370th G-View: Happy Sugar Life

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.

Happy Sugar Life.jpg

Genres: Age Gap, Dark, Drama, Horror, Moepocalypse, Psychological, Suspense, Thriller, Yuri

Number of episodes: 12

G-Rating: 8/10

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.

Satou at work.jpg

One of the most clever and dangerous entities in all yuridom.

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”…

Satou regains her joy

Satou and her beloved Shio.

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…

Satou about to snap

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.

Satou focused

Even while reflecting Satou looks unsettling.

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.

Satou's punishment

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.

Satou and Shio saying their vows

Believe it or not their love is quite pure.

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.

About OG-Man

Yuri and Slice of Life are my anime passion.
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46 Responses to 370th G-View: Happy Sugar Life

  1. Jack Cactus says:

    Rest in peace Satou-chan, you will be remembered by Shio. The thing I like about Satou’s yandere factor is that it feels grounded and real, no super reflexes, strength or anything, just a girl who utilizes her cunningness to the extreme.

    Say what you want about her crimes but to me, they’re totally understandable and can be justified….well…..except the killing of Hida (rest in peace girl but you brought it upon yourself).

    A solid 8.5 (although a 9 is possible but Satou’s decision to go back and get the ring still bugs me)

    Liked by 3 people

    • OG-Man says:

      They will meet again one day.

      Exactly.

      True that.

      Easy. The ring is a sign of their eternal love. Without it she’d feel incomplete. Of course outsiders would say “buy a new one” but step into Satou’s shoes and you will understand why she chose to go back for it. It’s her wedding ring after all.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. ArcaJ says:

    I’m glad that Satou was capable of learning the meaning of True Love, at the end. Simply doing anything for Shio wasn’t enough. She had to give up everything, including her Happy Sugar Life, and put Shio’s safety first.

    Love is often a selfish emotion. throughout much of the story, Satou selfishly tried to keep Shio to herself. In doing so, she actually hurt hr love, while shielding her from the outside world. When she finally learned that love is about giving, rather than hoarding, she found the key. While she had to give up her life to realize her true love, it was probably for the best.

    We got that brief look at what Satou and Shio’s life could have been like, it finally hit me that it could never be. It was only a beautiful dream. There was too much blood, pain and death between them and that life.

    I do worry that Shio is permanently broken now. Her keeping her love for Satou first in her heart, may make it impossible for hr to have a loving relationship with anyone. Worse, she might follow Satou’s example and become a yandere for whomever Satou is “reborn” in. Yikes.

    Happy Sugar Life truly took the idea of a Yandere romance to its logical end. I am continually amazed and horrified. I do hope we get a home video release.

    Liked by 4 people

    • OG-Man says:

      Yup. In her last moments Satou’s eyes were opened as she saw the life she hoped the newlyweds could enjoy but alas…Quite the anti-hero she was. Oh yes indeed.

      Shio’s heart will forever belong to Satou till they one day reunite in this world or the next. Shio most likely becoming the next Satou will be quite the tale to tell.

      Yup. Auntie will shower the guards and prisoners with so much love they’ll suffocate. Sexy and terrifying, she is.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. OtakuGamerGirlT says:

    I’m still clearing the tears from my eyes, but I’m not surprised in the slightest of this tragic end. We knew it was a high possibility, especially considering how controversial of a love Satou and Shio had. However, I wonder if we can really call it a tragedy? To me, it was more like a dark and twisted tale of true love and how sometimes one side must sacrifice their lives for the good of the other. It truly is love in its most raw and simplest form. Putting that person above all else, even oneself; that is love. The psychological horror aspect really added a layer that I’m certain made the show that much more compelling. We’ve seen these “forbidden love” and “yandere” romances many times, but I’ve never seen it done like this. Everyone (literally) was crazy in this show to some degree (except probably Shoko), but I feel it allowed us to consider their point of views and humanized them. They are crazy and perhaps even bad people, but that doesn’t make them less human and it doesn’t mean they they don’t deserve a little love too. As a Neuroscience Major, and an avid horror and romance fan, this hit all the right notes for me.

