Episode 9 of Cells at Work! is another glimpse into the past, this time of Killer T Cell and Helper T Cell. Their past selves are quite different from their present-day incarnations.
Killer T Cell is putting the Naive T Cells through their paces in this episode – and when he gets a bit too rough, one ends up crashing right into Helper T Cell. As the pair argue, the Naive T Cells wonder what the pair are to each other – they are supposed to be commander and subordinate, after all. Dendritic Cell decides to reveal the past of Killer T Cell and Helper T Cell to the others.
Turns out both cells were in the same graduating class in Thymus School. The young Helper T Cell was pretty much able to handle everything that was thrown his way, whilst Killer T Cell struggled. The two even clashed with each other on occasion.
One night, the young Helper T Cell decides to do a spot of training – he happens to come across Killer T Cell doing the same thing. He watches from a distance, and decides to just focus on his own training.
By the way, precursor T Cells are called Thymocytes – but calling both the young Killer T Cell and Helper T Cell that would just get confusing, so I’ll just stick with calling them by the names we know them as now.
Moving on, the Thymocytes have to take a positive selection test in order to become T Cells. In the test, they have to attack the antigen cutouts. However, if they attack a cutout of a regular cell, they will instantly be eliminated. The Thymocytes that don’t use careful observation quickly find themselves failing the test.
Helper T Cell is able to pass, and passes on some advice to Killer T Cell afterwards. Killer T Cell has a subconscious habit of closing his eyes when he attacks, meaning that he can never really land a punch.
Killer T Cell almost fails the test, but he remembers Helper T Cell’s advice just in time. When he presses on, an enemy appears behind him – and everyone starts shouting at him trying to help him out. This just confuses him, until Helper T Cell shouts the name of the secret technique Killer T Cell was practicing during that one training session – he ends up taking out the antigen cutout and passing the test.
After the test, Killer T Cell is unsure whether he will be able to make it. Helper T Cell helps him to get past that, in a fairly violent manner. Killer T Cell decides to train to become stronger, and that was the moment that Helper T Cell decided he would become… well, Helper T Cell.
The episode ends with Helper T Cell and Killer T Cell trying to get Dendritic Cell to burn the old photos of them, but that’s just not happening.
So, this episode was pretty much devoid of Red Blood Cell and White Blood Cell (besides a small cameo), but I still found it fairly enjoyable. The dynamic between Helper T Cell and Killer T Cell was fairly amusing – this episode was definitely more on the comedy side.
This episode adapted chapter 12 of the manga, and there really isn’t much else to say about that. What was presented in the manga was accurately presented here in the anime.
An amusing episode, when all is said and done.