Can the office be as funny as The Office?
It’s a new anime season, and that means First Impressions! Servant x Service brings us the action in a government office, somewhere that you’d think wouldn’t really be ripe for comedy. But as an office worker, I think there are plenty of amusing stories that we’ve come up with through the years, and I imagine most offices are the same. So how does this look into the backstage of the bureaucracy come out? Let’s find out!
Not Your Ordinary Civil Service Office (or maybe it is?)
I like the guy who doesn’t even turn around.
Servant x Service starts the show off with the introduction of three new workers at the Health and Welfare section of the City Ward office. Hasebe Yutaka (Suzuki Tatsuhisa), Miyoshi Saya (Nakahara Mai) and Yamagami er…-san (Kayano Ai) are all starting their first day in the office, and for all three of them their first day working pretty much anywhere. But they don’t have much time to get comfortable, as they’re thrown right into work. Well, the work of a civil service office, at least. Manning the customer windows is their main duty, and it’s going to take some work to get used to.
Newbies get flustered pretty quickly
The main character is Yamagami, who manages to keep from saying her given name throughout the first half of the show, but finally has to explain why, and with it her reason for becoming a civil servant: petty revenge. Apparently her parents are some indecisive folks and, faced with so many good names for their child, couldn’t pick just one. So her name is actually Lucy… Kimiko, Akie, Airi, Shiori, Rinne, Yoshiho, Ayano, Tomika, Chitose, Sanae, Mikiko, Ichika… and on and on. And she blames the civil servant who registered her birth certificate for allowing them to saddle her with this terrible name. So she wants to find out who it is, and say something to them! Truly a noble career goal.
Gosh, I wonder who THIS guy could be. Most transparent plot telegraphy ever…
The other new employees have their problems as well. Miyoshi is a nice girl. Too nice to actually cut off the old obaa-sans that come up and tell her their life stories, monopolizing her time. And Hasebe-kun is actually good at his job… when you can get him to do it. But he’s much more interested in lunch break, smoke break, unauthorized break, wandering around, and getting girls’ email addresses. Coming from 3 generations of civil servants, he’s trained well for the job. And he’s got the most important part of being a civil servant already down: your job is to be scolded.
Ichimaya, Hasebe, Miyoshi, and Yamagami
Other characters of note are the previous ‘new guy’ Ichimiya Taishi (who’s worked there 8 years) and jaded employee Chihaya Megumi (played super-flat by Toyosaki Aki), who always knows which way to direct people to a different counter.
The only thing that’s gotten Chihaya excited so far…
Enough about characters, how’s the rest of the show?
This sliced / exploding effect worked very well in the OP
As is to be expected given its creator and A-1 Pictures production, Servant x Service has a very similar style to Working!! Character designs are very similar and so is the clean animation style, even though the Director and Character Designer weren’t credited for the earlier show. The OP song is VERY reminiscent of Coolish Walk, the OP from the second season of Working!!, upbeat and lighthearted, but the visuals are striking and fresh, with a mix of still real life locations and animation and credits on top, blended in excellently. The ED song is nice enough, but it will take a few listens to see if it’s something that grabs my ear. The voice work so far is also very good and all the characters fit their actors. Kayano Ai in particular does her usually stellar job, and gives Yamagami a well-suited excitement.
Hasebe getting dragged off to actually do some work… again.
Miyoshi can’t say no.
I enjoyed the first episode and think that it’s got a good base to build on. It was definitely a solid opening, and seems to have that right size of cast. The characters are definitely not openly broken, just normal people, which is something I always like to see, because quirky can get old quick. A good opening to the Summer season for me!