Happy World

June 22, 2007

If this anime title sounds like if it’s intended for younger audiences, then you’re not quite right. Happy World may give one a misleading idea that this is all about the happy, joyful, cheerful, blissful and cloud nine impression. Yes, no doubt this series is of a comedy genre with some romance and a little fantasy stuff in it.
 
If you’re having one of those bad days whereby you’re having a streak of bad luck, don’t worry, it won’t last forever. Unless you’re that ‘suey’ of course. See, every cloud has a silver lining. It’s like Yin and Yang. Okay, so this series is about this guy Takeshi Oumura (looks a bit like Iwaki of Rizelmine) who has been experiencing bad luck for a long time. But soon, his misfortune is gonna change. Or is it…
 
Another one of those short OVAs with only 3 episodes worth approximately 30 minutes each and is adapted from the manga of the same name. Well you know me, I really like short funny OVAs because you don’t really have to do much following up after that so I decided to give this one a try. So let’s start off with the first episode.
 
Episode 1
This episode starts off with Takeshi watching his house burning down as all the firemen are rushing to douse the flames. Now the scene changes to a current one and Takeshi’s bad day continues. Firstly, he tripped. By doing so, he got dog poo on his hands. As he tries to wash it off the tap broke. If that’s not bad enough, Takeshi is soon chased by a ferocious dog. While running away, he bumps into a tree while the dog bumps into a post. Hehehe. Because of that, some electrical metal thingy falls on his head and Takeshi’s bleeding. Talk about having bad things happening to you one after another.
 
As Takeshi’s just lying there thinking if he’s gonna die or what, suddenly an angel named Elle pops out from the sky apologizing to Takeshi that she’s been 3 days late. I think what she meant was that she’s 3 days late to protect him from all this bad luck. Do you want a guardian angel who’s late to protect you? Unfortunately, Takeshi’s ‘going away’ but luckily Elle heals him immediately. With that Takeshi got up and walks away. Hmmm… Elle does sounds a little like Ajimu from Ajimu – Kaigan Monogatari. But upon checking out, nope, they’re both different voice actresses.
 
Why didn’t Takeshi thank that angel? Well, any normal person would think that he’s hallucinating from that bleeding. But it’s getting to Takeshi because as he’s walking, he noticed that angel is following around and wonders why nobody is noticing this. He even thinks he’s seeing things. As Elle explains that she’ll protect him from misfortunes, Takeshi is losing it and thinks this may all be an illusion. Elle further adds that his bad luck has been passed on from his own dad. Had enough of Elle’s ranting, Takeshi then scolds her but this made everyone around him think that he’s mad. Yup, it seems that only Takeshi can see Elle.
 
We see a short flashback how Takeshi’s father left him. Something about his dad telling him off that he’s always in the way. But Elle says he can wish away his misfortune by sending it to someone else. Takeshi immediately suggests his dad but Elle says that one can’t request the one who requested him. Takeshi then suggests Elle herself. Of course you can’t do that to an angel. So happen some macho guy passes by and Takeshi suggests for him but Elle requests for his name. Instead of getting his name, Takeshi gets bashed. Haih… Nobody’s gonna give a name to a total stranger.
 
Takeshi then comes up with an idea. He’s gonna throw a ball and whoever touches it first will get his bad luck. Elle agrees with it. After doing so, Takeshi says farewell to her and walks away. Later, Takeshi saw a little girl who’s curiosity is gonna make her touch the ball. To make things worse, a train is heading her way. Takeshi to his horror can’t bear to see the consequences and rushes down to save her. He manages to do so and says that he’ll take the misfortune and asks Elle to protect him. In a flash Elle uses her wing feathers and transport them out of harm’s way.
 
Elle then drops Takeshi somewhere else but she fell on him naked! Of course Takeshi’s in shock when he saw this. Elle says that in order to stay by his side, she has taken a human being form. Can’t she just be a guardian angel? Elle’s trying to get use to human things since she’s never done them before in angel form. I suppose walking is hard when she’s flying all the time. Takeshi proceeds to give her a piggy back ride back to his home and tells her that she’ll live with him from now on.
 
