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Visual Novel / Happiness

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Clockwise from top: Sumomo, Anri, Haruhi, Koyuki. Not shown: Jun.

A Visual Novel from 2005, adapted into an anime for the fall 2006 season.

When she was a young girl, Kamisaka Haruhi was saved from some bullies by a young boy who used magic to chase them away. Even though she never learned the boy's name, she was inspired to learn magic herself, so that she could help others just like she had been helped.

Flash forward to the present day, where Haruhi is now the top student in her grade at Mizuhosaka Academy, a school which teaches both magical and normal students, although the two groups use separate facilities and rarely interact. On Valentine's Day, Haruhi buys chocolate in hopes that she may encounter the boy who helped her out many years ago, but fails to find him, and thus decides to just give the chocolate to Kohinata Yuuma, a random student from the normal section of the academy. That night, there is a gas explosion in the facilities used by the mages, and so the mage students are transferred into the normal section of the school while repairs are being completed. Haruhi and her friend, Anri, find themselves in a class with Yuuma.

Rounding out the cast are Jun, a trans girl, Hachisuke, who is Yuuma and Jun's friend, Sumomo, Yuuma's sister who Haruhi used to play with when the two of them were younger, Koyuki, the fortune-telling daughter of the school administrator, and mysterious transfer students Ibuki, Saya, and Shinya.

The visual novel would later get a fandisc titled Happiness! Re:Lucks in 2006. 2019 would then give it a sequel-of-sorts in Happiness! 2 Sakura Celebration, which would get its own fandisc, Happiness! 2 Re:Lucks, the year after.

Not to be confused with the Todd Solondz film and/or the manga of the same name. Or the emotion (see Happiness Tropes for that).

This series provides examples of:

