Spring 2016 First Impressions: Part 8

Anne Happy♪

Part of the show’s cute, I guess.

So, on the surface, apart from the gimmick, this show is your standard moe slice of life comedy, with cute character designs, cute colours and character archetypes like “the ojou-sama”, “the clumsy one” and “the stoic one”. Well, so far it’s just those 3 exact ones and no others (aside from the “strict teacher” teacher). Visually, the show looks quite similar to Sakura Trick. The voice acting is also very… standard for cutesy comedies. The voice actresses are relatively unknown, though, at least to me, so I’m happy about them being able to get more experience.

The gimmick of this show, mentioned above, is quite an unusual one, and it’s quite a tricky one both in terms of, at least in my opinion, good execution and the way I feel about it. The gimmick is mental illness, or at least the kinds of neuroses and life situations that can lead to mental illness. The way the show goes about this is by having the teacher of the class tell her students that they’re all “misfortunate and unhappy” and that the purpose of the class is to make them “happy” by having them do various things that I doubt are classified as acceptable forms of therapy. So, the show skirts the issue of presenting mental illness in a realistic and non-discriminating way by making it seem like a joke and using made-up terminology. The teacher also says that the school knows the students are “unhappy” because they were investigated and surveilled, which is kind of a terrifying thing to think about. At the end of this explanation, the teacher unintentionally reveals that she, too, has some problems (with anger-management). This, of course, is simply an explanation of why she put things into such demeaning words as “misfortune and unhappiness”, it’s not an excuse.

As someone who actually is mentally ill, I didn’t really respond well to the show’s way of doing things. At first it was only slightly infuriating to watch the teacher ramble on with her fake terminology, but at the end it was actually distressing. I’m not sure if this is because the anime writers or the original writer have no clue about mental illness or if it’s because Japan as a whole is retarded with regard to psychology and psychiatry, but I want the believe it’s one of the former two. In any case, I was pleasantly surprised to see that this show is about actual mental illness, but disappointed with how they’re approaching it. I really want to believe that the teacher will be reprimanded for her shotgun psychiatry and that the show will continue with a more serious and honest attitude, which is why I’ll be continuing this show. If it continues to distress me, though, I’ll probably just drop it.

Verdict: Excited about the themes, not excited about the approach. Continuing for now, but it’s already on the chopping block.


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