Hataraki Man joins Omoide Poro Poro on the very short list of anime with a female main character who’s older than 25. It’s another series to have aired in the famed Noitamina-timeslot. It’s an anime about a workaholic. I originally dropped this series because I didn’t think that such a concept wouldn’t be worth exploring. So I was wrong.
Hataraki Man is a series that’s always critical of itself and its characters. Throughout only eleven episodes, it shows how the female lead (Hiroko) and her colleagues deal with their jobs, how they manage their stress, why they work the way they do and what goes on inside their minds. Every episode focuses at a different side-character, along with Hiroko. What we have here is a well-written series with characters you can connect to. Some episodes also refer to events that happened in past episodes, creating a series that feels whole, instead of a bunch of random episodes.
It’s almost a shame when the final three episode take the focus more away from the side characters, onto Hiroko. Don’t get me wrong: it’s here where the series manages to deliver some powerful climaxes, but somehow it feels a bit out of place in this series. Because of the extra attention to Hiroko, several side-characters end up left behind without development, even though they had enough potential to be put under the magnifying glass. The final three episodes also try to stuff a bit too much bad luck for Hiroko in too little time, and the result feels sort-of soap-opera like.
Nevertheless, we’ve got ourselves a very fine example of Noitamina here. It’s got energy, a good rocky soundtrack, OP and ED, the setting is very original for an anime, and I feel like anyone who’s dealing with stress. Although the animators do need to pay attention to their romanji a bit. ^^;