Updated December 20, 2018: Added Crunchyroll announcement concerning Cells At Work! OVA episode.
Updated November 27, 2018: Added Cells At Work! OVA episode announcement and additional spoilers.
Cells At Work! Season 2 has the opportunity to build on the success of the anime series by expanding into a new body of work. Puns aside, it’s very possible that Hataraku Saibou Season 2 may draw upon the multiple spin-offs that the original series has inspired and go beyond the story of Red Blood Cell AE3803 and White Blood Cell U-1146.
Already, a Cells At Work! OVA episode has been confirmed to be released in Japan on December 24, 2018. Crunchyroll will air the OVA episode with English subtitles starting December 26, 2018. Titled Common Cold Syndromes, the story is based on manga chapter 11 of Volume 3.
While a chapter about the common cold sounds cut and dry storywise, it’s actually a comedy about a bored common cell teaming up with an infected cell. The story opens up with immune cells being pranked by the two cells. Unfortunately for that common cell, he figures out very quickly that his new “friend” has not-so-friendly intentions. Of course, the immune system saves the day and then the killer T-cells are forced to socialize.
This article provides everything that is known about Cells At Work! Season 2 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! anime praised by real doctors
The Cells At Work! anime is popular even with real-life doctors and scientists because of its accurate portrayal of how the human body works. Dr. Satoru Otsuka, of the molecular neuro-oncology department of Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, especially loved Episode 7 “Cancer Cell” because it showed how immune cells prevented the initial outbreak of cancer.
“Even from the point of view of a cancer researcher, I think the content was very accurate,” said Dr. Otsuka, who believes that watching the anime can be a “good opportunity to understand cancer in detail.”
In real life, the immune system rallies to fight off early-stage cancer hundreds of times per day. The strong immune system of a young person can keep cancer at bay, but older people suffer from more cell copying errors. Growing cancer cells also eat up nutrients quickly (which was shown in the anime episode), and rapid unexpected weight loss can be an early warning sign.
“You can’t remember with textbooks about living things,” he said, “but with this you can remember. Definitely check out the manga or anime.”
In China, Cells At Work! has become the most popular anime on Bilibili, which is like a Chinese Netflix. It’s been watched about 27 percent more than the Overlord anime, the second most popular anime this season in China. Biology teachers in China were so impressed by the anime’s scientific accuracy that they assigned watching it as homework.
“It helps students understand and remember the biology information they have learned in school, in a much more entertaining way,” said Yang, a faculty teacher at the High School Affiliated to Southwest University.
Cells At Work! manga compared to the anime
The story of the Cells At Work! anime is based on the Hataraku Saibou manga series by Akane Shimizu. She won the 27th Sirius New Age Award for best newcomer manga and the Cells At Work! manga is her debut work. Serialized monthly in Monthly Shonen Sirius since 2015, the manga has spawned five volumes composed of 25 chapters. A new volume comes out once or twice a year and Cells At Work! Volume 6 is scheduled to release on December 18, 2018.
The official English translation of the Cells At Work! manga is being published internationally by Kodansha Comics. Thankfully, the English release is completely caught up with the Japanese manga and even fan-made scanlation projects have released up through Chapter 25.
The popular manga series inspired multiple spin-offs in 2017. The Bacteria At Work! (Hataraku Saikin) manga by Haruyuki Kichida is a story about good bacteria and bad bacteria waging war in the intestines. Similarly, the Cells That Don’t Work! (Hatarakanai Saibo) manga by Moe Sugimoto shows what happens when immature red blood cells just wanna be NEETs.
The most recent manga spin-off is probably the most interesting premise. Launched in June 2018 by Shigemitsu Harada, Cells At Work! BLACK (Hataraku Saibo BLACK) 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. It features stories related to smoking, alcohol, STDs, and even erection problems. This spin-off manga is up to Cells At Work! BLACK Volume 2 as of September 21, 2018.
Unfortunately, none of the manga spin-offs have been officially translated into English for release in North America. Scanlation projects have picked up Cells At Work! BLACK, but so far Cells That Don’t Work! and Bacteria At Work! are not available in English at all.
When studio David Production chose to adapt the story, they went the straight-forward path of following the Cells At Work! manga pretty closely. In the Cells At Work! anime, each episode tends to focus on introducing a different element of the human body. The episodic nature of the story is the same in the manga, with multi-chapter plots being fairly rare.
In general, each manga chapter is adapted into a single episode. The opening episode was the same story as the first chapter, but otherwise, the anime changed up the ordering of the story significantly. Thankfully, the titles of episodes matched up with the names of chapters, so it’s pretty easy to see which chapters were adapted.
