Cute Executive Officer

Alt title: Youjo Shachou

Web (13 eps x 4 min)
3.248 out of 5 from 219 votes
Rank #11,415

Najimu Mujina is the president of Mujina Company who is neither an adult nor a genius, but an aggressively average five-year-old girl. All the familiar trappings of adulthood like match-making parties, contracts, and socializing while golfing are new experiences to her. The story follows Najimu as she navigates modern life with her capable but too indulgent secretary, her office worker of unknown nationality, and her employee who plays the comedy straight man role to her antics.

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Project No 9’s adorable 2021 office comedy comprises thirteen or fifteen shorts (depending upon how you count them) at just a few minutes each. In 2023 HiDive had them bundled as one continuous show. It is a show based upon such a simple idea that it really just writes itself. Based upon the comedy manga by Odeko Fujii it features the uber-kawaii little Najimu Mujina as the sweetie-pie CEO of (what appears to be) a toy company. The catch is that she appears to be about six years of age! Unlike so many other office-based comedy animes this one actually dares to go as far as roasting traditional Japanese office work culture. The Japanese have so normalised their insane office work ethic that you rarely see anyone else in that culture act as if there is anything wrong with it. So, this show, as silly and trivial as it may seem superficially, actually goes to a few places few similar shows wish to go. When the office team realise they may have to “pull an all-nighter” little Najimu agrees to spend the night with them before unrolling a futon and pretending she is having a sleep-over. Then she orders the lights to be switched off. One disgruntled worker has to join the sleepover complaining that she wouldn’t make her deadline. The narrator then fills in that, after a good night’s sleep, she got up early and her completed her work fully refreshed. Quite. It seems to comically broach a topic that dare not even speak its name in these office comedies. Maybe we should all be more like children and consider how a good rest may well make our work better. In another sequence an angry customer phones up and gets through to her. He demands an apology and then she suggest that he apologies for shouting. She gets her way. You get the feeling that this goes further than just being a humorous show based upon its single gag. There is some clever observation going on here too. Maybe it takes a small child to tell the Japanese what they need to hear but are unable to discuss. A nice show, very funny but woefully too short. We enjoyed it enormously.

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