Anime is like cartoons to me, I can't remember when I started and I see no end to me watching them.
One Good Anime: www.working
There are many things in the anime world that people love, from the characters, the tropes, the suspense, the comedy or any of the hundreds of other things that we all fight about on forums. So what makes one anime shine out above the rest? Is it the design, the complete package or the story; well today I will answer this question by examining one good anime called www.working.
To start with, this is in no way the first one in the Working series of anime, in fact there are a total of three series in the Working anime. Funnily enough www.working is considered to be the least favourite by long-time fans of the series, all preferring the original setting and characters. This then raises the question, just how exactly can I answer the question about what makes www.working one good anime!
Anime is fictional, some can be set in our world but they will still tell fictional stories. So the reality of the working series is a weird one. As far as anime goes it’s a lot more down to earth with only the normal amount of exaggerations and other lovable character traits. However, no supernatural creatures really show up, no one is super strong or a super smart demigod.
The crew at Wagnaria (the titular restaurant) are all entertaining and no matter which setting you watch it in you will come to love them. They all have unique quirks that you love and they all have rich histories that are explored throughout the series. However, there is one big difference between Working!! and www.working.
That is perceived age and maturity that the characters have. In more ways than one Working!! is a normal slice of life anime that has high school problems and fall in line with the normal high school setting. Everything happens within a set period of time and relationships feel like they take forever to develop while you watch but when you put it out chronologically they happen in an instant.
So, what makes www.working different I hear you ask? Well it’s the first proper slice of life anime that resonates with young adults almost perfectly in very real ways. The main character Daisuke is only 16 at the start but his knowledge and character is of someone more mature. Further, more than half of the 10 character main cast are 20 years old or older.
Which means that if you are watching this anime, either being 13 or 26, you will find someone to emphasise with. This is the reality of the Working series as a general. The main series conforms to traditional high school slice of life that we all know, whereas www.working creates a unique type of slice of life that we’ve only seen a few times here or there. Thinking of shows like New Game.
Subverting the expected
I’ve watched few anime, I’ve read even fewer manga, that doesn’t have a harem element in some way. It’s something that fails to be proper no matter how many times I encounter it. From action to comedy, if the lead is a guy then there will be some kind of harem for them deal with. Even if some are only interested in being his friend.
This then makes anime that don’t have them feel so much greater, think of Busou Renkin or Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagan, how great are those on their own? Imagine how they would have been spoiled if the main characters were at all fawned over by more than just the girl they loved. Www.working completely subverts your expectations so completely, that it is genuinely amazing.
Daisuke is the main character, but he is neither surrounded by a bunch of women who want him nor is his relationship with the female lead ever the only focus. Every single character in this anime shows growth, learning and changing in each episode. This means that you can learn and grow with them without being frustrated or bored with them
However, I don’t have space here to list all of the ways the characters grow. I will just mention that as a bunch of 20 somethings all working together, the relationships that do grow are absolutely perfect. Unfortunately the little of what I could bear of the original Working!! series fails in every way in this regard.
Further, these anime are the perfect examples of one other thing that I’ve seen happening in the anime community too many times. The mindset that plagues many industry loyalists around the world, the ‘because it’s first, it’s the best’.
Why it’s the best
One thing that I see talked about a lot in anime discussions is the negative affect that drawing styles and studio changes can have on anime. This is something that I agree with up to a degree, if studios change and the quality drops dramatically then it is never a good thing, see the recent studio change that One Punch Man has experienced and the collective argument that is taking place.
However, this is not always something that should be seen as negative. As an example of this we can actually look at the Working series. The original series has a very stylised character design, something that will look unique for most anime lovers. It’s something I know some of the fans immediately complained about when they first saw www.working. However, if you watch both anime’s then you will easily realise that both of them have the perfect styles for their stories.
So then what is it that makes www.working so much better? It’s the sum total of three things, two if which I have already touched on. Though I would understand if you missed them, the first one that makes it jump far above other anime is the relationships.
They are all unique, fulfilling and grow organically, in all of the anime I have watched the relationships in www.working are the closest thing to how they are in the real world. Yes, even the mismatched one between the Daisuke and Hana. In fact their relationship is the most real one I can think of. This is because contrary to what Anime likes to tell and have people believe the best relationships don’t just magically start with a look.
Most real world relationships can start as something between two people who don’t even really want to hang out together ending up falling in love over a year or two year period. This love can be stronger than anything else and will most certainly require both parties involved to change.
The next big point that makes www.working so good is the overall setting and timeline. This story takes place across almost a three year period. Every second episode or sometimes twice in one episode there is a time skip. In these skips things happen and the characters keep living their lives. Making the world and setting feel more real than something drawn ever should feel.
The last part that makes it so good is the overall package, truly something that must be looked at when talking about an anime. Www.working has this great ability of delivering on everything it promises at the beginning of the series. It gives a good complete feel, great visuals, great gags and a unified delivery that’s never overbearing.
So, then comes the argument that Working!! is the same but it does it better than www.working. Though the location may have been the same and the titles have a similarity there is a massive difference that viewers and reviewers regularly miss when they talk about this series. That would be the fallacy of the series as a whole.
I find Working!! a bore to watch, it’s a cookie cutter slice of life anime that takes almost no imagination to place it in a restaurant. The characters all follow their tropes to such a degree that they become easy to predict. You can honestly watch any other normal slice of life and get the same experience.
Whereas www.working is entirely different, I can think of only a few other anime slice of life series that cover the same kind of growth with the same level of gags and comedy that doesn’t fall flat or become annoying. This subversion and perfect execution is what makes www.working one good anime.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Victor Moolman