Working!!

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Working!!
Working manga volume 1 cover.jpg
Cover of volume 1 of Working!!, published by Square Enix, featuring Popura Taneshima (center)
Genre Comedy, Slice of life, Romance
Manga
Written by Karino Takatsu
Published by Square Enix
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Young Gangan
Original run January 2005November 2014
Volumes 13
Anime television series
Directed by Yoshimasa Hiraike
Produced by Hiroyuki Shimizu
Shunsuke Saito
Tomoyuki Saito
Written by Kazuho Hyodo (eps 6, 9-10, 13)
Noboru Kimura (eps 4-5, 11-12)
Rika Sogo (eps 3, 7-8)
Yoshimasa Hiraike (eps 1-2)
Music by Monaca
Studio A-1 Pictures
Licensed by
Network Tokyo MX, Yomiuri TV
Original run April 4, 2010June 26, 2010
Episodes 13 (List of episodes)
Anime television series
Working'!!
Directed by Atsushi Ootsuki
Produced by Hiroaki Tsunoda (Yomiuri TV)
Hiroyuki Shimizu (Aniplex)
Shunsuke Saito (Aniplex)
Tomoyuki Saito (Yomiuri TV)
Written by Michiko Itou (eps 4, 8, 11)
Michiko Yokote (ep 5)
Shougo Mukai (eps 2, 6, 9-10)
Takao Yoshioka
Music by Monaca
Studio A-1 Pictures
Licensed by
Network Tokyo MX, Yomiuri TV
Original run October 1, 2011December 24, 2011
Episodes 13 (List of episodes)
Anime television series
Working!!!
Directed by Yumi Kamakura
Written by Takao Yoshioka
Music by Monaca
Studio A-1 Pictures
Licensed by
Network Tokyo MX, Yomiuri TV
English network Aniplex Channel, Crunchyroll, Hulu, Daisuki, Viewster
Original run July 4, 2015 – ongoing
Anime and Manga portal

Working!! is a Japanese four-panel comic strip manga series written and illustrated by Karino Takatsu, and concerns the activities of the unusual employees at the Wagnaria family restaurant. It began serialization in the January 2005 issue of Square Enix's Young Gangan seinen manga magazine. Square Enix released three drama CDs between 2007 and 2009 with scripts written by Shōgo Mukai. A 13-episode anime series produced by A-1 Pictures and directed by Yoshimasa Hiraike aired in Japan in 2010 and a second season aired in 2011. A third season began airing in July 2015. In North America, the first two anime seasons are licensed by NIS America and the series is known as Wagnaria!!, while the third is licensed by Aniplex of America.

Characters[edit]

Wagnaria employees[edit]

