Due to his love for small, cute things, Souta Takanashi cannot turn childlike Popura Taneshima down when she recruits him to work for Wagnaria, a family restaurant located in Hokkaido. Takanashi takes particular joy in doting on the older Popura, which only fuels her complex over how young she looks. He also quickly learns he must stay on his toes once he meets the rest of his colleagues, including the katana-wielding floor chief Yachiyo Todoroki, the intimidating head chef Jun Satou, the dangerously well-informed and subtly sadistic sous chef Hiroomi Souma, the adamantly lazy manager Kyouko Shirafuji, and the waitress Mahiru Inami who has a "painful" fear of men.
Powered by an eccentric cast, Working!! is a unique workplace comedy that follows the never-dull happenings within the walls of Wagnaria as Takanashi and his co-workers' quirky personalities combine to create non-stop antics, shenanigans, and hilarity.
#1: "Heart no Edge ni Idomou Go to Heart Edge (ハートのエッジに挑もう Go to Heart Edge)" by Souta Takanashi, Jun Satou, and Souma Hiroomi (Jun Fukuyama, Daisuke Ono and Hiroshi Kamiya) (eps 1-8, 10-12) #2: "Golden Day (ゴールデン・デイ）" by Mahiru Inami (Saki Fujita) (ep 9) #3: "SOMEONE ELSE" by Popura Taneshima, Mahiru Inami, and Yachiyo Todoroki (Kana Asumi, Saki Fujita and Eri Kitamura) (ep 13)
With the coming of an Anime with just about no plot, one wonders how good something like Working!! can actually be. To my surprise, what was supposed to be a filler series to pass the time for me ended up being one of the most enjoyable of spring 2010.
There isnt much of a story really. Takanashi justs goes to work at a family restaurant full of weird and unique co-workers and takes it from there for the rest of the series. However even with the lack of a real story, Working!! makes up for easily with their characters. Even with the lack of plot, a
handful of the characters were well done in the sense that they achieve what this anime was ment to do, to make us laugh. There were quite a bit of running gags, but still has more then enough to keep you watching.
For an anime with very minimal plot, it does a very outstanding job in entertaining its viewers and is definitely worth watching.
Working!! is an example of an anime that’s been done countless times before and will be again. Admittedly I was expecting this but was attracted to the series cute looking characters and the slice of life pacing. While the series gets off to a slow start things did manage to improve greatly only to end in the dustbin of history thanks to the douchebaggery of its narcissistic cast of asshats.
The premise of Working!! puts us into the inner workings of a family restaurant. The employees run the gambit of strangeness and mental issues to setup all the outstanding and original comedy
that awaits us. That’s sarcasm by the way. At the start of the show the restaurant is shorthanded and the search for a new part timer to help out ends with our typical over burdened high schooler, this time named Souta Takanashi. Apparently the financial distress of Japanese families is quite high and even though he lives in a modest house with three working age sisters and an alleged mother (I am assuming she existed, they said she did kind of like my Papa told me Santa Claus lived in the North Pole when I was five...) that they must put their high school younger brother to work to make ends meet. It’s such a romantic setting that can only occur in Asia apparently. The bastion of child labor and exploitation... oh wait I was talking about our lovely heartfelt slave err labor anime!
From the very beginning the show is decidedly unimpressive. The cast comes off completely stereotypical and clichéd from the start. Every character type is represented there has ever been there, in all their glory. Now this isn’t exactly new ground here, we see this in practically everything and at this point there basically are no original characters anymore. But these characters for the most part come off as bland copies, devoid of personality and psychotic misfits I would sooner see hauled off by a van with padded walls driven by guys in lab coats.
However, this starts to change and by mid series things start to actually get pretty fun and amusing. Characters which are annoying take a back seat and others which initially were the worst actually develop into pretty solid and interesting personalities. I found it unusual that I could have such a completely different opinion of certain characters in such few episodes from the beginning to the end of the series.
Things really fall apart though in the last episode. I was well on my way to having an average to above average experience with this anime until once again the characters that made watching this show such a pain in the beginning, bring it down into the sewer. I always find it strange how people who claim to all be "friends" in some of these shows can do the things they do to each other, even in fun and for their own selfish amusement. There are some lines that just can’t be crossed however and over the years I have found I have grown tired of humiliation and deviant behavior being used for laughs.
The cast is ripe with love and hate characters. On the positive side is our lead, Takanashi. At first I found him to be an initial source of annoyance as he looked to be your typical lolicon. Thankfully this wasn’t the case and he manages to develop into a pretty nice leading man and one whom the viewer can relate and root for. He is a bit strange in his own right, which is love of cute things but this is mostly harmless and for the most part is the only voice of reason and sanity.
Next to him would be another character who I thought would be irritating, Inami, who contrary to what the viewer might think from the start is actually the lead heroine. She suffers from a fear of men which makes her want to punch any man she sees. This of course causes a lot of problems in a working environment populated by both men and women and results in quite a few punches to the face of our unfortunate leading man. Despite this, as the reasons for her fears is revealed and her struggles with conquering them makes her ultimately a very interesting and satisfying character.
The bad would be pretty much everyone else. Characters initially amusing like the cute and adorable Taneshima become narcissistic perverts and contribute to my eventual disdain for this title. Others are just completely boring and unamusing. This would include characters such as the one dimensional restaurant manager, head waitress, and kitchen staff as well as Takanashi's useless sisters. While there are a few laughs with them along the way, they’re totally devoid of likability. Their contribution, through their selfish behavior, to ruining what should have been a touching final episode and the culmination of the series makes me despise them even more.
