Forgotten amongst all of the exciting yuri visual novels that this year has provided us, there has also been some quality yuri-ish anime appear this year. Anne Happy♪ is one such anime. So even though it’s a few months too late, let’s take a belated look at some cute unfortunate girls doing some cute unfortunate things~
Tennomifune Academy is an esteemed high school in which its students focus on either academics or sports, but that doesn’t apply to class 7, which is home to students who suffer from some sort of misfortune. Their unique curriculum will focus on helping them overcome their misfortune and train them to become “happy”.
To me, that already sounds like a promising synopsis. This mass misfortune is what differentiates the story from so many other slice of life anime out there, and from a comedic perspective, supplies us with plenty of entertaining fodder. It’s really the foundation that this show is based on, and when it’s on its game, I’d dare to put it up there with some of the more established and entertaining slice of life anime, yet there are times when it feels like there’s something missing and the show’s not living up to its potential.
Some of the more memorable moments for me involve the giant board game that the girls are forced into playing, the games of chance the girls play and the head-to-head battles they’re involved in (including the teacher), and seeing how Ren and Hibiki first met. I especially like it when things are a little more adventurous, and it’s not just the typical things you’d expect to see in an anime of this type. But there are some exceptions….
The last episode and a half or so were a little disappointing to me. Those felt similar to the events of episode six, and I guess I prefer the girls being together, rather than being separated. But even though I didn’t love the final couple of episodes, they still had their moments and were fun, though, I felt that they could’ve been even better.
Overall, I like how different the story felt compared to most other “cute girls doing cute things” shows, and despite taking a different path to a similar outcome, the air of freshness that resulted was something that I very much enjoyed~
Generally, I’m usually not the biggest fan of anime that features an overly large cast, since you oftentimes wind up with good characters that don’t get the attention they deserve. Luckily, that’s not an issue at all in Anne Happy♪, because aside from the homeroom teacher and Timothy, there are only five characters with any significant screen time.
Anne is the titular character, and she may just be the most unlucky person ever. Whether it’s constantly falling in the river, being attacked by all sorts of animals, or just having plain bad luck, she leads a pretty unfortunate life, yet she’s still cheery and is a whirlwind of charisma. Sometimes you see a main character that’s pretty bland compared to her contemporaries, but I’m glad that that’s not the case here. It’s pretty much impossible to dislike her, and I think she’s probably the funniest character in the show, or at least the one who elicits the most laughs.
Whereas Anne is the living embodiment of bad luck, Ruri’s misfortune seems to be pale in comparison. By all accounts, she seems as normal as can be, but she suffers from what could be called tragic love. That sounds horrible, but it’s not quite what it seems to be. Moreso than Anne, Ruri is the one who nearly finds herself as the generic character, but she has enough going on to avoid that cruel fate, so it’s all good.
Last but not least, Botan rounds out the three main characters, and just like the others, she truly deserves her place in the class. Her affliction isn’t love for an inanimate object, and she won’t be thought of as being cursed or hated by animals, but her misfortune actually stems from being an extreme weakling. When I say extreme, I mean that she’s very easily injured by way of broken bones or some other sort of fluke injury. She also has a very low opinion of herself—to the point that it could be considered self-loathing—but I don’t share that opinion, and I think she’s very underrated, and she’s perhaps my favorite character of the bunch. And did I mention that she wears glasses? 😉
Admittedly, even though that’s a nice trio of characters, that doesn’t really justify getting a review here on YR, but that’s where Hibiki and Ren come in. It would be a stretch to call them a couple, since it’s more of a one-sided relationship, but these two supply the yuri that powers the show.
Ren is a sleepy girl whose misfortune derives from the attraction she receives from females of all species, and even though she’s oblivious to Hibiki’s feelings, I can’t help but love her as well. There’s just something about her that’s very likable, so it’s easy to understand why creatures flock to her so much. As for Hibiki, her poor sense of direction is the result of her misfortune, so even making her way to school becomes a time-consuming adventure. She’s the complete opposite of Botan, as her opinion of herself is sky high, but underneath it all, she’s really a softie.
Ren and Hibiki grew up together, and we see their first interactions in an adorable flashback scene that shows the origins of Hibiki’s feelings for Ren. Even though they’re completely different, those two are super cute together, despite the fact that Ren doesn’t share the same sentiments as Hibiki. In the grand scheme of things, it’s a rather modest level of yuri vibes emanating from this show, but I struggle to see how anyone could say that the show isn’t better off because to it.
Regarding the color palette, Anne Happy♪ is on the drab side of things, with colors that are more washed-out than vivid, but other than that, this is a nice-looking anime with an art style that’s every bit as lively as the comedy. Well, I guess you could say that some of the backgrounds are hastily drawn or on the simplistic side, though it never did become much of an issue for me. So while it’s certainly not great-looking, it’s still a bit stylized and is certainly on the cute side, so I can’t really be too harsh.
Not only does Anne Happy♪ feature a catchy OP and ED, there are also a few insert songs that help make the viewing experience more enjoyable. I’m still a little surprised that every single slice of life anime doesn’t feature an insert song or two, because hearing cute girls sing while watching those same cute girls do their own cute thing is just too damn cute. It’s cuteness overload! Even Timothy’s rap—despite being incredibly annoying—is really catchy, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy it (though, that may just be my inner masochist talking). So it’s just the nature of the beast that the audio from a slice of life anime can’t truly compare to that of a more serious, dramatic anime, but all things considered, this had everything your ears could ask for and more.
I wouldn’t put it up there with the likes of Yuru Yuri, GochiUsa, or KinMoza, but Anne Happy♪ is still an enjoyable take on the cute girls doing cute things genre and an adequate fill-in until the next great yuri-ish slice of life anime arrives. If a second season ever gets made, I think there’s still unfulfilled potential that’s just waiting to be tapped into, so let’s hope it gets a chance to make it happen~