High-schooler Matsuzaka Satou has a reputation for being easy, but one day her lifestyle of sleeping with one boy after another comes to an end. It happens when she meets the child Shio, for whom she is convinced she feels true love for the first time. Satou may seem sweet and innocent, but there is nothing she won't do to protect their life together, including committing murder. But from where did she acquire the little girl, and how long can their "Happy Sugar Life" together last?
Volume 2: White Sugar Garden, Black Salt Cage (pilot)
At the time of this review I have only read the first 18 chapters as this manga is on-going.
Happy Sugar Life is excellent. If you don't know anything about it, I'd say its one of those mangas where you should probably go into it without knowing anything, similar to GakkouGurashi and of the like. Just know it isn't for the faint of heart.
The story is based mostly on the mindset of the characters. Looking seemingly innocent at first, all of the cast(of the very few there is) has at least something screwed up about them. The 2 MCs are of an popular girl and her
"lover" of whom she is willing to do anything to protect. In fact she's trying to protect her "happy sugar life"(lol).
Like I explained earlier, all characters have something about them. They also all have differnent ways of how they interpret love or ideas about life. I do think that pedophiles are the absolute scum of society, but the way the mangaka shows how the lolicons and how their mindsets affect their descions was really interesting.
I despise "moe" kind of artwork but the art hepls in the case of the manga as well. Using that same art style really showed the shift in tone for certain moments and really made some dramatic moments all the better.
Really Happy Sugar Life is not that happy, its horrifying if anything(kinda spoiler, mc is a yandere. See how well that goes :P). And yet its addicting, even though I know it won't have a good ending. I've enjoyed it thus far and can safely reccomend it. As safe as it gets that is.
The reason I began reading into the Ane-loli manga line was because I had read Yuzomori-san and craved for more stories involving an older girl and a much younger one, as psychological manga is my favorite. Throughout reading Happy Sugar Life, I have encountered all of these things: murder, manipulation, cruelty, sociopaths, pedophilia???, obsession, abduction, domestic abuse, nudity, beautiful art, and almost a sort of sympathy for our main character Satou.
The reason I love this manga so much is because it is incredibly unique to it's kind. The story development and characters are not lazy in the slightest. You will find yourself rooting for
the main character even though she is technically the antagonist! She truly loves the child, but Satou is a very bad person and she does not realize this. As for the supporting characters who are also being well-developed, I gotta say that our author really makes us hate and be disgusted by certain characters. The yandere theme was excecuted in a great way and adds a lot of philosophy on the theory of love and obession. You look into the mind of Satou and cannot help but almost hope she just keeps Shio safe. Despite how thanks to her Shio is in danger in the first place.
Happy Sugar Life, was overall a thrilling ride that leaves you with many confused feelings. I hope you can all find what I have found in this unique and fairly disturbing but also lovely manga.
[A/N: This review is for an ongoing series and will cover up to Chapter 37 of the manga.]
Happy Sugar Life is a cute and sweet yuri manga series revolving around the relationship of Satou and Shio.
Happy Sugar Life is also a psychological thriller, also revolving around the relationship of Satou and Shio. It does one aspect much better than the other, which we’ll go into detail later. Join me as we look through this manga which attempts to combine two disparate genres together.
Happy Sugar Life mainly focuses on the cute yuri between the two main characters Satou and Shio. Satou’s character is really interesting
to follow. Her dedication to Shio is adorable and the lengths she goes to preserve their relationship tugs at the heartstrings and makes you truly feel the romance between them. The manga also delves into her mind a lot especially during these segments, making for an experience that oozes in warm and fuzzy feelings.
Satou is also a goddamned psychopath. She’s a yandere and absolutely would not stop at anything coming in between the two. Though rational and calculative at first, as the series progresses she starts gradually become more unhinged. This makes for an interesting dynamic that complements the comfy yuri rather than opposes it. I rather enjoy seeing Satou fully committing herself, insanity be damned, to Shio in her own ways. It’s surprisingly heartfelt and beautiful at times.
