Genre: Comedy Magical Boy, Parody, Slice of Life, School
Studio: Studio Comet
Original Run: 9th April 2018 – 2nd July 2018
Available on: Crunchyroll
Languages Available: Japanese
Subtitles Available: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, German
Manga Available? No
Cute High Earth Defense Club Love! Happy Kiss is a new instalment of the original series. Happy Kiss takes place after the original battle loves have hung up their magical boy wands and graduated from high school. Happy Kiss follows Kyotaro and his four other friends who become magical knights and defend the world using the power of happiness granted to them by Kararusu a magical being from other world. Karurusu pulls the five boys in to help him with his battle for the throne in his homeland of Honila Land.
It pains me to write this review as a fan of the original series. The original two seasons and the OVA filled me with warm, fuzzy joy as I watched adorable guys save the world with the power of love. This time the world was saved with happiness and I cannot say I am too happy with the overall outcome of this series. If I had a penny for every time the word “happy” was used in this anime I think I would be a millionaire. They say it so often that by the end I was getting rather tired of the word.
Happy Kiss was extremely underwhelming when comparing it to its predecessor. I knew when going on to the series that it would have an almost carbon copy layout of the original series but with different characters. From what I understand this repetitive style is common in the magical girl, or in this case magical boy, genre. When I heard the announcement for Happy Kiss I remember feeling utter excitement for it as I thought the franchise had come to an end with the OVA special. I was ecstatic for more magical boy antics.
As the series began my excitement didn’t waver much as I knew going in that I would have to adjust to the characters and the possibly different but basically the same story with a few tweaks. However, as episodes went by my excitement dwindled and I began doubting where the series was going.
One of my biggest personal gripes with Happy Kiss was the poorly written characters. The main five characters just didn’t seem to care especially Kyotaro who was the main character of the series. Kyotaro fits into the “I’m tired and cannot be bothered” trope (I think I just made that up but it’s a trope ok). I often find myself drawn to these character types as I find them relatable. Kyotaro however was just irritating. I blame this overall annoyance at the fact I often compared him to his predecessor Yumoto. Yumoto was a very energetic character who would often go out of his way to help everyone feel the power of love. Yumoto was the driving force of the battle lovers and even when the other four didn’t want to save the world Yumoto helped to motivate them with his enthusiasm. In Happy Kiss nobody seemed to care. Kyotaro didn’t seem to be awake enough to figure things out and so his lack of motivation seemed to drive everyone else to be the same. There was simply no heart in these characters which made the entire point of the series seem like a chore.
The petty grudges of this series were also baffling. Whilst I know the originally series is probably equally as guilty for such petty drives to do evil deeds the original was fun enough to see past that and enjoy it regardless. I think my ever growing annoyance with the series just made Ata’s petty bath grudge seem one hundred times more ridiculous.
The best episode of the series was hands down the one where they turned into old men. That episode was genuinely funny and was a breath of fresh air when trying to complete the series. The cameo of the original cast had my heart skip a beat to. That’s one thing I didn’t see coming and as my attention was wavering greatly towards the end it certainly made me sit up and feel genuinely happy. That small cameo with Yumoto’s voice and shadowed figures of the characters in the back made trudging through most of this anime bearable.
Overall Happy Kiss was a real disappointment. It felt like a copy and paste edit of the original with all the heart, happiness and love taken out of it. Whilst I do recommend giving the original series a shot I’d give Happy Kiss a miss. While it wasn’t a bad anime it didn’t live up to expectations either. If they do continue to make more series based of this franchise I hope they step up their game next time.
Overall rating: 5/10
Until next time thanks for reading and I hope you’re having a great day!
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All images are sourced from Google Images