge of the bridge with a dog. And she is smiling? By the time Hibari tries to catch her, Hanako throws the dog to her as she falls into the river. Although she isn’t hurt, the dog bites her. So much about appreciation. And she is still smiling. Hibari notes she has terrible luck but Hanako claims she is the luckiest girl in the world. All about perception, eh? They made it in time for the opening ceremony and the duo find themselves in the same class. As they chat, Botan Kumegawa finds them amusing and also joins in. When Hanako shakes hands with her, did she grasp too hard that her bones break or does she have weak bones? Fortunately she is able to treat herself fast. Their homeroom teacher is Kodaira as she explains classes 1 to 3 are trained academically while 4 to 6 are trained physically in sports. Say, what about this class 7 then? They will be trained to achieve happiness because all of them are born with misfortune. Say what? Hibari disagrees she is this unfortunate but Kodaira claims top secret investigations have been carried out. Hibari fears her ordinary high school life is turned upside down with equally misfortune weirdoes. Kodaira then shuts everybody up as she shows her dark side. Scary. For seating arrangements, she puts random number in their desks that will determine the seating. It is said the higher to number, the more unfortunate. Out of 40 students, Hibari is number 28. How about Hanako? Number 40! Before they leave, each is given a raw egg to take home as their homework. They must not break it.

After school, Hibari goes off herself to spy at somebody at the construction site while Hanako and Botan walk home together when they see a cat. As expected, bad luck ensues. While chasing the kitty, Botan broke her egg after collapsing and Hanako got her feet stuck in the paddy field mud. When Hibari walks home, she hears ghostly voice calling her name. It’s those two. After she helps them out, Hanako continues to claim how lucky she is despite Hibari having a different opinion. To Hanako, they were saved in the end and she is lucky to have her in the same class. The girls do a group hug but Hibari realizes this might crush her egg. As she opens her bag to check it, a picture drops out. She fears her secret is exposed. Apparently Hibari has been going to the construction site to spy at this guy. Her old school friends laughed and teased her when they find out about it. But is there anything wrong about a romance with an older guy? Thing is, the ‘person’ she is in love with is the safety construction mascot! Of course Hanako and Botan will not tell others. They’re friends, right? Next day, Kodaira has anticipated everyone has broken their eggs. But surprisingly only Hanako’s is still intact. A cute little chick then hatches from it. Hibari notes she might be the unluckiest of the lot.

Episode 2
The girls are having individual interviews with Kodaira. She assesses each of their misfortune like Hibari’s tragic love and Botan’s poor health. However she cannot assess Hanako. Because of her strange results from being the only one with the unbroken egg and her the only having the class logo of a four leaf clover upside down, is hers just bad luck? While on their way to take a physical examination, Hibari explains how she started falling in love with the construction guy. Through the seasons, he stood there unwavering and quietly bowing with a smile. They are met with a mechanical bunny butler, Timothy who brings them to the examination room since they are late. While Botan is clearly the least flexible, at least she has the biggest bust. This must be the reason why she complains of gaining weight every year. Why is Hanako so conscious of her boobs now? Later Timothy becomes their guide to show them around the clubs they want to join. We all know Botan just isn’t cut out to be in any sports club, right? As they head to the pet club, little animals start to chase them. They thought Timothy is going to unleash some special power but he did nothing and got owned. Eventually they get away and Hibari knows Timothy has been sent by Kodaira to observe and measure their misfortune from the start. Hanako and Botan don’t think they are fit to join any club. Even if they do, they won’t be going home together. Hibari shares the same feelings. If she joined a club, she would have less time to see them. So the trio form their own going home club where they get to talk and take detours with each other after school.

