The Science Behind Hataraku Saibou (Cells at Work!)

Hataraku Saibou has quickly become one of the best anime of the season, showcasing a great sense of lighthearted humor alongside a desire to educate its audience. Though there have been other educational anime of its kind, Hataraku Saibou easily stands out as one of the best!

But with this sort of combination, sometimes the truth of real knowledge can get pushed to the wayside in favor of better entertainment. So, just how accurate is Hataraku Saibou? Let’s dive into the facts, a few misleading moments, and discuss some of the amazing comparisons!

How Accurate Can It Really Be?

Though we can all appreciate Hataraku Saibou to some level, it is only when you start analyzing the tiny details that you realize how carefully crafted this anime is! Each character is given a surprisingly accurate role in the world of the human body, especially in relation to one another.

Your entire system runs on the delivery of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the bloodstream, meaning that your red blood cells are extremely important – important enough to be given the lead role in an anime! Cells are the basic building blocks of the body, hence there are a lot of them, and they are stationary just like the white-shirted cells residing in their apartment houses.

When it comes to white blood cells and the way the body fights off bacteria, Hataraku Saibou is insanely accurate yet again, even down to the way that bacteria can hide with red blood cells to get past the body’s protection. Even the platelets are surprisingly accurate to real life! No, we don’t have tiny loli children running around our systems, but platelets are technically small in size and work on sewing up the body after a wound is formed.

As each character is introduced, the body begins to make more sense as a whole, with all of its different moving parts and functions. And Hataraku Saibou goes through it all, even down to the small descriptions it includes to give context to the viewers.

There Must Be A Catch…

Despite the amazing amount of accuracy that Hataraku Saibou boasts, there are a few slight inconsistencies. One inaccuracy comes in the very first episode—though it is a deliberate change. Sugar is normally distributed throughout the body through the capillaries to reach any part of the body on its own and cells will welcome the sugar molecules in through a type of door called the Glut protein. However, the anime shows red blood cells also delivering these sugar molecules to cells, just as they deliver oxygen and take carbon dioxide from them.

The anime also tends to make the characters react in more typical trope-like manners, with tsundere, loli and even edgy mysterious characters (Basophil was simply hilarious)! However, these tropes still manage to work for the basic facts behind biology, all while keeping an entertaining story. The only other inaccuracy in the series is how much the person’s body seems to have to go through to show off all these various functions reacting within it. From food poisoning to allergies to even hemorrhagic shock, this poor person seems to have the worst luck, which would hopefully not be true for most people!

The Delight Is In The Details

Hataraku Saibou has an amazing amount of detail that makes it truly shine as both a comedy and an educational show. For example, when the red blood cells are carrying carbon dioxide through the body, their jackets are worn on one side. When they are carrying oxygen, they are reversed to the opposite side, a detail that could be easily missed but helps reflect the level of dedication to the show’s accuracy! And every interaction with the mysterious Basophil was both hilarious and so spot-on since people are not quite sure what it is basophil does within the body.

In the episodes where steroids and other medication are introduced, like the allergy episode, we get to see the truly strong effects that these drugs have on our bodies. We learn from the T-Cell introductions that each developing T-Cell goes through trials, being discarded if it is not able to be of use to the body. Though that might be a bit jarring or sad in the anime, it is true that our bodies do not have time or energy to hold anything not useful inside us. Just some other little ways that Hataraku Saibou is able to teach and entertain at the same time!

Final Thoughts

Even the few inaccurate moments in Hataraku Saibou are used deliberately to convey the story better. It is obvious that a painstaking amount of effort went into researching and writing this show! If you are interested in learning more about how the human body works, or if you are just looking for a lighthearted comedy to entertain, this anime is perfect for you. The science of the show is so accurate that it could easily be used to teach kids in school! Hataraku Saibou has been one of the best educational anime in some time, and we will be sad when it is over.

So what are your thoughts on Hataraku Saibou? Were there any moments that particularly impressed you or made you laugh? Please share!

Hataraku-Saibou-Cells-at-Work-Wallpaper-500x498 The Science Behind Hataraku Saibou (Cells at Work!)


Author: Meghan May Dellinger

Konnichiwa! I'm a writer/daydreamer who gets a little lost along the path of life from time to time. I love watching anime and playing all kinds of video games - everything from RPGs to first-person shooters. I hope to be an author someday, but until then, I'll share my words with the world any way I can! I love making new friends, so don't be afraid to leave a comment!

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