At home, Takeshi’s contemplating what to do with her while Elle takes a bath. Suddenly, Takeshi’s cousin Motoko (nicknamed Ero-nee by Takeshi, meaning erotic sister. You’ll find out why) comes home and hears a girl’s voice from the bathroom and gets excited to see ‘Takeshi’s girlfriend’. But Motoko got a little disappointed when she enters and saw Elle bathing with her clothes on. Later she thought it’s a custom to do so. An angel not familiar with human customs too?
 
When Motoko’s askig who she is and Elle’s gonna give her honest answer that she’s an angel, Takeshi intercepts by giving her a neck jab. This neck jab is the most comical thing and probably the ‘unique’ thing in this anime. When somebody says or does anything undesireable, that victim will be given a jab to stop whatever h/she is doing. I find it quite amusing and funny all the time. With that, Takeshi tries to pull a fast one and says that Elle is his sister. Then Motoko throws a book hitting Takeshi’s face and says that if he’s gonna joke, he’d better do a good one. Uh-huh. Like she doesn’t know his family members.
 
Motoko’s mom, Sanae comes in and it seems she knows about Elle. But Takeshi suspects it’s Elle’s doing from the way he’s reacting and looking at her. One thing about Sanae is that, don’t you think she’s too young to be a mom. I mean, she does look like a high school girl. And she doesn’t like to be called ‘oba-san’ (aunty) as Elle first calls her but Sanae insists on calling her just by her name. Though Sanae has that ever smiling face and has that gentle voice, whenever her eyebrows twitches, it means, you’d better not make her mad or else… Don’t worry, we’ll never see her other side. If she has one.
 
Later on, as Motoko and Elle takes a bath together, Motoko notices some scars on Elle’s back but was neck jabbed by Sanae as she tells her not to say a word. Then some speech from Elle with Takeshi about how angels aren’t easily accepted by society (uh-huh, being burned at the stakes like a witch!) that’s why she’s being grateful to Takeshi. Due to some unfortunate turn of events, Takeshi accidentally rips Elle’s clothes as a grateful Elle hugs him. Motoko then just came in and saw what’s happening and gets really excited and wants to join in too! But a double neck jab from Sanae prevents a disaster as Sanae drags Motoko away from the room.
 
Episode 2
This episode begins with Elle trying to learn and write hiragana. Also, Elle decides to go to school so that she can protect Takeshi but the latter asked her to do something to protect him when she’s not around him. Elle decides to give him a feather of hers. Well, since it’s a part of her, I guess it counts too.
 
While taking the train to school, Takeshi’s bad luck is resurfacing once again when a monkey steals the feather from his hands. While trying to get back the feather, Takeshi bumps into a fat woman, who’s the monkey’s owner, and gets stepped on. Now that’s heavy. At the same time, Elle felt some sort of pain in her. As Takeshi continues to chase the monkey in the train, he bangs the train door. Then a misunderstood situation when the girls nearby thinks he’s a pervert and is trying to take a peek underneath their skirts. Too bad, Takeshi gets another round of beating.
 
Elle concludes that Takeshi may be in trouble and goes off to save him on a big feather???!!! What the?! I thought she should be able to fly even though she’s in human form. Sanae seems to be watching from behind but since she’s still in sleepy mode, she doesn’t bother much. Must be dreaming. Meanwhile, Takeshi’s chase brings him to the next train coach when some guy picks up the monkey and says how cute his monkey is when that sapien peed on his hands. So he got pissed off and bashed Takeshi. This kid really has the endurance and strength to withstand all those punches. But as Takeshi manages to get out of that situation, he manages to corner the monkey.
 
We see some guy practicing his golf swings. Isn’t it perfect timing when the train passes, he hits the golf ball. So much so it hit Takeshi right in his head. Woah. Talk about timing. While Takeshi’s barely conscious, the monkey loses the feather due to the gust of wind from the broken window. With his last ounce of strenght, Takeshi jumps out of the window to grab the feather but it seems there’s a train approaching in the opposite direction. Luckily Elle arrives in time and saves him. Takeshi then argues with Elle saying how useless the feather is. Uh-huh, it really caused lots of trouble for him.
 
