28-year-old Hiroko Matsukata is the definition of a workaholic. On top of smoking too much, rarely having sex and having lousy luck nurturing her romantic life, she works excessively to get the job done. Alongside many co-workers at the weekly news magazine Jidai, Hiroko tirelessly works on countless stories – thus negating any chance of a social life. Can Hiroko balance her home and work life, or is she doomed to be a 'working man' forever?
I'm not feeling it.I watched some of the anime version of Hataraki Man, and enjoyed it; it felt like a somewhat-heavy slice of life title, with plenty of josei angst to go around. The manga just... is missing something. I know it came first, but I found it far more boring and uninteresting to read. Somehow the topic of workaholics (with a heavy dose of psychological conversation) doesn't make for a good read. It's hard to follow the character, hard to keep people straight (given there are so many names and faces to deal with), and overall pretty soulless. That being said, the chapter involving Hiroko's boyfriend was melancholy and sad in a good way - you feel bad for his character for sure, even though up to that point you've only been exposed to Hiroko and her perspective.Overall I'd avoid this one unless you really, really liked the anime and want to see its origins. Decent artwork and characters that you may come to love, but the progression and amount of boring dialogue sort of killed it for me.
This review is based on the first 7 chapters of the manga.Hataraki Man is about the life of Matsukata Hiroko, a hardworking editor at “The Age” magazine, following the difficulties she encounters, as well as her successes. Having read this straight after reading a somewhat generic shoujo/josei romance story, the first thing that caught my eyes were the character designs. For once, all the characters actually had different faces, instead of just having a variety of eyes and hairstyles, and were all individually recognizable. Even though the quality of the drawings wasn’t something extraordinary, it scored big points on character design because of this. On to the story itself. Each chapter of this manga follows a different story, and there is little character development between these stories and little to no big storyline going through all the chapters. The only thing that ties them together is the team of “The Age”, following Matsukata around. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially since most characters are very likeable in one way or another, but it did get a little repetitive by the end of this volume. Overall, Hataraki Man was an enjoyable read for me, showing the results and hardships of fully focusing on your carrier, without being dramatic about it. Pros: Good character designs Theme well executed Likable characters Cons: Get’s slightly repetitive later on, no plot twists Little character development
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