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Working!! is a Japanese four-panel comic strip manga series written and illustrated by Karino Takatsu. It began serialization in the January 2005 issue of Square Enix's Young Gangan seinen manga magazine. The first bound volume was released in November 2005 in Japan; as of March 2010, seven volumes have been released. Square Enix released three drama CDs between 2007 and 2009 with scripts written by Shōgo Mukai. An anime series produced by A-1 Pictures and directed by Yoshimasa Hiraike began airing in Japan on April 4, 2010.

Characters

Sōta Takanashi (小鳥遊 宗太 Takanashi Sōta?)
Voiced by: Kenichi Suzumura (drama CD), Jun Fukuyama (anime)
The main character of Working!!, Sōta is a 16-year-old high school student recruited by Poplar to become a new employee at the family restaurant Wagnaria. He is enamored by cute things and thus favors Poplar over the other employees due to her cute appearance. He voices his thoughts out loud and occasionally offends his co-workers, often resulting in him getting punished by them. He usually finds his co-workers and the rules of the restaurant to be strange, but he still has an attachment to his job. He is able to adapt quickly to his job at the restaurant. He has three older sisters and it is because of them that caused his dislike for older women as he had been tormented by them all his life. He received hand-me-downs from his sisters when he was young, giving him the appearance of a little girl. He also has a younger sister in elementary school who is almost as tall as he is. Despite his problems, Inami asks Sōta to cross-dress, using the name Kotori, when her father comes to visit her at work.
Poplar Taneshima (種島 ぽぷら Taneshima Popura?)
Voiced by: Mai Kadowaki (drama CD), Kana Asumi (anime)
Poplar is a short 17-year-old high school student who works at Wagnaria. Ironically, she was named after the poplar tree so that she would grow tall. She is a hard worker, but she sometimes makes clumsy mistakes in her job. She is very sensitive about her small appearance; many customers usually mistake her to be younger than she really is. She often fails to gain respect from Sōta, who is one year younger than her, as he usually regards her as an elementary school student. She is also unable to properly call him by his surname, saying "Katanashi" rather than "Takanashi", even when corrected. She admires Kotori, Sōta's cross-dressing persona, and the Takanashi sisters because of how tall all of them are.
Mahiru Inami (伊波 まひる Inami Mahiru?)
Voiced by: Mai Nakahara (drama CD), Saki Fujita (anime)
Inami is a timid, 17-year-old girl who joins the rest of the employees at Wagnaria. She has androphobia and is thus terrified of men; she punches any male that comes near her. This violent behavior arises from her belief that every man is ready to attack her, but instead she is prone to violently attacking men at a moment's notice due to this fear. This androphobia was caused by her father who did not want her to eventually wed due to jealousy and thus told her that males would rape her, which ended in her fearing men since then. As she and Sōta usually share shifts, he takes the brunt of her attacks. However, she makes considerable progress with her fear of men by taking it out on Sōta; she states that she is able to be about two meters close to guys without having the urge to hit them. Though this extends to only having fairly civil conversations (often ruined by Sōta's rudeness) or if Inami launches an attack on him. She wears a hairpin in her hair, which she changes every day due to Sōta's compliment on it (according to Sōma). At first she begins to develop a crush, but later she falls in love with Sōta when he confronts her father (as Kotori) about her androphobia.
Kyōko Shirafuji (白藤 杏子 Shirafuji Kyōko?)
Voiced by: Junko Minagawa (drama CD), Kumiko Watanabe (anime)
Kyōko is the manager of Wagnaria. She usually maintains a rather apathetic attitude about how the restaurant is run and almost never bothers to do any work herself. She is not beyond using violence to deal with unruly customers and firmly believes that employees come before the customers, as the employees are the ones doing all the work. She is 28 years old, but she becomes despondent whenever her age is mentioned. Kyōko saved Yachiyo as a little girl from bullies, which is how they met.
Yachiyo Todoroki (轟 八千代 Todoroki Yachiyo?)
Voiced by: Shiho Kawaragi (drama CD), Eri Kitamura (anime)
Yachiyo is another employee at the restaurant and is 20 years old. She usually carries around a katana which, according to her, was made by her parents who used to be blacksmiths. Yachiyo is unaware that some of the customers, and even Sōta, are intimidated by her blade. She admires Kyōko considerably. She gets angry if anyone offers Kyōko food or tries to take her away, although is willing to allow Satō to feed her because she considers him trustworthy, much to his chagrin. Yachiyo is very close to Satō, as she has worked with him the longest and considers him her closest friend, though is unaware of his feelings for her. She is often addressed as "Chief" by Sōta.
Jun Satō (佐藤 潤 Satō Jun?)
Voiced by: Hirofumi Nojima (drama CD), Daisuke Ono (anime)
A 20-year-old chef who works in the kitchen, Jun is a helpful but intimidating individual. He is in love with Yachiyo, though does not express it. Of course, because she is so devoted to Kyōko, she fails to recognize any hints he attempts to make. He likes to take out his anger on Poplar by messing with her or bending the truth, to which Poplar naively believes. When Sōma tries to help with Satō's development with Yachiyo, Jun unrelentingly hits him with a pan, showing that he is sensitive about his feelings for Yachiyo.
Hiroomi Sōma (相馬 博臣 Sōma Hiroomi?)
Voiced by: Yoshinori Fujita (drama CD), Hiroshi Kamiya (anime)
Another chef who works in the kitchen, Sōma is a young man with an easygoing attitude. He often blackmails other workers to do his job for him and pass it off as a form of modesty from the other employees. He can blackmail anyone except Satō and Inami; the former usually responds to his blackmail with hitting him with a frying pan and the latter punches him even before he manages to talk to her. He is terrified of Inami's urges and is thankful for Sōta's existence in the restaurant since Inami is taking out her urges all on Sōta and not him. His biggest weakness appears to be crying girls. Moreover, Yamada has been the only person to ever backfire his blackmails, leaving him depressed.
Aoi Yamada (山田 葵 Yamada Aoi?)
Voiced by: Kana Ueda (drama CD), Ryō Hirohashi (anime)
Aoi is a mysteriously, self-proclaimed 16-year-old girl who Otoo meets on his travels to find his missing wife. He brings her back to Wagnaria where she starts working as a waitress and lives in Wagnaria's attic. While she has great confidence in herself, during work she is an unhelpful troublemaker who gets yelled at by other staff members, especially Sōta. Since she is in training, her position among the staff is low, which she complains about. She is bad with dealing with Sōta's constant complaints about her, but she does write down some of his suggestions (along with idle complaints). She yearns for the idea of having a family, especially towards Otoo whom she sees as an ideal father figure, and goes as far as to apply to be adopted by him. She is also rather childish and does not like to (in her view) to be "left out", in that sense she goes so as far so as to ask Kyōko to drive her home (even though she "lives" at Wagnaria) or ask for Sōma to poke her, as he and Satō poked Inami and Poplar. Her favorite food is nattō.
Hyōgo Otoo (音尾 兵吾 Otoo Hyōgo?)
Voiced by: Daiki Nakamura (drama CD), Jōji Nakata (anime)
Otoo is the top head of the restaurant. Most of the time he is away searching for his missing wife, but periodically returns to Wagnaria to check up on things and bring back souvenirs.
Maya Matsumoto (松本 マヤ Matsumoto Maya?)
Voiced by: Akiko Kawase
Maya is an 18-year-old glasses-wearing girl who works at Wagnaria. She professes that she is a "normal person" striving to be completely ordinary in work and life in general. She has a hard time understanding the other employees seeing how awkward all of them are and tries not to be too familiar with them. The irony is that because she tries too hard to be "normal", she ends up being pretty weird herself.

