Servant x Service: Final Reflection
December 12, 2013
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If memory serves, I was still in the middle of constructing a simulation environment when I finished Servant x Service somewhere back in November. Servant x Service is, at its core, an anime about the civil service workplace, and all of the accompanying oddities that Lucy and her coworkers experience, whether it be the fact that their section supervisor is shy and is only comfortable with interacting with the others through a stuffed rabbit, Tashi Ichimiya’s relationship with Megumi Chihaya and the former’s sister’s terrorising of Lucy et al. These interactions allow the characters to really play off one another, setting up for some jokes that are unique to the workplace: at the end of the day, the sheer ridiculousness of each situation the characters find themselves in is incredibly entertaining. The series is paced well, and for me, it was Yutaka Hasebe’s interactions with Lucy that ultimately made this journey so worthwhile: while Yutaka makes fun of Lucy for her name early on, as the series wears on, it turns out he has feelings for her, and in perhaps one of the most unusual twists of irony, his father was the one who authorised her name.
- Saya typically ends up listening to long-winded conversations from her clients and is seen here hiding under her desk to escape her fate. It’s been a while since I’ve had time to sit down and blog, but now that the time has presented itself, here I am.
- While Yutaka is a slacker and enjoys poking fun at Lucy, he is also hyper-competent, being well-versed in ventriloquism and sign language. In the current events, a controversy is brewing as the South African interpreter for sign language has been found to be using sign language inconsistent with international standards at speeches for Nelson Mandela, who passed away on December 5, 2013.
- The stuffed rabbit in the image is Kenzo Momoi, the section manager. Despite being the senior-most member of the staff seen in Servant x Service, he’s often picked on by the other staff, but nonetheless tries to interact with his subordinates to build stronger bonds.
- Like Lucy, I cannot hold my alcohol. For these reasons, I don’t like drinking. I alluded to this previously: somewhere in October, I had a single glass of champagne to celebrate the graduation of one of the staff on the research team. Said glass gave me a headache and I turned in early that evening, only to miss the only aurora seen around these parts for the past few years.
- I picked up Servant x Service during the summer but never got around to watching it until November: after classes ended, I would return to the lab and watch an episode while on lunch break before returning to work. I was initially hesitant about watching this at the lab, but the fanservice has been pretty restrained, meaning that Servant x Service does one more thing correctly.
- Kanon Momoi is Kenzo’s daughter. She’s said to look like Kenzo and in fact, brings to mind Akari from Yuru Yuri.
- Lucy, Saya, Megumi and Yutaka share lunch hours together. Throughout the series, other characters are introduced, adding dynamics to the moments. In particular, Jouji Tanaka (elderly Mrs. Tanaka’s grandson) plays an interesting role in the series, serving as the foil to Yutaka. Hardworking but eternally overshadowed, his friendship with Yutaka is an interesting one.
- Lucy finds herself in the midst of Yutaka’s requests to ask her out and Megumi’s desire to force her to cosplay. After some negotiations, Lucy ends up wearing Megumi’s handmade dress on her date with Yutaka.
- It turns out that Yutaka’s feelings for Lucy are genuine, and apparently, he stops asking women for their contact information once he meets Lucy. Of course, fate can sometimes be a real bravo india tango charlie hotel: it turns out Yutaka’s father approved of Lucy’s name, but was at the time, worried about Yutaka, who was ill.
- However, life goes on: once Yutaka and Lucy sort things out, work carries on as per usual. The final episode is appropriately titled Now We’re Set, A Fun Workplace Leading to Tomorrow, and of course, with an excellent series now over, I’m wondering if the possibility of a second season would be realised. Servant x Service has done a phenomenal job in its execution, and a second season may see new employees; from a personal perspective, isn’t out of the question. The deciding factor would probably be how well this show was received in Japan.
At the end of the day, I only have a handful of screenshots because I feel that my words alone won’t be sufficient to do Servant x Service justice. Images and text can only do so much to describe a brilliant series that is at its best when its characters are bouncing off one another. This is an anime that successfully captures and presents what one workplace might be like, as well as illustrating the unique attributes to each of the workers. Servant x Service is able to take a workplace that is thought of as faceless and applies the human touch to it, showing how the civil servants in society are ordinary people doing their jobs and that there is so much more to their lives beyond filling out forms and helping clients apply for things. Servant x Service ends up being one of the more entertaining series in 2013, and as I am reflecting on it so late in the game, I can say that 2013 has been a generally amazing year for anime, with Servant x Service being up there for its humour. As for those bonus tidbits of information about the Japanese civil service, those were a nice touch to the show. I’m not sure if the Canadian system works the same way, but including these informational cards do add an additional degree of immersion to the show.