「お仕事は, 慌てず, 騒がず, 投げ出さず」 (Oshigoto wa, Awatezu, Sawagazu, Nagedasazu)
“Work, Unfazed, Fuss, Tossed Aside”
That OP is borderline hypnotic.
Though I’m still not rolling in tears from the comedy in SxS, I do have to admit that I find the series hugely charming in its appeal. There’s a sort of knowing, smile-inducing feel to the adventures of this quirky health office that win over in chuckles and silliness as well as in those nods to what real life is like in such lines of work. Some of my favorite moments this episode include Chihaya-chan’s secret obsession with cosplay (I see a self-reference by A-1 to Vividred, for one thing), Lucy’s attempt to act ditzy for the sake of cheering Saya up and Hasebe’s resulting teasing, and Ichimiya-san being mistaken for a pimp (or something of the sort anyway). But even through these larger than life examples of humor, there’s definitely some real detail in what civil service is. Saya’s feelings of ineptitude, her easygoing personality attracting clients for the wrong reason, Hasebe’s almost cruelly simple methods of getting what he wants out of his job without batting more than an eyelash, and the hardworking attitude of someone like Lucy contrasted with the distracted ditzy-ness of Chihaya; all of these sorts of people exist in occupations everywhere, though here they are exaggerated for comedic effect. Being in this sort of profession is all about interactions and relationships, and that’s exactly what these workers do, whether it’s with clients, each other, or tsundere little sisters.
Speaking of tsundere little sisters, we get our introduction to the resident one this episode in Touko Ichimiya (Ookubo Rumi), a lover of the civil service profession with a brother complex. I can’t say I really like Touko, and I’ve already seen reactions by my fellow bloggers that there are similar feelings abound, but I think that has to do with how uninteresting she is as a character. We’ve seen this trope a million times, but she specifically hasn’t added all that much to make herself different and special for this series yet. She’s lacking a charmingly ridiculous name, or an ability to gather cute old ladies, for one thing, and so far the only thing I actively like about her is how the mark of anger on her cheek is perpetually ever-existent. Most of the episode she gets on my nerves, yelling at everyone on principle and waltzing in to bother earnest employees and customers selfishly. Perhaps with time I’ll grow to like her, but at the very least she did create a situation in which Ichimiya was perceived as a questionable adult, so hey, maybe she’s not so bad after all.