The only thing worse than being bad at your job is needing to teach it to an underling. And unfortunately for our Red Blood Cell, that is indeed her task for the first half of Cells at Work‘s penultimate episode. Unsurprisingly, the Kouhai Red Blood Cell is much more knowledgeable and less directionally challenged than her senpai though the whole scenario is still quite charming. I am especially glad that the anime didn’t just make Kouhai Red rude all the time. She’s clearly not impressed but she just goes along with and is fairly polite at least. Besides, how can anyone hate Red? I particularly enjoyed the part where she explains how to “properly” deliver mail to her kouhai while both of them are in front of an impatient client. Also, in Red’s defense, chatting with the Platelets is a 100% understandable excuse to neglect your job.
Oddly enough, much of the actually useful information Red gives to her kouhai is the stuff about all the other cells we’ve met for the past twelve episodes. It’s as though running into all of them this many times has given her encyclopedic knowledge as a side effect. Adding into the amusement is how it involves the other characters such as White pitching in for the lecture while he’s stabbing a germ and Eosinophil getting flustered over Red’s glowing description of her efforts. A shame that no cell in this body can be a tour guide for a living because Red would most certainly excel at that job.
Being that this episode is Part 1 of a two-part finale involving Hemorrhagic shock, things take a dark turn about halfway through. It’s honestly the first time Cells at Work! truly feels ominous. Not that we haven’t seen this human body get ravaged on a regular basis but the damage has always felt cartoonish. Here though, you honestly buy the idea that this could very well be the end for these characters if they don’t pull through in time. Show the remnants of a Red Blood Cell’s outfit when White reaches ground zero, for example, genuinely feels chilling and it sets a dire tone for Part 2.
I think what also makes the situation feel more serious is how coordinated everyone is for once. The White Blood Cells rally for battle, the Red Blood Cells speed up their workflow, and the Platelets prepare for some adorable clotting. Normally, you see a lot of these cells just panic, complain, or get in each other’s way so seeing them smoothly let each other get to their duties really makes you think they really need to make their efforts count in this crisis.
A nice touch added to this scenario is how it continues off of Kouhai Red’s employee orientation. Understandably, she’s in shock and not sure what to do so Red takes it upon herself to guide her through this situation. I completely buy into the idea that she is mustering this much courage and leadership. Considering the amount of shit this anime has put her through, she should seem experienced in this regard. For all we know, this might just feel like a regular day of work for her…even if it could be her last.
I do wonder what kind of ending Cells has in store. For once, it feels like the body could very die but that feels way too dark for an anime such as this so I really hope it doesn’t go there. Regardless, this is a solid cliffhanger to end on and I’m looking forward to the very last episode next week.
Thanks for reading!