Format: 13 episodes
Dates: 4/1/2002 to 6/30/2002
Both of Chitose’s parents died in a tragic accident, but ended leaving him with their house. A large house is a lot for a 2nd year high school student to handle by himself, especially given the sour attitude he developed since losing his mother and father. On the verge of quitting school all together, five of his teachers (all young, all women) decide to move in with him and be his surrogate mothers. Living with his beautiful teachers is a mixed blessing for Chitose, but perhaps their constant presence can teach him a happy lesson.
summary by Kain
Highs: Copies all the good parts of Love Hina
Lows: Copies all the bad parts of Love Hina
Close your eyes. Imagine Love Hina. Add about ten years to all the females and make their motivation to be the hapless male’s mothers instead of girlfriends. Now, take out all the dramatic episodes and story, double the frequency of the Naru Punch and up the hilarity a notch. Despite these few alterations, the similarities between the two anime are remarkable.
In many ways, this is a good thing. Happy Lesson is not ashamed of taking all the parts that made Love Hina so successful and putting a new twist on things. Even the same situations were transferred virtually unaltered (why must all anime in this genre have one episode where one of the females becomes an idol?). The only scenario that seemed to be missing is a role playing video game dream sequence complete with Mothra spoof. Even the character types are the same; let’s do a roll call: short-haired party girl with Osaka accent? Check. Super-genki blonde girl with childlike mannerisms? Check. Tall, sword-wielding quiet type with a short temper? Check. Stop me when all this starts to sound familiar.
Unfortunately, too much of the comedy and not enough of the drama and character development survived the voyage. This is a situation comedy with no tangible, linear plot. It’s a pretty shallow attempt at capitalizing on the latest shounen harem anime craze. Pretty much all five of Chitose’s teachers/mothers are devoid of adequate depth, but at least Chitose’s classmate Fumitsuki and his overzealous stalker Kanna are fleshed out a good bit.
Like the very anime it copies, Happy Lesson has some toe-tappin’ tunes of the soft jazz and light pop variety. It’s a fun, short series, and the ludicrous nature of the story sure makes the time fly pretty fast. For those who couldn’t get enough of the crew at Hinata Sou, perhaps the Chitose clan will serve as a nice after-dinner mint.
Happy Lesson can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.
SEE ALSO: Happy Lesson OVA