Fall 2019 Grab Bag Week 6: Honzuki no Gekokujou

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Honzuki no Gekokujou Episode 6

It feels so difficult to talk about this series because of how much I enjoyed reading the manga. I feel like I’m largely lamenting the animation quality when I watch this series, but I don’t think it’s particularly deficient otherwise. I like how the series portrays the comedy behind Main’s thoughts as she struggles to make progress.

Otto introduces Benno

This episode largely focuses on introducing Benno, who is a fairly important character for quite a few episodes going forward. He teaches Lutz and Main a lot about trading in this world, and I tend to enjoy watching his business-like interactions with Main.

Lutz chooses to help Main

I also quite like Lutz’s relationship with Main. He’s always trying to support Main and make up for her weaknesses. It’s sad to see his dream being shot down by Otto in this scene, but he bounces back well. Also, the episode basically using his career choice as a way to introduce more of the world.

Benno recognizes the disease

The episode ends on a more serious note. Scenes like this are what I appreciate about this series. Main has a strong personality, but the show always has that looming sense of tension behind it all.

Honzuki no Gekokujou First Impressions (1): Books! Books for everyone!

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Myne meets the Head Priest

Starting off with a scene that hasn’t been translated yet is mean. That aside, I was looking forward to this adaptation. The story follows Motosu Urano, a girl with a book obsession who is reincarnated into a medieval society as a frail girl named Myne. Saddened to learn of the scarcity of literature in her new world, she sets off on a journey to create her own.

Motosu hears another voice

This might count as a slight spoiler, but I like how this series balances darker scenes with lighthearted scenes. It’s probably hard to tell in this scene, but Motosu is literally hearing Myne’s consciousness fade away here as she takes over. It’s really not what you’d expect from a slice of life show.

Myne runs into a problem

A large part of why I like this series is Myne’s personality. Despite the severity of her physical condition, her reactions are always hilarious, and she has a certain disillusioned attitude to her. She truly comes off as someone who feels displaced in her world, which makes her feel more real.

Myne must conquer her shame

I’m a little sad to see character design in this adaptation. Maybe I’m biased, but I liked both the light novel and the manga’s character designs. In comparison, this feels somewhat lacking. In contrast, though, I love the less serious animation style used in the comedy skits like this one, and I think they’re a great addition to the adaptation.

Myne sees dead chickens

Yeah, I remember the first time my parents took me to a Chinese market. Good times. That aside, I wonder how other people felt about Myne’s book obsession in this episode. I personally felt like it was a bit “in your face”, and I think it’s because I don’t see it so ubiquitously where I am in the story. So, I hope that helps if you felt the same.

Spoilers are bad

Once again, these scenes are awesome. I’m not sure how much I plan to talk about this series, but I look forward to seeing more.

Hataraku Saibou Final Episode (13): Time to bring in the reinforcements

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I’m sad to see this series go because it was pretty consistently fun to watch. The final episode does a good job of portraying the severity of the injury while bringing it back to the comedic tone of the series to finish things off. I think it would have been cool to take a look outside of the body to see how all of these diseases fit together, but maybe it’s too early for that.

This scene is an interesting take on oxygen delivery. In a typical human scenario, you would expect oxygen-deprived people to swarm the two people holding boxes of oxygen. In the body, though, the cells can’t do that, and can only wait until the red blood cells deliver oxygen. As we see, the cells can only bemoan their situation until Red Blood Cell decides to intervene.

While I get that it’s a desperate situation, I do agree with Kouhai that it’s a fairly irresponsible for Red Blood Cell to drag her along on dangerous assignments. It’s not like Kouhai agreed to do it.

Excellent use of platelets.

I really loved the portrayal of the transfusion, especially the way the new red blood cells were confused at their surroundings. It captures the idea of the transfusion really well. I personally think it might have been interesting to see a white blood cell attempt to attack one of the new red blood cells to simulate an autoimmune response, but I can accept that it might not fit the tone of the series.

The series finishes strong with some excellent facial expressions.

Final Score: 8/10 Repetitive at times, but overall a fun and lighthearted take on the tragic state of a sick body.

Summer 2018 Grab Bag Week 12: Hataraku Saibou

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I actually quite liked this week’s episode, and it wasn’t completely because the episode starts with a lighthearted premise only to get super serious. I thought that Red Blood Cell’s character growth was demonstrated well by giving her a rookie to teach.

I’m a little bit skeptical about the newbie, since she’s introduced with so little time left in the series. It seems like there’s not much time for her to really do much with the time remaining, especially since there’s a catastrophe going on. Still, her role of putting the spotlight on how much Red Blood Cell has changed is pretty effective.

While it’s true that Red Blood Cell continues to struggle with directions, her various encounters have led her to learn a lot about her fellow cells. I like the way that’s demonstrated in this episode, as she’s shown being fully comfortable with every cell she encounters while the newbie is weirded out.

I have no idea how to unpack the concept of a red blood cell covered in blood. Just…how?

And then everything goes wrong. This series has already proven that it doesn’t kill cells (that aren’t germs), so I don’t really feel any worry about the red blood cells. I’m curious to see how a show like this ends. Probably just “life goes on”, right?

