Chitose Hitotose was orphaned at a young age and is now in high school. He yearns for a family and a place to belong, but his long years of independence and isolation are setting his feet on a dangerous path. What is the solution that his teachers conceive? He needs a mother... but it's not just one, but five "Mamas!" Absolutely no one can discover that his teachers live under his roof, and he has to hide the fact from everyone, from the class president to the principal! With their maternal instincts in overdrive and mysterious pasts, can Chitose learn the lesson of happiness?
Aoi Sakuraba, heir to the Sakura department store, has only one thing on her mind-- her beloved. Betrothed from a very young age, she has been in love with him, Kaoru Hanabishi, ever since. After Kaoru left his family, their bethrothal was nullified. Aoi sets out to find him. Will they be able to stand against the barriers that will try to keep them apart?
The best harem stories put a premium on what draws the surrounding girls/women to one boy/man to such an extent that each would be willing to live with her competitors in a setting that would be loud at best and absolutely chaotic at worst. Both Ai Yori Aoshi and Happy Lesson do that quite well: the viewer is shown how each member of the harem is specially drawn to the male figure at the center even as the flaws of that figure are shown. Ai Yori Aoshi features Kaoru, a somewhat more likeable and more focused male lead, while Happy Lesson's Chitose is more of an aimless guy who really needs the help of his "mamas" to straighten up and fly right (even if the mamas inevitably overdo it!). I put Ai Yori Aoshi in my top five after viewing only five episodes because (a) I had read all of the manga previously, and (b) I really like the quiet strength of Aoi-chan, someone who is constantly questioning herself yet tracks down her first love in a huge city even after being told their love can never go forward. While Happy Lesson hasn't yet offered, eight episodes in, any single female that is on Aoi-chan's plane, the mamas' collective desire to care for Chitose is the practical equivalent of Aoi-chan's similar caring instinct. For that reason, I recommend both ways here.
Goro Mutsumi is a young man that never seems to catch a break; he has a hard time keeping a job, has horrible luck, and continuously finds himself in bad circumstances. However, things change one day when he comes home - having been fired yet again - and finds three young girls sitting in his apartment. They're the reincarnated angels of his deceased pets, and they're here to turn his luck around given how well he treated them in their past lives. While the idea sounds like a godsend, things don't go quite according to plan; the angels tend to cause more harm than good, and twelve altogether end up joining Goro's cramped household! In addition to learning how to co-exist with his newly acquired roommates, Goro must also defend them and himself against four sacred beasts who are after him for mysterious reasons. One thing's for certain: Goro's life will never be the same!
In both Angel Tales and Happy Lesson, a boy is taken care of by, in one case, a group of angels; and in the other case, a group of teachers. This of course causes some commotions and leads to funny situations. Both anime give a similar feeling, so if you liked one, you're likely to appreciate the other one too.
Keitaro Urashima is somewhat of a failure. In order to fulfill a promise he made to a girl fifteen years ago, he has tried time and again to get into Tokyo U but has never managed to pass the exam. However, fate smiles upon him and he ends up working for his aunt, managing an all-girls dorm! Living with the feral Kaolla, the timid Shinobu, the sake-loving Mitsune, the blade mistress Motoko and the punch-happy Naru, can Keitaro keep his focus and keep his promise? And will he ever end up meeting that girl from his past?
Like harem series where one guy ends up having all sorts of crazy things happen to him due to the women around him? Look no further than Love Hina and Happy Lesson. While the women in Happy Lesson are more supportive towards the main character and the women of Love Hina are more violent, they both have the same atmosphere and humor overall. If you enjoyed one, you are sure to enjoy the other.
Both Happy Lesson and Love Hina feature the ever popular Harem theme wherein a male teenager is surrounded-by/living-with several females of varying archetypes leading to many hilarious misadventures, often caused by one or more characters' well-intentioned, but poorly thought out plan.
Keiichi Morisato is just your average college student until one day, fate interjects as he makes a call for take-out food. Unknown to him, he reaches the Goddess Help Line, and contacts a goddess named Belldandy, who grants him a wish. Thinking it to be a joke, Keiichi wishes for her to be his girlfriend 'forever'.
Ah My Goddess and Happy Lesson center around a lonely student surrounded by girls who try to help him. While Happy Lesson focuses more on wacky hijinks and Ah My Goddess focuses more on relationships, I think you will find a lot of common and enjoy one if you enjoyed the other.
After his apartment burning to the ground and almost being killed by a falling metal object, Ohmura Takeshi is ready for the afterlife. Luckily, a beautiful angel appears to heal his wounds and inform him that if he stays with her, no harm will come to him. The catch? His long-lost deadbeat dad has passed along a curse: he will experience nothing but sadness in his life. Now, after changing to a human to maintain close contact, Elle will stop at nothing to make sure that a bit of happiness comes into Takeshi's life, but not before first learning how to be a human!