Episode 3
On her way to school, Hibari sees Hibiki Hagyu bumping into everything and eventually gets lost. The class will be playing a life size board game deep in some underground training facility to improve their luck via dice game. This or Russian roulette… Yeah… Results of the game will be reflected in their report cards and the last team to reach the finish line will get a penalty. Hibiki is cocky and won’t make friends with Hanako and co but her best friend Ren Ekoda quickly does the opposite, much to her dismay. Hibiki and Ren get the special honour of being asked a personal question of who they like. Hibiki is embarrassed and lies on one. Of course nobody can lie before Kodaira. They are penalized and sent through a trapdoor. So Hanako and co slowly make their progress, playing weird games on each square like animal cosplay and skipping ropes 500 times. Hanako and Hibiki’s team get the misfortune of being stuck in a never-ending loop of the board. Since everyone has finished and they are the only ones left, not to mention time is running out, a final competition is held to determine last place. Hibiki has this strange thinking that becoming second to last is a lacklustre ranking and will vow to finish last! But whether it is the bread race or the chocolate stick eating game, Hanako and Botan are far worse when it comes to it as Hibiki finishes ahead of them. In the final round quiz where winner takes all (why did they have multiple games in the first place?), Kodaira poses a question for Hibari: Name the person she loves. Hibari panics. She knows she cannot lie and that Kodaira knows who she loves. But what about the other students watching? That is when Hanako answers on her behalf that she likes cats. And since the question was a person you love and not some animal, they lose. Hibiki rues finishing second last… Now for our losers’ penalty homework…

Episode 4
The trio are given their ‘homework’, lucky items they need to find and take a picture of it. Like Hanako must find some happiness flower at the gate of dawn, Hibari a smile and Botan making friends. They agree to meet up this weekend and help each other. Of course, Hibiki won’t let this last place issue rest as she believes if they do find their lucky items, they’ll be the most unfortunate students in class! Therefore the coming weekend, the duo tail our unlucky trio. But Hanako fell into manholes and rivers so she has to go home and change multiple times. She calls Hibari and Botan to start without her first. When Hanako is ready, she bumps into the spying duo. However cats love to gather around Ren, Hibiki trying to fend off those pesky cats and Hanako who wants to hug them so much gets owned by them. Eventually the group meet up with Hibari and Botan who are having a hard time asking a granny where to find this flower of happiness. She won’t reveal the place thinking the young ones want to vandalize it. But when she sees Ren, it is like an angel is standing before her and she will gladly tell them where it is. At the botanical garden, they start searching and need to find it quick since it will be closing in a few more hours. They believe it is in the flower maze. Hibiki gets separated from Ren and ends up walking with Hanako. Ren sees them happily together and quietly tails them. Eventually they all meet up. At the end of the maze, only a beautiful bed of flowers but no such happiness flower. What is that flower anyway? The park closes and our girls fail to get the desired flower. Hibiki then reveals her ulterior motive to disrupt them if they ever find it but is glad they didn’t. She didn’t even have to do anything. Really? Hibiki then offers to take a picture of the trio as commemoration of their stupid faces. Next day when they report to Kodaira that they are unable to get the lucky items but snapped a group photo of them at the gate of dawn, the picture actually has that flower in it. It is actually the light passing through the floral pattern of the gate that makes it look like a flower. Usually it is easy to find it at dawn but they were lucky to find it at sunset. Because the photo also has Hibari’s best smile and Botan making memories with her friends, she’ll consider this photo as their assignments fulfilled.

Episode 5
Hibiki dreams when Ren first moved into the neighbourhood. Hibiki was a bit scared of her. Hibiki had to go to school alone since Ren is sleeping in. As expected she gets lost and stumbles upon Hibari ‘stalking’ the construction guy. Hibari tries to hide her crush but Hibiki doesn’t see anybody in particular. Hibiki explains she needs 3 hours if she is going to school without Ren. I know it is bad sense of direction but hey, at least she doesn’t get lost forever. Hibari thanks Hibiki for helping with their homework because she knew what the happiness flower was. However Hibiki tells her to thank Ren as it was her that got them to the botanical garden. It is explained that Ren has this peculiar ability of attracting females of humans and animals since young. So is Hibiki part of the effect? Hibiki refuses to go to school with Hibari and will find her own way. She spots Hanako getting owned by cats for the thousandth time! Still positive that they are recognizing her? Hibiki realizes she is back to that construction guy spot and blames Hibari. She notices Hibari has dropped her photo of that construction guy and picks it up. As she ponders if this picture could be what she think it is, she ends up before the kindergarten she used to go with Ren. Flashbacks show how the duo got close together. One day, while their mothers were busy chatting, they got lost on their way to kindergarten. When they finally arrived, Hibiki’s hair got caught in some broken pole. She refused to trim the tip because she is afraid of looking different than everyone who had long hair. That is when Ren took the scissors and cut hers short above her shoulders. Hibiki is snapped out when Ren stumbles into her. She tells Ren about picking up Hibari’s important picture. However she won’t use it to blackmail her to get even because if someone did the same to her, she wouldn’t like it either. They reach school in time and Hibiki returns to picture to Hibari and claims she just only picked it up and didn’t see anything.

