Working Series

Anime Hajime Review: Working!!!

Original Run: July 4, 2015 - December 26, 2015
Number of Episodes: 14
Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life
Based on the Series Created By: Karino Takatsu

***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Working!!!. Reader discretion is advised.***

Series Synopsis

For a third time, welcome to your friendly neighborhood Wagnaria. As always, the staff of this small family restaurant is happy to take their customers orders with a smile. If you’re okay with the occasional oddity – be it from waiter, cook, manager, or regular patron – you too can have yourself a relaxing meal at an affordable price.

Now a veteran member of the Wagnaria team, Souta Takanashi (voiced by Jun Fukuyama) is about to witness some changes. Due to his coworkers’ varied personalities, sometimes things get a little out of hand, and everything Souta has seen up to this point will seem like the calm before the storm. What lies on the horizon is enough to make anyone worry.

Whether fortunately or unfortunately, though, Souta and his friends aren’t just anyone.

If this group can’t solve a problem, you can be damn sure they will do everything in their power to at least make things interesting.

But as they say: All good things must come to an end.

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Series Positives

Note: From this point on, I will be referring to Working!!Working’!!, and Working!!! as Working 1, Working 2, and Working 3 respectively.

Working 3 was the best of the Working series thus far.

This season was better animated; A1-Pictures really outdid themselves here. The jokes this time around were laugh-out-loud hilarious; I was dying on more than one occasion. More things struck a bullseye and everything was smoother. Working 3 was everything I have come to expect from this franchise and more.

This is going to be hard to beat, but I am hoping the next installment, WWW.Working, will do just that. Nevertheless, I have my doubts.  

Don’t get me wrong. The Working series has given me no reason to think the fourth installment will fail. However, unless there are one or two seasons preceding Working 4 that I don’t know about, I can’t see how it can possibly outdo what Working 3 did. After all, this was an ending.

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WWW.Working will not – or at least, should not – be a continuation of this story. Working 3 was the final chapter in the original Working trilogy.

And what a final chapter it was.

To give credit where it’s due, Working 3 succeeded because it had its two predecessors supporting it. Minus the occasional flashback, this season expected you to have seen what came before it. I, for one, don’t see an issue with this.

If you haven’t, I urge you to check out Working 1 and 2. They were both fantastic on their own. Season three was an improvement on something that was already solid. For nothing else, though, watching seasons one and two are necessary to understand why this chapter was so outstanding.

Working 3 was the definition of a satisfying payoff.

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By this point, we have seen the rise of several significant storylines. Pick your favorite; you won’t hear me saying you’re wrong. As for myself, I loved them all, and this season gave each of these storylines their proper conclusions.

I am sad to see this story with these characters go, and yet, I take comfort in knowing they went their full course. I no longer have any questions. I don’t need to see any more from this group. That is why I am actually looking forward towards WWW.Working more than I ever have since it has the promise of something new.

We will see how that pans out.

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A Final Working Chapter

Like I said, Working 3 was a definitive end to the original Working trilogy. I am repeating myself because I want it to sink in how crucial that was.

This season had everything you would expect a final season to have. Plotlines intersected. Resolutions came about. Characters confronted each other at long last. People’s pasts caught up with them. There was even an ultimate antagonist.

Standard stuff.

The thing is, when has standard ever been worth getting excited about?

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Each of the typical last-chapter checkpoints that existed in Working 3 were done in such a way that only the Working series could have done them. Mistaking this season for any other anime was impossible. It was uniquely this show’s ending.

Every obstacle was handled in a way that made sense for this series. Often that meant playing with your expectations. I do like it when stories break the mold and do their own thing. That said, few shows have done-their-own-thing in quite the way Working 3 did.

This was a series that stayed true to what it was.

I can’t tell you how many lighthearted, slapstick, and screwball anime comedies I’ve seen that have turned dramatic, suspenseful, or even dark in their final moments in an attempt to trigger some kind of reaction. Sometimes it works, but a lot of the time it doesn’t. Regardless, I have always found it odd whenever shows do this because it usually feels cheap.

Working 3 did not play that game.

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This series told jokes. That is what it did. That is what it did well. This show did not abandon what it was in exchange for a tear-jerking moment. Instead, Working 3 embraced what it was and managed to create plenty of memorable, heartfelt moments that were still hilarious.