Media

Manga

Working!! had its origins in a web comic written and illustrated by Karino Takatsu also called Working!!, which she published in irregular intervals on her personal website. The web comic's setting and characters are different from the later four-panel comic strip manga, which began serialization in the January 2005 issue of Square Enix's Young Gangan manga magazine. While the restaurant in the web comic and manga are both called Wagnaria, they are different establishments. The first bound volume of the manga was released on November 25, 2005,[1] and as of March 25, 2010, seven volumes have been published in Japan.[2] Ten additional chapters have been released via mobile phones. The manga has been licensed for release in Chinese in Taiwan by Tong Li Publishing.[3] Takatsu launched a biweekly web version of Working!! on October 16, 2009 to commemorate the anime series and posts the manga on the anime's official website.[4][5]

Drama CDs

Square Enix have released three drama CDs under the title Young Gangan Book In CD Working!! with scenarios written by Shōgo Mukai. The first volume, released on January 25, 2007, came bundled with a 96-page booklet with bonus manga and the scenario included.[6] The second and third volumes, released on April 25, 2008 and March 25, 2009 respectively, also came bundled with similar booklets.[7][8]

Anime

An anime television series produced by A-1 Pictures and directed by Yoshimasa Hiraike began airing in Japan on April 4, 2010 on Tokyo MX.[9] The first episode had a special pre-broadcast on March 6, 2010 on Tokyo MX. The voice acting cast for the anime is different from the drama CDs. The anime's opening theme is "Someone Else" by Kana Asumi, Saki Fujita, and Eri Kitamura. The ending theme is "Heart no Edge ni Idomō Go to Heart Edge" (ハートのエッジに挑もう Go to Heart Edge?) by Jun Fukuyama, Daisuke Ono, and Hiroshi Kamiya. The ending theme of episode nine is "Golden Day" (ゴールデン・デイ?) by Saki Fujita.