Episode 6
The class will be having a field trip to the mountains to improve their good luck. Don’t ask. Timothy tanned himself in gold for good luck too but he looks so cheap! Hanako’s team gets the dubious honour of proceeding last but even so, how did Hibiki and Ren end up behind them? Let me guess. Lost? So we see misfortunes befall on them like Botan already tiring out, Hanako being attacked by animals and even almost falling through a bridge. Even worse, naughty monkeys trying to cut the bridge’s rope! After lunch break, Hanako went to wash the utensils but never returned. Her friends go look for her but could only find her hairpin. They report to Kodaira who looks damn serious as she calls for backup to look for her. Along the way, Hibari spots her ‘boyfriend’. What is a sign doing out in the forest anyway? However behind it is unconscious Hanako. It seems while she was washing the utensils, she noticed her hairpin missing, went to search for it but fell into the river, had rocks fall on her, fish attacking her before crawling out. Wow. I’m amazed she survived all that. The devil’s luck? Now, you’d think everything is over, right? Wrong! There is a bear coming to eat them! I don’t know what the f*ck is Timothy doing trying to show off his swimming skills but he got owned big time by the bear. The girls throw all they got at the approaching bear. But it is Kodaira who saves the day as she shows her kickass sniping skills to tranquilize the bear. She is glad the girls are alright as she was worried when she heard from the radio a bear escaped from the zoo. The girls are in for a shock as Kodaira carries the bear back singlehandedly! The quintet walk back holding hands with the reason to avoid getting lost. Kodaira notes that this orienteering has improved the girls’ luck.

Episode 7
It has been raining nonstop so when Hanako turns up late for class, it isn’t surprising the amount of watery bad luck she got on her way. She gets more of that in school and certainly she catches a flu and will have to stay home to recuperate. Hibari and Botan decide to visit her but her house seems more sinister and like an evil mansion? Must be the atmosphere. They are met with Hanako’s mother, Sakura. They mistake her to be Hanako’s sister since she looks this freaking young. And like any mother praised for looking young, she loves to hear that and gives them first class treatment. Seems Sakura also attended Tennomifune and her bad luck is her clumsiness. So misfortune runs in the family? Blame the genes! The girls have a nice chat and experiment with different hairstyles before leaving. The next day it is still pouring and Hanako is still recuperating. Thus the friends decide to make a teruterubouzu and wish for Hanako to get well. Hibari’s seems like a low quality although typical teruterubouzu. If you think Hibiki’s Bali mythical creature or Botan’s mummy version take the cake, Ren steals the limelight because she uses Timothy! OMG! So he must hang there on the window all night? Well, he is a robot… Like a miracle, the rain must eventually stop and it is a beautiful day the next morning. Even better, Hanako is well and shows up in class. Kodaira wonders they have finished their given happiness assignment for the Tanabata festival but apparently they forgot. However Kodaira hints they already did most of the part. Hence all of them hang their teruterubouzu on the bamboo.

Episode 8
The class will be taking a surprise luck test. In the underground facility, they put on special visors. I suppose schools cannot build casinos but a virtual one will do? Yeah, loophole… They will play 10 games of chance and lose points over every loss. Their final score will be their final grade. Hanako loses lots of points right from the start so Timothy offers a place where she can gain extra points. Sounds shady… Inside a room, they will play competitive duels in which the winner can steal points from the loser. First up is Hibari and she becomes a knight to face Ren’s wizard. Hibari gets owned by Ren’s powerful spells and loses to her. Next is Botan as a priest against Hibiki the archer. Despite Botan being clumsy causing ‘own goals’ it is her mental attack in the form of an apology that knocks out Hibiki for the win. Hanako the dancer goes last but she has no opponent since everyone else has finished. Don’t worry, Kodaira will be her opponent. Oh my, Kodaira turns into a ferocious dark knight!!! Did she just come from Dark Souls? Kodaira shows no mercy in beating down Hanako. If Hanako loses, she will lose all her points and that means extra classes for summer vacation. Suddenly Botan comes to her defence. She can’t stand a summer without Hanako to hang out with. Such touching friendship has the other friends also helping to fight Kodaira who is now turned into a mad evil rampaging monster to punish them! They lose but Timothy won’t have them give up yet and transforms them into… Magical girls! They combine their combo attack, Lucky Happy Miracle Love Attack to chalk up a big upset. Timothy gets squished by Kodaira’s high heels as punishment. Unfortunately as per the rules, everyone who intervened will have their points stripped to zero. As Hanako’s balance is 10 points, Kodaira distributes it evenly to everyone. Because luck isn’t the only factor to grade them, other issues like surroundings and people also determine that. Their actions weren’t wrong and so they are spared extra classes for the summer. Hooray! Everyone can have fun together for summer. Timothy continues his punishment of being hanged upside down on a tree…

