Working'!!

Alt titles: Wagnaria!! 2

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ThePatches's avatar By ThePatches on Jan 26, 2012

Story

Working!! nearly wore out its welcome when it first aired. As the season wound down, the emphasis on Takanashi and Inami’s relationship began to consume all the screen time, reducing the fun and episodic slice of life series to a monotonously dysfunctional romance. So. Should we watch a second season when the first seemed to run out of steam? OF COURSE.

With the two “leads” at a sort of developmental detente, Working'!! explodes in a bunch of different directions caused by a significant increase to the size of the show’s cast. Each new character brings with them new subplots and relationships, which causes the show to adopt a more episodic feel despite the number of running storylines; on the whole, this new blood helps the show feel fresher week in and week out. To coincide with the less focused narrative, this season uses the easily-distracted Yamada as its lens instead of the first season's more focus protagonist,Takanashi. Her nosy nature and excess of enthusiasm allows her to insert herself into any developing action while still remaining the delightful butt of every third joke.

After all the new introductions and inside jokes, the show wraps up on an episode that recalls slightly the vaguely similar (and by “vaguely similar” I mean both shows involve food) Muteki Kanban Musume, where a silly mix-up offers an opportunity for the entire cast to riff on their character failings in tandem. Episodes like this one, while they become exhausting if they occur too much (I’m looking at you, Nichijou) can provide a perfect send off for a character-driven series and also provides a much better wrap-up than last-season's.


Animation

Working'!! showcases improved motion and character detail which actually improves the comedy overall. This time around, artists place a greater distance between the deformed iterations and the characters in their “normal” state, which enhances the effect of all punchlines that use that visual trick. While the restaurant remains as detailed and interesting as before, the outside environments suffer a little and betray a lack of concern on the part of the animators. But since stellar visuals have never been a hallmark of this series, those lapses shouldn’t bother anyone overmuch.


Sound

“Coolish Walk” is no “Someone Else” (have I managed to stick both songs in your head?), but it more than serves. It shares the same rhythmic cheeriness as the previous OP, but turns the manic energy down a click or two to fit with “familiar” feeling of the new season. The accompanying ED, “Itsumo no You ni Love & Peace”, keeps the mildly nostalgic vein of the the final ditty from season one. fills your head with funky disco beats and have you shaking your rear along with the closing credits in every episode.

The voice cast has it dialed and it shows. This time, however, it’s Ryou Hirohashi who carries the show via Aoi Yamada’s starring role. Ms. Hirohashi has managed to master--like Aki Toyosaki and her cast-mate Kana Asumi--the fine art of laying on the sugar without becoming shrill. Her role requires her to ham it up hard, changing emotions on a dime and maintaining her character’s irrational enthusiasm, and she rises to the challenge, setting the tone for the series much in the way that Jun Fukuyama did for the first season. Everyone else reprises their role with admirable skill, bringing the staff of Wagneria to life in the same enjoyable fashion as before.


Characters

Say what you want, but Yamada glues the series together. As mentioned above, it’s her viewpoint that defines the season and her quirks dictacte the comedic pacing here. While she’s not as universally loveable as some of the more modern boke-type characters (Hakase and Miyako remain the best versions of that archetype), her combination of selfishness and thickheaded blundering makes for a neverending font of one-off gags and b-plots. In addition, her earnest nature and loneliness make it possible to root for ever, even if her sense of entitlement makes you relish every inconvenience or humiliation she suffers.

But once again, it’s the seamless introduction of new blood that defines the series. While some of the additions are spoilerous, this season goes out of its way to introduce a pair of semi-reformed thugs from Kyouko’s bancho days and their interaction with existing cast members crackles with new sparks of humor. Each one display their own particular brand of crazy in addition to their defining antagonism, shedding some light on the kind of leadership the manager exhibited as a bancho. And their synergy with the Wagneria staff makes them all the better: Mitsuki stirs up more love-interest trouble in a show that needs more active participants on that front; and Yohei provides a perfect foil for the lusty and violent Kozue-neesan who really, really needs a man in her life.

7/10 story
7/10 animation
7.5/10 sound
8.5/10 characters
7.5/10 overall
pleth0ra's avatar By pleth0ra on May 31, 2012

This review is actually for the second season of Working!! This review will contain a little bit of spoilers so plz don't read if you haven't seen the second season.


Working!! is definitely as hilarious as the first season was, if not more funny! A-1 is still doing the animation for the second season and its as amazing as ever! 
The dialogue, being the most important part, is THE BEST PART!!! OMG how funny can this show get!! There are subtle things in the show that just make the more obvious things that much more hilarious, which just adds another reason to watch this show again haha.
Now for the only thing that I didn't enjoy about the second season. **SPOILERS**
For the people who were looking forward to seeing how Inama-san and Takanashi-san's relationship develops or waiting to see them get together, it just didnt happen. As far as the romantic aspect of the show, it just served as a sub-plot and only got developed a little bit. Same with the relationship with Sado and Yachiyo, it didn't get developed at all.

