Hataraku Saibou Specials

January 18, 2020

Haven’t you heard? Hataraku Saibou is getting another season! Hooray! And because of that, I stumbled upon a few Hataraku Saibou Specials that supposedly came out as 5 minute short extras along with the BDs. Time to remember what those cells are before I catch the next season. What do you mean it would be easier to take up those old school textbooks or surf Wikipedia to revisit all those cells and their specific roles?! Ain’t anybody got time for that!

Special 1
AE 3803 hosts a special quiz participated by U-1146 and Eosinophil. The first question asks about the sensor on U-1146’s head. U-1146 almost gave everyone a heart attack when his own sensor malfunctions and pops up. Eosinophil answers correctly. The next question is the last in which the winner takes all. It’s some ominously enigmatic line that Basophil says (he’s just hungry. Like, what?!). Eosinophil once again answers correctly. The prize for winning this is a trip around the body! Boring! I can see why Eosinophil doesn’t really want it.

Special 2
It’s time to visit Macrophage’s room where she can provide advice and blow away your problems. And looks like we have U-1146 as a guest. Actually he has detected some germs here. Are there? Macrophage assures that if there are any germs, she would have swiftly dealt with it with her cleaver. Yeah. Nobody messes with her. Because U-1146 wants to leave, she invites him to stay for tea. And also asks if he has any problems. Well, a certain RBC friend is always lost. Since trillions of RBCs come here, Macrophage isn’t sure and sketches a picture of her. OMG. That hideous drawing! Sure that’s not a germ? She’s so proud of it that she even autographs it! U-1146 can keep it as souvenir. Uhm… Thanks? The more he stares at it… All he can see is just one ugly germ mother…

Special 3
The usual drill Killer T Cell gives his underlings. But what’s this? All of them are depressed? More depressed than usual. What gives? They reveal that the recent fight with Cancer Cell revealed how useless they were. Because of the vast difference in skills, they are thinking of quitting. Of course Killer T Cell scolds them for thinking something so stupid. Then with some great charismatic speech of all the things they’ve overcome, these guys are back to their usual in no time. But… NK Cell is here to rain on their parade. Yup, she mocks this noisy choir and that a few of her is way better than a hundred of them. Man, their motivation levels are sinking to all time low. Of course Killer T Cell goes to pick a fight with her to take back what she said. It could have been a brawl had not the alert to mobilize sounded. Good timing. They’ll take it out on the battlefield then. And the subordinates think they’ll just do fine carrying on as usual…

Special 4
Helper T is thinking of throwing a party for all the cells. However Regulatory T Cell becomes a wet blanket. Accusing him of power harassment. Forcing others to join social events when they don’t want to. He feels bad about it but brushes it off as a no obligations meet up. Then he calls Dendritic for help. You mean part of the plan is to show some of the most embarrassing photos of the cells? How is this having a good time? Of course Dendritic warns it can backfire and since Helper T believes it will all turn out fine, he shows him a very embarrassing photo when he was in school. Yup, don’t want to remember those memories. He hopes Regulatory T Cell won’t see this but oops, she’s here! She tells him rather than worrying about other cells, as long as he is their competent commander, they will be happy. I guess she’s right. Back to work. Also, she doesn’t mind him pouring them tea. Something he will gladly do. Did he just become their gopher? Not sure about this later but did Regulatory T Cell and Dendritic have fun looking at all the embarrassing photos?

Special 5
Platelet visits Mast Cell at her work. She explains about her job but ends up getting mad about B Cell. This causes Platelet to be traumatic since she looks so scary. Mast Cell backs down and continues about her job description of just following the manual. When the alert is sounded, she checks some meter soaring. No biggies. Just follow the manual and apply some histamines. Hmm… Nothing happening. She amps up the dosage. Lots of screams of help heard before everything returns to normal. Ignoring what just happened, Mast Cell thinks she did a pretty good job. Until B Cell barges in to complain she almost killed them. A huge argument breaks out until Platelet butts in to stop them. No fighting. We’re cells. She then ties them up together in a fibrin net to make them get along. Let’s hope so.

