Happy Sugar Life Episode 12: Happy Sugar Life [Final Impression]
“My love…my happiness…exists only inside of me.”
Wow. This was an intense finale, and not going to lie, I was pretty nervous about it. After awhile, the show in general made me nervous making me wonder just what possibly could happen next. There were many ways this finale could have gone, and I think it took the more disturbing route.
The day comes when Shio and Satou are going to leave their “castle”. They bathe together and Satou does some last minute preparations. She goes to the room where she’s kept Shoko’s corpse and dresses her up. This moment was very telling as when Satou looked at Shoko’s lifeless eyes, her lips trembled and she touched Shoko’s cold cheek. I’ve always had the impression that Satou held no feelings for Shoko because she was able to kill her so brutally, but I think the gravity of what Satou did finally caught up to her and probably in that moment felt some guilt at killing her best friend. It was important, but it’s too late for Satou. She dresses her up and leaves the room and eventually the apartment with Shio, not realizing she left her ring in the room when she took it off earlier. Before they leave, Satou’s aunt gives a final goodbye and I love you. Asahi gets into contact with Mitsuboshi, whose been raped for a second time. This poor kid can’t catch a break. He begs Asahi for help but Asahi brushes him off after telling him off for tricking him and he heads to the apartment complex to find Shio. When Satou and Shio are buying their tickets, Satou notices that she accidentally left her ring behind and Shio says they can go back. She gets it and heads back down to the lobby, and then they come face to face with Asahi. In the meantime, Satou’s aunt goes up to the top floor and pours gasoline all over and sets the whole floor on fire. Which makes me wonder how many people she killed in the end on that floor?!
The rest of the episode becomes this intense chase with a reunion I think all of us have been waiting for. Satou hits Asahi across the face with her suitcase and grabs Shio and takes the elevator. They reach the third floor and find Mitsuboshi half naked, tied up, escaping. He sees Shio and gets excited but they run off and try to find an exit. Asahi goes up to the 12th floor and steps into the apartment (though it’s on fire) and eventually finds Shoko’s corpse burning. Once he stepped into the apartment I knew that he would find her body and my heart broke. He recalled when Shoko told him to promise her to smile in the end, and he pauses to cry for a bit, but then escapes. Eventually, Shio, Satou, and Asahi confront each other at the top floor, the roof.
The next scene between Asahi and Shio was tough to watch. Here he was, happy to finally see his little sister alive and yet he can’t even recognize who she is anymore. Shio is a completely different girl than who she used to be. She tells Asahi straight out that she won’t go with him. He’s stunned and tells Shio about their mother, and why she abandoned her. The night she slapped Shio across the face, she realized how she was turning into her abusive husband. So she grabbed Shio and abandoned her to save her from pain, but in the end Shio still ended up in pain because she was left all alone. Asahi also explains to Shio that she needs to see her mother one last time because she’s most likely going to be arrested. Asahi explains that after she let go of Shio, their mother came back home. She secretly crushed up some poison and put it into a sake bottle. Pouring her husband the sake, he died afterwards. Even though he’s explained everything, Shio is adamant. She wants Asahi to tell their mother to thank her from releasing her from an unhappy life, and that now she’s going to live for herself. Then she picks up a piece of glass and holds it up to her throat and says she chooses Satou, and Asahi looks so heartbroken. Seeing Shio like this was unsettling, but it gets even worse later.
Satou and Shio run to the roof and Shio admits to Satou that she felt like she was dead after her mother abandoned her because of the pain she felt. Now that they were at a dead end, it was Shio that proposed they die together. It would have been one thing for Satou to say that, but a little girl saying this was incredibly unsettling and sad. They agree and both jumped off the roof. As they fall, Satou imagines the happy life they could have had together and then Satou realizes how happy she felt at that very moment. That her love for Shio transcended into something even more, and I think she found herself satisfied. So, she positioned herself differently and took the brunt of the fall to save Shio and let her have her own journey.
Satou dies, Shio lives. The aunt gets arrested for the fire. Her “Hi, yes it was me! :D” at the reporter was hilarious, not gonna lie. The gross teacher gets arrested, Mitsuboshi is completely broken, and we get a scene in the end where Asahi visits Shio in the hospital. Again, he tries to tell her that things will be different, they’ll live as a family, and they’ll be happy. But Shio turns to him and says she doesn’t do that anymore, with an expression and response very reminiscent of Satou. She doesn’t understand why Satou let her live, but she’ll happily think about it as she continues to love Satou forever in her heart.
