Cells at Work!: Actually making learning fun!?

Hataraku Saibou (Cells at Work!) is an anime about the cells working inside the human body. All cleverly stringed together into an action packed, fun story that is sure to keep you hooked. It ran for 13 episodes during the summer of 2018. The anime is adapted from the original manga by Akane Shimizu.

The story follows a rookie Red Blood Cell, AE3803, voiced by Hanazawa Kana. She is normally just known as Red Blood Cell, as are every other character that appears in the show. It makes for easy recognition of their roles and they are all in uniform so it’s doubly easy to tell them all apart. The narration helpfully explains who each new cell is and what each of them does in short as they appear. This makes it easy to digest the information in bite sized chunks and you never feel overwhelmed.

The story follows a health condition, either a cold, a scrape, or something more serious like cancer. The way the story plays out is very accurate to how it actually goes on in the human body. From the way the cells go about doing their job to the other mechanisms in the world that the cells live in.

Students have found this show informative and wished that classes would be taught in this way as everything is kept pretty accurate but presented in a very interesting way that helps with retaining the information. Even people who haven’t studied biology found it easy to digest and understand. Actual doctors who’ve seen it have also expressed joy at the accuracy and presentation, some even thought about using certain ideas from the anime to explain to students as they felt that it was a great metaphor and very easy to understand.

Left/White Blood Cell (CV: Tomoaki Maeno)
Right/Red Blood Cell (CV: Kana Hanazawa)

This has honestly been very informative to me too and I find myself thinking about all that I’ve learnt from the show in real life when stuff happen to my body. I’ve recently gotten a cut and I actually worried about the red blood cells that would have fallen out of my body (their world) through the wound and then visualized the adorable platelets patching away at the opening to help close it. It actually makes me want to take better care of my body, if not for myself, for all the hardworking cells, diligently doing their job inside my body.

Platelet (CV:Maria Naganawa)

Not only is this show informative, it doesn’t shove the facts down your throat in narration but actually works it all into the story through the action and conversations by the cells. Not to mention the colorful cast who are all quirky, unique and lovable in their own way. It really helps build an emotional tie to them. The story itself is also told very well with very well animated action scenes, suspense, buildup and climaxes all paced extremely well to keep you on the edge of your seat. They say time flies when you’re having fun and it sure feels less than the 23 minutes of each episode when you watch this. Having fun while learning something new? Never thought we could get that through anime, there are also cute and comedic scenes to keep the laughter coming.

On top of all that, the animation, sound effects, music and voice acting are all spot on. Absolutely a masterpiece and strongly recommended. If not for the science, it’s also great as medicine through laughter from the comedy.

Cells at Work! Official site https://cellsatwork-anime.com/

©Akane Shimizu / KODANSHA, Aniplex, davidproduction