When you're in love, you just know. You write songs about the person (looking at you, Ariana Grande). You spend every waking moment thinking about them, and you don't care who knows it. High schooler Sato Matsuzaka is a young girl who knows she's found the person she's meant to spend the rest of her life with.
There's just one huge, major problem: Sato's fallen in love with a mysterious little girl named Shio Kobe, and she'd do just about anything to keep her safe from harm, up to and including kidnapping her and keeping her locked up in her apartment.
Welcome to Happy Sugar Life, quite possibly one of the most bizarre anime you'll ever see. The psychological horror series began airing this summer and streams via Amazon Prime, so it's easy to miss, but I highly recommend it. It's one of the season's most disturbing, cringeworthy, and gripping shows, and despite its various intentionally shocking factors no doubt meant to gross viewers out and weed out the strong from the weak, it's a thrill ride worth taking.
At its core, Happy Sugar Life is nothing like its title suggests. Sato appears to be a sunny, happy girl who's popular at school and works at a cosplay restaurant called Cure a Cute. She takes shifts as a waitress so she can support the strange lifestyle she decided to adopt one day. While she appears normal on the outside — attending Makiko High School by day, rebuffing the advances of men her age as they confess to her — by night she's absolutely deranged.
The "love" she has for young Shio isn't really a romantic love, but an obsession. It appears Sato is driven to dote on and treat Shio like her partner because of how innocent and cute she is, and the two thankfully never progress beyond cuddles and appropriately affectionate interactions (except for the horrifying realization that Sato is practicing wedding vows with Shio). But it's clear how much Sato cares about the girl, and it's absolutely terrifying.
If you're wondering if Sato would kill for the young girl, well... yes, she would. In fact, that's one of the major story drivers behind the series. When people get in the way of the "happy sugar life" Sato has built for the two in her head, she's out for blood. That means she'll take out just about anyone who stands in her way.
Poor little Shio has no idea about all this, either. She's not allowed to leave the apartment, at least according to Sato. How can it get any worse? Oh, it does. Don't worry.
Happy Sugar Life is a dark and twisted show in every single respect. It manages to top itself with absolutely horrible situations around every turn, and as Sato reveals more of her creepy yandere self, it becomes just that more addictive of a story.
And while I'm absolutely aware that none of this is even remotely normal, OK, or healthy, it's like a beautiful train wreck. From the first episode where Sato has to unmask a demented, abusive woman at the very restaurant she works at to her "upgrade" to a new living situation, watching Sato become even more unhinged is one of my favorite things when it comes to this series.
I don't know how Happy Sugar Life is going to end just yet, but I can't wait to see where it all starts to unravel. If you're a fan of series where just about everything that can possibly go wrong does at every turn, you'll want to sink your teeth into this one, especially if you just have to see where it lands. I'm not even sure where that's going to be, but I know it's going to be something I can't look away from when it happens.