As an example, and without going into too much detail, the way the Yamada storyline wrapped up was brilliant.

Aoi Yamada (voiced by Ryo Hirohashi) has risen to become one of my favorite characters of the series. She was the brat of the restaurant staff. Luckily, she was the type of brat that always got what was coming to her. Along with that, despite being self-centered, vain, and selfish, she was never mean-spirited. She was a tiny little goofball that was a joy to have around.

Yamada was also one of the biggest mysteries, and in Working 3, we finally learned her secrets.

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Yamada’s life before coming to the restaurant was definitely challenging, but it was that way mostly due to a ton of misunderstandings. There wasn’t much of a reason for Yamada to run away, and yet, run away she did.

Here in season three, Yamada was able to confront what had been troubling her, and everything led to a pleasant conclusion. It was nice.

THAT NOTWITHSTANDING, this was still a Yamada centered story. Thus, there was more than what was on the surface. The event that pushed Yamada to run away was unimaginably stupid, and yet, there was no way Yamada would have reacted any differently.

Working was one of those series that thoroughly understood its characters. It didn’t matter how dramatic a situation became, no one was going to change who they were. These final moments felt special.

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Series Negatives

There are two things I want to begin this section with.

One: Sadly, Working 3 didn’t follow through with its running joke of having the last episode be about the one “normal” staff member. Then again, the finale of this season was a tad preoccupied.

Two: Working 3 had fourteen episodes to this season, but episode fourteen aired as an hour-long television special a couple months after the main bulk.

Since the entirety of Working 3 can now be completed in a single marathon, there really shouldn’t be any problem with watching everything together. I just want to make it clear that there is a fourteenth episode, and you cannot skip it.

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Also, since Working 3’s episode fourteen had an actual television air date – despite the time gap – and due to it capping off a trilogy, I find this more palatable than series that release their conclusions as an OVA.

Anyway, there were a few actual negative points to this season.

For starters, Souta Takanashi underwent a sudden and drastic change. Although the Working series had been hinting at this development from the beginning, Souta finally having romantic feelings towards Mahiru Inami (voiced by Saki Fujita) came about without warning. This was in direct contrast to Souta’s disinterest in non-tiny things; a trait Working 2 made abundantly clear.

However, the person Working 2 turned Souta into was an ass hat. Therefore, his change of heart in Working 3, though sudden, was entirely welcomed. This was a clear case of the ends more than justifying the means. This switch needed to happen, and if it hadn’t, I can’t imagine this season would have been as good as it was.

Regardless, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t acknowledge that what Working 3 did was forced.

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Be that as it may, there was another element to this season that was slightly more irritating.

Working 3 had a bad habit of cutting away from something important. As I mentioned, this season was filled with resolutions. Many episodes, particularly the later ones, reached the culmination of long-running plotlines. After waiting all this time for an answer to come, naturally, your focus would be heightened when it finally did.

According to Working 3, these were the perfect spots to jump to something irrelevant. Can someone please tell me why so many shows think this is a good idea?

Fortunately, there was a bright side. At least this show was Working 3. Although I wasn’t a fan of this series breaking away from scenes that were three seasons in the making, at least when there was a cut this story went to something funny. I’m usually not one for consolation prizes, but these ones weren’t bad.

That pretty much covers it. The last thing I will say is WWW.Working has some big shoes to fill, and it will be a massive shame if it goes on to fall flat on its face.

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Final Thoughts

It feels like this is the end of something great. In many ways, that’s because it is. That feels strange to say since there is still one more entry left in this series.

Whether the next installment is good or not, it won’t change the fact that this third season did everything it needed to do, and it did it in a big way.

Everything was better this time around. The animation, the comedy, the characters, the story, it was all a step up. This was easily one of the best final chapters I have come across.

You better believe I am recommending Working 3, but I would like to expand on that a little. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend the entire Working trilogy.

But these are just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this show? What would be your advice concerning Working 3? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.

And if you liked what you read, be sure to follow me on my social media sites so that you never miss a post or update. Also, please share this review across the internet to help add to the discussion.

I’m LofZOdyssey, and I’ll see you next time.

Post Editor: Onions

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