Working!!! ep 1 – Did I really get excited for this?

Question to self after watching the show’s comeback episode: Did we really need a third season?

working s3 01

As I have answered in a few questions, the only two shows I am planning to watch as they air this season are Non Non Biyori Repeat and WORKING!!! It didn’t occur to me that I’ve only selected sequels of shows I’ve enjoyed watching in the past, but whatever.

I was really, really, really looking forward to both series! Their predecessors were my feel-good shows back when they aired. I never rewatched them, though. Due to my delightful watching experience I had with them, I held pretty high expectations for the sequels—that they’d still be as entertaining as ever. I’ve mostly had positive overall impressions on most anime sequels, so these two new shows ought to follow that trend, right? Right?

So far I’ve only seen WORKING!!!. And sadly, it didn’t quite hold up to my expectations. Right. It was a letdown.

I jumped in totally blinded by my enthusiasm for the show, but the show failed to reciprocate my feelings for it.

Looking back, it’s been almost four years since I have last seen an episode of Working’!! As I said, I never rewatched the series. Could my impression from this episode alone be any different if I rewatched the previous seasons? Of if I simply didn’t watch the prequels before, and just do a marathon in preparation for watching this sequel? Should I just let my what-ifs question my disappointment with this show?

All this episode did was re-introduce the characters without having anything that could have resembled a plot get going. Though I would say there are slight, as in, very slight, changes to the characters as they have been together for presumably quite some time, there was hardly any perceived growth from what this bunch of weirdos were from the start.

Takanashi, who is the supposed normal one from the group, is still a pedophile. It seems like that wouldn’t change any time soon. His fetish for cute and small stuff and people goes beyond any measure. Remove that feature from him and we’ll end up with a bland character, but a decent human being. You can see it is the only distinguishing quality this character has. I admit I had “fun” watching how he interacts with Wagnaria staff—how he “pets” Popura, how he tries to “correct” Mahiru’s fear towards men, and just how he ignores everything that isn’t, well, cute according to his standards.

But that’s too much now. It’s been used before and I’ve tried hard to see what is funny or entertaining with that trait, or if that has something good to do with me in the long-run. And if the other girls surrounding him only want his affection, unbeknownst to him, while being clumsy at almost everything and failing to meet the described tasks in their job, I think I’m going to fail in seeing whatever inherent charm that these characters have.

Yamada: Record-breaking plate-destroyer since 2010. Let us not bother counting how many plates she has broken and just how much she owes Wagnaria. But admittedly, I’m drawn to her clumsiness (read: craziness?) enough to make me stick with the show for now. Though, she gets annoying sometimes.

Satou-kun: Our poor Satou-kun. It makes me sad that there’s no progress with his romance subplot, which is by far the “more” interesting among the rest of the romance stuff this show has half-heartedly thrown in. It just feels wrong, personally, to label it the “most” interesting when it’s just about average at best.

The other pairings barely do anything, but now that the repetitive character humor has failed to make a good impression on me this time, they’re decent suspenders of my interest. So, at least, it’s not completely unworthy of mention. Perhaps this is the only aspect from where the show can move things along and have any progress to make a hopefully proper eventual resolution to everything that has hardly welcomed any resolution at all.

And there are characters that I could care less about that the show itself passively coolly introduces and coolly ignores. Seriously, just who was this guy again? For me to forget him so easily, that should show just how little impression he had on me? And please, don’t make him look like Kirito. Please.

It was hard to watch, not that it is totally that bad or that I hate the characters. I just found it difficult to see reasons for liking the whole cast once again—for the third time around. For me, it feels like I don’t really need to see anything more of Wagnaria chronicles. Their current antics in spite of the mishaps in the seasons before, I fear, will not warrant me a meaningful reward for sticking with it. They all just seem like they’re purposely not doing their jobs properly for the sake of comedy, and that I doubt Wagnaria will survive in the food service industry like this.

I’m still trying to like it so I can still watch it until the end and see how it will close. I may only be watching this now for the unexciting romance subplots that I’m hoping will have their clean resolutions. This sounds like a lowly reason—and it doesn’t sound fun at all—but that’s really what I’m clinging onto. A thin thread of hope. Yes, I’m still hoping that it’ll somehow break my first impressions in the next episodes.

working s3 01 (2)

18 responses to “Working!!! ep 1 – Did I really get excited for this?

  1. I just finished watching working! season 1 and 2 last month, and when i watched the third season… it became so flat and boring. It’s like watching a play house. kinda awkward seeing how souma tease souta, how taneshima thirst for takahashi affection, etc… it got different feel from previous seasons. Well i have only watched the eps 1 and 2.

    • Seems like we’re on the same train. I noticed that aside from reusing the same gags, they also upped the romance side of it, which I personally think isn’t too bad if only it’s probably the only thing that keeps my interest in the series.

