Anime, Contributor Posts

Wanna Peace Out from COVID-19? Watch Cells at Work

This hoe posits: The anime series Hataraku Saibou or Cells at Work is the perfect Peace-Out Show™ during this stressful times of COVID-19 panic. 

What is Hataraku Saibou?

If you haven’t seen it or heard of it, then, my sweet summer child, let me introduce you to the wonder that is your bodily functions showcased in anime form. 

Hataraku Saibou or Cells at Work is the brainchild of Japanese mangaka, Akane Shimizu. Written and illustrated by this blessed nerd-geek hybrid, Cells at Work follows the adventures of the anthropomorphized cells of a human body. Its two main protagonists are a female red blood cell and the neutrophil she frequently encounters.

Cells at Work was first published as a manga series in Kodansha’s shōnen manga magazine Monthly Shōnen Sirius back in March 2015. It was then adapted into an anime television series by David Production last 2018, the show airing from July 8 to September 29 of that year. It has been my life and blood ever since. 

What is a Peace-Out Show?

A Peace-Out Show or P.O.S. is a show you can watch when you just want to peace out from the b***s*** of the real world around you. Now, some of you may argue that by this definition, every show is a P.O.S. True, every show does have the potential to be a P.O.S. I mean, some people are just gifted with minds that are dull as a plastic baby spoon, and miss glaringly obvious political themes and/or problematic dialogue or plotlines.  

So yeah, any show can be a P.O.S. But what I’m saying is, Cells at Work is the superior P.O.S. especially considering Coronavirus.

Why is Cells at Work Superior?

Two words: wholesome and smart. 

In her feature article, The Past 20 Years of Culture Wars, Explained by the Word “wholesome,” writer Constance Grady traces the evolution of our concept of “wholesome”. No longer does the word focus on the puritanical virgins of “evangelical morality” or the pearl-wearing vacuum-cleaning mothers of “1950s regressive nostalgia”. 

Wholesome today is multicultural, inclusive, and aspirational. Wholesome today is videos of dads giving free hugs during pride rallies, of old ladies expressing support to gay/interracial/queer couples, of dogs jumping through a pile of autumn leaves. Wholesome today is simple, fluffy, and heart-healthy. 

Cells at Work is wholesome, today and forevermore. 

Why and how? Look, it’s a story of a red blood cell just trying to be a red blood cell. In her endeavor to fulfill the best version of herself, she meets a bunch of other cells and appreciates them for what they are. She makes friends with a white blood cell, who is a fierce warrior as much as he is a helpful and patient friend. There are a bunch of cute AF platelets who turn into badasses when the need arises. Other cells and viruses show up, highlighting the importance of diversity, respect, and teamwork to ensure the safety of the whole community. It’s a whole ass package deal that uplifts individual growth and the importance of diversity in community all in one. *chef kisses* 

Beyond the adorable and simple storyline that doesn’t make you barf with outdated stereotypes, Cells at Work is also smart. It’s accurate. Everything that happens in the show, every enemy that appears, every cell that is anthropomorphized, they are all done with unnervingly creative accuracy, it makes you question how high was Shimizu in med school when he created the whole show. 

Medical professionals have watched the series, and have vetted while gaping in awe the factuality of the cell personifications and trivia bombs dropped per episode. You can use this show to explain body anatomy to grade school and high school students. You can use this show to entertain and empower adults through helping them understand  how different viruses work inside your body. 

And that’s why Cells at Work is the perfect P.O.S. during this time of COVID-19. It’s adorable and unproblematic enough to make you forget existing worries. Huge plus: It helps people tone down the stupidity and amp up the fact-based action against the spread of Coronavirus. 

The only downside of this show is that its second season isn’t set to come out until July 2020 (or later). So go wash your hands, and let’s survive for just a few more months. Then let’s peace out with Cells at Work together.

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