Cell-ebrate To Health & Life!
It was fun while it lasted. I mean, they are only 5 minutes so there is only so much they can show us. You can’t be serious if you want all 37 trillion cells to make their cameo in these short episodes, can you?! It’s nice to refresh my memories after more than a year since I’ve watched the first season. Thanks to the characters and animation in chibi format, I guess watching this feels a lot fun. Can’t say they are really educational because as we can see (and also thinking logically), cells don’t hold quiz shows or tea parties. Heh. I’m not that stupid. Seriously! Watching these mini shorts makes me motivated to watch the second season when it comes out. Thanks for reminding me which cells are which. Phew. I thought I had forgotten about them. Hehehe. And then when the next season comes around, I would have forgotten them again. Damn, something wrong with my brain cells! Can somebody help my brain cells, please?

Hataraku Saibou

December 16, 2018

It’s time to bring out all that you have learnt during biology science in your school days. Otherwise, watching Hataraku Saibou AKA Cells At Work is going to be one heck of a confusing story! Ah, people. Do you remember the days when you learn about the blood circulation and the immune system of the human body? No? Time to brush up on that basic knowledge of yours again. Because if you are expecting a Japanese version and answer to Osmosis Jones, it is better that you start appreciating the unsung heroes in your body who work tirelessly 24/7 to keep you alive and standing right where you are now!

Episode 1
AE 3803 is a Red Blood Cell (RBC) trying to deliver oxygen and food to the lungs when suddenly a group of bacteria bursts in. But don’t fear, here comes the White Blood Cell (WBC) U-1146 in particular as he slashes them. AE 3803 continues her delivery but realizes she is lost. For a RBC, she definitely has a bad sense of direction. Lost, she decides to ask for directions but had the bad luck to open a door in which an escaped bacteria is hiding! Luckily U-1146 comes to her rescue but unluckily he shoots his net on them to escape. AE 3803 tells he is heading to the lungs since he was looking at a map (lost too?). U-1146 requests for backup while they make their way there. He follows his sensor that detects the invasion but it keeps ringing but no enemy in sight. The requested backup, Killer T Cells make their move and they are out for blood! When they reach the lungs, AE 3803 part ways, that is when U-1146 notices his sensor stops ringing and realizes this trap. The bacteria has been hiding inside AE 3803’s box and she has just led him right into the lungs. U-1146 comes in to her rescue in time again. However he is defending and seem to be leading the bacteria somewhere. When he is in the right spot, the bacteria is caught and put in a capsule that is ejected out from the body (AKA sneeze). Yeah, the duo could even sit down and watch this ‘spectacle’. AE 3803 wonders if she will see U-1146 again (cell romance?) but he is pessimistic since there are so many WBCs just like how there are so many RBCs. But work for WBCs doesn’t stop here. With new viruses detected in the body, all WBCs quickly get into the killing spree!

Episode 2
Watch how the cute young Platelets carry components to cover the wounds! As AE 3803 continues her delivery, suddenly there is a hole blown wide open in the part of the town! Due to the abrasion, the outer wall of the blood vessel has been destroyed and cells are in risked of being sucked out. Luckily U-1146 grabs AE 3803 before she is forever lost. Thanks to this hole, a host of bacteria jump in ready to invade the place. It becomes really havoc with the RBCs trying to evacuate and run but with the valves blocking their movements to prevent backflow, is it the end of them? That’s why we should all thank WBCs for their swift killing action! But with U-1146 and his comrades holding his ground, there are just too many bacteria coming in. WBCs despite being the first to respond to such attacks, they lament that their other counterparts like Killer T Cells and Macrophages are always late to the scene. But as the fight drags out, U-1146 is confident the tide has turned to their favour. Platelets are here to use their fibrin net and clot the blood and cover the hole. With the bacteria unable to get more outside support, hence stemming their numbers, time for the WBCs to go into overdrive mode and take down the remaining evil. AE 3803 is really thankful for U-1146 and feels RBCs were useless during this incident. However he says they aren’t. Because the Platelets are now using RBCs and WBCs to plug them into holes of the net until the outer walls are restored. That’s like 3 days…

