Tag: Cells at Work!

Cells at Work! CODE BLACK!

Cells at Work! CODE BLACK!

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

Series Overview

Cells at Work! CODE BLACK! (Hataraku Saibou Black / はたらく細胞BLACK), which I’ll be referring to simply as Code Black from now on, is a spin-off of the Cells at Work! series. And, yes, this is a spin-off, not the third season of the anime.

The Cells at Work! anime already covered the entire manga. It’s over; there’s no more to adapt. Code Black even aired alongside Cells at Work!! (the second season of the main series), which further illustrates that it’s not the third season.

It’s also written by a different author (Shigemitsu Harada), animated by a different studio (LIDENFILMS), has entirely new characters, and most importantly, is the gritty version. Code Black is all about what it’s like inside a severely unhealthy body rather than the average body.

As for the new characters, every type of cell in Code Black is a bit different from their main series counterparts. For example, in the main series, all of the Red Blood Cells are female and all the White Blood Cells are male. In Code Black, it’s the opposite.

The fact that the series takes place in an unhealthy body, though, is the defining characteristic of Code Black. The cells in this body have to contend with smoking, binge drinking, an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, stress, and more.

What you’ll notice is that all of these aspects of the unhealthy body are primarily lifestyle choices. The series isn’t about someone with an illness like cancer. Instead, it’s purposefully showing viewers the kind of damage they can do to their own body if they don’t take care of it.

And, I kind of like that Code Black went down that path because it serves as a PSA rather than pure entertainment.

Does Darker Mean Better?

The short answer is: No, darker does not mean better. But it also doesn’t mean worse. I enjoyed both seasons of the main Cells at Work! series, but I didn’t think they were anything special. The same is true for Code Black. It’s enjoyable enough, but that’s about it.

It’s definitely darker due to the stories it tells. Things are going wrong in this body, cells die, etc. However, it still has the same structure as the main series. It’s largely episodic, though the characters do reference past events. And despite being darker, that doesn’t mean it has any more action.

I think some people might see this spin-off and expect that it’s going to be more shounen battle series-like. That’s not the case. When the White Blood Cells fight germs, it’s exactly the same in both series. It’s not like Code Black has more of that or better action animation.

Red Blood Cell AA2153 from the anime series Cells at Work! CODE BLACK!
Red Blood Cell AA2153

One thing I will admit to is that Code Black airing at the same time as Cells at Work!! probably didn’t improve my opinion of it. Watching one season of Cells at Work! at a time is enough for me. Watching two seasons of what’s effectively the same show at the same time is rough.

Cells at Work! isn’t a series that I ever looked forward to watching the latest episode of — Code Black or otherwise. And I have to say, both episodes airing on the same day didn’t help either. I definitely never wanted to sit down and watch both episodes back to back.

Basically, if Cells at Work!! wasn’t airing too, then I probably would have enjoyed Code Black more. Though, I don’t really see that having much of an effect on the score I’m going to give it at the end of this review. At the end of the day, it’s still Cells at Work!

Will there be a Second Season?

Now, in this section, I’m going to be spoiling the end of the series and explaining whether or not I think there’s going to be another season of Code Black. If you don’t want to be spoiled, skip on down to the conclusion for the final rating.

With the warning out of the way, I don’t feel like there’s going to be a second season despite the fact that the series ended by setting it up perfectly. But, I also haven’t checked how far into the Code Black manga the anime finished, so maybe there’s more content left to adapt.

However, the way I saw the ending was simply that it was being left open for the main characters to go on “other adventures.” This is a common trope in shows, movies, games, books, manga, etc. And, it’s a trope that I actually like most of the time.

White Blood Cell U-1196 from the anime series Cells at Work! CODE BLACK!
White Blood Cell U-1196

At the end of Code Black, Red Blood Cell and White Blood Cell could have lived out the rest of their days in the body they fought to save. That would have been a very generic ending, in my opinion. Or, the body could have died. But, I think that’s a bit too dark for a series that’s, at the end of the day, promoting healthy living.

So in my mind, having them sucked out of the body by a syringe and donated to another body in need was a great ending. They’re now veterans who have helped one body come back from the brink of death. They can lead the charge within this new body.

But, I know that a lot of people don’t like open-ended endings. And to that, I say that leaving a series’ ending open is often good because it lets you theorize and discuss what comes next. I don’t need to see every last thing the characters do up until their deaths — I already saw them accomplish their main goal.


Overall, Cells at Work! CODE BLACK! is a 6/10 for me just like the two seasons of the main Cells at Work! anime. I enjoyed it at times. But I don’t think I would recommend it to anyone — even if they liked the main series.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button ❤️ down below. Also, follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and Key Mochi~ for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika and Senpai tiers respectively this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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!!

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.