One of the real positives though is what initially attracted me to Working!! The artwork is really good. Despite my negative feelings for many of the characters, their designs were very good. I thought the humor was expressed very effectively through the animation when it was actually funny. The OP animation was also really cute and charming, even though the music itself was a bit ordinary. Vocally the acting is pretty average all around with nothing exceptionally bad or good.
Overall, Working!! is just too uneven an experience to be considered even average. Was I too harsh with this? Perhaps, but at this point I feel I have grown tired of certain anime fetishes. Incest, psychologic trauma from horribly inexcusable parenting, and cross-dressing are just a few. While there is nothing incestuous in this the other two are on display proudly. Is Working!! worth watching? I think that depends. If you’re a relatively new or inexperienced anime viewer this will likely be amusing to you and the things that stand out as clichéd won’t seem so much so. Anyone else should give it a pass, I sure wish I had.
Working!, a popular anime adapted from a 4koma which is riding on the "moe" wave was one of the better shows of the Spring 2010 season.
We start off the story with a young man named Souta Takanashi or more commonly known as Shinra or Lelouch. This young man is looking for a job to support his dysfunctional family filled with eccentric women. He is forced to help put food on the table for his underprivileged family and begins working a restaurant called the Wagnaria (Denny's) and meets a large array of hilarious characters. Takanashi needs to support his family because of the troubles at home.
His mother works long hours and his father is dead yet due to his mother being an office lady she doesn't make enough to feed the family. Takanashi must take care of his 4 eccentric sisters by working at the restaurant. His oldest sister, Kazue, despite being a lawyer and in her 30's lives at home after going through a divorce and losing custody of her kids because she got home late and beat them. It's a miracle that she still can practice law and beat her kids but that's Japan's problem. Takanashi also needs to support his depressed siste, Izumi, who's liable to kill herself at any given moment and is too depressed to walk. Despite being nearly 30 she still lives at home and complains about the colorful world and keeps to her dark room. (If I could pick a girl from the show to be my wife, I'd take her..she'd fit my dark and brooding vampiric lifestyle perfectly). On top of that he has to take care of his drunken sister, Kozue, who despite somehow holding down a job spends all of her money on liquor and abortions for all the times she has unprotected sex with various men. To top it all off Takanashi's youngest sister Nazuna is manipulative and a dominatrix despite being in elementary school. As you can see Takanashi's family circumstances are very dark and upsetting which is the undertone for this series. I personally found the darkness and depth of this show to be excellent since I am a dark person myself and I like to sit in a dark corner at Starbucks and drink black coffee.
While at work Takanashi's life is just as hard. He has to deal with a group of mentally unstable and eccentric people that are most likely on drugs (it's just like Denny's here in the US, the one by me was shut down because they were cooking meth in the basement). Takanashi is repeatedly beaten and abused by Mahiru Inami, a self proclaimed "androphobe" but in reality is just tweaking from her lack of meth at work. He also has to deal with the two strongest men in Ikebukuro, Satou and Souma who happen to the cooks. They do nothing but troll him and make fun of him and offer little consideration for Takanashi's home issues. He also has to work with a mentally challenged yet well endowed short girl named Poplar who can't do anything right yet somehow still has a job and a Zange clone who's also mentally challenged named Yamada. To top it off there's the two lesbian crew leaders named Kyouko and Yachiyo who service each other throughout the day. As you can see Takanashi's working life is not much better than his home life and the eccentric and most likely drugged up people he works with don't help his situation.
The character depth and story of this show is very good and it gives off a very dark and deep theme. I like that in a show and I like to watch Takanashi suffer in his daily struggles that are shown in the show and to watch my 2d wife (waifu) Izumi. I give the story and characters an 8/10 because they were dark and depressing. However, there was too much fun in the series and it could have been better if there was more dramatic moments and if there were some tragedies.
The sound and art was good so I give them a 9/10..they could have been drawn in a much darker setting but every Denny's I've been to is very bright to show off the cockroaches anyways.
Overall I rate this show an 8/10..I really enjoyed the characters and their back stories and I really liked how the show related to a dark and foreboding creature like myself. I would definitely watch this on my windows powered laptop at Starbucks and I would recommend it to anyone who likes a dark and depressing show mixed with some comedy for extra enjoyment. I feel this show is the highlight of the spring season and I like the direction Japan is going with these depressing, vampire orientated shows as of late. However, this show was not without flaws..there could have been some gore added to it like with Satou and Souma in the kitchen having accidents and Poplar accidentally impaling herself on a broken glass shard. A little blood in a dark show like this goes a long way and I feel that it needed some sanguine goodness to be a 10/10.
Working!! (please note the two exclamation marks) is a slice of life, comedy show about people who work at a family restaurant, you know, one of those restaurants that serve mediocre food. It is only befitting that this show is as bad as the food presumably served at the mediocre restaurant.
With no plot whatsoever this anime is as episodic as it can possibly be, yet it's not. It's not episodic because in an episodic anime there would be a plot outline for each episode, or for the episodes included in an arc. In Working!! there exist no plot whatsoever. I honestly believed
that the male phobia thing that one of the female protagonists suffer from was a gimmick, a passing feature used for some comic relief in an otherwise rather un-comical show. I was mistaken. It's the main focal point of many of the events that take place in many of the episodes in this anime and it's just..., uninspiring.
A few points of interest were to be found though, the supporting character Yamada is the most entertaining character in the show and there is no competition. Most characters were dull and the producers really tried to make them more interesting with some eccentric appealing attributes, it didn't work though. I understand that this anime was supposed to be a bit parodical, a bit sarcastic, a bit funny, but the problem is; it's not. Somewhere along the way of production they got a serious case of carebear flu and decided to take the production seriously.
Halfassed, fake and poor screenplay for the most part with no plot summarizes this stellar production from A-1 Pictures Inc.
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