Sōta Takanashi (小鳥遊 宗太 Takanashi Sōta?)
Voiced by: Jun Fukuyama, Kenichi Suzumura (drama CD)
The main character of Working!!, Sōta is a 16 year-old high school student who was recruited to work at the family restaurant Wagnaria by Popura. He is enamored by small and cute things, and thus favors Popura over the other employees due to her cute appearance. He occasionally voices his thoughts out loud and so offends his co-workers, who punish him in various ways. He was able to adapt quickly to his job at the restaurant and although he usually finds his co-workers and the rules of the restaurant to be strange, but he still has an attachment to his job. Sōta lives with his four sisters (three older and one younger). He expresses a dislike of older women, brought about by his treatment at the hands of his older sisters. His younger sister, who is in elementary school and is almost as tall as he is, respects him.
Despite his problems, he is occasionally forced to cross-dress as a girl named Kotori (小鳥?) (derived from the first two kanji in his surname). Even though he constantly gets hit by Mahiru, he is actually quite skilled in fighting, as his sister taught him self-defense. He does not fight back against Mahiru because his sisters taught him not to hit girls.
Popura Taneshima (種島 ぽぷら Taneshima Popura?)
Voiced by: Kana Asumi, Mai Kadowaki (drama CD)
Popura is a short 17 year-old high school student who works at Wagnaria. Ironically, she was named after the poplar tree, so that she would grow tall. She is a hard worker, but she sometimes makes clumsy mistakes in her job. She is very sensitive about her short stature, and many customers believe her to be younger than she really is. Similarly, Sōta, who is one year younger than her, usually regards her as an elementary school student. She is also unable to properly call him by his surname, saying "Katanashi" rather than "Takanashi", even when corrected. She admires Kotori, Sōta's cross-dressing persona, and the Takanashi sisters because of their tall and mature look.
Mahiru Inami (伊波 まひる Inami Mahiru?)
Voiced by: Saki Fujita, Mai Nakahara (drama CD)
Mahiru is a timid, 17 year-old girl who works at Wagnaria. She has androphobia and is thus terrified of men; she punches any male that comes near her. This violent behavior was revealed to have arisen from childhood, when her father, who did not want his daughter to eventually marry, told her that every man is ready to attack her and conditioned her to violently attack men at a moment's notice due to this fear. As she and Sōta usually share shifts, he takes the brunt of her attacks. However, she makes considerable progress with her fear of men by taking it out on Sōta. She wears a hairpin in her hair, which she changes every day after Sōta complimented it (according to Sōma).
At first she begins to develop a crush on, and later falls in love with, Sōta after he confronts her father (as Kotori) about her androphobia. With Sōta's help, over time her condition improves, and she is able to come within two meters of a guy without having the urge to hit them. Nevertheless, Sōta can only get closer to Mahiru without the risk of being attacked when he crossdresses as Kotori or by using a grabber toy.
Kyōko Shirafuji (白藤 杏子 Shirafuji Kyōko?)
Voiced by: Kumiko Watanabe, Junko Minagawa (drama CD)
Kyōko is the manager of Wagnaria. She usually maintains a rather apathetic attitude towards the restaurant she runs and almost never bothers to do any work herself. Instead, she is seen constantly eating food such as Yachiyo's parfaits and Otoo's souvenirs. She is not beyond using violence to deal with unruly customers and firmly believes that employees come before the customers. She is 28 years-old, but she becomes despondent whenever she is called old or any variation thereof. Kyōko used to be a juvenile delinquent and she met Yachiyo when she saved her from bullies when she was a little girl and demanded food as payment.
Yachiyo Todoroki (轟 八千代 Todoroki Yachiyo?)
Voiced by: Eri Kitamura, Shiho Kawaragi (drama CD)
Yachiyo is the 20 year-old chief of staff of Wagnaria. She usually carries around a katana which, according to her, was made by her parents who used to be blacksmiths. Yachiyo is unaware that some of the customers, and even Sōta, are intimidated by her blade. Sōta often addresses her as "Chief". She admires Kyōko considerably since she once saved her from bullies as a child and has followed her ever since. She constantly makes parfaits for Kyōko and becomes hostile to anyone else giving her food. Yachiyo is very close to Jun, as she has worked with him the longest and consideres him to be her closest friend, but is was unaware of his feelings for her and spends most of her time talking to him about Kyōko, much to his dismay.
Later in the series, she reciprocates his feelings and they begin dating. In the crossover drama CD bundled with the Servant x Service limited edition Blu-ray/DVDs, she and Jun go together to enter their names into the family register, and instead of babbling about Kyoko to others, she now boasts about her husband, Jun.
Jun Satō (佐藤 潤 Satō Jun?)
Voiced by: Daisuke Ono, Hirofumi Nojima (drama CD)