Once they arrive at school, Takeshi is greeted by his buddy, the hyped-up perverted kinda guy, Shishio Maruyama. In class, the teacher introduces a new transfer student. Why, it’s Elle! The teacher even tells the class that she’s Takeshi’s sister but of a different mom. After class, Takeshi confronts Elle and before you know it, he gets a neck jab from Sanae not to pick on his ‘sister’. Looks like Sanae’s in school to do Elle’s transfer paper work.
 
And it seems that Elle excels in every class and subject well. From music to English to history, impressing everyone. So much so she becomes popular among her classmates. They thought she’s teaching Takeshi things but Elle says it’s the other way round. Her friends didn’t believe her and laugh. Takeshi gets mad and takes out Elle’s hiragana book and shows it to them how could a person who can’t write hiragana well teach him things. Her friends don’t seem happy of what he’s doing because it’s like embarrassing Elle. With that, Takeshi takes Elle and leaves the classroom.
 
Later Takeshi feeling a little sorry for what he did earlier on, suggests Elle to go to the library and transcribe things there. At the library, Maruyama spots Elle, approaches her and tries to hit on her. Takeshi passes by when Maruyama accidentally took off Elle’s halo on her head and she suddenly turned naked! Takeshi quickly puts it back on and pretends nothing has happened. Maruyama actually saw the whole thing and wants to do it again. The 2 then ran away with Maruyama close on their tails. Elle explaining something about bending of light thingy which makes her look like she’s wearing clothes but in fact she isn’t. I see. Which means, nobody has ever touched her or has any contact with her or else they would’ve feel how skin-like her clothes are. So some near misses here and there as Maruyama tries to catch them.
 
The chase ends when they crashed into Motoko who’s walking outside. As Maruyama tries to take off the halo, he spots Motoko’s panties and gets a nose bleed. And after that, he wants to hit on Motoko. That pervert. At least he forgot about the halo. Motoko then does a little cheeky hentai thing to Elle while dusting the latter’s skirt by flipping her skirt up a little, catching Elle by surprise. No comment. Wait a minute. If Elle isn’t wearing any clothes, and Motoko flips her skirt like that, isn’t it contradicting to that light bending theory Elle mentioned earlier. Dunno.
 
Back home, Takeshi hears some ambiguous sound and lines of Motoko and Elle together in a room. That guy’s mind is going wild as he’s fantasizing the worst possible outcome of what her perverted sis is doing. As he barges in, he finds out that the 2 are actually studying with Motoko as her coach. So much for that. Motoko asks him if he’s ever heard of knocking before coming in.
 
Episode 3
At school, Takeshi has been elected as their class rep. Because Takeshi didn’t like it, he’s giving several continuous back jabs on Elle. Poor girl. Then a girl named Kusakabe seems to be missing from class and the teacher asks Elle and Takeshi to look for her. They found her climbing up the stairs slowly. Though Takeshi tries to carry her to be faster but Kusakabe yells not to touch her with his dirty hands and that she could walk up by herself.
 
At recess, Kusakabe’s being chided by her classmates for eating too slow. Even during P.E., Takeshi notices Kusakabe sitting out instead of joining in. After school, Kusakabe helps with the cleaning up. Next day in class, Takeshi and Elle finalizing the list of candidates for the school sports run when a classmate notices Kusakabe’s name on it and protests because she thinks Kusakabe is weak and may contribute to the class’s defeat. But Takeshi adamant to let her run in the race. Must be thinking of that father’s incident of his. So I suppose he wants to prove a point. Thus he makes a bet with her that if their class doesn’t win, he’ll shave his head bald. Kusakabe who’s eavesdropping, comes in and decides to join the training. With some people supporting her, she can’t back out now.
 
