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This is a pretty typical example of the "crazy roommates" comedies that are so prevalent in Japan.
Review by Matthew Anderson
3 OVA series
Company: ADV Films
Running Time: 90 minutes (3 episodes)
Rated: PG (Cartoon Violence, sexual innuendo)
Two months ago, Chitose left the orphanage and moved into his parents old home. A month ago, he got 5 beautiful new roommates. They are more than just attractive women, they are his teachers...and his new mothers.
Life is not easy when you have five women fighting over who is going to be the official "mom". It gets even more complicated when the class president likes you, and you have to keep the secret from her. Add in two old friends from the orphanage, one who is a pop star, and one who wants to marry you, and your brain might explode.
Chitose has got a lot to learn about how to handle stress.
DVD VISION TEST
VIDEO: The video quality is well done. There are no pixels, wrinkles, noticeable edge enhancement, or color bleeds to be seen.
AUDIO: The 5.1 English track is quite loud. It has an aggressive mix, with sounds coming at you from all speakers. The Japanese is in Dolby 2.0. It is a clean track and no noticeable hiss is detected. It has directionality, but just not the "oomph" of the 5.1.
EDITS: Clean open and close are used. No other edits have been noted.
EXTRAS: We have a clean open and close and some character sketches. That's it.
STORY: This is a pretty typical example of the "crazy roommates" comedies that are so prevalent in Japan. The staff at KSS pack in a lot of over the top comedy and romantic misunderstandings in these three episodes.
ACTING: Both the Japanese and English voice actors do a fine job. All of them hit their cues right on the mark. No one really stands out, but you will recognize many of their voices.
FAN SERVICE: Plenty of near misses to keep you hoping for more. All of the female characters are nicely designed, and all wind up in bathing suits at one point or another.
When is a romantic comedy not really a romantic comedy? When the women you are living with think of you as their son. This is one of the very few lessons I learned watching Happy Lesson-The OVA. It has some cute and funny moments, but it's nothing that we haven't seen 100 times before.
It's obvious this OVA made for the hard core fans of the series. There are a lot of things I don't get simply because I haven't seen the original TV series. I don't understand why Chitose left the orphanage or how he wound up with five moms? Are they cyborgs, or aliens, or angels? Why is it so important one of them be "the mom"? The rather abrupt ending also left a lot of dangling plot threads. These and other nagging questions made it a little hard for me to enjoy.
Originality is not the strong point of the series. The situations our protagonist faces are similar to ones faced by other series stars. The characters themselves are only one step removed from the people in Tenchi Muyo, the standard all others are judged. Even the characters admit this is a standard exercise in the comedy genre, remarking that it's time for another "vacation" episode. I have to say, at least they know they are not breaking any new ground.
There is a lot of comedy, most of it slapstick, that's loads of fun. Poor Chitose gets beaten up, thrown by his wanker, smothered in a pair of breasts, and electrocuted on a couple of occasions. Fortunately, the cast on both the Japanese and English tracks have really good timing. Their vocal pyrotechnics combined with the images on screen will have you busting a gut.
The character designs are very nice, but a couple are a little too similar. These ladies are all very lovely, and there is a body type for all tastes.
Happy Lesson-The OVA isn't the most original series, but it is a lot of fun to watch. It's kind of one of those rainy days anime titles. When you need a cheap laugh at someone else's misfortune, this is the one for you. I am curious enough to check out the TV series, just to see if I can understand where the OVA is coming from.
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