Saki FujitaMasami SuzukiHaruka TomatsuYumi Uchiyama
Working'!! (season 2)
Also known as: Wagnaria'!! (season 2)
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2011
Director: Atsushi Ootsuki
Original creator: Karino Takatsu
Actor: Jun Fukuyama, Kana Asumi, Saki Fujita, Akiko Kawase, Daisuke Ono, Eri Kitamura, Haruka Tomatsu, Hiroshi Kamiya, Jouji Nakata, Kumiko Watanabe, Momoko Saito, Ryoko Shiraishi, Ryou Hirohashi, Shizuka Itou, Yoko Hikasa, Yuichi Nakamura, Fumie Mizusawa, Junko Iwao, Masami Suzuki, Meiko Kawasaki, Mika Takashita, Miyuki Satou, Satoshi Hino, Sayuri Yahagi, Yumi Uchiyama
Keywords: Working!!, anime
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: Season Two: 13 episodes
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=12841
Website category: Anime early 10s
Review date: 4 April 2016
wagnaria season 2
It's Season 2 of Working!!. You can tell by the apostrophe in the title. Season 3 will have a third exclamation mark. I'm still fond of it and it still makes me laugh.
Firstly, I'll recap the set-up. It's a workplace slice-of-life show, set in a family restaurant called Wagnaria. Souta Takanashi is the main character and a nice-ish guy, although he's capable of being blunt to people who do nothing but cause trouble (Yamada) or who are good-naturedly sadistic and a bit evil (Souma). He also has a fetish. Everyone thinks the worst of him, but in a tolerant way. "He's a pervert who's only interested in animals and children under twelve, so don't worry!"
Popura Taneshima is older than Souta, but tiny. She looks about twelve. Souta's brain thus categorises her as elementary school age, so he treats her much like an adorable pet rabbit.
Mahiru Inami is scared of men and often involuntarily punches them. This is life-threatening, because she's also strong enough to bend lamp posts. Souta has volunteered himself as the restaurant's Inami-Minder, but the good news is that she's making good progress with her phobia and is pulverising him a lot less than she used to in Season 1. They're on the road to being a sort of a couple, but only if: (a) Souta realises and (b) can cope with Inami being adult-sized, and (c) Inami can ever advance far enough that, say, touching her isn't a likely route to hospitalisation.
There are other characters too, of course, and other amusingly dysfunctional potential relationships. These all progress a little over the course of this season, or even pop out of nowhere in the case of Kozue and Youhei. (She's an immodest, over-affectionate drunkard and one of Souta's very tall, very troublesome sisters. He's a thug who used to be in Kyouko's gang before she became a lazy, gluttonous, unhelpful, easily bribed restaurant manager. She's the one chasing him.)
There's also an odd pseudo-regular in Maya Matsumoto. She works at Wagneria like everyone else, but she only gets dialogue in the last episode of each season. (She's funny, too.)
Basically, though, the show's comedy. Funny character-based stuff happens. (Ep.13 is unfortunately one of the weaker episodes, I think, but that doesn't bother me since I'll be continuing with Season 3 tomorrow.) The show's not about plot, although there is progression in the character relationships. I enjoyed spending time with these people. It's amusing to see, for instance, everyone in ep.5 trying and failing to think of a redeeming quality in Kyouko. (It turns out that there is one. She won't steal food from a tiny child. Since this is Kyouko we're talking about, that's actually quite sweet.) We glimpse Otou-san's wife, who's nice but appears to be some kind of extra-dimensional manhole-dwelling mole. We meet a couple of manipulative Machiavelli, one who just does it for the laughs (Souma) and one who somehow manages to combine it with being nice, earnest and wholesome (Nazuna).
I like the music too, by the way. The opening theme I preferred to Season 1's and the closing theme I liked less, but that's because I loved Season 1's closing theme ('Go to Heart Edge', sung by the show's three main male voice actors). All four are bouncy and fun.
There isn't a huge amount here to discuss or analyse, except in that amiable way of "did you enjoy the episode where X did Y?". To quote the director, "For the second season, we didn't want to focus that much on character growth or disrupting the status quo." It's nice. You spend time with likeable weirdos, a significant minority of whom would be unemployable in the real world. (Even here, Souta finds it boggling that Yamada gets paid more or less the same as him.) However it's just a family restaurant, so it's not as if the staff have to sign the Official Secrets Act or anything. If you could work at McDonald's, you can work at Wagneria. Besides, Kyouko would hire Jack the Ripper if he offered her food.
Don't expect anything earth-shaking, but I think it's light, funny and charming.