June 17, 2016
When you get right down to it, that's what *Servant x Service* is about. What's different this time is that the character seeking revenge has chosen to become, not a ninja or assassin or police officer or soldier or spy, but... um... a civil servant. Yup. "James Bond, DMV worker." It's her first day of work in an unnamed town in Hokkaido as one of the newest members of the Welfare Office. Go ahead, I dare you to tell me you expected that.
Our main characters. Hasebe (L) is one of those jerks that's good at everything naturally, so puts no effort into anything... except, perhaps, goofing off and trying to get girls' phone numbers. He decided to become a civil servant because it's a secure, easy way to get through life. Miyoshi (C) is a recent college graduate and shy, almost timid. She's a good listener, though. And finally, Lucy (R) is the driving force for the show. She's the one burning for revenge. But why be a civil servant then? Because she's trying to find the man who approved the name on her birth certificate... see, her parents were kinda ditzes, they asked for potential names from friends, and liked them all so much that they named her ALL of them. Thus, Lucy's full name is "Lucy Kimiko Akie Airi Shiori Rinne Yoshiho Chihoko Ayano Fumika Chitose Sanae Mikiko Ichika... (continuing) Yamagami." For the record, "(continuing)" simply means that's there's quite a bit more to her name, but we never find out what it is. So Lucy figures the best way to find this man is to become a civil servant like him. When she finds him, she intends to give him a very stern talking to.
So what we have is a stupid premise for a series about low-level governmental office workers.
I'll forgive you any skepticism you may currently be feeling about the series. On the face of it, this is a horrible setup, even from an entertainment medium famous for stupid show concepts. I mean, young girls as WWII warships, or martial arts combat for discounted prepackaged meals, or horribly abused little girls being brainwashed into android assassins, or a magic penguin vomiting flying goldfish that gives people superpowers. All of these seem to be more interesting than watching people shuffle paperwork and get yelled at.
And yet, there's something about Servant x Service that allows it to overcome its humble origins. Look, I had never heard of the show until about a month or so ago. At that time, I saw an ad for the manga that seemed to suggest that the main character was a cosplayer in an office setting. "What the hell," I said to myself, "I'll try it." Well, I must have misread it, because the cosplayer is a co-worker, not the main.
Chihaya doesn't dress like that all the time, by the way. She's normally quite office-casual. Oh, I should mention that she's also dating the office supervisor. As opposed to the manager, who's a pink robotic stuffed bunny. No, not all is as it appears in Servant x Service. As you can imagine, a series like this pretty much has to be entirely character-based: good characters, good show... bad characters, bad show.
In this, Servant x Service is better than it has any right being. It even pulled off the trick of taking an unlikable character and actually having us root for him... I never would have expected that to happen, or even work. You'd expect the robotic pink bunny to be the lamest of the cast, and you'd be right, but even he has background and depth... okay, not much, but still. To start with, the success of the series rests entirely on Lucy's shoulders but somewhere around the halfway point it becomes an ensemble show.
Bonus points for the great OP, too.
Posted by: GreyDuck at June 17, 2016 07:38 AM (rKFiU)
I see these "x" titles and never know how to say them.
This particular show sounds entertaining. I'll give it a try. Thanks for the review.
Posted by: jabrwok at June 17, 2016 08:11 AM (BlRin)
I have a character in a story I'm pretty much not writing named Minarta Aurelia t'Lani t'Hooft van Buskirk Cooper-Smith, but even she is better off than Lucy.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at June 17, 2016 09:39 AM (2yngH)
Posted by: Ben at June 17, 2016 01:40 PM (cajMW)
The only reason I can think of that SxS was ignored was that it was a Summer (2013) anime. Lord knows it wasn't up against much: Railgun S, one of the infinite Monogatari sequels, and a bunch of absolute crepe. Enjoy, everybody!
Posted by: Wonderduck at June 17, 2016 06:05 PM (Hdexn)
Posted by: Ben at June 17, 2016 07:55 PM (S4UJw)
Posted by: Ben at June 17, 2016 07:56 PM (S4UJw)
Posted by: Mauser at June 17, 2016 10:27 PM (5Ktpu)
Posted by: Wonderduck at June 18, 2016 12:44 AM (Hdexn)
Posted by: jabrwok at June 18, 2016 08:52 AM (wKZS0)
It's not really in my wheelhouse (sitcoms, UGH) but it's so adorable that I kind of don't mind. One big saving grace is that they don't linger on any particular gag so long that you tire of it. I doubt I'll marathon the thing, but when I need a pick-me-up goofball anime fix, this will be my go-to for a while.
Posted by: GreyDuck at June 18, 2016 08:41 PM (rKFiU)
Posted by: Wonderduck at June 18, 2016 09:06 PM (Hdexn)
Posted by: Mauser at June 21, 2016 08:01 PM (5Ktpu)
Posted by: fillyjonk at June 22, 2016 10:27 AM (o5UlT)
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