Thoughts on Servant x Service

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This is what happens when the author of Working!! gets tired of… Working!!.

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Servant x Service is an anime that is somewhat of a rarity. A majority of the cast are working adults and the premise of “high school” is more of a picturesque memory than anything else. It deals with a variety of characters, all of whom I assume are in their twenties, working in a human services department. But the anime can’t possibly just live on that premise alone (even though Lucky Star did with less), so they incorporated a character with a central focus in mind. This character, shown in black above, took the job of being yelled at a health and welfare assistant at a ward office to seek revenge for someone who already had that position who approved of her current name when she was born. All twelve of them. Sound stupid? I know.

Not Working!! is kind of a random show. Not random in the sense that nothing makes sense, but more along the lines of introducing people who are weird and making their weirdness seem normal. Most of the humor comes from the running jokes that are inspired from these characters’ weirdness. People show up simply to cause inconvenience to the main characters or to serve as some running joke. And if you know me at all, you know that I find that incredibly grating. To develop characters based on showing how much better they are than random, annoyingly obnoxious characters doesn’t really show much of the main character in general. It only shows how much worse they could be.

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However, that’s not to say that the characters weren’t developed. However, however, that’s also not to say that all of the characters were developed. Some clearly were given more favor than others and some were only shown for humor. I think that might be the biggest drawback to this show: trying way too hard to be funny with characters that aren’t funny. Some of the characters, like the slacker genius or the serious cosplayer, were able to get a giggle out of me, while the section manager, disguised as a robotic bunny, never got anything but an absent stare from me. Though, the two previously mentioned characters got far more development than the section manager did, so I probably just liked them more.

There was some development with characters, though few actually felt genuine. Again, development through comparing the character to an archetype or a walking gag isn’t good development. It’s lazy. I enjoyed this show most when the more central characters started to interact with each other. To put it frankly, I thought the “romance” in this show was decent. It had traces of the “I’m clearly an adult but I still act like a freshman in high school” quirk, but it felt fleshed out enough where I could take it seriously. However, this is concerning Lucy (twelve-name revenge-seeker) and the slacker genius. The relationship between the serious cosplayer and the “senpai” worker was disgusting. No communication. No actual showcase of closeness. Senpai’s a little pussy who can’t see anything. I hated him the most. Sorry, I lost my composure.

  • Attempts at (genuine) romance: 2. One was decent and the other was shit.
  • Attempts at comedy: the entire show. Eh.

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I will give the show credit, though. I enjoyed it more than not. There’s something appealing about workplace environments not feeling so work-y. I suppose Working!! might be influencing my taste here a bit. The humor was mediocre, but it didn’t so much feel as parodic or zany as other shows, which opened the door for moments of seriousness and genuine connection between the viewer and the characters. Still, it’s odd for me to think that if two characters aren’t close, they’ll talk their heads off for an entire episode, yet when they feel something more, they’re afraid to really say anything. That may sound realistic to some, but for a show that is centered around adults and people in the workforce… c’mon. We’re too used to seeing high schoolers. Let the adults act like adults, please. a 26-28 year-old man doesn’t hide a relationship with a co-worker from his sister out of fear. That’s dumb. Why do it?

The animation in this show is pretty… lackluster. The character designs feel adult-ish, but the overall fluidity of motion and range of character emotions is… well… stale. I can’t say it’s a carbon copy of Working!!, but I could see some similarities in the exaggeration of faces and actions. It also just doesn’t have that shiny detail to it. Few times in the show did it take advantage of something as simple as showcasing shadow effects with the sunlight or whatever else. It just felt rather dull. Though, perhaps with a premise as dull as Servant x Service‘s, why would they care? Did the company expect this show to sell well? Eh. I wouldn’t. It’s not full of fads or characters trapped in a video game.

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An overall decent show, I felt it had a little heart to it. Like the author actually gave a shit about quality. The humor was pretty sporadic, as was everything else in the show, but it did enough to keep my interest and my sanity. There are still some glaring issues that bogged down the enjoyment of this show, like the unrealistic lengths some characters go through to keep or to hide a relationship. Yes, I’m still talking about Cosplay x Senpai. Their whole thing just felt… ick. Why is she even with him? Why are “nice guys” enough for girls in anim—Oh. I know why. Hehe.

The rating for this title and all others can be found on MyAnimeList.