Title: Servant x Service
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Summary: Anime about the staff of the health and welfare section of the ward office of a certain city. Newcomers Hasebe Yutaka, Yamagami, Miyoshi Saya, and their supervisor Ichimiya Taishi go through the everyday quirks of working at their office.
Review: Most of you who picked up this anime probably already notice the resemblance to Working! since it’s by the same creator. The artwork, characters, and general demeanor brought me back to one of my favorite comedies which was a good start since Working! doesn’t have a third season (still hoping). Of course the characters’ background stories were different and all of them had their minor quirks. I was afraid that it would fall into the same slump Working! did and become stale over time. However, Servant x Service proved to be an outstanding comedy with a pretty solid story, slowly progressing the characters over time. It’s rare to see this type of story driven anime who’s primary genre is comedy. For that I had to give it a high rating and place it as one of my top anime comedies of all time.
The art style for Servant x Service was probably the worst bit of the anime, though that doesn’t mean it was the terrible. It just so happens to be that everything else about the anime was better. The simple art style I’m sure kept things low cost and gave a more comedic feel. While I am glad that they ended up making use of facial expressions and body movements, there was still something to be desired. The repetitive and dull backgrounds weren’t the best, but understandable given the context of the anime. It was meant to be about the staff of a ward office so it makes sense that you would see the same dreary office day-in-day-out. They did try to spice things up a bit by taking some of the episodes outside the office, but unfortunately even those gravitated toward the same places. I’m also thankful that the series decided to give a variation of clothing when it was appropriate. Where the art was lacking the story made up.
Servant x Service did something that other anime failed in the attempt, creating a romantic comedy without making things awkward or dramatic to progress a story. Even when people were rejected or hurt the anime did it in a very funny way. The anime also contained the various stages of romance using each character. There was the uncertain and unexpected, new to dating, and veteran couple mixed in an unlikely group of coworkers. For once I was actually rooting for everyone’s romance to work out because all of the characters were so likable. Even the ones that seemed to be two dimensional (in the non-literal sense) gradually brought more to the table. It takes a lot of skill to bring out development for two main characters let alone seven. Everything seemed to flow naturally giving the anime a very real feeling even with a stuffed bunny for a manager. Of course this wasn’t to say that the anime was picture perfect.
While I do praise the anime quite a bit for its comedy and development it wasn’t all rainbows and sushine. Some of the plot was rather predictable and the overarching issue of Lucy’s full name didn’t offer much room to play around. The only reason I didn’t mind too much that the main plot was linear was because Servant x Service used the other characters to keep things fresh. Most episodes didn’t even touch on Lucy’s name, and most of the reoccurring jokes were over and done with at the beginning. It’s definitely something I didn’t expect to work out because a majority of the time if the main plot is swept under the rug the anime falls short. One thing that viewers should understand before picking up this anime is that it is a comedy. Even with plot and romance the primary reason for each episode was to make you laugh. You wont get the touching scenes or jaw-dropping confession that you would normally see in a romance because that would have taken away from the anime’s main point. Had the anime been less predictable I’m sure I would have given it an even higher rating because I would have laughed a lot more.
The soundtrack for Servant x Service was playful and entertaining. I especially liked the small sound bites they used within the anime such as mimicking Lucy’s hair-antenna’s motion. The mix of ambiance and wonderful voice actors/actresses really brought out the best in this anime. It doesn’t matter how good a joke is if you can’t deliver it properly. Thankfully every note was hit wonderfully bringing out comedy gold.
Final statements: It’s rare to see a comedy become a must see because they tend to reuse the same jokes and have a static story. Servant x Service did everything right by keeping a comedic atmosphere, fun character development, and progressive episodes. It’s rare to see an anime like this come out so I’d advise everyone to give it a go then hope for a second season.