November 10, 2012

I’m sure you’ll meet all kinds of people and personalities when you’re in the working culture. Some are nice and friendly while others are just cold and selfish. Yutori-chan isn’t exactly about the working culture but a comedy about the different behavioural of the generation gaps in the work force. In this short ONA that lasts approximately 3-5 minutes, the 3 main characters represent the major generations in Japan. Mainly being Yutori (teenagers), Tsumekomi (between 20s-30s) and Dankai (middle age). Because of the different range in age, you could say that the different level in behaviour and maturity is what makes this series funny because as we all know young people these days are usually the reckless, rebellious, don’t follow orders well and know-it-all attitude type. Yeah, I know. I’ve been there once too. So can the much older counterparts comprehend and tolerate the younger one while getting their work done in this toy company called Popuu?

Episode 1
Shiori Tsumekomi explains to her colleague, Reiko Dankai that she is making preparations for the new part time girl who starts work today. She is Yutori Tanaka but despite looking cute and sweet, she’s somewhat idiotic and selfish. I mean, she’s really expecting Tsumekomi to teach her stuffs if there are things she doesn’t know since it’s her job. For example, Yutori left the photocopy machine halfway because it ran out of paper. Why didn’t she refill it? Because she wasn’t taught how to refill the paper! While Tsumekomi is carrying boxes, Yutori is just standing there watching her. Why didn’t she help? Because she didn’t ask! By the time Tsumekomi explains every step (yes, even where to staple the bullets on the paper), Yutori praises her that she got better at teaching! So it’s no wonder Tsumekomi is just feeling tired at the end of the day. Feeling it’s impossible to get along with her, Yutori gives Tsumekomi a matching handphone strap before leaving. Dankai recognizes the strap as samples from the lockers! Oh sh*t! Embezzlement?!

Episode 2
Thank goodness Tsumekomi teaches Yutori how to handle incoming phone calls. Who knows what disaster might have happened. So when this Yukawa from Accessories Incorporated calls looking for Tanaka, Yutori mentions there are 9 people with such name. Because he can’t remember his first name, Yutori gives hideous descriptions about them! Depressed Tanaka? Smelly Tanaka? Haemorrhoids Tanaka? Since it’s this Haemorrhoids Tanaka he is looking for, Yutori starts calling that Tanaka he’s got a call. She got smacked by Dankai because they might have to compensate those people whom she ‘leaked’ those information! And Tsumekomi is in denial that Yutori was wrong!

Episode 3
Because of Yutori’s mistakes, Dankai is also being yelled by the chief clerk and of course this worries Tsumekomi. Yeah, he’s been yelling at them for a good 20 minutes already. No signs of letting down. Suddenly Yutori’s handphone rings. She picks it up! It’s her friend and she has the cheek to say she’s being yelled at. She also describes the chief clerk’s sliding wig!!! Later as Tsumekomi fails a crane game, Yutori promises to get one and is successful. Tsumekomi is grateful so Yutori brags about her image training. However they end up late for work ad Tsumekomi also gets shelling from the chief clerk. And you can tell Yutori isn’t paying attention because she is doing image training of using the crane hand to lift the chief clerk’s wig.

Episode 4
Tsumekomi is out sick and resting in her home. Suddenly she gets a surprise visit from Yutori. How did she know where she lives? She accessed her PC and found out about her address. There goes her privacy. Yutori also wants to nurse her back to health. You can’t blame Tsumekomi for worrying what she’ll do, right? Her sickness may just get worse. She may not even heal. Surprise, surprise. Yutori handles everything perfectly! No slip ups! And you’re not dreaming either! So when Yutori leaves, Tsumekomi is left dumbfounded and panics that Yutori hasn’t done her punch lines yet!

Episode 5
Dankai is fired up in the sales conference meeting. She sets aggressive duties for the other staffs to rake in the sales. Tsumekomi admires her very much and hopes to be like her but Yutori says she prefers Tsumekomi a lot better. Is that a praise? Wondering why Dankai carries a hammer around, Tsumekomi explains it depends on her mood. Depending on her mood, the items she holds could vary. Holding a hammer means she is in good mood. So if she’s in a bad mood, she’ll be holding a club with nails! And today she is in one sour mood because the chief clerk has made a couple of mistakes in his writing and she’s yelling her head off! No mercy even if he’s the boss! Scary! At times like this, Tsumekomi advises it is better to continue work quietly and wait for the yelling to subside.

