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Hataraki Man Ep 4

Woohoo! My thanks to the subbers for putting out this show! Hiroko and the gang are back. Even though this episode wasn’t primarily focused on Hiro, it was still a great one. The humor in the first half was just dead on. Very little time was spent dealing with the characters in the office, other than the slacker, Kunio and Mayu. The punishment game with Mayu was very enjoyable. That should be standard punishment for nosy co-workers.

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Hataraki Man Ep2

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Another enjoyable episode, heavy on the internal monologues. With that out of the way, on to the laughable thing I call a blog post. Well, She’s at it again. Hirokko (Hiro) Matsukata, our workaholic lead, has spent another night at the office. where everyone is talking about two photographers who were on a stakeout. They had their cover blown as they were trying to photograph an Olympic athlete and her coach who are rumored to be having an affair. One of the photographers is Fumiya Sagawara who seems to be on the burn-out arc of his career. He and the other photographer are talking with the chief editor about the blown stakeout. The chief editor suggests taking one of the female reporters. After running through the list, Hiro comes out as the nominee. Fumiya rejects the idea of having a Hiro, let alone a woman come with him on the stakeout. Hiro also rejects the idea since she’s got a date with her workaholic boyfriend. right on cue, her boyfriend calls and has to cancel their date tonight because of work. Hiro gets asked by Fumiya and the other reporter to go with Fumiya on a stakeout. As the other reporter is talking to Hiro, Fumiya doesn’t like women like Hiro. He hates strong-willed women. He thinks of them as selfish and doesn’t like their intense expressions. He thinks that women use their sex or some lame reason such as going on a date as a reason to slack off. He’s surprised when she agrees. As Fumiya walks away, Hiro starts to wonder why she doens’t like women or herself.

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On the drive over, Hiro tries to find out why Fumiya doesn’t liker her. she mentions that when she started at the company, she worked in the gossip/tabloid division where Fumiya is assigned. She didn’t like it so she managed to transfer over to the political division. That’s part of the reason why Fumiya hates her, he was there when she transferred out.They park and wait outside of get to the athlete’s apartment building. As they wait, Hiro spots someone sneaking up on them. Fumiya realizes that its the same woman who blew his cover the night before. Hiro suddenly hugs Fumiya, telling him to act like they’re lovers. The woman walks up to the car and stares in, watching Hiro and Fumiya. After a few minutes, she leaves and Hiro realizes that she stained Fumiya’s shirt with her natto maki. She heads to a nearby water fountain to clean the shirt. As she’s cleaning it, she sees a taxi carrying the the athelete and the coach drive by. Fumiya also sees the taxi and starts taking pictures of the two as they get out. He realizes that they aren’t giving him the shots that he needs. All it looks like is that the coach is walking the athlete to the door.

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As the sun rises in the morning, Fumiya stops the car near a bridge. As Hiro is sleeping, he gets out and walks to the edge of the river and starts taking pictures of the sky. Even though he’s burnt-out, he likes his job and the pictures of the infinite sky is a reminder to him about how insignificant everyone and their problems are. Hiro walks up and asks him why he takes pictures of the sky. He asks her why she’s always eating natto maki. Hiro refuses to tell him why.

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This was a pretty good episode. One thing that I liked about it is that not everyone likes Hiro. If this was a average TV show, Hiro would’ve overcome Fumiya’s dislike of her and there’d be a greater understanding and appreciation between the two. Leaving things the way they are seems more realistic and will probably come into play for at least a few episodes down the line. Even with the tension between Hiro and Fumiyua, this was a humorous episode. And here’s another show with an opening them music that I’ve come to like. And hum at different times (damn it).

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Hataraki Man Ep 1

How can you like a show that has a junior employee telling the female lead (and a senior employee) not to change his work, have her be glad not to see her boyfriend because she’s tired and then complains about not having sex for three months? How can you not?

