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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Happy Lesson:Mama Mia Ova
Happy Lesson:Mama Mia Ova
ADV Films // Unrated // June 8, 2004
List Price: $29.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by John Sinnott | posted June 29, 2004 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
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P R I N T
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The Show:

Happy Lesson was an enjoyable, if short, series that ADV released in three volumes earlier this year.  I was disappointed that there were only 14 shows, because I wanted more stories. Now my wishes have been answered with the release of the Happy Lesson OVA series.

The three episodes on this disc were actually released on Japan before the TV series aired.  So were getting them in the reverse order over here.  That's not really a problem, since both the OVA and TV series assume you haven't seen the other.  The episodes are:

Exciting Teacher Moms:  The first episode of the TV series was a reworking of this episode.  If you've seen the TV series, then this will be familiar to you, though there are some differences.

It is time for parent teacher conferences at school, and the five moms can't decide who should show up for Chitose's meeting.  So they decide to have a contest to see who can be nicest to him, the winner getting to go to the conference.  The teachers really start getting on Chitose's nerves though, and he orders them all to leave.  Will the series end before it really starts?

Exciting Vacation:  Chitose and the moms go for a vacation at a seaside resort.  They manage to have a good time, though some of the moms have a little too much to drink, and Chitose encounters some problems with the co-ed hot spring bath.  We are introduced to Hazuki, the big pop star, who turns out to be one of Chitose's friends from the orphanage.

Uneasy Happy Mom:  It's Christmas time and another of Chitose's friends from the orphanage shows up, Minaduki.  She wonders if Chitose remembers the promise he made her years ago.  He promised to marry her!  He promised back when they were kids, but now that Minaduki's almost 16 she's ready for him.  Chitose has no interest in marrying her but that doesn't stop the moms from worrying that Chitose won't need them any more if he has a wife.  What's a guy to do?

I really enjoyed all of these shows.  Even thought the first episode is very similar to the first TV show, it was fun to see it again and note the changes.  The two new shows were both excellent, and I really liked the fact that Minaduki and Hazuki are no longer related to Chitose.  It makes more sense than having them be sisters that he never sees and doesn't live with.

I have a fondness for these 'harem' shows, and Happy Lesson is one of the better ones out there.  These three shows play like three of the better episodes from the TV series.  This is a very funny and entertaining DVD.

The DVD:


Audio:

This DVD has a Japanese stereo sound track with optional English subtitles and an English dub in 5.1.  Both were very good.  While I wish that the original language track was in 5.1 also, I couldn't complain about the sound quality.  The dialog was clean, and there was no distortion or other audio problems.  The English 5.1 track had a bit more punch to it, and used the soundstage a bit more.  The voice actors were very good.  I was quite impressed.  There were not any stupid accents or phony sounding voices.  While I prefer the Japanese track, I enjoyed the English dub as well.

Video:

The full frame video looked a little bit better than the other volumes in the series.  There was still a lot of aliasing, and tightly spaced parallel lines would shimmer as the camera moved over them.  It wasn't distracting, but it was very noticeable.  Other than that, the colors were bright and the picture was very clean.  Overall this was a great looking DVD.

The Extras:

This DVD included a clean opening and closing and a 1½-minute reel of character sketches.  There were trailers for Gravion, Wedding Peach, Panyo Panyo Di Gi Charat, Happy Lesson TV, and Kaleido Star.

Final Thoughts:

When I heard that this DVD only had three episodes, and that one was already refilmed for the TV series, I though that this disc would be on the thin side as far as content goes.  I was wrong.  I think this disc offers just as much value as many other anime DVDs.  Yes, there are only three episodes, but all three of them are excellent.  I found myself laughing at every show and enjoying this DVD very much.  It comes Highly Recommended.  I just hope ADV releases the second TV series without much delay.

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