TL;DR: Built on an unrealistic setting, but turns out pretty well
People usually have different perspectives on a subject whether this is right or wrong, good or bad? In Happy Sugar Life, this subject of matter is greatly reflected, whether in the anime community or inside the story.Generally speaking, people think this anime is trying to hard to be edgy.However,this anime isn't a straight edgy anime, which gives you a lot of death or violent scenes. This anime is kinda dark in another way around on the characters conflicts and the atmosphere, which is better than most dark anime in my opinion.
+Great character interactions
+Descriptive character stories
+Interesting story followed by mysteries
+The atmosphere is kinda well-built
-the plot is built on an unrealistic setting
To begin with, this story is built on an unrealistic setting, which may bother someone around. Like "Satou love a little girl called Shio and Satou's aunt is sick", but let me tell you, this anime is intended to be like this because it's supposed to be a dark anime and like I mentioned just now, this anime is better than most dark anime, because Happy Sugar Life isn't built on death scenes. If you are sick with dark anime,which gives you violent scenes directly. This is an anime for you, so why would Happy Sugar Life being called as a dark anime? This is because the atmosphere is built on characters solely. The relationship built up is based on some wrong perspectives or past events. The reason why Satou like Shio and they love each other is mainly because of their tragic stories and they found their own love, although in general public we think they're definitely wrong, but I think this is what the writer want to reflect on. This anime doesn't need many violent scenes, as it's already more than enough.
The characters' stories are presented pretty perfectly, it explains well on their tragic events about their childhood and why would the main characters conclude with this kind of relationship from the scratch till the ending. Including the side characters, they all have their own aims and thoughts, which lately on resulting in large conflicts and it's pretty amazing. The inner feelings of the characters are done really well, like they asked themselves whether this kind of action is right or not. It's pretty interesting. For those who hate dark twisting anime in general, they wouldn't appreciate this anime in this kind of way, as they already dislike the setting in general, so you should consider on your preference whether you would accept this kind of storytelling or not.
The only issue I have in this anime is it's kinda slow-paced, as it solely focus on the characters, the plot doesn't really move, it can be the whole episode talking about characters' inner feelings and past events, while the present events don't really move a lot, which someone may feel bored occasionally for people who are looking for thrilling events, but it doesn't affect much to the storytelling, as I generally enjoy what I have watched from Happy Sugar Life.
In short, Happy Sugar Life isn't a typical dark anime, it's a dark anime built on characters relationships, what this anime is lacking of is the pace control, which I think personally this anime could insert more story events, but if thinking from the characters aspect, this anime has already done more than enough. The journey is enjoyable and interesting.
I think the animation is done pretty great, it fits the dark elements pretty well with gloomy textures and shadowing, but the character designs look kinda identical, same eyes drawings, similar face shapes, maybe it's because of the authors' style preferences, but personally I think they could make it a little bit different, so that each character looks more unique. The sound effects are done pretty good, many background music and sound effects are used.Though, I think they could insert more throughout the scenes and events.The op and ed gives me the feeling of the dark atmosphere,which are pretty well-themed. Voice actors are pretty awesome too, Hanazawa Kana is in this anime voicing as Satou, which anime fans can't miss this out.
If you are sick of the ordinary dark anime, this is a refreshing option to you, but if you dislike dark anime in general, you shouldn't consider this anime, because this anime is built on an unrealistic setting that you may bother with. Whether you agree with my points or not, it's up to you, but I just want to tell you that this anime is great in my opinion, that's all.
Story: 8/10 (A)
Animation: 8/10 (A)
Sound: 8.5/10 (A+)
Characters: 9/10 (S)
Enjoyment: 8/10 (A)
Overall: 8.3/10 (A)