badger11’s take on anime

Hataraki Man Ep 9 - Inspirational Man

Hiro gets a major assignment of her career when she gets put in charge of publishing a special edition of the magazine she works for. This edition covers the top 50 national leaders in business, education, etc. Unfortunately for her, she suffers a setback when one of the people, Mimura, she’s including in that suddenly dies from a brain hemorrhage at work. Like Hiro, he was a workaholic until he died at 45. Continuing with the theme of things going downhill, Hiro gets a, unheard of for her, cold and finds out that one of the five reporters working for her on this project is in the hospital (I wonder who has it worse, Hiro or the reporter). This reporter was interviewing 10 people, all of whom are now Hiro’s responsibility.

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Despite the added workload and cold, Hiro interviews Mimura’s widow who mentions that even when he was sick, he’d work not because he had to, but because he wanted to. In reviewing his biography, she noticed that Mimura’s work somehow always managed to contribute something to society. It had a purpose or meaning. As Hiro talks with the widow, she realizes that being busy with work doesn’t necessarily mean your doing a good job and that even doing a good job doesn’t mean that you’ll succeed. And she wants to succeed with this project, but she doesn’t know what she wants the project to mean. The special edition takes another spiral downwards when another reported goes out sick adding to Hiro’s load, but he manages to turn in some work.

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Sick and with a huge workload, Hiro feels overwhelmed with getting this special edition out. It isn’t until she reads some biographies of the the people in this edition that she notices that these successful people having something in common. At some point, usually when they’re starting out, they all had times where they were overwhelmed. Despite those moments, they all managed to get through them and succeed. Hiro uses this realization not only to become inspired to complete the project, but the meaning of the special edition she’s been looking for was that these people got through the overwhelming times

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I liked this episode for two reasons. There is that positive message that people can get through the overwhelming times. I forget where I heard it, but there’s a saying that I like, “The Sun is always shining behind those clouds“. I think that applies to this episode. The other reason why I liked this episode is rather a sad one. We start to see the cracks in Hiro’s relationship with Shinji when she gets back from Mimura’s funeral.

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