Hatakari Man shows us the life of magazine writer/editor, Matsukata Hirokko (Hiro). Hiro is basically a workaholic, the kind of person who rushes even when she’s not late. A junior writer/editor, Tanaka Kunio doesn’t want her reviewing his work since he knows that its already perfect. In the opening episode, Hiro gets to interview the Foreign Minister about his “celebrity” lifestyle. Instead of the hour that she was promised, she only gets 15 minutes and even that time is cut in half as the Minister is running late (or deliberately blowing her off). The next evening, she’s still at work when she receives a phone call from her boyfriend apologizing for the cancelling their date the other night. She also receives a phone call from a woman who works for the Foreign Minister. She wants to meet with Hiro to talk about the Minister. Hiro thinks that she might be a whistle blower. As she leaves, Kunio makes a comment about work coming before private life. Ignoring him, Hiro meets with the woman who tells Hiro about the Minister misappropriating funds. The next morning, Hiro tells the senior editor and chief editor. They get excited by the scoop. After they approve the new article, Hiro goes into super writer mode where she works three times as fast and is utterly focused on her work.

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The next morning Hiro watches a TV news report shows the fallout from Hiro’s article about the Foreign Minister. The woman that Hiro interviewed turns out to be the Minister’s secretary. The minister is shown blaming the secretary. Hiro gets a phone call from someone who threatens her life for “telling lies”. The senior editor takes the phone from and hangs up. He warns her that she could be in trouble from people following her. The chief editor walks in and complains about having to clean up the mess that the article created. On her way home that night, Hiro flashes back to the interview with the secretary. Hiro asked her why she was willing to blow the whistle on the Minister. The secretary points out that Hiro was angry at the shortened time length she was given to interview the minister. The secretary had days like that. As she continues to walk home, Hiro realizes that she’s being followed. She fakes a loud phone call to her boyfriend, Shinji, and runs into her apartment building. As Hiro gets to her apartment, Shinji calls her. She tells asks him to come over because she was followed and is scared. He can’t because he has to leave the city for a business trip. Interestingly enough, Hiro thinks that if she were a man, she’d say the same thing. Later on, Hiro thinks about how scary politics can be and how her article can cause a lot of trouble.

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Hiro is arguing with the senior editor because she wants to write an article defending the secretary. The editor points out that its against policy to disclose sources sine Hiro would have to reveal the secretary as the source. They found the possible abuse by the Minster interesting. That’s the only reason why they let her write the article. Hiro calls the secretary, trying to convince her to be named in a follow-up article. The secretary still refuses. She’s allowing herself to be seen as a criminal as a punishment for not stopping the greedy minister earlier. The following day, Hiro is still making her case to write a follow-up article. The senior editor is still adamant about not naming the source as it will damage the magazine’s reputation for protecting informants. The editor asks her if she’s still receiving threats and is she willing to receive more from the second article. The chief editor arrives and gives his approval for her second article. A little while later, Hiro is trouble writing the article. She’s suffering from writer’s block until she realizes that she wrote the article in such a way that didn’t clearly implicate the minister. She kicks into Hatakari Man mode and starts writing.

Overall, I liked this episode. And I can see the potential some pretty interesting office politics and conflicts between Hiro and Kunio. Kuno comes off as a laid back, cocky kind of a guy. I imagine that his writing has to be pretty good for him to tell Hiro not to edit his work. The remaining characters aren’t seen much except for the chief editor who seems to be a gruff stand-up character type, the senior editor who appears to be well-balance and doesn’t raise his voice often. And then there’s another junior editor who’s eager to make her way. She also has tendency to describe everything as a disaster. Hiro was great to watch and I can’t wait to see more. Her eyes still freak me out little, but I think she’s a great characte to follow.

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Hataraki Man and the new party slogan

One of the shows that I’m planning on watching is Hataraki Man. Its about Matsukata Hirokko, an editor at Jidai magazine who basically is a workaholic. According to the promo, she’s got a boyfriend who she doesn’t see very often and is basically your normal “conflicted and frustrated” type. At work, she’s surrounded by a laid-back editor, a dependable chief editor, a junior editor whose described as “adorable”, and (get this) yet another editor who has the opposite personality of Matsukata. So if that’s true, then guess who ain’t going to be pulling their weight at work.

The Workers Party new motto: “Live to work!”

Hataraki Man is based on a manga which I haven’t read. I’m wondering if there’s going to be some “Sex in the City” moments. Not really sure why I’m watching this. Oh wait, the promo emphasized Matsukata’s “Naturally Large-Bust”. Actually, that’s not really why. Its her eyes. They scare me. They’re the kind of eyes that hypnotize you into joining a cult or believe that a politician is sincere.

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