Hataraki Man Anime Review

Title: Hataraki Man on Blu-ray

Director: Katsumi Ono

Publisher: MaidenJapan

U. S. Release Date: January 22, 2019

Format: Blu-ray / 11 Episodes / 275 Minutes

Genre: Drama

Age Rating: 14+

Overall Personal Rating: A-


Hiroko Matsukata is an editor for the weekly magazine Jidai. She is working in a field dominated by men, driven to prove herself. With her serious work ethic and long working hours, she is sometimes referred to as “working man”. It seems to be mostly meant as a compliment but with a tinge of insult for not exhibiting enough of the traditional feminine traits.

She is busy developing articles, doing interviews and research, writing the final pieces. Her job is her first priority in life, making her long term relationship with her boyfriend difficult to fit in. His work life is just as demanding and he is also devoted to his company. Together, they seem to have little energy and time left to keep things going.

Hirloko is trying to figure out out to navigate and be sucessful in the male dominated workforce in the job she loves. She looks toward her other female colleges and tries to determine what tactics and traits they use to be successful in their jobs. Will she ever be able to find the respect her male coworkers seems to easily extend to each other? Does she need it?


I enjoyed Hataraki Man. It is a Josei drama that could have easily been done as a live action television show, and that is even how it comes across, not so much of what characterizes anime and what people usually expect from anime. It is a more realistic story and characters with the theme of woman making their way in the working world traditionally and currently dominated by men- along the lines of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. I do think the use of animation added to the depictions of the scenes for several reasons, including the ability to show the expressions of emotions and inner thoughts, the actors’ own personalities don’t interfere with the character, and the images and style are all planned and controlled to tell the story in its own world; a representation of life that doesn’t have to work in the confines of real life.

Hararaki Man focuses on situations a working woman, and man, can identify with, but since it is from a woman’s point of view, it is exploring the daily life a woman experiences pushing into the slow changes of the Japanese workforce, and I think it applies to the American viewer as well. We may be at a different point of our working evolution, but as on older woman these experiences were part of my working life and it still is part of our culture to a different degree. Even if you take gender out of the discussion, Balancing personal life with a exceptional career path are somethings we all have to deal with.

It wan’t just about bout working and how Hiroko was perceived and treated as a woman. It was also about people’s positions in life and places in relationships. Co-workers can be slackers and bosses can be harsh. Or the opposite. We have to deal with them all, whether thoughtfully or not. And outside of work, the lines may be blurred, but where are the lines of priority?

I found it to be interesting and engaging right away. No need to make it to episode 3 to see if its worth watching. The characters are relatable and I wanted to see how everything played out for them. It wasn’t all great and magical. There were ups and downs, plenty of just getting through and trying to figure it out.

Hataraki Man is written of a 20+ age group because that is what the story deals with and that’s who will relate the most to the characters and situations, it isn’t because or sexuality, there is some but not much.

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