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.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button ❤️ down below. Also, follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

Cells at Work!

Cells at Work!

Cells at Work! anime cover art
Cells at Work! Cover Art


Cells at Work! is one of the many Summer 2018 anime which have either just ended, or are ending within this next week. The series is about the various cells within the human body and their daily functions which keep the body healthy and happy.

While this is definitely an informational anime, and many things about how the body functions can be learned from it, it’s set up as a monster-of-the-week, shounen, comedy series. And, despite how it may seem on the surface, this works surprisingly well.

There were definitely better anime airing this season, but I think it’s fair to say that Cells at Work! was the one which took over the anime community this Summer. This was primarily due to the cast of various cells, but we’ll get to them shortly.

In this series, the human body is re-imagined as a large city, and all the cells are the people living within it. Every cell has a specific job (except the normal cells), and they must continuously complete their job for the good of the body as a whole.

But while the human body is a communal, utilitarian society, there are many times in which various cells overreact or don’t function as they should, which leads to issues for the rest of the cells. One of the best examples of this was when Memory Cell’s notes were so vague that they were completely useless in combating the “monster” of that week.

Some of the “monsters” of the week included pollen allergens, cancer, parasites, and various other viruses and bacteria. However, occasionally the “monsters” weren’t specific antigens, but rather trauma that was affecting the body such as scrapes or hemorrhaging.

Personally, I thought the bodily trauma episodes were more entertaining than the antigen episodes because they tended to involve a larger cast of the characters instead of focusing on just a few of them. These episodes also tended to feel a lot less episodic, which is a plus.

The final two episodes in particular showcased just how well this series could work as a plot-driven anime. After severe hemorrhaging left the body without a large percentage of its blood cells, the “world” of the cells is dying and there are none who remain unaffected.

While this plot is set up in episode 12, episode 13 is where it really shines as we get a surprisingly dark look at what happens to the human body when it suffers from severe blood loss. But while I definitely enjoyed the final two episodes, the comedy and general lightheartedness of the series is just as good in its own right.


Red Blood Cell is the protagonist of the series, although she isn’t the protagonist of every episode. Not only is Red Blood Cell one of the most well-known cells in the body, but her job involves traveling all throughout the body, which makes her the perfect protagonist to show off all the different bodily systems.

However, despite being a Red Blood Cell whose job it is to circulate throughout the body delivering Oxygen and Nutrients, our Red Blood Cell protagonist is surprisingly bad at finding her way around. In her defense, the human body is made up of a vast network of blood vessels, but none of the other Red Blood Cells seem to have an issue.

White Blood Cell is the male lead of the series and is both Red Blood Cell’s friend and guardian. As a White Blood Cell, his job is to find and neutralize any antigens which make their way into the body, and he does so with a knife, often resulting in him getting covered in blood.

But, while While Blood Cell has a vicious side which scares away many of the other cells, he shows a softer side when interacting with Red Blood Cell. One of my favorite episodes involving the pair was when Red Blood Cell wants to circulate by herself to prove she can, and so White Blood Cell quietly helps guide her from the shadows.

White Blood Cell and Red Blood Cell from the anime Cells at Work!
White Blood Cell and Red Blood Cell

The Platelets were the stars of the anime as far as the internet was concerned, though, not Red or White Blood Cell. The Platelets are the cells of the body which heal wounds, and were depicted as kindergarteners who were in charge of construction.

Seriously, the Platelets didn’t get nearly enough screen time, and I wouldn’t even be mad about a spin-off series which exclusively follows them as the protagonists. At the very least, we would get even more memes out of it than we did from this first Cells at Work! season.

Some of the other recurring cells included Macrophage, Killer T Cell, Helper T Cell, and Red Blood Cell’s trainee. Red Blood Cell’s trainee was only present in the final two episodes, but despite being the newbie, she’s much more competent than our protagonist Red Blood Cell.

Macrophage, Killer T Cell, and Helper T Cell, are all part of the immune system along with White Blood Cell. Macrophages and Killer T Cells are basically just super White Blood Cells whose jobs seem to overlap, but Helper T Cell is the commander of the immune cells in the body.


Cells at Work was actually much better than I expected going into it, but I can still only give it a 6/10. It was a pretty good anime, but it wasn’t something I could binge and wasn’t always something I wanted to watch when a new episode came out. That said, it was still enjoyable.

If you have nothing else to watch, which you probably do, I’d suggest Cells at Work! if only so you can join in on the various, usually Platelet-centered, memes that have come out of this series throughout the Summer. While you may not love it, I doubt you’ll end up hating this series.

If you enjoyed this post, leave a like down below, and while you’re down there, leave a comment to let me know your thoughts on Cells at Work! You can also follow me on Twitter if you’d like to keep up to date with all the newest posts on this site.

My review of the second season is available.