TV (12 eps)
Fall 2006
3.173 out of 5 from 3,103 votes
Rank #12,492

In a world not unlike our own, mages are commonplace and schools are separated between normal students and magic users. Yuma Kohinata is a student at one such school, Mizuhosaka Academy. On the way home from buying chocolates with his androgynous friend Jun, Yuma is given chocolates from school idol Haruhi Kamisaka; things become even more complex once the magic wing of the school has a gas explosion, displacing all of the magic students into the normal section – including Haruhi! Now, Yuma finds himself thrust into the world of magic, and must deal with the various women who vie for his affections; can he juggle his priorities and continue to pass his classes?

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It is a golden rule of anime that any show based upon an adult visual novel/video game is going to be dire. We are happy to announce that Artland’s 2006 fantasy “Happiness!” does nothing to buck this trend. It is awful. It has aged terribly and looks every inch the fact that it was made 17 years ago. Story? Well, it is based in a magical Mizuhosaka Academy where normal kids and mages rub shoulders. Thankfully a lot of obvious Harry Potter cliches were avoided but this has little else going for it. Main protagonist is Yuuma Kohinata a kid seemingly without magical powers and a bit of an attitude about those who do. Haruhi Kamisaka is a magical girl he meets at school. The show bumbles along for most of the season without having any obvious story to tell. We thought for a moment that it might turn into a bit of a harem show but this plot line gets ditched early on. It is full of ditzy girls doing ditzy pointless things. Their eyes are enormous as are the bows yet the animation itself is quite plain with little originality or visual interest. The couple and their various friends do all the obvious things kids do in these show and you could honestly fall asleep for ten episodes and miss nothing you have not seen before. After that point it descends into ill-though-out gibberish. It garners little or no empathy for the characters most of whom have no interesting back story or personality whatsoever. It is sentimental, bland and slushy enough to make you puke. Your brain will be repelled even having to think about it. The finale is atrocious. We grimaced in real pain through the embarrassingly bad ending. We watched it so you don’t have to. So, don’t. For God’s sake don’t watch this. You have one life. Do not waste a second of it on this. Please, please take it out and shoot it.


At it's root this anime is a lovelorn romance or a lost love/found love type of story.  What probably holds it back is how the family tragedy caused separation might be hard to follow or be believable and it feels a bit on the low budget side which is evidenced in some scenes in several episodes of the series.  Despite those drawbacks, this is a very enjoyable anime.  Anyone who likes romances or love stories is sure to find appeal in this series.  From the closing credits sequence you are treated to hints about the story with a shadowy figure that could be one of the male students, the true love Haruhi seeks, both one of the students she knows and her love, or it could even represent the unknown in the pursuit of love.  As the story develops, you are drawn in by the characters and their interactions.  Little twists and turns and some bits of irony are unveiled during the course of the series.  By the end, you are treated to how one life affects another and the chain of events that put every one where they are.  Some of the explanations are a tad clouded or even unreasonable or at least hard to understand logically as if not everything was fully planned out, but it still works fairly well.  The songs seem perfect matches for the opening and closing credits.  You dont get to see much other staff than one or two members or other students than the main which makes it feel in part like it is lower budget than the average anime.  However, what you do get is enjoyable with bits of comedy sprinkled in mainly involving the class clown, Yuma's best friend, or Haruhi's best friend.  They could almost be a comedy duo in another life.  It sort of works as a complete series but would have worked better if it was the first season of many and the first season had served as a build up of various characters to serve in succeeding seasons.  The very thing that works to make this a sweet simple story could also work against it leaving you either wanting more or how events or characters either effected their environment beyond school or how they might expand the story beyond the school grounds in succeeding seasons.   Perhaps it's strenght is in it's relative simplicity as a love story with elements of magic.  Which if you listen to the songs at the opening and close you might comprehend how the title, magic, and love all fit together.  It is a cute story and though there is one flawed male character with a bit of a pervy nature, (Yuma's best friend), that isn't inherit in the character Yuma, thankfully.  He comes off as mature, intelligent, cool headed, wise, and with a certain sadness reguarding his less than stellar past.  Haruhi is an intellect as well being as she is the top magical student on the magic side of the high school.  The story opens almost ironically on Valentine's day which has a connection to her past and what she seeks most.  You easily understand how little contact one side of the school has with the other.  And fate has a strong hand in the events of the series.  Maybe it works best as a simple love story in high school.

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