    Auntie remained my favorite to the end and I hope the prison guards and inmates are prepared for her. XD As for Shio, I can only hope that she will be able to hold Satou forever in her heart, and still live life and find new love. However, with that ending, I fear it’s going to go the more traumatic route and that she will forever be stuck on Satou and will never be able to live and love as a normal functioning girl again. It’s kind of sad, but I also find it fascinating, as we are seeing a first hand view of the cycle of trauma and abuse. Even if it was coming from a place of pure intentions and true love, we can’t deny that the relationship between Satou and Shio was a bit unhealthy and in reality would be classified as abuse. However, what makes this show really groundbreaking is how it un-demonizes the “bad” people, and makes you see them as simply people, who are broken and so maybe do bad things. They are like this because someone also likely broken, did bad things to them too. It’s a cycle and although this is fiction, the philosophy of the situation is quite real. This was my favorite of the season, without a doubt.

    Liked by 4 people

    • OG-Man says:

      It’s a cliche but the show being described as an emotional roller coaster truly is the best way to describe it. Oh yes. As with most Moepocalypse shows it’s not a ride everyone can take, lest they want to either be emotionally scarred or whine. I empathize with the former myself. MGS and HSL I enjoyed equally.

      Shio will most likely be the next Satou if the ending was any indication. Bittersweet indeed.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. cirno9fan says:

    eff this show.
    I knew it was coming but I still can’t stand it

    Endings like this are total garbage. Everyone’s ruined, no one’s happy, hooray, what a great dark show. EVERYONSDLKFJKFJ:Sl

    Liked by 3 people

  5. FantasyGirlKanna says:

    sigh

    Well…I’m not that good with that kind of ending. I wish they could’ve just went with them “Missing…”

    Liked by 4 people

    • OG-Man says:

      It was a tragic one for sure and many of us expected something like this to happen but as some here said it was the likeliest outcome considering the dark and horror theme of the show as LuzeriP said.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. EasyO's says:

    I have to say despite not really being show’s this dark, i legitimately loved this Anime, especially the ending which i think was probably the most “appropriate” outcome considering the course of the story.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. elkat4 says:

    This anime is equivalent of a Shakespearian tragedy down to the ending. Two girls who are spared from absolute madness by their love for each other, despite the forbidden nature of their relationship. Though dare not think I should compare their love to Romeo and Juliet for theirs is a romance true, not the lust of two teenagers rebelling against their families in the name of “love”. In return for Satou’s sacrifice, Shio’s heart will live on, devoting herself to the only person she truly care about,

    Liked by 4 people

    • OG-Man says:

      It’s somewhat like Shiyo Hero no Futari but in a bizarre way less depressing. Yes Shio will most likely become the new Satou but at least she still has (mad) love in her heart and not sealed away her emotions from all humanity out of eternal guilt.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. tbiscut74 says:

    Man oh man that ending! My heart was pounding through out the episode! Didn’t expect for Shio to survive though. Wonder if the manga will end the same way. Also didn’t expect Pretty Danger to survive ether.

    One of my favorite shows this season for sure! I am a fan of dark and horror animes. It was a good warm up for my Horror Anime Month( in which i watch horror anime and western slasher movies all throughout October).( And for the new Season of Tokyo Ghoul RE.)

    All in all I loved this show! And the OP is great! So catchy!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Red says:

    I watched three one cour series this season: Asobi Asobase, Revue Starlight, and Happy Sugar Life. I gave them all the same score in the end (8/10), but Happy Sugar Life is the only one that stuck in my mind for the next few hours.

