Feb 10, 2020
Medral (All reviews)
Happiness is a series written and illustrated by Shuzo Oshimi mainly known as the author of "Aku no Hana". Although Happiness has nor the intrigue nor the "complexity" that impregnates "Aku no Hana" it shares with it some sort of aesthetic and charm.Beware there will be spoilers in my review so read it at your own risk.

Story: The plot is pretty average and sometimes it feels uninspired, Oshimi use a lot of plot devices and at one point i could predict the progress of the storyline,the plot armor that the MC shares with a fair amount of his buddies is hilarious a lot of these situations brought me to a necessary suspension of disbelief.There are some parts in this story that are genuinely good for example i found the cult part very interesting and rather creepy for my standards, or the first half of the manga that has a slight critique of the japanese society , in particular to the japanese school system.However these themes are not developed enough so they remain end in themselves, it's not like the author doesn't know how to treat these points correctly but i'ts more like he decides deliberately to ignore these topics to favor a lighter reading. This choice is not objectively a bad thing but from my point of view is a real shame,de facto the reason why in my opinion "Aku no Hana" was such a hit back in the days was how well it exposed themes like adolescence,the frailty of social constructs etc...
Summing up Happiness first half offers a lot of good ideas which unfortunately are not developed through the second half to favor a lighter story more suitable for the market following the trends of mangas like Tokyo ghoul.

Art:From now on i will try to be more concise, i really like Oshimi aesthetic heck some of "Aku no Hana" panels are my favorites of all time. Despite this i find the art in Happines really inconsistent, sometimes the drawings are really good and sometimes they are shockingly ordinary, i found this lack of consistency really frustrating considering the author past. Regarding the art the highlight of this manga is the metamorphosis of Yuki, the scene is so disturbing and at the same time so charming it resembles some of higurashi vn sprites for console or at least that's the vibe i got from it.

Character: Same here there are some good dialogues/development but the whole cast of "Happiness" can be summarized with one word,inconsistent the whole opera can be described as incosistent and bland as i exposed before it has some strings to its bow but the sparks of creativity are too rare and spread through the manga. The characters are no exceptions to this trend the MC is bland as fuck and his only purpose is to carry the plot while imitating an average anime protagonist, both of his love interest are superior to him in character writing but only one of them is actually interesting,the same goes for the villain and the other vampire. The only character that is slightly intriguing is Yuki in particular his relationship with Nao (his gf),from Nao he doesn't want affection or a genuine love,he researches approval and a mother figure.This is of course inspired by Freud psychodynamic theory, in general this is the only plotline worth following especially towards it's ending.

Enjoyment:To sum up did i hate it? Not really i find Happiness a mediocre short read that can gives the reader a pleasant experience despite the flaws,just be prepared for a lot of inconsistencies and wasted potential.