Shio on the other hand is more one-note. Apart from being cute, she doesn’t have anything going for her character. There is drama revolving her backstory which I’m personally not too fond of, for reasons I shall go into in further detail when discussing story and tone later on. Shio is cute and her character does grow a bit later on in the series as she becomes more confident and show a more active role in her relationship with Satou. It’s cute.
Did I mention Shio was kidnapped by Satou? And that Satou is essentially holding an oblivious Shio prisoner in her apartment?
Which brings us to tone and the story proper I suppose. Apart from 2 girls, (Shio, and Satou’s friend Shoko) Happy Sugar Life’s characters are all awful awful people, to the point of almost being comical. Everyone, and I mean everyone is either a *deep breaths* yandere, a psychopath, a rapist, a stalker, a murderer, neglectant, incompetent, insane or some combination of the above. Satou herself is all of the above. But it really speaks volumes of the tone when the manga has two minor characters who just show up to beat up one of the characters, and gloat endlessly on how good it feels to beat them up. For almost no reason at all. The series oozes with edginess and cynicism, to the point of audience-induced apathy. I simply do not care about these characters at all when the world is so unjustifiably dark. Maybe it’s a social commentary on Japanese Society’s perception on mental health? Or one on orphans and how Child Services in Japan favour blood ties more than foster families? I don’t know, that may be giving the series too much credit.
Satou is ostensibly a villain protagonist, but, as if to make the audience sympathetic to her plight (remember that she is a kidnapper yandere and a genuinely awful person), her victims can best be described as “scum of the earth, and then some”. Which feeds into making all the side characters awful awful people to begin with. It’s really not all that great.
Story-wise there isn’t much to speak of, basically it follows a formula of [Satou’s relationship with Shio almost get compromised, but doesn’t because Satou is manipulative/murderous]. Although, the story does finally pick up its pace in Chapter 23 where the status quo is finally broken and the story seems to be heading somewhere. Maybe. If it wasn’t for all these flashbacks which are essentially filler since they don’t focus on the toxic but cute relationship between Satou and Shio.
So why is this series surprisingly enduring for me? I said earlier that it’s a cute and comfy yuri series, and I’m absolutely sincere in making that statement. Happy Sugar Life really is happy and sweet. The romance between Satou and Shio is mutual and genuine, and their interactions are simply a highlight of the series. The dark stuff serves as a nice punctuation or breather in between the comfy, serving to elevate and enhance the cuteness even further, rather than diminishing it. It helps that the grim stuff is pretty shallow and poor to begin with, leaving only sweet sugar memories with the series.
I’d recommend giving this a read if you’re a fan of cute and comfy yuri, but not if you want some serious psychological drama. There are plenty of superior options for that.
The fuck did i just read ? I literally just came from a Yuri manga that's all nice sweet and innocent and i see in the suggested feed Happy Sugar Life. I read the description and thought that it sounded nice and adorable. Then within the first chapter i'm just repeat " What the fuck ?" Over and over.
While it isn't really bad, It's not great either. I feel that this suffers from the fact that the MC isn't likable as soon as you find out she kidnapped a missing child ( Family is searching for ) Then she also goes and straight up murders
someone and chops their body up. Any of the reasoning as to why she murdered that someone doesn't make sense and just leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.
Even getting rid of the murdering of someone you still have the fact she kidnapped a little child and is now for the most part raising her as her child/lover. She even finds a family member searching for her.
I honestly would love to see a story with the same idea. Except get rid of the Killing and Kidnapping of people. I feel this would be a nice adorable story of some teenager that doesn't really care about her image but is still loved by the people around her suddenly find some random girl on the streets and her raising the little kid as either a big sister or a parental figure. Hell, Throw some magic crap that said's the child just appeared out of nowhere because the MC was lonely cause she doesn't know what actual love is or something.
I just couldn't get into this. It was legit funny and cute with the child and the MC being at school with her friends. But the story seems so focused on trying to pull the rug from us, It just ruins the rest of the story.
Something i do like to be completely honest is how when the MC is confronted by someone. She goes total ape shit and absolutely destroys the other person by words alone. Her eyes get all dark and get's this kind of menacing look. I found that to be fun to watch.