badger11’s take on anime

Hataraki Man Ep 10 and 11

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Thanks to Arienai Fansubs for subbing this adult (no, not porn) show. I hope another season of this show comes. It’s one that I can easily recommend to people who don’t watch anime or think that’s nothing more than porn and robots. I’ve written a lot of notes (which I trashed) about the episode 10, trying to figure out what it meant to me. It focused on Hiro’s co-worker and occasional drinking buddy, Kaji. She’s the calm, always collected type (and the office beauty who seems to get away with things because of her looks).Everyone wonders how she can remain calm when the famous writer she’s working with is rumored to have been recently killed in a plane crash. We get hints that Hiro’s private life is starting to crash (a water pipe burst and flooded her apartment).

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Despite the focus on Kaji for most of the episode, episode 10 really seems more like an introduction to episode 11. We saw a little foreshadowing in episode nine when Shinji blew Hiro off after a funeral and at the end of episode 10 we hear him telling her he wants to break up. It isn’t until episode 11 that we find out that he’s suffering from feelings of inferiority in his career. As a writer, Hiro gets to create something where Shinji’s just a salesman trying to win clients. He started out in the construction company working on sites where he got to help create something. Then he was transferred to sales, that outlet to create something, however mundane building an apartment building might have been, was taken away. Coupled with the facts that both of them were workaholics to begin with, spending more and more time at their jobs, breaking up was an inevitability. It isn’t hard to imagine spending time doing something you enjoy as a living. But even so, relationship with a loved one isn’t something I’d be willing to pay whether I loved my job or not.

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Even with that said, I still wonder what it’s like to do something you like as a job. That’s a bliss that I’d like to feel. In away, I can relate a little to Shinji as I’m a little envious of some my coworkers who create websites while I take tech support calls. There is no sense of satisfaction that comes from creating something and I have yet to find any satisfaction in telling some one who’s world seems to have fallen apart that spam does happen because sometimes, spam filters just fail. And there are moments of satisfaction when a problem is solved, but it doesn’t feel enough. I suppose this is one reason why I blog. As bad as my writing is, I get to create it. Hiro’s ability to write is one thing that I’m envious of (oh great, I’m jealous of a fictional anime character. Well, it’s not the first time [Kyon, you lucky s.o.b.] and won’t be the last). I also like her gung-ho work attitude (even with the price to her private life).

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I could watch more of Hiro and hope that a second season will be made. Part of the reason that I liked Hataraki Man is that it’s different from other anime that I watch. There is no sense of mystery about a town in winter, no patrol labors from Second Division causing merry mayhem in the streets. Its an approachable anime that a lot of people in the workplace can identify with to some extent. It does make you conscious of work vs. life balance. But it’s also pretty good story telling (though I never got used to Hiro’s eyes, they’re creepy in a sort of way).

Rie Tanaka did a great job as Hiro, though there were a few times when I wished she’d go Suigintou on a few characters, but that’s just me.

4 Comments so far

  1. Megavolt April 22nd, 2007 7:51 pm

    Hah, nice. Coincidentally, I just finished Hataraki Man today after watching these 2 episodes. Being a… rather fortunate student who never found the need to work, I can’t really relate that much to Hiro’s life, but I still really admire her attitude to her job. It’s so ridiculously stressful, but she likes it so much.

    It ended on a great note, with Hiro’s realisation that her work can be her salvation despite taking its toll on her sometimes.

    Heh, this might be the most realistic anime I’ve ever watched.

  2. badger11 April 22nd, 2007 9:10 pm

    It is fairly realistic which is why I think a lot of non-anime watchers could watch this one.

  3. random julia April 22nd, 2007 11:16 pm

    What it’s like to do something you like? Well, it’s sort of like having a satisfactory sex life - you know that most of it is really just routine, but there are moments when it just hits you, it’s sooo good. I think the issue is not really about WHAT you do, but HOW and WITH WHOM you do it. The coworkers and the work ethics at the place are half the experience. And the other half is your own attitude (’doing my job right makes me feel satisfied’, that kind).
    But, watching Htaraki man was indeed like watching my own life, including the downs. Yet I still think that to spend a third of your adult life (which you will, at the workplace, whether you want it or not) seriously unhappy is not worth it. I’d rather have both thirds :]

  4. badger11 April 23rd, 2007 5:23 pm

    >>What it’s like to do something you like? Well, it’s sort of like having a satisfactory sex life - you know that most of it is really just routine, but there are moments when it just hits you, it’s sooo good.
    XD oh that’s great! thanks.

    You’re right, the work environment does count for a lot and your own attitude was determines the rest.