- Cells At Work! Episode 1: Chapter 1 “Pneumococcus”
- Cells At Work! Episode 2: Chapter 4 “Scrape Wound”
- Cells At Work! Episode 3: Chapter 3 “Influenza”
- Cells At Work! Episode 4: Chapter 5 “Food Poisoning”
- Cells At Work! Episode 5: Chapter 2 “Cedar Pollen Allergy”
- Cells At Work! Episode 6: Chapter 7 “Erythroblasts and Myelocytes” and Chapter 8 “Cancer Cells Part 1”
- Cells At Work! Episode 7: Chapter 9 “Cancer Cells Part 2”
- Cells At Work! Episode 8: Chapter 10 “The Circulatory System”
- Cells At Work! Episode 9: Chapter 12 “Thymocytes”
- Cells At Work! Episode 10: Chapter 15 “Staphylococcus aureus”
- Cells At Work! Episode 11: Chapter 6 “Heat Stress”
- Cells At Work! Episode 12: Chapter 17 “Hypovolemic Shock Part 1”
- Cells At Work! Episode 13: Chapter 18 “Hypovolemic Shock Part 2”
Thankfully for fans who want to read ahead of the anime, there were many skipped chapters. To quickly summarize, if you don’t feel like waiting for Cells At Work! Season 2 then you should go read Chapters 13, 14, 16, and 19 through 25. As previously mentioned, Chapters 26 through 30 will release in December 2018 as part of Cells At Work! Volume 6.
Hataraku Saibou Season 2 release date
As of the last update, David Production or any company related to the production of the anime has not officially confirmed the Cells At Work! Season 2 release date. Nor has the production of a sequel been announced.
Once the news is officially confirmed this article will be updated with the relevant information. In the meantime, it’s possible to speculate about when, or if, the Hataraku Saibou Season 2 premiere date will occur in the future.
All in all, there are 37.2 trillion reasons for a second season to happen. Joking aside, the anime was one of the most popular anime on Crunchyroll and other streaming services when it aired. From a financial perspective, the Blu-Ray/DVD sales numbers were also very good, almost double that of the My Hero Academia Season 3 disc sales.
The only problem is the lack of source material in the main manga series. By the end of 2018, the Cells At Work! manga will be up to Chapter 30 in Volume 6. That leaves 11 chapters unadapted, which is barely enough stories for producing Cells At Work! Season 2 immediately. But it’s possible the anime could be supplemented from side stories from Bacteria At Work! and Cells That Don’t Work!
On top of that, a Cells At Work! BLACK anime adaptation could be potentially worked into the main series as a series of side stories. The one big caveat is that the story apparently takes place in a completely different body so the two main characters are different. The Cells At Work! BLACK manga already is up to Chapter 10, which is also enough content for a standalone anime.
Hopefully, David Production will have a quick turnaround with Cells At Work! Season 2. The anime studio only has one project listed for 2019 so far and Strike Witches Season 3 is planned for 2020. Let’s just hope the anime production for Hataraku Saibou does not suffer from clogged arteries.
Cells At Work! Season 2 spoilers
The second season could very well begin with stories about how memory cells help acquire immunity to viruses and how acne bacteria causes pimples. As might be expected, the latter story has an explosive ending. The hysterical antics of Mast Cell and her histamine dumping will also make a return for a bout of dengue fever. Other medical problems like strep throat and hay fever also make an appearance.
One chapter will show anime audiences a wandering platelet who is trying to train to become stronger. While the platelets have always been depicted as young and cute, their leader, Megakaryocyte, is… not so much. She’s more like a baby-packing drill instructor.
Chapter 27 will provide more character backstory since it has White Blood Cell U-1146 and Eosinophil reminiscing about their childhood together as they lay dying on the battlefield. The chapter also reveals the true identity of the mysterious poetry-quoting Basophil.
The return of Cancer Cell was promised in the middle of the first season so it would make sense for Cells At Work! Season 2 to end with that fated battle even though that’d put adapted manga chapters out of order. White Blood Cell U-1146, Killer T, and Natural Killer Cell will team up once again to take on this nemesis. Killer T has transformed into Memory T Cell and thinks he can easily predict Cancer’s actions, but Cancer has a new trick up his sleeve… and a new ally?!
Those chapters also introduce the concept of good and bad bacteria living in the intestinal tract. Therefore, it would make sense to incorporate the side stories from the Bacteria At Work! manga into the main anime series once that introduction is made.
Whether or not David Production decides to adapt the spin-offs along with the main manga series, let’s just hope we don’t have to wait too long for the Cells At Work! Season 2 release date. Stay tuned!