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Manga / Happy Lesson

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Chitose's Moms have got it goin' on

"Roommates? Mothers?! Times five?!? And they're my teachers too?!?!"

Teenaged orphan Chitose Hitotose hates the world and goes through the motions of life. Concerned about his dropping grades, his homeroom teacher stops by for a visit and discovers that he lives alone—thus the solution must be to move in with him and become his new mother! Hilarity Ensues, particularly when more teachers get into the act.

Happy Lesson is an Affectionate Parody of the Harem Anime genre that illustrates what it would really be like to live with a Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits who all have their own ideas about what being the "perfect mother" is about.

The original comedy manga was written by Mutsumi Sasaki and drawn by Shinnosuke Mori, serialized in Dengeki G's from 1999 to 2002. In 2001, it was adapted into a 5 episode OVA. A 13 episode TV anime was produced in 2002 and followed by its sequel series Happy Lesson Advance in 2003. In 2004, a second, 3 episode OVA series titled Happy Lesson: The Final was released. Some lesser known Dreamcast games were also made.

Happy Lesson contains examples of:

  • Balloon Belly: Satsuki in episode 4.
  • Beautiful Dreamer: Lap Pillow scenes of Kanna and Fumitsuki with Chitose.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Yayoi will sometimes draw her (real) sword and put it against Chitose's neck to get him to comply. Kisaragi is all too happy to put anyone into one of her experimental machines if he ignore or annoy her, as those 2 Corrupt Corporate Executive commented, she is the scariest of the lot.
  • Bifauxnen: Nagatsuki in second season.
  • Big Eater: Satsuki and Hazuki, though the latter wins in an actual eating contest between the two.
  • Big "NO!": The Biology class' reaction when the assignment of the day is "Dissection: Live Chicks". Note that said chicks are Ridiculously Cute Critters that might as well be the series' mascot.
  • Bland-Name Product: Crocrosoft Windiis XXXP and Crocrosoft Mord. Like most, there are also Pony televisions.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Satsuki Gokajo, the gym teacher.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: the end of the first season
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: All the mothers/teachers except maybe Mitsuki. Kisaragi especially, considering many of her experiments have a tendency to explode and Chitose even mentions that he pays attention to her class because "it means the difference between life and death."
  • Butt-Monkey: Student B and C seemingly do things that are asking for a Megaton Punch. Kanna in her repeated screwups in attemp to capture Chitose, often with nobody knowing she is even there.
  • Chinese Girl: Nagatsuki Kuron, featured in the second season.
  • Class Representative: Fumitsuki Nanakorobi
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Chitose, whose orphan-ness kicks of the entire premise of the plot.
  • Cool Big Sis: Hazuki
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The pair in the second episode, who covet Chitose's house. They show up again in the second season.
  • Cosplay Otaku Girl: Uzuki Shitenno, the art teacher.
  • Cute Little Fangs: Fumitsuki
  • A Day in the Limelight: A lot of episodes tend to focus on one of the mothers and her relationship with Chitose. Most of the time, though, the remaining mothers aren't pushed entirely out of the screen. Kanna, Fumitsuki, Hazuki, Minazuki, and Nagatsuki have at least one episode of their own too.
  • Delinquent: Chitose in the backstory, stage two of the premise of the plot.
  • Does Not Like Men: Kanna is extremely afraid of men, except Chitose who she likes.
  • Dude, She's Like in a Coma: Subverted, when Chitose apparently was knocked out unconcious, he fell on top of Fumitsuki. Though she is not above taking advantage of the situation, something heavy dropped on his head, probably resulting in their first kiss.
  • Ear Cleaning: During a "best mother" competition, Chitose endures a particularly horrifying version when Kisaragi straps him down to a table and tests his pain tolerance, resulting in a punctured ear drum when she goes too far.
  • Escalating War: Usually between Satsuki and Uzuki.
  • Evil Laugh: Kanna
  • Exiled to the Couch: Non-couple example: Chitose has to sleep on the couch because all the mothers occupy all the bedrooms and, apparently, each wanting their own rooms.
  • Expy: Kisaragi is an extremely cute one of Ayanami Rei.
  • For Science!: Kisaragi Ninomai, the science teacher.
  • Genki Girl: Satsuki
  • Girlish Pigtails: Uzuki
  • Hair Antennae: Kanna
  • Hikiko Mori: Chitose starts out as this.
  • Hospital Hottie: Yayoi. Pretty much the entire male student body fakes sick in order to be treated by her.
  • Hot Springs Episode
  • Hot Teacher: All of Chitose's mamas, but especially Yayoi.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Kisaragi have been seen pulling out her strange devices out of nowhere. Yayoi can pull out a katana out of thin air.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Nagatsuki