      Oh yeah, I haven’t gotten past episode 1 but I’ve seen bits of episode 2. Poor Satou-kun.

      Thanks for dropping by!

  2. Pingback: Non Non Biyori Repeat Ep 1 – Feelin’ Good | Anime Vios·

  3. I think this isn’t just a problem with Working but most lengthy series in general, it always difficult to remember what happened from past seasons which aired several years ago. While Working, being an episodic slice of life probably has it easier than most, the fact that it brings out the kid again from last season doesn’t help either. But from someone who watched the last two seasons only just recently, I’m mostly fine with it. Like you said, it’s just the re-introductory phase atm, still need to see how it plays out.

    As for the repetitive jokes, unfortunately I don’t see it changing anytime soon. The characters will never change, and the jokes will always be there-Yamada breaking plates, Souma teasing Satou, Satou messing around with Popura’s hair because of those Kyouko x Yachiyo moments-all these will never change. Now that when I think about it, I think they can’t change either, because a lot of these “jokes” actually define their character, as far as characters designing are concerned, the writers must have driven themselves in a corner here, lol.

    • Good points. I can’t add anything to this comment since I agree with what you said here. Also, the anime seems to be adapting the rest of the manga (or so I’ve heard, since I don’t read the manga and it isn’t particularly popular on this side of the world either). We’ll see how it’ll play out for the rest of the season. I’m still hoping it’ll make me laugh at least once–because I couldn’t imagine Working!!! failing to make me laugh, until this episode came.

  4. I haven’t watched it yet, but did watch the first 2 series. I can see where it may have a problem keeping one’s attention if they are doing the same old gags and not really developing the characters any further. Sometimes shows shouldn’t have another season…

    • On another note, the preview for the second episode is a sufficient hook. I wonder why Inami looked kind of hot there. (And there are new guys as well? Hopefully, whoever the new characters are, they’ll make things “fresh” until the end.)

      • I’ll have to take a look, but I may have to go back and re-watch some of the second season to reacquaint myself with the series since it’s been a little while since I watched it.

  5. When I watched this episode, I had to try and recall a lot of things that happened in the second season. Not that I found any success in that. I remember the guy Yamada, but I totally forgot about the little kid. So it takes some time to adjust getting back into a series we’re familiar with. Whether or not we will like the third season as much as we liked the first two, only time will tell.

    And why is the “coolly ignores” girl still not introduced? Is she going to just float around like that throughout the third season?

    • This is the effect of not having seen the series after that almost 4-year gap.

      By letting out all of my frustrations with this comeback episode, I’ve consequently lowered the bar for the series to recuperate. What’s weird is that after writing this piece, I felt so relieved and thought that “hey, the rest of the episodes might not be too bad.” I think I have way too much faith on this franchise as, I have stated, I genuinely enjoyed all of this quirkiness in the first and second seasons. I just hope my tastes haven’t changed drastically to see it all as disastrous.

      No idea on the coolly ignored girl either. I have a vague recollection that she had spoken once before, but my memory might be wrong. I feel bad that she has to stay on the background, treated like a passerby “character” (or, even less than a proper “character”). What’s the point in visually showing her?

      • You have a point too here. That many years have passed since the last season so there’s a possibility that the previous audience, including you and I, might have outgrown the quirkiness of the series and as far as I know, my taste has changed over the years.

        I don’t think anyone but the director of the anime can answer us that question – what’s the point i visually showing that girl?!

        • Though I *felt* that my tastes might have changed over time, this was the episode that has *proven* it. It was quite unexpected that I even had to *try* liking this episode to *enjoy* it. I just hope that the rest of the season won’t be as polarizing as this one.

          Maybe it’s the source material’s fault! lol Also, I noticed that the franchise has had three different directors, one for each season. Maybe that’s why they all felt different. Season two was definitely better than the first, as it got things somehow moving along. Now, we still don’t know how the third season will fare by the end. We’ll see.

  6. Followups are hard to pull off because you have to meet high expectations. Perhaps this show doesn’t have enough substance for three seasons? Hopefully it gets better as it progresses.

    • For me the (character) humor is what this series gets going. And that humor is very much rooted to the characters’ quirks and overall weirdness, though they have their own “voices” that makes them distinguishable from one another. I guess there’s a limit to how I can get conditioned to this kind of setup.

      [the episode 2 preview seems interesting, though, so I’m still gonna see how this goes]

  7. Yeah… I thought it was just me, but it was a let down. Very on point on the repetitiveness character humors.

    But perhaps, this is just an (badly done?) attempt to reconnect viewers from season 2 to season 3, and it will get fresher and better from the next episode onward.

    • Upon rewatching the episode, I’ve become more hopeful that probably things will “get fresher”, as you said.

      Maybe it was just the overall blandness of this episode that disappointed me. I wanted to record my first impressions so I could more or less compare it to when this season ends. I guess I am contradicting myself, then? But ironically that should speak for my faith in the series.

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