Thursday, 4 July 2013

Servant x Service - Episode 1

We've followed life in a family restaurant, but now A-1 Pictures are at it again with an adaptation of another Karino Takatsu manga, this time set in the heady world of a Japanese civil service office.

We come to this workplace via a trio of new hires to the office - Yamagami, a young woman out to get revenge for whoever accepted her birth certificate and its colourful cornucopia of name; Yutaka Hasabe, a work-shy womanising young man whose charms do have their uses when it comes to handling difficult customers (and there are plenty of those); and finally Saya Miyoshi, a first-time worker and former college graduate with a rather quiet and nervous disposition.

With initial introductions out of the way, Servant x Service's opening episode heads in all of the directions you might expect via its larger than life look at office work, allowing characters to say and do things you'd never be able to in a real office environment (like asking where the best places to hide and slack off are or running around chasing one another with paperwork) while having to deal with difficult customers and the tribulations and satisfaction that can come with that.

Although there isn't a lot to say about this first instalment beyond that, this isn't to say that it isn't entertaining - all of the above content provides a fair number of laugh out loud moments, and simply having an anime series set in an office at all is refreshing for those of us who are more familiar with such an environment than a school classroom.  The pressing question here is whether Servant x Service can run the course in a similar vein - at first glance, its characters don't have the same instant ability to win you over as Working's cast, and once the sheen of those fantastic opening credits dulls a little I wonder just how many jokes you can make about office life before it gets old.  After all, a lot of us know that working in an office soon gets repetitive and mundane, and at the end of the day which watch anime to escape from that situation, not revel in it further.  Still, for now Servant x Service has succeeded in well and truly tickling my funny bone to a sufficient degree, so I'm happy to wait and see if it can build on that positive start.

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