Cells at Work! Episode 1: Anime is in the Blood

The second summer show I will be covering is Cells at Work!. This anime takes a look inside the human body, and shows us how a few of the cells you’ll find inside go about doing their jobs.
I picked up the first volume of the manga during Comic Con a little while ago, and after reading it I wanted to see it get an anime adaptation. Since that has happened, this is actually one of my most anticipated shows of the season.

Red Blood Cell

Red Blood Cell

Let’s begin with the introduction of Red Blood Cell – well, technically one of many red blood cells, but that is how she is referred to. As you might expect, she is making a delivery of oxygen. It doesn’t take long for trouble to find her, though.


The germs burst out of the ground

Red Blood Cell has no way to defend herself against the attack of the germs, but fortunately she isn’t the only type of blood cell there is.

White Blood Cell attacks

White Blood Cell attacks

Red Blood Cell is saved by White Blood Cell, who viciously wipes out the germs. One manages to stay out of the way and survive, though.
After Red Blood Cell thanks White Blood Cell, she continues on her rounds. However, she has a terrible sense of direction and keeps getting lost on her way to the lungs.

Stumbled upon a germ

Red Blood Cell accidentally stumbles upon the surviving germ

Red Blood Cell’s penchant for getting lost pretty quickly lands her in trouble again, as she happens upon the germ. However, White Blood Cell catches up, but the germ has a way to escape.

Bacterial Capsule

The germ captures White Blood Cell and Red Blood Cell in a bacterial capsule

Despite being stuck in the capsule, White Blood Cell chases after the germ. Since Red Blood Cell is also stuck, she has no choice to but to go along with him. Since the germ is going for the lungs, that’s where White Blood Cell goes. Of course, that was Red Blood Cell’s actual destination – she was in the kidney when she stumbled across the germ.
White Blood Cell explains that the germ is a pneumococcus bacterium. The pneumococcus can cause pneumonia, but it can also cause a condition called pneumococcal bacteremia. Basically, it will be very bad news for the body if it is left unchecked.


White Blood Cell has a receptor that alerts him to the presence of nearby bacteria

White Blood Cell’s receptor goes off, but there is no sign of the pneumococcus. Still, he and Red Blood Cell move on towards the lungs.


The platelets are adorable

As the two blood cells continue towards the lungs, they come upon the most adorable road block ever. Apparently there was a mistake with a delivery, and the platelets are struggling to unload it. Red Blood Cell and White Blood Cell help them, before finally continuing towards the lungs.
We are also introduced to few more cells along the way, but they’ll have their time to shine in future episodes. For now, let’s move ahead to Red Blood Cell and White Blood Cell arriving at the lungs.
The two of them part ways for now, and Red Blood Cell ends up getting lost looking for the correct capillary. White Blood Cell’s receptor also stops playing up…

Red Blood Cell and her senpai

Red Blood Cell gets some help from her senpai

After getting some help, Red Blood Cell is finally able to make it to her destination. She can’t help but be curious about the whereabouts of the pneumococcus, though.

Pneumococcus emerges

The pneumococcus was hiding in Red Blood Cell’s delivery

The pneumococcus emerges from the box that Red Blood Cell was attempting to deliver, and it attacks her. Fortunately for her, White Blood Cell is a transmigrating cell, which means he can slip through blood vessel walls to reach his enemies.
The pneumococcus makes a dash for it, attempting to attack other red blood cells as he does so. However, White Blood Cell puts a halt to that, though the pneumococcus is ready for close combat.


The pneumococcus protects himself with his capsule

The germ is able to use the bacterial capsule to protect himself, which renders White Blood Cell unable to harm him. However, White Blood Cell has a plan in mind for dealing with his foe. He and Red Blood Cell retreat, with the pneumococcus following them.


The pneumococcus is captured

They lead the germ into the bronchial tubes, where White Blood Cell pushes a button to capture it. The pneumococcus has no way to break the capsule, so all he can do is just sit there as the body goes to work dealing with him. Whilst that happens, Red Blood Cell and White Blood Cell grab some tea.

Sneeze One

Sneeze One

Inside the human body, a sneeze is the equivalent of a rocket launch. It also happens to be a very effective way to dispel germs from the body.
The episode ends with White Blood Cell telling Red Blood Cell that they will probably never see each other again due to just how many blood cells there are.

This first episode started at the beginning and adapted chapter one of Akane Shimizu’s manga. It’s an incredibly faithful adaptation – in fact, the only difference was one added scene. Red Blood Cell getting help from her senpai was added in for the anime.

I’ve mentioned this before in my reviews of the original manga, but I absolutely adore the character designs for Cells at Work!. The pneumococcus looks like it could be a villain straight out of a magical girl show, and that is something of a trend for a lot of the germs we will see.
As for the more human designs for the cells – I like those too. The platelets are adorable in the manga, but seeing them animated just increases that exponentially.
There are a few more cells we have yet to see, but needless to say I am keen to see them animated.

This first episode was exactly how I hoped the Cells at Work! anime would be, and that pleases me very much.
It seems we will be getting one chapter adapted per episode, and episode two actually jumps ahead a few chapters. Not that I mind – it means we’ll get to see more from some of my favourite cells.
It’s probably safe to assume that Cells at Work! will have a ‘monster of the week’ format, particularly as that is pretty much the way the manga plays out as well.

Cells at Work! is going to have plenty of exposition, and I was curious to see how it would be handled. I think it managed to handle it fairly well, and it never really broke my immersion – after all, it’s proving to be rather educational whilst being fun at the same time.

A great start to one of my most anticipated shows of the summer season.


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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2 Responses to Cells at Work! Episode 1: Anime is in the Blood

  1. Pingback: Summer 2018 Anime: First Impressions Part 1 | Rory Muses

  2. I watched the first four episodes the other day. The series is enjoyable, even if the animation would benefit from a bigger budget. I agree that the platelets are adorable. The show also features some funny facial expressions.

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