It is rare, in my opinion, to see an anime about ordinary people. School animes are not all that ‘ordinary’ and some push it into the realm of supernatural or fantasy or fan service gone berserk. (I remember when I was in high school and I NEVER saw ladies that….uh….hefty. Yeah, that’s a good term).
“Servant x Service” takes us into the exciting world of…..public service, revolving around the daily lives of employees in a government office building in the fictional city of Mitsuba in Hokkaido.
The story starts off with the three newest members of the team, and they are, from left to right, Lucy Yamagami (more on that later), Yutaka Hasebe and Saya Miyoshi. They want to fit in and be part of the team, but it gets difficult with shenanigans both in front of and behind the counter.
Miyoshi gets teamed with Mrs. Tanaka (she is the old-fashioned lady in the center. No, she is nowhere that tall and robust, but this was the best picture I could find of all the players. She is more like four-foot-nothing, OK?). Mrs. Tanaka comes in practically every day and drones on and on and on about her life and her son-in-law and that Saya needs a good husband and that she could find one for her.
Hasebe is your typical slacker dude. By the end of the first day, he has already scoped out the best places to hide and take a nap. He also fancies himself a bit of a ladies man and is asking every female he meets for their email address, including Lucy.
Lucy has a dark agenda. She wants to find the public servant who approved her name. What’s wrong with Lucy? Nothing, but when you name is actually Lucy Kimiko Akie Airi Shiori Rinne Yoshiho Ayano Tomika Chitose Sanae Mikiko Ichika Yamagami, you tend to get irritated. (And there may be even more to her name!) She supplies the fan service with those enormous files of her, as they get in the way of her working life.
The rest of the cast? Yes, that might be helpful. Continuing on to the right we have:
Megumi Chihaya. She is a temp worker, both in duration and work day, so she is gone most of the time. Her real passion is cosplay and she makes her own costumes.
Tōko Ichimiya. Her brother works at this office and she drops in daily to be rude and bossy, but this hides her brother complex.
Taishi Ichimiya. He is a shift manager and is Lucy’s immediate supervisor, but he gets bossed around a lot, especially by tsundere tsister.
Jōji Tanaka works as a banker but is a friend or Hasebe. And, yes, Mrs. Tanaka is his grandmother.
Kanon Momoi. She is Toko’s friend and her father is the Section Chief of the Health and Welfare Department, where all this takes place.
Kenzo Momoi. That rabbit. No, it also is not that tall. He is more like 15 inches, just like a plush animal. He suffers from extreme shyness, so this is his surrogate.
The storylines include Lucy’s attempt to find that evil public servant, Hasebe’s attempts to take Lucy on a date, Miyoshi’s trials in dealing with Mrs. Tanaka, Taishi trying to run this office and not run afoul of his sister’s wrath by not being strong enough and, finally, dealing with a cuddly rabbit as your boss.
If you have ever worked in a situation or set-up like this, you will find it a charming and amusing series. You might also be shocked or appalled as to how much they can get away with, especially Hasebe and his sinecure status. I mean, are there employee reviews? And what about the genuinely unpleasant people who slither in front of you? Those folks are as hard as petrified wood. Now, things with Boss Bunny generate some goodly laughs and you wonder if his time would be better spent perfecting this RoboRabbit. It’s just that some folks may find that the humor gets limited or repetitive and will lose interest, but I felt that there was enough going on to retain my interest, especially when we learn the truth about Lucy’s name. I enjoyed it, as it was a good, refreshing change-up from the normal genres that we see in anime, so you should at least check out the first two episodes.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (Interesting artwork but the old tropes)
Plot 7 (OK, a bit simple)
Pacing 7 (The dating arc seems forced)
Effectiveness 7 (Played more for jokes)
Conclusion 7 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but doesn’t really end)
Fan Service 5 (A similar show would be “Maburaho”)
Overall 8 (Worth a look-see)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. You need to fill this out.