Episode 6
Yutori leaves without completing her job and she’s not in for overtime. This is an hourly paid job, you know? Because of that, Tsumekomi has to reschedule and complete her pertion. She can’t finish early as planned. Back home, she feels tired and stressed. She throws a tantrum over her never-ending schedules to feel better. Then she goes to reschedule her plans. One rescheduled plan leads to another till she has to reschedule her life’s plan! Next day, Tsumekomi once again is upset because of Yutori, her schedule is messed up. Yutori has the cheek to say that she needs to live in the spur of the moment instead of making schedules. Doesn’t she just want to strangle her? Telling her off that schedules are necessary to maximise work done in limited time, Yutori points out how she spends most of her time doing schedules. So true… What is the meaning of life…

Episode 7
Tsumekomi is disheartened Yutori didn’t use the company’s format for the questionnaire (because she didn’t say so) and wants her to redo it again. However it’s going home time and no matter how much she loves her, she won’t work overtime unless she pays. Poor Tsumekomi has no choice but to do it on Yutori’s behalf. Suddenly angry Dankai forces Yutori to stay back and complete it! See the club with nails! Better get your ass moving! Work! Work! WORK!!! Dankai then notices the incorrect data used but Tsumekomi points it she got it from her. Dankai realizes and apologizes she gave the wrong data and will give them the new one. Tsumekomi blows her top, lecturing her about the same mistake she did last week and 3 days ago. The section chief notices how well the trio get along with each other.

Episode 8
Bubble from the sales department comes in to talk and brag to Tsumekomi. As she points out to Yutori, he is the company president’s son and in short, he is a useless idiot. Of course, Tsumekomi tries her best to be polite and kind enough to entertain him, much to Yutori’s annoyance. She can’t take it anymore and tries to show off a picture in her handphone of something cooler. Bubble doesn’t want to lose out and does the same. Soon it turns into an argument who has got the best in this or the best in that. Tsumekomi couldn’t be bothered with them and lets them be while she finishes her work.

Episode 9
Yutori learns new terms like vertical launch and bakubai (literally means explosive sales) and is impressed Tsumekomi knows such useless business terms. Useless?! The section chief gathers everyone for their opinion as a sample of a new product has arrived. Yutori tries her hand at this puzzle ball and finds it too hard for kids so he mentions they’re targeting adults. So it’s an adult toy? Instant silence in the room! Since Yutori continues to say the words adult toy, Tsumekomi tells her to stop. Yutori doesn’t understand the meaning behind it and asks Tsumekomi to explain. Embarrassed, she pushes the task to the section chief who in turn pushes it to Dankai. She does not hold back in bluntly explain it to Yutori! Man. What a long beep! Now you understand, Yutori? Later Yutori notices Dankai’s huge breasts and applies her newly learnt terms on them. The boobs are vertical launch and could be bakupai (literally means explosive boobs). Then taking a closer look at Tsumekomi’s flat chest, she concludes they are half price! Meanie!

Episode 10
Yutori gets yelled by the chief clerk for using the company’s PC to do her homework. But do you think she’ll learn from that? Maybe she’ll stop her homework but she’s going to put this on her blog. That is a big no too! The chief clerk notices her messy table and wants to clean up this instant. However she decorates her place prettier. The section chief passes by and notices her decoration and this inspires him to come up with a new PC desktop accessory set. In the end, Yutori gets a bonus from him. The chief clerk just couldn’t believe it.

Episode 11
Yutori is watching an anti-aging product commercial. Old lady turns into a magical girl? WTF. Magically Around 40: Magical Attractive Old Lady! WTF???!!! Yutori’s mom note she is watching such anime despite in high school but she points out her company makes such products and is just doing homework. She wonders if this product can really sell from a commercial like that. Next day as Yutori leaves for school, she returns home to retrieve something she forgot. Then she sees her mom with the anti-aging device and she’s really into it! It really captured her heart and wallet!

