A First Look at “One Room of Happiness”

A First Look at “One Room of Happiness”
Sachiiro no One Room

幸色のワンルーム

From time to time, I will stumble upon something that makes me put everything on the shelf and focus on said something. Such was the case with the One Room of Happiness manga. It certainly proved to be darkly interesting.

***SPOILERS FOLLOW!!!***

The Story in Brief

One Room of HappinessOne Room of Happiness is the story of a depressed, young adult male, whom we only know as Oniisan. He constantly wears a face mask. One day, he takes notice of a middle school girl who’s being bullied. He becomes fascinated with the girl and discovers that she’s also abused at home. As such, he begins stalking her, taking tons of photos to put into his tiny apartment.

One day, he sees a news report featuring the girl’s parents, who claim she’s been kidnapped. He knows this to be a lie and races to where the girl is about to commit suicide. As such, he decides to actually kidnap the girl and shelter her in his apartment. She is actually happy about the situation, and even likes that he took pictures of her.

Since he said he loves her, she proposes that if they can elude her parents and the police, she will marry him. But if they are caught, they will commit suicide together. He agrees to this. She abandons her life of abuse and is given the name Sachi (Happiness) by Oniisan. Thus begins their odd relationship.

However, Sachi’s parents hire a budget detective to look for their daughter, even though they aren’t interested in her. This detective is quite good though and begins piecing together that his client horribly abused their daughter. He comes close to uncovering Oniisan’s and Sachi’s location, forcing them to flee.

In the Darkness Comes Light: Sachi

One Room of HappinessUgh. I’m not really a fan of really dark manga. While One Room of Happiness is certainly a dark manga, it is not completely devoid of light.

Still, it really was rather depressing to see what Sachi went through during her fourteen years of life. For a start, she was chained to her room. She wasn’t properly fed. If she scored less than perfect grades, she was beaten and more. Then when she reached middle school, her classmates bullied her to no end. And if that weren’t bad enough, when she reached out to a male teacher for help, he took advantage of her terrible situation and raped her on demand.

I suppose Hakuri-sensei did all of this so that we readers would more easily accept Sachi’s somewhat twisted relationship with Oniian. I heard some folks try to say that Sachi has Stockholm Syndrome, but that’s not true. Oniisan saved her from committing suicide. His act of kidnapping was merely so that Sachi wouldn’t have to return to parents who loathed and beat her, to say nothing of classmates that bullied her. But legally, it would still be a crime.

In the Darkness Comes Light: Oniisan

Even though Oniisan is jacked up in his own right, he really does care about Sachi, even if he can’t understand it all. Seriously, you have to be jacked up to stalk a 14 year old girl. So there’s certainly an element of selfishness in Oniisan’s act of charity. But at the same time, he doesn’t want to see Sachi physically and mentally harmed any further. He wants to care for her and love her, and in the process, heal his own internal issues.

If there’s any doubting Oniisan’s good intentions, it would be that he has not taken sexual advantage of her. He’s not even kissed her. He did help her bathe once, but that was a special circumstance. And when Sachi’s former teacher discovered her presence and attempted to restart his rape relationship with Sachi, Oniisan rescued her and got revenge for her (physically and legally).

Other Story Elements

One Room of HappinessWhile One Room of Happiness does primarily center on Sachi and Oniisan, Hakuri-sensei does introduce two other characters to shake things up a bit. The first is a female coworker of Oniisan’s, who becomes obsessively attracted to him. When she was initially introduced, I thought nothing of it. However, when she came back, I realized that she was being used for one purpose–to stir the drama pot and force Sachi and Oniisan to change their plans.

The second is the private detective MATSUBASE Hijiri. He runs the tiny detective agency that Sachi’s parents hire to maintain the pretense that they want to find their daughter. Hiriji is a pretty interesting character in that he was apparently abused as a kid the same way Sachi was.

Plus, he has a Sherlock Holmes way of noticing things that I like. It helps make the fact that he’s quite good at discovering the truth of things more believable.

Crunchyroll

One Room of HappinessCrunchyroll (curse them) has become a company that licenses manga, but seems to be uninterested in it. One Room of Happiness is no exception to this. The series is supposed to be simulpublished, but not only is it not getting chapters published when they are published on Pixiv (a Japanese site for artist to post art and manga), but volume 5 of One Room of Happiness has been out for a while now, but no chapter has shown up on Crunchyroll.

(To be fair to CR, it does appear that Hakuri-sensei puts up draft copies of the different chapters, but when the volume is published in print form, that’s the final version.)

As to how CR is adapting the manga, Japanese honorifics are used. Unfortunately, “Oniisan” is replaced with “mister.”

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

In the end, One Room of Happiness is a somewhat dark, twisted tale, but not without rays of light. I’ll continue to read the series and hope that Oniisan and Sachi will find happiness together forever.

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