  • Action Bomb: When everybody attempts to create their own Tama-chan, Anri's attempts to blow everybody up. According to Koyuki, this is an ability that all Tamas have (thus she was able to realize what was going on in time to send it far away), but had never had one that actually tried to do it before. Later, the result of the failed attempt to recreate the Ancestor Sphere-tom does the same thing.
  • A-Cup Angst: During the beach episode, Sumomo mentions that she wishes she were as developed as Haruhi and Anri. When her mother assures her that she's still growing, Sumomo claims that hearing that from her mother (who is still wearing her School Swimsuit) managed to make her less confident.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Yuuma avoids the cafeteria because his mother works there, and is prone to greeting him rather enthusiastically.
  • The Anime of the Game: Happiness! was originally a visual novel.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: Even Hachisuke and Yuuma sometimes forget that that Jun is biologically male, resulting in the two of them imagining her in various fetish outfits until Jun tells them to cut it out. Lampshaded in the OVA, where the boys are drooling over the (now biologically female) Jun, and Yuuma points out that she doesn't actually look any different.
  • Beach Episode: The eighth episode of the anime takes place during summer so there's a fun day at the beach with swimsuits, sandcastles, fireworks etc.
  • Big Bad Friend: Ibuki attacks Haruhi in an attempt to get her to remove the barrier around the Shikimori treasure.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Shinya, who is even capable of overcoming his terrible sense of direction when he senses that Saya is in danger.
  • Bleached Underpants: The original PC game is an H-Game; the PlayStation port and the manga/anime are cleaned up for the general public.
  • Brainwashed: Ibuki tries to do this on Haruhi, but is interrupted by Anri. She then decides that taking a hostage would work better.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Patriot Missile Kick!
  • Came Back Wrong: Saya and Shinya's father tried to resurrect their mother. He accidentally released a horde of demons.
  • Cat Smile: Koyuki's magical device Tama, while the former is tricking students into visiting the cafe to increase their luck.
  • Cherry Blossoms: The 2nd episode of the anime revolves around the cast going cherry-blossom viewing
  • Clothing Damage: When Natsume is killed by demons, their attacks shred her clothing.
  • Club Stub: At the beginning of the series, Koyuki is the Fortunetelling club. The entire fortunetelling club.
  • Cool Shades: During the Beach Episode, Tama sports a pair of Kamina-esque sunglasses. How they stay up on what is essentially a floating sphere shall forever remain a mystery.
  • Cute Ghost Girl: One is encountered by Hachisuke one night when he went to school to retrieve his porn magazine from his desk. It's not really a ghost, just Saya.
  • Fanservice: The Beach Episode features the female cast in their swimwear.
  • Fanservice with a Smile: Anri dresses up as a maid while working at Oasis.
  • Foreign Language Title: The visual novel's original Japanese title is "はぴねす!", which is pronounced "Hapinesu!" and meant to evoke the English word "Happiness!".
  • Fortune Teller: Koyuki does this to get more of the school's female population to go to the Oasis cafe, by telling them that they have bad luck, but eating various menu items from Oasis will negate it.
  • Gender Bender: The plot of the OVA is that several people's spells accidentally combine and turn Jun into a biological girl. The end reveals that Yuuma also got hit by the spell.
  • Genki Girl: Anri and Sumomo are energetic.
  • Give Him a Normal Life: This was Miinagi's reasoning when she erased Yuuma's memories and sent him to live with Otoha, because she knew that she had to remain at school at all times to protect the Shikimori treasure and couldn't make enough time to properly raise him.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: The attempt to create the ancestor Sphere Tom results in a "bad" tom, which almost destroys the city
  • Gratuitous English: Both the title of the work, and Jun's Patriot Missile Kick.
  • Green Thumb: Attempted by Anri to help catch the "intruder". One of the few times her magic works as directed, although telling the plants to "catch the intruder" when she herself was trespassing at the time was not the best command.
  • Hadaka Apron: Suggested by Hachisuke when Anri gets a job as a waitress working at the school cafeteria because the school uniform underneath would ruin the mood. The others are angered by his idea.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • The 984th Tama pushes a giant exploding tama out of the city before it goes and he goes with it.
    • Shikimori Natsume gave her life to seal the Shikimori treasure in the backstory because it was summoning an endless horde of demons.
  • Hostage Situation: Ibuki tries to take Yuuma hostage in order to force Haruhi to retrieve the Shikimori treasure, but Yuumo manages to free himself.
  • Hot Witch: Koyuki's fortune teller outfit shows a bit of cleavage.
  • Iconic Item: Mages are never seen without their wands.
  • Instant Cosplay Surprise: Justified, as Haruhi uses magic to change everybody's clothes.
  • Instant Runes: A common feature of magic spells is a runic circle made of light appearing where they are cast.
  • It's All My Fault: Happens twice to Yuuma: once in his backstory, where he could have (but didn't) hurt the boys he used magic on to save Haruhi, and once towards the end of the series, where his magic almost kills Sumomo.
  • Let's Meet the Meat: Anri's Living Weapon is edible (it regenerates).
  • Literal Genie: Anri commands a bunch of plants to catch the people trespassing on school grounds. This includes herself and the rest of her friends.
  • Living Weapon: A mage's wand is an ordinary object that they put part of their soul into.
  • Kawaiiko: O' sweet, adorable Jun!
