One of the first things that comes to mind when I think of, slice of life is some of the more cemented examples in anime: Lucky Star, K-On, Yuri Yuri... just to name a few. And while I will admit that there is a certain point where they become the stuff of nostalgic legend, they also seemingly bleed into memorial retrospect.
Over the past couple of years, the well has been drawn on to the point where it seems as though the best shows have been tapped out, or are only living on as extended seasons.
Anne Happy, is a much different beast altogether. It's a slice of life anime that takes the stuff that we love about the genre and makes it seem fresh and exciting again. By that, I mean that it once again makes it okay to be a comedy.
Some shows are by their very nature, dramatic and melodramatic, and sometimes they hint at humor while keeping a darker more sinister undertone just below the surface; and then when the time is right, they hit the viewer with a heavy dose of reality, or some crisis near the last few episodes.
While I still consider them good slice of life anime, I have to consider the trend in storytelling. Sometimes, we do appreciate a good downer, with a last minute pull-through... and then there are times when we really want to just kick back and have a large laugh at the show for no other reason than that it was just hilarious.
Anne Happy is a good example of a comedy slice of life.
I'd have to go so far as to say that the first episode left me with more than a few stitches, and that not only is the comedic timing spot on, it is down-right perfect.
The show is based in your average school with your not-so-average school girls, each suffering some sort of, what I will call a condition, or as the show calls it, a misfortune.
The goal of the class they all find themselves in, is designed to help the girls overcome their life problems, and thus the foundation for a comedy stew begins to come to a fast broil.
The misfortunes range from, ridiculously unlucky, to chronically injured, to even being in love with the illustrated construction worker on the construction worker signs.
Not the deepest of scenarios, and certainly not something that will have you exhausting your brain cells on trying to comprehend, but a breeding ground for the absurd, and the side splitting hilarious.
I watched the first episode of Anne Happy with little to any expectation, and was thrilled that it was a show that hit all the right buttons, and made all the right marks. It was executed with the precision of a sniper shot, and while the off the wall comedy even bordered on the insane at times, it was refreshing in ways that slice of life hasn't been for me in quite a while.
I'm not saying that I've written off such lovelies as, Yuru Yuri as past the their prime, or even old hat... I've loved every minute I've watched of those slackers... but comparing a show like Yuru Yuri and Anne Happy are like comparing Granny Smith apples to Red Delicious.
The first episode certainly left a lasting impression on me with some of the finer points playing out in the different ways the primary three girls found themselves in disarray, and with all the misfortune that life could possibly heap their way.
I've no doubt that I'll be returning to this show, and I have every expectation that I will be laughing my sides off with each new installment.