Episode listing

# Episode title Original air date
01 Welcome to Wagnaria: Takanashi Works.
"Wagunaria e Yōkoso Takanashi, Hataraku." (ワグナリアへようこそ♪小鳥遊、働く。)
April 4, 2010 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Poplar Taneshima is an undersized high school girl working at a family restaurant named Wagnaria and is told by the manager to find a new employee. After asking strangers and friends, she finds a boy from her school named Sōta Takanashi who agrees to work at the restaurant. Sōta quickly adjusts to working at Wagnaria as he meets the other employees and learns of their quirks. Sōta gets on the bad side of the manager, Kyōko Shirafuji, after a comment about her age, leading her to overwork him. One day, Sōta is put on the same shift with Mahiru Inami, a girl whom he had not met yet, who has an intense fear of men and punches Sōta in the face upon first meeting him.
02 Inami, Androphobic. But I'm Scared...
"Inami, Dansei Kyōfushō. Datte Kowain da mon..." (伊波、男性恐怖症。だって怖いんだもん...)
April 11, 2010 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Sōta cannot get along well with Inami due to her androphobia and her constantly punching him. Inami is also irritated by Sōta's comments and after talking with Poplar she is adamant about getting him to change his opinion of her, though she affirms she still hates him. Yachiyo asks Inami to clear a table with male customers, but Sōta has to stop her before she hits them and Yachiyo covers for her. Sōta wonders if the restaurant will be okay with the employees all having strange quirks, but Poplar assures him that they have regular returning customers as well as normal customers.
03 Yachiyo, Kyōko, Satō...and the Returning Mr. Otoo
"Yachiyo to Kyōko to Satō...to, Kattekita Otoo-san" (八千代と杏子と佐藤... と、帰ってきた音尾さん)
April 18, 2010 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Sōta notices that Inami is perfect when it comes to female customers and asks her questions about her fear of men. Inami says she is trying to get over her fear and she realizes that talking with Sōta is easier than most men, though he is also easier to hit. Sōta wonders why Yachiyo carries a katana all the time since it scares the customers. Yachiyo tells him that it is because her family sells cutlery and that it is dangerous at night. Satō tells Sōta of how Kyōko protected Yachiyo from bullies when she was in grade school, and in return Yachiyo has been following Kyōko and makes parfaits for her during work. The general manager of Wagnaria, Otoo, comes to the restaurant; he is mostly gone because he is trying to find his missing wife. Yachiyo comes down with a cold and Kyōko tries to fill in for her in the meantime with not much luck. Several days later after Yachiyo returns, Poplar remarks how Satō might like Yachiyo because he is always nice to her, and Sōta realizes this is in fact true.
04 Sōma, An Overly Refreshing Guy
"Sōma, Sawayaka Sugiru Seinen" (相馬、さわやかすぎる青年)
April 25, 2010 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
One of Sōta's older sisters collapsed in front of Wagnaria, but he tries to keep the fact they are related from everyone else. Inami and Sōma find out however, and Inami also finds out that Sōta used to be dressed like a girl as a child. Sōta pleads with her to keep both this and his sister from everyone else. Sōta wonders what kind of person Sōma is, and quickly realizes that he uses people's secrets to blackmail them to do his work for him, despite appearing to be cheerful. Due to a comment from Sōma, Yachiyo asks Satō if he likes Kyōko, much to his annoyance. Sōta later finds out that Sōma is afraid of Inami and that he used to get punched a lot more before Sōta started working at Wagnaria.
05 A Different Wagnaria than Usual on a Sick Day
"Aru Kaze no Hi ni..., Itsumo to Chigau Wagunaria" (ある風邪の日に...、いつもと違うワグナリア)
May 1, 2010 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Inami tries her best to merely greet male customers, but still cannot bring herself to overcome her fear. Sōma tells Sōta how Satō picks on Poplar to relieve his stress related to Yachiyo giving all her attention to Kyōko. Yachiyo attempts to protect Poplar, but they get scared by Satō. After another comment by Sōma, Yachiyo asks Satō if he likes Poplar, and is again intimidated by Satō's response, who tells her to not talk anymore. When Sōta's younger sister gets sick, he takes her to the hospital, but without him at Wagnaria, Satō and Sōma have to help as waiters because Inami can only serve women. Kyōko worked the register while Inami also helped out in the kitchen. Sōta arrives after closing time and brings a care package for everyone due to the trouble caused by his absence.