Episode 3
A Naïve T Cell is walking through a dark and abandoned part of town? Cue for some zombie jump scare! Naïve runs in fear but is saved by U-1146. Apparently this type B influenza has infected some cells and is trying to multiply. U-1146 receives support from Macrophage who bludgeons them like nobody’s business. When the other Killer T Cells arrive, they tease and mock Naïve for being a chicken. No time for that as the influenza is really trying to spread. The Killer T Cells want Naïve to make his first kill but he is so scared that he runs away. He stumbles into Dendritic Cells while he laments his cowardice. Dendritic shows a photo album of his seniors. They were once weaklings and perhaps they were giving him a hard time was because they see themselves in him. Oh, there are more albums from where that came from. This motivates Naïve as he begins his transformation (which is part of Dendritic’s role to activate such cells). Just when our fighting cells are outnumbered and cornered by zombies, here comes Effector T Cell! OMG! It’s actually an activated Naïve all buffed up! Is he like Jojo + Toriko + Super Saiyan?! There’s a bunch of them too! He beats up the influenza with his newfound strength. The other fighting cells also join in as well as B Cell who help fight with his antibodies. After a week of hard fighting, the influenza is finally defeated. The Killer T Cells welcome their new comrade. Then they spot a lone influenza virus. Naïve wants to annihilate him in a single blow but instead got punched away! Oh no! This is type A influenza! And it has mutated too! Well, good luck toughing out with this one while B Cell goes to make a new antibody.

Episode 4
What a beautiful view of the digestive system as we see food being digested by the gastric acid. Suddenly an alert. A germ has invaded the area but Eosinophil is too weak to take it out. Thanks to U-1146, the treat is over in no time. As explained, Eosinophil is another type of WBC but weaker and in smaller percentage. Thanks to this feeble attempt, everyone laughs at her being weak. Another incident happens. The stomach walls are breaking. Bacteria are infecting since raw food has been consumed. Also introduced is Basophil, another WBC but only comprises of 1% of all WBC, said to release histamines so as to trigger allergic reactions. With the bacteria infection, U-1146 goes into action to take them out. As usual, Eosinophil is weak as hell. In a bold attempt, U-1146 allows the bacteria to eat him in which he cuts it up from the inside. Bloody. But this isn’t over yet. Soon the stomach walls burst and gastric acid start flowing in. It is an invasion of a deadlier parasite. Nausea and vomiting will soon occur. Are we all screwed since U-1146 knows he cannot handle this? Don’t worry. Eosinophil is here to save the day. This weakling? Everybody thought she is going to sacrifice herself but rest assured she isn’t. It seems Eosinophil’s other role is to effectively fight against parasites and with that, she easily kills it. Now the threat is really over. Everyone now respects and praises Eosinophil. All hail the new heroine!

Episode 5
Meteor crashing into the system? Actually it is cedar pollen! Allergies! Although U-1146 is able to take them out, their numbers are too great as they have infiltrated the system. Memory Cell, a cell that retains memories of past pathogens and invasions, dreads the end of the world. At least that is how the ‘prophecy’ sounds like in his journal. It seems like everything is going on well with B Cell firing his antibody for a more effective solution. However as Memory Cell fears, this is only the start of the disaster. Because with too much antibody, this causes Mast Cell to overload the system with histamine. Yeah, she just followed the manual because it said so. In turn, the entire area is flooded and more pollens pop up. It’s only going to get worse. This leads to the secretion centre damaged and forcing the emergency immune system to kick in. That means massive repetitious sneezing, nasal congestion, teary eyes and all other allergy symptoms. With the cells trying to find somebody to blame for this disaster, B Cell and Mast Cell trade accusations. Then AE 3803 rolls in an unknown black ball. Inside is a robot. Guess what? It becomes Terminator and destroys everything! Memory Cell remembers this is Steroid. Sure, it is supposed to suppress symptoms caused by histamine and allergy but to destroy everything related to it? Eventually it does its job and stops once it runs out of juice. The surroundings might be damaged but at least the cells now get along and stop blaming each other.

Episode 6
We’re at the bone marrow. Brings back memories for AE 3803 of how RBCs were grown and matured. Hmm… From a capsule? At least not a stork… Macrophage’s job is to help raise them and I wonder how AE 3803 could graduate into a mature RBC if she gets lost all the time. On a training to hide from bacteria, AE 3803 stumbled into a real one. Getting lost trying to run away? This bacteria is a real dick as he loves to torment young RBCs. Loli abuse! Before she is done for, here comes a young U-1146 to the rescue. Too bad he is powerless and also gets abuse. But he continues to fight as he has principles and codes of WBCs. Eventually the bacteria is killed by a real WBC. AE 3803 thanks U-1146 and wonders they’ll ever meet again. Who knows? All this nostalgia as AE 3803 bump into U-1146. This reminds her of what happened to that young WBC. Could it be him? If fate has them always bumping into each other… In town, an infected cell goes berserk and tries to attack a fellow cell. Luckily U-1146 took it down. Before Killer T Cell could take it away, he is usurped by NK Cell (cells that attack cancer cells or viruses as soon they are spotted). Killer T Cell and NK Cell try to usurp one another till it turns into one big messy childish fight. I don’t think they put their differences aside, but they need to find other cells that was infected. After they split up, NK Cell wants this cell who lead them here to stop playing dumb and knows he is a Cancer Cell.

