Thoughts on Cells at Work! Volume 5

It was recently revealed that Akane Shimizu’s Cells at Work! manga will be getting an anime adaptation – upon sharing my thoughts on previous volumes I have said that I’d like to see the series get an anime. Sure enough, now it will and I am looking forward to it.
However, it is the manga I will be talking about here. The fifth volume of Cells at Work! contains six chapters, starting with chapter twenty and concluding with chapter twenty-five.

Cells at Work! Volume 5

Front cover of volume 5 of Cells at Work!, featuring NK Cell, White Blood Cell, a regular cell and good bacteria

The guts to get the job done
Life’s not easy for a workaday cell, and amid all the hustle and bustle it takes to keep the human body going, it can be hard to know who’s an enemy and who’s a friend. You might think all germs are band, but it turns out some bacteria aren’t just friendly, they’re downright essential (not to mention cuddly)! In fact, when an old nemesis returns, it might just be those friendly, cuddly bacteria that help save the day. The saga of life inside you continues!

Each chapter of Cells at Work! is generally self-contained, giving it a sort of ‘monster of the week’ feel. That isn’t the case for this fifth volume, in which White Blood Cell ends up giving a regular cell a tour around the body.
The regular cell happens to be the very same one who has appeared before. This time around he is accompanied by the adorable good bacteria. As White Blood Cell and the regular cell go from place to place within the body, they discover the various ways in which the good bacteria is able to benefit the body.
Whilst the antics of the good bacteria are charming and light-hearted, it’s not all fun and games. An old foe returns once again, and he has plans for White Blood Cell, as well as the other cells that confronted him before.

The return of this particular foe is drip-fed to the reader throughout the volume. Chapters 24 and 25 focus on the confrontation against said foe. That happens whilst the regular cell continues to get involved in incidents with the good bacteria.

Whilst this volume does bring back some familiar faces – the regular cell, Killer T. Cell and NK Cell – Red Blood Cell only appears relatively briefly. It just so happens that she has no reason to get involved in anything that happens during these chapters, so there wouldn’t have been much for her to do anyway.

Akane Shimizu’s character designs are just as strong as ever. It is easy to identify a cell at a glance, and the varied appearances of the germs and other such things are really good.
Action scenes are fun to read, and I imagine they’ll be fun to watch when the anime adaptation arrives.
They tend to be quite bloody, and the fights featured in this volume are no exception. It’ll be interesting to see how much of that violence will be carried over into the anime adaptation – I’d like to see it be fully intact

Just like previous volumes, there are text boxes to introduce characters every chapter. Being serialised monthly sheds some light for their constant reappearance, but having them in a collected volume seems a bit unnecessary.
Perhaps it was just too much effort to remove them. It does mean being reminded who White Blood Cell is and what his job is practically every chapter. You’d think readers would have figured it out after five volumes…
Though to be fair, those text boxes also crop up when new terms are introduced – you’re reading manga and learning at the same time. I’m pretty curious to see how the anime will go about handling that, assuming it does.

Volume 5 of Cells at Work! is just as enjoyable as those that came before it. We get some light-hearted and silly moments, but some action as well as the cells go about their work defending the body from diseases and other such stuff.

About Rory

I enjoy writing, manga, anime and video games, so naturally here on my blog, you will find anime reviews, Nintendo news and other such things that I deem interesting.
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