Thoughts on Working!!!: Lord of the Takanashi (Spoilers)

lord of the takanashi

After seeing this special, one thing came to mind: Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu. Haruka ended in a similar fashion as Working!!; with a final OVA-esque bonanza that connected all the red threads of love by putting one character through zany battles of a gauntlet-like fashion to get to the object of their affection, who is being held hostage by their parent. Once there, the resolution is resolved through backhanded and/or simplistic means (but at least in Working!! it didn’t turn out to be a ruse) that further dries the already dead premise of Working!! after three whole seasons.

I’ll be honest: about nine minutes into the special, I pretty much stopped paying attention. I was so bored out of my skull that anything and everything was distracting my attention elsewhere. The characters were all somber and “developed,” which I suppose means overly-sympathetic and dull. The jokes were either jokes far too overused or things not funny in general. And the entire situation with Takanashi’s mother… I just can’t take it seriously. I can’t take this whole OVA seriously. I could hardly take this whole season seriously. But I suppose that’s the point, right? To not take it seriously? That it’s humor and it’s supposed to be silly and dumb?

But when you have the concept of something as serious as teenage romance that has been bottled up for nearly two seasons, suddenly that “silly and dumb” atmosphere makes even the serious situations just “silly and dumb.” This whole OVA is silly and dumb. The whole season was silly and dumb.

Just like Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu. Which was garbage.

Interesting note: as of right now, at 10:45 A.M. CST on Monday, December 28th, Lord of Takanashi is the highest-rated title in the Working!! series (on MyAnimeList). My question: why? Because Takanashi and Inami confess their love for each other? Because they hold hands? Because it’s finally been resolved? Is that all a series needs to be good? A resolution? It was incredibly obvious by the beginning of season two that they would eventually get together. So when they finally do, that’s worth a 10/10? Even when everything else around them and the context of their getting together itself is fucking dumb? To have both Inami and Takanashi and Satou and Yachiyo get together in the span of three or four episodes smells a lot like pandering to me. Rushed. Hasty. Thrown in for fuck’s sake. I just can’t take it seriously, but a lot of this was already discussed in my thoughts on Working!!!. It’s a lot of the same, except much, much worse.

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

Thoughts on Working!!! (Spoilers?)

It only took a cliffhanger final episode to make me realize how little I care about the relationships in this show.

What was effective with the first two seasons of Working!! is that it gracefully combined the troubles and tribulations of every staff member together into one giant central plot. Thanks to this, the restaurant itself became important along with those who worked there. The setting and the characters worked hand in hand to create decent comedy, likable characters, and realistic reactions to ridiculous situations. In Working!!’s third season, they decide it was finally high time to move on from that formula and try to incorporate character development within the characters themselves and the characters around them (romantic ties). This was about as effective as putting chocolate syrup on scrambled eggs.

Working!!! 1

In Working!!! (note the third exclamation point), the narrative begins to take a turn to a more underdeveloped territory: romance. There were minimal bouts of this in previous seasons (more in the second season than the first), so the increase in romantic situations was all but predictable.

Here’s the problem: the characters aren’t made to react romantically. These are comedy players. They do well with comedy scenes and settings. Even when romantic situations are ongoing, they still try to incorporate moderate amounts of humor within, which either cut down on the comedy or the romance. You don’t get an overabundance of one; you get both in skewed fashion. These characters are trained to be funny, not heartfelt and sappy. And it definitely shows. Romantic scenes in this show are tedious to watch, especially if you’re impatient, as no actual confessions arise until a bulk of the way through the season. It’s funny to be vague. It’s funny to lead to misunderstandings. It’s funny to pull the carrot attached to a string back over and over, giggling with satisfaction over the audience’s unquenchable anticipation of SOMETHING HAPPENING. And when something finally does happen and two people get together (and this is a slap in the face to any fans who enjoy adult romance (not porn)), they get so giddy and nervous that they may as well be two virgins before prom night. When the two characters are well into their twenties. Pathetic.

Another negative is the introduction of MORE characters and their impact on the show. One of Takanashi’s sister’s ex-husband (who isn’t funny ever) is a masochist who never shuts up about liking to get hit. HAHA GET IT CAUSE HE’S A MASOCHIST?! He shows up in the beginning of the show to provide humor(?) to the show and to get back together with Takanashi’s sister. He has no point. There’s also the introduction of Yamada’s mother, who is albeit stronger of a character than Takanashi’s sister’s ex-husband, is so outlandishly stereotyped for humor that any genuine likability with her character in a realistic situation (as her character arc is filled to the brim with “feels”) turns to sludge. Finally, Takanashi’s mother rolls into town. And she’s scary and manipulative. Sounds like my kind of woman. Unfortunately, she’s not smart or witty or funny. She’s just there to be a burden to everyone else. That’s three for three characters that either don’t matter or are so saturated in stereotypes that they may as well not matter.


