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Nightmare Fuel / Happy Sugar Life

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Despite the name, this series is anything but.

In General

  • The Crapsack World setting itself. In this world, it can be expected that anyone who appears normal actually is psychotic. And not only that, almost any sort of crime, including rape, abductions, assault, blackmail and murder can seemingly be committed without repercussion from the law provided one can cover it up or nobody cares to snitch, and police can be easily cowered into uselessness by a crazy woman, something that our Villain Protagonist gleefully takes advantage of to raise herself all the way to the top of the societal food chain. It's a wonder why society hasn't collapsed into anarchy already...
  • Satou herself. While on the surface she appears to be kind, this is a façade to hide her true self which is a psychotic Yandere who would do anything to keep anyone from her and her "love"...a young girl that she had kidnapped.
    • Worse, Satou doesn't even legally own the apartment room she and Shio live in as the first episode of the anime and a bonus chapter in the manga reveals that she had murdered the original owner, and the episode ends with Satou opening a pantry door, housing three bloodied bags....
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    • Then there's her general characterization. Imagine a 15 year old girl with a morality and concept of "love" as bizarre as Bondrewd and as ruthless, manipulative and dissonantly stoic as Johan — that's Satou in a nutshell. As far as protecting Shio is considered, anything arranging from detainment, blackmail, murder and even arson is perfectly fine for her. That's not even getting into how corruptive she actually is; despite her "love" with Shio is at worst, toxic and possessive, she still gets the last laugh even after her death, because Shio already picked up some of her mannerisms and no longer recognizes her brother Asahi as a caretaker in their reunion, leaving Asahi with literally nothing left even by all circumstances he won. Worst of all? She wasn't even trying to be predatory. It's just an absolutely bizarre case of a girl who can't differ grooming from actual parental care.
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    • Her Dissonant Serenity and her wide, gaping red eyes doesn't help her case. If she somehow isn't putting up a smile and stares at you blankly...just fucking run.
  • Even if you ignore the fact that Satou is a minor dating Shio, another minor with a 7-year age gap, their relationship is still incredibly unpleasant. She cages Shio at her apartment and forbids her from interacting with other humans, as if she was a pet or a private possession and not a free human being. It's an abusive dynamic that can be easily summed up as flat-out grooming. It would be less disturbing and bizarre if Satou was just grooming and/or emotionally manipulating Shio for the sake of herself because at least she would have a comprehensible motive like the Princess Imperial Manager or Shio's biological mom, but it's clear that she doesn't. This is her own way of caring about her — she simply couldn't comprehend why her treatment of Shio is borderline abusive and/or dehumanizing.
  • Satou's aunt nonstop. After several flashbacks, we are finally treated to her aunt's physical presence...and it's just awful. Turns out she's a psychotic sadomasochist who revels in being beaten and mistreated, some much so, her face is partially bandaged along with her lower legs and arms. She speaks in a eerily calm tone of voice, and has light blue eyes that often glow sinisterly. One of the first things she does is forcing herself onto one of the police officers assigned to investigate the apartment, and even when she is forcibly pushed off him by the other officer, she flashes a brief smile of satisfaction. And that's not even getting into her rape against Mitsuboshi...and how she gleefully admitted to committing arson under her daughter's orders. To put short, this woman is totally insane. Is it any wonder why Satou's messed up in the head?
  • Yuuna's life. Put yourself in her shoes. You're sixteen and you're walking home from school. You bump into a scary man. You get raped. You get pregnant. Both of your parents decide to marry you off to your rapist. You don't have financial independence because your husband is very controlling and you don't have the right skillset or education to get a good job. You're scared that you won't be a good mother because you're young and abused. You are still constantly beaten and raped. You have two children to take care of now. And maybe the scariest part about this is how there are many women living like Yuuna all over the world.
  • The opening of the anime does a good job at presenting the series as seemingly light-hearted while also reminding you that it is a horror anime with its Nightmare Fuel Coloring Book imagery.

Individual Episodes

Episode 1
  • The manager of the Princess Imperial restaurant is revealed to have kidnapped Mitsuboshi and was keeping him in a pantry where she would molest him as a way of forcing him to love only her.

