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Hataraku Saibou – 02 »

Hataraku Saibou – 01

OP Sequence

OP: 「ミッション!健・康・第・イチ」 (Mission! Ken・Kou・Dai・Ichi) by Red Blood Cell (Hanazawa Kana), White Blood Cell (Maeno Tomoaki), Killer T Cell (Ono Daisuke), Macrophage (Inoue Kikoku)


「肺炎球菌」 (Haienkyuukin)

Initial Expectations:

David Production has been a studio I’ve followed for quite a while, since they’ve animated some of my favourite shows in recent years – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures, Planetarian, Sakurada Reset, etc. As such, I’ve come to have great faith in the way they go about business. However, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Hataraku Saibou, mainly because I have quite a dislike towards biology as an academic subject. I personally its topics boring, and wondered how the comedic aspect could potentially hit its mark, outside of a silly sex joke. The task for Hataraku Saibou was to successfully engage with me, and convince me that matters of the human body could be quite interesting, and perhaps even funny. Let’s move onto my thoughts about this debut episode, and whether it managed to leave a positive impression on me.

First Impressions:

Since I’m pretty young, I don’t know squat about Osmosis Jones, and I’ve only heard nostalgic talk about it from the other staff at RandomC. However, I’m willing to go out on a limb and say that Hataraku Saibou is more like Osmosis JoJo – the source material has a conceptually similar focus, while importing stylistic preferences that are reminiscent of JJBA.

Kana Hanazawa did a fantastic job of portraying a dorky Red Blood Cell with a poor sense of direction, making it clear to see why she’s hailed as one of the premiere voice actresses within the industry. Maeno Tomoaki combined aloofness and edginess to depict a White Blood Cell, dedicated to maintaining peace in the human body by brutally exterminating invaders. We got a bit of blood inception going on, where the White Blood Cell was spattered by blood, only he is part of the blood himself. But I think it’s mainly just a representation of the cellular fluids, which are the blood equivalent for cells. Those platelets were exceedingly cute and need to be protected from external threats. I’d be devastated if any of them were hurt! Also, I thought it made sense to show the bacterium as being aliens (anyone reminded of Meruem?), that are forcefully deported via rocket sneezes. Still, makes me wonder what a cancer cell might be – a megalomaniac cell turned insane? I can’t wait to see that!

Concluding Thoughts:

Where was this show when I was taking my GCSE Biology exams? This definitely could have stoked my motivation and aided in memorising important bits of information. Pay no mind to my digressions, as I’m sure it will help many younger anime fans who are about to reach that critical juncture in their lives. Still, I really do wish that there were more educational TV shows out there that served educational information in a more engaging format. There’s a real market for this niche out there, but I understand that it’s difficult to create a premise in the first place that can convey dry details in such an interesting way.

So Hataraku Saibou got off to an engaging start, and I was surprised at how much I was able to enjoy it, despite harbouring dislike towards biology as an educational subject. The comedy felt just about right, mainly thanks to Red Blood Cell’s struggles to find the lung, while the hamminess was generally reserved for moments concerning germ extermination. Despite the sheer amount of White Blood Cells/Red Blood Cells in the human body, I think it’s likely that these particular two will meet again, and go on to become our main characters. While this would be near impossible in the context of an actual human body, Hataraku Saibou has shown a willingness to flex its artistic license and rely upon suspending the disbelief of viewers. Not a bad thing at all, because I find the kooky absurdity to be brilliant! All in all, I really liked how the trillions of cells in our bodies were shown to operate as a society in their own right, having to deal with various problems on a day to day basis. It’s an intriguing premise that has piqued my curiosity, and I look forwards to watching this show throughout the summer!

ED Sequence

ED: 「Cheers」by ClariS


July 9, 2018 at 7:20 am
  • July 9, 2018 at 7:30 amOkabe_Rintarou

    Can we have “the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell”-memes now? XD Also, this story will probably end in tragedy as cells are short-lived. Imagine them red blood cells, white blood cells, and the cute platelets being purged. XD

    • July 9, 2018 at 7:32 amZaiden

      I think that Hataraku Saibou is a lighthearted show and will be willing to flex some artistic license to provide suspension of disbelief. While cells are short-lived, I don’t believe that these cells are going to die anytime soon, not to mention the sense of time/space in this series has probably been adjusted to fit a human scale.