  • Magical Incantation: Spells are usually accompanied by latin-sounding words.
  • Magic Wand: Standard equipment for mages, implied that this is required for them to cast magic (although they are never seen without their wands, so this can't be confirmed). Despite being called "wands", they're really more like staves.
  • Magic Misfire: Done for laughs several times with Anri. Used more seriously when Yuuma's inability to control his magic almost results in Sumomo's death.
  • Meido: Anri's (self-made) uniform while she works at Oasis is styled like a maid's for the atmosphere.
  • Me's a Crowd: Anri's solution to there being too many customers at the café for her to handle. This being Anri, they went haywire.
  • Mum Looks Like a Sister: Otoha, who looks to be in her early twenties and still wears her School Swimsuit.
  • Mundane Utility: Anri attempts this, but usually screws up, such as trying to set up all of the chairs for the assembly, but accidentally putting them on the ceiling (at which point gravity kicks in), or turning the rain into sake rather than creating a barrier to stop it from falling on them.
  • Musical Assassin: Shikimori Natsune has a flute which channels her magic while she plays it. This flute is later given to Yuuma for the final battle, before he returns it to Ibuki. In addition, Saya and Haruhi's wands were musical instruments (a violin and trumpet, respectively), but seem to have no actual connection to music, aside from Saya's attacks having music-themed names.
  • New Transfer Student:
    • Haruhi and Anri, due to the collapse of the facilities of the magic section of the school.
    • Saya and Shinya also transfer in later as part of their mission.
  • No Sense of Direction: Shinya can get so lost going to school that he will end up in the ocean and have no idea how that happened.
  • Not Blood Siblings: Yuuma is adopted and so he's not Sumomo's biological elder brother.
  • One Degree of Separation: Only to a certain extent, but Anri accidentally hits Yuuma with a spell, who just happens to be the boy Haruhi met recently, the brother of Haruhi's childhood friend, and the son of one of the cafeteria workers. The truth is he's actually adopted, his real mother is a teacher at the school. Yuuma is also the boy who saved Haruhi when she was young and inspired her to be a mage. In addition, Yuuma's mother, Koyuki's mother, Ibuki's sister, and Saya and Shinya's father were all acquainted with each other.
  • Parasol Parachute: Shikimori has used her wand (an umbrella) to fly in a manner similar to Mary Poppins on at least one occasion.
  • Parental Abandonment:
    • Haruhi lives far from her parents (but they are still around).
    • Yuuma's mother put him up for adoption because she was too busy to raise him.
  • Power Incontinence: Yuuma has incredibly powerful magic, but it goes out of control whenever he uses it.
  • Proper Tights with a Skirt: Part of Jun's regular wardrobe includes these two items because she is a trans girl and it's a feminine outfit.
  • Robe and Wizard Hat: Koyuki's mage outfit is designed along these lines. She wears it when fortunetelling.
  • School Festival: The ninth episode of the anime stars one of these and a cosplay cafe is prominently displayed. There is also a dance around a bon fire at night.
  • School Swimsuit: Yuuma and Sumomo's mother wears one of these on the Beach Episode, which fills Sumomo with despair on how she will (not) fill out.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: A fortune teller tells Haruhi as a child that she would someday give chocolates on Valentine's Day to the boy who inspired her to become a mage. She ends up buying chocolates every year, so she'll be prepared for that day. On Valentine's Day, she watches Yuuma try to protect a young girl against bullies, but is unsure he is the same boy because he didn't use magic. Still, as she has amassed so many chocolates over the years, which have gone to waste, she gives this year's chocolates to Yuuma, unknowingly fulfilling the prophecy.
  • Shower of Angst: After he almost kills Sumomo, Yuuma broods in a shower.
  • Smashing Watermelons: Done during the Beach Episode, Hachisuke and a Tama get placed next to the watermelon.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Shikimori Ibuki is a frigidly focused young lady but she's a Nice Girl underneath.
  • To Be a Master: Anri's goal is to become the best mage in Japan (and eventually, the entire world). At the start of the series, she's already the second best in her school.
  • Transfer Student Uniforms: Shinya wears his old uniform, despite the fact that Saya apparently had her new uniform at least two days before transferring.
  • Those Two Guys: This is the role fulfilled by Jun and Hachisuke, two of Yuuma's muggle friends, although Jun is hardly what is usually encountered for this role.
  • Unknown Rival: When they started high school, Anri attempted this to Haruhi (since Haruhi had the highest test scores out of the incoming class), but Haruhi simply acts friendly towards her, noting that everybody else so far had been rather polite and distant to her until that point.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Unique?: The 984th Tama becomes depressed because it thinks that all Tamas are the same and that it can be easily replaced. This turns out to be not true; every Tama has its own unique personality and Koyuki remembers the things that make each one unique, and can identify them on sight.
  • Who You Gonna Call?: The fifth episode revolves around hunting the mysterious ghost girl that Hachisuke encountered in the school one night. It's really Saya, who is not really a ghost.
  • Wizarding School: The school has two sections; a muggle section and a magical section.
  • Wooden Katanas Are Even Better: Shinya uses a wooden katana, which draws raised eyebrows from the main character until Haruhi points out that it's also his wand, and thus the material that his sword is made out of is mostly irrelevant.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Saya is explicitly referred to as such by Hachisuke.