    It has its flaws, for sure. But it left me feeling so…conflicted. I know Satou was ultimately a bad person and it wouldn’t be right for things to work out well for her. But we got to know her, understand her to a degree, and despite what she did, a part of me still wanted to see her succeed. If only she hadn’t killed Shoko. Not only is that what led to her demise at all, but it’s the one major event that prevented me from being 100% on her side. But I also can’t dislike that part of it, especially after how Satou reacted to her own actions, like even she was surprised how much it effected her.

    Aside from the completely pointless rape scene, the final episode was really well-done. It was a bumpy ride, but it (mostly) stuck the landing.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. satoupleasekillme says:

    oh god why did that happen Satou means everything to me and i love satou, satou is the best character ever and she did nothing wrong and everybody else was wrong except maybe Shoko but who cares about Shoko anyway and how come Satou couldn’t have gone where Asahi went if he got out alive (which he didn’t deserve) but I’m glad he gets to live the rest of his life in pain as his sister who he fought so hard to win back rejects him and Satou lives within Shio forever now so now I love Shio too since she’s the new Satou and I want a sequel featuring Shio as the new hero who heroically fights to secure her happy sugar life but deep down inside I know that might not happen but I will dream forever since Satou is my precious and her legacy must continue

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Ann Sears says:

    Im gonna miss my fcked up auntie…
    I hope she’s ok behind the bars lol

    Liked by 1 person

  12. LuzeriP says:

    I loved this show. I personally would give this 10/10. Each episode was so intense my heart pounding every time. Yeah not the happiest ending but I expected that. I prefer this than the ambiguous ending. Well, I like happy ending tho, but what can you do. Shio maybe alone but you can see in her eyes Satou lives inside of her and she can be the next Satou. This is a classic ending for horror show.
    Anyway, now I’m feeling empty, I need my sugar life.

    Liked by 4 people

    • OG-Man says:

      You are absolutely right. There’s some pretty good reactions and final thoughts here but your “it’s like a horror movie ending” helped put it together in my head. Yes! That’s exactly the kind of ending we got!

      This was another pretty good Moepocalypse show. It will join Magical Girl Site on my favs of 2018 list.

      Liked by 3 people

  13. lilmagi says:

    They even tease us with the “what could have been.” at the end there. Those lovely background flashes… Oh well. I guess yanderes simply can’t have a happy ending.
    Here is hoping that manga ends differently.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Well…it ended that way after all, huh. Though at least Shio made it through thanks to Satou, even if everything fell apart around them at the end, and the both of them with it. And damn was Shio pretty cool when she stood up to Asahi and protected Satou and her Happy Sugar Life and such.

    Damn seeing those flashes of what could’ve been as they fell tug at my heartstrings as I anxiously waited to see what would end up being the result

    All in all, I’d say this is definitely in my top 5 anime of the season, and one of my favourites from this year, and I’ll need to see the ending of Revue Starlight to see if this takes the AotS spot for me this season. This was just excellent all throughout.

    Asahi surviving the last episode was most definitely my biggest surprise of the ending. How exactly did he escape the flames at the end anyway? Though it is nice to see him realizing, in a way, some things, at least. He wasn’t quite too far gone to survive, it seems.

    ..I’m worried for all the prison guards and such who have to deal with Auntie, tbh, far more than for her…

    Liked by 3 people

    • OG-Man says:

      Kind of a bittersweet conclusion despite it being full of tragedy but it is a “horror movie end” so it makes sense to end it the way they did, yes. Still brought sadness to my kokoro.

      Not really concerned with how Asahi survived. He made it out. Cool. Still wasn’t able to restore his family like he wanted.

      Yup. It’s the guards and prisoners who should be worried. Auntie will shower them with so much love they’ll suffocate. Sexy and terrifying.

      Liked by 3 people

  15. chikorita157 says:

    It’s surprising that the happy ending didn’t ending, but then again, it’s not too surprising at the same time. Sure, killing the stalker neighbor may be justified, but when she murdered Shouko, not so much. After that, everything went downhill from there and it’s quite interesting that Satou shows some signs of remorse despite holding it back in the last episode.