Episode 9
I don’t even know how Hanako got stuck up a pole with a cat. Luckily this cool chick, Saginomiya is here to ‘help’. After throwing the cat to her, she kicks the pole only for Hanako to fall into the river. Don’t worry, she won’t drown or get hypothermia. Saginomiya is also a teacher at Tennomifune and will be assisting Kodaira in their cooking class. She observes their misfortune like Hanako somehow destroying the stove when the flames got out of hand. She also grades their food. It is bad enough that Hibiki already got a minus score. Hanako’s group made a delicious meal only for Hibari’s clumsiness to spill juice and ruin it all. Saginomiya doesn’t even want to grade it. Not worth it. Her harsh words that they lack the bare minimum of attentiveness broke their hearts (and ours). She can’t understand why this school even has a happiness class. Though, Kodaira has kinder words, this affects Hibari. To help cheer her up, the trio have a sleepover at Hibari’s place. Saginomiya talks to Kodaira about this prestigious school having a class with a bunch of no talent students with no redeeming qualities. She won’t give them any special treatment and Kodaira gives the green light for her to grade the lower if they don’t perform. Next day for pool lessons, Saginomiya continues to watch the hapless class. It’s just painful watching them. Suddenly storm clouds start to build. After everyone has taken shelter, Hanako got herself stuck on the lane line. Her friends jump in to help her out despite putting themselves in danger. Saginomiya also jumps in to hasten the process. However there is no time as the lightning is about to discharge so Botan tells everyone to dive underwater. The lightning strikes over the pool and soon the storm is over. Botan used her knowledge from the internet to save their lives as the lightning current dissipates over the water. Saginomiya gives credit to the girls’ fast thinking and actions. She decides to wait a while and see how this happiness class perform. But now Hanako turns into Super Saiyan?! Is this what happens when she accumulated some charges? Kodaira knows that despite the lightning striking the pool surface, they would not have gotten off entirely free of injury. Thanks to Timothy taking the most brunt of the lightning.

Episode 10
The hot summer vacation has begun. Ren got a free ticket to a karaoke session. Hibiki performs flawlessly and shy Hibari stuns everyone with her beautiful voice. When it is Hanako’s turn, the moment she picks up the microphone, it starts screeching like hell. Apparently this always happens to her. Timothy is also here to say his goodbye seeing he will be undergoing maintenance for the entire summer vacation. So he starts singing this DJ rap remix, so catchy that Hibari cannot get it out of her head and it is annoying her. Despite Hanako singing other songs, it just replaces the rap and eventually she is still stuck with this song. On the way home, they bump into a petite blonde twintail girl. She didn’t say anything and just runs away. Next, the girls spend their time at the beach. The only highlight is that Hibiki almost drowned after a race with Hibari and she laments she couldn’t experience live Ren’s CPR. Next, the girls meet up for the festival. They are supposed to meet back at the school gates if they ever get separated. But they get separated further thinking they see Timothy sneaking around in the school grounds. So it is a horror and scream fest for some girls as they trudge through the dark hallways and encounter scary anatomy models and ex-principal statues. They thought they hear voices but then it dawned to them it sounds like Timothy’s rap. Following it reunites them and when they enter the room where the song originates, they see Timothy taken apart. The scariest part however is when his legs start chasing them! Run for your lives! When they reach the rooftop, just in time for the beautiful fireworks show. It is greatly hinted that the twintail girl is the one behind Timothy.

