Monday, October 3, 2011

First Impressions–Working’!!

[Ayako-Himatsubushi]_Working`!!_-_01_[PREAIR][720p][6C8E1687].mkv_snapshot_00.41_[2011.09.03_19.02.04] [Ayako-Himatsubushi]_Working`!!_-_01_[PREAIR][720p][6C8E1687].mkv_snapshot_01.42_[2011.09.03_19.03.13] [Ayako-Himatsubushi]_Working`!!_-_01_[PREAIR][720p][6C8E1687].mkv_snapshot_02.15_[2011.09.03_19.03.46]
[Ayako-Himatsubushi]_Working`!!_-_01_[PREAIR][720p][6C8E1687].mkv_snapshot_03.06_[2011.09.03_19.04.37] [Ayako-Himatsubushi]_Working`!!_-_01_[PREAIR][720p][6C8E1687].mkv_snapshot_06.02_[2011.09.03_19.07.33] [Ayako-Himatsubushi]_Working`!!_-_01_[PREAIR][720p][6C8E1687].mkv_snapshot_07.39_[2011.09.03_19.09.10]


I'm topping this post, as the official premiere of Working'!! is the same as the sneak peek, except for the OP. Is it me, or are more series than ever showing the OP at the end of the first episode?

Working is back, and a month early too – a pre-airing of the season premiere episode we’ll be seeing for reals in October.  And with the directorial and series composition changes (and an oddly placed apostrophe), it’s especially reassuring that the magic still appears to be there.


The original series was just wrapping up when I got my start as a blogger, so I didn’t have much of a chance to cover it.  What I loved about that season?  Almost everything, really.  A-1 Pictures is one of the best in the business, and Working!! was a great-looking series for a comedy with terrific animation, detailed backgrounds and appealing character designs.  I loved the way it captured the unique feeling of camaraderie you feel as a young adult working in a mind-numbingly boring job, where it’s everyone against the world – despite the fact that most of you drive the others crazy.  The humor was crisp and smart, derived both from character and clever sight gags, and the seiyuu cast superb.  In fact, the only thing I didn’t love about it was the over-reliance on my least favorite character, Inami (Fujita Saki) and her androphobia.  The gag with her punching Takanashi (Fukuyama Jun) was the least funny of the season, and was recycled way too often.

Well, the bad news is that gag is still part of the mix – but the good news is that the premiere episodes doesn’t over-rely on it and, in facts, mines good comedy from all the cast (even normal girl Maya makes an appearance).  This is a true ensemble series in the best sense, with a cast that’s remarkable in just how distinctive and colorful each member is.  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.  Again, speaking as someone who spent plenty of time in menial jobs in my late teens and early 20’s, this plays as extremely true and really resonates. 

Highlights of the first ep for me were Takanashi writing the “X” on the forehead of Yamada (Hirohashi Ryou) with the admonishment to “Think about your behavior!” and Satou (Ono Daisuke) teasing Popura (Asumi Kana) with the “uh-oh” report.   That was two out-loud laughs, which is a great sign as I very rarely LOL during an episode.  I certainly hope we get more Popura this season, as she was largely forgotten in the anime’s decision to focus almost entirely on the twisted romance between Takanashi and Inami.  Indeed, Popura’s short complex and Takanashi’s obsession with it were the biggest running gag of the episode.  If Popura is an important in this season as she is in the manga, I’ll be very happy.

In sum – it’s all good, so far anyway.  No OP or ED of course, but the episode itself was every bit as funny and charming as most of the first season was.  It’s great to get back to Working again after all this time.

[Ayako-Himatsubushi]_Working`!!_-_01_[PREAIR][720p][6C8E1687].mkv_snapshot_16.19_[2011.09.03_19.17.50] [Ayako-Himatsubushi]_Working`!!_-_01_[PREAIR][720p][6C8E1687].mkv_snapshot_17.59_[2011.09.03_19.20.06] [Ayako-Himatsubushi]_Working`!!_-_01_[PREAIR][720p][6C8E1687].mkv_snapshot_18.01_[2011.09.03_19.19.56]
[Ayako-Himatsubushi]_Working`!!_-_01_[PREAIR][720p][6C8E1687].mkv_snapshot_19.05_[2011.09.03_19.21.13] [Ayako-Himatsubushi]_Working`!!_-_01_[PREAIR][720p][6C8E1687].mkv_snapshot_19.57_[2011.09.03_19.22.04] [Ayako-Himatsubushi]_Working`!!_-_01_[PREAIR][720p][6C8E1687].mkv_snapshot_21.52_[2011.09.03_19.24.14]

8 comments:

  1. Good thoughts on this early episode. Luckily since I liked Inami in the first season even the bad news mentioned here is good news in my mind :). So it's all good.

    Think it's good to have a balance of focus since the cast is really likable overall. Though while some might not be happy do hope we still get some focus (doesn't have to dominate things) on Takanashi and Inami.

    One of my favourite parts was Satou encouraging Popura to make up with Takanashi. His following logic that if she doesn't then both she and Takanashi will quit, and then there will be no one left to handle Inami was great. Souma could just see his life flashing before his eyes. Second best was Takanashi freaking out over the dead bug incident :).

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  2. I did enjoy the fact that everyone in the cast got the opportunity to flash their quirk at least once...

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  3. I really laugh where Takanashi cried like a sisi girl

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  4. I don't know why, and it's been a while since I have seen any of the episodes from the debut season, but I really hope the series is going to show more of Takanashi's sisters! They were fun to watch haha. :)

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  5. What romance? I thought it was a long-term rehabilitation session, with spite and recurring injuries. ;)

    That aside, I'm one of those glad to see the Wagnaria crew back. Judging from the released material so far, we'll be seeing a few more new faces this time around as well...

    Oh, and I hope you noticed Otou-san's wife!

    http://yfrog.com/z/hw1xgp

    Funny how she manages to end up in front of Wagnaria for a change.

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  6. harunatic, yes, I did like those twisted sisters. They were a blast.

    Myssa, I did not notice Otou-san's wife, but it's been since pointed out to me! This has always been a great series for sight gags and silent cameos.

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  7. This series need more Yamada. They've already overabused the "poplar is short" and "Inami has wicked punches" gags too much last season. Still fun as of now, but these gags can get old really fast.

    On a different note, I wonder how the different director will affect this series. Considering his track record, I'm kind of worried :/

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  8. Loved all the character just like I did before. But the one I'm looking for to will be Matsumoto Maya. We will see how "normal" she is in the 2nd season.

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