“The Circulatory System”

「血液循環」 (Ketsueki Junkan)

Last week, I said that this particular chapter in the manga was uninspiring. After watching this episode and going back to read the chapter, I’m going to take back my words and eat humble pie. Blood Circulation is a fantastic showing all-round and I was wrong for ever doubting Hataraku Saibou.

Journey to the Centre of the Body

What makes this segment stand out? This actually turned out to be Red Blood Cell’s ultimate character development episode, in which she triumphantly overcame her struggles. Circulating the body without getting lost sounds easy, but when you are clumsy and directionally challenged like Red Blood Cell, you could describe the task as being near impossible without assistance. According to some numbers I pulled up from Google, if all arteries, veins, and capillaries of the human circulatory system were laid end to end, the total length would be 100,00km. That’s nearly 2.5 times the circumference of the Earth! The equivalent undertaking on a human scale would be unimaginable, so blood cells deserve some serious recognition for toiling so that we may enjoy our lives. However, fiery determination emanating from the bottom of her heart, she sets off on one heck of a bizarre adventure to deliver some oxygen to the lungs.

Red Blood Cell’s Bizarre Adventures

There are many twists and turns along the way. Some potentially lethal, most of them weird. And even though she faced hardships like losing her notebook, dropping her hat, being stalked by bacteria and almost losing her way, she somehow does it! Her relief at the end was deeply gratifying, but there’s an unsung hero who deserves praise. That’s right! Not to take away from her achievements, but it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of her steadfast guardian from the shadows – White Blood Cell. He was there for her at every turn, making sure things went smoothly. For me the funniest part of the episode was when he went full ninja mode, creeping up to the unsuspecting bacteria like shhhhhhhINAI (Translator’s Note: Shinai means die in Japanese)!!! The backflip to avoid Red Blood Cell’s attention was agile as heck, and the way he just left behind the bodies for his fellow White Blood Cell to dispose of while he ran off to keep up with Red Blood Cell was absolutely perfect. To me, that guy seems like the paragon of efficiency.

Concluding Thoughts

It might seem outright unreasonable that Killer T would get antsy and punch White Blood Cell in the face. After all, what’s wrong about getting along with fellow cells? And even though it might seem like jealousy, which it most certainly is, he has a point. As the enforcers of a utilitarian ideal in the body by way of our body’s authoritarian regime, immune system cells may be required to kill any threats at an immediate notice, and these may very well be former friends and allies. Truly a sad thing as could be seen with the cancer cell episode, though you cannot deny it is unpredictable and cannot be helped. You cannot blame Killer T for erring on the side of caution. But I get a feeling we’ll be finding out why Killer T feels such an intense jealousy. Next episode, it looks like we’ll be getting an origination story about Killer T and Helper T. While I’m hankering to see a story about how the platelets came to be, namely how they go from fully grown adults to little kids, I truly look forwards to seeing the history behind these two eccentric cells.



  1. I am having so much unexpected fun w/this series, it’s
    one of my favorites this season.

    I honestly don’t think any other studio could have done
    as fine an adaptation (I’m expecting JoJo and his stand
    to appear any minute now — or maybe we’re actually in
    JoJo’s body which is why the characters all resemble
    JoJo-style characters 🙂 ).

    Gonna miss it soon, though…

  2. The first ep in the show, aside from possibly episode 1, that isn’t focused around a monster attack. And true to form, it manages to remain entertaining and gripping! … and oddly it’s the most invested I ever been in this anime so far because its slice-of-life feeling is more relatable. I am reminded of my Biology studies too! I just have trouble remembering all the names, just like back then.

    Boy it’s like this ep was written just for the shippers! Too bad two types of cells bonking is unheard of.

  3. https://randomc.net/image/Hataraku%20Saibou/Hataraku%20Saibou%20-%2008%20-%20Large%2010.jpg
    Ya know…. For 30 minutes… I was wondering if I was sitting through my secondary school biology lesson. It practically was an entire chapter about blood circulation. Everything in the episode clicked with me. Vena cava, atrial and ventrical systole and diastole, cardiac cycle, bicuspid and tricuspid valves, aorta, pulmonary and systemic circulation etc etc.

    Regardless what, this show gets 10 seals of approval for me when it comes to satiating the Biology nerds in us.

    Truth be told, T call has a point about fratenising with the other cells and having it affecting their duty. Hataraku Saibou may have a darker counterpart that is Hataraku Saibou Black but if you think about it, this show is equally dark i.e. the cellular world is a utilitarian authoritarian regime.

    Henrietta Brix

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