Episode 12
Tsumekomi wants Yutori to bring more drinks into the meeting room. Yutori thinks she’s using this chance just to go see Dankai. Well, the meeting is taking longer than usual because of Dankai. Once the duo bring the drinks in, the meeting seemingly has ended since nobody has any objections or opinions as there doesn’t seem to be problems with the product. But Tsumekomi knows better because this is where it starts. Suddenly Dankai says it’s not over yet. In her passionate speech to improve sales and take it to new heights, she is going to take it from the start again! So everyone take your seats! Boy, it’s going to be a long day. Yutori reiterates that she may admire Tsumekomi but is worried that she yearns to see Dankai like that. I think she got the wrong idea… Opinion overruled!

Episode 13
Yutori gets scolding from Dankai. Later Dankai asks Tsumekomi’s help for an event this weekend. Yutori says she can’t come since she has plans. Dankai wasn’t asking her. Their job is to help change battery of a game pad without erasing the hard earned data. The first customer they got is… Yutori! So this is the plan she had? Yutori acts high and mighty as she exerts her power as a customer. Tsumekomi knows they’re going down the war path as this obnoxious attitude will only earn Dankai’s wrath later on. Yutori doesn’t give a damn because she’s the all-important customer so hurry up with the battery change because the queue is building up. Despite being pissed off, Dankai holds it in and handles her request while tolerating Yutori’s censure. Dankai accidentally erases her data due to the pressure so Yutori blows her top! She’s screaming at the top of her voice. Though Dankai knows it’s her fault, she feels she deserves it. Next day, Yutori is her happy self at work and she doesn’t understand why Dankai is in such a bad mood. Hmm… Maybe Yutori didn’t realize it was them at the booth? Or she’s just a really forgetful person.

Episode 14
Yutori isn’t going to work because somehow her colleagues are mad at her (we know plenty of reasons why). So how? Her mother replaces her! WTF?! We can tell from that bad disguise it’s mommy and NOT Yutori! Dankai suggests letting her be. Like a mother, she makes great tea but starts cleaning up the place (despite some papers she threw away aren’t trash). Then she unplugs all the cables connecting to the PC because she suggests to be more eco-friendly. All the hard data lost!!! FFFFFUUUUUU!!! Yutori soon gets a mail from Tsumekomi desperately wanting her to come back to work tomorrow and that nobody is mad at her! Yeah, mama is more devastating than her.

Episode 15
Once again Bubble comes in to challenge Yutori with another one of those useless arguments. Before that monkey face can begin, he hears a familiar fearful voice. It’s Dankai! Let’s just say it’s Bubble’s natural enemy. Dankai is reprimanding him of his under-achievements and screw ups but he counters that by saying he is studying things. She replies this is a place to work and not to study. And that the company doesn’t pay him to study! He tries to leave but Dankai won’t allow it. Yeah, he is forced to work in their department despite monkey boy in denial he is just helping out because they needed his help. So Bubble continues his bragging especially the car he rides. So confident that they don’t even know the name of it, it turns out to be E231. No, not some fancy sports car model number but the coach number of the train he rides to work. Can trains be considered a car?

Episode 16
In the toilet, Yutori brags how she has gotten used to Dankai and that she no longer fears that demonic old lady. Though she praises Dankai for her good points, she is only willing to take back the demonic part because to her anybody above 20 years old is considered an old lady. Then Dankai comes out of the cubicle and Yutori instantly changes her speech to be that of what her friend said. Thankfully nothing untoward happened. Safe? Later the section chief shows them a new product to relief stress. Yeah, you hit this cute tiger doll! Yutori along with Tsumekomi and the section chief take turns abusing this doll. Having fun, aren’t we? Then when they invite Dankai to join in, she is reluctant because it looks so cute but eventually gives in. Back home, Dankai cuddles that tiger doll, apologizing for being mean.

Episode 17
The girls talk about boyfriends. They have none by the way. Tsumekomi visualizes the kind of love for Dankai. He’s dying in a war torn battlefield? Yutori does the same for Dankai and sees her as a samurai fighting off a man whom she won’t love if he is weaker than her. Meanwhile Dankai’s own version is that she enjoys her time with her lovely Prince Charming underneath a shady tree. How romantic! I guess nobody can picture this tough woman can be womanly sometimes.

