Monday, July 26, 2010

Anime Review: Working!!

Working!! was a pleasant, but unremarkable series. Not good, not bad, not especially memorable- the unflavored yogurt of anime.

Working!! is a very sitcom-like slice-of-life show about a diner called Wagnaria and the people who work at it. It's based on a 4-koma, and it shows. Each episode follows a string of gags based on the characters' defining modes of behavior. Takanashi gushes over cute things, Popura is cute, Kyouko eats, Yachiyo fetches her food, Inami's scared of men, Satou stews over Yachiyo, Souma slacks off, etc. Two not terribly dramatic love triangles pop up, which remain unresolved.

Most of the humor is gentle and slapstick- again, it feels very much like a sitcom. (But don't expect the biting satire found in other work-themed comedies, like The Office. Working!! isn't all that interested in poking fun at the service industry.) Even the background music and ending theme, which reminded me a little of Happy Days, reinforce the sitcom-feel of the show. (The opening is a cute, generic pop number.) The art does its job, without standing out. The girls all have distinctive but not ridiculous looks, and the male character designs actually have some variety among them. (Takanashi is the only generic-looking one among the main cast.) Some prominent seiyuu were enlisted for this series- most noteably Fukuyama Jun as Takanashi.

Also pleasantly- there isn't any service. The writers deserve a big pat on the back for not making Takanashi into another Nishida Haruka, which they easily could have done. Even in the onsen episode, the girls just dip their feet into some water, which was refreshing.

The yuri comes from Yachiyo, an amiable, katana-wearing waitress, gushing over the assistant manager, Kyouko, who really doesn't deserve Yachiyo's affection. She isn't bad, just a a thickheaded schmuck who only cares about the next parfait. When Popura can't stop gushing over how great Takanashi looks when he unwillingly crossdresses (because as a girl, Takanashi looks the way Popura wishes she could be- tall and adult), Satou (who has a crush on Yachiyo) asks her if she likes women like Yachiyo does. That's pretty much it.

Story: C+
Art: C+
Overall: C

I've given C-range grades to some real stinkers (by Kaishaku), but this one deserves it. In Working!!'s case, "C" isn't a balance between elements that I personally liked and things that I really disliked. It means that my impression is pretty much neutral. Or rather, that I don't have any strong impression of Working!! at all.

Oh- and of course, I'm really happy that CANAAN was licensed!! ^___^ ♥ *squee* Blu-Ray and the dub treatment...although the English VAs will have a hard time holding a candle to the great seiyuu who originally voiced the characters.

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