Anime Acquisitions: Happy Lesson (2002) “At Home Learning”

High school is a common setting for many comedies, romances, as well as action fare in anime and manga. High school spans the breadth of all genres within the medium, in fact. Be it the sweet & innocent “My Love Story” (Kazune Kawahara – 2011 – 2016), the hysterical Nisekoi (Naoshi Komi – also 2011-2016), the fanservice heavy Girls Bravo (Mario Kaneda – 2000-2005), or the action pack, over the top Kill La Kill by Studio Trigger (2013-2014), the structure of classrooms and clubs is a firm standard to build a world around.

 

Happy Lesson does just that.

 

Happy Lesson Trailer

Keeping things tight, I’ll move onto the plot.

 

Chitose Hitotose (our main character) is an orphan who inherits his parents’ sizable house when he comes of age, high school age to be exact. Being a bit rough around the edges, a loner, and generally ill tempered, he catches the attention of five women at his high school.

 

The literature teacher Mutsuki Ichimonji, the science teacher Kisaragi Ninomai, the art teacher Uzuki Shitenno, the PE teacher Satsuki Gokajou, and the school nurse, Yayoi Sanzenin. All five get a wild idea in their heads to be Chitose’s mom, making him their surrogate son in an attempt to mold him into a productive man, and subsequently move into the his house!

 

 

As the peculiar affair could cause scandal, all parties involved try to keep as low a profile as possible, but hilarity, and misunderstandings ensue anyway. Throw in a nosy class president in Fumitsuki Nanakorobi (Hey, a meganeko!) who has a huge crush on Chitose, and the spastic mad genius Kanna Togakushi that also falls head over heels for him as well, and the absurd problems are compounded further!

 

Originally a manga by Mutsumi Sasaki with illustrations by Shinnosuke Mori that ran two volumes (1999-2002), a five episode OVA in 2001 by Studio Hibari followed leading to a 13 episode anime series in 2002 also by Studio Hibari. The, manga, OVA, and anime series were released through ADV quite awhile ago, so physical copies may be a bit difficult to get hands on (brand new, anyway).

 

A second series, Happy Lesson Advance (2003), and a second OVA, Happy Lesson: The Final (2004), never made it state side, regrettably, so a good grasp of the Japanese language, and an all regions DVD player may be in order.

 

Light hearted escapism, madcap antics, and over the top situations make Happy Lesson pure joy, an almost sitcom feel as each episode is largely standalone, that being said, it is a quick endeavor as the series and OVA can be binged in a day. Which is not a bad way to approach it, especially if you happen to have the ‘Teachers’ Pet’ Collection that includes both neatly packaged together.

 

Happy Lesson shines due in part to its heavy semblance to a Harem Anime without actually being one, the result is a unique slice of life comedy with enough crazy humor, and give-a-damn spirit to keep one watching episode to episode, start to finish, beginning to end.

 

Make this title an in house tutor.

 

You won’t regret it!

Lucas Paris

A media anachronist, noir lover, voracious consumer of anime and manga. Lucas Paris "The Blandalorian" has written articles on actor Peter Lorre’s career and the prolific film producer Roger Corman for mondocult.com, and a speculative essay 'Egregore' for theagonist.org. You can find him, and his pithy posts on Twitter @TheBlandalorian

JUST KEEPING THE LIGHTS ON