OP Sequence

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 Sequence

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)

End Card


    1. Mandatory? o_O

      Yeah, a lot of high schools in the U.S. are starting to institute things like mandatory community service as a pre-req for graduation to try and get people more rounded and the such. If I remember correctly it was around that much (75 hours) when I graduated as well.

      1. That actually sounds really good. Something that I would definitely implement had I the mind for running for office.

        Not only does it keep the kids busy- thus, less time and therefore chances to get reeled into illicit activities- but they’re doing something useful for the community. Picking up trash is a big one, and the neighbourhoods definitely end up looking a helluva lot nicer.

        Done about 200 hours of community service (I was a bad kid) but, looking back, I can’t say that I regret it one bit.

      2. I don’t know… it’s kind of good and bad at the same time.

        I like that the general result is a lot of places will get extra help as a result and some people will likely change or at least view things in a new light due to what they end up doing… but at the same time, I’m worried that by making it a requirement, people will do it only for that reason and that reason alone. It wouldn’t be helping for the sake of helping anymore, and that mindset is something that could be pretty bad if it carries over to the future as well. That and some people who hate doing this kind of work could really do some harm or leave some pretty bad impressions for the people they end up working with.

        It’s kind of a give and take I suppose… though I guess if more and more people are doing it, they have to have some kind of research or something that says the benefits outweigh the negatives or something.

      3. A little discipline never hurt anyone. People can’t be raised to expect a lifestyle where they get to do whatever they want 24/7. Teaching them some responsibility and to take pride in good work are likely to be a boon to society.

    2. Here in Philippines, in order to pass college, you are required to take 1 year Civic Welfare Training Service. You have to join those “Volunteer Work” cleaning the streets, helping the traffic, obligated join and participate “donation marathons” and interrogate ask survey to those poor random stranger. And if you’re lucky, you can invade go to their house and live with them for a while and experience what they do.

      Oh the last part was some sort of something to do with thesis if I remember and you’ll probably do it twice.

    1. Blue collar generally tends to be. More often than not, the boss is in the same boat with the rest of the fellas. Not some anonymous prick in an office occasionally marching out to lord over everyone and give ’em shit.

      Can’t think of many office/retail/etc jobs where the boss would buy everyone coffee and doughnuts on a cold morning, or call it off early if we’re ahead of schedule and we all go out to a local restaurant for a meal and a few cold ones.

  1. I have to agree that this first episode wan’t hilarious, or in most cases not even laugh-out-loud-funny, but it was amusing. The character designs are good. I think I’ll be sticking with this show.

    My bet is that either Hasebe’s father or grandfather or the current head that of the office that we haven’t seen, the one with the bunny on the desk, are the one to grace Lucy with that name.

  2. well, the Working! vibe is really there(well, same production and the mangaka for working draw the character and some storyline) so i’ll definitely stick to these.

    on a side note, dont u think Working! and Servant x Service’s title is definitely suits better if they swap it?

  3. As someone who does have experience working both in food service and the office, I can vouch that the mangaka knows their stuff about the workplace. I absolutely loved this premiere, just as I loved most of Working. It really nails the politics and quirks of the setting, and it takes a quite humanistic view on the plight of the lowly civil servant.

    Also, I too loved the OP. Really brilliant.

      1. Can you be more specific? I certainly worked with plenty of slackers in my time, though the average person more or less wants to get their job done well as long as it doesn’t put them out too much. That seems more or less in line with most of the staff we saw here.

      2. Sure they do – slackers who can waltz in and accomplish with charm what hard workers can’t with sweat? Plenty of them exist. Like the cast of Working!, he’s exaggerated for comic effect, but I think he’s a real prototype.

      3. Slackers like Hasebe exist because the job is so damn easy for them – or so it seems since they can get the job done with a passing glance. They’re doing something way below their potential. Sooner or later, they end up being single out by VIPs & carried off to promotion hell where they finally meet their fate.

        That’s the story of my professional life 🙁

  4. Hasebe comes from a line of civil servants? Mysterious civil servant in the flashback sounds like Hasebe? Dear lord, Lucy’s going to kill Hasebe!

    This had me grinning all-throughout. Definitely gonna continue watching this!

  5. Gotta say, the Working vibes were present the second the OP started for SxS. Different environment plot wise, but very similar style. Anddd seeing how I loved the former, definitely going to watch the latter as well.

  6. This really did have that first day on the job sort of feel to it. Good first episode. Ichimiya seemed like he was going to be disengaged kind of supervisor until he started policing Hasabe lol.

  7. I’m not surprised in the least that this is my favorite of what’s premiered thus far. I wasn’t doubling over in pain from laughter but the consistency in which I was laughing and grinning like an idiot was pretty darn high. The atmosphere was just all too entrancing so I’ll be looking forward to your continued coverage, Kairi. 🙂

  8. Living in Japan means being an occasional visitor of the local municipal office, and I can tell you that what is been shown in this show so far is pretty much what you’ll see in almost every urban ward office in Japan.

