WORKING!!: now that’s what I call comedy!

Ehhhhhh!! Souma's actually...WORKING!!

Comedy is often considered the most difficult genre to pull off, with good reason. A good comedy must not only have jokes that appeal to the sensibilities of its intended audience, it must also have great actors (or animators) with brilliant comedic timing. For me, WORKING!! had all of that in abundance.


Much of the humour stems from the strange collection of characters that have somehow found themselves working together. Takanashi the mini-con; Poplar and her height complex; Inami and her androphobia; the sword wielding Yachiyo who adores the good-for-nothing manager Kyoko; Jun who carelessly fell in love with the dense sword wielder; the manipulative and sneaky Souma, the likewise manipulative but dense Yamada and the normally abnormal Matsumoto… But even more importantly, the wacky and witty exchanges that come from this fruit salad of characters is WORKING!!’s greatest draw, especially since it also forms the framework for some slow but excellent character development.


In particular, here are my two highlights. The romantic (sadist) in me particularly loved watching Jun and Yachiyo get closer, inch by inch. Hindered of course by her denseness and obsession with Kyouko, and his abject inability to express what he truly feels. (At least OnoD’s not kimoi here…but he’s a hetare – great!!) If there’s a romance I want to see to fruition in this series, this is it! On the other hand, the girl in me fell in love with Takanashi…not in the manner of Poplar’s adoration of Kotori-chan, but rather because of the manly scolding he delivered to Inami’s father. That he willingly cooks and cleans, all whilst maintaining his grades, is a bonus of course. Now if only he could overcome that mini-complex! As expected, anime reflects real life: perfect guys just don’t exist!!


Following WORKING!! along with a number of other fans on AS also led to me the following realisation: comedy is highly personal. What one person finds hilarious may only meet a blank look from someone else. Furthermore, whilst different individuals may enjoy the same jokes, the manner in which they do so may be as varied as the stars. … Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but you get the point. Many people will disagree with me, but I found that the best way to enjoy WORKING!! was without the interference of any subs. Although I sometimes needed to watch an episode more than once to get all the jokes, I found it far more enjoyable because I could do so on my own terms, without the disconcerting interjection of anyone else’s sense of humour. As an added bonus, without the unfortunate preemption that subtitles necessarily entail, the comedic timing was completely preserved. Thanks to this experience, perhaps I’m ready to try Azumanga Daioh one more time (^_^).


The only thing that really detracted from my enjoyment was how drawn out the final episode was. Browsing ahead in the manga may have been a mistake, as I really did not like additions to the date, for they half buried the progress that Takanashi and Inami showed in the original. Nevertheless, it was a reasonably solid and amusing end to one of my favourite series this year. I’m looking forward to the day we see more of WORKING!!, especially to see two pseudo-couples get closer to each other. That said, I really don’t mind waiting because my pocket is dying for a much needed rest (which is also to say…”I’ve bought all the DVDs, so please give me more!!! one day”). In the meantime however, I’ll just sign off with this:


About karice
MAG fan, translator, and localization project manager. I also love musicals, travel and figure skating!

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