Episode 7
AE 3803 experiences a few bad omen. I was waiting for the black cat but it would have been freaking strange if one popped up… The innocent cell shows his true monstrous form as a Cancer Cell and fights NK Cell. Meanwhile Killer T Cell and U-1146 stumble into a room with strange proliferation instructions. They realize too late this is cancer working as they are besieged by cancer cells. Uhm, zombie outbreak part 2? Meanwhile AE 3803 notices all the RBCs delivering large amounts of food as ordered from a certain strange cell complex. It’s scary to see zombie cells eating? She alerts Macrophage about this. Cancer Cell overwhelms the trio and when Killer T Cell calls him a bug, this brings back some bad memories. When he was born into this world, he was already considered an anomaly and was to be killed off. In his fear he broke free and ran. He is angry he did nothing wrong and have to be killed. He doesn’t care if in the end everything gets destroyed because he was meant to die in the first place. Cancer Cell won’t get further than this as all other immune cells arrive as reinforcements. They take down the cancerous cells but NK Cell plays a prank on Killer T Cell. It sounds like crap but it is true that when there is laughter, NK Cells revitalize. She is able to break through the defence and cut down Cancer Cell. Before U-1146 finishes him off, he is kind enough to hear his last words since he was once a cell like them. He talks about his regrets that he could have been part of this world and once this is done, he will soon be forgotten like he never existed. If that is the case, why was he ever born in the first place? Even so, U-1146 has no choice but to kill him. It is his job after all. Everyone celebrates their victory as U-1146 thanks AE 3803 for summoning other immune cells. Do RBCs cover this role too?

Episode 8
AE 3803 continues to get lost. Even if she is pumped up for her next big job of the blood circulation, we are still worried. Oh yeah. Remember your science in school as they explain about the blood circulation of the heart! Damn so confusing! If I’m already like this, what are the chances for AE 3803?! Because U-1146 continues to watch AE 3803 helplessly get lost, hence he tails her secretly so she could get through this job without any hitch. This includes putting up directions for her, picking up things she drop along the way and even get ridding of germs who lie in wait to ambush her. All without her knowing! I guess it’s best to let her focus on the job. Finally she is able to deliver the oxygen and complete her job. Hooray! U-1146 is happy for her too but as Killer T Cell still saying bad about her, U-1146 reminds how they too suck in certain tasks. He admires her strength never to give up despite getting lost often. He hopes that WBCs and RBCs can understand each other and get along. However Killer T Cell punches him! He reminds him that they are assassins and will even kill their own if they have to. So drop his daydreaming of drinking tea with RBCs because they got to hone their skills and sharpen the knife of their heart! Woah. Shocking lecture. But later as U-1146 and AE 3803 meet, he is still more than happy to hear her talk about her great day of not messing up and completing the job. I know. Great first achievement, no? But Killer T Cell may be having some sort of friendship issue because he seems to be pissed at other immune cells getting friendly with non-immune cells.

Episode 9
Killer T Cell is training new Naïve T Cells in his merciless way. Then he throws one into the building where Helper T Commander is. This sparks an argument between them. As the new Naïve ones wonder about this, Dendritic shows them a secret album how both of them used to train at the same school. We can see Helper T being a genius and always much better than Killer T Cell who is just a wuss. In order to catch up to him, Killer T Cell often trains harder but it is always Helper T who stays ahead. After many years of training, the final test will see if they have what it takes for them to be part of the T Cells. Helper T passes with ease and when it comes to Killer T Cell, he gets nervous at first. His bad habit of closing his eyes when he starts punching is about to ruin his chance so Helper T helps out but yelling out the name of some embarrassing move Killer T Cell used in his personal training. Even after Killer T Cell passed, he still feels he just got lucky and doesn’t deserve it. Helper T punches him to open his eyes that all his efforts were never wasted and his redeeming quality is to always grind away on his own. Killer T Cell vows to train hard so he could be stronger. Helper T got the option not to become a Killer T Cell and took up the post that he is now. When the duo discover Dendritic is showing those embarrassing photos to the new recruits, they become embarrassed as they try to rip them from his hands to destroy the evidence. Of course Dendritic will not allow that as these are very important data.

