Anime Review: Working! Episode 3

(Originally published on Livejournal on 5/14/10)

Anime Review:
Working!! Episode 3

What This Is All About: Over the past several weeks, I watched the first episode of every fansubbed anime show of the Spring 2010 season. Ten of those first episodes passed the muster (out of thirty). Out of those shows getting the thumbs up, eight of them passed the second round, and now I am taking a look at the third episodes. Just a quick synopsis, my thoughts, and a verdict — nothing too fancy.

About The Series: Wagnaria is a small family restaurant in Hokkaido that is understaffed, so Poplar recruits Souta as the newest part-time employee. However, Souta soon learns that his fellow co-workers are anything but normal. For example, the manager doesn’t seem to care about her job, Yachiyo is always carrying around a sword, and Mahiru is inexplicably terrified of men. Not that Souta is a bastion of normalcy himself; he has a fetish for small, cute things and the reason he took the job in the first place is because he can’t say no to the diminutive Poplar. Despite all their differences, the employees at Wagnaria do their best to keep the restaurant running smoothly.


(All Hail Army of Poplars!)

In This Episode: Why does Yachiyo always carry around that katana sword, anyways? We take a glimpse back when she was just a small child, Yachiyo was always picked on, so she started to carry around a sword for her protection. Yet she was still teased, until one day when the ne’er-do-well teenage Kyoko (the manager) shows up with a nail-studded baseball bat. Ever since that day, Yachiyo has been following around Kyoko and serving her every whim. But when Yachiyo works so hard that she falls ill, her fellow employees implore the manager to pitch in and help at the restaurant. However, we soon learn that Kyoko truly is not good at anything…except for nursing the sick Yachiyo.

Meanwhile, the district manager, Otou, shows up carrying tons of gifts from his travels. He’s rarely around because he’s out searching for his long-lost wife, who went out on a shopping trip years ago, took a wrong turn and got lost. Kyoko is always happy to see her boss, because of all the food gifts that he brings along with him — which causes insanely intense jealousy from Yachiyo, and we see another reason why she carries around her sword.

My Thoughts: Good lord, could this troop get any *more* dysfunctional? This group truly does belong on the Island of Misfit Toys — you gotta wonder how these people could possibly function in society outside of the restaurant. The first episode was mainly an introduction for Poplar and Souta; the second episode for the punch-happy Mahiru; and this third episode is mostly about the manager, Kyoko and her lapdog, Yachiyo. They truly do have a co-dependent relationship. Kyoko (god bless her, I love her, but still…) is not only apathetic towards work but also worse-than-incapable, she is actually harmful. Yachiyo, on the other hand, is only truly happy when she is working hard to serve Kyoko, and woe be to anyone who gets between Yachiyo and her idol.

District manager Otou, making his first appearance, is yet another odd duck. He is off wandering on a futile quest to find his wife, who made a wrong turn while shopping and was never seen again. What about calling the cops? Thought never crossed his mind. Cripes.


(Bad-Ass Kyoko is bad-ass)

Eh, nothing special – Working!! is just a light-hearted situational comedy. Just give each of the characters unusual personality quirks, throw them all into a pot and see what happens. It’s all about the character interactions, as they get into one crazy scenario after another. We still don’t know much about both of the cooks, and I’m sure we’ll find out what their malfunctions are soon enough. One thing we did learn this episode, though – Jun has a secret crush on Yachiyo. So now we have a case where X likes Y, Y likes Z, and Z likes…parfaits?

The Verdict:

My review of the first episode: http://matthigh.livejournal.com/455641.html
My review of the second episode: http://matthigh.livejournal.com/462789.html
Random Curiosity Review of Episode 3: http://randomc.net/2010/04/18/working-03/
Wikipedia Entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Working!!

Up Next: Angel Beats, Kaichou wa Maid-sama, K-On Season 2, Arakawa Under the Bridge, Giant Killing, The Tatami Galaxy, House of Five Leaves

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