Comic Books Magazine

Manga Review: Happy Go Lucky Days

Posted on the 13 August 2013 by Kaminomi @OrganizationASG

Happy Go Lucky Days Vol 1Title: Happy Go Lucky Days (Dounika Naru Hibi)
Genre:  Drama, Romance, Yaoi, Yuri
Publisher:  Ohta Publishing (JP), Digital Manga (US)
Artist: Takako Shimura
Serialized In: Manga Erotics F
Translation: RReese
A Review Copy was provided by Digital Manga Publishing.

Congratulations Happy Go Lucky Days, you are the best manga I have ever read out of the Manga Erotics F line so far. The Manga Erotics F line that I have read so far consists of Lychee Light Club, Velveteen & Mandala, and Don’t Disturb Me and Him, Please. Unlike those three where the content – the stories – felt unclear or perverse enough to the point where I just got creeped out, or, in the case of Don’t Disturb Me and Him, Please, just boring, Happy Go Lucky Days consists of short stories involving a multitude of insecure, battered, or naïve human beings that love other people in various ways I’m not sure I wanted to know, but I did. I’m going to assume this is exactly what Shimura wanted to express when she worked on these stories over a decade ago.

…But that would mostly be wrong. Shimura has tackled issues involving transgender/LBGT in her works, but let’s just say this manga kind of brings it all out, along with a number of kinky stuff, and puts it all together that for whoever’s sexual orientation it may be – straight, gay, lesbian – might find something in it for them. In the two volumes of Happy Go Lucky Days, there are a total of 12 “scenes”, or stories, plus three odd stories of varying length, that’s going to involve generally two central characters with either broken hearts, an affinity for their sex, or in some cases, just plain weirdoes. Basically, if there isn’t a character in each story that doesn’t end up having or end up developing a social “taboo” or someone coming on to them, then that means they’re doing everything wrong.

Happy Go Lucky Days

ATTN: THIS IS A LIE. DO NOT BELIEVE FOR ONE SECOND

It’s usually more than that of course. While there are plenty of weird cases, most of it speaks to how society in general views issues like this. A few examples: one story – one that happens to not be a scene actually – involves twin brothers Yuusuke and Keisuke. Yuusuke ends up coming out to his brother. Unfortunately, the reaction was nasty, though not in the sense that Keisuke would beat him up, but in a manner that refused to offer any support. Yuusuke then tells him how he did manage to find a guy he liked, but not without error: he confessed to one guy who not only rejected him, but then spread the word about Yuusuke being gay. He ended up getting made fun of to the point where he thought about suicide. Thankfully he ended up getting helped by someone who Yuusuke eventually confessed to, and that issue was solved, a bit. I say a bit because his brother isn’t exactly supporting him and he knows he can’t mention this to his parents.

Another story that ended up sticking out for me was how two elementary school students ended up finding out about sex. Yep, and the worst (or maybe for some of you, interesting) part is that they found this out by watching a tape…involving a family member. And yes, said family member sees the two of them a good amount of times. The reactions/actions by the two of them after watching it almost makes me curious as to how the heck this can be handled in a manner that’s mature and sensible in real life. I assume this isn’t easy, and is up to the person/family’s personalities and stability most likely.

Happy Go Lucky Days Odd

Well that’s not going to end well

Anyways, you’ll get these types of “how will the family react and societal views” stories, but you’ll also get stories where typical Manga Erotics F fetishes prevail, and that almost is what curtailed this manga for me. No, it doesn’t get too bad, but it does get a bit gross in some works. There is sex, but not exactly explicit, as it’s fairly tame…in most cases.

It also gets to the point of believability. While I could believe some of these stories, believing some of this actually happens in real life would be pretty naïve. And then there are the ghost/death stories — neither of them done in a manner that managed to be coherent and enjoyable because they’re just too short, and for some reason they flashback to certain points in a manner that’s too quick and mostly is just scene jumping from point A to C. This, along with some of the subject matter, nearly brought this manga down for me.

Well now you know this definitely isn’t going to end well. P.S: What’s with the Naruto hairstyle Shimura?

But in finishing this work, I can’t say I walked away feeling like I couldn’t stand it. The stories told for the most part were interesting, weird, and probably are too out there for certain people’s taste, but they did need to be told. And while the subject matter seems pretty dated (since this work was created over a decade ago), it’s still pretty relevant and maybe more highlighted today. Combine some of the issues presented in the shorts with Shimura’s aesthetic when it comes to drawing characters (and characters in various positions), Happy Go Lucky Days is not the best manga, but it is one that you can read. Assuming you can deal with some quirks in most…check that, all of the characters.


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