Third season of Working!!
January 2013: It was a time when I was a mere rookie when it comes to Anime. Sure, I had seen my fair share of overhyped shounen series like Dragonball Z and Pokémon, but that was back when I wasn't even aware that any of those shows belonged to a bigger something. It was when I joined Anime-Planet, that a whole new world opened up to me. One of the first shows I ever watched in this new world, was Working! (Wagnaria). It was a time when I still used to be very lenient towards the things I saw; a time when I could hardly distinguish the good from the bad since I lacked the proper experience. When you haven't seen a lot yet, chances are that you'll be impressed very quickly. What's the reason I'm saying all this? It's because even for my standards, back in the days Working! was one of those shows I just couldn't appreciate to the fullest. I rated it a 6.9/10 - which I assume isn't bad in comparison to my standards these days, as I presently became a lot more strict - but back then, that used to be the lowest score I had ever given to an Anime I reviewed. Since that time, I've seen over 150 animes, and my knowledge and expectations have become a lot more extensive. When I heard that A-1 pictures announced a third and final season of Working!, I was intrigued. It'd give me a chance to see how my view towards the series had changed after seeing so many other shows. Had I been too strict by rating the show a 6.9/10? The short answer is NO. In fact, my opinion about this series hasn't changed a lot, even after all this time. I did, however, manage to see the bigger meaning behind this series. i've come to accept it as it is, while back in my rookie days, I expected every Anime to have an epic story with loads of plot development and action. The comic relief and running gags of a show like Working! were completely new to me. As a matter of fact, even slice of life shows became something I despised after seeing Working! for the first time, as I wrongly presumed that every slice of life show would be the same as Working! I couldn't have been more wrong... This review does not contain spoilers of season 3, but it does contain spoilers of season 1 and 2 as it has been made for those who have already seen the first two seasons and are unsure if it's worth to check out the new season. Season 3 makes us return to the restaurant Wagnaria and its rather eccentric staff. The show is mostly episodic, with the occasional romantic development here and there. The main focus still lies on the the funny and awkward moments which usually occur because of the cast's strange habits or characteristics. Inami is still struggling to overcome her fear of men, Taneshima is still trying to grow bigger and Souma is still striving to know everyone's secrets. Watching Working! is like watching a sitcom: you'll enjoy it if you don't expect too much deepness and it shouln't be taken seriously. It has a light tone to it. It mainly leans on its running gags, so expect to see a lot of the same things happening throughout the series. The show had a sluggish start that disappointed me, but after a while I started to enjoy watching it. Some of the episodes focused too much on a single - annoying - character, while it's crystal clear that everyone would rather see some development in Inami's and Souta's relationship. What's a good comedy series without enjoyable characters? Luckily this also counts for Working!. I'm pretty sure anyone can identify with at least one of these odd people. And with odd, I mean that not a single one of them is completely sane. As far as I can remember from the previous seasons, it used to be even worse in the past. The manager is eating all the time, Yachiyo is always talking about the manager, Satou is always thinking about Yachiyo, Taneshima is always thinking about how small she is and Yamada always forgets to think when she's holding tableware. Some characters have shown positive development towards their shortcomings, or at least up till a certain extent. Inami, for instance, hasn't punched a single male as far as I can remember. It's good to see some change in the characters, however little, as in the previous two seasons, the show never seemed to go anywhere. All of the OP's and ED's of Working sound very much alike. You could recognize them immediately. The voice actors for all of the important characters (read: restaurant personnel) remained the same. I never had any complaints about the voice acting. The actors fit well with their characters, and I'm happy they didn't have to change one of them because that might've been a bit awkward if you're about to see all three seasons in one go. The animation has always been good and since it looks the same as in the previous seasons, it still is. The characters look nice and realistic. The colors are vivid and appealing. So why did this show go from 6.9/10 to 6.5/10? Does that mean it got worse than the previous seasons? Well, not really. I just became more stern. Season 3 is better than both of the previous seasons. A-1 Pictures has promised to wrap the show up and so far they didn't disappoint. There's more development than in the previous seasons and it looks like they're actually going somewhere for a change. That being said, the show is still far from outstanding. It is watchable, enjoyable even, but certainly not memorable. It lacks a certain special something to make it stand out. It's a light-hearted comedy like a dozen other shows out there, nothing more, nothing less. If you're okay with that and you enjoyed the previous two seasons, then I can recommend this show to you. If you're looking for something more memorable in the slice of life/comedy or comedy/romance genre, I'd recommend you to look elsewhere. For example: Kaichou-wa Maid-sama is a better show that partially has the same setting as Working!.
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