28-year-old Hiroko Matsukata is the definition of a workaholic. On top of smoking too much, rarely having sex and having lousy luck nurturing her romantic life, she works excessively to get the job done. Alongside many co-workers at the weekly news magazine Jidai, Hiroko tirelessly works on countless stories – thus negating any chance of a social life. Can Hiroko balance her home and work life, or is she doomed to be a 'working man' forever?
In the year 2075, humanity has spread to the stars, along with their technology, colonies, and... waste? At such great speeds in orbit, even a tiny bolt can cause a tragic disaster. Enter the team of the half division. Their job? To gather the garbage and debris that circles the Earth, in order to keep space safe. From broken-down satellites to bolts and nails, there's nothing that the underpaid and underappreciated staff can't salvage. Join Hachimaki, Tanabe, Fee, and the rest of the gang as they risk their lives to keep space clean, and keep their wallets... empty.
It always amazes me when two shows which are so very different instantly appeal to me as having an intrinsic kinship. This is especially true of Planetes and Hataraki Man. Both stories give us a peek into the lives of women who have chosen to work towards career goals at the expense of personal comfort. Both Heroines are dynamic characters capable of showing weakness and strength in the same moment. While they may take place in two very different environments, at a deeper level they are both about taking a look at the choices you have made, and choosing to find reasons to smile and laugh rather than cry.
Secret agent for the British Libraries, Yomiko Readman, has an infatuation with books. When she purchases one of the books that contain the notes for a plan to purge the world of humanity, Yomiko (along with the help of Ms. Deep and Drake) uses her powers of paper manipulation to stop a group of resurrected men from fulfilling the plan.
Yomiko Readman likes to read and Hiroko Matsukata likes to write. At first glance they're really different, but somehow they have similarity in their way of living: they optimistically look towards the future and believe that something better will happen.
Fumihiko Matsumaru is a salary man who works in the marketing department of a snack company. As a bachelor, he tried to date a girl from his company; but coincidently, he met Aka Onda, a rookie voice actor, instead. Through another stroke of fate, Aka’s house burned down that very night. With nowhere to stay and no family to aid Aka, Fumihiko took her in; and the next day, Fumihiko’s new marketing idea was accepted, and Aka’s being hired for the product’s voice actor! As the relationship of Aka and Fumihiko deepens, the more difficult their relationship becomes. Can they live together under the same roof while keeping the secret of their relationship safe?
If you enjoyed Hataraki Man, I'm sure you will also enjoy REC. Both series involve a close-up of complicated relationships mixed in with work life. There aren't a lot of character aspects in REC whereas you're introduced to a number in Hataraki Man, but you still get the same "that's life" + drama feel.
Located on a small street near the center of Rome, the Casetta dell'orso is a small yet popular restaurant staffed by a group of older, bespectacled gentlemen. Nicoletta is a twenty-one-year-old woman who has just arrived in Rome to meet with her estranged mother's husband, who owns the restaurant. She intends to inform him that not only was his wife married once before, but also that she is her daughter - a secret her mother desperately wants kept. When she arrives at the restaurant Nicoletta becomes enamoured with Claudio, one of the waiters, and begins to spend more time there. Despite the age gap, Nicoletta finds her feelings towards Claudio growing; and after making a promise to keep her mother's secret, Nicoletta begins working at the restaurant as an apprentice chef. Now she is trying her hardest to become a good cook, but can Nicoletta overcome the difference in age and win the quiet Claudio's heart?
There are next to no options for people who like josei slice-of-life series. Luckily, the few that exist are very good- including Hataraki Man and Ristorante Paradiso.
Both are about a twenty-something year old redhead working and going about her life. Aside from her, most episodes focus on one of their wide array of coworkers. Ristorante Paradiso has a bit more of a romantic sub-plot, while Hataraki Man is more about a woman trying to make it in a man's world, but for people who enjoy character interactions and delight in the mundane, both are superb.
Ryoko Yakushiji is the gifted and beautiful Superintendent of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police; no matter what the problem – science gone wrong or supernatural monsters – it seems there is nothing she cannot solve. With her new partner, the mild mannered Junichiro Izumida, she sets about tackling some of Tokyo's most terrible crimes. However, as Izumida quickly discovers, Ryoko's talent comes with a big ego and some strange personal baggage; cleaning up the streets of Tokyo becomes not just a matter of finding the bad guys, but trying to survive Ryoko's attitude problem as well!
Hataraki Man and Ryoko's Case Files have different types of plot, but both feature a very strong female lead who is fighting for her career. If you like capable, sophisticated, red-head lead ladies in an office setting, you may want to check out these two titles.