February 02, 2011

Mystery Meat -- Happy Seven

Today's Mystery Meat is "Happy Seven".

It's an action comedy about (mostly) girls, and I thought I'd give it a try. And after one episode, I like what I see.

Lots of frame grabs below the fold.


Amano is our protagonist. Her luck makes Yamada Seina look good. And it always makes her miserable, which turns out to be a plot point. She is studying for an exam and falls asleep, and has a dream about AD 1333. A meteorite falls to earth in Japan, and inside it are an alien race called Magatugami, according to the subtitles. Wikipedia says "Magatsugami". They follow a strange woman named Kokuanten, who says she will lead the world to destruction.

Amano wakes up, and then forgets her dream. And then she steps on her new cell phone, wrecking it, and feels miserable. She looks out the window, and in the direction of the school there's a deep red glow. Suddenly she's transported there, and Kokuanten summons an army of Magatugami and orders them to kill her. They all charge, but before they reach her, a glowing boy about Amano's age, wearing armor and a cape, flies in and grabs her. In the air they're chased by some of the monsters, but then seven girls (sort of, eventually we learn that they range in age from about 8 to maybe 30) show up and fight the monsters off. The boy lands near the school and lets Amano down.

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Then he uses a magic charm to erase her memories of the event. She wakes, later, in bed in her home.

At school the next day with her two best friends, she seems even more miserable than usual. Looking out the window of her classroom, she sees a boy she doesn't know, but his face seems familiar somehow. She starts running to reach him, and falls down stairs, and ends up in the clubroom of the Better Fortune Research Organization, where she meets nine (!) girls and young women. The oldest is the school doctor. The youngest are a pair of identical twins in second grade named Mina and Nami. (In hiragana, みな and なみ.) The school seems to be particularly comprehensive, having a grade-level section, a middle-school section, a high school section, and a college section, and there are students from all four in this club.

Seven of those nine are the "Happy Seven", who were the ones who saved Amano and that boy the night before, which she can't remember. What with one thing and another, she tells them about her bad luck, and they say they can help her. They tell her that there's a sacred stone on the mountain that's behind the school. (I think it's a trope that every Japanese school has a wooded mountain behind it -- see e.g. Shingu.)

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So after school she goes there, and as instructed she spends a long time praying. After dusk, the stone suddenly begins to glow. And then a voice begins to speak to her. A black cloud appears around her, then pulls away, and materializes in the form of one of the monsters. It tells her that it was responsible for all her bad luck, because it fed on her misery that resulted. But praying to the stone caused him to separate from her, and he cannot reattach, so now he will kill her since she's no longer of any use to him.

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Just as he begins shooting an energy blast at her, seven from the club run in and create a force field and stop the shot. Then the other two run in and use a computer and a silly looking ray gun, and put a field of some kind around the monster.

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A bit of plot exposition and a henshin deck later, the Happy Seven are ready to fight. And then the boy runs in. His name is something Mask Kikunosuke and he has a transformation, too, into the armored version she had seen. And she remembers him, though she wasn't supposed to.

Everything's ready for the battle, and the episode ends. Ep 2 will pick it up from there.

One nice thing about this show is all the chibis. The characters convert into chibis during the show during certain funny scenes, and the OP is primarily chibis, and the ED is entirely chibis. Plus there's a segment after the ED featuring Amano and her two friends, doing a kind of news show, which is clearly ripped off from the end of Lucky Star. Oh, and the eyecatch was chibis.

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It's got an impressive cast. Fukuyama Jun plays the love interest. Kaneda Tomoko, sadly mostly missing from the field these days, plays a character nicknamed Shoujou who is mainly comic relief. Kuwashima Houko is in it, too, and Nakahara Mai, and Kobayashi Yu.

I like what I see and I will watch more.

Oh, and fan service? Except for the henshin deck, essentially none. It doesn't seem to be that kind of show.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Mystery Meat at 06:21 PM | Comments (15) | Add Comment
Post contains 838 words, total size 5 kb.

1
Oh, and fan service? Except for the henshin deck, essentially none. It doesn't seem to be that kind of show.

I'm sold then. Will look it up.

On 2nd thought, don't thigh-high skirts sort of count as fan-service? I'll still check it out tho.

Posted by: Jaked at February 02, 2011 06:27 PM (1M6y0)

2 Depends on your point of view. No panty shots that I noticed, for example.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at February 02, 2011 06:59 PM (+rSRq)

3 Plus there's a segment after the ED featuring Amano and her two friends, doing a kind of news show, which is clearly ripped off from the end of Lucky Star.

Lucky Star aired in 2007 (good lord, has it been that long?).  Wikipedia says that Happy Seven was broadcast in 2005, so if anything LS ripped off HS.

I seem to remember watching a few episodes of this a while back... certainly wasn't bad, but it never sparked with me and I dropped it.  It felt like I was missing something important, but I'll be darned if I knew what it was.

Posted by: Wonderduck at February 02, 2011 10:33 PM (W8Men)

4

I guess you're right. There was another thing I thought  was a take on another show: "the ten of us are Happy Seven". Reminded me of Koi Koi 7: "The six of us are Koi Koi 7." Only KK7 came out a few months after this one.

Maybe it was something in the wind.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at February 03, 2011 08:02 AM (+rSRq)

5 Man, the setup of this show sounds eerily like the "history" behind Scientology. I wonder if it's going to end up being one giant gag.

Posted by: Will at February 03, 2011 08:19 AM (Uoe/4)

6 I doubt there's any Scientology influence on it, good or bad. It's more like a take on mahou shoujou shouws.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at February 03, 2011 08:46 AM (+rSRq)

7
I think it's a trope that every Japanese school has a wooded mountain behind it


Zoning laws. When building a new school, if there is no conveniently-placed mountain, a team of earthmovers will build one. Then the landscapers plant trees.

Posted by: Boviate at February 03, 2011 09:58 AM (C8t4z)

8 I watched a few series where there was no mountain: Lucky Star, Windy Tales are examples. In many cases the school is high above the town, e.g. Haruhi and Shingu.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at February 03, 2011 10:42 AM (9KseV)

9 Oh, the mountain is there, Pete. You just didn't notice it!

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at February 03, 2011 10:53 AM (+rSRq)

10 Besides which, they're magic mountains, which can only be seen by those who need them.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at February 03, 2011 12:27 PM (+rSRq)

11 Like if you needed to have a life-or-death duel directly outside the school with a reincarnation of a Greek monster?

Actually, we do get a couple distance shots of Konata's school, and the terrain is flat as she is.

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at February 03, 2011 02:11 PM (pWQz4)

12 The mountain is magically concealed.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at February 03, 2011 05:29 PM (+rSRq)

13 (Why do I have to explain this stuff to you guys? You should be able to figure it out!)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at February 03, 2011 07:03 PM (+rSRq)

14 I'm surprised that no one seems to have realized that the ducks are hiding those mountains.  Crafty fowls, those Japanese ducks.

Especially the Demonic Ducks.

Posted by: ubu at February 03, 2011 07:49 PM (GfCSm)

15 Amazing what you can do with camo netting and a spiffy paint job, neh?

Posted by: Wonderduck at February 03, 2011 08:54 PM (W8Men)

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