Episode 10
AE 3803 continues to do her job. The usual chased and cornered by a germ. Why do they always pick on her? However it isn’t U-1146 who saves her. A weird cell in hazmat suit. By the time U-1146 arrives, it is already over. AE 3803 asks about this cell so he explains they are Monocytes, another one of their kind from the immune cells. As AE 3803 continues her job, she observes the weird characteristics of Monocyte. And then another abrasion disaster. Germs seep in as well. WBCs drop in to fight them but because this one is a new strain, it can power up by combining into one big giant germ. Worst, they use the fibrin net as shield against the WBCs’ attack. With the WBCs owned, is this the end for good? Not if those Monocytes show up. It’s about time. Realizing they are outside the blood vessel, it’s time for costume change. Taking off their hazmat suit, they are actually Macrophages! So they turn into Monocytes if they circulate inside the bloodstream? The cute Macrophages beat the sh*t out of the germ that they become scared and try to run. But no one escapes from the sadistic deathblows of these Macrophages! In the end, they are the heroes of the day and poor AE 3803 is so shocked and confused about their identity that she… Oh, you know what? Forget it and just get back to work.

Episode 11
Emergency! The reservoirs are drying up or empty. RBCs are made to walk around to regulate body temperature. U-1146 seems lively enough to kill germs infiltrating. However the heat continues to rise. In short, the body is experiencing heat stroke. The terror of RBCs experiencing dizziness and loss of balance as the entire place is blackout. Worst, a germ has infiltrated the place and makes a fool of WBCs as it is hiding among the RBCs and taunting them. It is so dark and crowded, U-1146 can’t effectively get to him. By the time he does, he is already very exhausted. The body is now dehydrated. There is nothing more the sweat glands could do. So how? Put on your tribal costumes and pray to God for miracle!!! Meanwhile the germ beats up U-1146 who refuses to give in. Oh no! Did U-1146 just lose to this germ?! The germ brags about turning this body into his own country when suddenly a strange needle pops out from the ‘sky’. It is transfusion where solutions are being poured in to replenish fluids and nutrients. All cells rejoice as the entire area is flooded with fluids. U-1146 revives and takes down the germ. Body temperature has cooled down as all the cells frolic in the fluids. U-1146 could finally rest but is teased like as though he is going to have a heat stroke.

Episode 12
AE 3803 is suddenly left with a junior! Yeah, she’s freaking out to her senior that she can’t handle this. Oh dear. Time to grow up. So, uhm, meet NT 4201. I guess it must hurt AE 3803 a lot more when she realizes NT 4201 is more knowledgeable than her on the things they do. I’m sure she is just itching to say there is no more I can teach you… As she brings her along, AE 3803 as usual gets lost and whatever obvious she points out, NT 4201 already knows. They even witness U-1146 violently killing a germ in the most barbaric way. Can’t you see he is struggling so why have him explain the functions of WBCs?! As they continue, AE 3803 continues to do it at her own pace and NT 4201 doesn’t seem too impressed. However suddenly apocalypse happens. The entire area just suddenly decimates! With all the cells ordered to gather and wait for the broadcast, soon it is announced that there is a life threatening damage. The head and its surrounding vessels are experiencing severe haemorrhage and all cells are to do their duty to stop the bleeding, stop the invasion and repair the damage. With the cells going into overdrive mode, RBCs are being pumped and moving at a faster rate. It is at this moment that AE 3803 remains calm and composed as she leads her junior to do the necessary. Meanwhile U-1146 is slashing all germs that have invaded from the wound. But when he gets to the centre of the wound, he is shocked to see no RBCs around. Not a single one. All dead…

