Anne Happy – 04

Anne Happy - eavesdropping

Worst Spies Ever

winter15-highw Time for homework, and while it can be difficult, it’s usually something you should get done.


Anne Happy - Punishment time

The cleanest staff room I’ve seen in anime…

It certainly was an ominous feeling at the end of last week’s episode about what the homework assignment for the last place trio would be. But it turns out to not really be that dire of an assignment, although it does leave Hibari, Hanako, and Botan wondering how they’re going to accomplish it. Specifically, it’s Hanako’s part that’s difficult. Hibari just has to take a picture of her genuine smile, and Botan of making memories with her friends. But Hanako needs to actually find something: the Flower of Happiness that blooms at the Gate of Dawn.

Anne Happy - Found out

You can’t account for a wildcard like Hanako

And there’s another confounding factor: Hibiki has reasoned herself into the idea that if Hibari, Hanako, and Botan are successful in their happiness training, she, by finishing second last in the game, will become the most unfortunate person in the class. And while Ren is quick to remind Hibiki that she usually wants to be “the most” more than anything else, Hibiki’s not really interested in being the most bad. So her big plan is to sabotage whatever attempts they make at doing their homework. And if it wasn’t homework for this class, they might have a chance at succeeding at the sabotage, but we’re talking about members of Class 7 here. And as much of a hard time as they’re going to have getting their homework done, Hibiki is going to have just as hard a time sabotaging it.

Anne Happy - Ren takes on her aspect

Ren raises up her aspect and takes on her attribute

New and Exciting Ways to get Screwed Up

Anne Happy - Mom helps out

And Mom happily supports her

Anne Happy keeps finding ways, through these four episodes, to further deepen the understanding of just how hopeless Hanako is at everything, even if not for lack of trying. And it’s that trying that makes it almost heartbreaking how often she gets screwed out of the things she wants. Getting run into by a dog and spilling her Strawberry Milk, falling into streams and manholes soaking her clothes, getting attacked by cats and dogs, drenching her camera, the hits just keep on coming. But that’s not what gets her upset, it’s letting Hibari and Botan down by being late. And when she encounters Hibiki and Ren spying on Hibari and Botan, Hanako wants them to all spend time together. Even if being around Ren invites more catastrophe on Hanako, since Ren seems to attract all the animals that then hate Hanako (and we got confirmation of that hate, when one of the departing cats even went “tch!” at her).

Anne Happy - Hibiki turns a corner

“Fine, I’ll do you a favor!”

Anne Happy - Hibiki is happy

Hibiki can actually feel good about helping others

And there are some other misunderstandings about feelings, as Hibari doesn’t quite understand Hibiki. We know that Hibiki is much more tsuntsun than just mean, but Hibari takes a little time to finally understand that Hibiki’s ire isn’t directed at her, especially after Hibiki explains what her goal was in her comically affected way. But at the same time, she’s doing them a favor, taking their picture, and I think that Hanako’s way of thinking is just irresistibly infectious, as neither Botan or Hibari has really let Hibiki’s posturing get to them, even wishing that they’d all 5 taken a picture together. But Hibiki’s real purpose and personality doesn’t come through until they tell Miss Kodaira that they’ve failed their assignment, showing her the only photo that they have for the day, and finding that it meets all of the conditions: Botan’s memory with friends, Hibari’s true smile, and the flower of happiness on the wall.

Anne Happy - Finding their Lucky Items

The perfect picture of friendship


And after last week with Miss Kodaira and Timothy looking like they may not be working at exactly the purposes they claim to be, this episode was played much more straight, with Miss Kodaira seemingly very happy and gracious about their assignment, and about their enjoying their weekend with each other. I also am liking the way that other people want to help Hanako. Someone who is so unlucky could easily be a sad sack, someone who drags everyone around them down, and eventually has everyone wanting to avoid them. But Hanako is different, encouraging everyone and drawing them in so that they like being with her, in spite of her misfortune. Even her mother seems happy to help account for her nature, preparing multiple copies of the same outfit. One could argue that that’s what mothers are supposed to do, but I think that the reality would be more that most mothers would not be so accommodating.


Proving that you don't have to be young to love anime, I enjoy all genres and styles of shows. If it's not hurting anyone else, you should never be ashamed of what you like!
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4 Responses to “Anne Happy – 04”

  1. skylion says:

    We’ve talked about some of this directors(and Shin Oonuma is one of Akiyuki Shinbo’s most coherent adherents) trademarks. The somewhat love-able losers being the most identifiable. But man, he really hits both contrast and exaggeration quite well these past two episodes.

    He loves working with crazy spaces that underscore the characters moods, and he really hit that hard last episode with the board game. But damn, he did it here with a simple wardrobe and a garden. Both of them adding to the characters very seamlessly.

    I also noticed him using some of the stuff he was using in the SoL infused episodes of 2wei Herz. The use of long shots contrast with close-ups to establish a sense of space and mood.

    He doesn’t forget that the medium is visual and you don’t need to go apeshit with the visuals to make a point…

    • Highway says:

      I know we’ve discussed it with Shinbo’s work, but I think a lot of the difference between Oonuma and Shinbo’s styles is that Shinbo forces the work to conform to his visual quirks, while Oonuma wheedles his visual quirks into the work.

      It’s similar to a thought I had leaving Star Wars: The Force Awakens, in that the directorial difference between TFA and Star Trek (2Star2Trek) was that Star Trek was a JJ Abrams movie using stuff from the Star Trek ficton, and TFA was a Star Wars movie with some JJ Abrams stuff added in.

      Shinbo makes everything a Shinbo anime, with the characters names changed, the plot maybe changed, or the setting changed a little. Conversely, Oonuma makes the show a Romance / Battle anime (Cavalry), or a Romance / Semi-Harem anime (Rokujouma), or a Magical Girl anime (Illya), or a High School Life anime (this one) with some of his touches, like visually tricky (but not ostentatiously so) OP sequences, odd spaces and perspectives, like you say.

      • skylion says:

        Well Shinbo is more a producer and provacature than anything else at SHAFT; with other directors adhering to a style he set…you don’t have to wonder why a bulk of Oonuma’s work is for, oh, another studio/producer!!!

  2. Namaewoinai says:

    Ah Ren Ekoda… ya know the animals think that she is their savior and their pilgrimage…

    And…Shinbo Akiyuki, You mean the SHAFT guy, (Yes, This guy now called him The Shaft Guy) love to make heads tilt…UH…WAT!! (also who done, Hidamari Sketch), no wonder the director of this show (Shin Oonuma, right?) somehow inspiring it.

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