    I’m sure it’s the same for bureaucrats for every country out there, going to your local municipal office to run vital errands is a pain, as they usually only open from 9-5 Mondays to Fridays, almost the same time as we in the private sector does. To add insult to injury, these civil servants all get to leave at 5 WITHOUT OT, meaning we have to take days off just to get our passport renewals, driving licenses, wedding certs, etc processed.

    Anyway, I digress with my rant. Where was I?

    Being a civil servant is, as Hasebe would shamelessly put it, a great way to slack off and dwindle away taxpayer money. (At least he makes for a great male host, taking care of potentially troublesome female citizens of all ages with his manly charm and leaving them happy. lol) Or like Lucy, diligently wraps up work and heads home by the time the clock strikes five.

    Yeah much like Working, where characters do anything but work. Should be an enjoyable and relaxing comedy to watch.

  9. I’ve never seen working but after watching this I really would like to!
    Nice calming shows like this are what make my day after long days at school/work.
    I enjoyed the interactions between Lucy and Hasebe alot, and that final scene where Lucy was about to attack him but then work ended and she stopped almost immediately actually made me chuckle a bit.
    I definitely will be keeping this one on my list!

  10. The opening sequence is probably one of the more creative and original ones I’ve seen in a while, and the pilot was great, the humor was good and the characters are all likable. Plus, it’s incredibly refreshing to watch an anime comedy with adults instead of high schoolers! It feels like Working!! but who knows, it could be better… Definitely going to watch this.

  11. I didn’t watch Working! either but I’ll stick with this for a while and if I enjoy it will pick the former up as well.

    Never worked in a civil service/office job before but I always think about what’s it like for them when I end up visiting to get certain documents.Like,when I see people lashing out on them I’m like – “Damn,must suck to be them.” so even if I’m in a rush or somewhat pissed off,I think about that,calm down and try to cut them some slack 😛 Sadly,with my luck I usually end up talking to incredibly bored,slacking & with a terrible attitude to boot,employees so that backfires on me…Most of them are grumpy middle aged or older men & women as well.

  12. So this turned out to be more a bureaucratic Working! than the Parks and Recs or The Office-styled sitcom I thought it would be. But the way it gently pokes at the little quirks you’ll find in the workplace is so damn charming. Agree with Kairi; the comedy definitely isn’t laugh-out-loud, but is enjoyable for its light-hearted take on the setting.

    1. Unless we get to find out what other names Lucy(abbrv.) has, Gintama’s Jugem-Jugem Poop Throwing Machine Shin-chan’s Day Before Yesterday Underwear Shinpachi’s Life Balmunk Fezarion Isaac Schneider One Thirds Pure Feeling Two Thirds Worried-Over-A-Hangnail Feeling Though Betrayal Knows My Name I Know The Unknown The Cuttlefish Tastes Kind Of Different Than It Did Last Time Because It Was Caught Near The Pond And Served With Oil From A Hoofed Mammal, Pepepepepepepepepepepe Take Care From Here On In Please And Finally The End Bichigu Somaru is I think the overall winner for longest (and absurd) name in anime.

  13. This has potential to become the best romantic comedy of the season. The story is smooth. And the heroine has a personal, yet comical reason to motivate her. I once saw on TV the interview of a girl with the longest name in the U.S. She might have been about 11 or 12 years old. It took her forever to finish saying her name during the show. When asked if she could write her name, she immediately yelled with a grin, “I can’t!” It took the city hall dozen of pages to print her birth certificate. Unlike the anime, “[abbreviated below]” is not an option in real life. It may seem funny for the parents. But, unless one’s culture (such as Thai or certain native American) really calls for it, it is actually a very irresponsible thing to do, and causes a lot of unnecessary pain for the child (and to the city hall workers for sure). Nonetheless, I couldn’t help but smile at Lucy’s misfortune. I look forward to the season and hope that she will find peace. (But I bet the original welfare department worker who approved her birth certificate will turn out to be someone connected with her, probably Hasebe’s family member.)

  14. This is definitely one of my favorite anime this season. Government office or not, it’s spot on in its portrayal of an office environment. If this manga/anime came out before I started working I probably would not have related to the gags as much. You have to love the mangaka’s sense of irony too. Working had a senior waitress who was sensitive about her short height and here we have a rather new employee who rages when you bring up her long name. Yamagami-san is very pretty too(it’s also because of the glasses). Also I wonder if Wagnaria is in the same city as this government building.

  15. The anime wasn’t the funniest as in laugh out loud moments for a premiere, but the show has it charms. I love/hate Tom Hasebe for being the jolly good ‘ol smarta$$ but that slacker seems more wise than others especially considering his family linage are civil servants. I also like Sakurai’s character; he puts a smile in my face when he deals with Hasebe.

    Lucy (abbv.) didn’t work for me until she revealed her intention– that was funny.

    Servant x Service’s a definite keeper for me, which I’m glad because just as commentors said this series resembles a lot like Working!

  16. Toyosaki and Kayano should switch roles. I didn’t even realise it was Toyosaki voicing as the flat voiced Chihaya, and Kayano as the easily excited Yanagami…-san

  17. Great setting, and loved the OP. When I worked as a teacher in Japan I had to spend part of the summer slaving away at the prefectural school board, and yeah…kind of like this!

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