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Post Reply Servant x Service: Wagnaria!! Take Two
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580384 cr points
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F / San Francisco
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Posted 9/5/13
Written by Dai_Loli

You've seen school and its infinite amount of peculiar clubs, you've seen a myriad of sports, traveled with heroes on epic adventures throughout mystical worlds, been in the middle of space colony wars with mechas and emo teens, maybe you even followed the growth of some magical girls, but how often did you see animes where most of the action takes place in... an everyday regular job? If you thought Wagnaria!! (a.k.a Working!!), you've activated my trap card, because Servant x Service is from the very same author: Karino Takatsu!

Just a few seconds into the opening song and you know you're in familiar territory. Replace Wagnaria!!'s opening theme's “Wan wan wan!” with “Pa pa pa!” and voilà. It's like they did it on purpose to get people to say “Hey isn't this kinda like Wagnaria!!?” And they wouldn't be wrong, because Servant x Service falls straight into that same niche. Of course, if you've seen Wagnaria!!, chances are you've already watched all the episodes of Servant x Service and are reading this article ready to jump at my throat if I were to say anything bad about it, but for the rest of you, let's get into the thick of things.

It is Yamagami, Yutaka Hasebe and Saya Miyoshi's first day at their new job at the Health & Welfare Department. They are greeted and shown around by their assigned trainer, Taishi Ichimiya, and are quickly put to work in order to gather the much needed experience it takes to be proper “civil servants”. Their initial training forming a bond between them, they remain friends at the office, help each other out and have as much fun as it is possible to have as government workers.

We quickly discover why Yamagami, the ridiculously well-endowed main character, is hiding her first name, which also doubles as the reason she got this job: When her parents asked for a list of names to give their daughter, they couldn't just pick one from it, so they decided to give her all of them. Normally, this ridiculous name would not be accepted, but somehow the government worker that registered her name that day did not care. Thus, Lucy Kimiko Akie Airi Shiori Rinne Yoshiho Ayano Tomika Chitose Sanae Mikiko Ichika[...] Yamagami got a job at the Health & Welfare Office to find this person and get revenge.

Being rather naive and easily teased, she quickly becomes the favorite target of Hasebe, the laid-back slacker and girls' e-mail address collector. He's not just any slacker, though. He is the omega slacker, the elite. When you think slacker, you think someone who's terrible at his job, takes every opportunity to take breaks, disappear somewhere or go bother other people, right? Well, Hasebe is all this, except he's amazing at his job. The only reason he gets off with slacking off so much is because he gets his job done so well and fast he can afford to take it easy. Seeing him deal with a complicated situation elegantly and professionally only to turn around and take a crack at getting Lucy mad is always a riot. It's no exaggeration to say he's the most amusing character to follow.

Luckily, Taishi Ichimiya is always nearby to scold him and force him back to work. Unfortunately, his rock bottom self-esteem certainly doesn't deal very well with how Hasebe is already doing a better job than he is even though he's been working there for eight years! Other old timer Megumi Chihaya ends up working with Lucy at the client window. Although she looks very zen at first sight, she is actually a cosplay fiend who will stop at nothing to get shapely Lucy to cosplay for her. Meanwhile, Saya spends her days forced to listen to old people's stories, Taishi's little sister with the perma-“bulging vein” on her face knows more about Health Welfare than most people at the office and Kenzo Momoi, the section manager, is a remote-controlled pink rabbit plushy. Never a dull moment.

Sealing the package is a touch of endearing romance between clueless Lucy and Hasebe that will, if Wagnaria!!'s Takanashi x Inami coupling is any indication, never really go anywhere, but will be a continued source of both hilarious and surprisingly romantically charged moments that define Karino Takatsu's works.

It's by getting to know these characters, seeing them get through their ups and downs, falling in love, teasing each other, fooling around and getting used to their new job that Servant x Service's magic becomes apparent. It's not just a comedy, it's drama, it's slice of life, it's romance and it's all so very entertaining to watch by yourself or with a group of friends. Now get back to work and catch up on all that anime goodness you've been missing out on!
69627 cr points
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27 / M / Japan
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Posted 9/15/13
To what extent do we ask ourselves, "just what am I watching" in terms of genre? Though it's true that a mix of everything is good, doesn't that just lead to unfulfilling entertainment?

I just thought of this because even in a show like Servant x Service showcasing a hint of "Romance", it's obviously the irony that it should never happen as the point of the whole comedy (comedy IS tragedy, after all). This comes as depressing to me because I could hardly remember for the life of me when was the last time I watched a good romance show that wasn't screaming shojo/BL/male harem trap. :(

But yeah, if you're looking for something meaningful, you won't find it in the slice of life shows. Using a government agency is a first, indeed, but anyone who's anyone could turn even the mundane workplace into a comedic stage for cheap laughs. I'm sure Takatsu knows this - just as Ken Akamatsu knows that Harems are his thing.
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