Should We Hunt, Trap, Or Just Get Sloshed This Week in Anime?

Second episode thoughts for Cells at Work season 2, Cells at Work: Code Black, and The Promised Neverland Season 2.

I’m pretty sure that in an episode or two I’m going to pick one or two other shows to binge the first three or four episodes (So I’m A Spider is definitely on my radar having enjoyed the books), but for now I’m progressing along with just the three seasonal shows.

Earlier this week I did a full catch up review of DanMachi Season 3 and I’ll continue to catch up on the 2020 anime. Noblesse and Gleipnir are both watched with reviews in draft form (though I may rewrite Gleipnir’s after a rewatch). Then for a change I jumped to My Next Life as a Villainess. Now that Summer is winding down and life is actually returning to my little town I’m back to a daily work schedule so I won’t be powering through quite so many episodes going forward. If you follow me on Twitter you’ll be in the loop on what I’ve caught up with and where I’m up to with those shows.

However, enough chatter and onto the current shows.

The Promised Neverland Season 2 Episode 2

After Ray and Emma’s initial shock they are quickly reunited with their friends, thus continuing Neverland’s season one trend of ending on cliff-hangers that get defused really fast once the next episode begins. I don’t necessarily mind it at this point but on when binge rewatching season one it creates a weird pacing issue as every episode spirals upward and doesn’t resolve and then you go through closing credits before the tension just kind of drops out from under you. Week to week it is pretty effective though even if it has become a tad-predictable.

Emma learns to hunt and a bit about the world they've escaped to - The Promised Neverland Season 2 Episode 2
Emma goes full hunger games and she learns some valuable lessons.

I’m glad that the kids spent a bit of this episode learning more about the world and choosing a new goal to work toward, even if that goal seems bonkers and completely out of reach. Originally escaping the farm seemed out of reach so who is to say they can’t escape the demon world. Though we now have to wonder what is with all the books and history the kids learned and where did it come from? There seems little reason for the demons to make up a whole history and yet the books definitely lead the kids to believe that up until 30 years ago things were fine, which we now learn wasn’t actually the case.

The other real positive from this episode came when the younger kids called Emma and Ray on their hero routines. If they are going to have any chance of surviving, the kids really needed to step up and stop letting Emma and Ray do all the heavy lifting and there was definitely a sense that they knew that in the way they all worked hard at developing new skills and learning about the world.

We also finally learned about the flower that started it all when Emma saw it embedded in Conny’s chest. Emma’s emotional reaction to this was kind of the perfect way to draw the episode to a close and for once it wasn’t really a cliff-hanger, though with the kids heading to coordinates that for whatever reason Ray left for the demons to find, I’m guessing things are going to go pear shaped sooner rather than later.

Cells at Work!! Episode 2

It’s a trap! Or at least we get to see the cells use a kind of trap this week.

White Blood Cell gets quite a bit of screen time this week though Red Blood Cells seems destined to be cameo appearances only in this second season so far. This week Cells at Work split the episode with the first story focusing on the Memory Cell and going through the motions of explaining acquired immunity (kind of a timely topic really). There’s plenty of carnage from the white blood cells while they wait for the dodgy memory cell to get his act together and ultimately this is a pretty fun romp of a story though doesn’t really provide much that we didn’t really get from season one.

White Blood Cell defending the others - Cells at Work Season 2 Episode 1
He looks so heroic sometimes.

Season two pushes more onto White Blood Cell as he is accused of the Killer T Cell of slacking off (just because he’s fetching tea for Red Blood Cell. Then of course the intestines get attacked by bacteria and White Blood Cell goes to work. This second story gives us a lot of information about how we deal with bacteria in the intestines and has some oddly amusing moments scattered throughout.

All and all it is more of what we should have expected after season one, though I’m definitely missing Red Blood Cell’s genuine sweetness and this episode was utterly devoid of platelets so that’s definitely not a strike in the episode’s favour. The bar scene was kind of entertaining though as we were introduced to M.


Cells at Work! Code Black! Episode 2

What’s a person to do when they have mouth ulcers and their body is slowly breaking down? Certainly drink alcohol is the answer.

This week we see our newly graduated red blood cell trying his hardest to deliver oxygen, get signatures, and just survive moving around the body. A task made harder when an ulcer in the mouth ruptures and he’s first attacked by bacteria and then by mouth wash.

Dying cell in the mouth after an ulcer bursts - Cells at Work Code Black Episode 2
Hang in there, cells. You can do it.

Still, it is hard to not to sympathise with Red Blood Cell as he is like all of us when we first start work. Originally optimistic about a promising future before getting plunged into despair by reality, and then finding small things to cling to in order to build some positivity, before something utterly ridiculous comes along and crushes that small ray of hope. Okay, maybe that was just my experience while working part-time jobs to get through university. And unlike Red Blood Cell I always knew I could walk away and find something else. He’s kind of stuck because if the blood cells stop circulating the body will break down much faster and then he’s up the creek.

Following disaster we see what happens when alcohol is used to relieve stress and Red Blood Cell gets another wake up call as he realises it isn’t just the red blood cells who are suffering here. It’s educational, if a bit bleak, and we finally see the death of a red blood cell, which is something the original anime has so far kind of avoided (though cells have been swept away by various injuries). Given red blood cells only live about 120 days, realistically this should have come up at some point in the other series though I can kind of see why they haven’t gone there.

I find myself cheering on Red Blood Cell here and while this spin-off certainly doesn’t leave me with a feel good afterglow it does leave me wanting to come back to see how Red Blood Cell overcomes the next trial.

Wrapping It Up

I know I’m actually releasing thoughts on episode 2 as episode 3 airs, but I watched the first season of The Promised Neverland with someone and the two of us are watching season 2 together. We’ve agreed to sit down each Saturday and watch the episode (and then I’ve talked him into keeping me company while I watch the Cells at Work episodes). As a result I won’t be trying to catch up but will continue to look at one episode of these shows a week.

That said, I’d love to know your thoughts on the episodes.

Images used for review from:

  • The Promised Neverland Season 2. Dir. M Kanbe. Cloverworks. 2021.
  • Cells at Work!! Creator A Shimizu. David Productions. 2021
  • Cells at Work! Code Black. Dir. H Yamamoto. LIDENFILMS. 2021

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4 thoughts on “Should We Hunt, Trap, Or Just Get Sloshed This Week in Anime?

  1. I’ve dropped both Cells at Work shows, and it’s entirely due to both episodes dropping on the same day in the same season. The regular show feels phoned in, and I have some issues with Black; nothing major. The result is that I can’t decide which one to drop, and ultimately it’s less stressful to just drop both. I might watch them “later”, which is a mythical time period rumoured to exist among anime fans.

    What gave me the push is that the day they drop is Friday, and that’s a really busy day anyway. I didn’t dislike either of the shows; it’s just bad timing.

    As for Neverland, I’m quite enjoying myself so far.

    Also: @Gleipnir: “though I may rewrite Gleipnir’s after a rewatch.” Heh. That’s exactly what I would have said if I’d had a blog or ever rewatched it. Whatever else the show is, it’s interesting.

    1. I am saving myself the stress of wondering what day new shows come out this season. I am watching the 3 season shows with a partner and we have made an ongoing appointment on the couch each weekend to watch one episode of each.
      While I may build back up to a more intensive seasonal viewing schedule this is a nice way to ease back into things. Plus I learned my TV can screen cap. Who would have thought?

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