  • Lap Pillow: Parodied at least once when Chitose has his head forcibly held in Satsuki's lap while she sings an off-key "lullaby" in which she threatens to beat him up if he doesn't go to sleep.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The corrupt businessmen who tried to blackmail Chitose using his relationship with his teachers are themselves blackmailed into returning the contract Chitose signed with evidence of their illicit activities.
  • Loony Friends Improve Your Personality: The plot kicks off when Chitose's teachers decide that what he really needs are five mothers running his life. He discovers, much to everyone's surprise, that he does become a more well-adjusted person because of them.
  • Made of Iron: Chitose apparently, he appears to be OK even after being subjected to various physical abuse, and can apparently hold back Nagatsuki (by dodging her attacks and tiring her out) even though he doesn't seem to know any martial arts.
  • Mad Scientist: Kisaragi has aspects of this (Her themesong on the OST is even named "Mad Scientist"), though Kana plays this trope far straighter.
  • Marshmallow Hell: Satsuki's favorite submission hold, her technique she made spending time with Chitose, "The Booby Trap". It's a headlock with the victim facing away from the perpetrator while lodged firmly in the cleavage. Later copied by Kisaragi in episode 11 of the tv series.
  • Megaton Punch: Fumitsuki and Satsuki, though for Satsuki, it is usually a kick.
  • Miko: Yayoi Sanzenin, also the School Nurse.
  • Moment Killer
  • Nerd Glasses: Kanna usually wears these as part of her Paper-Thin Disguise.
  • Not Blood Siblings: Chitose, Minazuki and Hazuki to each other. Unlike some other examples, this really is closer to family. While Minazuki obviously holds romantic feelings for Chitose, she never acts on them.
  • Ocular Gushers
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Usually done by Those Two Guys.
  • Older Than They Look: Chitose once commented that Uzuki looks like an elementary student. Kanna is probably around Kisaragi's age, yet still look like a teenager, doesn't help that she acts like a little girl.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Chitose, more or less.
    • His counterpart in the manga, Susumu, is even more ordinary.
  • Pretty Freeloader: Subverted. The mothers actively help with the house chores and cooking, have jobs and apparently pay the food bill. So, really, Chitose is the freeloader (but as pointed out early in the first TV season, he does actually own the house). Also Hazuki and Minazuki live together in an apartment separately since Hazuki is an Idol Singer.
  • The Rival: Fumitsuki and Kanna. Nagatsuki for Chitose in second season.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: Usually by Kanna and Student B, though others also flash them sometimes.
  • Sensei-chan - Uzuki again.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Social Services Does Not Exist/There Are No Therapists: You'd think a teacher, of all people, would at least know their phone number...
  • The Spartan Way: Satsuki method to everyone except Minazuki.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Kanna, and Fumitsuki too sometimes.
  • Temporal Theme Naming: The -tsuki (or -zuki) in the teachers' first names are not coincidental. They are named after medieval Japanese names of the months.
    • Their birthdays are even the same month and same day of their names
  • Themed Harem: Each of the girls is a Hot Teacher and Chitose's non blood related mother.
  • Title Drop: happens in episode 13.
  • Those Two Guys: Students B and C, who wear strips of paper bearing their "names" on their head.
  • Token Mini-Moe: Uzuki and Minazuki.
  • Tsundere: Satsuki is revealed to be this in her focus episode in the first season. Fumitsuki is also very much so, usually somewhat rough with Chitose, though she only show her soft side the first time on the last episode of the first season.
  • Unwanted Harem: Deconstructed and subverted, as all the mothers aren't actually vying for the lead's love except Mutsuki, as it turns out so much as them making him a good person (see Delinquent). His sisters keep a strictly brother-sister relationship. Nagatsuki is more of The Rival than anything. Really, the only person that's actively out for his attention is Fumitsuki and Kanna (who barely counts due to being as socially inept as Sousuke Sagara).
    • And then, it's all played straight in the very final episode, at the end of Season 3, when all five of his mothers unanimously decide that now that he's already fully-grown, what he now needs are not mothers, but wives. Cue instant Marry Them All via Relationship Upgrade as they all instantaneously change into bridal gowns and marry him together on the spot.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back!: In one episode, Chitose gets fed up with his "mothers'" shenanigans and kicks them out of his house, but then realizes that he is reverting to his old habits; by the end, he relents and returns the copies of his house keys that he'd confiscated.
  • Women Drivers: Mutsuki is a horrible driver. Kisaragi also drives insanely in episode ten of the second season. But unlike Mutsuki, she does this more competently and intentionally.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Mutsuki Ichimonji, the homeroom teacher; cooks, cleans and is gentle to Chitose until he slacks off. Also, she teaches Japanese classics at the school. Yayoi also displays some of this.