Working Season 2 Episode 1
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 season (identified by an extra apostrophe) starting in October 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.
Click on the thumbnails below to view the picture in full size in a new window:
Spoiler-free set-up: It’s just another day Wagnaria restaurant, with the employees gathering to serve the arriving customers. Poplar once again becomes agitated that she is so short, and especially when Souta keeps pointing it out, because he thinks she’s “cute”. When the manager kills a small bug, Souta becomes angry then disconsolate because he compares Poplar to the small bug. Mahiru does her best to keep from hitting Souta at every opportunity. Yamada constantly breaks dishes, and tries to avoid getting in trouble for it.
My Impressions: When I started this neverending parade of reviews back in April of last year, Working was literally the very first show I watched. Ultimately, I ended up watching and reviewing all thirteen episodes, giving it a rather weak C+ grade, which is barely enough to give a week recommendation. While some of the characters are quite interesting and there are many funny moments, it relies on many of the same situations to create the same jokes over and over again. More annoyingly, the characters never seem to grow or change — in the end the Land of Broken Toys are just as messed up as when the started their journey together.
So, here a second season rolls around…and it’s more of the same. Mahiru, who has this totally unrealistic fear of men, is just as mentally fucked up as she was at the beginning of the series, giving Souta a roundhouse or uppercut while screaming in fear. Doesn’t matter how much she has “tried” to get over her fear, nothing has worked. She doesn’t belong in a restaurant, she belongs in a mental institution getting shock therapy or lithium or something.
Likewise with Souta, who has this creepy fetish for anything small and cute, is just as screwed in the head about cute things as when he started working at the restaurant so he could be close to cute, small Poplar. Furthermore, he remains as insanely oblivious to how ultra-extra-super-creepy his fetish really is. It’s maddening to watch him so bluntly have a mental orgasm over cute, little things while everyone looks on in resigned disgust. That boy needs therapy. I seemed to gloss over just how much of an insensitive jerk and asshole he can be at times (then again, when I was that age I was not known for my tact), but this episode only seems to focus on just how muck of a crass jerk he is.
The rest of the crew are the same as always. The lackadaisical manager is just as lazy and uncaring as before; the sword-girl continues with her lesbian crush on the manager; the two chefs continue with their Laurel and Hardy routine. Frankly, the only character that seems halfway interesting at this point is Yamada, although that could just be because she’s the newest “main” character so we haven’t had a chance to get annoyed at her self-centered antics yet. Also, it seems she does NOT have some major mental malfunction, bonus points for that.
In any case, looks like nothing has changed from before. And that’s not a good thing. My expectations for the first season were somewhat unrealistic, I was hoping that some of the characters fault-causing foibles would improve over time, and in the end that did not happen, with the start of the second season picking right up where it left off. With no character growth, what’s the point in watching? (That’s pretty much the same reason I gave similar series Arakawa Under the Bridge a solid thumbs-up for the first season, and a tepid response for the second season.)
Then again, the first episode of the second season was purely a vehicle to re-introduce all the main characters (there is still a bevy of secondary characters to plow through, like Souta’s family), so perhaps they can be forgiven for this type of introduction. But I would hope for some development from this point forward, because falling back on the same tired old jokes will not fly with me.
The verdict: – Pass for now, but I want “more”.
- Online preview on Youtube.
- Info resources:
- If you like this, you might also like: MM! (for the dysfunctional characters), or maybe Shinryaku Ika Musume (for the humor).
Sampling of Online Reviews:
- “Only being the first episode of the second season, very little is added here. While it can be forgiven as mostly a review of the previous season, it doesn’t leave much worth mentioning.” – Shinde Iie
- “So, would I recommend this show from the first episode? Well, if you’re into a good comedy with no outright plot, then definitely. I enjoyed the original series back when that aired, and this seems to be improving on it’s predecessor.” – Japanator
- “This episode took all those overused jokes and hit us on the head with them over and over again. Literally half the episode was about Poplar being short and cute, and Takanashi obsessing over her. They’ve had a year and a half to come up with new jokes, and this is the best they can do?” – Draggle’s Anime Blog
- “There are already signs of gags being reused though, which could turn out bad in the long run for this series. At least there’s still Yamada, who usually manages to change things up quite a bit and lead up to some rather unique punchlines. Having less focus on Inami is probably a good thing after the heavy overabuse of her androphobia-related gags last season. Grade: 7.5/10.” – Emory Anime Club
- “The great thing about Working and its cast is that everyone has their own particular weird quirks, they all have a wonderful way of noodging each other constantly, and none of the crushes are on the right person. The underlying tension that his causes drives most of the hilarity – and there’s plenty – in the material.”> – Lost in America
- “Pretty much all it accomplished was refreshing everyone’s memory about the characters and their main quirk, and rehashing some of the same old running jokes – absolutely nothing new to see here, it felt more like a filler episode than the start of a new season.” – Caraniel’s Ramblings
- “What is so great about Working!! is that it is filled to the brim with deeply flawed people who hilariously don’t change. I see Inami and Takanashi have regressed hopelessly back into their respective quirks. Inami is making progress though, she almost managed to hold back, but Takenashi ruined it. He’s completely tactless.” – Metanorn
- “I forgot how awesome the cast of characters was, and the chemistry between them all is just amazing. I agree about romantic development too- I would really love to see something actually happen between Inami and Takanashi.” – Sekijitsu
- “Nothing feels like it’s deteriorated. Animation is still nice, the humor and cuteness are the same, we’re exactly where we were the first time around, from what I remember at least. I do feel like this episode had more of a “regular restaurant” air about it. Not really sure why, maybe the background sound effects or all the jokes revolving around the workplace rather than around weird character antics. And I really like it, it feels a lot more laid back. Grade: 8/10.” – Astrialite
- “The first episode didn’t try anything new and instead played it safe by using its old jokes. Also as many have already pointed out, this series decided to increases its cute factor by at least 200%.” – Anime Princess
- “To be honest, Working is what it was. It’s rather mind numbing, it’s not funny, but it’s got enough quirks to make people who enjoy moe humor enjoy this series. I mean, one episode in and i’m ALREADY fed up of these characters…I don’t think i’ll be able to put up with them for a whole season.” – Meeping Anime
- “The thing with these characters is that they all have one or two quirks, and they try to show these quirks to the viewer as often as humanly possible, even if they make no sense whatsoever in the process (one character is obsessed with small things to the point where he cries for ten full minutes because someone swatted a fly), and that got old really fast. Potential: 10%.” – Star Crossed Anime Blog
ROUND ONE RESULTS FOR THE FALL 2011 SHOWS:
Thumbs-up for Round One: Un-Go, Chibi Devi, Working Season 2
Thumbs-down for Round One: Morita-san wa Mukuchi Season 2
Coming up next: Bakuman Season 2, Mirai Nikki, Kimi to Boku, C3, Shinryaku Ika Musume Season 2, Mobile Suit Gundam AGE, Ben-To, Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon, Chihayafuru, Phi-Brain, Last Exile: Fam the Silver Wing, Fate Zero, Majikoi Oh! Samurai Girls, Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, Shakugan no Shana III, Hunter x Hunter, Mashiro-iro Symphony, Tamayura Hitotose, Persona 4, Maken-ki, Cross Fight Bedaman, Digimon Xros Wars II