Last week on Happy Sugar Murderer, Satou kills her former friend Shoko in one of the series most violent death scenes thus far. This week, we spend a lot time with Shio as Satou passes out after killing Shoko.
I imagine it’s hard to pull off a horror show of this magnitude tackling so much in the psychological form of horror versus the bloody horror we saw last week. However, Happy Sugar Life is giving its viewers no chance to catch their breath.We are thrown back into psychological horror as Shio encounters multiple stimuli that triggers memories of the life she had with her mother.
In one of the best handled breaks of psyche in anime, we see Shio’s mother struggle to stay with her abusive husband. This internal struggle takes place in front of a yukata that she longs to see Shio wear when she marries however, she begins to realize in the meantime her daughter’s life, her son’s life, and her own life are tainted by her husband’s continuous violence against them. Even after she breaks free from her husband, she fears she nor Shio have not fully escaped his reach as they remain in an apartment that Shio is not allowed to leave. When she finally decides they can leave for a bit, Shio is nearly killed which causes her mother to hurl multiple insults and hit Shio. Quickly, she feels no better than her abusive husband but seems to decide to abandon Shio although this particular memory is not reliable.
Throughout all of Shio’s memories and even when she is slapped, her mother’s face is clear until the moment she is left behind. The dark swirls around her face are back once more which suggest that perhaps that is not what really happened at all and for the first time I realize those swirls look extremely similar to the swirls in Satou’s own psychological breaks. This highly suggests that Satou manipulated Shio into thinking she was abandoned by her mother which then leads Shio into trusting Satou as a new caretaker.
In a surprising move and display of growing maturity, Shio rejects Satou’s love once she awakens. Somewhere along the way, Shio realizes that true love for another person is not real love if one person is constantly left in the dark and the other is the one locking information away. This rejection leads Satou into a dream-like spiral into crippling madness that suggests once again that Satou was sexually abused and highlights some of the prior choices Satou made in the series. She realizes Shio is right and carefully confesses most of what has happened to explain why they need to leave their “castle”, (it should be noted that this terminology definitely highlights Shio’s young age and goes along with the potential manipulation of Shio’s memories of being abandoned). Most interestingly Shio understands and complies with Satou but it’s most likely because Shio has no real alternative until, (in another EXTREMELY effective jump scare), she begins to remember her older brother.
Episode 10 exposes a ton but still manages to leave a lot shrouded in mystery like whether or not Satou is a pedophile or just a girl who connects to the abusive upbringing of a young child. It ends with the hint of exposing the truth behind Shio’s possibly manipulated memory of abandonment. However is it really best that Shio leaves Satou to go with her brother whose eyes hinted more than innocent obsession with finding his sister? What happened to Satou’s obsessive, pedophile teacher? What is Taiyo planning
Happy Sugar Psycho only has 2 weeks left to wrap up the series neatly and coherently but if the last few episodes are any indication, I trust that this story will end with all of ties knit tight.
Shit, this is such a good show.
Rating: 11 out of 10