Now, whatever happens after this is open ended. Either Shio will remain warped and grow up to be as messed up as Satou, or realistically police and therapists will intervene with the family because their mother is going to be arrested for what she’s done, leaving two children without a home. And maybe Shio will get the help that she needs to rid of all the pain she’s dealt with in her life. I don’t know, but the way she spoke to Asahi in the hospital room was terrifying. Shio is only a little girl, I think she’s seven from what I’ve found, and yet she’s matured from all the terrible things in her life. It was also a little unsettling with Shio’s mom watching her from afar. It was an intense finale, and it was neither happy or sad. Shio survived, but is she better off this way? Also, Satou got away scot free of all her crimes, so what can you even call this ending?
Well, what can I say about this show? I was drawn to this show in the first place because of how different and risky the synopsis was. I wanted to find out how and why this “romance” came to be, and let me tell you, it was one hell of a journey.
I’ll be honest, I don’t even know how I feel about Happy Sugar Life. There were some slow and boring episodes around the beginning/middle, but then it really picked up the pace and made me go through many stages of emotions. On one hand, the show made me crack up many times because of how stupidly over the top the characters could get. The teacher’s reactions, Mitsuboshi getting nasty over Shio, Su-chan passionately sniffing Satou’s panties, Satou’s aunt in general. There were plenty of times where the show was stupid, the characters acted stupid that it had me dying of laughter. But there were also many moments in the show where it legitimately upset me, made me angry, uncomfortable, creeped out, and disgusted that I was close to gagging. As a horror title, it did a very good job in making me feel like turning away. Episodes in the second half made me wonder why I even kept watching the show, sometimes making me take a deep breath before watching, and sometimes making me have my hands on my head after watching. The aunt episode was the pinnacle, but the tense build up to her reveal was one of the best suspenseful moments I’ve experienced so I’ll give it that. So in that regard, the show was a success. It wasn’t very bloody or gory, but the Shoko death was extremely brutal and had me raging. The plot was a controversial one but the events that led up to this relationship was interesting.
The characters themselves, like I said, some of them were way over the top but some of their psycho attitudes have a sense of realism to a certain extent. Satou grew up in a terrible environment living with an aunt that would bring men into the home all the time, teaching her niece a twisted sense of love that made her niece sleep around with guys in order to find a different love. That escalated to pain and loneliness until she met Shio, and not wanting to lose Shio, she becomes aggressively obsessive and will do anything to keep her happy sugar life, even if that means killing. Shio and Asahi grew up in terrible homes of abuse. Asahi dealt with the beatings of his father alone when his mother left, and Shio suffered a sheltered life her whole life and felt that her mother didn’t love her, especially when she abandoned her.
Even Shio’s mother is just as broken, and I’m upset the anime didn’t get into her backstory. It’s honestly really tragic what happened to her and I understand why she became a shell of a person. Some of the characters’ actions are understandable, but that doesn’t totally justify some of them. But like I said, some of their situations are realistic and it really makes you think.
The animation in this show was pretty nice. Checking out some of the manga chapters, I felt the art to be a little too cute sometimes. I think the anime did a great job in taking the art from the manga and making it a little creepier. Some of the facial expressions were great and I always love evil glowing eyes in anime. The OST itself wasn’t very memorable, but the OP was amazing. I loved the visuals of the OP, where it was a mix of cute and disturbing visuals. The song was great as well with the singer’s cute voice combined with hectic music. Really enjoyable to watch every week, the ED was also nice. Even though I don’t particularly like Satou, her design is cute as hell. So is Shio’s. Even Satou’s aunt. She was creepy but she made me laugh sometimes, so…yay?
Last night I stayed up and wondered if I actually liked this show. Sometimes it was stupid and hilarious, and sometimes the writing was inconsistent that it was a little frustrating and made some scenes hard to get into. The topic matter sometimes made me uncomfortable and I didn’t particularly like all the characters. But was I entertained? Yes. Was I emotionally involved? Definitely! It was actually fun to watch and I did look forward to it every week. While it made me feel gross sometimes, the show always kept my interest for the most part and honestly I found this show to be the most successful horror anime I’ve seen in awhile. Happy Sugar Life had its ups and downs, some real bad, and some surprisingly great. I can conclude…that this anime is my guilty pleasure. Yeah, I think that’s it. I was conflicted, and I really had to think about what I thought of the show, but for the most part, I guess I liked it?
I guess that’s the only way I can describe this show. And in my four years of writing for this blog, this show was probably the craziest I’ve ever had to blog. So I guess that’s another success for Happy Sugar Life? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