Time has passed since the original Earth Defense Club protected Binan High School, and now their names are just a legend. Kyotaro and his friends have taken over their old club room, but little do they know that they’re about to take over their mission to protect the Earth as well! When Karls, a prince from another planet called Honyala Land with the ability to turn into an otter, mysteriously appears one day when they’re bathing and gives them the power to transform into Magical Knights, the group can’t quite believe what has happened. They will need to get used to using their new powers quickly though, because an enemy group of knights called Edelstein that look suspiciously like the student council are determined to defeat them!
Do you guys know how much I loved Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!? Because I can tell you: loved it a whole lot. It was never the most stunning show, but it more than made up for any shortcomings by being so funny and charming that nothing else mattered. I have been so excited for the new season to start that I didn’t even bother watching more than five minutes of Magical Girl Ore because I knew that for me it wasn’t going to compare.
I’m pleased to say that after watching this episode I was not disappointed. With the new season comes a new crop of magical boys, and although we don’t know them as well as the old gang yet I’m sure they’ll become just as charming by the end of the series. Kyotaro is the standout character so far: he’s a sleepy, unenthusiastic guy who has somehow ended up as the leader of the Magical Knights. He’s pretty much the antithesis of Yumoto, the leader of the previous group, who was basically Sailor Moon in a teen boy’s body. Yumoto was able to inspire his enemies after beating them; Kumoto tells a kid who’s afraid of growing up now that his voice has broken that soon he’ll become an old man in every way, not just his voice, reducing him to tears. He has a bit more bite to him which leads to a lot of great one liners.
Which leads me to my next point: Cute High Earth Defense Club HAPPY KISS! is still just as funny as the previous seasons. It is so clear that Shinji Takamatsu, the director, has learned a lot about comedy from his stints on Gintama and The Daily Lives of High School Boys and is more than willing to apply it here. Between the magical girl parodies, the fourth-wall breaking jokes and the laugh a minute script there will be something here to make you laugh.
Every time I watch this series I’m reminded that it’s such a breath of fresh air to see a unique take on the Magical Girl genre that isn’t just “what if it was super grimdark and edgy?” and instead tries to do something different, cheerful, and just plain fun. Despite constantly poking fun at both kids’ monster of the week action shows and magical girl tropes, HAPPY KISS! doesn’t do it in a mean spirited way; it’s clear that the people making this still love the genre and are making the show for other people who love it but are still willing to recognise how ridiculous some of the cliches are.
The only thing that I’m slightly disappointed in is the fact that we’re back to the student council as an enemy faction. The first season of Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! had the student council as the main antagonists, but the second season moved away from that and gave us something different. I was hoping for a new spin again in this new season, but instead they’ve gone back to their roots. Despite that, I’m sure the creators will still find a way to make this student council unique rather than a rehash of the previous group.
Whether you’re a long-time fan or you’ve never watched Cute High Earth Defense Club before, HAPPY KISS! is a great jumping in point. You don’t need very much knowledge at all of the previous series to get into this due to the entirely new cast of characters so if you’ve ever been curious about it then now is the time to start watching. The new series is shaping up to be just as fresh and funny as the first two, so make sure you don’t miss out!
- Kyotaro being the most passive and unenthusiastic leader during their first battle is hilarious
- Favourite quote of the episode: “Someone is sad!” “Yeah, I guess someone would be. There’s 7.5 billion people on Earth. They can’t all be doing cartwheels all the time.”
- Some rehashing of the first series by making the student council the villains
- Nobody screams “LOVE MAKING!” when they transform any more. Only 90s kids remember