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First Impressions: Servant x Service

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Public servants are serious business

At first glance, Servant x Service feels just like Working or Wagnaria, whichever you prefer. The diner comedy sports the same comedic timing common to 4koma adaptations, the same array of odd characters, and the same otaku-friendly trapping. Servant x Service simply copies the template and applies it to a Sapporo-based government office where instead of diners, the customers line up to get their divorce, marriage, insurance or birth papers.

That said, Wagnaria was well-received. Can we say the same thing about the sort of comedy that doesn't involve sundae or androphobia? Which joke in Servant x Service will get old first? Click on, friends, click on.

technicolor office

It's going to be a thing throughout your first impression with this show:  the similarity between Servant x Service and Working! is not avoidable throughout. The show really feels like Working version 2 not only because of the source material (from the same mangaka), but also because the production team is very much the same. From the opening sequence you can tell this is the same idea, applying the same catchy seiyuu ensemble with the same upbeat direction in the visuals. Cuts after cuts, the jokes almost write themselves. And that is just the OP.

boobs

The body of Servant x Service itself doesn't deviate from the same general formula. One of the main character has a set of large rack, and that gets played on repeatedly. Instead of androphobia, our main girl, Lucy (abbriv.) Yamagami has it worse than having hippies for parents. The joke here is that her given name is a series of common given names in which her indecisive parents filled in the birth certificate papers. It's a tough joke to play on but at the same time, it's hard to explain. Between this joke and the Lucy-has-large-breast jokes, I think we're already running thin on comedy by episode 2.

Names

As one of the three new hires at the office, Lucy joins Saya Miyoshi (shy quiet girl) and Yutaka Hasebe (overachieving flirt), learning the ropes. Their mentor at work, Taishi Ichimiya, for the most part, seems normal, until Ichimiya's sister Touko joins the fray as a serious bro-con, but also obsessed in Japanese welfare law. Other office co-works also includes part-timer Megumi Chihaya (otaku), who pairs up with Lucy in the same department.

For fans of Working, Servant x Service may very well be a comedy that writes itself. Perhaps one distinguishing point here is that Servant x Service features an anime-in-anime in the form of Magical Flowers. There was an April Fools joke on the Servant x Service website this past April featuring the team magical girls anime, so the anime proper will likely heavily feature that.

VIVID FLOWER OPERATION

For the voice acting fans, Servant x Service is something of a new deal, hearing both Ai Kayano and Mai Nakahara in relatively unusual roles. It almost felt like the two of them stereotypically would fit each other's role better, but so far both actresses have been surprisingly solid.

Finally, like Working, the laughs doesn't quite fully pour in from the start. It's only after the audience has made some connection with the characters that the jokes begin to work (coincidentally, around the time when Yamada was introduced). It might be a safe bet with Servant x Service, too, that while this particular variety of office humor might be a little foreign to us foreigners, the familiar formula will begin to cash in around the half way point.

[Watch Servant x Service simulcasting on Crunchyroll!]

 

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Jeff Chuang
Jeff ChuangAssociate Editor   gamer profile

Yet to be the oldest kid on the block, this East Coast implant writes cryptic things about JP folklore, the industry or dirty moe. Attend cons and lives the "I can buy Aniplex releases" life. ... more + disclosures


 


 


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