Episode 11
Our unfortunate girls head to the mountains for another happiness training. This time they will be staying at a lodge in the remote mountains. As Timothy’s maintenance was not finished in time, in place of him are many different coloured versions of Mini Timothys! At the lodge, the girls are made to carve something out of a wood. You can see their ‘creativity’ like Hibiki carving something scary and Ren is just a log. Everything seems fine and nice on the first day. Good food and nice bath. Because it feels like a harbinger of something to come when Kodaira notes they’re going to need all that. Nothing eventful happening during sleep time. Except for Hibiki trying to get close next to Ren but their faces were too close that it scared the sh*t out of Hibiki. Once Timothy’s maintenance is complete, the plan is all set to go. Next morning, the girls are given a rude military awakening as Kodaira orders them to be up and gather on the double or they will receive a Muay Thai kick! When everyone gathers (still very much in a daze), Kodaira announces a mini game of tag that they will be playing as part of their training. The catch is that Kodaira is ‘it’ and Timothy is riding a hi-tech craft trying to capture them! RUN!!! During the course of the game, Timothy unleashes his mini versions to efficiently scout and capture the girls. The separated girls slowly learn the rules of this tag. Each girl has been given a bag containing their group’s symbol. These are survival items like food and binoculars. If all teammates are caught, it is game over. Ranking of teams is based on how many teammates are captured before the time limit. The top team will be rewarded with a suite and fine dinner while the last team will have to sleep outside in the wilderness and find their own food! To add to the ‘excitement’, the woods they carved are randomly hidden throughout the field. If all members find them and gather, they will get extra points. This gives our girls extra motivation to push forward.

Episode 12
Hibiki had the bad luck of stumbling into Kodaira. No matter how far she runs, Kodaira is always coolly on her tail. It all ends for her when she trips on a carving and Kodaira captures her. Ren manages to escape from the pursue of Mini Timothys. She rests in a cave and finds a carving. With all the animals gathering around her, she decides to take a nap and the animals too join in. As she wakes up, she is more concerned about food and water and this allowed the Mini Timothys to capture her. As for Botan, she is crawling her way to safety. Till she bumps her head into a tree and a carving falls down. The captured students are placed in a cage guarded by Mini Timothys in S&M police garb? A large group of animals then rush down there eager to protect Ren. The ultimate big battle. Robot rabbits versus female forest animals. Fight! During the chaos, an animal passes a key to unlock the cage. Only Ren and Hibiki escape because the other girls are so dumb in awe watching the epic fight. Hanako and Hibari spot a carving on a tree branch. When Hanako climbs to get it, the ground gives way. A chasm opens and what it looks like they might fall into the magma. Before they can fall to their death, Botan grabs them. Good thing her hand didn’t break but her legs are cramping up. Sliding down… Ren and Hibiki arrive in time to pull them up but it is not enough. Timothy’s mecha makes it worse as it malfunctions and crashes into them. A special whistle drops out from their bag. Hanako blows it and it sends Kodaira rushing to the scene saving their ass in epic fashion at the expense of Timothy. Man, she is like a superhero with cheat codes on. Unbelievable. The good news is that all of them are saved. But the bad news means they are all captured by Kodaira. Unfortunately this means they end up in last place and will have to spend the night outdoors. As each have each other’s carvings, Kodaira notes they would have been in first place had they not been caught. To reward them for this, they get to have an outdoor hotspring. It wasn’t magma but rather steam from a hotspring. So our friends get along in the bath as Hibiki doesn’t want to feel left out as the only one being called by her surname. Our epic battle ends with a draw and truce. The girls decently find food and make their own fire and shelter. It was mostly fun. They’re back to school although nothing pretty much changes but they know it’s going to be a good day. Yeah, all is happy that ends happy!

In Pursuit Of Happiness
Hey. It wasn’t so bad after all, right? If you can sit through watching this series without any sort of bad luck happening to you, I guess everything is alright. It would be a real life horror story and a big irony if some sort of catastrophe were to happen. Even if everything seems silly right till the end, I guess it is for the comedy effect of seeing cute girls doing cute things. Uh huh. They make it look like having bad luck is such a cute thing. Gosh. What am I saying?

The plot itself is so silly that you can’t help scratch your head why on Earth is there a need for such a happiness class and how the heck are they going to bust away their misfortune. Well, at least we know here at least in this series the bad luck do not spread like disease although it can run in the family. So seeing the happiness class engage in all sorts of silly games and activities is of course for comedy purposes thanks to all the silly exaggerated effects and despite our main girls usually getting the worst luck of all, it isn’t as bad as you think. Because you know, the place didn’t blow up or anything. After all, you don’t want to watch episode after episode seeing cute girls being hit with pitiful misfortune, do you? And so such ‘activities’ give us a reason to follow or unfortunate girls. And with so called hi-tech equipment and facilities to help ‘cure’ their misfortune, I mean wow, it’s like they spent quite a bit on everything. Look at how hi-tech Timothy is even if he is a useless moe blob. I wonder if taxpayers’ money were used… Hmm… They can detect accurately those with bad luck with all the detailed information but they still can’t find a way to beat it? Suspicious…

