This anime is definitely aiming to educate about the body but we’re also getting a heavy dose of moralising in there as well with the poor picked on cell getting her moment to shine later in the episode. Still, it is hard to argue that this wasn’t entertaining.
I find Cells at Work a bit of an oddity, a fun oddity mind you, but the structure of the episodes, the copious explanations, and even the not so subtle don’t talk behind other people’s back message that comes through in episode 4, all speak of this show being directed at children. And then we have the White Blood Cell cutting himself free of a germ in a spray of blood in a scene that is right up there with when Eren got swallowed by a titan in Attack on Titan lost his arm. Okay, it’s a bit more cartoon like but it is still pretty intense for something that for the most part seems aimed at a younger audience.
Although, while I’m thinking about my childhood, the initial view of the parasite this week kind of reminded me of a scene straight out of the Never Ending Story and that did scare me as a child so maybe this is just the right kind of balance to provide a fairly fun yet emotional journey.
That said, I don’t think food-poisoning has ever been so much fun and I really had a great time watching the cells dash about and try to overcome the enemy. I’m not so sure about the umbrella guy who seemed to only exist to spout bad poetry, but overall the episode was great fun. Looking forward to the next offering from this one.
Episode 3 of Cells at Work definitely leaned more heavily onto the educational side of edutainment this week with a lot of explanations. However, was it still fun?
I can’t help but think it has been the red blood cell and platelets that have sold the first two episodes of this show to me. And I came to this conclusion given this episode the red blood cell shows up very sparingly on the peripheral of anything and the platelets don’t appear until the very end and I found myself kind of bored at times. It isn’t that the white blood cell, the macrophage and the naive T cell aren’t trying their hardest to be interesting, but without the cute factor a lot of the magic I found in the first two episodes just kind of dissipated.
That isn’t to say that the zombie hordes were boring and if you like the more action oriented part of this story the killer T cells have got you covered this week with an all out brawl set to dominate a large part of the episode. However, the naive T cell wasn’t anywhere near as charming as little red has been, and his plight as a wimpy junior didn’t really inspire making his ultimate transformation fairly hollow and then of course his personality became just like all the other killer cells and not exactly charming.
This is not a bad episode by any means as it does exactly what the previous two have done. It introduces a cell in the body, a problem to be solved, and then it goes about explaining how the different cells work together to solve it. However, personally I felt this was the weakest of the first three episodes and the one that I found to be the least engaging. Here’s hoping food poisoning next week will strike gold (and how many times do people get to look forward to food poisoning).
While this episode did nothing to alleviate my worry that perhaps the subject matter here isn’t going to entertain for an entire season, it was a pretty solid follow up with some laughs, some action, and some truly adorable platelets.
As the second episode of this odd little show rolls around I really have to smile at just how much love and energy has gone into transforming a gimmicky concept of anthropomorphic blood cells into something that is genuinely entertaining to watch and filled with so many moments that just hit their mark. Whether it is the ditzy red-blood cell getting lost again, the excessive caution and cuteness of the platelets, the white blood cells’ extreme violence against germs, or even the explosive rupture of the scrape in this second episode, every part of this has been well crafted to suit the intended purpose.
The anime remained true to its set up in the first episode and we follow AE3803 (the red-blood cell) on another delivery. As she is guided by her senpai we learn about the cells and different areas that they encounter. Perhaps one complaint might be the sheer amount of text on the screen at a few points given we get an explanation in written form and then they put subtitles on the narration which is more or less telling us the exact same thing. However, this show doesn’t forget it is meant to be entertaining and once the abrasion appears and the action kicks in while the show doesn’t abandon a pretence of being educational, it certainly makes sure people don’t walk away bored.
With an OP and ED that are also spot on for the subject matter and its striking colour scheme, Cells at Work is definitely one of the stand out anime this season. Again, not entirely convinced it is a concept that can work for a whole season but I’m certainly on board to find out at this point.
I can’t help but wonder how you make a whole series out of this concept, but this first episode of Cells at Work was both pretty literal and adorable.
When I first saw the trailer for this anime, I really thought this would be a short form anime, so I was quite surprised when I found out that the episodes of this are 23 minutes long. That said, this first episode didn’t feel stretched or bloated as we followed around our Red Blood Cell as she gets herself lost trying to make a delivery and then ends up attacked by a germ.
There’s something gloriously B Grade about the performances with both the white and red blood cell being gloriously naive and yet totally cute (I guess, if you can call the white blood cell cute after he dices a germ and gets covered in its blood) and the germ as the villain is very much Saturday morning cartoon over the top, as it would need to be to sell this particular concept.
Whether or not they can manage to keep the cute dynamic and general up-beat tone for a season I do not know, but I do know I had a lot of fun with this first episode.
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