I’m topping this post, as the official premiere of Working’!! is the same as the sneak peek, except for the OP. Is it me, or are more series than ever showing the OP at the end of the first episode?
Working is back, and a month early too – a pre-airing of the season premiere episode we’ll be seeing for reals in October. And with the directorial and series composition changes (and an oddly placed apostrophe), it’s especially reassuring that the magic still appears to be there.
The original series was just wrapping up when I got my start as a blogger, so I didn’t have much of a chance to cover it. What I loved about that season? Almost everything, really. A-1 Pictures is one of the best in the business, and Working!! was a great-looking series for a comedy with terrific animation, detailed backgrounds and appealing character designs. I loved the way it captured the unique feeling of camaraderie you feel as a young adult working in a mind-numbingly boring job, where it’s everyone against the world – despite the fact that most of you drive the others crazy. The humor was crisp and smart, derived both from character and clever sight gags, and the seiyuu cast superb. In fact, the only thing I didn’t love about it was the over-reliance on my least favorite character, Inami (Fujita Saki) and her androphobia. The gag with her punching Takanashi (Fukuyama Jun) was the least funny of the season, and was recycled way too often.
Well, the bad news is that gag is still part of the mix – but the good news is that the premiere episodes doesn’t over-rely on it and, in facts, mines good comedy from all the cast (even normal girl Maya makes an appearance). This is a true ensemble series in the best sense, with a cast that’s remarkable in just how distinctive and colorful each member is. The great thing about Working and its cast is that everyone has their own particular weird quirks, they all have a wonderful way of noodging each other constantly, and none of the crushes are on the right person. The underlying tension that his causes drives most of the hilarity – and there’s plenty – in the material. Again, speaking as someone who spent plenty of time in menial jobs in my late teens and early 20’s, this plays as extremely true and really resonates.
Highlights of the first ep for me were Takanashi writing the “X” on the forehead of Yamada (Hirohashi Ryou) with the admonishment to “Think about your behavior!” and Satou (Ono Daisuke) teasing Popura (Asumi Kana) with the “uh-oh” report. That was two out-loud laughs, which is a great sign as I very rarely LOL during an episode. I certainly hope we get more Popura this season, as she was largely forgotten in the anime’s decision to focus almost entirely on the twisted romance between Takanashi and Inami. Indeed, Popura’s short complex and Takanashi’s obsession with it were the biggest running gag of the episode. If Popura is an important in this season as she is in the manga, I’ll be very happy.
In sum – it’s all good, so far anyway. No OP or ED of course, but the episode itself was every bit as funny and charming as most of the first season was. It’s great to get back to Working again after all this time.