Influenza has invaded the world of Cells At Work! Thus, even more than previous episodes, we are dealing with the body’s immune system and how the various parts work together. We get more details on WBC and how he fits into the broader scope of the body’s response to viruses. After a Naive T Cell encounters the start of the CellZombie Apocalypse, WBC arrives on-scene to begin the immediate disposal of the influenza virus. However, it becomes apparent pretty early on that, unlike the pneumococcus bacteria from the first episode, this isn’t something the white blood cells alone can handle.
Enter the Macrophage, a white blood cell more able to analyze the virus and call in support (here pictured as a large-weapon wielding woman in white). The Killer T Cells then move in to try and destroy the virus as well. The Naive T Cell runs away during the confusion. He eventually runs to the dendrite, who unlocks his latent potential, causing him to go Super Cell-an and return to the fight newly activated.
Thus begins the War of the Body, where the entire body begins fighting back with a fever, chills, sneezing, coughing, and all other methods available to the body to defend itself. At the end of the episode, our heroes stand triumphant over the B influenza. That is, until an A influenza invades the body as well, stronger and more immune to the previous methods. And thus, here we go again!
This was a very enjoyable episode to watch. I’m really enjoying the various depictions of how the different cells and parts of the body interact. It does a good job of fusing the actual scientific realities of how the body works with common anime tropes. I highly doubt naive T cells turn and run from a virus, and have to be encouraged back to the fight. However, that has been the plot of several whole anime arcs or series. The series does a fun job of working standard anime plotlines into the way the body works without making it too referential or pandering. That would have been the wrong choice, in my opinion. Instead, it works in the common elements, and just assumes some familiarity with them as it otherwise blows past them. We don’t spend much time on the Shinji Cell running away. It feels like the series has a comfortable grasp of how much anime to work into its biology, which is a point in its favor.
However, for those of you expecting anything aside from what you had in the first episode, prepare to be disappointed. At this point, there is still no overarching plot, no real character depth, no grand mythos to be found. At this point, I highly doubt there will be one. That’s fine, though. It’s not a series designed to have it. Each episode is a self-contained, bite-sized ailment to deal with. While I generally agree with what Mithrandiel said last week that a shorter format might do this show some good, there was a lot of ground to cover this episode. I dunno if they’d have been able to do that in 5 minutes. If they’re doing to anime-ize the body, they might as well make sure to have fun with the tropes and enjoy it. Overall, by this point, you should know if you’re in or not. If you’re in, you’re on the same wavelength as this show and don’t need it to change. If you’re not, I wouldn’t hold my breath on it changing.