Servant x Service is an anime based on the manga written and illustrated by Karino Takatsu. The anime is produced by A-1 Pictures and is directed by Yasutaka Yamamoto. The series aired on Japanese television from July 4-September 27, 2013. As of this writing, Aniplex of America holds the North American rights for the anime.
Servant x Service is set in a government office building in Japan, and several of the main characters are new employees in the Welfare Department.
Lucy Yamagami is enthusiastic and takes her work seriously. However, it’s revealed during the first episode that she has a more “sinister” reason for working in a government office building. When she was born, her parents couldn’t decide on a name, even after having people help them compile a list. Her parents decided to submit all the names on the list as her first name, and all the names were put on her birth certificate. Yamagami is trying to locate the person in the office who allowed that to happen so many years ago.
Yutaka Hasebe is the slacker in the office. He tries to find as many ways to take breaks as possible, and he also spends time trying to get women’s cell phone numbers and email addresses. Yutaka becomes interested in Lucy and begins pursuing her. Unfortunately for him, Lucy is very inexperienced with dating and she keeps turning him down.
Saya Miyoshi is a rather nervous person, due in large part to the fact that this is her first job.
Taishi Ichimiya is their supervisor, and this is his first time serving as a supervisor. He’s rather clueless about leading others, and this comes through when he keeps asking his subordinates what he should be doing.
Megumi Chihaya is a temp worker in the Welfare Department. She is a major fan of a magical girl series called Magical Flowers (which is obviously a parody of Puella Magi Madoka Magica), and she likes to cosplay and create doujinshi. It comes out during the series that she and Taishi are secretly dating.
Toko Ichimiya is a high school girl with a short temper and is often in a bad mood. She is also Taishi’s younger sister. She drops by the Welfare Department rather regularly and causes problems for Taishi and the others. Toko is unaware that Taishi is dating Megumi, and her almost finding out about it becomes a running gag in the series.
Kenzo Momoi is the section manager of the Welfare Department, and he is a stuffed rabbit that can walk and talk. The explanation that is given for this is that he is in this form due to his extreme shyness.
Kanon Momoi is Kenzo’s daughter and is also friends with Toko. However, Toko is not aware that Kenzo is Kanon’s father.
Joji Tanaka is the grandson of an elderly woman named Mrs. Tanaka. His grandmother is introduced first, and she frequents the office regularly in order to talk with Saya. He was also friends with Yutaka but he’s never been able to beat Yutaka at anything. Mrs. Tanaka keeps trying to set Joji up with Saya.
I admit that when I watched the first episode, I found it to be on the boring side. However, as the series continued and the characters were more established, I came to enjoy Servant x Service more and more.
As the series progressed, it went from being a simple comedy to a comedic series that focuses on the relationships between the characters. In some respects, it almost became a bit of a “rom com.” There’s Lucy and Yutaka, as well as Taishi and Megumi. There’s also Saya and Joji, but I don’t see them as much as a romantic couple; they seem to be more friends than anything else.
Throughout the series, I found myself rooting for Lucy and Yutaka to become a couple. How their storyline ultimately resolves is rather realistic for how these two characters were established in the series.
Secrets are also a big focus of the series. There’s the secret of who approved Lucy’s name, Taishi and Megumi secretly dating, and Kanon keeping the fact that her father is Kenzo a secret from Toko.
My least favorite element of the series is Kenzo, because no true explanation is ever given about how he is in the stuffed rabbit. It seems the audience is just expected to accept this without asking questions. This is the one element of the series that knocks the realism factor down a notch. It doesn’t help that he isn’t even introduced to the series until episode four, and then is ultimately a rather unimportant character compared to many of the others.
If you enjoy anime series that are set in the workplace and mixes humor, character interaction, and character development, then you might enjoy Servant x Service.
For me, Servant x Service was one of the highlights of the Summer 2013 season.
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