Once with a reputation for messing around with men, high school girl Satou Matsuzuka has finally fallen in love – with a young girl she keeps locked in her apartment. Shio, this young girl, seems to have no other place she would rather be than in Satou’s arms. However, Satou is ready to do anything to protect their relationship.
Don’t be fooled by the fluffy story, there is little happy, sugary, or nice in this story. With everyone having uniquely horrible circumstances, if you want more anime recommendations like Happy Sugar Life, you need not suffer, just look below.
For Fans of Obsessive Love
Yukiteru Amano likes to imagine himself as an observer. He spends his days keeping a diary on his cell phone, but not about himself, about everything that goes on around him. At home, he spends his time conversing with his two imaginary friends, Deus Ex Machina, the God of space and time, and Murmur, his assistant. However, one day he discovers his friends are not so imaginary when they imbue him with the power of a diary that tells the future and forces him into a bloody survival game with godhood on the line.
While there is certainly no survival game element in Happy Sugar Life, there is certainly a game of survival going on. However, what these two have in common is the female protagonist. They will do literally anything to protect the love of their life, especially kill for them. While not as mentally unstable as Yuno, Satou certainly has her own problems she deals with. Furthermore, you find characters in both that deal with their own unique personal struggles.
In a stroke of fate, Makoto Itou noticed Kotonoha Katsura on the train ride to school. Too shy to ask her out, he finds himself encouraged by his classmates Sekai Saionji who also has a crush on Makoto. What should have been blissful school days soon turns sour as love triangle cross and both women find themselves unable to live without Makoto.
What would you do for love? How crazy could love drive you? That is what both of these series are about. At a glance, they seem like school life romance series, particular School Days. However, they are soon driven to the darkest of dark love stories.
Flowers of Evil
Kasuga Takao is a bookish student, but when he goes back to look for his book in the classroom one day, he instead finds the gym uniform of his school crush. Without thinking, he takes it. Now all his classmates are on the lookout for a pervert and he is being confronted by a friendless girl in class that saw him do it.
Both of these series are similar, yet distinctly different. Flowers of Evil makes no attempt at painting a cute world. Even the art style makes the world look ugly. However, despite the veneer, they are both about human ugliness in pursuit of love. However, Flowers of Evil doesn’t take things quite as far.
For Fans of Cute Girls in Dark Situations
Madoka Kaname and Sayaka Miki are your typical middle school girls, but one day they encounter a cute creature named Kyuubey that offers to grant them one wish. In exchange for their wish, they must become magical girls and protect humanity from witches. While Sayaka accepts right away, Madoka is more hesitant, not knowing what she would wish for. However, her decision is even further delayed when the mysterious Homura Akemi, a transfer student, begs her not to accept.
Both shows are about cute moe girls in very dark circumstances. While Happy Sugar Life is upfront about its yuri, Madoka Magica has more yuri undertones than outright girl love. However, both shows put innocent girls in deeply disturbing circumstances. Just stir that pot and see what happens.
Yuki Takeya is in love with school life. She loves it so much that she joined the School Living Club with three other girls, their supervising teacher, and the club dog Taroumaru. This club makes the most of living at school. However, Yuki’s blissful school life is all a delusion. The real purpose of the School Living Club is to prevent Yuki’s fragile reality from shattering. In reality, these girls are surviving the zombie apocalypse by barricading themselves within the school.
Moe girls in the zombie apocalypse is the show we never knew we wanted. The thing we love about School Live is the same thing we love in Happy Sugar Life. You get nice, cute, innocent girls in a very dark situation. Some will break, some will thrive. You want to see the viciousness that happens when it is juxtaposed with such cuteness.
For Fans of Everyone Being Completely Damaged
From the New World
After the sudden outbreak of psychokinesis, the .01% of the population that developed it started using their powers for nefarious means. Far into the future, the town of Kamisu 66 is wholly populated by psychics with the young Saki being one of the most recent to awaken her powers. Finally she can join the rest of her friends at the Sage Academy. However, her school days are plagued with questions that threaten to unravel the dark secrets of her idyllic village.
In Happy Sugar Life, you soon learn that every single character has problems ranging from sick obsession to the victim of abuse. However, while that is not as true in From the New World, it has complex characters with complex emotions. You witness moments of sweetness the same as Happy Sugar Life, but you also have those same twisted moments, though they are far more common in Happy Sugar Life.
Magical Girl Site
Aya Asagiri lives a miserable life. At school she is bullied. At home she is beaten. Her only bright light is a cat, but one day even that is taken away from her. However, while browsing the internet, she finds a person that takes pity on her and gives her the powers of a magical girl. So starts her vengeance.
These two shows, because they are just a season apart, are often compared. In both shows it kind of seems like they want to just pile on the suffering and terrible circumstances to make the perfect victim. This makes outbursts of violence satisfying or heart-rending, depending on the victim. Both are horribly dark and endlessly vicious.
Higurashi: When They Cry
Keiichi Maebara just moved from Tokyo with his family to the small town of Hinamizawa in the summer 1983. As the town is so small, school children of all ages are lumped into one class. There he becomes fast friends with four girls where he spends his days after school idly playing games. However, as the town’s annual festival approaches, he learns about a series of murders, disappearances, and other mysteries that surround it. When he confronts his friends, he finds them mysteriously tight-lipped.
There is more mystery afoot in Higurashi, but there is as much horror and twisted circumstances as there is in Happy Sugar Life. That is what both shows have in common. The characters all have their unique and uniquely horrible problems in both shows. The more you learn, the more you want to watch.
Did we miss any more good anime recommendations like Happy Sugar Life? Let us know in the comments section below.