Episode 18
The employees take a company trip as Yutori records everything on her camera. Yeah, everybody is so lively in their natural character. So from the outdoor river to the indoor pool, having a hearty meal to buying souvenirs and a pillow fight, it was a fun trip. When Yutori returns home, she is distraught that she had too much fun till she forgot to record the trip. She only has footage from the train. But this will do since she still gets a glimpse of Tsumekomi.

Episode 19
Yutori is in a panic! It’s the end of the world for her! She suddenly confesses it was her who ate the customer refreshments, the one who made 3000 copies instead of 30 and definitely herself who used to rag to clean the tea cup! Oh God! Just what happened?! She pleads to Tsumekomi for help when Dankai returns saying someone has left her handphone in the toilet. Yutori immediately gets it and answers the call to make some reservations. Then she returns to her cheery self and gets the cheek to tell everyone to forget what she said! Later Tsumekomi decides to splurge herself with a good meal seeing she worked overtime to cover for Yutori and got paid more (blessing in disguise?). In the restaurant, she sees Yutori with a group of serious people. She eavesdrops and from what she heard, they are planning to rob something and splitting the loot?! Could it be?! Turns out to be a plan to get a magic armour from the handheld game!

Episode 20
The chief clerk will be out for a week since he is hospitalized for a nerve infection. Yutori doesn’t understand and thinks she’s done a good job for it. Dankai agrees and they both laugh at it! The trio go visit him and Dankai also brought a new model sample to demonstrate. But the little robot stops working halfway. Next to the chief clerk’s bed is a sick old man and the nurse is trying to give him hope to live. Yutori and Dankai talk so loud that there it is broken, it ran out of battery and no hope, enraging the old man and nurse! Keep it down! Next day, Dankai says that the chief clerk was kicked out to another hospital and Yutori thinks it was because he didn’t follow the rules. And they even laugh about it! They sure know how to rile you up.

Episode 21
There’s fire in the building! First thing Yutori did was to snap a picture of the source! After the chief clerk puts it out, it is revealed that Dankai was tired and careless in making tea and didn’t watch the fire on the kettle. So word gets spread around and of course, twisted about Dankai’s screw up. So when it reaches Tsumekomi’s ears, she talks to her that if she has any problems, she can talk to her. Then Tsumekomi goes into her worrisome lecturing mode that she shouldn’t do reckless things by burning the building down if she screws up! Back home, Dankai confides in her tiger doll, whom she believes is the only one who understands her. Is it because it doesn’t talk back?

Episode 22
Because Tsumekomi got a little flu, Yutori is worried that nothing will happen to her or else coming to this company would be meaningless. What did she come here for exactly? Then Yutori also sneezes and may have caught her flu so Dankai teases that she’s supposed to be an idiot. Yutori disagrees and brags on the contrary she was called the Intellectual Criminal. I don’t know if she should feel praised by that. Then she boasts how the sneeze means some handsome guys must be talking how cute, irresistible and attractive she is. But in reality, we see the chiefs discussing if they should fire her! They should have done that a long time ago. Since this episode is too short, Yutori ends it with a little fanservice of Tsumekomi and Dankai.

Episode 23
Tsumekomi is in a toy product testing with the eager kids while Dankai and Yutori record the results as kids will play with them in unexpected ways. But once the kids get their hands on the toys, because Tsumekomi isn’t happy the way they handle them and shows them how to use and pose correctly! With passion! You can’t complain because she’s the expert and number one fan! Do it right or else! Yutori is surprised to see this unexpected side of her. Scary! And she has more unexpected sides? I think I don’t want to know.

Episode 24
Mama teases Yutori that she’s watching an OVA now but it’s because Tsumekomi will be appearing to introduce a new toy product. Mama recognizes Tsumekomi as the girl who works like a dog because she has no money! Tsumekomi appears on TV to introduce a new toy but suddenly she feels nervous and forgets the name! Then she screws up and panics, ranting the wrong details. I guess the show is cut short. So it’s no surprise at work the next day, she’s like ‘dead’. Dankai and Yutori feel sorry and will leave her alone till her wounds heal. Suddenly the section chief says the producers want her on the show again because she garnered high ratings. Wow! People just love a cute girl screwing up?

