OP: 「Eyecatch! Too much!」 by Hana Miyakoshi (Haruka Tomatsu), Sayuri Muranushi (Yoko Hikasa), Shiho Kamakura (Sora Amamiya)
「アルバイトは人生を変えてくれる」 (Arubaito wa Jinsei o Kaete Kureru)
“Part-Time Jobs Can Change Lives”
It feels good to be back at Wagnaria. Heck, we even got a quick cameo from Souta as he crossed paths with the new lead, Higashida Daisuke (Nakamura Yuuichi). Sadly, other than the familiar setting and recognisable comedic delivery, there aren’t any other call-backs to the Working!! we’ve grown to know and love over the past five years. Truth be told, I never expected to see this franchise return in anime-form ever again, because the wrap to the third season was exactly what we needed. It was a treat for all us long-time fans, and so getting news of WWW.Working!! feels more like an extra serving rather than making up for lost potential.
We’ve got a brand new cast of employees at Wagnaria, which may take some time to get used to, but there’s enough here to be optimistic about. In case you didn’t know, WWW.Working!! actually came before the Working!! manga, as it is a web-manga by the same author, so you can’t really throw out claims that characters shown here are imitations of those from the original, because this is the original. There’s a lot of characters to get introduced to, and not enough time to properly warm to them, so I think we shouldn’t judge this first episode too harshly (as I see some have). Sure, it isn’t the most visually exciting anime out there, but it deliver what you’d expect from this series and focuses more on the gags. Not all landed, but I’m pretty sure the premiere of the very first Working!! season wasn’t the best the series had to offer. We need time to get used to these unfamiliar faces, to get to know their quirks, and laugh along with them, as we did before.
Now, onto the characters. Daisuke is every part the straight-man, whether it’s his bizarro family or his new workmates, and as such he didn’t provide much laughs for me, but I appreciate his fish-out-of-water situation and I’m sure his relationships with other characters will make him more entertaining in future. For now, he’s a the new guy, and the new guy can’t really stand out too much, especially once you look at his competition. Miyakoshi Hana (Tomatsu Haruka), may seem like an Inami clone, but there’s no shyness in her violence – and she’s also exceptionally good at putting on a mask and dealing with customers with smiles and pleasantries. My favourite moment from her has to be when she offered Daisuke those Valentine chocolates and gave an almost-convincing confession of love with it. Let the shipping begin!
The other girls are: Kamakura Shiho (Amamiya Sora), the daughter of a rich girl who throws money at her customers and employees to solve her problems, and has no problem in shaming those below her; Kondou Kisaki (Mizuki Nana), a college-age girl who smokes and has a bad attitude; and Muranushi Sayuri (Hikasa Yoko), a peculiar girl who can apparently see spirits. They’ve each got their staple gags, so only time will tell if they’re strong enough to sustain the laughs like Working!! managed. The thoroughly incompetent manager was amusing, but the only male employee who stuck in my memory was the Shindou Yuuta (Ono Kensho), an attractive man who works multiple jobs and is indebted to Shiho’s father. Their dynamic is cute, and I can already see potential romance blossoming across the cast. It took three season for any of that to get proper resolution before, so I’m not expecting miracles here, but there’s enough of that familiar Working!! charm to keep me watching. We just need to give these new faces some time to prove themselves.
We won’t be confirming blogging picks for a few weeks, but with a season as packed as this, I’m not sure WWW.Working!! is likely to get weekly coverage. The entirety of the original Working!! did get covered, but I’m betting this will be a pleasant weekly watch rather than something worth discussing in grand detail.
P.S. I already miss Yamada.