Jun is a helpful but intimidating 20 year-old chef who works in the kitchen. He is in love with Yachiyo, but has problems expressing it. However, because she is so devoted to Kyōko, she fails to recognize any of his hints. He likes to take out his anger on Popura, by messing with her or bending the truth, which Popura naively believes. Whenever Hiroomi tries to help Jun progress with Yachiyo, Jun unrelentingly hits him with a pan, showing that he is sensitive about his feelings for Yachiyo. However, later on in the manga, Yachiyo reciprocates his feelings, and they begin dating.
In the crossover drama CD bundled with the Servant x Service limited edition Blu-ray/DVDs, she and Jun go together to enter their names into the family register, and after the process is completed, Jun refuses to stop bullying Popura by changing her hairstyle, saying that he is too happy being a newlywed man.
Hiroomi Sōma (相馬 博臣 Sōma Hiroomi?)
Voiced by: Hiroshi Kamiya, Yoshinori Fujita (drama CD)
Another chef who works in the kitchen, Hiroomi is a young man with an easygoing attitude. He often blackmails the other workers to do his job for him and passes it off as a form of modesty from the other employees. He can blackmail anyone, except for Jun and Mahiru; the former usually responds to his blackmail with hitting him with a frying pan, while the latter punches him even before he talks to her. He is terrified of Mahiru's urges and is thankful for Sōta's existence in the restaurant since she takes out all her urges on him instead.
His biggest weakness appears to be crying girls. Moreover, Aoi has been the only person on whom his blackmail attempt backfired, leaving him depressed. However, he somewhat dotes on Aoi, trying to protect her whereabouts from her brother and buying her a stuffed bear named Daisy which becomes Aoi's most beloved possession.
Aoi Yamada (山田 葵 Yamada Aoi?)
Voiced by: Ryō Hirohashi, Kana Ueda (drama CD)
Aoi is a mysterious, self-proclaimed 16 year-old girl whom Otoo meets on his travels to find his missing wife. Her true identity and age are a mystery, besides the fact that her first name is 'Aoi'. He brings her back to Wagnaria, where she starts working as a waitress, and lives in the attic. While she has great confidence in herself, during work she is an unhelpful troublemaker who gets yelled at by the other staff members, especially Sōta. Since she is in training, her position among the staff is low, which she complains about. She is bad with dealing with Sōta's constant complaints about her, but she does write down some of his suggestions (along with idle complaints). She is obssessed with the idea of having a family, especially regarding Otoo whom she sees as an ideal father figure. She goes as far as to apply to be adopted by him. She is also rather childish and does not like to be (in her view) "left out" of what the others are doing. For example she asks Kyōko to drive her home (even though she "lives" at Wagnaria) and asks Sōma to poke her, since he and Satō had poked Inami and Popura. Her favorite food is nattō. Her lady-like manner and lack of knowledge in the kitchen makes Takanashi suspect she is actually from a rich family.
Later in the series, her brother, Kirio, appears looking for her, but Sōma prevents them from meeting. When the two eventually do meet, Aoi reveals that she ran away partly due to her family situation: her father had died and her mother is described as 'robotic', but largely because Kirio had eaten the nattō she had been saving in the fridge. In the crossover drama CD bundled with the Servant x Service limited edition Blu-ray/DVDs, she wears the same school uniform as Touko Ichimiya, indicating that they attend the same school.
Hyōgo Otoo (音尾 兵吾 Otoo Hyōgo?)
Voiced by: Jōji Nakata, Daiki Nakamura (drama CD)
Otoo is the owner of the restaurant. He is away most of the time, searching for his missing wife, who apparently is so bad with directions that she got lost while running errands and is now wandering Japan. He periodically returns to Wagnaria to check up on things and bring back souvenirs. Due to his habit of bringing food back for Kyōko whenever he returns, his life is constantly in danger from a jealous Yachiyo. He is noted to have a light presence, and is even compared to (and named) "air" by Sōta, when the latter is attempting to convince Mahiru not to attack him. He finally reunites with his wife, and they live together once again. He keeps a very close watch on her so that she will not get lost again.
Maya Matsumoto (松本 麻耶 Matsumoto Maya?)
Voiced by: Akiko Kawase
Maya is an 18 year-old girl who works at Wagnaria and wears glasses She professes that she is a "normal person" striving to be completely ordinary in work and life in general. She has a hard time understanding the other employees, seeing how awkward all of them are, and tries not to be too familiar with them. The irony is that because she tries too hard to be "normal", she ends up being pretty weird herself. Maya briefly appeared in volume one of the manga and did not resurface until volume five due to readers requesting more information on her from the author.[citation needed]