Summer 2018 Grab Bag Week 11: Hataraku Saibou

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This week’s episode felt a lot better than last week’s episode. I still had some problems with it, but I was glad to see that the story seemed much less like a rehash. The episode also had some funny stuff about how the cells approach the idea of a higher intelligence that I thought was pretty entertaining.

We certainly have to accept that this world’s global warming is man-made, right?

I’m not entirely sure I get this particular scene. Red Blood Cell seems excessively surprised that White Blood Cell is dissolving a dead bacterium. Has she just never seen that before? Even if that’s the case, what exactly does the scene accomplish? I guess it could just be random lightheartedness.

I like how this episode uses the platelets.

As random as it is, the fact that the captain tries to do a rain dance is surprisingly funny. At the end of the day, this is a human body, so there is actually an intelligence governing it. The events that the cells see as random or unexplained have pretty simple explanations which we would know. There’s probably something about the parallel to our world here somewhere, but this is not really the post for the discussion.

My main issue with the episode was the inclusion of Bacillus Cereus. I understand that this is a story about the immune system, and it’s hard for White Blood Cell to do anything for a heat stroke without an antigen. However, the whole thing just seems so random. It’s as though the story is trying to distract from the bigger issue with a smaller one.

Random Impressions Summer 2018 (Week 10): Hataraku Saibou

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I wanted to talk about this episode specifically because it felt like it stood out to me while I was watching. I wasn’t sure if it’s a common thing in this series that I’ve been ignoring before now, but this episode felt like it was falling into a lot of repetition.

I’m mostly fine with the monocyte side of the story in this episode. Sure, it’s just reintroducing the macrophages yet again, but at least the episode is saying that there’s another cool side to them.

Wait, are those stick figures supposed to be actual cells or are they just an effect to add to the explosion? If they’re actually cells, then that’s pretty funny.

Is it just me or did this episode seem to have a lot of scenes that looped on themselves? By that, I mean the scene would should White Blood Cell charging across the screen only to reset and have him do it again. Is that new? I never really paid much attention to that before this episode, but it seemed a lot more common.

I think a few lines from White Blood Cell could have recapped the previous staph infection incident effectively. I’m not a fan of doing a full flashback to something that didn’t seem to add much.

Having the staph infection use the fibrin that defeated it in the previous episode was a good way to build on the previous attack. It makes this infection at least feel a little unique (along with the Voltron transformation), so I don’t really have an issue with it.

Summer 2018 Grab Bag Week 8: Hataraku Saibou

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This week’s episode goes back to being more of a heartwarming episode. While I thought episode was pretty cute, I didn’t really get the message. I think it’s great that White Blood Cell got to learn the hardships of Red Blood Cell’s job, but she seemed to gain little given how much she was helped through the day.

I guess you could argue that she gained confidence in herself, and that she managed to persevere through the job despite the hiccups. It’s not like she did nothing, but her base problem is still there. As such, I still have trouble figuring out how she gets anything done.

Eight episodes about a red blood cell’s life before we finally get to the heart.

I suppose you could say that White Blood Cell learned something from his encounter with the cancer cell, so he’s no longer blindly following his role like the other cells. I’m really not sure, but this punch felt like a weird scene.

All said and done, I legitimately enjoyed this scene at the end where Red Blood Cell gets to tell White Blood Cell about her day.

Summer 2018 Grab Bag Week 6: Hataraku Saibou

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It was only a matter of time before cancer showed up in this series. I was actually quite curious to see how it would get portrayed, since they’ve already done zombie cells to show cells turned against the host. But that’s not the main focus of the episode, so we’ll leave that for later. The main story of the episode was a flashback to Red Blood Cell’s training, which was just generally nice for cute fluff.

Yeesh, Red Blood Cell’s poor sense of direction makes me wonder how she eventually graduated. But then again, it’s the human body, so it’s probably not too surprising that some…not great cells make it through the natural processes.

You know, I’m actually somewhat ambivalent about establishing a previous connection between Red Blood Cell and White Blood Cell. I think the two are fine together with what we’ve seen so far, and this only falls further into the idea that relationships need to be built on some past relationship.

Excellent use of platelets.

I like the portrayal of the cancer cell so far. It was a nice misdirection to begin with, and the idea that cancer cell is a traitor disguised as a normal cell hints at the complexities involved with treating cancer. It’s pretty nice.

Hataraku Saibou First Impressions (1+2): This is how we create hypochondriacs

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I admit that I likely have an excessive obsession with platelets, but this series has been surprisingly entertaining for an “educational” series. I expected a heavy dose of infodump, but the series has been pretty funny so far. A lot of the comedy is really over the top and the characters are really charming.

The information is largely scattered in through random narration points. Admittedly, it gets a bit heavy in the second episode when a huge variety of germs gets introduced in one go, but it feels manageable so far.

When I really thought about it, the idea of a pneumoccocus hiding in a box the entire time is a bit silly, but it didn’t really bother me while I was watching. The interactions between the characters as they try to find the guy were pretty fun.

I’ve already mentioned this, but it’s probably no surprise that the platelets really sold the show for me.

My main worry for the series is whether it can really stay entertaining across the entire series. The second episode was promising, but it was still largely relying on the same set of characters. I’m guessing those guys can only stay funny so long, but I’ve been proven wrong before (*Miira no Kaikata managed to pull it off).