06 The Melancholy of Sōta, the Women of the Takanashi Family
"Sōta no Yūutsu, Takanashi-ke no Onnatachi" (宗太の憂鬱、小鳥遊家の女達)
May 8, 2010 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Sōta gets mad at his sister for watching old home movies featuring him dressed like a girl, since he always received hand-me-downs from his sisters. At work, Satō gives something to Yachiyo for White Day, and Sōta gives gifts to Poplar and Inami. At home, Sōta has a hard time dealing with his older sisters, and is starting to fear that his younger sister Nazuna will grow up to have a wicked personality. Sōta's sister Kozue gets mad at him for being overly nice to Izumi, but when she enters his room to mess it up out of anger, she notices the old rabbit she gave him as a child as his only room decoration. On the way home from the store, Sōta meets Inami and helps her to buy rice; they meet Sōta's sister Kazue on the way back. When he gets home, Kozue is no longer mad at Sōta because of the rabbit.
07 Otoo Comes Back After a While, and the New Worker = Yamada (!?)
"Hisashiburi no Otoo to, Atarashii Baito = Yamada (!?)" (久しぶりの音尾と、新しいバイト=山田(!?))
May 15, 2010 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Otoo brings back a mysterious girl who says her name is Aoi Yamada and is 16-years-old, the same age as Sōta. Although Poplar and Inami accept Yamada as a new member of Wagnaria, Sōta has his reservations. Yamada constantly exhibits clumsiness and a lack of common sense, and as a result Sōta and Satō take an immediate disliking to her. Yachiyo befriends Yamada, whom she takes to be a mother-figure, while Otoo is her father-figure. Yamada tells Yachiyo that Satō has feelings for her, which later culminates in a disastrous confession by Satō and a denial by Yachiyo. Poplar gets the two of them together the next day, and Satō decides to tell her a subtle white lie to calm Yachiyo down.
08 Inami's First? Outing!
"Inami, Hajimete? no O De Ka Ke!" (伊波、はじめて?のお・で・か・け!)
May 22, 2010 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Wagnaria has to close down for a day after a water pipe breaks, and Poplar suggests everyone go to the hot springs. Sōta initially plans not on going due to having to air out some umeboshi, but his sister Nazuna tells him that she will take care of it. While Kyōko said she was going to drive the girls, she ends up oversleeping and by chance Satō meets the girls while driving to return some DVDs and offers to take them. While his car runs out of gas on the way, Kyōko drives up and the girls take her car instead, leaving Satō behind. Sōta and Sōma meet up with the girls and Sōta offers to take car of Inami, while Sōma is with Poplar and Yamada, and Kyōko is with Yachiyo. At the end of the day when the girls are going back home, Inami thinks that Sōta was indeed very nice to her, but was rude when she hit him. Both Sōta and Sōma are driven back by Satō.
09 Kotori-chan Appears!!
"Kotori-chan Tōjō!!" (ことりちゃん登場!!)
May 29, 2010 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Inami's father heard from her mother that she received a gift on White Day from a boy, but Inami tried to hide this by saying she received the gift from a girl. Inami's father is coming to Wagnaria to confirm whether this is true, so Inami asks Sōta to cross-dress for the day to fool her father. While he initially vehemently refuses, the other employees get him to chance his mind and he goes along with it, going under the identity of Kotori. When Inami's father finally arrives, Sōta starts a conversation with him, and finds out that he actually indoctrinated Inami over a period of ten years using films, TV and books to make her fear men, as well as placing a weight in her bag to make her muscles stronger. Sōta angrily lectures him about his parentage and tells him to go home and later apologize to his daughter. Inami realizes she is in love with Sōta after watching this performance.
10 The Truth to the Suspicion...Nazuna Works.
"Giwaku no Shinsō..., Nazuna Hataraku." (疑惑の真相・・・、なずな働く。)
