An unexpected announcement.

I'm not really a big fan of Happiness. While I'm usually a sucker for harem-comedy anime, especially visual novel conversions, there's just something about Happiness that makes me feel weary and bored after watching half an episode. I think part of it is due to the mediocre animation quality, and the strange use of colour gradients that make it feel too bright and overexposed. The music also didn't really hook me as much as some other shows at the time, and finally, the lack of fansubs made following this show a lot more effort than I thought was worth it.

Still, there was the one thing that made Happiness remotely interesting to me was the resident trap Jun Watarase, and yes, his trappiness was one factor in my interest. It's actually more that Jun is not only just a trap, but also a) an attractive trap, and more importantly, b) one of the guys. Watching him interact with Yuuma and Hachi in such a natural, easygoing way, while Haruhi and the others were going all "does he love me? does he hate me?" felt refreshing and fun. In a harem comedy, Jun fills the role of the Close Friend, who isn't a horny guy or a potential love interest girl (at least not in the official game). The frustration with deciding on a suitable gender pronoun seems minor by comparison.

After it became clear that there wasn't going to be a whole lot of Jun screentime in the series (since Jun is, sadly, a side character), I stopped watching Happiness after episode 4 or so. However, when I heard that the OVA was going to be Jun-centric, I decided to watch that all the way through. Watarase Jun no Kareinaru Ichinichi ("Watarase Jun's Day as a Pretty Girl") turned out to be fairly entertaining, but didn't really exceed my expectations or anything.

Shower scene.

We start out with a shower scene with Jun. It's probably a sign of how much of a trap Jun is when we can start a bishoujo anime OVA with a shower scene of a guy. Of course, anyone who hasn't been acquainted yet with Jun will likely see this as Normal Fanservice, which makes the beginning just that bit more amusing.

I found myself wondering what cup size Jun wears. I'm not sure if this is healthy or not.

I've come to pick you up!

Jun goes to pick up Yuuma and his sister Sumomo, and they walk to school together. We also have the Token Random NPC New Guy who comments on how cute Jun is, and is told by his companion that Jun's a guy (and how it's a bit unfair that the prettiest "girl" in the school isn't actually one). This appears to be the usual method of explaining to the audience of Jun's status as a trap, which I can imagine to be necessary at times, since it's not like there's any definite indication that Jun is a guy. Bishoujo character design, female voice, female mannerisms, and only the barest hint of a lack of a real figure, which isn't exactly something to rely on.

Henshin?

In any case, while all this is happening, a Series of Unfortunate Coincidences, instigated by various magic-users around the school, all add up to make a blast of magical energy. Jun gets zapped by accident, and for some reason I have yet to fathom, this turns him into a real girl. Henceforth, Jun will be referred to by the female pronoun, because otherwise my brain will implode.

It's all done by magic. Illogical, unsystematic magic. Obligatory: TRAP DISARMED.

Check?

Jun realizes that something she once had is now gone, and she has instead obtained a pair of other things. She seems pretty happy about this, since her wish of becoming an actual girl has apparently been granted. I'm not sure if Jun likes guys or girls, or if it's even indicated in the series. (She, even when she was a he, does flirt a lot with guys, but it's usually done in a non-serious manner.)

Considering that this is a place where magic is easily available, I'm not sure why it hasn't occured to Jun before to ask one of her magic-using friends to change her permanently into a girl. I suppose that there's probably some rule or limitation about that, which might explain the side effects that happen in this OVA. Jun does seem to truly want to be a girl, rather than simply dress in drag because it messes with people's heads.

On an unrelated note, I have to wonder if Jun somehow managed to loosen her bra. The original cup size is supposedly made for a male-chest Jun, and now she has a noticeable bustline. Wearing the same bra would probably be rather uncomfortable.

Unexpected!

Jun makes the announcement to the class. Everyone is surprised. In all likelihood this is because of the concept of wild magic having such an effect, but I suspect that at least part of it is due to Jun's ecstacy about this. Or maybe everyone's trying to calculate of how this changes their relationship with her now.