I suppose building up the characters since season one could give a justifiable excuse as to why these characters are likable. Though, it feels so slimy to think that you can slack on a character’s personality/development just because you felt they were adequately highlighted in previous seasons. Souma, Popura, and the manager get little amounts of attention this season and barely share any scenes on their own. Those who get the brunt of the spotlight all have romantic ties or were so underdeveloped that the author felt they had to do something to keep them around (Yamada, Otoo and wife). To say that nobody progressed in this season would be a lie, as many characters progressed. The only issue I had was that they progressed far too slowly and tediously. Like I said above, nervousness, misunderstandings, vague concepts; if people would fucking talk to each other like normal people, half of this shit wouldn’t be “I WONDER WHO ‘X’ LIKES???” By the end of it, Yachiyo may be the most developed character. Then again, she was the most unrealistic character from the beginning, so that’s probably likely. This season ruined Satou for me.

The art of the show is pretty standard. It’s almost no different from the previous seasons, which is both a blessing and a flaw. Though, I couldn’t help but feel like the character’s eyes were less shaded in compared to previous seasons. Like they had less work on them. I think I might be going crazy from all the disappointment from this season. At least I have a one-hour series finale to look forward to… someday. Yay.

For the ladies.
For the ladies.

If it would’ve stuck to being a comedy, great. If it would’ve stuck to being a romance, great. It decided to do both and now I’m pissed at the quality. It wasn’t as funny as previous seasons and it wasn’t as enjoyable. I stared more at the clock during some episodes than the episodes themselves, because I cared so little about either who was on-screen or what was happening on-screen. There are certain moments that worked as either a romance or a comedy, but never both consistently. It was a slow, grating season, but things actually happened, and I’m appreciative for that at least. I just wish I enjoyed the ride a little more. Fucking romance.

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

Entry #8: Working!! (Re-Watch)


(Season One)


My previous entry for this title was “Why did I enjoy this?” I’m actually surprised I had doubts about the validity of this show. It’s endearing, it’s funny, and it serves up a delicious amount of drama, even if the drama itself isn’t that tasty.

It goes from a pedophile joining a cast of weirdos to said pedophile working towards curing a ferocious young girl with androphobia to… nothing. The second plot that arises continues on for a majority of the series, bringing up a variety of sub-plots with it. For the most part, these sub-plots go nowhere, or they only contribute to the bigger picture of underdeveloped relationships between the characters. But that’s not to say that the chemistry between characters isn’t fantastic. It just goes stale past the platonic.

Jun Satou is love. Jun Satou is life. Jun Satou is the character in anime I don’t see enough of. Jun Satou is the character anime needs.

Popura is cute.

Kat-Takanashi is an interesting main character, because he’s as dense as any, but he’s not the typical archetype. He’s a pedophile.

Yachiyo is hilariously exaggerated.

Kyouko is a lot of what I strive to be: paid to be lazy.

Souma is probably my least favorite character, seeing as he’s the most unrealistic. How does he gain so much information? Because fuck you.

Inami is cute. Her androphobia doesn’t really improve throughout this season, and I feel as though that’s both respectable and a cop-out for continuing with repetitive jokes.

Yamada is a guilty pleasure. She causes a rift in the validity of the show, but her lazy persona is too familiar for me to loathe.

Art is fine. In fact, the art is really fine. It’s pretty nice. In every situation.

It’s a really entertaining series, even if the realism is lacking. The chemistry between the characters is probably the selling point of this show, because the chemistry is absolutely fantastic. The characters play off of each other very well. It’s the most realistic aspect of the show, and I applaud its determination to keep each character in line. It’s ironic that the most realistic of relationships exist between the most unrealistic of characters… along with a realistic setting with unrealistic expectations. Working!! just blends everything together in a successful attempt at diversity. Somewhat similar to America, except they don’t hate each other for being different. Ho-hum.

(Season Two)

I’m getting really lazy with these entry updates.

I’m also holding off making these updates for titles with more than one season. I just write both of the entries on one day after I’ve completed both of them. I should seriously stop that. Seriously.

There are aspects of the second season I liked more than the first. There are also aspects I didn’t care for that were added.

I didn’t care for the drama. Working!! works well when the characters work well together. When they are avoiding each other due to some misunderstanding, it throws off the balance of the show and its good standings. It makes it feel, well, repetitive.

I liked the character building in this season. The first season was more of an introductory phase, while the second season started showing the characters more outside of the workplace, which I thought was a nice touch. It also brought in new characters that were, for lack of a better word, fine. They weren’t annoying, at least.

I hated Takanashi’s family, so the second season decided to show them more. I only really enjoyed watching Takanashi’s younger siblings. All the other sisters were too one-dimensional. That’s really saying something, since most of the main cast appear one-dimensional.

I liked how it didn’t really feel like a second season from a story-based standpoint. It just felt like it continued where it left off, as if it never ended and the series itself was just 26 episodes. It certainly did wonders for immersing purposes by doing this. This is also known as “They didn’t stray.”

For any more information about this series, refer to my season one entry, as they’re far too similar to really go on about in other regards.

Personal Score: B+

Critical Score: B