    That said, I don’t like Asahi that much either. Part of it is because of wanting the pairing to have a happy ending despite what Satou is doing is morally wrong. Sure, Satou did a lot of things wrong, but I don’t think Asahi is capable of raising Shio let alone his mother who abandoned Shio. Towards the end, he became like his father, which causes him to lose any redeeming quality he had in my opinion when he decides to take a bat and become violent despite being the supposed good guy. It’s ironic given that he doesn’t like his father. I guess he deserves Shio disowning him at the end. At least in the manga, he reacted sickly to committing violence, which is cut out in the anime.

    That said, while mostly everyone is messed up, besides Shouko, it was interesting to watch how this tragedy played out in the end.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Dreamleaf says:

    This series was one hell of a ride. That’s for sure

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Giack31 says:

    I think I’ve never been as tense watching anime as when I was watch the final episode.
    I liked the ending. It’s not completely a bad ending since Ship is still alive. Honestly I think this is the is the ending that needed to happen. A happy ending wouldn’t have fitted the overall atmosphere of the anime. Showing us images of what could have been during the fall was still brutal though.
    This was a really fucked up anime and one that I would probably never recommend to anyone but it was really well done not only in the plot but also how it was shown.

    Liked by 2 people

    • OG-Man says:

      Regardless of whether the ending was happy, sad or in this case bittersweet a group of viewers would be upset by either one.

      Same can be said for most other Moepocalypse shows.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. The Otaku Judge says:

    Got to agree that the most deranged people are often the ones you least expect. I’ll probably watch this show next, as it sounds right up my alley. The main character reminds me of the girl from Future Diary and I am a sucker for stuff that looks cute initially, but then turns dark. Some notable examples include School-Live, Madoka and Elfen Lied.

    Liked by 2 people

    • OG-Man says:

      Do enjoy it then.

      Also Elfen Lied showed its true colors right away. So did Meduca Meguca. Gakkou Gurashi was the only one of the three examples that initially hid its true colors.

      Liked by 3 people

  19. Mauron says:

    I never got into the yuri aspects of the show due to Shio’s age, but the dark aspects of the show had me hooked.

    I’ll have to pick up the manga eventually.

    Like

  20. yurimylove says:

    pretty good series deserving of the 8/10 rating you awarded. Though like most, I prefer happy endings in general but I don’t mind tragic ending too much if the story-telling, especially the yuri romance, has been compelling, like here, or Blue Drop anime, for example.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. K says:

    Satou forgetting her ring put her squarely on the bad end route. Gazing into Shoko’s lifeless eyes really rattled her, showing some hint of remorse, I think.

    In the end, it was very bittersweet. More emphasis on the bitter since most parties involved didn’t get their desired outcome, the exceptions being Shio, who, despite losing her beloved Satou, ended up loving her more, and Satou’s Aunt, who doesn’t really mind being arrested. I’d say it’s going to be bitter for the guards and prisoners and sweet for her. In Suu’s case, her committing suicide wouldn’t be too surprising, given her temperament.

    Thinking about it, with her death, despite it not being the intention, Satou got away with murder, seeing as Auntie will be the one charged with Shoko’s murder and it looked like that crazy teach got arrested for Mr.Static’s(because I can’t think of another reason why the po-po came for him). Satou’ was so cunning with her methods and luck was also on her side(not where it really counted, unfortunately).

    Ultimately, under different circumstances, I’m sure that Satou would’ve been able to stay with Shio, be great friends with Asahi and still have her friendship with Shoko intact. That golden end would’ve been nice…

    All in all, HSL’s a great watch with a solid story and interesting characters of varying levels of mental(and physical in parts) damage. Another of Summer’s finest.

    Liked by 2 people

    • K says:

      PS: From Asahi’s POV, seeing a glimpse of Satou in his dear sister’s eyes brought him absolute despair. Shio’s forever changed and she won’t have much love left for him. Anyway, this was the first thing that came to mind that sums up how he felt:

      Liked by 1 person

    • OG-Man says:

      Yup. As soon as she went back for her wedding ring we all figured out that’s how they ended up in the predicament at the start of the show.