      • July 9, 2018 at 7:45 amOkabe_Rintarou

        Madoka Magica has convinced me that every light-hearted work hides an Urobuchi Gen who’s going to make a character die in the 3rd episode.

  • July 9, 2018 at 7:30 amzztop

    • July 9, 2018 at 7:34 amZaiden

      Thanks for the info, zztop! From what I read of the manga, I actually prefer how the anime has approached the story so far. We’ll see how far 13 episodes gets into the source material, and whether it can continue with this level of quality.

    • July 10, 2018 at 1:32 pmBigFire

      I have a bit of looking ahead, they’re NOT doing all of the chapters, as the it would translate to one episode per chapter. For example, they’re skipping the 2nd chapter Cedar Pollen Allergy and 3rd chapter Influenza (I think too much in common with the first chapter) and going straight to Chapter 4 Scrape Would. I hope they don’t skip Food Poisoning, Heat Stress and ….

  • July 9, 2018 at 7:47 amSMinstrel

    My Red Blood Cell and Platelets can’t be this cute!!

    • July 9, 2018 at 7:50 amZaiden

      I sure hope that the less sane folks out there won’t be getting bad ideas, that could potentially be threatening to their own lives.

  • July 9, 2018 at 7:50 amKinai

    Not exactly Manga or Anime, but I recommend:
    For History: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Once_Upon_a_Time…_Man
    For Biology: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Once_Upon_a_Time…_Life
    For American History: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Once_Upon_a_Time…_The_Americas
    For Discoverers: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Once_Upon_a_Time…_The_Discoverers
    For Explorers: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Once_Upon_a_Time…_The_Explorers

    • July 9, 2018 at 8:02 amShiranaiHito

      That’s what I’ve been calling this series Once upon a time: Life – The anime (Although the original was a joint French-Japanese production, so it was an anime as well)

      • July 9, 2018 at 10:33 amKinai

        Yeah. I watched Once Upon a Time when I was a kid. I am going to watch this too. :)

    • July 9, 2018 at 1:22 pmZaiden

      I definitely need to give that a try when I have the time :)

      • July 10, 2018 at 12:00 amKinai

        Tell me if you like it. :)

    • July 9, 2018 at 11:18 pmewok40k

      boy those series were my faves in the childhood…
      still getting fond memories of Bach’s Toccata nad Fugue playing in the opening of the first one

    • July 10, 2018 at 8:32 amMistic

      That brings back memories. Count me as those who also thought this was “Once upon a time: Life – The anime”. I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the original inspiration, since the series aired in Japan too.

    • July 14, 2018 at 11:44 amiron2000

      I watched this too!

  • July 9, 2018 at 9:10 amEngland = FIFA World Cup 2018 Champions(that right I said it)

    I just cringe when I see people say about how this show is a good representation of the body or boast about how much they know about it all and what knot but I’ve never seen anyone say how the white blood cell character should have died the moment it killed the bacterium. The character was a neutrophil yes? anyways…

    Still I my imagination was just going wild watching this episode. I mean, I can just imagine how this show would look like if the body where this show resides has ebola, HIV, cancer, STDs, dementia, flesh eating disease… I could go on.

    Heck, what the effect of medicine too, alcohol, Embryonic development, and death…

    • July 9, 2018 at 10:48 amA20000000

      Well if was 100 percent realistic it would be a world of death and rebirth with no independent thought and so on and so forth. It is close enough and if fun to watch. If you know about biology you can see what they are doing.

    • July 9, 2018 at 1:19 pmZaiden

      You. I like your username. IT’S COMING HOME!

      • July 9, 2018 at 2:00 pmKumiko Oumae Counseling Center (lol)

        Honestly, I’m hype as hell for England.

        France vs England for the finals please. (If this happens, the victor’s nation would look like they won WW2 again)

        Alot of frenchys and brits would need to go to their doctors to check their cardiovascular health if this happens. Actually, they still need to do so before the next match. It’s so close I can taste it…

    • July 9, 2018 at 5:25 pmstarss

      Truthfully, this show is only like 1% accurate to how these things work. They mainly just take their name, their main function in the body, and that’s it. Everything else is artistic license including the fact that blood cells THEMSELVES HAVE BLOOD, or how they appear to have human life spans. That said, on post on twitter said a professor recommended this anime to his students!