Episode 25
Tsumekomi must be getting tired of trying to correct Yutori in doing the right things. If it makes her feel better, then Yutori says she should be happy to know she’s gotten better at teaching her. Tsumekomi hopes she would at least say something with common sense but Yutori can’t do that because she’s doing that already. Dankai is so pissed that she is going to beat Yutori up with her wooden sword! Later Tsumekomi gets Dankai’s permission to get next Tuesday off since she has an important test on Wednesday. Then Yutori also wants to apply leave on that day. Though Dankai finds it hard with lack of manpower on that day, she wonders if Yutori has a test on that day too. Well, it seems Yutori doesn’t want to work hard if she’s all by herself. And since Tsumekomi isn’t around, there is no reason why she should come to work. Oh God… And why are the chiefs still contemplating to fire Yutori?! Shouldn’t the answer be obvious?!

A Hard Day’s Night
Hopefully Yutori will grow wiser as she grows up. I guess you need to be at the stage where you are cocky and conceited before you reach a certain level of adult maturity. Sometimes Yutori’s behaviour may annoy you because she is really selfish and lacks understanding in lots of areas. Thankfully she has the kind and polite Tsumekomi to guide her but at the rate she is going, I hope she won’t burn herself out or turn into a psycho while teaching Yutori the correct ways of the working culture. In a way, it feels like Yutori is always the boke (idiot instigator) while Tsumekomi the tsukkomi (literally means corrector). Dankai isn’t as forgiving as Tsumekomi and her tough stance on Yutori makes it sure that she doesn’t do as she pleases. Despite the differences in their behaviours, don’t you think the trio get along pretty well? I mean, they’ve been working for so long in the same company (at least it feels that way) and at the end, Yutori doesn’t really change much. Very disappointing or what? The other minor characters also play a little role but they feel insignificant. Like that idiotic Bubble. He just barges in to brag just because he is the company’s president son. Think he can do anything he likes? Not if Dankai is around. People like him may be as bad as or worse than Yutori because they’ve been born with a silver spoon in their mouth and takes everything for granted.

At the start of each episode, there will be a short commercial-like feature of the products that Popuu advertises. Usually they are the Soco Soco Five tokusatsu toys, Rarittora tiger accessories or the magical girl products of Magical Attractive.  Let’s say I’m not interested to buy them even if they really exist. I’m not that hardcore. I’m not sure what the end segment of each episode is all about because it is a monologue by Tsumekomi followed by Dankai on their thoughts or opinion on what has happened in that particular episode. Each of them has around 5 seconds for speech. Extras? Kana Hanazawa is definitely cute in her role as Tsumekomi. You can spot her usual trademark voice when she’s panicking. Something like she did as Nessa in Fractale or the titular character in Kobato. Aoi Yuuki is also equally impressive as Yutori as it makes her cute yet selfish. You can identify her shrieky and lively voice like she did in Yumeiro Patissiere as Ichigo and Hibiki in Senki Zesshou Symphogear. Akeno Watanabe is the voice of Dankai (Rito in To Love-Ru, Liz in Soul Eater).

Of course the work culture isn’t really limited to just the 3 of them as you can see there are many other types of behaviour too. We have the hard worker, the lazy worker, the duty shirker, the ‘vanisher’, the hyperactive, the show off jerk, the passive and quiet one, the boss’ pet, the drama king/queen, the rumour monger, the kind and caring one who goes the extra mile and length to look after you even if it’s not part of his/her job scope. The list is just endless. If you want to talk about superiors and bosses, then I’m sure there are the bossy kind, the boss who always scolds and reprimands and the worse kind of all, the demonic kind that takes pleasure in giving you a hard time. I’m just glad that I have a very understanding and nice superior and that helps out in lots of ways. So learning different types of people makes you try to learn and not repeat those negative traits and for positive ones, they motivate you to follow and do better. After all, if you are going to be working with the same person for a long period of time, it is better to get along for the sake of yourself, that person, work productivity and the company. Now, I wonder if I can leave early from work because there is this anime that I am dying to watch and can’t miss… I don’t do overtime for work but I can certainly make provisions to watch animes overtime…

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