Ganbare, Douki-chan

Web (12 eps x 6 min)
Fall 2021
3.251 out of 5 from 1,373 votes
Rank #10,023

From the creator of Miru Tights comes a new anime about three coworkers and their everyday lives.

Source: Crunchyroll

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Each episode of AtelierPontdarc’s 2021 gem barely lasts five minutes (including opening and closing titles) yet this is quite a charming little series. This is a great example of just how good a simple romance tale can be if you set it in an office. Why do so few animes focus on office life? Is there something about Japanese culture that fixates on JK imagery to the exception of all other work experience? The more senior members of the anime community, who have experienced office life, simply are not catered for. The quasi-erotic imagery of the female form in manga/anime is so highly focused on school &/or fantasy that we easily forget that the same aesthetic can be applied to young ladies and gentlemen in other formats. Hence a niche sub-genre opened up portraying attractive young women in office attire being cute and incredibly sexy. If your taste is for that sort of thing then you will like Ganbare Doki-chan. Doki-chan is a pretty (if not overly beautiful or popular) young office worker who comes to work each day in obligatory workwear of short, tight, black skirt and fitted shirt. She has a mad crush on Doki-kun who works next to her but she is shy and finds it hard to express how she feels. The story opens with her arranging “accidentally” to end up in the same hotel room as him on a business trip. Yet the plan is thwarted when Doki-kun inevitably behaves like the perfect gentleman and doesn’t touch her. Then they get stuck in a lift together with similar lack of outcome. Then there is her plan for Valentine’s Day. She has made him chocolates and whilst she works up courage to give it to him, he is whisked out of the office by her arch-rival. Will her love remain forever unrequited? It is certain that he does have eyes for her but can she turn it to her advantage? What is cute here is how the office girls she considers to be her rivals are actually trying to help her. If only the clueless girl would get the hint. ‘Ganbare, Douki-chan’ is over all too quickly but our hats off to doujin artist Yomu who serialised this whole thing originally on Twitter in 2019. What a star. It is worth comparing this to “Tawawa on Monday” (Pine Jam/season 1 2016 & Yokohama Animation Laboratory/season 2 2021) to which it bears an uncanny resemblance. ‘Ganbare, Douki-chan’ is superior.

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