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.
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.