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Happiness 1

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Character 8/10: The manga goes through many time skips especially near the end. It gives us a good sense of conclusion for each major character and allows us to feel some closure that would have not gotten under usual circumstances. Every surviving character has come to terms with their situation and is trying to live their best life. They are living each day trying to find happiness(heh) in some form or another.

The art techniques are beautiful and indispensable to the enjoyment of the story, but the frame's composition is not that diverse and there is considerable repetition of the same structure. Okazaki’s transformation into a vampire is a perfect representation of what Oshimi wanted to express in the interview reported in the previous paragraph. The vampire theme opens up to two very specific themes. The first is that of the rejection of society, where we witness Okazaki’s youth rebellion, a typical phase of adolescence. Returning to the final chapter of Happiness, the events that lead Nora to become a vampire are narrated in it. Several centuries ago, in a rural village in Japan, Nora lived a happy and peaceful life with her family, and like many young women, she had also found love (a boy who is identical to Okazaki). Unfortunately, this idyll has a short duration. In fact, Nora is chosen by her community as a sacrificial victim to offer to the vampire kept segregated in a cave outside the village. Having become a vampire in turn, the young girl is forced to abandon her family, her lover, and with them her happiness. Ironically with the name "Happiness", the work is filled with, among other feelings, an irremediable melancholy, intrinsic to the unsatisfied nature of human beings. Therefore, there is a uniform tone between the events, even if they are joyful and hopeful moments concerning the characters' conditions. This melancholic tone is well incorporated into the manga so that the narrative situations, motivations, and consequences are fluid and natural within the internal systematics of the work, this tonal approach being adequate to the themes proposed by the author. Happiness 5". Penguin Random House. Archived from the original on 20 June 2017 . Retrieved 4 June 2017.


This novel is held in high regard, but it has major problems. The scenario is questionable, but not hard to get over. The main issue is that the author somehow manages to contradict everything he was trying to teach us throughout the majority of the book with an ending that's just trying too hard. Kiyoshi therefore represents the need to live and face life despite all its contradictions and nonsense.

Certainly Oshimi is not the first author in the literary panorama to ask himself the question: “What is happiness?”, and he’s not even the first to fail to find a precise and exhaustive answer, as he himself affirms in the afterword to Happiness, reported a few paragraphs ago. This doubt of the author in which concepts and justifications he will present is completely dysfunctional: Oshimi chooses to explain a character that does not demand it but ignores the need to substantiate certain central events and contexts. It is not a matter of demanding internal logic in a vampire tale, but rather the expectation that the author will organize the plot's events in a fluid and concatenated manner that will not alienate the reader from the manga. about the story. Unfortunately there are too many things that don’t exactly add up with the story. This is going to take a while. This sudden change in events forces Gosho to resign herself to the impossibility of succeeding in her mission. Now she must go ahead, leave her past behind, and with it her anguish. But considering the manga ending, this change was definitely good one. Green, Scott (21 May 2016). "An Early Look at New Horror Manga From Author of "The Flowers of Evil" ". Crunchyroll. Archived from the original on 7 December 2022 . Retrieved 21 May 2016.Much of the author’s thought shines through these few lines. First of all, the confirmation of the vampire theme as a simple narrative device, a metaphor that portrays the existential malaise of adolescents. A malaise represented as a pathology, a viral infection that can affect anyone, and which forces its victims to isolation, alienation, which makes it impossible for them to live with “healthy” subjects. As a single novel, this is a rewarding read. Although it’s one of author Sugaru Miaki’s first works, it reads well and I’d certainly like to see the stories Miaki wrote after this localised in the future. The only real criticism I could give it is that the supernatural element of selling your life isn’t explored quite as much as it could be, but that’s a fairly minor issue.

Of course, d) it is. And sure, you could say that the novel was trying to make a point of how ridiculous this decision is, but it did not give me the feel of being self-aware on such level, so I don’t think so. It certainly doesn’t do such thing on purpose. Sure, chalk up the poor life decisions to the depression, but that’ just a cop out. Maybe if depression was explored further than “Woe is me, my life is worthless, no need to live it out”, I’d accept that reasoning. The story follows Okazaki, a young man who accidentally turns into a vampire, a shower of tragedy falls in this manga in almost every chapter, with cliff hangers taking your breath away and making you marathon several chapters in a row without Happiness (4)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Archived from the original on 27 November 2016 . Retrieved 27 November 2016. I’m also not sure how I feel about the ending as I find myself left with questions that will never be answered. Again not a huge problem but I can’t help wondering what would have happened if Kusonoki did a few things differently. Some of these are certainly things the author could have explored and didn’t. The first four volumes of the work are consistent in working through a series of events that gradually build up a complex tangle of relationships between different cores of characters. Even if the reader follows Makoto's experiences more closely, there is room to introduce different environments and characters. At the same time and due to this diversity of scenes, the author manages to include brief personal comments on some overarching themes such as perversity, sexuality, violence, sociability, affection, empathy, and self-acceptance that echo throughout the manga, in internal plot events, and dramatic approaches and character arcs.As the story progressed, I feel that the theme changed from 'illness and death' to 'isolation from society'. And with that came the question: what is happiness for those who have been excluded? Or more: what is happiness for those who were born with socially unfavorable conditions, being innocent victims of unjustly caused wounds?" Happiness 7". Penguin Random House. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018 . Retrieved 12 June 2018. Happiness 9". Penguin Random House. Archived from the original on 6 December 2018 . Retrieved 5 December 2018. I have deliberately quoted only “old” works because I think Oshimi was mainly inspired by them for the realization of Happiness, since in most of these works the vampire theme is used as a narrative device, for example to make social satire. I have the impression that, as history progresses, the themes of the entire work, that is, death and disease, converge in that of marginalization from society. Also what is happiness for people who are seized with death or disease? Those people whose fate at birth was not good at all and who over time, without making any mistakes, at some point receive indelible wounds. What is happiness for humans?

Also this table gives me the same sensations of the previous one with a small influence of E. Munch. However Oshimi is perfectly aware of how vampire works today are purely the prerogative of the mass, of mainstream entertainment. Just think of television series such as Salem‘s nights (TV series inspired by the novel by S.E. King among other things), or Buffy the vampire slayer, the Twilight novel/movie series, Blade, Underworld, and so on. The vampire genre has also “infested” the culture of anime and manga with works such as Hellsing, Blood +, Shiki, Vampire Hunter D, to name just a few. Approximately halfway through the story takes a turn for the worse. It starts to branch out into different arcs, some of which take the story

Hamilton, Tiara (7 January 2015). "Flowers of Evil's Shūzō Oshimi to Launch Happiness Manga". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on 30 May 2023 . Retrieved 22 August 2019. a b ハピネス(9)[ Happiness (9)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Archived from the original on 6 December 2018 . Retrieved 5 December 2018. In case the reader knows or has heard about other manga written by Shuuzou Oshimi, such as "Aku no Hana" or "Chi no Wadachi", it is easy to foresee how the connection between themes and narrative will occur in "Happiness": by using a visceral approach about the psychological processes of the human being and how these internal conditions express themselves and conflict with the external environment, the author intends to argue that the human psyche is an almost instinctive condition, natural and, therefore, uncontrollable to a certain degree. To present his vision on these themes, Shuuzou Oshimi chose to tell a suspenseful horror story about I had read the authors two previus works, aku no hana and mari. While aku no hana ranked as mediocrite to me, mari ranked better in my opinion. Happiness 8". Penguin Random House. Archived from the original on 13 September 2018 . Retrieved 5 December 2018.

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