Cells at Work!!

Cells at Work!!

Cells at Work!! anime series cover art
Cells at Work!!

Season Overview

Cells at Work!! (Hataraku Saibou!! / はたらく細胞!!) is the second season of the Cells at Work! series. You can tell that this one is the second season and not the first because it has two exclamation points at the end of the title instead of one.

If you’ve watched the first season of this series, then you’ll already have a pretty good idea of what the second season is like. This season doesn’t really do anything different compared to the first, but it does explore a few different parts of the body, such as the scalp.

One thing I found interesting about this season is that a few of the episodes, such as the one about the scalp, aired at the same time as their Code Black counterparts. This allowed viewers to easily see the contrast between a healthy and unhealthy body.

Platelets from the anime series Cells at Work!!
Platelets

The biggest difference between this season and the first is probably that rather than Red Blood Cell being the protagonist, that role shifts to White Blood Cell. And beyond that, Red Blood Cell is pushed into the background for the majority of the season after the first episode.

In Red Blood Cell’s place, we get a Normal Cell that travels around the body with White Blood Cell. It’s definitely a different character dynamic than what you’ll be used to from the first season.

This season also introduces the idea of both good and neutral bacteria rather than just the bad bacteria featured in the first season. One of the major themes this time around is that the line between what’s good and bad for the body is blurry. Bacteria can be good and body cells can be bad depending on the circumstances.

A Downgrade in Every Way

Here’s the part of the review where I stop tip-toeing around how I really feel about this series and season in particular. I’m not a huge fan of Cells at Work! I gave the first season a 6/10, and this season is worse than that one was.

Don’t get the wrong idea though, it’s not a bad anime. The first season was enjoyable, but it got old pretty fast. And since the second season doesn’t really change the structure of the episodes in any way, it didn’t do anything to re-grab my interest.

As an example, let’s take a look at the episodes that focused on the Normal Cell returning the good bacteria to their families. These were three or four episodes in an eight-episode season that all followed the exact same story structure.

Normal Cell and good bacteria from the anime series Cells at Work!!
Normal Cell and good bacteria

First, the Normal Cell would lose track of the good bacteria. Then, while trying to find it, something bad would happen to the body. And finally, the lost good bacteria would show up again with its family at the end to save the day. That’s fine for one episode, but not three or more.

And that takes us to one of my biggest issues with this season: It’s not episodic enough. I know a lot of people dislike episodic anime, but there are certain types of series that benefit from that structure. This is one of them. I think all of the best Cells at Work! episodes are the self-contained ones.

Lastly, I think both the OP and ED of this series are downgrades from those of the first season too. I know that some people like the second season’s OP more, but I’m not one of them. And the ED for the first season is far superior.

I’m not the only one who thinks the first season is better, though. The average scores of both seasons on MyAnimeList indicate that most viewers agree.

No Season 3

You may have noticed that I mentioned this season is only eight episodes long. That’s because there simply wasn’t enough source material content to make the season any longer. The Cells at Work! manga is complete, and with these last eight episodes, everything from the manga has been adapted.

This means that we won’t be getting a Cells at Work!!! — at least any time soon. I guess there’s always the possibility that the manga will be rebooted because there are a lot more stories that could be told about the human body. But I don’t see that as being likely.

If you’re a Cells at Work! fan who’s disappointed that the series is officially over, there’s actually more Cells at Work! content for you to consume. Airing at the same time as this season was a spin-off called Cells at Work! CODE BLACK!

There’s going to be a separate review of that series, so I won’t go into too much detail about it here. But basically, Code Black is a grittier version of the series that takes place within an unhealthy body where everything that can go wrong does.

In the end, I think it’s probably for the best that the main Cells at Work! series ends here. You can definitely have too much of a good thing. And while I don’t necessarily consider this series to be “good,” I think it would certainly become “bad” if it dragged on for too long.

And even with this second season, I think the series started to overstay its welcome. One season of Cells at Work! was enough for me and I never really felt the need for there to be a second.

Conclusion

Cells at Work!! is a 5/10 from me. It was still somewhat enjoyable, but I definitely didn’t enjoy it as much as the first season. And as I mentioned, it got very repetitive and began to drag on despite only being eight episodes long. If you weren’t a huge fan of the first season, there’s no reason to watch this one.

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