      • July 9, 2018 at 7:17 pmKumiko Oumae Counseling Center (lol)

        Just to clarify, I am not at all negatively criticizing the show. I am just amused by what I see people say about this show. Human anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, medicine are all insanely interesting(I think), so this show just gives me the fuzzies.

        Though Zaiden I think would be so much more into arbitration, litigation, international relations so such…


      • July 9, 2018 at 9:21 pmHenrietta Brix

        That aint blood in the pathogens… They’re red coloured cytoplasm

  • July 9, 2018 at 9:16 ammac65

    Absolutely cute and relaxing to watch! I’ll probably
    (continue to) follow it just for the therapeutic benefits ????
    (I also have a couple of volumes of the manga).

  • July 9, 2018 at 10:51 amWorldwidedepp

    This is my Childhood “similar” anime.. It’s from France


  • July 9, 2018 at 11:36 amqwert

    When a red blood cell gets cut… is she bleeding tinier red blood cells? Which are themselves tinier people?

    • July 9, 2018 at 1:23 pmZaiden

      Cellular fluid, probably. Though the notion of blood-ception is something that amuses me :3

    • July 9, 2018 at 9:21 pmHenrietta Brix

      They bleed haemoglobin

  • July 9, 2018 at 2:00 pmjhpace1


    Red blood cells as young women in their twenties with red hair, turning into brunettes in their late thirties before they are flushed out of the system. If only hair colors would be the same in real life. An apple-redhead who turns light-then-dark-brunette? Phone number and address, please.

    Still, I like the White Cell vs. the specialists with “KILL” on their baseball caps. Now to have a two-parter influenza that nearly succeeds until exponential growth kills the flu.

    • July 9, 2018 at 2:15 pmJerry



      We’re all waiting for exotic African Hemorrhagic Fever.

      Bring on Ebola!

      • July 10, 2018 at 5:22 pmLoliHat

        Ebola-chan the anime…

  • July 9, 2018 at 2:08 pmJerry

    Zaiden: “Still, makes me wonder what a cancer cell might be – a megalomaniac cell turned insane?”

    More like a lazy welfare class that steals resources from the productive cells through a corruption of the tax system (“you must give these cells more nutrients because they are not allowed to expire on their own demerits”), then reproduces like rabbits until the economic system collapses.

    When you look at it from a different perspective, social creatures form a kind of macro-biological organism similar to the body.

    In that sense, this anime is very relatable.

    Just like social macro-organisms, it has its own resource-extraction, consumer, and waste functionaries. It has a method of maintenance, repair and construction. It has its own security personnel and criminal elements – including invasive criminals. It has an economic system through which information is sent and received (and sometimes corrupted) in lieu of supply and demand; the study of economic systems is often generalized as a study of information exchange through which the laws of supply and demand are satisfied, much like physical systems are generalized as the study of mathematics through which the laws of conservation are satisfied).

    Of greatest interest to me, however, is how this anime might portray the HIV – which degrades the immune/security system, rendering the body vulnerable to the criminal diseases which would otherwise be manageable.

    It’s one of the common associations among Realty to LEOs when they refer to this crowd as “AIDS”. Basically, you don’t want them to move into your town, because they’re the precursors of criminality. They’re not violent in and of themselves so much as they are the criminals’ handmaidens who degrade and corrupt the security system (they are “diseased” so to speak) – much like the HIV isn’t deadly in and of itself, so much as it paves the way for other diseases to take hold by degrading and damaging the immune system.

    • July 10, 2018 at 12:05 amDevastator001

      Makes me wonder if they’ll show the affect of various substances in the system (medicine, caffine, alchol) :-? But I’ll definitely keep this on weekly watch list

      • July 10, 2018 at 1:32 pmJerry

        There are a litany of possibilities: heat stress, hypothermia, energy cycles, cellular birth and decay, hormonal responses, allergy, starvation or fasting, dieting, gluttony, sleep, surgery, dentistry, sexual reproduction, etc.