Episode 2

  • Episode 2 reveals the extent of the depravity that most of the characters can get down to. In this episode, Satou's teacher Daichi Kitaumekawa is revealed to be a major creeper infatuated with Satou due to her appearance. He follows her into an alleyway where he tries to have his way with her only to be stopped due to Satou triggering an alarm. Later on, Daichi confesses that while he was married, he wasn't satisfied, ergo he wanted to be with as many females as he pleased. Satou responds by forcing him onto the ground and steps on his crotch (though given he was a sadomasochist, this only felt pleasurable for him). She tells him that she could easily alert his wife about his lecherous behavior thus destroying his life, but instead, she manipulates him into helping her get rid of the three bags from the previous episode.
  • Mitsuboshi returns in this episode having suffered from major anxiety from the incident with his manager. Worse, Mitsuboshi also becomes obsessed with Shio after being given a copy of her missing person report.
  • Satou discovering that the mysterious figure that Mitsuboshi saved from being severely beaten has a connection to Shio through him reciting the vow that Satou would ritually do with Shio. The episode ends with Satou grabbing a crowbar and looming over the young man's body.

Episode 3

  • Satou halts her attempted murder of Asahi when she realizes that if she murdered him there she would be unable to hide it. Afterwards, she comes to the idea that her feelings of jealousy were proof of her love for Shio, and is literally hopping with happiness thanks to this "discovery". Then she ponders that if Asahi does meet Shio, she will have to get rid of him strategically. The way her mood swings from murderous to happy and back to murderous because of her warped sense of morality is very disturbing.
  • Mitsuboshi finds Shio and predictably drools over her. What starts off as innocently as her petting Mitsuboshi's head becomes cringe-inducing when Mitsuboshi contemplates "returning the favor" when he takes her to live with him until they find her family members.

Episode 4

  • Satou gives one of the thugs a dose of Eye Scream via knife.

Episode 5

  • Shouko ends up discovering the Stalker Shrine that is Mitsuboshi's room and is naturally creeped out by it. Taiyo only escalates the uneasiness by trying to use Shouko's friendship with Satou to convince her to help him "save Shio."
  • Yet again, Satou tries to justify her actions by believing that crimes such as murder are "necessary sacrifices" for her happiness with Shio. The episode not only furthers the idea that Satou is a pedophile, but that she is so oblivious to how truly deplorable her actions are that to her, telling someone else she loved them is a much worse sin.
  • Sumire admits that she was trying to emulate herself after Satou through buying the same kind of perfume she uses and trying to fashion her hairstyle after her. Satou initially cheers Sumire up by kissing her and giving her a You Are Better Than You Think You Are speech, but she shifts into her murderous persona coldly telling Sumire to stay out of her business.

Episode 6

  • Satou leaves a note for Mitsuboshi revealing that she was fully aware of him being alone with Shio.
  • We get more flashbacks to Asahi's life where sometime after his mother and sister escaped, his father catches him opening the door and mocks him and his mother by claiming that she crumbled like paper every time he struck her. He then relentlessly punches a young Asahi in the face and rips his fingernails off, curious as to how much pain Asahi could endure before being rendered unconscious.
  • Shoko's growing suspicions of Satou. After some time blindly believing Satou's claim, Shoko becomes fearful that she may not even know her "best friend." While at a restaurant, Shoko tries to extract some answers from Satou leading to Satou deliberately ignoring her inquiries by cryptically informing her that she didn't want to drag her into any of her issues.

Episode 7

  • When Shouko and Satou are walking to Satou's apartment, Daichi attempts to frame Satou for murder by calling the police in secret as he was disposing the body bags, thinking that he knows where she lives and he disposed the corpse of her aunt...but she actually gave him her aunt's home address and not hers. Satou's aunt then appears, alive and well, and there's no body bags, only a bunch of trash. Then she manages to cower one of the officers and forces herself on him! It's another testament on how cunning Satou is and how disturbing her aunt is, and how awful the show's setting is when all it takes to bypass law is giving the other guy a fake address to an incredibly unsettling person's home.

Episode 8

  • This episode answers the question of who was in the bloodied body bags. In a flashback, Satou consistently goes to her neighbor's apartment room to model for him. Things seem in place until Satou brings Shio with her one rainy day. Because he was drawn to Satou because of her incompleteness, he tries to kill Shio only to be bludgeoned to death by Satou.
  • Mitsuboshi begins to realize how messed up he was and tries to reform. After being made to flee two older women because of memories of his former boss, Mitsuboshi grabs a missing person report of Shio and concludes he'll keep the photo with him until he graduated from high school and got a job. This scene is then followed by a well-crafted jumpscare of Satou standing behind his back.
  • This episode serves as a reminder of how manipulative Satou can be by forcing Mitsuboshi to work for her by throwing one of Shio's socks in his face.

