- Titles: Servant x Service
- Genre: Workplace, sticom, romance, Slice of Work
- Episodes: 13
- Studio: A-1 Pictures
Lucy…excuse me, I mean Lucy Kimiko Akie Airi Shiori Rinne Yoshiho Ayano Tomika Chitose Sanae Mikiko Ichika, just got her first job. Ad she’s been waiting for this more or less her whole life. Lucy has now passed the civil servant exam so she can infiltrate her local branch and find the irresponsible employee who allowed her parents to give her such a ridiculous name! Of course, she also has to do her job well. I mean she can’t slack off and turn into another irresponsible civil servant. And she might as well get along with her co-workers. They may be a bit special but they’re all pretty nice people when you get down to it. Oh, and she probably should at least try to grow up a little and get used to things like drinking parties and dates. But when all that’s done, she’ll get her revenge!
I go on these little rituals. I watch a couple of romance shows that I like and decide I have finally gotten mature enough to appreciate the genre and put a whole bunch of romance titles on my list and then suffer. When I added Servant x Service (almost entirely based on those key visuals you see up there) I figured I could finally partake in the time old-tradition of the three-episode rule and just drop it if I don’t like it. I clearly don’t know how to do the three-episode rule.
I really like the designs in Servant x Service. Like I said, I pretty much picked up the show because I thought the key visuals were cute. And I continued to like the designs throughout the series. Especially Lucy. She has a very cute face and I really liked her eye shape. I could have used a bit less emphasis on her body.
Servant x Service is one of those anime series that is competently made. It’s not too flashy, I might forget it in a week or two but I never noticed any particular flaws in the production while watching it either. The character designs are also all pretty different, except for the two main guys and it took me a while to learn how to differentiate them. That variety was fun to watch.
Otherwise, I don’t have much to say about the technical aspects. Good but mundane. How fitting for a sitcom about civil servants.
Story & Characters
I think my last sentence sort of encompasses the core of what Servant x Service is. It’s a sitcom about civil servants. In every episode, a bunch of little things happen, mostly at the office which is a basic, uninteresting governmental building. Everyone is an eccentric version of what you would expect out of an average workplace. They are all a little exaggerated for effect but not impossible. These are people you could meet.
Well except for the branch manager who is, from what I gathered, an older man who suffers from extreme shyness. As a result, he comes to work in the guise of a remote-controlled small pink bunny robot and is very outgoing. He is the only surreal element in the series and I have to say, I found him to be hit or miss. It seemed like an unnecessary addition and some f his plots were pretty boring.
For the rest, you could think of Servant x Service a lot like an anime The Office. The first season of The Office. A lot of observational humour, a couple of jabs at the job itself and at work culture in general, and a bunch of romantic subplots that become increasingly important as the series evolves. It never gets as extreme as the Office and there’s no Micheal Scott to really push the comedy but the feel and humour are similar. Or they were to me.
So now that you have a general idea about what Servant x Service is, let me tell you about my personal experience with it. First I should mention that out of all the types of comedy, situational comedy is probably one of my least favourites. I don’t dislike it by any means. It’s just that my mileage tends to really vary with sitcoms. Some I love, others bore me to tears.
I went into Servant x Service knowing next to nothing about the series. The tags said it was a Slice of Life, Romance, Comedy but in anime that can mean a whole lot of things. So I wasn’t expecting anything. I thought the first episode was great. I really liked Lucy’s revenge plot set-up. I thought the characters were likeable enough and had enough distinct personality to be developed into something interesting and I enjoyed the visuals. Episode 1 of 3 was a success.
The next couple of episodes were less of a hit with me. A lot of the plots were dedicated to Lucy’s very large chest and it got repetitive even for me. The characters weren’t really developing past their archetype first impression either and some of the jokes were clearly going over my head as I lacked the proper social context to appreciate them. Not many though. Servant x Service does a very good job at creating a sort of generic workplace most people will see something familiar in. Most people who have had entry-level jobs at least.
I considered dropping Servant x Service at this point but I was still unsure. I mean the 3 episode track record wasn’t great but it wasn’t awful either. Even in the episodes I thought were less interesting, I found something to enjoy and I still thought the first episode was great. I figured I would watch one more, which turned into 3 more because it was a Tuesday evening and I might as well just binge a few until bedtime.
I was about 6 episodes in by then and well, I still didn’t know. The romance plot(s) were surprisingly cute although I wasn’t that invested in them. Some things worked really well and others didn’t. I figured I would watch one more.
You might see where this is going… I basically did the three-episode rule until there were no more episodes left.
That’s not entirely true, somewhere in the second half of the series, I started to really enjoy it. Like a sitcom. I wasn’t terribly invested in anyone but at the same time, I found it pleasant to spend some time with the cast. It was an airy experience. I think I could easily have ended up binging 50 episodes yet I was perfectly fine with it ending and I’m not going to go out and look for more.
I will say, I did enjoy all the couples in the show. Romance is not a huge part of the series, but at the same time, in the latter half, most episodes do have at least one romantic plotline.
One thing I will say. Most workplace sitcoms show co-workers that tend to be really close. I understand that it’s necessary for the setting to work. Everyone is kind of friends and they know a lot about each other’s private lives. I have friends at work but I wouldn’t say that I’m friends with most people there. They’re coworkers. So that part was not very relatable to me. I did however find myself a bit jealous. Thinking I would like to work in a place with all sorts of great people like that. I mean, I do, I just don,t know them. So I realize it’s on me. Servant x Service might have convinced me to be more sociable at work.
Then again, I work in a law firm. And if you’ve seen shows set in a law firm… Hey, I just thought of this, there are TONS of American law firm shows but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a law firm anime. Let me look it up. Ok, so I could only find two: Ace Attorney (I should have thought of that) and Wizard Barristers: Benmashi Cecil. I never heard of it, it’s pretty badly rated and the tags are Magic, Fantasy, Mecha so I’m not sure how representative it will be.
This post went off the rails even more than usual. Sometimes streams of consciousness just flow into random lakes. It happens.
As I was saying, Servant x Service ended up a fun show, I just needed to watch the whole thing to figure it out. It also has a great OP.
You might like this anime if:
You like workplace sitcoms. You’re really into storylines about girls with unusually big chests.
My favourite character:
You know, it has to me Hasabe’s sister. She rocks!
- Every time Miyoshi gets stuck with an old lady – take a sip
- Every time Ichimiya gets depressed – take a sip
- Every time Hasebe is really good at his job – gasp!
- Every time Hasebe is really bad at his job – oh good things are back to normal
- Every time Toko gets mad – duck
- Every time we hear Lucy’s entire name (or most of it) – take a sip
- Every time anyone pats Lucy on the head – awwww
- Every time Chihaya is work inappropriate – take a sip
- Every time Lucy gets shiny glasses – take a sip
- Every time we meet anyone’s sister – take a sip
- Every time Lucy’s clueless – sigh
- Every time someone gets hit in the head – take a sip
- Every time Chihaya “jokes” – take a sip
- Every time anyone sparkles – take a sip
- Every time manager travels on someone’s head – take a sip
- Every time Hasebe blushes – cute!
- Every time Toko has sweets – get a treat!
I save all my screencaps on my Pinterest and you can find more there if you are interested. But I still like to show you a few in the post. If you’re like me, screencaps are something that really helps you decide to watch an anime or not.