Ah, the double exclamation points in the title. That won’t make naming and organizing this post annoying!
I previously covered the first season of Cells at Work! when it aired in Summer 2018. It probably didn’t merit that much discussion per episode but it was nevertheless a fun show to both watch and go over its eccentric take on human cells and its occasional bits of commentary. Right now, I can’t promise coverage will keep going as there’s stiff competition from other returning shows and I have to also consider some of the entirely new shows this winter. There’s also a CODE BLACK spin-off series airing as well and I don’t actually have to cover both series but I don’t know, where’s the fun in that? Then again, there are reports that this season is only eight episodes long which sucks but that is more manageable for coverage. I don’t know, we’ll see.
At the very least, I’m glad to at least one more check in on this show as the second season begins by giving us what we all wanted since Day One: an entire episode about the Platelets. These kids were adorable back then and they’re still adorable now. It’s about time they got their screen time.
Mind you, this episode is somewhat oddly put together. Thing is, the most recognizable Platelet (Maria Naganawa) or rather, the Leader as the show now calls her, is not the star of the episode. Rather, we’re focusing on the other Platelet who is often by the Leader’s side, whom the show now dubs Backwards Cap (Manawa Iwami). Basically, White Blood Cell/U-1145 (Tomoaki Maeno) learns that Backwards Cap is clumsier and weaker than his fellow Platelets and watches the boy try overcome these flaws. Given his personality, I suppose it makes sense to focus on him and not the more experienced Leader. And to be fair, it’s not like anything about his little arc here is bad. Still, with this being the first Platelet-centric episode, it’s weird to not focus on the Platelet.
The climax of the episode involves the Platelets trying to stop an bruise to the head (seriously, this body is unbelievably awful at taking care of themselves). Just as morale starts to go down, the Platelets receive some coaxing from their commander, Megakaryocyte (Yuuko Kaida). Cells at Work has had some pretty surreal depictions of different types of cells but I think this ne character might be up there for most surreal. That she acts lie a stern mother to them makes sense as scientifically speaking, Platelets are produced from Megakaryocytes. Seeing a cell look and act like a mom though is something else entirely. Like, I have to wonder if she’s actually the mother of all those Platelets and the thought frankly leaves me as astounded as when the Macrophages took off their hazmat suits. Also, I get that you need to make the Platelet caretaker identifiable but an adult wearing the Platelet outfit makes me think of those “sexy” Halloween costumes and that scares me.
While, I’m glad to see a Platelet-centric episode, it is strange to start this season without focusing on what is arguably its two main characters. The show does reintroduce them properly by showing their respective tasks once again. Still, they surprisingly aren’t that involved in the premiere of the new season. Red Blood Cell/AE3803 (Kana Hanazawa) has a minor role here and while White Blood Cell serves as a POV character for Backwards Cap’s arc, he ends up helping with covering up the wound (which is still really funny) and therefore has little to actually do. I suppose a full episode involving either or both of them will have to wait and to be fair, it’s more a matter of when rather than if.
Thanks for reading!
Watch Cells at Work!! on Funimation