I really, really thought that this series had reached its conclusion with the movie that tied it all up. Well, yes and no. It’s like the Chef’s Special; it’s never going away. What we did was bid farewell to THOSE people, then repopulated the restaurant with a new brand of misfits, out-of-sorts cranks and other weirdoes. Although it should have been called “Working!!!!” (as each exclamation point indicates the season of it), with a new crew, it’s a new approach; thus we get “www .working!!” (and don’t think that doesn’t cause troubles. You type it properly in and it turns blue, so you can click on it and get linked to somewhere….maybe. I ain’t gonna try that!)
We are still at the Wagneria, dispensing food and wisdom, but this new crew has more problems than a math book. We had best let you know your wait staff, from left to right:
Shiho Kamakura, a rich snob, she constantly bullies Shindo over his massive debt to her father.
Yūta Shindō. He and Shiho were childhood friends, but he made a mistake at age five and she has never forgotten it.
Hana Miyakoshi, tends to punch the manager in the face. Makes terrible chocolates.
Daisuke Higashida, a high-school freshman who took this job to pay off daddy’s debts.
Masahiro Adachi, one of the cooks, he may have a ‘thing’ for Sayuri.
Sayuri Muranushi. She serves an invisible customer, an elderly man. Or is he really there?
Kisaki Kondō. A university student, she brings her daughter to work, although she does little work herself.
We have three more not pictured:
Takuya Kōno, the other cook.
Kōki Saiki, a new employee, he is learning (bad) Japanese
Kenichirō Sakaki, the hapless manager of the store
Throughout the course of the series, we see how these people interact with each other and with the customers who come in. The bulk of the stories revolve around Shiho and Shindo, as we learn of Shindo’s transgression and the absolute torment he suffers at the hands of Shiho every single day. He basically works for all the scrap food he can handle while absorbing a ton of sarcasm and denigration. But no one seems to be able to do a thing about it.
The other big block of story follows Miyakoshi and Higashida. It involves her abysmal cooking skills and that every time Higashida eats these Chocolates From Hell, he is transported over time and space to another dimension, where he has an extensive conversation with St. Valentine about Miyakoshi and why does Higashida do what he does. Meanwhile, in the real world, everyone thinks he is dead.
This is one of those shows that if everyone sat down and talked it out for about 20 minutes, all these annoying problems could be solved, but that doesn’t happen, so everyone bumbles along, making the same mistakes again and again. I also wonder how good of a place it is. I mean, there appear to be regulars and there are cars in the lot, but the staff spends a load of time complaining and sniping and back-biting and is hardly serving the customers.
It’s not a bad series, but they are not doing anything different than the three versions that came before it. Yes, when you have a restaurant or a manga store or a high school orchestra, you are going to have a variety of personalities, who have a variety of wants and needs and they are going to crash and clash with those around them. It is part and parcel of every show: how can these divergent folks get along and not strangle people in the process? I felt that they swapped out new names for previously-established characters and plugged in new stories to show how wild and wacky they all are, but, at the end of the day or the shift or the day shift, they can come to some degree of understanding. Or not.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 7 (No real improvement on things)
Plot 7 (Ditto Master)
Pacing 7 (A bit too leisurely)
Effectiveness 7 (Never really connected with any of them)
Conclusion 5 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 0 (A similar show would be “Honey and Clover”)
Overall 7 (Where are we honestly going with this?)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. Thank you for coming!