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Cells At Work! Code Black release date set for 2021: Hataraku Saibou Black anime like Cells At Work! ‘Season 3’?

Cells At Work! Code Black artwork
The Cells At Work! Code Black anime features a fresh-faced Red Blood Cell and his friend, the buxom White Blood Cell. Pic credit: David Production

Anime fans are already excited about the upcoming Cells At Work!! Season 2 release date, but now it’s been announced that the Cells At Work! Code Black release date is also scheduled for January 9, 2021.

Cells At Work! Code Black Episodes 3 and 4 will be released back-to-back as a one-hour special on January 18, 2021.

The first volume of the Cells At Work! Code Black Blu-Ray/DVD box set goes on sale on February 24, 2021. There will be seven volumes in total containing 13 episodes.

Is this Hataraku Saibo Black anime the rough equivalent to Cells At Work! Season 3? Not at all, since the Hataraku Saibou Black anime is a standalone story, which literally expands into a new body.

Based on the way the manga series was created with many spin-offs, it’s possible Cells At Work! Season 3 could still be made since some of the side stories are based in the original human body. However, some of those manga spin-offs have enough chapters to be adapted into standalone anime titles.

Although the main manga series began releasing new chapters in October 2020, the main manga series came to an end in January 2021 with the release of Chapter 30. That final chapter will release in Cells At Work! Volume 6 on February 9, 2021.

The Cells At Work! Code Black anime will be considered a separate anime season from Cells At Work!! Season 2 with its own standalone title. Both Cells At Work! anime will be released in the same time frame.

The only major difference is that Season 2 will only be 8 episodes long while Code Black is going to be a full-length anime season with 13 episodes.

While that plan may seem odd at first glance, it makes sense based on the manga’s story. The Cells At Work!! Season 2 anime will continue the story of Red Blood Cell AE3803 and White Blood Cell U-1146, while the story of the Cells At Work! Code Black anime is literally set in a completely different body so there is no overlap between the characters or their story arcs.

CODE BLACK
A Cells At Work! CODE BLACK anime key visual that was released in November 2020. Pic credit: LIDEN FILMS

Since the Cells At Work! Code Black anime is a separate production, it will be created by animation studio LIDEN FILMS, which is known for Blade of the Immortal, Hanebado!, and Boarding School Juliet. The project will be helmed by director Hideyo Yamamoto, who previously worked on the Strike the Blood anime series (see our article on Strike the Blood Season 4).

Writer Hayashi Mori is writing the script and series composition. Artist Eiji Abiko is the character designer and Psycho-Pass anime composer Yugo Kanno is creating the music.

Kazuaki Hara is the 3D CGI Director. Masahiro Sato and Chiaki Tsukahara will be the art directors, with Mayuka Ota acting as their assistant.

Cells At Work Black Anime TV Key Visual
The key visual for the Cells At Work! BLACK anime. Pic credit: LIDEN FILMS

On the other hand, Cells At Work!! (Season 2 is denoted by two exclamation points) is being produced by animation studio David Production, which is also working on the upcoming 2021 Spriggan anime, Fire Force Season 2, and Strike Witches Season 3: Road to Berlin. It’s predicted that the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 6 anime release date will be set for late 2021 based on coronavirus pandemic delays and the scheduling of the studio.

Director Kenichi Suzuki (Drifters, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure) helmed the first season, but director Hirofumi Ogura (Black Butler) will take over for Cells At Work!! Season 2. For the first season, the director and series composition writer Yuuko Kakihara (Persona 4) worked together to create the anime script.

Character designer Takahiko Yoshida (Welcome To The NHK) is also the chief animation director. Kenta Mimuro and Keiko Tomaki also created some of the character designs. Re:ZERO and Girls’ Last Tour music composer Kenichiro Suehiro is creating the music for the Cells At Work!! Season 2 anime.

The main Cells At Work! Code Black cast is different from Cells At Work!! Season 2, which has a returning cast. In Code Black, Junya Enoki is playing the male Red Blood Cell, Yoko Hikasa is playing the female White Blood Cell, and the narration is provided by Kenjiro Tsuda.

Other roles include Kenn as another Red Blood Cell, Lynn as another White Blood Cell, Yumi Uchiyama as another White Blood Cell, Takashi Narumi as Gastric Chief Cell, Yurika Kubo as Platelet, Hekiru Shiina as Macrophage, Sarah Emi Bridcutt as Liver Cell, and Daisuke Hirakawa as Brain Cell.

The Cells At Work! Code Black OP (opening) theme song music is “Run! (Hashire!) as performed by Yamasaki Seiya, while the ending (ED) is “Look Up and Carry on with Red/White Blood Cells” as performed by Junya Enoki and Yoko HIkasa, the two main Japanese voice actors.

In the past, Aniplex of America produced a Cells At Work! English dub, which was released with the Blu-Ray box set in 2019. The Cells At Work !! Season 2 dub and Cells At Work! Code Black English dub have not yet been announced.