7/10 story
9/10 animation
9/10 sound
10/10 characters
7/10 overall
ratchet573's avatar By ratchet573 on Feb 7, 2012

Working’!! is exactly like Working!! but with an added apostrophe to confuse you. It has the same thirteen episode set up with the same characters, same restaurant, and same jokes. What I’m trying to get at is the fact that this review will be fairly tiny because there’s really not a lot that can be said about this second season of the series that I did not say in my previous review of Working!!.

The story is the same as before with Souta helping to cure Mahiru’s androphobia while working at a family restaurant operated by a big group of misfits. It runs in a somewhat episodic way, with some overflow into the future episodes. That said, that’s about all I need to say. There is not a lot of story being dished out, or anything too complex anyway. Each episode ranges from fun and entertaining to boring and slow. These are especially prevalent around the points with Mahiru, who I complained about previously, and I shall complain about again. While I must commend the series for not making her the focal point and showcasing the others a lot more, she was still really prevalent and out of all the characters she is one of the worst. Thankfully, my prayers were answered and the cute romance between Jun and Yachiyo gets a lot more screen time and, while not going anywhere (just like every romance and major plot point of the series), still gives the characters added depth and a much more realistic feel than any of the others. The biggest plot aside from the androphobia concerns a guy looking for his sister. He’s not a particularly interesting or funny character, and this plot goes nowhere. Which is the problem with the series is that it just doesn’t develop. And there is a reason for this, that being Working!! is based on a comic strip which is the reason they use the same gags again and again and the characters never develop. So I guess I can be somewhat lenient based on that fact, but at the same time I feel that somebody should have taken the initiative and said something about tying up the romances or plots and at least ending the series with a bit of a bow on top. Instead it ends like any other episode and hopes I’ll return. Does this mean I can expect a season three called Working’,!! or is it just a tease like most anime endings? Time will tell I guess.

The animation is once again pretty unsubstantial. It’s good, but it’s not anything that will make you say "wow". Character designs just aren’t that fantastic and memorable.

The sound is okay. The theme song for this season is not as catchy as the previous one, and the ending isn’t as great either. The sound during the show fits perfectly fine.

For more on characters, please refer to my previous review. Which makes me sound lazy, but I’d feel lazier if I copy and pasted the exact words about each of the characters in this spot. Everyone is the same. There are no differences and no character development so you don’t have to worry about me saying anything. Once again, Maya Matsumoto, the self-proclaimed “Normal girl” returns with lines during the last episode, but remains a mute throughout, though can be seen in the background. She actually works with the crew in the last episode and seems to have some sort of relationship with all of them, but yet she is never used throughout to instill a sense of normality in the show. It just doesn’t feel right for a character who has been there to magically have lines the last episode and become part of the plot. It’s like someone forgot about her up to that point and then quickly wrote her into the script.

Yeah, this review is very short by my standards, but it’s the best I can really do without copy and pasting my review of the previous season. If you liked Working!!, you’ll love this season. It’s not really an improvement, though the shift of focus from androphobia is a big part of what makes this season slightly better, but it is a good addition to the franchise. Will there be more episodes? Who knows. Will I welcome them? Sure I will, but I don’t know how willingly. While I enjoy the occasional comedy/slice of life adventure, there has to be some development and growth and Working’!! doesn’t provide either. As it progresses, it grows staler with the same brand of comedy and the same pointless romances that go in circles. It started off fun and felt like it may go somewhere and continue to entertain, but the problem is it just starts to flatline here. With the occasional good episode and the typical average ones, it never seems to find its stride and only occasionally makes a joke that is laugh-worthy, because all the others we have heard.

Overall, Working’!! is a step in the right direction, but the entity taking that step is growing old and tired and needs to be rested before it can go any further. If there were to be a third season, there would have to be a sense of freshness that this anime rarely provides.

A 5/10

6/10 story
6/10 animation
7/10 sound
7/10 characters
5/10 overall
theredking's avatar By theredking on Apr 25, 2014

After watching service x servent i was recomended Working and by god i'm glad i watched both seasons. I couldnt stop lauging after each episode it was so good I had to get both seasons in one day. This is a great comedy with a slice of life theme with great characters who are intresting and never get boring even though they do the same job everyday. I'm still waiting for season 3 I have high hopes since the mangas going on but I need the love storys between some o the characters and for yamadas brother to finally realise that his sister been there entire time/

.

7/10 story
6/10 animation
10/10 sound
10/10 characters
8/10 overall