Happy Sugar Life (Summer 2018) – A Jar Full of Sweet

Satou Matsuzaka is a girl who doesn’t know what love really means. She doesn’t have a meaningful life. In fact, she tried to find love even sacrifice herself for a man who tried to express love to her. However, an empty jar never filled the candy inside. The jar only filled with dust, spiders and cracked. If only her heart wanted to try to explain it, then the candy would be full in the jar she had. Therefore, came a child, Shio Koube. She is an innocent child who has lots of sweets. Shio then fully realized how powerless Satou was. So from that, she had various sweets until the jar was full. Her life is meaningful again. Now, she lives with happiness filled with sugar in it.

“Happy Sugar Life” seems to sell candy to children. It’s a show that combines various elements such as dark, horror, suspense, and thriller. I also like stories about anti-heroes who try to do anything to fulfill their desires. However, this anime seems nothing more than a gimmick who wants to be edgy. At first glance, I understand this is more than “don’t judge the book by its cover” or something like that. Matsuzaka Satou shows her character with two “personalities” or rather, two lives. The motive she has is nothing more than a girl who wants to ask for candy. For Satou, Shio is the candy and if anyone dares to disturb them, you don’t want to start it first.

The plot actually doesn’t seem cliche nor complex. “Happy Sugar Life” has many mental illnesses you can get. There are pedophilia, masochism, sociopathic, psychopathic, PTSD, heavy obsession, anti-social, and others. Satou more precisely presented some of the things mentioned. She more precisely isolated herself in a normal apartment, outside of her. But, darkness began to envelop inside. The first episode is quite promising where the episode shows two characters committed suicide on top of a burning apartment. It’s kind of neat, I guess, and I want to know why that happened.

Meanwhile, the chemistry between Satou and Shio, in my opinion, was not normal. More precisely, they are so weird. They performed a ritual ceremony of marriage-like, kiss each other, and sharing one jar with each other. On the other hand, Satou is a normal female teenager. She is not the type of “yandere” or something like that. She is more of a complex character with a various twist. Depending on how the context can be taken, she will do anything, I mean, anything to be able to protect the candy. And of course, she doesn’t like something bitter. Everyone, too – I mean – something “bitter”, I think.

This show is kind of similar to “School Days” where the show presents someone who has a high lust. That high lust turns them into people who are not the same anymore. I don’t know if you still remember this legend anime includes that phenomenal sailing boat ending. Anyway, “Happy Sugar Life” seems to use the same concept but in a bad and excessive way. Like for example Taiyou who presented pedophilia and severe trauma to adult women. There is Satou’s aunt presents her psychology full of lust. There is so much character in that. Some, in my opinion, there are normal characters besides Shio. There is Shouko Hida as Satou’s best friend.

For a psychopath show, there aren’t too many murder scenes in this anime. Some characters, sometimes, often reject their intentions in order to kill these people for any reason. Sometimes too, it seems, once again, like they sell its own gimmick. This is like some kind of “Breaking Bad” type of characters where everybody in this show always breaks badly. They break badly in a logical way because there is so much backstory on them. So, some of the characters have their intention to be able to reach their ego. The more the story progress, it’s kind of similar to that show. When one person fails, everything will end or vice versa. But, a continuous reflection who should we sympathize.

The ending is natural. No more than happy and even bad ending. It seems like it’s hard to explain how the ending is. Meanwhile, Ezόla is a new studio and “Happy Sugar Life” is their first project. The visual combines some impressions of happiness like “this is got to be a high-school girl slice of life show”. But, it’s always taking you into a dark place like when you were in Satou’s apartment. It contains a lot of violence besides there isn’t much murder content in it. In addition, there are many very disturbing moments not for everyone will be able to endure. The sensitive and serious themes make this anime not recommended for people who are too sensitive. I also like the glitch-style concept they carry.

I love the opening song. It’s taking me back with Ho-kago Tea Time’s “NO, Thank You!” but edgier yet still catchy. Kana Hanazawa as Satou was so great in this anime. A great talent when casting one character with many personalities. She is known for her out-of-character type characters. She always carries a “yandere” type of character but doesn’t often cast as cute characters. The ending song is just as memorable as the opening song. But, I like it because it’s more into feeling, kindness, and smoothly. Misaki Kuno as Shio also managed to bring her character to full performance.

“Happy Sugar Life” is a love story full of all kinds of abnormalities. It combines with many elements such as psychological, horror, thriller, drama, dark, and etc. This is also far from the word “bad” because it’s just another average anime that sells a few gimmicks in it. I love the art for a new studio. Characters that are a bit complex when the story progresses forward. The soundtrack with the glitchy effects just making it hard for you to survive. At least, this is not recommended for those of you who don’t like many disturbing or slightly explicit scenes.

3 out of 5 stars.

Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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