Cells At Work Code Black Anime Announcement
The initial announcement of the Cells At Work! Code Black anime was made on the cover of Kodansha’s Morning magazine. Pic credit: Amazon
  • Updated January 8, 2021: Added BD/DVD release date and the total number of episodes.
  • Updated December 10, 2020: Cells At Work! CODE BLACK manga ending in Volume 8. Cells At Work! Volume 6 release date confirmed for February 2021.
  • Updated November 30, 2020: Cells At Work! CODE BLACK release date confirmed! Added trailer and OP/ED info.
  • Updated September 7, 2020: Added Cells At Work! CODE BLACK staff and cast announced in new trailer.
  • Updated August 14, 2020: Added new Cells at Work! CODE BLACK trailer.
  • Updated April 16, 2020: Confirmed new studio, staff, and cast. Added Cells At Work! BLACK poster.

This article provides everything that is known about Cells At Work! Code Black (Hataraku Saibou Black) and all related news. As such, this article will be updated over time with news, rumors, and analysis. Meanwhile, let’s delve down into what is known for certain.

Cells At Work! Code Black manga ending in 2021: anime takes a dark dive into the human body

The story of the main Cells At Work! anime is based on the Hataraku Saibou manga series by Akane Shimizu. The official English translation of the Cells At Work! manga by Kodansha Comics is caught up with the Japanese volumes.

All in all, there were 30 chapters of the original manga series, which ended in December 2018. But the original manga series started up again in October 2020 and a new Volume 6 releases in February 2021.

The first season of the anime series and the 2018 OVA episode adapted 15 chapters altogether.

That leaves Chapters 13, 14, 16, and 19 through 25, which is only enough source material for Cells At Work!! Season 2 to be a single-cour anime season with 8 episodes.

A “cour” is a three-month unit of TV broadcasting based on the physical weather seasons. Most anime seasons feature 12 or 13 episodes per cour.

That’s another reason why the Cells At Work! Code Black anime is a standalone anime season. The main manga went on hiatus for years so it only provides enough chapters for a single season, so Black could be considered a Cells At Work! sequel, of sorts.

Cells At Work BLACK Manga Volume 1 Cover Art
The main characters of Cells At Work! BLACK are like a reversal of the main series, with BLACK featuring a male Red Blood Cell and a sexy female White Blood Cell. Yes, it’s all about the oppai in the spin-of. Pic credit: Issei Hatsuyoshi

Launched in June 2018 by Shigemitsu Harada, Code Black is already up to 42 chapters in 7 volumes. The official English translation is up to Volume 6 and Volume 7 is scheduled for March 16, 2021, while Volume 8 is coming out on June 22, 2021.

In December 2020, it was officially confirmed Kodansha’s Morning magazine that the Cells At Work! CODE BLACK manga’s ending would be contained in Volume 8, which came out on February 22, 2021. The final chapter released on January 21, 2021.

Arguably, since the Cells At Work! Code Black anime is only a single cour anime with 13 episodes then there are already is enough manga content for Cells At Work! Code Black Season 2.

Not only are the characters completely different, but the subject matter is more intense. The manga tells the story of cells living inside a human body suffering from an unhealthy lifestyle since he drinks and eats too much, has insufficient physical activity, and has high stress.

Code Black’s story features stories related to diabetes, smoking, alcohol, STDs, and even erection problems. If anything, it’s a wonder this body is still alive after all the medical problems it suffers!

Could the other Cells At Work! manga spin-offs be used to create Cells At Work! Season 3?

The Code Black anime series has plenty of chapters to adapt. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about the main series.

By the time the main series ended in January 2021 it was only up to 30 chapters and then new chapters stopped being released as the focus was shifted toward the numerous spinoffs. Therefore, it’s very likely that Cells At Work!! Season 2 will finish adapting the remainder of the story for the main two protagonists.

But it’s possible the main story could be supplemented with chapters from the shorter manga spin-offs in order to create an actual Cells At Work! Season 3.

Cells At Work! Friend is probably the best way to extend the main anime series since it features side stories set in the original body. As of January 2021, it was up to Volume 5 so it has enough content to extend the main series considerably.

Similarly, Cells That Don’t Work! (Hatarakanai Saibou) manga by Moe Sugimoto shows what happens when immature red blood cells just wanna be NEETs.

Writer Yuuko Kakihara and artist Yasu teamed up to create yet another spin-off called Platelets At Work (Hataraku Kesshoban-chan). As might be guessed, the new manga will focus on the adorable platelets, but it’s only up to three volumes as of December 2020.

There is also the Cells At Work! Baby manga which features the main anime characters as chibi versions of themselves. Then there is the Cells At Work! Lady manga which is geared toward adult women.

The Bacteria At Work! (Hataraku Saikin) manga by Haruyuki Kichida is a story about good bacteria and bad bacteria waging war in the intestines. Similar to Code Black, a Bacteria At Work! anime would work as a standalone anime season since it’s already up to 7 manga volumes as of August 2020.

Patrick Frye is Monsters and Critics' Anime Editor. He considers himself a "Woke-taku", which means having an awareness of the many issues surrounding anime. As such, he enjoys covering all the latest news related to Japanese entertainment. Patrick was a software engineer and business owner

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