Episode 13
But there is a single cell alive as he recounts the horrors of watching millions of RBCs and WBCs get sucked away. He fears with no more oxygen being delivered, all the cells will die! It’s the end of the world! More accurately, the end of this body! AE 3803 and NT 4201 arrive to deliver their oxygen but there are too many cells suffocating. At the lungs, they see lots of oxygen boxes all stacked up. This means there are not enough RBCs to deliver them. They do what they can. Wow. Since when there is a dangerous cliff inside your body? And with the blood pressure rising, we lose more RBCs! Heavy blood loss! This also means a drastic drop in temperature and now it’s basically snowing everywhere. AE 3803 continues to struggle and that is when NT 4201 snaps. There are no more RBCs delivering. What is the point of doing this? They’ll all die of haemorrhage shock anyway. Yeah, maybe the blood pressure has gotten to her. She thinks AE 3803 is putting up this tough act just to look cool. But AE 3803 continues to do what she does best regardless of what will happen. Just when she loses all her strength and is about to succumb to fate, suddenly a hell lot more RBCs appear before her. Their uniforms are slightly different and they have an accent. They are actually from the blood transfusion. At first these new RBCs do not like being suddenly whisked to a new body but since their job is the same, let’s get to delivering those oxygen! With that, the body soon recovers! Ah, I just love a good happy ending. NT 4201 then confronts her senpai. She looks mad. Something wrong? Actually she is grateful that she has learnt something from her. She always thought of herself as being competent but looks like today has taught her a lot of valuable lesson and experience. It brings tears to AE 3803’s eyes. Man, I just love a good coming of age story. But before AE 3803 knows it, she loses NT 4201. How the heck can she even get lost like that? As the body undergoes reparation, life returns to normal for all the cells. And it is the usual for AE 3803. Getting lost is her specialty.

Episode 14 (Special)
A normal cell is bored as he is stuck doing cell divisions. He wishes something exciting would happen in his mundane life. Suddenly a strange cell calls to him. They’re going to do pranks? They watch Killer T Cell receiving an anonymous present. As he gleefully opens it, sucker punch! The cells laugh at this hilarious moment and make their escape before the mad Killer T Cell could get them. The normal cell finds it fun and wishes to join in more pranks. The next prank they do is playing hide and seek with U-1146. Now you sense me. Now you don’t. U-1146 is confused his sensors detect something but then switches off. Other pranks played include switching sugar for salt in Helper T Cell’s tea, switching all the weapons in Macrophage’s storeroom to sports equipment and perhaps the easiest prank of them all, fooling AE 3803 in the wrong direction. When the fun is over, normal cell brings strange cell back to his place. Strange cell wants him to wear this strange hat. At first normal cell is reluctant but strange cell gets pushy and mad. Turns out the hat is an infected virus! Oh no! This strange cell is actually possessed by a common cold virus and there are many of them now! The virus targets the cell division and the normal cell is sad he felt betrayed. Just when he thought he had a friend, right? But don’t fear. Killer T Cells and Macrophages are here. They are able to trace where the virus is thanks to the RNA left behind. Time for payback. By the time U-1146 arrives, everything is over. The remaining viruses are ejected via sneeze. The normal cell is given a stern warning and he regrets his actions. Lesson learnt. Boring is best, right? But that won’t be the case as normal cell invites them to play some sports since they are neighbours in the vicinity. Killer T Cell scoffs off at this but his men tell him to relax once in a while. If you can’t beat them, join them.

Stay Healthy Always!
So… Uhm… Er… Well… Heh… Sorry teacher. Looks like I have given it all back to you! Despite the very basics of RBCs and WBCs roles, it seems the rest of the immune system are just like alien to me. Yeah, I even thought they made it up! So there were so many immune systems and not everything just lump into one big category WBCs? Damn, I am so ashamed of myself. Although I do enjoy this edutainment, it is unfortunate that I can’t even remember the basic heart function and flow! I’m so sorry sensei. So sorry. I forgot them all. Very sorry. Gomenasai. That is why instead of being enlightened and learn something new, I see this series as more of some fantasy adventure. But on the bright side, if I actually knew everything, I would have found the overall series boring because it is just rehashing it in a different form, right? No? Okay. Sorry then… :’(.

Even if in every damn episode there are the same narrations and texts on the screen that tells the basic functions of the cells, I still can’t remember them! Maybe I was too lazy in trying to read them. Heck, the English texts covered almost half the screen and I was annoyed they ‘blocked’ the animation instead. Excuses, excuses… Hey, it is not like I am going to sit for an exam tomorrow or next week, right???!!! So it’s not like I have to specifically remember them, RIGHT???!!! Oh boy. Why am I getting high school trauma just thinking about this? The studying part, that is.

