Continue reading “Let’s Look: Happy Sugar Life Episodes 10-12: The End of the Story of Sugar and Salt”
Ah, the summer season of anime. It always seems to be a season where we get some of the best anime of the year. And this one looks to be no exception.
This is a shivering pure love psycho horror story of a girl named Satou Matsuzaka, who has someone she likes. She experiences a sweet feeling when she sleeps with her and thought it must be love. Everything will be forgiven as long as she protects this feeling, even if she tricks, commits crimes, steals, or even kills, she thought.
Let’s get down to the main review.
The art of the anime is really good and of high quality. It’s from a relatively unknown studio or at least I haven’t heard of them, Studio Ezo’la.
The anime uses a lot of fairly bright colors during a normal and cute scene like the ones with Shio and Satou and at the two cafes that Satou worked at.
However, this can be contrasted with the almost grim use of Satou’s red eyes during scenes where she goes into yandere mode. It’s a good artistic choice from the mangaka to use red because red is usually a danger color and also from the animators using the stylistic choice to make her yandere red eyes glow in the dark. The glow really puts the fear into you that she’s either thinking crazy or about to do crazy. Yuno Gasai be proud.
To speak a little more on Yuno Gasai and Satou Matsuzaka, they do share a lot in common with their pink hair and seemly mild and sweet personalities. Pink has always been a color that fairly safe.
So without knowing anything about them prior to the series, one could assume that they’re like every other pink hair, pinkish eyed character like for example Kaoruko Moeta from Comic Girls.
It’s a carefully crafted subversion of pink moe and the contrast between their beauty and their actions makes for not only a beautiful artistic moment but also an excellent story.
I have to admit that I came to this story a little wrong with the first episode which is why I waited a little bit before writing my review.
I came here expecting something akin to Gakkou Gurashi where we had a dark setting but overall fairly positive characters. However, after watching the first two episodes I can definitely say it’s the reverse. We have a fairly positive setting but negative and borderline evil characters.
To be frank in speaking, Satou is not healthy at all. Or at least deluded enough to not realize she’s a hypocrite in regards to her boss in the first episode and her teacher in the second. Her boss and teacher do evil things in the name of their “love” and Satou admonishes them for it but she is no better. While she does care about Shio, it doesn’t change the fact that she kidnapped a little girl off the streets and is keeping her in an apartment from her rightful family. Granted we’ll learn later that sadly Satou is the best Shio’s ever had but it doesn’t change the morality of the situation.
We also catch glimpses into Satou’s past: her parents are dead and she was raised by her aunt who doesn’t really seem to be all there so she wasn’t the best person to be there for a little girl who lost her parents.
We aren’t watching a show with heroes and people to root for. We’re watching a lot of grey and black people show each other what they really are in the dark. It makes for good entertainment that’s for sure.
I initially pegged her as more of a cute girl who did a bad thing for a good reason. Now I’m seeing her as someone far more sinister and manipulative that she appears. And it’s more likely to work with her. No one never expects to be manipulated and blackmailed by the cute perky and sweet girl with pink hair. It just doesn’t match what they expect from you. Satou has a lot of potential to be incredibly interesting in how she approaches future events since she’s already killed someone before for personal gain and her view of love is warped.
Talking about warped love also brings up another interesting thing. While a 2nd or 3rd year in high school(I’m going to assume Satou’s 16 or 17) can love a child they can’t love them in an equal sense. I have to be curious about how Satou views Shio. She can’t possibly love her as an equal.
The only way I can see her loving Shio is either in a maternal sense or in a romantic sense. What I mean by the first one is that Satou hasn’t had anyone that loved her unconditionally without expecting anything from her. And Shio gives her love and kindness without expecting anything in return. And for someone with a crazy aunt, dead parents, and potential issues from being used by the guys she’s slept with, a child’s simple and unconditional love must be a breath of fresh air. That simple love is represented by Satou’s sugar jar being filled by the love Shio gives her.
The romantic sense…has very disturbing implications seeing as she’s raising the little girl that she’ll one day marry. I recommend looking up the definition of child grooming and you’ll find that Satou has finished at least 4 of the 6 steps with Shio…
I can’t really say much about Shio other than the curious point where her mother’s face was pasted over in her memories during her flashback in episode 2. I haven’t really seen this before in anime as far as I remember but if I had to hazard a guess there are some things in Shio’s past that aren’t so nice. She’s not as pure as she looks.
So that’s all I’ve got. Happy Sugar Life has so much interesting stuff in there that I find myself itching for the next episode.
So until the next episode,
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