The story centers around class 1-7 of Tennomifune Academy, where all the students with "bad karma" or misfortune seem to have been gathered. Hibari, a student in this class, meets the unlucky Hanako and the perennially unhealthy Botan on her first day of school, and together they try to find a way to turn their school life into a happy one.
I don't typically write up reviews, but when I saw that the Anne Happy manga had none here, I decided it was time to do so. This series needs more love. I've read 8 volumes, just waiting for the last two to get released by Yen Press this year.
We have Tennomifune Academy- an elite school that breeds excellence and strives to make its students better and better with each passing graduating class. Classes 1-3 of each grade focus almost solely on education/studies, 4-6 on athletics, while class 7 is dubbed the "Happy Class." The Happy Class' curriculum is set up to
make the students of class 7 bloom, in their own ways. The story focuses on some of the first year students who are in this last class- students who supposedly have some variant of bad luck, played up to almost supernatural levels of extremes. There's Hibari who has a tragic-like love, Hanako, who has bad luck to a Murphy's Law degree, Botan, who suffers from constant poor health, Hibiki, with her awful sense of direction (which I relate to on a personal level, ha), Ren, whose pheromones fiercely attract the same sex- both human and non alike, and finally, Tsubaki, who has a severe case of social anxiety due to her foreign looks.
The characters are not the most original in concept (Hibiki is a text-book tsundere with a yuri crush on her childhood friend), but it's how they deal with everything going on that makes them unique.
At its core, the story is a fairly light slice of life. I would call this series cute but not cutesy, does that make sense? While there are some episodic chapters, as a whole the story does push forward through the school year, with chunks of chapters focusing on the usual school SoL fare- culture fest, sports day, weird random games your crazy and sometimes scary (but really likable as a character) teacher makes you participate in. The characters each show growth throughout, whether it's physical, emotional, or mental. The girls learn how to be happy, even in the face of adversity. When life gives you lemons, yeah? What makes Anne Happy different is all the crazy stuff that happens during these events. Hanako's negative luck causes all kinds of disasters to befall everyone, but those also serve as a growth device for these girls. By all means, these girls should be miserable and bogged down by their afflictions, but they're not, especially as the series progresses. I know that some people get turned off by Hibari's love tragedy stuff, and I'll admit, it really is goofy. However, this is a series built around unbelievable and crazy things occurring, so I think it works perfectly. Not to mention, I totally forgot it was even a thing when I was reading Volume 8 until she had carved a jack-o-lantern to look like him, so it basically is ignored through a lot of the series.
There are a lot of sight gags, mostly because of how extreme each of their misfortune is. Hanako's always falling into rivers or having tree branches the size of a small log land on her head. Ren tends to be shown covered in female animals from the neighborhood. Botan's usually got some form of bandages or a cast on her from breaking some (re: any) bone in her body. The list goes on, but I think you get it now. I chuckle a lot at what's going on, it's silly.
I personally really like Cotoji's art- it goes from fairly detailed designs (with some really cute clothing for the girls, I die from it) to goofy chibis depending on whatever situation the girls are in.
tldr; It's a cute (but not overly so) and often times goofy slice of life that does a good job at having its characters grow. Those characters and how they get through various pitfalls are where Anne Happy shines. If you want a cheerful read on a rainy day, this will do the trick. :3