23. Working! is a story I've written about before:
"Working! is a simple, silly story about a group of misfits making their living in the daily grind. The amount of humor that can be found in their interactions, and their quirks, and their love triangles, just seems to multiply every episode. It isn't just funny though. The main character works hard to help the most interesting girl in the story, Inami, and she grows to love him for it. The simple beauty of karma is so rewarding. Just think, if you're nice to someone, if you help them, if you protect them, they'll fall in love with you. Gratitude is an amazing payment, it can pay for virtually anything. It's worth more than a mountain of gold."
Since then, I've grown to realize that Working! is the best comedy ever made. Because of that, I've ranked it as part of modern human accomplishment. Even so, there's little I can add to the description I've already given. Comedy works when humor flows effortlessly from the situation. Characters shouldn't try to be funny, they should be funny despite themselves, while thinking they're quite serious and genuine. Working! has a cast of hilarious people, but none of them, if asked, would say they're particularly funny guys. The humor is always discovered by the disinterested observer, the 3rd party -- either another member of the Working! staff, or the viewer of the anime.
But there's so much humor to choose from! The dense sword girl who never picks up on the fact that the cook loves her. The underage runaway who can't decide whether she's a kid who needs coddling or should live up to her cover story as a fully self-sufficient adult. The fox faced cook who uses gossip to get his way but occasionally comes across forces more terrifying than himself -- like Inami's brutality. Inami, who's afraid of men, but men are terrified of even more, because she beats any who approach her to an inch of their lives. Poplar who's so short everyone takes her for a kid, even though she's older than the others. And our straight guy main character, who has to deal with them all. The permutations of the jokes that bounce around within this group are endless. The series is only twelve episodes long -- but 2011 will usher in a new sequel, so concerns about length will be addressed shortly. At this time, I may even reach closer to the pinnacle of anime goodness. One of the great things about Working is how genuinely kind everyone is, in the final sum. They're always ready to help each other out, or console each other when someone's down. They're grateful for good turns, and forgiving of bad ones. If anything, it reminds me of the friendships in Fairy Tail. There's just so much in group loyalty for each other, no matter how misplaced.
In this way, Working becomes more than a series of jokes. It's like a family, a family you feel a part of. There are as many heartwarming moments as there are funny ones, and they tend to be one and the same. More comedies like this please. Better yet, just make more Working!. :).