But you know, for the girls ending up in this class it isn’t entirely so bad. Because as they bust their misfortune, they don’t have the pressure of doing well academically or in sports and live up to society’s expectations. There is no such pressure for them to conform. In fact, don’t you see that the activities they do and the games they play as part of the programme, they feel like fun, don’t they? It is like having the best time of their lives in their school years. While others have to slog over studies and exams, they are mostly just having fun. All in the name of curing their bad luck. Wow. Where can I sign up? Not too sure if I am not bad luck enough to enrol in such school or my bad luck is so bad that I couldn’t get into it.

Despite the characters being as generic and typical as they are, they are still likeable in an overall aspect although they stay the same as they were from the start right till the very end. Despite the same and numerous running jokes on them, it strangely doesn’t feel tiring at all. Is it because we never tire to see and laugh at the misfortune of others? Maybe. Because after the umpteenth time Hanako drops into a manhole or the river, we are still able to smile is it because Hanako herself comes out undefeated as she puts a big smile across her face? What about Hibari and her ‘tragic love story’? There is this little hope inside of us that wished the safety mascot guy would just become animated for a second and reply her love. As silly as it may seem and implausible, we still hope for that. What about Botan whose feeble bones are one of the main pillars of this series’ running joke? It is like every time she moves or the mere contact with her body, her bones will break far worse than a sportsman gets into a head on collision. I’m just freaking surprised that her neck didn’t snap by the weight of her own head or body.

And in every group, there is always the mischievous type and Hibiki fulfils that role in otherwise what would have been a very dull group. In such groups, you always need that ‘special’ someone to spice things up and although Hibiki isn’t so bad as the naughty troublemaker type but I guess it provides some other lively variety in addition to Hanako’s airhead liveliness. Otherwise you’d have to deal with the serious face Hibari, the weak Botan and the emotionless Ren. Seeing how ‘happy’ everybody is in this series, Saginomiya’s displeasure for such class makes her like the antagonist. It feels like as though she has some sort of history or experience with such and thus her overall discontentment. Although she is a bit relaxed with them in the end but I believe it isn’t totally stemmed out. As for Kodaira? Don’t let the sweet eternal smile fool you. You better do what she says or else…

Lastly Timothy. What else would be better than cute girls? A cute rabbit mascot! That is all I can see what this bunny’s role is for here. Otherwise pretty much annoying and useless to begin with. Speaking of Timothy, the only character that boggled me was the shy twintail girl behind the controls of Timothy. I thought she would be the foreshadowing of something or at least make a decent appearance but right up till the end she remains the biggest mystery ever and possibly a red herring. I mean, if they never revealed there was somebody behind Timothy, the series would still proceed as normal. It wouldn’t have mattered anyway as far as this season is concerned.

But you know what they say about being unlucky and sad is only a state of mind. It all depends on you to choose whether you want to be miserable or look life with optimism. That is especially the case for Hanako who refuses to be bogged down by her misfortunes. She may look silly brushing off wave after wave of bad luck but you should see how strong this girl is in this case. You can say she is in denial after being hit with another bad luck but she chose to look at it in a positive light and that itself is a very good thing. In fact, despite their overwhelming misfortune on the outlook, the girls in the happiness class are actually miracles. Another good case in point is Botan herself. You know how she always breaks bones like a running joke, right? With all the ‘x-ray visions’ of seeing her bones shatter to pieces, normal humans would have just died. Seeing how Botan continues to live and she isn’t screaming in furious pain after each fracture (it is as though she has just weakened significantly) shows that this is one heck of a living miracle, right?

What about the rest? Even if Ren attracts other females, it does not have an effect on our main characters (except Hibiki) or even her other classmates and especially Kodaira. So that is not bad, right? And at least she only has the attractive pheromones for females. Even if she often sleeps in and leaves her window open and in turn animals creep in and heap a pile on her, it’s not like she suffocated to death, right? Hibiki always gets lost, you say? Well, she eventually will reach her destination, say 3 hours later? Yup. She just takes (a lot) longer than usual. Hibari? It is good to know that her crush will never reject her and thus she will never have to face the prospects of being heart-broken! Yes, this is indeed a miracle. So you see, these girls might seem to have experience bad lucks throughout their lives but I believe that another hidden great miracle force behind it is keeping them safe and sound, cancelling out the extremities of their bad luck. I mean, they are living an overall peaceful and happy life, right? They are not in some war torn zone or having hunger issues, am I right? Therefore everything about the misfortune as portrayed in here can be summarized as something to be in one’s state of mind. In other words, don’t let it get to you.

