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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Happy Lesson - Mom-ageddon (Vol. 1)
Happy Lesson - Mom-ageddon (Vol. 1)
ADV Films // Unrated // February 3, 2004
List Price: $29.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by John Sinnott | posted February 24, 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
E - M A I L
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P R I N T
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The Movie:

Japanese animation usually falls into genre categories.  There are science fiction shows, romance programs, swords and sorcery series, historical dramas, and comedies.  All of these have counterparts in American TV shows too.  But there is one genre that seems to be unique to Japanese culture, as far as I can determine.  That is the "one guy forced to live with five women" show.  You would think being surrounded by lovely women would be great.  Well, not in these shows.  One of the characteristics is that the girls always make the main character's life miserable.  The most famous examples are the various Tenchi series where one average schoolboy finds himself surrounded by a number of gorgeous space babes.  Love, Hina is another example.  I really like these types of shows, so I was excited when I heard that ADV was going to be releasing another series in this unique genre, the funny Happy Lesson.

Chitose is a high school boy who has had a hard time.  His parents both died in an accident, and he was raised in an orphanage until he was old enough to live in the house he inherited.  He gets into fights in school a lot, and makes horrible grades.  His teachers notice that he is having problems, and it brings out the maternal instinct in them.  One afternoon five of his teachers show up at his house unexpectedly.  They have each decided to adopt him!  Since they can't decide who should be his 'mama' they all move in and take the job.  Chitose wants to keep this a secret, from everyone at school, which is more difficult than it sounds.  What could be worse for a high school student than having five mothers, and all of them being your teachers?  Having these five oddball teachers as your mother!

There are an ample five episodes on this DVD:

Exciting Teacher Moms:  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.  Will poor Chitose be able to survive all this attention?

Happy – Let's Study:  Chitose is doing horrible in all his classes, so Mutsuki, the classics teacher, decides to tutor him in all his subjects.  She is a taskmaster, making him study four hours a day after school.  Meanwhile, a pair of sleezy realtors has set their sights on Chitose's house.  They take incriminating photos of Chitose and Mutsuki and threaten to get his teacher fired if he doesn't sell.

Bye-bye Adieu Spirit of Misfortune:  The lovely Yayoi, the school nurse and another of Chitose's mothers, is into mysticism.  She decides that a spirit of misfortune is plaguing Chitose, and decided to exorcise it.  But will her cure be eve worse than the spirit?

Unsteady- Which Place is Big Brother's?:  We find out that Chitose has two sisters who grew up with him at the orphanage.  The younger sister goes to school across town, and lives with his older sister who is a famous pop star!  The two sisters want Chitose to move into their apartment so they can all be together, but Chitose's five mothers want to keep him too.  So they have a series of contests to see which group gets to live with Chitose.

Freezing- A Night is a Blizzard:  The whole gang goes off on a family vacation to a ski resort.  When it is discovered that Chitose can't ski, the PE teacher, Satsuki, offers to give him lessons.  The only problem is her idea of teaching him to ski is to push him down the steepest slope.  Chitose is doing well until he, along with Satsuki who is trailing along, fall off a cliff and break their skis.  To make matters worse, it is starting to snow, and getting dark.

These five episodes were a lot of fun.  I liked it better than Love, Hina, which is very similar.  Like Hina, there isn't a lot of character development.  Everybody has a personality trait, and that defines his or her role in the series.  But that's what makes the show so much fun.  The five teachers all have very quirky personas that are the source of much of the comedy in the series.  While the plots are simplistic, there are lots of laughs in each show.

There really isn't a bigger plot to this show like there usually is in anime series. There wasn't any continuity between episodes, with each chapter being a self-contained story.
 


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 picture on this show had a 1.33:1 aspect ratio.  The colors were bright and vivid, as one would expect from a recent show.  There was a little more than average amount of digital defects.  There was a fair bit 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, it was a great looking DVD.

The Extras:

This disc had the standard extras that we've come to expect on an anime DVD.  There was a section of character sketches; clean opening and closing animation; and a selection of trailers.  There was also a mini poster insert that included character profiles and voice actress interviews on the back.

Final Thoughts:

If you enjoyed Love, Hina or the Tenchi series, you owe it to yourself to check this show out.  The episodes are funny, and the teachers fairly strange.   While this is not a deep show, it is fun light entertainment.  Highly Recommended.

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