Personally, I believe it is quite a creative and refreshing way to personify and anthropomorphized the cells in a human form and see how they work as a society. It makes understanding a little better and I think it is quite suitable for younger audiences too especially those who are in the grade of starting to learn the human body system. Don’t mind some of the violence and blood spills and of course the exaggerated stuffs but I suppose if you really want to learn the deeper and truer form of it, it is going to be really dry, boring and even ‘scarier’. Yeah, if you want to be a rocket scientist and learn even more about the human body, there are other methods to do so but as far as this animated version of it is concerned, it provides a fun and entertaining way to learn about the basics of the human body. Or refresh your memories if you are around my age.

The ‘stories’ and ‘characters’ are woven in quite nicely and cleverly so incidents like heat stroke, food poisoning and influenza are quite entertaining. Especially the final episode which had lots of tensed and dramatic moments that really make you want to shout out support the cells and hope they make it out alive. Of course everything you see here are mostly exaggerations but they are not very far from the truth. It is an entertaining way to show you how cells perform their roles so even if you know everything there is to know about the human body, I am sure you would be entertained in seeing this in a different perspective even though I said you would be bored because you know everything.

So as not to be seen as random, I guess that is why there are some cells that are given prominence and some minimal characteristics like AE 3803 and U-1146. With many of the episodes having featured them prominently, it doesn’t make the series look like one big random story put together because of such recurring characters. The human body has 37 trillion cells and in this few episodes we get to see these handful of characters? Wow. It is indeed a small world after all. As said, the characters having their own personal traits gives them character. That is why it has become a running joke that AE 3803 is a RBC that is bad in directions and often lost. It is like they need this joke in order to make the episode livelier. Because if she was really a diligent RBC like others doing their job flawlessly, the episodes would have been such a major bore. But a RBC getting lost? Shouldn’t she be like a threat to the body as she can’t deliver oxygen on time?

It’s great to see AE 3803 finally redeeming herself in such times of emergencies. Being a simpleton is good for her in this case because she diligently does her job. The only thing that she knows best. Ah well, it might be fluke since she’s back to normal. Maybe she is only effective during times of emergency. After all, she is of survivor material as she made it through all the catastrophe alive. She is sure one hell of a lucky cell. U-1146 may be an effective WBC killer but he is actually a gentle and soft spoken cell. A total opposite of his character when he is on duty. Then we have other exaggerations in characteristics like Killer T Cells being boorish killing machines and Macrophages as maids who kill and bludgeon with a smile! It’s scary to think if our cells are really like that.

With AE 3803 and U-1446 often stumbling into each other, it is like they are trying to hint some sort of possible romance between them. I know this is a very wild stretch but you always see this sort of pattern. AE 3803 is so bad luck that she stumbles into germs. She is moments away of being killed but U-1146 jumps in to save the day. Kills germs. Blood splatter everywhere. Thank you. Continue with their routine. To think that they are even together ever since they are young shows some kind of eerie fate that they will always be seeing each other. Of all the 37 trillion cells, what are the odds of these 2 specific cells bumping into each other as often? Because it would really get weird if they end up marrying. What kind of cells would they produce? Would it be cancer cells???!!!

But other immune cells don’t really play much of a prominent role as they are featured in 1 or 2 episodes before falling back into obscurity. Like NK Cell, Eosinophil and Basophil who don’t really do much even in their episode of focus and only come into prominence when necessary. Like I have said that I am even amazed that there are so many types of WBCs each with their own specific roles to play instead of lumping them all into the same immune cell type that I have always thought to be. Thus I believe featuring such cells serves more as an introduction and awareness to dumb people like me.

Hence with the plot and characters not much to comment on, my mind usually wanders in the exaggerated areas. For example, if all the cells are anthropomorphized as humans, it makes me wonder that if inside their body has other similar anthropomorphized cells as well! Wow. Cells within cells within cells within cells… It never ends! And with the inside body being personified as a city or town with running water, electricity and building blocks, I wonder if this human body is some sort of robot! I know, it’s all metaphors but I can’t help just thinking so. There are probably more that I want to bring to the table but then I started realizing how stupid I will sound…

Like how in the final tensed episode where everything is ramped up so as to dramatized everything, it made me wonder if those oxygen need to be delivered to cell, then how the heck are they breathing with anyway? I know the cells are anthropomorphized but opening the box of oxygen is like opening a box of nothing! If it is food, maybe. Oh right. Oxygen is food. At least to the cells. Besides, aren’t those cells the ‘worst’? They rely on RBCs to deliver oxygen and it makes them feel like lazy bums who stay in their apartment all they doing nothing or who knows what, only opening their doors when a delivery is made. An order for a delivery of a box of oxygen to unit 3, floor 5 on street 7, please. And I wonder why there are no other efficient courier service here. Better stop asking dumb questions now because I’m looking even dumber now…