Takanashi family[edit]

Kazue Takanashi (小鳥遊 一枝 Takanashi Kazue?)
Voiced by: Ryoko Shiraishi, Mabuki Andou (drama CD)
Kazue is the eldest sister at age 31. The tallest in the family, she works as a lawyer, is divorced, and first appeared in chapter 25.[citation needed] She is an expert in the law, and often uses it to her benefit in arguments in combination with violence and wordplay. She appears to be very serious, but this is just a cover for her emotional problems. She often ignores Sōta's viewpoints and appears to not get along with Izumi or Kozue, though she does care for her family. She worries when Izumi leaves the house and spoils Nazuna. She divorced her husband and childhood friend Tōru Minegishi because of his masochistic tendencies.
Izumi Takanashi (小鳥遊 泉 Takanashi Izumi?)
Voiced by: Yōko Hikasa, Fumiko Orikasa (drama CD)
Izumi is the second sister in the Takanashi family at age 28. Tall and slender, she is rarely shown standing and pays little attention to her bedraggled appearance (always dressing in black, not wearing make-up and being covered in ink). She writes romance novels for a living. Though she loves her job, she is often driven to despair by deadlines and writer's block, and often locks herself in her messy room. Izumi has a weak constitution—she gets muscle aches from carrying anything heavier than a pen—and frequently relies on others to take care of her, doing no household chores and being cared for by her brother.
Kozue Takanashi (小鳥遊 梢 Takanashi Kozue?)
Voiced by: Shizuka Itō, Akiko Kimura (drama CD)
Kozue is the third sister at age 25. Slightly shorter than Kazue, she is an aikido instructor, and appears in chapter 20 of the manga.[citation needed] She is often found passed out by the front door. She loves to go to Wagnaria and latch on to any employees (especially Mahiru). Sōta has a hard time dealing with her as she loves to wear revealing clothing. She gets lonely easily and loves to pick up guys, but soon breaks up with them, a contributing factor to her alcohol abuse. She loves Sōta, but goes about it the wrong way, resulting in him treating her more harshly than her sisters. Due to her job, she is the only person who can withstand Kazue's physical attacks.
Nazuna Takanashi (小鳥遊 なずな Takanashi Nazuna?)
Voiced by: Momoko Saitō, Rie Kugimiya (drama CD)
Nazuna is the fourth sister and the youngest member in the Takanashi family at age 12. Though still in elementary school, she is almost as tall as Sōta. Nazuna first appears in chapter 25 of the manga.[citation needed] When she was little, she saw how her sisters abused Sōta and decided to protect her brother. Only Izumi is spared from her discrete machinations against her unsuspecting sisters. However, Sōta worries that she will grow up to be a worse sadist than her sisters.
Being still in elementary school, her lack of stamina makes it harder for her to stay up late at night. After assuming that Inami is Sōta's girlfriend, Nazuna uses a school report assignment as an excuse and bribes the manager to help out at the restaurant. Later in the series, she helps out once in a while and appears to work without pay.

Others[edit]

