A tonic for the working man

Along with the company of a few anime blogger friends, I rewatched the first episode of Hataraki Man. I still managed to get a lot out of it, even after half a year of completing the show.

It could take a whole post talking about how the writers managed to cramp so much meat in the span of one episode. Characters are introduced, and are fleshed out in mere seconds of dialogue. By the end, Matsukata, the main character, after struggling with her fears, reaffirms her passion for work.

Watching the episode made me lament the lack of anime centered among working adults–the faceless salarymen who slave tens of hours a day in order to sustain a lifestyle of tobacco and drinking. You can probably count the shows that do so with your fingers.

(On a off-tangent, Business Jump seems to be a very eclectic mix of stuff. So it seems that said salarymen enjoy reading Violence Hero Riki-Oh.)

As I see it, Hataraki Man is a tonic for the working man. I’m 22, and working in a job that I love. However, work isn’t always rosy–sometimes I am pooped from it, which calls for coping mechanisms. A large bulk of anime is set in high school. While I appreciate it, and innovative measures to deal with the melancholy of school life (Star Driver does a very good job at this), I’d still like a show made for the employed adult.

(Well, even the employed teen could work. Manabi: The After Years, perhaps?)

It’s still escapism, of course. But it hits closer to home than Schoolgirl Anime #307. I have no qualms watching Hataraki Man every time work drops a hammer on me–but would I be cursed to watch the same show?

Well, Dai-Guard does fit, but for entirely different reasons.

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13 Responses to A tonic for the working man

  1. Shinmaru says:

    “I’m 22 …”

    mind = blown (totally thought you were older)

  2. Bakuman… eventually.

  3. DoctorBaronvonEvilSatan says:

    And so it begins. . .

    “Kaiji” for the darker side of the adult world.

    Also, IIRC, K-ON and the like are actually made for our age demographic.

  4. Kuro says:

    There’s this J-drama in NHK about how people deal with their loss of jobs, forgot the title though, not anime but just saying… Hataraki Man is unique for me because its the only anime I’ve seen focusing on the working man. I should see this anime sometime. Haven’t gotten my ass of Steel Angel Kurumi.

    Hope work treats you well, kind sir.

  5. I agree that the world could use more anime about working adults. How is it that anime has so much of everything and is sorely lacking in that category?

    Arianna S.

    • DoctorBaronvonEvilSatan says:

      Working adults in Japan don’t really watch a lot of anime. The Otariman thing is relatively new.
      They do read a lot of manga though so there’s a wider variety. From business manga to mahjong manga.

      Anime is still a “kids thing” and an “otaku thing” after all.

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