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Happy World!

happyworld-1
Genre: Comedy/Drama
Company: KSS/Shueisha
Format: 3 OVA
Dates: 12/13/2002 to 6/27/2003

Oomura Takeshi has been plagued by bad luck ever since he was very young. It isn’t until he meets an angel named Elle that he finds out that his father wished bad luck upon him. After being given a wish to pass the bad luck onto someone else, Takeshi takes the bad luck in order to save a young girl. In return, Elle becomes human and lives with Takeshi to protect him.

summary by Eek

 

Reviewed: 12/01/2003 by
Grade: 79% av-Eek

Highs: First two episodes are absolutely hilarious; has a lot of potential

Lows: Third episode; too much ecchi for some; incomplete

Without a doubt, some people will automatically label Happy World! as a clone of Ah! My Goddess. Although they are overwhelmingly similar in some parts, this short series replaces romance with comedy to create a gimmick that works well.

Upon watching the very first scene, I was busting up laughing at Takeshi’s mishaps as he got in trouble right from the start. Although the comedic material is entirely different, I have not laughed this hard at an anime since Azumanga Daioh. Using an ample range of characters and situations, the first two episodes are filled to the brim with laughs, and the cast clicks when it comes to making the material work. With all of the right humor, I would definitely say that Happy World! has what it takes to become a much longer series. Given more time, the characters would have ample opportunity to become fleshed out, and the comedy could actually be given a chance to evolve to incorporate more of the cast.

The third episode has a few laughs in it, but since its focus is mostly drama, the comedy is cut to a minimum. Sadly, it is almost like watching an entirely different series because of the sheer change in focus. I mean, it is a nice touch to throw in a bit of drama every once in a while, but the comedy is what makes this series tick. Also, it will be discomforting for some people when they realize that a good bit of the comedy in the first two episodes uses ecchi. While it works very well, it is quite understandable that some people may not want to see Elle stark naked in more than a few occasions. Being such a short OVA series, this anime feels very incomplete; even though there really is no story to speak of, nothing is ever resolved as far as Takeshi’s extreme bad luck is concerned, nor is everything played out to a logical end. The feeling left at the end of the third episode was that this is only a precursor to something bigger.

Happy World! brings a truck-full of laughs as long as you can take the amount of ecchi. If a television series based off of this OVA is made, I will be there to gobble up all of the great humor that it provides.

 

Reviewed: 12/11/2003 by
Grade: 66% av-Madoka

Highs: Remarkable characters; funny

Lows: Too short; unfinished

With just three, short OVA episodes, Happy World! is an unfinished series. In fact, I was certain there had to be a fourth episode, because absolutely nothing is resolved or completed by the end of the third. While these three episodes are a good foundation for a longer anime, the short length and unfinished story make this OVA series nothing more than an unsatisfying teaser.

In the time that Happy World! does have, this anime introduces interesting characters with the potential to grow over the length of a full-fledged series. Takeshi is not an instantly likable character, as well he shouldn’t be. If you only knew sadness your entire life, would you be a pleasant person to be around? His bad luck leads to many ill-fated accidents that are sure to produce a laugh from viewers who know what it’s like to have days where nothing goes their way. Also of note is Takeshi’s aunt; her eccentricities and karate chop action add to the humor of the series and hint that she has more to do with the story than she’s telling.

It is easy to see the likely change in Takeshi’s character from a distrustful loner to a sympathetic character, but he is never given the chance in this short time. Some OVA series can effectively present an entire story with developed characters in just three or four episodes, but this one does not. The third episode is mostly a side story, leaving only the first two to present the little plot there is. The series raises great plot points, such as Takeshi’s feelings of abandonment from his father and Elle’s desire to stay in the painful human world, but these are never fleshed out or resolved.

Happy World! has all the pieces in place to make a good television series or extended OVA series. As it is, however, it is not enough to feel like a successful story on its own.

 

Happy World! can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.

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