Hataraku Saibou!! (Cells at Work!!) Season 2 is shaping up to be as entertaining as its predecessor, with new diseases and bodily processes being personified in extremely humorous fashion! This time, an infection causes a commotion as it affects various somatic cells. The immunocytes deal with this like always as a jaded somatic cell looks on with feelings of contempt, jealousy, and lamentation of his own weakness. While wishing he were stronger, he finds a group of helpless germs drowning in a stream. Feeling sorry for the baby germs, Ordinary Cell-kun saves them and goes on his merry way, but the cute little monsters have imprinted onto him! He takes them back home against his better judgment and very soon after, White Blood Cell 1146 and Red Blood Cell AE3803 arrive on the scene, like always!
Not wanting to be cruel about it, White Blood Cell explains that he must get rid of the cute germs because he cannot allow them to multiply inside the body, but their conversation is interrupted by the invasion of Helicobacter Pylori, stomach bacteria that can cause ulcers as it ruins the stomach lining. Things look tense until one of the little germs saved by the somatic cell-kun undergoes a transformation and pulls out an MVP performance in the fight against H. Pylori. It turns out that they are lactic acid bacteria, which help the body in various ways. The cuteness of the lactic acid bacteria is powerful, even in the series that features the adorable Platelets, so we wonder: with the cool-looking uniforms worn by various cells, and these adorable little bacteria, is Cells at Work!! sitting on a merchandise gold mine? We certainly think so!
The Mascot Effect
Anime is known for flashy character designs as well as creative and humorous reimaginations of the mundane, the extraordinary, or even the mythological. Cells at Work!! is most definitely a manifestation of this creativity. The personification of inanimate objects or animals is a common thing in anime, and this is usually seen in the introduction of a mascot character. Fans of shounen anime can attest to the prevalence of mascots in their favourite genre, where characters like Tony Tony Chopper from One Piece, Kon from BLEACH, Oolong and Puar from the Dragon Ball franchise, and even Happy from Fairy Tail (and Edens Zero) have breathed more life into their respective universes by bringing in a comical, sometimes even adorable, energy to otherwise more serious situations. The lactic acid bacteria that debuted in episode 4 of season 2 of Cells at Work have an almost Pokèmon-like quality and that makes them the perfect mascots for this show!
So What About Merchandise?
Given their ethereal cuteness and varied designs, the lactic acid bacteria could become plushies or even nendoroids that fans of the series would swarm to buy. With the great looks that come out of Cells at Work!! (looking at you, red blood cells!), it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to be able to get souvenirs like the red blood cell beret and jacket, or a replica white blood cell dagger, or best yet, the white shirt worn by ordinary cells! With all these possibilities in mind, Cells at Work!! stands to be an awesome merch goldmine – provided any of these actually happen, that is.
A huge part of the culture surrounding anime, manga, and even comics is the collection of wares. Be it posters, official material from a series, or other merchandise, anime fans love collecting memorabilia from their favourite shows. Popular anime are more likely to have a greater variety of merchandise available for purchase; however, sometimes it’s just as exciting to get a collectable from lesser-known series. What is your favourite piece of anime merch? Drop a comment below and tell us about your collection!