Summer 2018 Anime

In Memoriam – ‘Happy Sugar Life’ Episode 12 (Finale) Review

In Memoriam - An Anime QandA Review of 'Happy Sugar Life' Episode 12

What’s the show? Happy Sugar Life, Episode 12.

So the series finale of this twisted little show, how is it? *deep breath* I’m going to do by very best to give an even handed and bias free review of this season finale in order to articulate the pros and con—THIS WAS THE BEST THING IVE EVER SEEN!

Well that lasted all of seven seconds… so are we going to go into full spoiler territory or are you going to be ~kinda~ vague like you were with your Steins;Gate 0 Finale review? I’m going to spoil some major events of course it’s impossible not to when talking about a series finale of a show like this but this isn’t going to go through absolutely everything that happens in the episode. So bare that in mind.

Fair enough, so what’s got you so excited about this ending? Well it’s an ending for one, which is terrific—there’s nothing worse than a non-ending for a show you’ve invested so much time in. But what’s more impressive is that how’s its stuck with me, it’s been 12 hours since I watched the episode and I’ve watched other things in-between then and now but still my mind is occupied with what happened and unlike some finales which can deliver an initial impact that upon time and reflection open it up to more and more critical thinking and in turn bring up issues of continuity or plotting. The more I think of it the more perfect of an ending I think this show gave us.

Hands and eyes are recurring imagery throughout the series, I could do a whole post about those! (I won’t though).

Okay, enough with the praise get into the details! So Satō and Shio intend to leave the country to start their new life while Satō’s aunt will help assist Satō’s disappearance by burning her apartment down and using the body of the previously murdered Shoko as a way to fake Satō’s death. But due to Satō forgetting her ring they hurry back to retrieve it—which ends up being their undoing. Shio’s brother Asahi turns up with the intent of bringing back her little sister and he confronts them at the bottom of the buildings elevator. After several failed attempts to escape the burning building from various other floors Asahi finally gets to talk heart-to-heart with his little sister. But Shio doesn’t want to go back to her family, she has a new family in Satō—at first he doesn’t understand but Shio explains that she felt so betrayed by her mother abandoning her that she can never go back to that unhappy life.

You make a decent point but still…

Okay so then what happens?! Satō and Shio retreat to the rooftop where they embrace one last time and resign themselves to the fact that their lives must end but they’ll end together as there is no more happiness to be had in going on—that this is the end of their ~happy sugar life~. They leap to their deaths, visions of a life they could have had flashing through Satō’s mind and it’s then she realizes what love truly is. Cut to a few days later and we find out that Satō took the brunt of the 14-storey fall and died but in doing so allowed Shio to live. Visiting her in hospital Asahi asks her kid sister if they can finally be a family again—but something has changed in the little girl. She tells her brother that she can’t because she and Satō will always be together, that she’s a part of her now. And the look she gives is positively chilling—Satō may be dead but the legacy lives on.

Those eyes… Sato’s eyes…

Right… that’s certainly dramatic. It’s more than just dramatic—it’s transformative television! If you’ll allow me to put on my pretentious cap for a minute and reference something old and somewhat niche, it somewhat reminds me of the second season finale of US series ‘Twin Peaks’ (P.S. spoilers for a show that aired in 1991) our incorruptible hero and moral centre of the show Special Agent Dale Cooper escapes the madness of The Black Lodge only for him to look into a mirror and see the reflection of Bob—the series’ embodiment of evil—looking back at him. Now obviously I’m not comparing Satō to the embodiment of pure evil, she was a deeply troubled girl and a victim of emotional abuse from her twisted aunt, but the concept of “ideas” and “behaviours” being passed from one person to another is an inherently interesting one.

At least Satou’s aunt is arrested for the arson. Though I have a feeling she’ll be pretty popular in jail…

Okay, thanks for the reference, grandpa. But wait, the fact this series ends with that, doesn’t that mean that the most interesting thing this show does doesn’t even get to be explored? Well maybe we’ll get a new season in 25 years time (that’s a Twin Peaks reference btw!) but I never said it was the /most interesting thing about the show, and besides it’s ~more~ important that the show left an indelible mark with its finale than feeling unfilled by a newly emergent plot line. This one season tells all of Satō’s story and does so perfect, to ask for any more or to call the way this series ends unfulfilling or even cliff hanger bait is missing the point entirely!

Fire walk with me. (Yep that’s another Twin Peaks reference, can you tell I really like Twin Peaks?)

I don’t know that anybody is calling it that but I get your point. So I know you don’t talk about overall opinions of a show in episodic reviews—you save that for the QandA Rundowns, but suffice to say this show you endlessly raved about week-to-week ended with your expectations sated? Absolutely, every week delivered an intrinsic piece of a puzzle that was Satō’s complicated life, who she was, what she was doing, where she was going and who would be left in her wake. And this finale capped everything off perfectly; it offered a tragic and untimely but ultimately ‘happy’ ending for a person who never really belonged anywhere. A quote from Taiyo (one of the supporting characters) to Satō echoes in my head as I sit here typing on my computer, “you could chose to have a normal happy life, why are you so set on Shio?” And the answer, as it turns out is both the most simple and most difficult thing in the world: love. This was a love story: a beautiful, horrible, adorable, twisted love story.

A memory that never was.

Previous Happy Sugar Life Reviews:

A Sweet Treat With A Dark Centre – Episode 1 Review
Contains Traces of Nuts – Episode 2 Review
Bitter Sweet Sympathy – Episode 3 Review
Closeted Secrets – Episode 4 Review
The Bitter Kiss – Episode 5 Review
Past, Present and Future Tension – Episode 6 Review
Blood Is Sicker Than Water – Episode 7 Review
Filling In The Canvas – Episode 8 Review
Til Death Do Us Part – Episode 9 Review
People With Glass Hearts Shouldn’t Be Alone – Episode 10 Review
When The Vow Breaks – Episode 11 Review


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