June 5, 2010 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Kyōko leaves for a business trip, leaving Yachiyo depressed, so Sōma offers Satō as her temporary replacement, which frustrates Satō until Kyōko's return. Poplar tries to help Inami with her feelings for Sōta. Sōta and Inami walk home together as a first step in curing Inami of her fear of men, and Nazuna sees them together. Nazuna comes to work at Wagnaria the next day because of a report she needs to write for class. Nazuna confronts Inami after witnessing her usual beatings on her brother, and asks her if he enjoys getting hit. Inami misunderstands, thinking Nazuna is asking if she likes Sōta, and responds yes, causing Nazuna to think Sōta is a masochist. Sōta says to Inami that he will stand by her until he cures her of her androphobia.
11 The Two of Them Back Then, Yachiyo and Satō. And, Welcome to the Takanashi Family
"Ano Koro no Futari, Yachiyo to Satō. To, Yōkoso Takanashi-ke e" (あの頃の二人、八千代と佐藤。と、ようこそ小鳥遊家へ)
June 12, 2010 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Yamada believes that Poplar has a crush on Sōta, but it turns out that she merely wants him to cross-dress because she admired him as a girl. Sōta refuses to cross-dress for her despite her pleads. Sōma brings some old photos of Kyōko, Yachiyo and Satō and they reminisce what it was like back then. Sōta's sister Kozue continues to visit the restaurant, causing him problems. Later, Yamada reads a ghost story to Inami and Poplar, the latter of whom has become so scared that Satō offers to drive her home. When Sōta and Inami are walking home, they discover that Yamada followed them because she too was scared of being alone, and Inami also does not want to go back home alone. Sōta brings them back to his house for the night, where Inami and Yamada keep Kozue company while Sōta is able to get done with some chores. Kozue hears from Yamada that Inami likes Sōta, and she is later disappointed to just find them playing cards together.
12 What the!? The Last Night Before the Decisive Battle. Taneshima's Repayment
"Nazeka!? no Kissen Zenya. Taneshima no Ongaeshi" (なぜか!?の決戦前夜。種島の恩返し)
June 19, 2010 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Poplar feels that Sōta is keeping secrets from her, and she later muses about wanting to see him cross-dress again. Poplar notices Sōta left his student ID with his commuting pass, and decides to take it back to his home, where he meets his older sisters. When Sōta goes to apologize the following day about not telling her about his older sisters, he says he will honor any request, which leads Poplar to suggest he go out on a date with Inami. Poplar tries to help the situation by tying Inami's arms, but even then she kicks Sōta as he approaches her. Inami spends much of the night before the date trying to decide on where to go and what to wear. Sōta is worried that he might die on the date.
13 The "Decisive Battle" Known As the Date, What Happens After With Takanashi and Inami...
"Dēto to Iu Na no "Kessen", Takanashi to Inami no Sorekara..." (デートと言う名の"決戦"、小鳥遊と伊波のそれから...)
June 26, 2010 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Sōta arrives for his date with Inami though, thanks to the interference of Sōma, Yamada and Poplar, he ends up going dressed as Kotori. While Satō makes sure no one follows them on their date by taking the others for a meal and clothes shopping, Sōta and Inami go on their date, visiting a few cute places. At various points, Sōta tries to get Inami to hold his hand, though this gets interrupted either before they can touch, or before Inami tries to punch him. Meanwhile, back at Wagnaria, typically normal employee Maya Miyashita is worried that the weirdness of the other employees is rubbing off on her. As rain starts to pour, Inami hears Sōta liken her to a dog. When Sōta tries to rectify what he said, he ends up calling her a 'cute, vicious dog', with Inami getting hung up on the 'cute' part. As they return to work the next day, life returns to normal.

Reception

The fourth manga volume of Working!! was the seventh highest selling manga volume in Japan for the week of October 23 and October 29, 2007.[10] The sixth manga volume was the sixth highest selling manga volume in Japan for the week of March 24 and March 30, 2009, having sold over 73,000 volumes that week.[11]

References

  1. Script error
  2. Script error
  3. Script error
  4. "Working!! 4-Panel Manga to Spawn Biweekly Web Version". Anime News Network. October 2, 2009. Retrieved October 2, 2009. 
  5. Script error
  6. Script error
  7. Script error
  8. Script error
  9. Script error
  10. "Japanese Comic Ranking, October 23–29". Anime News Network. October 21, 2007. Retrieved August 9, 2009. 
  11. "Japanese Comic Ranking, March 24-30". Anime News Network. April 1, 2009. Retrieved August 9, 2009. 

External links

th:เวิร์กกิง!! zh:迷糊餐廳

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