Junko IwaoDaisuke OnoJouji NakataAi Orikasa
Working!!! (season 3)
Episode 1 also reviewed here: Anime 1st episodes 2015: W
Also known as: Wagnaria!!! (season 3)
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2015
Director: Yumi Kamakura
Original creator: Karino Takatsu
Actor: Jun Fukuyama, Kana Asumi, Saki Fujita, Ai Orikasa, Akiko Kawase, Daisuke Ono, Eri Kitamura, Haruka Tomatsu, Hiroshi Kamiya, Jouji Nakata, Koji Yusa, Kumiko Watanabe, Momoko Saito, Ryoko Shiraishi, Ryou Hirohashi, Satoshi Hino, Shizuka Itou, Yoko Hikasa, Yuichi Nakamura, Junko Iwao, Kikuko Inoue
Keywords: Working!!, anime
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: Season Three: 13 episodes plus a double-length Christmas special
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=16648
Website category: Anime 2015
Review date: 11 April 2016
wagnaria season 2
It's the end of Working!!! (Or, if you're buying the English-language DVDs, Wagnaria!!!) The ending could perhaps have been a little stronger, but I don't hold that against the show and I'm still fond of it and its characters.
This is my third review of this show, so you probably don't need another recap of the set-up. Our heroes are still working at a family restaurant called Wagnaria. (In some cases, though, e.g. Kyoko and Yamada, calling what they do "work" would require generosity of spirit.) We also have potential couples:
(a) Souta and Inami are still sort of approximately heading towards being a couple, apart from the man-phobia, weird fetish and reluctance to face reality.
(b) Satou and Yachiyo are the same, but with different eccentricities.
(c) Yamada and Souma might, conceivably, be heading somewhere similar, but in a weird platonic way that's actually about Souma being Yamada's big brother. (She has a real brother, but she prefers Souma.) The odds are against Yamada getting romantic with anyone, partly because she's too much of a space case but mostly because she's almost as small as Popura and she's never told anyone her age.
Is this season different to its predecessors? Surprisingly, yes. This is because the story's moving forward at last and so romantic subplots are blossoming. This gives our heroes more opportunities to be idiots. They'd always been eccentric, but here they're flat-out loons. There's now a storyline for them to derail and they're more than capable of doing so. Souta is possibly the biggest freak. He means well, but this is a boy who's liable to start headbutting walls because he's in danger of admitting to himself that he loves a normal-sized girl. He's also come to regard cross-dressing as a short-cut around relationship problems. (This makes more sense if you know Inami.)
Other relationships move forwards too, though. People are reunited with their wives and/or mothers, which is a particularly huge deal for Yamada. (She hadn't realised her mother needed an instruction manual.) Otoo-san at last gets together with his transdimensional space-hopper (who's very nice), while the Takanashis are visited by their monster.
It's pleasant and enjoyable. I laughed. I enjoyed spending time with the characters. I always wanted to watch more. This is still true of the finale, but I think I was expecting to go away with more of a buzz. Opportunities are missed in that final episode. Souta's behaviour is too arbitrary and imperfectly explained to be satisfying. His mother isn't monstrous enough and the menace is too flimsy. It's not trying to be very dramatic. In the end it's just some amusing stuff that happens, really. It's fine and I enjoyed it (especially the awesomeness of Nazuna), but it doesn't bring the show to a conclusion as decisively as I'd been hoping.
It doesn't even reinvent the show in a sword-and-sorcery setting, despite what was promised in the trailer at the end of ep.13. I'd been looking forward to that.
Irrelevant aside: it occurs to me that Wagnaria's waitress uniform would be eyebrow-raising in real life. That's a very short skirt and it sticks out. You'd only need to lean forward slightly to make the hem go skywards. However, as always, this is a family-friendly show with no fanservice.
I still think it's a good show, though. It's charming and funny, albeit with more exasperating idiocy from the characters this year. I appreciate the fact that they returned years after the 2010-2011 seasons to finish off the manga's story. Stuff moves forwards. Relationships go places. This is good. I also like the character evolution we've had for what could have just been gag characters. Inami's basically cured, for instance. She hardly punches anyone. She's still nervous and it's a bad idea to touch her, but the show's stopped using pretty much all the jokes it was using with her in Season 1. I'm happy to have watched this and I'll be continuing next with the same author's Servant x Service. The show couldn't be called a big deal, but I'd recommend it.