Gasha gasha~

The news spreads quickly through the school. Everyone comments on how Jun is mysteriously just that bit prettier, and Jun revels in the attention. I presume that Jun has figured out how the plumbing works, and she's also okay with the various things her body will now do to her at certain times every month.

Also, her fan club is apparently equally-represented with male and female students. The male students I can understand, but I have to wonder how the female students see her. Is she a bishounen to them, or is this yuri in the making?

Love confession.

After the eyecatch, Jun realizes the flip side of her happiness as a girl, and that is something that should have been obvious from her previous interactions with her friends: guys are horny. Hachi declares his love for her out of the blue, and Jun is creeped out by this. This doesn't really seem consistent, since Jun has, as previously mentioned, flirted shamelessly with other guys before, so I suppose she probably wasn't expecting it to be serious this time. (Or that her affections will get reciprocated.) That, or maybe she just doesn't want to date Hachi specifically.

Jun's eyes seem to change colour randomly in different scenes. I have to assume animator error.

Kick of Justice!

Jun attempts to drop-kick Hachi as usual, but her balance and power and whatever is all different now that she's a girl, and Hachi doesn't go flying like always. In other words, Jun's primary defense/offense against idiots has now been nullified, at least until she gets to relearn her attacks all over again. Witness Jun's look of terror as this fact dawns on her.

For the Horde!

Jun tries to escape the slavering horny hordes, and her friends (Yuuma, Haruhi, Anri, and Koyuki) help her, usually by enacting magical violence on said slavering hordes. (If you're wondering, in that top left screenshot, Koyuki is just warning Jun not to run this way, since, as was revealed a few seconds later, there's lots of horny guys here too.) Yuuma appears to be the only guy unaffected, but I'm curious about why there don't seem to be any girls also affected. After all, the Jun Fan Club does have female membership, so they should be around, at least.

In the nurse's office.

Jun hides out, with Yuuma and Haruhi, in the nurse's office. The nurse explains that the wild magic not only turned Jun into a girl, it also increased her attractiveness to other people to a dangerous level. Jun now has two choices: remain as a girl and have all this chaos every day, or release that wild magic and turn back into a guy.

Why they didn't check Jun out right after she got hit by wild magic and had no apparent ill effects, I haven't a clue. Plot device, I suppose.

Sad Jun.

Jun reluctantly agrees to turn back into a guy, using the line "It's a sin to be so beautiful, right?" which gets a "nande yanen?" look from Yuuma and Haruhi. On the one hand, it really isn't Jun's fault per se that the magic is going rogue like this. On the other hand, she is rather unrepentant.

Cosplay?

The nurse lends Jun her old magic costume, which supposedly has enough residual magic in it to let Jun (who's a non-magic user) cast a spell. It's probably the moment most of us Jun-watchers have been waiting for, since Jun really does fit well in that costume. I can almost ignore the whiff of Plot Device that surrounds the whole thing, since I've encountered (and even cheered on) far more blatant examples.

Pied Piper?

Jun borrows Haruhi's help in attracting the Horde without having to run all over the place. I've never really figured flying sticks to be safe, unless they have some form of failsafe so that the riders will never fall off from a high altitude. It's a reasonable assumption that such a thing exists here.

The field of battle.

Jun finally leads the Horde to the field in front of the school clock tower. She appears to have attracted the entire male student population (and at least one male teacher), most of them badly-drawn. I keep thinking that the size of the Horde is an exaggeration, but I could always be wrong, since I don't know the size of the student population.

When they're all gathered, Jun casts some spell that causes everyone to feel oddly happy, with flower petals and angel cherubs and church bells for no discernable reason. There's a slightly noticeable change, mostly in Jun's bust size, and Jun is now a guy again, and so will be referred to from here with the male pronoun.

Am I the only one who'd gladly watch a spinoff series with Jun as a magic-user? The magical animations in the series are actually not bad, but I'd like a lot more use of BGM, since the utter BGM silence annoyed me quite a bit in the series. Jun is easy on the eyes, both in terms of character design and actual art, and his personality, when not being all "I'm so pretty ohoho~", is actually something I'd like to see more of. I'm not sure how I feel about any romance in this hypothetical spinoff, though; while it'll be interesting to see Jun fall in love, it's likely to turn into either OMG DRAMA ANGST or excessive fanservice.

