Cute High Earth Defense Club HAPPY KISS!

Cute High Earth Defense Club HAPPY KISS!

Several years have passed since Binan High’s Earth Defense Club saved the world from an alien invasion that sought to sap the world of love—okay, maybe that’s how it happened. The truth is that no one really remembers if something like that happened or not, and now five friends-of-convenience share the defunct Earth Defense clubroom to goof off after school. But even if they don’t know the club’s history, their gathering at the local bathhouse attracts the attention of another adorable extraterrestrial: Karls, the otter-prince of Honyaraland. As part of his planet’s conquest initiative—”tributary outreach program”—Karls transforms these five misfits into magic knights who will bring happiness to all lost souls. Unfortunately, the fox-prince Furanui has his own ideas about how to improve this Earth colony, empowering his own trio of dark knights to oppose this new batch of magical boys.

God, I love this story. When the first season came out, and I was introduced to the slightly skewed premise of ‘what if magical girls were actually magical boys?’ I just couldn’t get enough. There was so much to enjoy – the initial shock of the appearance of an animal familiar, what would make them agree to take up the mantle and, perhaps the best part – how they would transform and how they would react to being suddenly dressed as magical fighters of justice. Every time I catch a hint of a rumour that the Earth Defense Club is coming back for another season, it brings a smile to my face.

With the recent OVA bringing the first story (and the journey of its characters) to a close, it’s time to introduce a new group of magical boys to Binan High. Five students are relaxing in the Kurotama Bath, as is quickly becoming tradition, when they encounter Karls – a prince from another world who usually appears to them in the form of a Japanese otter. His objective is to make Earth more happy, and so chooses the new Earth Defense Club to help him by making them into his personal knights (and not one of them had much choice in the matter). But Karls has a brother, Furanui, whose ideals on Earth aren’t as positive. Furanui confronts three students on the student council to enforce his fear-spreading motivations and makes them Edelstein – his own personal guard. And so the battle between the Earth Defense Club and the Binan Student Council begins anew.

The concept of the story remains the same: two otherworldly factions are created and magical boys are fighting for different sides. The same ‘monster of the day’ method applies for the earlier episodes whilst we get to know just who our new heroes and antagonists are this time around – and are they actually any different from their predecessors? I’m hoping later episodes mean that characters can become a little more fleshed-out, as they begin as quite similar to the Battle Lovers. We have a pretty one, a clever one, a nice one, a lazy one and a sophisticated one (which is the biggest deviation here). Their transformation sequences and uniforms are different this time around, but what I’m really hoping for is that they maintain their entertainment factor.

What I really love about this franchise is how they essentially parody and poke fun at the traditional magical girl genre. I like when they question the weird things that happen to them and don’t blindly accept them, and that their personalities generally aren’t suited for fighting for love and justice against weird monsters and they sometimes really need to be motivate to fight at all. The fact that they are magical boys makes small aspects of the story different.

I’m disappointed that I’m not seeing more of the original cast – I’m not going to pretend that I’m not. But I’m willing to give these newbies a chance. I believe that one of the reasons why this franchise grew so popular so quickly (and its success brought new anime with similar twists, such as Magical Girl Ore, into the public eye) is down to its mix of slapstick comedy with a twist of sarcasm. Cute High Earth Defense Club can get away with being so ludicrous because of the ways in which it parodies the magical girl genre. There’s a part of me that just doesn’t want this concept to end – I enjoy its tongue-in-cheek action too much.