When I first watched a few episodes of this series, it occurred to me how similar this series, I started noticing how familiar the characters are to other characters in the similar cute girls doing cute things genre. I mean, if you have seen YuruYuri, Gochuumon Wa Usagi Desu Ka, Kiniro Mosaic and even Non Non Biyori, you can see how similar many of the girls’ personality are in these animes as well. For example how Hibiki look strangely uncanny to YuruYuri’s Sakurako but her character is also almost close to her as the mischievous type. Doesn’t Hanako feel like Akari’s character in that series as well? Ren like Yui? And while it is not so prominently exact in the rest, but noticed how that in all of them you have the lively airhead, the mischievous troublemaker, the expressionless and emotionless girl and the, uhm, seemingly normal girl? I guess when you have a group of characters, it is hard to stray away from at least one of those stereotypes.

I thought it had a little element borrowed from Hidamari Sketch series as well since each of the episodes titles have a date in it. Perhaps this could be one of those series in a long while that doesn’t follow a chronological order. But all that was just trolling because the entire series from start to finish does follow a chronological order and based on the dates of each episode, there are none that go back or go forward in between the episodes. Also another element reminding me of that said anime is the eye-catches. It isn’t just for the mid-intermission like many other animes but could be anywhere and anytime throughout the episode.

Art and drawing is of course moe and cute. Otherwise how would you stomach and laugh at the ridiculous misfortune that is made all the funnier? You wouldn’t want to see ugly people getting caught up in an ugly mess, would you? So with everything made cute, it softens the approach and takes our mind off the accidents the girls faced. Taking moe and kawaii to the extreme are the animals as they look so cute that you might want to squeeze them to death. Unless you are like Hanako in which she will never ever be able to hug or even approach one. CGI is also employed but that is limited to Timothy, his mini versions and that mecha craft he rode.

You know, just when I thought I might have finally recognized Kikuko Inoue’s voice as Kodaira, then came the bad news. It wasn’t her. Shucks. Turned out to be Yumi Hara instead (Marielle in Log Horizon). Thus the only voice I could recognize is Ami Koshimizu as Saginomiya. Not so bad, huh? Too bad I didn’t recognize the rest as they are mostly new ones. They are Yumiri Hanamori as Hanako (Chiaya in The Rolling Girls), Haruka Shiraishi as Hibari (Kirie in Himouto! Umaru-chan), Kiyono Yasuno as Botan (Koneko in Hamatora), Hibiku Yamamura as Hibiki (Rukia in Shinmai Maou No Testament Burst), Mayu Yoshioka as Ren (Mayu in Wake Up, Girls!) and Chitose Morinaga as Timothy (Karen in Shomin Sample).

Both the opening and ending themes are sung by Happy Clover (they are basically the main quintet of the series in which I initially got confused their name with another pop idol group, Momoiro Clover Z). The opener is Punch Mind Happiness is as wacky as it sounds while the ending piece, Ashita De Ii Kara might be a bit slower but it sounds rather okay as a typical anime idol pop song. At least I like its opener which has a little hip in it. Can’t help notice my head is moving to the beat of the song. An element that had me wonder why this show made me remember Gochuumon Usagi Wa Desu Ka is the background music. That cute fluffy BGM certainly does ring a bell. Not to say that they are using the same BGM but the tune and tempo it is played instantly brings up that series.

Overall, an entertaining series if you are into moe comedy. It might get a little boring sometimes because there is no decent plot to go around and the funny parts in general are somewhat the same thing masked in a different form. I mean seriously, do you watch a cute girls doing cute things genre for the story? Do you watch porn for it story?! Not too sure if you want to see more of them and hence another season, does this mean you are a sadist and want to see the girls suffer more bad luck? Does getting another season mean that the girls are still in the midst of their bad luck streak or is it because their fortunes turn for the better as viewers love them so much to buy the DVDs allowing for another season to be made. Yeah… It’s so confusing. One person’s bad luck is another person’s fortune. Let’s just hope that the bad luck will not turn into curses.

Anne Happy

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