During the training, Kusakabe and Elle seems to be out of steam as Takeshi makes a deal with Maruyama for the latter to run faster when Kusakabe soon collapses and she awakens in the school’s infirmary. The nurse is telling her the run isn’t good for her body but Kusakabe says she doesn’t want to do it for the body, but pride. Elle goes back in time to see what happened to Kusakabe. It seems Kusakabe’s being bullied but a kind friend helped stood up for her. Soon those 2 became close friends. But later Kusakabe found out her sincerity’s all fake because she wants to look good in her records that’s why she’s doing all this good stuff in the first place. Soon, her pal transferred to another school. Elle travels further back in time and saw how Kusakabe’s grandma thinks this child’s cursed and wants to kill her but managed to be held back and restrained by Kusakabe’s parents.
 
Elle’s feeling confused when she saw her sister appearing a cat form. Some words of advice from her sis before she transformed into some hot futuristic angel mecha uniform. Yeah, more ‘advice’ on humans from her. Anyway, she asks Elle to stay away from the human world.
 
Back home, Elle wants to tell Takeshi something but Motoko interrupted and misinterprets the situation. She’s jumping the gun by thinking that Elle may be pregnant by Takeshi when Sanae lands her a back jab. After that settles down, Elle tells Takeshi the whole truth about Kusakabe. But that didn’t make Takeshi happy as he chases Elle out of his room because he believes that she shouldn’t have looked into people’s heart as she wished.
 
The next day, their training continues. Takeshi and Maruyama reconfirms each other’s promises. Race day arrives and Maruyama is the first person on their team to run. The race begins with Maruyama running real fast. Because of that, he collapses at the end and has to be taken away in a stretcher. Looks like this tactic is to buy the rest of the teammates some time. Takeshi’s team is doing well as they too buy some time for Kusakabe when her turn comes. So that’s why it’s okay for her to run slow.
 
Kusakabe’s the second last runner and is running real slow. Elle notices she’s running at a much faster pace compared to the training. But Kusakabe suddenly collapses in the middle of the race. The nurse runs to her to help but Takeshi told her that she’s still in the race. As Kusakabe struggles, she’s crawling her way while her competitors zoom pass her. Kusakabe collapses again. The nurse can’t wait any longer but Takeshi told her to wait for 5 minutes more before calling the ambulance. Elle wants to use her magic but is stopped by Takeshi after some words of realization.
 
It seems everybody is cheering on Kusakabe and notices a rainbow in the sky. Looks like Elle’s making it. Kusakabe then gathers enough strength to get up and slowly reaches the finishing line. So Kusakabe realizes some things in life as she manages to pass the baton to Takeshi before partially collapsing. As Takeshi dashes ahead, Kusakabe gives a ‘V’ sign and signals that she’s okay.
 
In the ending credits, we see Takeshi’s head shaved. Looks like their class lost. And if you’re wondering what the promise Takeshi and Maruyama made was, here it is. Takeshi giving Maruyama a bag of girl’s undies! Hey, where did he get those. Anyway Elle spots them and in their surprise they dropped the bag outside the window as it lands on Kusakabe’s head. Well, I supposed this whole thing’s a joke as they both give out a heartily laughter rather than freaking out in fear. Back at home, Motoko and Sanae are having a feel of Takeshi’s head when Takeshi gives several back jabs to Elle. Then the ultimate jab from Motoko and Sanae on Takeshi. Yeah, you could see steam coming out from their hands. But Elle just smiled. Isn’t it a happy world after all?
 
Happy Ending
Overall, I guess it’s a pretty decent anime. Everything from the drawing, art, animation and voice acting is okay. I guess it’s alright for a short anime. Though nothing much to shout about, there’s nothing to complain about either. I still like those jabbing moments. It’s the most funny part I find.
 
Another thing I liked to note is that the ending theme song Shiawase Hiyori, sung by Satomi Hanamura (who’s also the voice actress for Elle) sounds so much like a doo-wop. Yeah, it’s quite a catchy doo-wop tune and it makes you want to do a little shuffle and perhaps bring back nostalgic memories of The Platters. Okay, maybe not the latter, but it departs from you usual J-Pop or J-Rock music.
 
So remember if you’re having a tough time, there’s always hope and never give up. Try your best and with the support of family and friends, any obstacle can be overcome. Probably that’s the message of this series. At least we see that change in Takeshi’s character in the final episode. With a guardian angel by his side now, hopefully things will be a bliss from now on for him. Now, if only there were more of such happiness the real world.