This is the story of a lost soul having no idea what it meant to be in love or to be loved…until one day she found another soul so pure she found direction again. The question now is, have you ever been so deeply in love you would do whatever it took to protect that feeling and the one who filled your life with infinite happiness? Perhaps you too have a Happy Sugar Life.
Genres: Age Gap, Dark, Drama, Horror, Moepocalypse, Psychological, Suspense, Thriller, Yuri
Number of episodes: 12
Plot Summary: Satou Matsuzaka, a girl who has never loved anyone before, falls in love with a girl named Shio Koube. The two girls are drawn to each other, and begin a happy life together. Satou won’t let anyone endanger their new life, and would do anything for love…no matter how crude her actions.
Happy Sugar Life, or HSL, is a seemingly innocent story starring a very kind and modest pink haired cutie who goes to school and does what she can to help make ends meet. Together with her pal Shoko they do their job while talking about “boys and stuff”…
Little does anyone know that the reason she worked as hard as she did on a daily was to help support her one true love, an adorable bundle of puff called Shio who is far cuter than she looks (and she already looks “totes adorbs”). Together the two live a happy go lucky life as they laugh, play and have fun times aplenty in their special hidden castle. However…
To protect this HSL of theirs Satou must get her hands dirty…and the true nature of the show is revealed. HSL is a psychological horror thriller starring a yandere anti-heroine facing off against several mentally disturbed lunatics in psychological (and sometimes physical) battles where the subject of “true love” is always brought up. Satou confronts various nutjobs from the egotistical, selfish, lost, confused and of course broken in order to protect her paradise. Manipulation, seduction, threatening and if there is no other option, violence, are all names of the game.
Part of what makes HSL a fascinating watch is the exploration of the human mind. Seeing how deranged some can be and it often being people one would least expect to be a depraved pervert or lunatic. As mentioned these are more often than not battles where “true love” is the main reason for them. Each lunatic Satou, and even Shio at times, confront/s has their own view on what is “the way of life” and what true love is. While some might consider some of her opponents “caricatures”…in the world we currently live in I would not be the least bit surprised that one or three like-minded “psychopaths” secretly walk among us somewhere out there. That is why good parents always teach their children to keep their eyes and ears open…and of course never talk to strangers…even if some of them are justified or not insane by choice.
Seeing Satou taking what the crazies have to dish out and wondering what kind of comeback she has or how many steps ahead she planned is another of the show’s highlights. Her counterattacks that I like to call “Doomsday Lectures” where she figuratively skins her opponents alive is quite the sight as she shoots down their delusional worldviews. Of course being a yandere herself in a show that takes this character archetype seriously there are valid reasons as to why Satou is who she is and why she would go so far for the one she loves. Without giving anything away she came from a very very dark place. While protecting her paradise and beloved Satou goes through many emotional phases in her own personal quest to comprehend emotions besides love for, again without spoiling, Satou does not understand many of humanity’s most recognizable emotions. Even her idea of love has missing puzzle pieces that she is trying to find. Also remember when I said she would be willing to do whatever it took to protect her paradise and beloved? Well, some of her actions will be seen as controversial to say the least. It did call her an anti-heroine for a reason.
Basically this is a show with many interesting research subjects for psychological studies as everyone has a story to tell…a twisted one.
Now if mental warfare were all there was to this show it would be recommended to most who can handle a bit of darkness…but this is a “Moepocalypse” show…let us just say Satou gets pushed beyond her limits on multiple occasions…and when that happens “it ain’t pretty”. Ohhh noooooooo…Then again the other crazies also do some very “not for everyone” things so all the more reason this is not a show for everyone.
The ironically funny thing about it all is that despite the crazy stuff I talked about in this review so far…Satou and Shio…throughout it all…are the most sane (or to be specific mentally stable) of the entire cast. Oh yes, I am not joking.
What helped make the show as awesome as it is psychologically terrifying is the superb animation. So much detail went into the scary, gruesome, symbolic and emotional moments helping make every moment all the more effective. The spine tingling moments are as good as the fluffy scenes. The soundtrack is very atmospheric with some standout creepy tunes and happy time beats. The OP is one of my personal favorites of the year alongside Koizumi-san’s and the ED is nice.
Now on to the main event. Besides one scene in particular near the halfway point the main yuri goodness comes from the developing romance between Satou and Shio. It is taken quite seriously and is not treated like lolicon yuri comedy at all. It makes age gap yuri easier to appreciate when they are not played for laughs. Like everyone else both girls have an interesting story to tell and one that must be seen to be believed. Long story short it is a mostly Shiro/White Yuri tale in a very dark world.
Overall Happy Sugar Life is a very interesting show to watch. However, like every other Moepocalypse show out there it is not for everyone. The animation and soundtrack are as effective as the creepy, adorable and gruesome moments, most of the crazies Satou and Shio face off against are a bunch of freaky bastards. Satou and Shio themselves are compelling characters and their romance is a the sweet candy inside of a jar hanging above a pool of hot lava. Recommended to fans of dark stories and a cast of psychological research subjects.