I suppose one can but fantasize.

Back to normal.

Jun gets her revenge on Hachi, even though it technically wasn't Hachi's fault as well, and drop-kicks him out of the window as per usual. Anri wonders why Yuuma wasn't affected by the magic, and it's revealed that Yuuma, having been next to Jun when the wild magic hit him, also suffered some side effects, and now has a pair of boobs. (Note that this is the first time we see this in the entire OVA. Even a few seconds before this revelation, Yuuma still has a normal male chest.) This means that the "attractiveness" side effect of the wild magic transferred itself to Yuuma, and now he's the target of all the guys in the school. Episode ends on this comedic note.

I came into this OVA expecting something light on story but heavy on wacky hijinks, and that's what I got. Happiness is not, whatever else it may be about, a story about the trials and tribulations of Jun Watarase, transgendered trap. Jun's trappiness is pretty much a side gag, played up to full effect when needed, but ignored apart from that. And so, I wonder what would happen if Jun, not just as a trap but also complete with his personality and quirks and Patriot Missile Kick and himself, were to get his own anime. What would it be like, and how popular would it be (especially compared to the original)?

Normally I'd relegate these idle thoughts of Jun getting his own show to just that, idle thinking, but after Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha from Triangle Hearts (and Pretty Sammy from Tenchi Muyo), I hold out just that slightest tiniest bit of hope that such a thing would be made, and made well. Magical Trap Jun, sanjou!

Last bit of Jun.

11 Responses to “Happiness! OVA – On Disarming Traps”
  1. Dop says:

    I would so totally watch Magical Trap Jun.

  2. Danny says:

    nice OAV…kind of irritating how the sub comes out the moment i finish downloading the raw lol…oh well

  3. hanyu says:

    finally, one of the two trap was (once) disarmed. can't wait to see for disarming the other one…. ^_^

  4. sagematt says:

    >>I would so totally fap to Magical Trap Jun.

    Fixed for accuracy.

  5. Avisch says:

    Well….I've never been a big fan of Happiness!
    But I want to see this subbed. OVA's FTW.

  6. anomali says:

    please someone tell me what does Jun say to Hachi after he turn back into a boy ? for what reason he kicks him so bad at the end?( I dont understand japanese.) i dont think that is an avenge for wooing her when he was girl, so Is Jun requiring the fulfilment of what Hachi say to her before? thanx in advance!

  7. Kellis says:

    @anomali: Jun tells Hachi to promise never to propose to him ever again, and Hachi protests that that was then and this is now. Jun kicks him out of the window anyway.

    I chose to interpret that as partly because of revenge, and partly because Hachi's still an idiot.

  8. anomali says:

    oh thanx! that was hilarious, but i think hachi did not successed in tryng to kiss jun at that time. so, i would not think that s revenge, but a test of juns kiku, or that jun was intending this, or he was disppointed at hachi s indifference to his situation as an okama as opposing to before as being a girl.

    and i am always bored with that nobody has ever proposed jun seriously, when he is sucha cutie.taking him into consideration as real person, it is absolutely impossible that everbody will be so fine so straight before sucha attractive creature :]

  9. anomali says:

    And i always expect hachi and jun becoming a couple.

  10. Plushie says:

    This is the kind of anime that I don't really like cause it's so light (I like BIG damn dramas) so I didn't like the OVA very much either, but since shoujos are not my type…
    It's funny, but too senseless and light-headed… I'm not used to this any longer ^_^'

    Also I thought it would be so much better if Jun looked a little less girly: he's very very cute, but I can't just look at him as a guy, neither as a trap!
    There's some lack of logical realism on this anime (like that thing about Yuuma's boobs)… Gomen nasai! I just didn't like it!

    (who's the other trap anyway?)

  11. MasterInfamous says:

    @Plushie

    Sorry buddy, but you have no sense of humor. And I don't like that. And how can you NOT love traps. You're downer to me. And being a downer is lame really.

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