Episode 9

  • Shouko's death. We are given a Hope Spot of Shouko approaching the door...only to be grabbed by Satou who then slowly drives the knife into Shouko's neck, making her demise excruciatingly painful. The anime makes her death increasingly painful to watch by depicting her slowly bleeding out as she struggles for her life.
  • Satou is at first cheerful at the thought of spending quality time with Shio all day...but when she realizes that Shouko had taken a picture of them, she instantly reverts to her cold, expressionless demeanor.
  • The sheer Mood Whiplash of the moment in the anime cannot be understated. When Shouko snaps the picture of Satou and Shio being happy together outside of the apartment, Satou's Death Glare IMMEDIATELY comes on and turns in Shouko's direction. Shouko can only stand there frightened as her best friend's demeanor changes from joyful and content to a dark, wordless Tranquil Fury as she storms over towards her and grabs her by the arm. Cue Sound Track Dissonance and an ending sequence that culminates in a truly horrifying murder.

Episode 10

  • We have more flashbacks regarding Shio's mother. We are made to witness her slow descent into sheer madness, culminating in her angrily slapping Shio in a fashion not too dissimilar to her husband.
  • Almost as if the series is taking notes on the many things parents fear, Shio sees a jar in a store window and decides to race over to get it. To her mother's horror, Shio is nearly ran over by a bus.
  • Suddenly hearing Asahi's voice when Shio was praying to God to not end her life with Satou is jarring.
  • The sound Asahi's baseball bat makes as he slowly drags it down across the pavement while walking. With no background music, this is the only sound we hear and it is very unnerving.

Episode 11

  • While he would normally not go out of his way to be threatening, Asahi himself is chilling come this episode. In it, after finally deciding to take matters into his own hands, Asahi lures Mitsuboshi under the claim of finding his sister. When Mitsuboshi arrives, Asahi hits him in the head with his bat, and forces him to find Satou's home address under the threat of ripping his fingernails off.
  • When Mitsuboshi believes he found the address to Satou's room, he deliberately goes against Asahi's orders and goes to investigate. However...the room turns out to belong to Satou's aunt...and her aunt was quietly standing there in the darkness, who appears positively ecstatic to meet him. And, after she lets him in, proceeds to cover his mouth, get him locked inside her apartment with her, and approach him with an eerie calm and scarily wide eyes. Though Mitsuboshi attempts to strangle her at one point, she easily regains the upper hand by simply taking advantage of his fear of older women, then proceeding to full on kiss him, which itself is enough to paralyze him with terror and collapse to the ground. And if that isn't bad enough, Satou's aunt appears to be preparing to outright rape him right there on her floor. All while he flashes back to the woman who was his previous rapist.

Episode 12

  • Satou's plan to get rid of the evidences of her crime: burning Shouko's body with the entire floor, despite there being several residents of the apartment that could have died. And, of course, Satou would then pin the blame on her own aunt. This is yet another instance of Satou using and discarding people like used toilet paper without a second thought.
  • The serene expression that Satou's Aunt makes before dropping the lighter onto the gasoline-drenched floors.
  • Mitsuboshi finally finds Shio, and Shio herself is actually disturbed by his mannerisms.
  • The genuine anger plastered on Asahi's face when he tries to strike Satou with his bat for retribution of her murdering Shouko. And if you're thinking that Shio will turn to Asahi's side, she protects Satou and not him!! At that point the Manipulative Bitch who grabbed her directly from the streets and put her in a Gilded Cage is a way better and more important person for her than her biological brother.
  • Right before Satou and Shio make their escape, not only Shio rejects going back home together with Asahi, she also grabs a glass shard to use as a weapon against him to protect Satou. Mind you she's threatening her biological brother to defend a kidnapper who groomed her. Satou is just that corruptive of a presence.
  • And most likely an attempt by the writers to save the scariest moment for last, Shio is revealed to have survived the jump from the building due to Satou shielding her from serious harm. Asahi pays his sister a visit in the hospital only to notice that Shio hardly seems to acknowledge him. The scene then reveals that Shio was exhibiting characteristics not too dissimilar to Satou and her aunt as she fondly thought back to her time with Satou. A once pure-hearted character had been corrupted by her surroundings, and she most likely will never fully recover. It just makes Satou's wishes of being reborn alongside her all the more sinister.