Everyone’s headed the same way, eventually
|Does anything make girls more moe than hardships? If you don’t think so, and you like moe, then Anne Happy might be the show for you.|
Can It Really be Considered Noble?
Anne is able to do the impossible, like manage to get her coat caught on a protruding bridge beam
Anne Happy (or Unhappy, or anhapi) is one of those shows that starts out completely innocently. Your totally normal girls going to their first day of high school show. Although it’s a little odd when Ruri finds the world’s most positive girl, holding a dog that’s biting her and hanging by her coat off of a bridge beam. Anne loves animals, and they love… to bite her. But Anne refuses to believe she has bad luck, instead always looking at the positive stuff.
Miss Kuraida’s gloves really give a great image of her detachment from the class,
like she doesn’t want to get any of their unluckiness on her.
But that’s not how the rest of the world sees her. So she’s in our special Class 7 at this special school. Classes 1-3 focus on academics, classes 4-6 focus on athletics. It’s really an elite school. But Class 7 has one specific goal: To kill their teacher before the end of the school year. Wait, that’s a different show, although given the disposition of Class 7, it’s possible that the teacher would end up dead from splash damage. No, the real goal of Class 7 is a charity case: to make the students “Happy”. Because whether they realize it or not, these are all students who have terrible luck, circumstances, personality traits, quirks, what have you. These are the people in society who are unfortunate, whether by fate or by choice, and while none of them want to think that, an elite school run by a lot of smart people doesn’t make a mistake about that.
Anne breaks the rating system, talk about exceptional
And indeed, our main characters fit right in with this description. And in this show, only the main characters matter (noone else even gets a face). The first episode only focuses on “Hibari” (the name Anne gives Ruri), “Hanako” (the nickname that Ruri kinda spitefully gives Anne in return, which Anne loves), and Botan (actually her given name). Anne turns out to be the class loser, judged to have the absolute most unfortune. In fact, she gets a rating of 49 out of 40 due to an ink smudge. And they actually get a homework assignment the first day: Take this raw egg and bring it back to school tomorrow unbroken. That’s it. Of course, due to circumstances, they all fail… with the exception of Anne, who has managed to get her egg to class… where it promptly hatches.
Just for you: “PiyoPiyo!”
If there’s an Alley, This is It
“Well, this is another nice mess you’ve gotten us into, Hanako-san”
Also, if she was really unlucky, she’d have fallen backwards at the knees
I mentioned in the Pre-Spring Picks that one reason I was interested in this show was Shin Oonuma, who I think has had quite a few good series in a row. But looking through those series, there’s a common theme, from Nourin to Rokujouma no Shinryakusha to Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry to WataMote. You could even throw in Kokoro Connect and Prisma Illya in this trend. They are all shows about losers. Some aren’t as obvious as others, but if you think about them, it’s always about the out-group, the looked-down upon, the hard-done-by. So Anne Happy is pretty much just the ultimate end to that trend. And I’ll say that I really like the way that Oonuma handles these characters, in general and in the specific of this show.
Botan’s lovely aura…
In Anne, Ruri, and Botan so far, there’s the right blend of positivity, self-doubt, and even self-hate. Ruri is the one most in denial about her nature, but coming from a school where she was ridiculed because of the crush she has (on the drawing of the construction worker) she is afraid she’ll face the same thing if the truth gets out, even as she wants to be defiant about it. In Botan, there’s the knowledge that she’s a frail, pampered, not useful, even creepy ojou-sama who eavesdrops and has a bad case of imposter syndrome. And Anne, it’s so much that you can’t even call it denial. She is so used to the things that happen to her, they don’t even register on her radar as things that should make her sad. Getting stuck in the rice field, falling off a bridge, bitten by every animal (“How many crows will I meet today?” she innocently asks…), they all roll off her back easily, allowing her to focus on the things that actually do make her happy: Making friends and living life. And in that friendship is perhaps Ruri’s salvation, finding friends who won’t tell her secret crush, and won’t think she’s weird just because she likes a drawing.
“Oh crap, they’re finding out how weird I am.”
“… and they just don’t care.”
The setup of Anne Happy is certainly one that they could use to make you pity the characters. But there’s no pitying going on in this first episode, and I don’t think there will be much throughout the series. The characters themselves are upbeat enough, and I think they’ll pretty quickly come to terms with the fact that they belong in this class, and find that it’s a good thing for them. I was really pleased with this first episode, and hope that the rest are just as good.