Posted by psgels on 11 June 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews


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. ^^;

11 Responses

  1. Wind says:

    Blablabla, Honey and Clover, you know the refrain. :)

  2. bioeng says:

    I really enjoyed this series, though I wish it was the usual 13 episode length.

  3. Archer says:

    i could not find many things that i like in this anime so that i continue watching so i can’t say much about it…..

    psg holds the best for last …… but everyone here is saying that Honey and Clover is so good(i think the same) but after so many praises he might not like it or expect something different and we will get a harsh review,being said over and over again that a anime is great the person might watch it to get over it and because of that he might be disappointed even if the anime is very good but he cannot enjoy it at that moment but in the end i don’t think psg is that type of person but who knows :D

  4. ik says:

    for such an ordinary subject matter of “working life”, it’s actually an unique theme for anime. I really liked this series.

  5. AG says:

    I only got into this because my anime club was showing it, but it was worth it in the end! The fact that it was made by Hideaki Anno’s wife made it that bit sweeter ;)

    What’s with all the noise about Honey and Clover? Let the guy get to it when he does!

  6. Marmosette says:

    Ha! I told you it was good. Considering that slice of life is a fairly large genre it’s surprising how few actually occur in a workplace.

    Although I feel guilty doing so, I do want a H&C review because I think part 2 ruined the good thing of part 1.

  7. issa-sa says:

    Wooo Hataraki Man! (I’m sure psgels is tired of reading HnC in all his comments… crap I’ve fallen in the trap!) Though Hataraki Man was a pleasant watch at the time, its short length didn’t give it much of a chance to leave a proper impact, but good stuff nontheless :)

  8. bioeng says:

    What’s the point in reviewing an anime everyone thinks is a keeper? (H&C) Go for the obscure, psgels!

  9. Ten says:

    Ooh, this reminds me to finish up this series.

    And double hee to the romanji bit.

  10. Vera says:

    lmao at the romanji! XD

    But Hataraki Man is definitely one of my all time favorites. I’ve seen it last year before I started working and it was such a great boost. Now I’m far from being a workaholic, but it’s great to see people so dedicated to their work.

    And the cast is all super brilliant. It’s definitely a step up from teenage shoujo angst fest. :P

  11. Joline says:

    I love this anime. I was rewatching it recently, so it was a pleasant surprise when I saw you reviewing it. What I like so much is how relatable the characters are. And the show is not boring, like many slice-of-life series, since it focuses on the side characters. I admit I have a bit of Hataraki Man in me, which is probably why I like it so much.

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  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 01:13 AM)
    @Ninja: yeah spending a week at Black Rock City with 100k people with all the madness that transpires is pretty exhausting. The thing about Burning Man is that given the open atmosphere of acceptance makes it much easier to socialoze since you can keep the ego bullshit to a minimal.
  • ninjarealist
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 12:58 AM)
    @Bam I just mean I don’t have the energy for that type of event any more. It just wears me out. That amount of constant socialization.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 09:15 PM)
    @Ninja: yeah pyro contraptions are a big hit there, but that’s a lofty project indeed.
    And I’m pretty sure you’re not that old, there’s a lot of 50-60 year olds there and they’re having a good time. If you’re not a camping person then yeah … it’s not gonna be easy for you, but given the atmosphere, the music, and the art I firmly believe it’s worth checking out at least once.
  • ninjarealist
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 06:18 PM)
    @Bam Ahhhh Burning Man. I had some friends from Indiana who were trying to get me to help them build an organ that shoots fire with each key-press for Burning Man. It sounded fun but I already feel too old for something like Burning Man.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:32 AM)
    @Ninja: no I met most of them at Burning Man.
  • ninjarealist
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:23 AM)
    @Bam I see I just figured that if you had a lot of friends in KY you must have lived in the region.
    @Friend Yeah or involved desserts like Palmiers or Croissants. I actually am pretty decent at making croissants from scratch but it’s a pain in the ass.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:21 AM)
    And that’s … The More You Know ;)
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:19 AM)
    “Iran” originally means “the land of the Aryans”. The European settlers of Aryan decent are correctly labeled Indo-European as they traveled from north of India across Iran and the Caucasus mountain range (hence the term Caucasian) and settled in pastural lands in Europe. Hence we are the original white people. Go figure.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:14 AM)
    @K-off: some good-looking corn there m8.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:13 AM)
    @Ninja: No I’m Persian since I was originally born and raised in Tehran/Iran. I am mostly of Parthian decent with a quarter of Kurd in me. I have moved around the globe since I was 16 and now live in Sacramento California.

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