Mahiru's Father (まひるの父 Mahiru no Chichi?)
Voiced by: Hōchū Ōtsuka
Name unspecified, loves his daughter to the point of making up lies about males so that no boys would come near her. Out of jealousy, he told Mahiru that all men wanted to attack her so that she would fear them and never get married. He is the cause of Mahiru's androphobia and abnormal strength, having subtly trained her from birth, though this has also made him a target for her punching. Due to the possibility of getting hit at home, he lives and works by himself faraway, almost forgetting what Mahiru looks like. He appears to be calm and normal, but carries a rifle with him which he intends to use on boys who get too close to Mahiru.
Mahiru's Mother (まひるの母 Mahiru no Haha?)
Voiced by: Masami Suzuki
Name unspecified. She does not appear to interfere with her husband's upbringing of their daughter.
Haruna Otoo (音尾 春菜 Otoo Haruna?)
Voiced by: Junko Iwao
Otoo's wife, who went shopping one day for some milk, but due to her terrible sense of direction, has since been unable to find her way back home. She has occasionally run into other members of the Wagnaria staff, but often mysteriously disappears soon afterwards. In reality, she navigates her way through the sewers, only stopping for milk at convenience stores, explaining why she and Otoo never cross paths.
Yōhei Mashiba (真柴 陽平 Mashiba Yōhei?)
Voiced by: Yūichi Nakamura
One of the members of Kyōko's old personal gang, who occasionally gets called in to help at the restaurant when staff are low. He is distinguished by his green jumpsuit, ponytail, and snaggle-tooth. Yōhei is unemployed, a status which he does not change in order to ensure he is always available should Kyōko need his help. When he remarks that Kozue is pretty (shortly after she is dumped by her latest boyfriend), she develops a persistent interest in him because he rejects her on the grounds of not being able to provide for her given his unemployment rather than because he dislikes her. He does not get along with his twin sister, Mitsuki.
Mitsuki Mashiba (真柴 美月 Mashiba Mitsuki?)
Voiced by: Haruka Tomatsu
Yōhei's twin sister, and another member of Kyōko's old gang. She is currently working as an insurance agent and is easily embarrassed by her past looks. She presently wears red business attire and brown hair, though she used to have puffy blonde-dyed hair and yankee schoolgirl attire. Like her brother, she is more than willing to avail herself to Kyoko should her leader call for her help. Mitsuki is also highly protective of Yachiyo, developing a dislike of Jun as a result of his romantic interest in Yachiyo as well as his correct assertion that Mitsuki's attitude towards Yachiyo is the reason why Yachiyo has not become self-sufficient.
Kirio Yamada (山田 桐生 Yamada Kirio?)
Voiced by: Satoshi Hino
Aoi's older brother who has been constantly searching for her. He shares his sister's eyes, dark purple hair and irises, and wears a white school uniform. Like Aoi, his surname is an alias which coincidentally matches hers. He is the captain of a karate club and is strong enough to defend himself against Mahiru, who he gains a crush on.
Tōru Minegishi (峰岸 徹 Minegishi Tōru?)
Voiced by: Kōji Yusa
Kazue's husband and childhood friend who works for the Takanashi matriarch. Because of his constant masochistic tendencies, Kazue divorced him, although it has been hinted that she still has feelings for him (since he still blatantly loves her).

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

Working!! had its origins in a web comic written and illustrated by Karino Takatsu also called Working!!, which she published in irregular intervals on her personal website. The web comic's setting and characters are different from the later four-panel comic strip manga, which began serialization in the January 2005 issue of Square Enix's Young Gangan manga magazine. While the restaurant in the web comic and manga are both called Wagnaria, they are different branch stores, so the world is the same. For example, Kenichirō Sakaki (榊 研一郎 Sakaki Kenichrō?), the web comic's store manager, is an old friend of Kyōko Shirafuji and Masahiro Adachi (足立 正広 Adachi Masahiro?) from the web comic is a band mate of Jun Satō from the Young Gangan version. The author called the web comic version Cat Group (猫組 Neko-gumi?) and the serialized manga version Dog Group (犬組 Inu-gumi?). Square Enix published 13 tankōbon volumes between November 25, 2005 and December 25, 2014.[1][2][3] Ten additional chapters have been released via mobile phones. The manga has been licensed for release in Chinese in Taiwan by Tong Li Publishing.[4] Takatsu launched a biweekly web version of Working!! on October 16, 2009 to commemorate the anime series and posts the manga on the anime's official website.[5][6]

Drama CDs and radio show[edit]

Square Enix released three drama CDs under the title Young Gangan Book In CD Working!!, with scenarios written by Shōgo Mukai. The first volume, released on January 25, 2007, came bundled with a 96-page booklet with bonus manga and the scenario included.[7] The second and third volumes, released on April 25, 2008 and March 25, 2009 respectively, also came bundled with similar booklets.[8][9] The voice acting cast for the anime is different from the drama CDs.

An Internet radio show to promote the anime series titled Yamaking!! aired 13 episodes between May 21 and October 29, 2010, and was hosted by Ryō Hirohashi, the voice actress of Aoi Yamada. The show restarted with the title Yamaking‍ '​!! on October 7, 2011.

Anime[edit]

The anime television series' 13-episode first season, produced by A-1 Pictures and directed by Yoshimasa Hiraike, aired in Japan between April 4 and June 26, 2010 on Tokyo MX;[10] the first episode having a special pre-broadcast on March 6, 2010 on Tokyo MX. NIS America licensed the anime under the title Wagnaria!!, and an English-subtitled DVD box set was released on March 24, 2011.[11] The anime's opening theme is "Someone Else" by Kana Asumi, Saki Fujita and Eri Kitamura (the three female leads). The ending theme is "Heart no Edge ni Idomō Go to Heart Edge" (ハートのエッジに挑もう Go to Heart Edge?) by Jun Fukuyama, Daisuke Ono and Hiroshi Kamiya (the three male leads). The special ending theme for episode nine is "Golden Day" (ゴールデン・デイ?) by Saki Fujita.

