Jade Woodruff’s “Life on Anime” – issue #15: ‘Servant x Service’

Welcome to another edition of “Life on Anime”… this time we’ll be taking a look at Servant x Service a short ‘slice-of-life’ series capping out at 13 episodes and based on a manga written and illustrated by Karino Takatsu and currently available on Crunchyroll.

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Here’s the Premise:
Lucy (the rest is omitted) Yamagami hates her name because it’s ridiculous and ridiculously long.  Her parents couldn’t pick just a single name for her.  Lucy blames the Civil Servant who allowed her parents to register such an absurd name.  Now an adult entering the work force, she becomes a public servant in order to discover the identity of the Civil Servant who has caused her so much pain and exact her revenge.

Review:
Servant x Service isn’t anything fresh, new, or exciting.  It’s another “daily life in the shoes of an employee” anime with obligatory themes to match.  Over the past five years or so, these types of shows have been on the rise.  While I love the slice-of-life genre, the sheer number of these anime is getting a little ridiculous, almost like the length of Lucy’s name.  I loved Working! and its second season for all the wacky and zany things that happened in the Wagnaria restaurant.  But Servant x Service is a little flat compared to Working! and other exceptional slice-of-life titles like Shiro Bako (which has yet to finish its run but is much more gripping), Silver Spoon, and Denki-Gai.  Unlike each of those shows, Servant x Service doesn’t really bring anything new to the table.  It’s all been done before.

That being said, it was fun.  While the characters are a little underdeveloped and the open-ended plot points are begging for a season two, it’s not a bad watch.  At times the comedy is a little over cooked.  Lucy and her sexual harassing co-worker Yutaka Hasebe become the central figures and have some greatbanter and a little office romance.  Honestly, I couldn’t have cared less about the rest of the cast which consisted of a cosplayer, sister with a brother complex, the brother who has a secret girlfriend, a couple of annoying customers, a blonde girl with no personality or spine, and a manager who’s a stuffed animal.

The Bottom Line:
It’s not as exciting as Shiro Bako, as racy as Denki-Gai, or as dramatic as Silver Spoon.  It’s most similar to Working! because of the small cast size and similar themes.  But it lacks the zaniness of Working!.  While many plot points were left in mid-development, the mystery Lucy originally set out to solve is completely resolved.  That’s more than you can say for a lot of shows, to be honest.  Having worked in a goverrnment office, I can say that no one there is as wacky or as nice as the people in this show.  Although, you probably already know that since this is fiction.  What is fairly accurate is the little old grandma, Tanaka-san, who wants to take up everyone’s time with stories about her kids and grandkids.  I think we’ve all had one or two of those at our jobs, right?  And, in Servant x Service, she’s just as adorable and sweet as anyone’s grandma could possibly be. Overall, a fun little summer show with some good jokes, nice animation (I love that intro!), and a little romance. Not that bad… just not that good, either. — 5.0/10

-Jade Woodruff
Staff Writer/Columnist: Nerd Nation Magazine

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