Invading Forces Are Kind of A Theme This Week in Anime

Episode 4 coverage for Cells at Work, The Promised Neverland and Cells at Work: Code Black.

I mentioned it on Twitter but after watching By The Grace of the Gods and the episodes for this week’s round up I had a small issue where some files on my computer were corrupted and bye-bye all the screenshots that I may have ended up using in this post. Sure I could have gone back to the episodes and found the images again but that really didn’t appeal and so we’ll just have to make do with some reaction images instead.

Karandi - Shrug
Artist: PLXNTSOCKS

The Promised Neverland Season 2 Episode 4

Alright, so this episode does the usual Promised Neverland thing where it pretty much resolves the tension left at the end of the last episode relatively quickly and then we kind of settle into this calm and idyllic rhythm with the kids setting up base in their shelter. I remember while watching I turned to my friend and asked them how long they expected it would be before somebody died?

Admittedly, they aren’t knocking these kids off but after lulling the audience with montages of kids training, growing plants, being a little bit idiotic while hunting, and generally things going well for them, the tables turn quickly and explosively.

Karandi - Excited
Artist: PLXNTSOCKS

As the shelter is invaded by men in military fatigues (and why is it men in military fatigues and not demons invading them?) the kids are forced to scramble leading to an episode finale that was truly fantastic and potentially the most violent yet for this particular series.

And while that is pretty fantastic on its own, the episode goes one better. We finally see what has happened to Isabella (mother) and there’s the promise that she’ll be making a bigger appearance very soon. I would love to see what happens when she reunites with the kids so I’m very much anticipating future developments (keep in mind I deliberately didn’t read any further in the manga than the first season covered because I kind of feel the element of surprise really helps the enjoyment for this series – of course it also seems like the anime might be taking a different path from the source from comments other viewers have made).

For me, episode 4 was a solid win.

Cells at Work!! Season 2 Episode 4

Ordinary Cell resents being ordinary and envies immune cells. Then he finds a troop of bacteria that are just too cute to leave alone or hand over to be killed. Enter White Blood Cell, some violence, and a revelation that they are actually good bacteria that can help the digestive system.

Karandi - Disappointed
Artist: PLXNTSOCKS

Honestly, this season of Cells at Work isn’t bad and this particular story is kind of interesting as we see White Blood Cell going against his nature and not immediately killing the invading germs. There’s also a pretty cool fight in the stomach acid so stuff is happening. Yet, even with it being a rare Cells at Work Story that is going to stretch into the next episode, there just isn’t any real punch here. Season One gave us the two parter involving cancer and that was dramatic and pretty brilliant all round. Where as this is just kind of, “well, okay so that happened”.

I’m still kind of hoping that something happens in this series to pull me back in (another episode with a whole bunch of Platelets and the Red Blood Cell might do it) but right now I’m mostly just continuing to watch this as a counterpoint to Code Black.

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Cells at Work! Code Black! Episode 4

Which of course just leaves Code Black as it continues the story from episode 3 directly. After the sexual encounter last week, and all the effort the cells went to in order to make that happen, the body has now been invaded by Gonorrhea and it is causing some issues. The White Blood Cell casualties are piling up and it really looks like the body isn’t going to overcome this crisis for a fair while. All this drama actually allows our rookie Red Blood Cell to step up and show how far he’s grown from episode 1 when he first discovered how poor the body’s shape was. While he’s a little on the preachy side, it is excellent to see him trying to motivate others to keep doing their jobs even as things fall apart.

This episode of Code Black really emphasises the key character design differences between the original Cells at Work and this spin-off. While the busty White Blood Cells have always been a little on the sexualised side, this episode puts that visual front and centre as we see many of the immune cell ladies being squeezed by tentacled germs. I’m not entirely sure what the idea behind this particular focus is even though I get that Code Black is a more adult version of Cells at Work. Honestly, it all just kind of looked a bit creepy. Then again, maybe it was tying in to the idea that this was a sexually transmitted disease?

Karandi - Confused
Artist: PLXNTSOCKS

Code Black remains an interesting watch each week and it has definitely worked at distinguishing itself sufficiently from its roots while at the same time maintaining the same basic formula that made the original so watchable. Of course there’s a lot of bleak subject matter here and this spin-off is far more up-front about cell death than the original has ever been, but it hasn’t yet crossed the line (for me at least) into being just morbid.

Wrapping It Up

This was definitely a better showing for Cells at Work this week but we’re now a third of the way through the season and all I can really say about it is that it isn’t bad. Code Black has so far been showing it up every episode but I get that it doesn’t have quite the universal appeal of it’s original and for some people the subject matter isn’t going to be pleasant. The Promised Neverland’s second season however is going from strength to strength and right now I’m very invested in the story and eagerly awaiting the next instalment.

Your thoughts?

Images not 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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15 thoughts on “Invading Forces Are Kind of A Theme This Week in Anime

  1. Aww, Hanako-kun was my favourite show of 2020, with no real contest. Everything worked for me (read: I actually liked all the characters). It’s biggest selling point, though, is definitely the style.

      1. Okay fixed that. Hanako-kun’s review is still in draft and not coming out until next month. No idea why this post suddenly dumped the middle part into itself.

          1. No, thanks for pointing it out. Of course you have now read part of a draft of a post that wasn’t planned until next month. Sometimes wordpress can be interesting.

  2. “why is it men in military fatigues and not demons invading them?”

    The shelter is built to human proportions, which are generally smaller than demon proportions. At least that’s how I saw it.

    1. I am more curious about where these guys came from. I know the demons use some humans like tthe mothers etc, but now they also have human troops?

  3. It’s a shame they’ve sexed up the female white cells in “Black” as they are my fave new characters right now. If anime does one thing well it is kick ass women! 🙂

    1. Very true. Many fantastic examples of action women in anime. Now if the just got costumes that or armour that were practical for purpose.

  4. The use of reaction images was incredibly cute. I would be interested to see how you use them later on.

    I also agree with a lot of what you said, I just can’t say anything about anything right now…

    1. Glad you liked them. I am hoping to use them eventually in a video, though right now that is a ways off. Still, not having screen caps seemed like a good time to unleash them.

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