        It’s all been done before of course, but it’ll be really interesting to see the Japanese anime take on the subject of metaphorical anthropomorphism within the human body.

  • July 9, 2018 at 5:20 pmstarss

    So far the opening song is lively, the anime is damn adorable, and I look forward to what direction they will take this (I haven’t read the source material)!

  • July 9, 2018 at 5:24 pmyoloalchemist

    There’s scientific and educational. There’s fun and charming. And then there’s BOTH!
    Me being a pharmacist, which makes anatomy part of my vast knowledge, this just tickled my fancy. I was laughing the whole way through. Definitely a keeper.

    • July 10, 2018 at 12:09 amKinai

      As a pharmacist, what do you think about the inconsistences that other people has mentioned?

      • July 10, 2018 at 8:25 pmyoloalchemist

        If you’re talking about the inconsistencies regarding this show’s way of representing the human body system, they’re valid alright. I knew from the beginning that, for the sake of entertainment, it would have to take some liberties with how it really works. For example, it’s totally cartoonish that that pneumococcus germ was able to hide himself inside the O2/CO2 pack that Hana Kana voiced RBC was transporting. And as far as I know, I just don’t think it’s within the immune system’s functionality to lead the germs to be ejected via sneeze (that sneeze rocket though LOL). It’d just outright try to exterminate it on the spot. So yeah, a lot of liberties taken, but I have no problem with that.

      • July 24, 2018 at 11:07 amnipah

        Pneumococcus hiding itself inside a red blood cell is not artistic license but happens in real-life, see https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3806730/

      • July 24, 2018 at 1:04 pmyoloalchemist

        Huh. It’s really interesting that something like can happen for real. If we were to go by the anime’s logic, I’m assuming not a large percentage of the invading Pneumococcus would have the opportunity to adhere and invade RBCs to hide itself from antibiotics, neutrophil killing, and H2O2 killing.

  • July 9, 2018 at 8:54 pmBeedle

    • July 10, 2018 at 12:05 amKinai

      It seems that there arent laws against child work in the body. XD

    • July 10, 2018 at 11:48 pmKinai

      I ever that watched the kid with the flag, I think that she hasto go to the bathroom. :P

  • July 9, 2018 at 9:33 pmHenrietta Brix

    Well done Japan. You have moefied the human body system.

    As a whole I do like the show and the manga. I’ve read up to the benign cancer chapter so I won’t post much here in case of spoilers.

    As a kid back than, I had always imagined something similar going on in my body except that they have machines and vehicles to move things around, build, repair and kill pathogens. If Hataraku Saibou has them, than it’s a childhood fantasy come true.

    Frankly speaking, this feels like Magic School Bus being hit real hard by the Japanising beam. I still love both shows nonetheless. Speaking of which, it’ll be nice if a studio really hits Magic School Bus with the Japanising beam.

    Good lordy lord. Is this a way to tell us not to injure and cut ourselves??? My Blood Plateletes Can’t Be This Cute!

    We’ve seen the diploid cells and erythrocytes, circulatory, respiratory and immune system. We might see cancer cells if the adaptation reaches that far. My burning question is… How will the haploid sperm and/or egg cells act and look like? I suspect that X sperm will be female or feminine looking while Y sperms will be masculine or TRAPS while the eggs will just be feminine

    The gematocytes are haploid so how to they become diploid?

    If they body we’re in in a female body, how does she receive the sperms? More importantly, the implantation as well as the gestation of a new body within a body…

    Man all these existential question is killing me!

    On a side note, since we have anime about cells… When will we have anime or manga about cell organelles?

  • July 11, 2018 at 1:49 amsouma

    Lol someday if i have children, i will show them this when they started to learn about anatomy, hahaha at least it piqued my interest to googling some of the name.

  • July 11, 2018 at 10:05 amneko_in_blue

    Who knew White Blood Cell could be so hot?

  • July 13, 2018 at 1:11 pmsweejen

    I like how the title card looks like a Tokyo subway map–so appropriate!

  • July 14, 2018 at 11:42 amiron2000

    Pretty educational, lol

    Wouldn’t it be the end of the world if they depict diseases like AIDS and cancer?
    Wonder how will medicine be depicted?

    Theres tables of diseases etc covered in the manga in the wiki

    Wonder which will make it into the anime?