Recaps for Working!!

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Working!!! #08 Anime Review

Despite the previous episode’s title, "Goodbye Yamada," Yamada returns as Yamada in full Yamada form. (Surprise! …she’s not really leaving.) Honestly, Yamada’s departure and return represents the first major chunk of content in the episode and is a bit overkill for all its superfluous sentiment. The bookends—chibi Yamada’s harassment of Takanashi and the ol’ switcheroo yuk based on the running gag about the fictitious family name—are probably the best bits of the first five minutes (aside from a predictable but appreciated outburst from Otoo’s wife). The in-between, when Takanashi recalls Yamada’s formal announcement to the crew, otherwise extends the tenderness with which the last episode left off. It provides the contrast against which comedy would thrive, but effective jokes really don’t end up being cracked here to properly utilize the setup. READ MORE...

Working!!! Episode #07 Anime Review

It’s been three days since Souma saved Yamada from her brother’s outstretched, homeward-beckoning hand. Since then, the Takanashi household has adopted Yamada as their pet (for surveillance purposes at her brother’s request), but her presence has been wearing on certain family members. The trouble is that Yamada, in what seems an earnest confession, spells out her reason for running away and not wanting to go back. Worse yet, it’s a story that’s easy to empathize with … prior to the reveal of the comedic final straw (which is pretty great in its own right) anyway. After Takanashi retells Yamada’s story to the Wagnaria crew, their ambivalent reactions parallel those of the Takanashi family. The defining difference is that the Wagnaria crew collectively decides to "inconspicuously make her want to go back home" and takes passive-aggressive actions towards that end. READ MORE...

Working!!! Episode #06 Anime Review

I do not hand over five-star or A+ reviews lightly, but relativity regarding my favorite aspect of Working!! forces my hand this week. Working!!!’s comedy has been tainted for better and worse over the past few episodes by tonal shifts and tasteless jokes, respectively. Sure, there’s been funny, but the comedy was more relief than love letter. This week, Working!!! oft kept my mouth agape, while the drawn laugher left me near death for want of breath (an exaggeration, but you get my gist). READ MORE...

Working!!! Episode #05 Anime Review

Souta’s cleaning like a man possessed (of his own thoughts), and he is! Obsessed with trying to figure out why he was called an idiot by Inami last episode, Souta cleans the downstairs, the upstairs, and even cleans his sister’s glasses (while she’s wearing them). This leads into one of those rare and wonderful moments sporadically enacted throughout Wagnaria: Takanashi family scenes! READ MORE...

Working!!! Episode #4 Anime Review

Working!!! (Working!!3, Wagnaria) continues to impress with its use of tonal shifts. Episode 4 picks up the day after the big (unofficial) date between Satou and Todoroki. Blushes and uncomfortable silences, punctured by Todoroki’s moé smiles and deadpan lines from Satou, dress the stage with romantic tension while serving up some light chuckles via dramatic irony. All the while, misreadings and mishaps and misunderstandings amongst the main cast play to familiar rom-com setups while distinguishing their execution through overreaching vocal reactions and some uber-cute chibi visualizations (not to mention the visual irony behind the implementation of the final chibi scene). READ MORE...

Working!!! Episode #03 Anime Review

True to life, Sato cannot stop thinking of his one opportunity to be alone with Todoroki: taking her out for drinks. (In the previous episode, Todoroki laments never having tried alcohol and expresses a wish to do so in a safe environment.) Ever observant, Souma continues to be overly and uncharacteristically nice in his support of Sato seeking out Todoroki’s attention. Of course, that’s not to say he doesn’t have his fun with harassing Sato, but the spy of the series has definitely switched gears from passive-aggressive to peanut gallery. There is still a lot of watching from behind corners, however, and almost all of those instances conform (humorously) to formula: action between two characters, a pan left, a character reveal. READ MORE...

Working!!! Episode #02 Anime Review

Minegishi calls to check in on the Takanashi children at the behest of their mother, who’s been away and far too busy to interact with them personally. This former family member-turned-informer ends up meeting with Souta to discuss how he and his sisters – Kazue (oldest), Kozue (drunkest), Izumi (hikikomori-est), and Nazuna (youngest) – are getting along and what they’ve been up to. Minegishi’s introduced, via his meeting with Souta, as the stereotypical masochist, but it’s the mental element added to the usual physical implication that makes him "special" (read: not entirely a stock character, or rather one with a slight twist). Minegishi flies in and out of the episode fairly quickly. And while the gratuitousness of his bizarrely intricate interconnectedness is quite humorous in retrospect, his presence, both impending early on and lingering thereafter, produces one wonderful thing: a brief and pertinent tonal shift. READ MORE...

Working!!! Episode #01 Anime Review

Starting off with a POV introduction courtesy of Taneshima, the cold open reminds viewers of each character’s defining eccentricities and connections. Yamada’s still breaking dishes and deflecting blame while being yelled at by Takanashi, who harbors a creepy obsession for small, cute things; Inami’s still afraid of men but getting better at pulling her powerful punches under Takanashi’s tutelage; Satou’s still taking out his frustration on Taneshima’s hair over his unrequited love for the clueless Todoroki, who is still doting upon the apathetic and ever-ravenous Manager, who’s still eating parfaits; and Souma, like the intro, has still got the digs on everyone at the family restaurant (but unlike the intro is using the information for potential blackmail). It’s a playful intro and welcome back to Working!!!, a truly underappreciated comedy. READ MORE...

Wagnaria!! Season 2 Episode #13 Anime Review

They have been teasing us with it all season long, and now we have it: the first lines spoken by Maya Matsumoto, the only "normal" person working at the restaurant. Once she gets talking, she gets in quite a few lines, obviously having been saving up her lines for a while. Maya may be normal, but she takes it to an extreme, as she is extreme about her being normal. (Thus, she is not really normal either, and just as quirky as the rest of the gang). READ MORE...

Wagnaria!! Season 2 Episode #12 Anime Review

Inami is trying her hardest to not punch guys, and the gang at work is trying their best to help her. Of course, the initial plan doesn’t exactly work. But Takanashi comes up with a plan that is more workable: he and Mahiru will exchange text messages. Kittens ensue. Still, this is Working, so this is not the only story this time around. We also get to see the trials and travails of Yamada, who lives alone in the restaurant, but happens to get locked out. Sato, however, comes to her rescue. The next day, though, we go back to trying to fix Inami’s problem. Of course, doing so requires sacrifice, and it will be Yamada who has to pay the price. READ MORE...