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Happy Sugar Life – 02 »

Happy Sugar Life – 01

OP Sequence

OP: 「ワンルームシュガーライフ」 (One Room Sugar Life) by ナナヲアカリ (Nanawo Akari)

「砂糖少女は愛を食む」 (Satou Shoujo wa Ai o Hamu)
“The Sugar Girl Feeds on Love”

From the start of Romeo and Juliet, right in the prologue, Shakespeare tells the audience that the titular romance was not going to end well. Of the warring Montague and Capulet families he wrote: ‘From forth the fatal loins of these two foes / A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life’. Even before the play opens proper, huge spoilers, as Shakespeare warns the audience that not only do Romeo and Juliet kill themselves their love was also star-crossed, so they were basically doomed. Such is the way of tragedy, and the more Greek they are the more fatalist they get. When watching we know the hero is going to fall and fall hard, but there is something about their descent that keeps us glued to the tragedy. Happy Sugar Life appears to want to frame itself as that kind of that story, opening cold with a promise of inevitable tragedy. In the preview I described Happy Sugar Life as an oncoming train-wreck, and apparently the anime understands this full well and has decided to show us the flaming wreckage first to tempt us into sticking around to watch the play-by-play dissection of the disaster.

A bit heavy-handed perhaps, but it’s hard to blame Happy Sugar Life for it. Shows about cute girls being happy. There’s no hook in an opening like that; no, Happy Sugar Life knows that i has to sell itself on the crazy yandere. That’s why you’re here and that’s why I’m here. But I hope that Happy Sugar Life is not tempted into pushing that angle too hard. Just as a purely sweet anime is not particularly interesting, neither is a completely bitter one. Instead, Happy Sugar Life is a story of juxtapositions, balancing its darkness and its light against each other to make us question both. Consider all that is in conflict in this episode: the unhinged, Shaft OP against a gentle ED. The pastel palette and soft designs against the adult themes. Even the main characters, Matsuzaka Satou (Hanazawa Kana) and Koube Shio (Kuno Misaki) play against each other, with the former’s name being a homophone for sugar and the latter’s being one for salt. And, of course, they are themselves in conflict with their world, with their seemingly pure relationship at odds with cynical reality.

Why did Romeo and Juliet ultimately have to die in their play? Part of it was the Montague/Capulet rivalry meaning that their love could never be. Part of it was sheer coincidence. Part of it was that they were naïve teenagers and bungled everything. In comparison, how is Happy Sugar Life going to go? Satou is evidently, no fool, and not so naïve that she is not above some pragmatic villainy of her own in the face of evil. And while I may refer to her as a ‘crazy yandere’, is she actually insane? Or does she simply have a purity of vision, and it is the world that has gone mad? I think that will be an ever present question throughout Happy Sugar Life. In Romeo and Juliet, pure, naïve love is celebrated, brings peace to warring houses, and is triumphant beyond death. Happy Sugar Life simply takes that to the extreme. Satou’s love is pure, uncut, straight the to brain. And perhaps ‘pure’ does not always ‘good’.

 

ED Sequence

ED: 「SWEET HURT」 by ReoNa

Preview

July 14, 2018 at 10:19 am
12 comments »
  • July 14, 2018 at 12:51 pmLoliHat

    Did Satou just Show Spoiler ▼

    • July 14, 2018 at 6:02 pmLaura

      Nop

      • July 14, 2018 at 8:07 pmLoliHat

        Ah, that would have upped her sociopath level up a few more notches.

  • July 14, 2018 at 2:17 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    It’s so bitter…

  • July 14, 2018 at 5:10 pmmac65

    Definitely a one to watch…

  • July 14, 2018 at 6:03 pmLaura

    I read the manga, and it is good.

  • July 14, 2018 at 9:38 pmKarmafan

    This show kinda reminds me of the high school girl zombie show (School Live) a few years back. Three girls, a dog, and a teacher are trapped in the school with a zombie apocalypse going on outside the school. On the surface it seemed like cute girls doing cute things but in reality as the series moved forward you found out how bad and heartbreaking it really was.

  • July 15, 2018 at 3:14 amAngelus

    This is one of my most anticipated shows this season. The cold open was a real surprise, though. The appeal to the dramatic prologue and how it focuses the viewer on the journey rather than the destination is well made, but actually the Folio edition of Romeo and Juliet has no prologue.

    Anyway, the problem for me with that type of opening is that it is shutting down the possibilities right from the start. There’s no wondering now for the audience about how the story could go or how it will end up. Instead of being shown a game of chess from start to finish, it’s like being shown the endgame and now you have to work out how it got there.

    If you’re going to do something like that, then do it like SukaSuka where you are shown the ending right at the start, but you don’t fully understand what you are seeing. It’s only as you become acquainted with the mechanics of that world and the Fairy Gate that you slowly begin to realise what it is that you saw. Still, maybe we don’t fully understand what were are seeing here as well, then the actual ending will be even more unexpected.

    • July 15, 2018 at 7:47 amPasserby

      The ending may still go differently than it appears. Even if it doesn’t, such is the way of tragedy. The question is never whether the hero falls, but the manner of their descent.

      • July 15, 2018 at 11:37 amAngelus

        And I would absolutely agree those statements about classical tragedy. With Shakespeare and his contemporaries, you knew as a potential viewer that something was a tragedy right from the start because it was in the title. With modern drama, though, and with anime in general that’s not based on historical facts, you don’t know that for sure at the start, especially if you aren’t familiar with the source material.

        When I watch something I’m not familiar with, I like to be in the box with the cat because the possibilities of a happy or sad ending both exist at the same time. Unless you tell me right from the beginning exactly how it will end, of course!

        Well, by the end of the first episode it’s absolutely clear that Satou and Shio aren’t going to grow old together, but I still wish I didn’t know what would be the cause of that. Would Hamlet have been as good a play if it had started off with the stage full of bodies? We shall never know.

  • July 15, 2018 at 11:08 pmNamaewoinai

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