A second season, titled Working'!! (with an apostrophe), began airing on October 1, 2011, after a September 3, 2011 preview airing.[12] Crunchyroll is doing a simulcast of the series. The second season's opening theme is "Coolish Walk" by Asumi, Fujita and Kitamura, while the ending theme is "Always Love & Peace!!" (いつものようにLOVE&PEACE!! Itsumo no Yōni LOVE&PEACE!!?) by Fukuyama, Ono and Kamiya.

A third anime season[13] titled Working!!! premiere on July 4, 2015. It is also streamed online with English subtitles on Aniplex Channel, Crunchyroll, Hulu, Daisuki and Viewster.[14]

Reception[edit]

The fourth manga volume of Working!! was the seventh highest-selling manga volume in Japan for the week of October 23 and October 29, 2007.[15] The sixth manga volume was the sixth-highest selling manga volume in Japan for the week of March 24 and March 30, 2009, having sold over 73,000 volumes that week.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Working!! 1" (in Japanese). Amazon.co.jp. Retrieved August 9, 2009. 
  2. ^ "Working!! 13" (in Japanese). Amazon.co.jp. Retrieved December 9, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Working!! Manga to End With 13th Volume in December". Anime News Network. August 7, 2014. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  4. ^ 迷糊餐廳 1 [Working!! 1] (in Chinese). Book.com.tw. Retrieved August 9, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Working!! 4-Panel Manga to Spawn Biweekly Web Version". Anime News Network. October 2, 2009. Retrieved October 2, 2009. 
  6. ^ "TVアニメーション「WORKING!!」" [TV Animation Working!!] (in Japanese). A-1 Pictures. Retrieved October 2, 2009. 
  7. ^ "ヤングガンガン ブック・イン・CD WORKING!! Vol.1 (ヤングガンガンブック・イン・CD) (CD-ROM)" [Young Gangan Book In CD Working!! Vol.1 (Young Gangan Book In CD) (CD-ROM)] (in Japanese). Amazon.co.jp. Retrieved August 9, 2009. 
  8. ^ "ヤングガンガン ブック・イン・CD WORKING!! Vol.2 (ヤングガンガンブック・イン・CD) (CD-ROM)" [Young Gangan Book In CD Working!! Vol.2 (Young Gangan Book In CD) (CD-ROM)] (in Japanese). Amazon.co.jp. Retrieved August 9, 2009. 
  9. ^ "ヤングガンガン ブック・イン・CD WORKING!! Vol.3 (ヤングガンガンブック・イン・CD) (CD-ROM)" [Young Gangan Book In CD Working!! Vol.3 (Young Gangan Book In CD) (CD-ROM)] (in Japanese). Amazon.co.jp. Retrieved August 9, 2009. 
  10. ^ "TVアニメーション「WORKING!!」" [TV Animation Working!!] (in Japanese). A-1 Pictures. Retrieved August 9, 2009. 
  11. ^ "NIS America Adds Working!! Restaurant Comedy Anime". Anime News Network. November 19, 2010. Retrieved November 19, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Working!!/Wagnaria!! TV Anime Gets 2nd Season". Anime News Network. April 1, 2011. Retrieved April 1, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Working!!/Wagnaria!! Anime Gets 3rd Season". Anime News Network. August 11, 2014. Retrieved August 11, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Aniplex USA to Simulcast Classroom Crisis, Charlotte, Wagnaria!!3 Anime". Anime News Network. June 24, 2015. Retrieved June 24, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Japanese Comic Ranking, October 23–29". Anime News Network. October 31, 2007. Retrieved August 9, 2009. 
  16. ^ "Japanese Comic Ranking, March 24–30". Anime News Network. April 1, 2009. Retrieved August 9, 2009. 

External links[edit]