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[Happy-Go-Lucky Days]
AKA: どうにかなる日々; Donika Naru Hibi
Genre: Romantic Drama/Comedy
Length: Movie, 54 minutes
Distributor: Currently licensed by Sentai Filmworks; available streaming on HiDive.
Content Rating: TV-14 (Mature situations, some fanservice, mild sexual content.)
Related Series: N/A
Also Recommended: Tsuredure Children
Notes: Based on manga by Takako Shimura, published by Ohta Publishing (in Manga Erotics F)

And yes, there are erotic elements in this, but it's not exactly Hentai.

Happy-Go-Lucky Days


Three tales of young love and romantic explorations in four parts.


SPOILER ALERT. Mainly because the minute you start to describe at least the first two segments, you've pretty much given away the plot. They're exercises in minimalist storytelling.

I've actually watched this about three times now, but was having a familiar problem with motivation to write the review: I'll eagerly write one for a good show; I can even work up something like enthusiasm (well, sarcasm, really) for a really BAD show. But mediocre just doesn't motivate me...

This one even STARTS unpromisingly, with a series of watercolor scenes, and disembodied voices repeating the words, "I can say this now, but..."

"But" WHAT??? Alas, a lot of the details you'd like to know are just not there, at least for the first two of the three segments that this consists of. The third has a more substantial story, but OMG...

Our first story fragment concerns a young woman named Hoshino, who was the high-school girlfriend of one Yuri Takeda, who's now getting married. (Yes, the show itself acknowledges it's a yuri show about a character named Yuri.) At the wedding, Hoshino encounters another woman, named Aya, who is also an Ex of Yuri's (from her college years.) Personally, I find inviting Exes to one's wedding is kind of tacky- they'd have mixed feelings AT BEST- but Hoshino and Aya hit it off with each other pretty well, go to a bar to drown the sorrows associated with their respective encounters with Yuri, and, despite her promise to "not do anything weird" to Hoshino, Aya ends up undressing Hoshino and having sex with her. This was MAYBE consensual- Hoshino was coming OFF her buzz when it happened (though Aya's head seemed clearer than Hoshino's.) In any event, Hoshino seemed to have no subsequent complaints. There's more casual eroticism before it's all over (NO explicit nudity, though some foreplay), and the two seem to have none of the issues that sometimes emerge in rebound relationships- but then, we never get a very long look at how this goes; I thought Sweet Blue Flowers should have had more story, but that one was, plotwise, War and Peace compared to THIS!

The second story is similarly short, but only really aims to capture an emotion, and maybe doesn't do that too badly. A Mr. Sawa teaches at an all-male high school. His students are constantly grousing, but one of them confesses that he's romantically interested in Mr. Sawa, and particularly praises something about his appearance. And Mr. Sawa is deeply moved about this praise for a LONG, LONG time. While again, we have to infer some things the plot doesn't give details about, I gather that despite his "support structure" of his teacher peers and his sister, Mr. Sawa apparently has NEVER had much in the way of a private social life, nor has he often received compliments, which is why he's so moved by receiving one from a student, whatever other emotions were attached to it. (Is Sawa a closeted gay person? The closeted part is certain, but even a "straight" person unused to compliments might have gotten a "warm fuzzy" feeling from finally receiving one.) So despite its almost total lack of backstory, I'll give this one credit for creating a relatable mood.

But the third, and by far longest, segment- WHOA! We're introduced to Shin, an adolescent boy who now has his cousin Sayoko living with him. Problem is, Sayoko is doing so because she was kicked out of her own house by her dad for appearing in a porno movie. SHE HAS A COPY OF IT, which both Shin, AND his female friend Mika, watch. I'm not sure whether Sayoko also presents her oversexed personality to adults (as I said, the show is missing a lot of details), but even given what they DO know about the film, it would seem rather poor judgment by Shin's parents to have Shin room with this girl. (One or the other of the pair is supposed to sleep in the room's closet. Seriously. I grew up around people like Sayoko, and around adults who were given to act like Shin's parents, but I never realized they had them in Japan.)

I suppose one could try to present the effect of all this on Mika, Shin's friend, as an "awakening" of her own sexuality. But the more obvious interpretation is that she thinks she has to be overtly sexual with Shin to steal his attention away from Sayoko; Sayoko's not only hardcore in her movie, but she starts making sexually explicit offers to Shin. This sets up the rest of the story, and I can at least avoid spoiling the ending of THAT. I will go so far as saying that the ending is, at least, a happier one than that of School Days.

The Rec is also an anthology romance/comedy, but one with better-developed (and much less cringey than #3) stories.

Again, I thought the first two stories too spare (though I recognized the point of #2), but I'd say the parents in #3 were criminally irresponsible to put their young son in with, essentially, a (female) sexual predator. Allen Moody

Recommended Audience: I think I mentioned it's not hentai per se? #1, as noted, features some foreplay (breast-touching, clothed) but no explicit nudity; and as for #3, we don't see much of Sayoko's film; she just explicitly offers some "services" to Shin. HiDive puts the show in the TV-14 category, but frankly I'd go for 16+, for Mature Content and Sexual Situations.

Version(s) Viewed: HiDive video stream.
Review Status: Full (1/1)
Happy-Go-Lucky Days © 2020 Takako Shimura (Ohta Publishing Co.)/HGLD Production Committee
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