Servant x Service is from the same mangaka of Working!! and the same studio plus much of the same staff are adapting it. The adaptation seems fine and, as an anime, it’s watchable. The art is fine, it’s consistent, it’s got a relaxing style to it. The music and animation is fine. The voice acting is good, one of my recent favorites plays the most heavily focused role, so that’s nice as well.
I’m sad to say though, this series is a pretty big disappointment. I was originally going to slowly build up to saying that just for shits and giggles, but that’s not how I like to be, so there you go. I don’t like it. The jokes, the characters, and the writing all feel very cheap and quickly tossed together from bits and pieces of Working!! to try and as lazily as possible create another series. This show’s manga came out about 4 or 5 years AFTER Working!!’s original manga debut and yet it feels like an amateurish, uninspired, and very bland show. It’s very much average, and I don’t mean “eh its alright” – I mean it is right there next to Shana as the definition of fucking mediocrity.
The worst part is the mangaka has PROVEN they can do some great stuff – the world of Working!! is a pretty intricately built universe in every aspect, including deeper more subtle things many viewers miss; but even right in your face it’s handled a lot more seriously and with more effort put into it. I mean, shit, we went from a show that was showcasing exaggerated personality traits in people while also showing the hardships of people suffering from psychological disorders and trauma integrating into society…to a show where the entire story is “I was named something stupid because of a lazy employee here and I want revenge”. That right there is enough to notice something is wrong here.
As for the comedy, the jokes in Working!! played off the cast and each other, here the jokes are just, well, jokes. It’s not comedy from the characters, it’s just typical anime bullshit – the kind of stuff that even non-anime-viewers will jokingly bring up if you mention anime around them because even THEY know these cliches. Hell, it’s even got BIG FUCKING TITS BOUNCING EVERYWHERE 90% of the episode. I love big tits bouncing everywhere, but not when they are in a show just to keep your attention away from the lack of wit, humor, or interesting ANYTHING going on otherwise. Another problem is that the jokes have already been recycled to the point of annoyance in the first episode alone – “lol i call u by ur name u hate” “HURR I TOSS BOOK @ U I MAD ABOUT YOU CALLING ME THAT” – seriously, this happened about 5 times in episode one. Every single other “joke” was handled the same shitty way. That girl getting talked to by the old lady? What’s happening later? Oh, the same thing. Later? Yup, here’s showing it happening again. Oh, now lets make it the focus and show it AGAIN. Oh this guy hits on women and asks for their number? Haha what a faggot…oh he’s doing it again. Oh, again. Oh, yup there he is doing it again. And now…oh, he’s just doing it again.
How does a show manage to run all it’s already bad jokes into the ground and reuse them THAT MUCH IN ONE FUCKING EPISODE? Worse, how do you make the cast so one-dimensional that they are literally never on screen WITHOUT their reused joke being used yet again? It’s not like it was mixed in throughout, it was just almost any fucking time you’d see the character this was happening.
All of the bad things about the show aren’t just in the horribly lazy attempts at comedy though, another one of the problems is that there is no “Inami”. Yup. I’ve said it before and now I have proof – Working!! without Inami would be kinda bad. It would be a massive detriment to the show for it to lack a real developing character with an actual story going on. Inami was not only important for being the only semblance of progress and story in the series, but because she was a massive aspect even in unrelated events and other character’s interactions with one another. She was the center of the show, not just the focus. She helped everyone evolve, she helped all the relationships (romantic and platonic) grow, and she made much of the comedy work as well. That isn’t just me being a fan of her, it’s really how important she was to the show.
This show has no equivalent character, and it’s very apparent. Even though it’s only just coming out – the show has nothing there. There are just characters who will very obviously remain the exact same way they are now forever because none of them have anything about them that could evolve, grow, or change at all. They are all very cut and dry, empty, just kind of there to toss around more cliched jokes. There is no force to make them go further than that, and sadly there’s nothing else interesting going on either – no story whatsoever aside the very obvious already “lol so funny right?” reveal that the guy’s dad is the one who approved her name as a newborn. Along with no Inami this show also lacks the whole chemistry of the Working!! cast, these characters just feel like they are there and are interacting with each other because they are characters in a show, and almost every interaction is another shitty joke too. And like I said, they all feel very much like the ONLY THING they do is that one joke they have, you see that happening more often than them just working or doing anything BUT that joke. There’s no chemistry, there’s no playing off one another, there’s no natural feel to anything or anyone, there’s just absolutely nothing but stale jokes and one pair of big tits.
Now, is it HORRIBLE? No, it’s watchable, it’s just very much 0. It’s not in the negatives, it’s not in the positives, it’s so fucking mediocre, generic, and made up of just overdone shit that it’s literally perfectly in the middle of the scale, so much so that you couldn’t even put a value to it one way or the other. Don’t get me wrong – it’s not that “this isn’t like Working!! enough to please me”, even completely putting aside the creator and whatever else aside, this show is, well, everything I already said. The fact that it IS from the mangaka of Working!! just makes it that much more of a disappointment. I’ll keep watching, but I’m not expecting much of anything now.
I wouldn’t recommend it, but I wouldn’t recommend against it either. It just is what it is – and that’s a depressingly mediocre series that feels almost like it’s a caricature of all anime in the 00s.