Oh, I just thought that since the lifespan of cells are very short (about 120 days), it is heart breaking to think that all of them will soon die! However we see some of them mature from young inexperienced cells to one who do their job responsibly. Man, it feels like a life time! At the rate cells die and reproduce, therefore the irony of seeing such recurring characters for a long time. Oh, here is fun fact that I just Google. WBCs live for about 13 days while RBCs for about 120 days. Oh no! This means the romance between U-1146 and AE 3803 will never happen!!! And yet they bump so often into each other. Yeah, I’m starting to see this as a tragedy should I go along this route.

Art and animation are okay and as you would have come to expect, the exaggerations of trying to paint the human body and the immune system sometimes make it look like as though these are not cells living in a body but rather a whole different society living on an alien planet! Just so happen that they resemble the responsibilities of cells! Of course with our insides very dark, gloomy and gross, here everything is so bright and colourful! You can easily identify the kind of cells they are based on the colour of their uniform and the traits related to their job. Like RBCs are like, duh, red while Killer T Cells are buffed up macho men itching for a brawl. As for the germs and bacteria, their design look reasonably enough to resemble alien life forms since after all they are invading aliens trying to kill the host.

One of the greatest joys of watching this series is of course the voice acting. Many of them whom I am familiar with. Especially Mamiko Noto who is the narrator of this series! Huzzah! It’s so calming to hear her narrating in a cute and polite manner. Hmm… Maybe that is why I can’t seem to remember the texts of the basic cell functions she narrates as I was too enthralled in hearing her voice. Yup. Just hearing her voice. Not what she said. Didn’t digest that part. The other recognizable seiyuus are Kana Hanazawa as AE 3803, Daisuke Ono as Killer T Cell, Kikuko Inoue as Macrophage, Takahiro Sakurai as Helper T Cell, Nobuhiko Okamoto as Dendritic, Yuuichi Nakamura as Memory Cell, Tomokazu Sugita as Basophil, Ayako Kawasumi as Mast Cell and Akira Ishida as Cancer Cell.

The other casts are Tomoaki Maeno as U-1146 (Junichi in Amagami SS), Toa Yukinari as NK Cell (Edokia in Grancrest Senki), Mao Ichimichi as Eosinophil (Bada in ClassicaLoid), Mutsumi Tamura as Naïve T Cell (Sonya in Kill Me Baby), Kenji Nomura as Effector T Cell (Ushiyama in Golden Kamuy), Maria Nagawa as Platelet (Kanmuri in Slow Start), Souya Chiba as B Cell (Ayanokouji in Youkoso Jitsuryoku Shijou No Kyoushitsu E) and Yui Ishikawa as NT 4201 (Mikasa in Shingeki No Kyojin). The opening theme, Mission! Ken-Kou-Dai-Ichi by Kana Hanazawa, Tomoaki Maeno, Daisuke Ono and Kikuko Inoue is a lively piece that makes this series look more like a show for kids. It fits the theme very well and one can be forgiven to think that the cute way they sing this song that this show is indeed for younger audiences. The ending theme doesn’t have this feel but Cheers by Claris is also a nice piece to listen to.

Overall, this is an entertaining and educational series and my only regret is giving it all back to my teacher and not understanding and truly appreciating the real roles that the cells in my body play to keep me alive. There are some violent scenes with excessive blood spillage especially when immune cells kill the germs that doesn’t make it suitable for children but if you’re going to learn about the human body, might as well learn some of the harsh truth. Though, none of this actually really happens as shown in the series, okay? If there is another season of it, I would definitely want to watch because there are many more sickness and hazards that the body will experience. After all, we have seen how the cells pull through with each disaster and man, this body must be one that is made of steel or immortal because with all that has happened, the host continues to live! All thanks to the tireless efforts of our cells at work. This is where your thanks should go to!

The next time when I am experiencing and getting diarrhoea, gastroenteritis, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, pneumonia, cephalgia, pertussis, asthma, arthritis, pyrexia, epistaxis, diphtheria, tuberculosis, meningitis, tetanus, typhoid, poliomyelitis and haemorrhage all at the same time, not only am I going to thank my cells but also to Google because phew, damn I sure passed that hell of a tough spelling test! Note, I don’t even know what some of those symptoms mean…

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