What is love? The emotion that can fill a hole within someone, cause joy and pain. It is something Matsuzaka, Satou fails to understand. Having a rap around the school as someone who goes from boy to boy, not afraid to put notches in her bed frame she struggles to understand what love truly is. Until one day, while walking down the street she stumbles upon a crying girl, Koube, Shio. And as Satou eyes fall upon the girl something swells inside her, love, in that moment she understood what love was, and swore, that she would do anything to protect it.
Happy Sugar Life Is a drama horror series that runs 53 chapters, following the story of Satou as she lives out her life working and going to school to care for Shio who stays home all day waiting for her return. What starts as a wholesome quickly turns dark as Satou’s willingness to protect what she deems as her love turns some events into straight-up homicidal.
The tension point in the series starts out early on as fliers that state Missing Child, followed by a picture of Shio pop up around town. Learning that someone is searching for her source of love Satou plays the long game before learning the source of the fliers is nonother than Shio’s brother, Asahi. Learning this she plots how to eliminate obstacles that may pop up. Naturally, a lot of them do, her best friend Shouko starts wanting to get closer to her. A co-worker Taiyou becomes an obsessed lolicon wanting Shio for himself. Daichi A creep of a teacher that wants to bed Satou ends up biting off more than he can chew and finally a quirky aunt that is simply only ever known as Satou’s Aunt.
What the series tries to do is paint the atmosphere of tension as people close in on Satou and her secret that lives in the apartment. Slowly as the story progresses empty plot points are filled as Satou becomes more and more desperate to keep Shio to herself but at the same time leaving the extent to which she is going to keep “safe” a mystery to Shio. In short, this story tries to mix tension, perverse ideals of emotion, and edgy moments but it doesn’t really do any of it well.
As the story goes on, the most emotion-filled event actually doesn’t even come from Satou but Shio. As her back story is fleshed out the reader learns of the hardship of her mother and brother at the mercy of an abusive father. You discover that her mother had a REALLY dark life, at the hands of domestic violence she struggles to protect and provide for her children against a rebelling Japanese society. Even though the chapters covering that back story were short-lived it was without a doubt the most heart-wrenching part of the overall story and it was the only time I was actually invested in the characters.
Satou is annoying, her whole bit I think was suppose to be she is crazy but she doesn’t do it well. When it comes to yandere tropes she has to be one of the more flat ones. Shio whole bit is to be cute, though in the later chapters she does grow some teeth of her own but it’s not near enough to make me care and as for the other character, well they just exist for Satou to try to kill.
Overall this story left no real impression on me, I read it, and there were some moments I was like “ah” but over the 53 chapters, I can’t really recall much because that is just how boring the series overall was. I didn’t care about how Satou felt about Shio because Shio for the majority of the story is just treated as some item that is locked up at home and cleans all day. Satou when out and about living her life away from Shio doesn’t do much of anything of interest, spends most of the daydreaming about going home to see Shio, which ends up them eating and going to bed just to do it all over again.
Happy Sugar Life is boring, long-winded of a snooze fest that ends on not much of a more interesting note. It was forgettable, bland and I’m unsure how it made the waves it did both as a manga and anime. But either way, it is just one more series off the list, and on to the next.
As always thanks for the read!