      Yup. More bitter than sweet.

      Satou was a brilliant strategist who covered her tracks quite well. As you said though it didn’t help here where it counted the most.

      I’m sure the ending you speak of happened in one of the millions of alternate universes out there.

      Not everyone would agree but that is to be expected of Moepocalypse shows. But yes I stand by my thoughts on this being on my favorites of 2018 list alongside MGS.

      Like

  22. Nick says:

    What a ride this show was. Going in I might have been expecting it to be a more hack and slash type show with Satou systematically killing off her enemies in gruesome ways, but the physiological warfare she waged with them was far more interesting to watch. Like you said, her “Doomsday Lectures” were quite something. While she did get her hands bloody a few times, her way of taking down people this way was far more interesting to watch in the long run.

    As these shows go, they’re not for everyone. I know a lot of people were turned off by the loli relationship aspect of the show, but honestly the way it was handled wasn’t in some extreme pedophile way or something. Sure there was an age gap but it wasn’t to the point of being gross or legal. Plus Satou wasn’t some gross old guy or something. But on a whole, these type shows are either all in or not at all, there isn’t really much of a middle ground. Thankfully I like shows like this and don’t spend all 12 eps comparing it to Madoka or something else. Anyways, off topic now.

    I liked the art and music for this show too. The studio is one I don’t think I’ve seen any previous work by, but I thought they did a fantastic job with this show. From the bright and colorful scenes with Satou and Shio in their castle, to the dark and tense moments with Satou facing off against those who stood in her way, the animation carried from start to finish and was consistently good. Same goes for the music.

    Overall though this show was a dark psychological thriller that really delivered in pretty much all the right ways. The ending didn’t exactly pan out too well for everyone (still not sure if it is even possibly for Shio to have survived that fall, but we’ll let it slide) but in a way Shio grew closer to her, so I guess that’s all good? I’m sure had things played out differently, Satou and Shio would’ve made it out and lived a wonderful life together somewhere far away.

    All in all I really enjoyed this show, a highlight of my summer season for sure and one I’ll look back on at the end of the year when I’m doing my yearly wrap up. My final tally for HSL is a solid 8.5/10.

    Liked by 1 person

    • OG-Man says:

      Yup. It being a psychological thriller was more engaging as Satou got to make many of us poop our pants. That’s not to say she wasn’t scary when she was forced to get her hands dirty, because of course she was.

      Age-gap couples, especially ones where the younger love interest is an adolescent or younger is not for everyone but so long as it is handled well or taken seriously like it was here I’m sure the ones who don’t mind can appreciate it. This was neither a Meduca Meguca or Mirai Nikki ripoff in the slightest. Then again I didn’t see MN but whatever.

      The presentation greatly enhanced what the show was going for. Great stuff.

      It’s as some peeps said. It felt like an ending out of a horror movie and it worked for what the anime was going for. Whether the manga will have a similar conclusion remains to be seen. To me HSL is on par with MGS and both will definitely get a spot on my fav shows of the year list when we talk about them. Which reminds me, as of this writing I still need to finish watching the Lostorage WIXOSS series.

      Like

  23. I loved every minute of this anime, it makes me want to read the manga ending even more, I think it was brillian, damn, I was right , Shio is quite cuckoodood herself!!! The aunt was perfect till the end!!

    Like

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  26. piano_cello_conducting says:

    I could handle dark yuri anime like Magical Girl Site but this was a different beast altogether. I’m really not comfortable with Shio being so young and the attempt to depict their love as pure is BS. It’s Stockholm syndrome and Shio is too young to understand about romantic love. I’m still not sure about the point of the teacher though and the ending with him. Also the body count was surprisingly low.
    I can’t recommend this show.

    Like

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