“Working” On the Chain Gang

May 31st, 2016 in Working by

working-2-review

With the second season of “Working!!” (and it appears you can tell the season by the number of exclamation points. Does that mean we could get ‘Working!!!!!!!!!’? Just askin’!) out there, it ran into typical sophomore concerns, which is whatever charm the first season had was lost in the second season as someone wanted to inject ‘edge’ into the show. This is really bad, as these people are supposed to be crazy and kooky, not cruel and condescending. It’s a wonder anyone wants to eat here, much less work here, with all the histrionics going on behind the counter.

So, we have the regular cast of (left to right)

Jun Satō
Hiroomi Sōma
Popura Taneshima
Mahiru Inami
Sōta Takanashi
Aoi Yamada
Yachiyo Todoroki
Kyōko Shirafuji
(Mr. Otoo is not in this splash panel)
And the addition of
Mitsuki Mashiba
Yōhei Mashiba

Now, these last two are a brother-and-sister team that used to run around with Kyoko when she was more wild and rambunctious, doing as she chose. For a person in charge, she isn’t really in charge, more like making sure it doesn’t go off the rails. And who IS in charge? I ask this because Kyoko is a shift manager and Otoo seems to be a store manager, but not an owner or someone higher up on the food chain. We have never seen a district or regional manager show up, so it appears that anything goes and it certainly does as Inami breaks walls with her punching, Yamada is destroying a huge amount of plates and Yachiyo is more of a suck-up toady to Kyoko with the parfaits she serves to her rather than as a real friend. Then we add in Mitsuki and Yohei, who kick down doors and the like. We do get to know Sato and Soma a bit better, but their relationship seems fractious at best and combative at worst.

At least in this season we see the truly splintered home life of Takanashi with the four sisters. The biggest drag for him is that youngest sister Nazuna (who does a caliber of real-life experiences for school by working here) is getting taller than he is, despite being at least two years younger, which means she will stop being cute (as she is not small any more, unlike Taneshima. That chart up there is a very good indicator of sizes). Plus Kozue (second-oldest sister gets dumped, then comes by the restaurant to drink and bemoan her fate), Kazue (oldest sister who feels put upon) and Izumi, who is potentially the worst writer in the world, all add to Takanashi’s woes and travails.

Now, if this wasn’t enough, someone who could potentially be Yamada’s brother comes by to look for her and that is pure farce as she is always not there or they just keep missing, but Takanashi seems to be quite irritated with him and ends up doing a degree of physical mayhem on him.

It’s just that this season feels lost or at least, forcing the humor along, as though this was a conduit season to take up to the possible concluding season of this. It’s just that no one grows here and folks seem to be content with the situation as it is, even though no one is happen with the situation as it is. Even the running gag of Mr. Otoo (complicated by Yamada ‘adopting’ him as her ‘father’) is getting weary, as you want him to find his wife.
On a scale of 1 to 10:

Artwork 7 (It works for what it wants to accomplish)
Plot 7 (Holding its own)
Pacing 8 (Good pacing, despite a sometimes prolix segment or two)
Effectiveness 7 (To what end or purpose?)
Conclusion 5 (It reaches a ‘coupler’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 1 (A similar show would be “Ouran High School”)

Overall 7 (Starting to drag badly)

And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. We are open for business.