Working Season 2 Episode 2
What this is about: Watching all of the anime shows so you don’t have to! For more information about me and my reviews, click here for details on what I am reviewing.
Series Premise: Working!! (with the double exclamation points, also known as “Wagnaria” in the United States) is a weekly anime series based on a four-panel comedy manga, with the first season aired during Spring 2010, and the second 13-episode season (identified by an extra apostrophe) between October and December 2011. Set in a small family restaurant in Hokkaido, the employees of Wagnaria all have their own individual charms and quirks that can cause all sorts of problems, but they work together the best they can.
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Very Quick Episode Summary: Aoi and Poplar investigate Hiroomi’s life outside the restaurant, but end up being trolled instead. Poplar attempts to get Souta to be nicer to Mahiru. Aoi totally crushes on the traveling manager Otoo, desiring to become his daughter — but this only succeeds in making his awkward visits more awkward.
My Impressions: Hey, hey! I am now finally getting around to reviewing the second episodes of all the shows from the Fall 2011 Television Season that received a “thumbs up” — let’s see what shows survive to the next round!
Here’s the thing: All of the characters have become so deeply set in their ways that they have become nothing more than walking, talking, breathing stereotypes of their own individual dysfunctions. Nothing has changed from the first season at all — NOTHING. Poplar is still teased about her height; Souta is still nutso over “cute, small” things; Mahiru is just as insecure about herself and male-avoidant as ever; the manager is just as lackadaisical; Yachiyo is still obsessed about the manager…I could go on with another dozen character traits that were well-worn in the series over one year ago. Working is stuck in a rut — a deep, deep rut.
The jokes and scenarios playing out in this second episode of the second season are essentially replays of stuff we have seen before.
Never-changing characters are not necessarily a bad thing in comedies. For example, another show that is airing concurrently this one is the second episode of Shinryaku Ika Musume, which is equally unchanging from the first season, and (as you’ll see in my review a little later on) I have no problems with that. Practically every single American cartoon involves unchanging characters (in fact, we’d be extremely disappointed if Tom and Jerry or the Coyote and the Roadrunner started behaving differently). So the never-changing nature of Working itself is not the problem.
The problem lies in that they are never-changing characters, but from a starting point that was not that interesting in the first place. After watching the entire first season of Working back in 2010, I came away with the most tepid of positive recommendations (a “C+”), and frankly I really don’t need more of the same thing all over again.
I guess I can say that if you enjoyed the comedy of the first season, I see no reason why you would not enjoy the second season just as much — because it is the exact same thing. And there’s nothing particularly wrong with Working (it’s meh-okay), but since I’ve seen all of this before, I really don’t see any compelling reason to go through a second round again. So, goodbye for now, I may return to watch it as some background noise on the television (where I don’t have to devote my full attention to it) at a later date.
- My earlier reviews of the series:
- Episode 1 (December 19)
- Info resources:
Sampling of Online Reviews:
- “Some might argue that things are a bit stagnant, as there doesn’t appear to be too much “growth” among the cast. But this series is all about the quirks, and I find the quirks to be very funny and charming.” – Lost in America
- “Overall, though, this episode was another strong one. Maybe not as strong as the first but it still solidified the idea in my mind that this season is going to be just as good, if not better, than the last.” – Metanorn
- “I found the episode charming, especially the stalker parts. Also, the ending is pure comedy gold.” – Geek Revolt
- “I was hoping to see more development between Takanashi and Inami but we still have 10 more episodes to go. Plenty of time to be awesome. Also, I think Jun Fukuyama does a good job as Satou. I’m in love with that character now… or rather I’m renewing my vows ♥” – Conspicuous Klux
- “I continue to enjoy this show very much because I feel that the execution is very successful, something all the more remarkable given how weak the premise is. I like the anime’s art a lot more than the original manga’s and the scene transistions are relatively smooth for a 4koma adaptation. Most importantly the characters’ behaviours are scripted with a great deal of consistency and, despite the sheer oddness of some of the quirks, maintain this consistency even when the interactions become more complex, mixing up the usual dyads and oppositional pairs.” – Sea Slugs!
ROUND TWO (Second Episode) RESULTS FOR THE FALL 2011 SHOWS:
Thumbs-up for Round Two: Un-Go, Chibi Devi
Thumbs-down for Round Two: Working Season 2
Coming up next: Bakuman Season 2, Mirai Nikki, Shinryaku Ika Musume Season 2, Ben-To, Chihayafuru, Guilty Crown, Phi-Brain, Last Exile: Fam the Silver Wing, Fate Zero,Boku Ha Tomodachi ga Sukunai, Hunter x Hunter, Tamayura Hitotose, gdgd Fairies