Servant x Service – 01
OP: 「めいあいへるぷゆー?」 (Mai Ai Herupu Yū?) by 茅野 愛衣, 中原 麻衣, 豊崎 愛生 (Kayano Ai, Nakahara Mai, and Toyosaki Aki)
「気をつけよう, 人の呼び方, その理由」 (Kiwotsukeyō, Hito no Yobikata, Sono Riyū)
“Beware, Nomenclature, The Reason”
I feel a deep connection with Yamagami Lucy-san; given names can really suck sometimes.
So here I am, the worst possible blogger for a series like this; a college student with absolute zero paid job experience who knows nothing of the Japanese civil service system. But I did do 75 hours of mandatory community service at a nearby hospital, and a nurse mentorship, and an internship at a different hospital once upon a time, and I am also the daughter of a real life civil servant. Of course, the powers that be knew nothing of this (and I didn’t tell them because I assumed I wouldn’t be getting the series anyway) when I was given the thumbs up for covering Servant x Service, but that background, coupled with the comedic element really piqued my interest for this series despite my knowing very little about it. Sure, hospital service seems rather random a thing to fuel a desire for covering an office sitcom-styled series, but believe it or not, I was pretty much doing what these CSs are doing for about 50 of those 75 hours, and that struck a chord with me. So now that the little self-insert is over, is watching a bunch of health-office desk-slaves for half an hour worth the time?
I can’t speak for everyone, but while this episode didn’t have me in stitches like certain other comedy shows, I definitely enjoyed it. For one thing, A-1 Pictures tends to have nice, crisp art, and SxS is no exception. In fact, that OP was downright brilliant, so much so that even though it has that strange real life visual mixed in with animation, I found myself strangely captivated (and humming the song not five minutes later). The character designs aren’t anything particularly unique to anime, true, but they’re still fluidly drawn and nice to look at. As for content, it was funny; not uproariously so, but quirky and grin-inducing nonetheless. I definitely like the characters here: Yamagami Lucy (Kayano Ai) is serious but a bit on the overdramatic end of the spectrum, Hasebe Yutaka (Suzuki Tatsuhisa) is wonderfully relaxed and mischevious, Ichimiya Taishi (Sakurai Takahiro) an eight year employee who feels like a newbie, and so on. Everyone is fun and somewhat skewed (especially Lucy and Hasebe, who already seem to be made for one another in that utterly ridiculous she-can’t-stand-him sort of way), and definitely amusing as hell to watch as they adjust to their jobs. I also like the short, episodic cut of the premiere; it’s like reading a 4-koma, with various little stories making up a larger whole.
All of the little segments were amusing in one way or another. The first mostly set up the new staff and their various quirks (Hasebe is hellbent on slacking off at every opportunity while fellow coworker Miyoshi Saya, played by Nakahara Mai, is unconfident to a fault), while the second goes into characterization via Lucy’s backstory (her parents gave her a doubly ridiculous name; foreign AND extremely long) and her coworker’s reactions (as in, they’re less than sympathetic and go around spreading the word). The third is motivational; it explains why Lucy and the others work so hard despite it being a thankless sort of job and generally hated by the public. In the end, helping people out is in the job description, and being thanked can feel really gratifying at the end of a grinding work day. That’s true in any sort of job like this, paid or otherwise, and I’m glad that bit of reflection is included amongst the slightly crazy.
Whether or not the humor works is up to you, but at least in my case, I think I’ve found myself a keeper. Let’s hope Lucy saves some more unfortunate children from being named terrible things
as it’s not very pleasant, I assure you.
ED: 「ハチミツ時間（どき）」 (Hachimitsu Tokidoki) by 茅野 愛衣, 中原 麻衣, 豊崎 愛生 (Kayano Ai, Nakahara Mai, and Toyosaki Aki)