There are some things Africa no Salaryman gets right about its subject matter, and it’s that office work is dry, dull, and mostly meaningless. It’s a message it takes so seriously, that it doesn’t take too long before the show itself becomes just as slow-paced as the thing it’s parodying. Watching this is like standing in line at the photocopying machine and listening to everyone in front of you crack the stupidest jokes they can think of. It’s having lunch at the pantry and forcing yourself to make small talk with people you only tolerate because you’re in the same department. It’s sitting in front of your computer to review the same old documents and talking to the guy in the next cubicle about all the things you’d be doing if you weren’t at work. The office is where dreams go to die and salarymen are faded versions of their younger selves. This is the main thesis Africa no Salaryman lives and dies by, but maybe it would have helped if it wasn’t so mind-numbingly boring.
There’s a douchebag Toucan who tries so hard to liven things up, but he’s more annoying than effective, so even if he gets his comeuppance, most of the jokes revolve around him anyway. Like your typical day in the office, you’re going to have to deal with the Annoying Co-Worker at some point, and unfortunately for us, it’s this guy this show wants to make the main character of the story. Never mind if you had Kenjiro Tsuda voicing a sexy lizard here and everything. The art is deceiving too – it’s quirky and makes things look more fun than they’re supposed to be, but even that can’t save the episodes from being the redundant things they are.
It’s really too bad the show tried to follow the Toucan’s example by being the most annoying piece of shit in the room. If the world were an office and anime series were the people you had to work with, then Africa no Salaryman would be the co-worker you go out of your way to avoid. It manages to do the bare minimum to get by, but because it slacks off so bad, it tries to act funny to make up for its complete lack of a personality – forgetting the very important fact that, my guy, I am just here to work and punch out when it’s time, not make long-lasting friendships with things I most probably would never have to see again.