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Body Talk: Thoughts on Cells At Work!

© David Production & Crunchyroll

Cells at Work! (はたらく細胞)

(Anime 2018)

Studio: David Production

Cells At Work! is the most appropriate anime series to watch during a pandemic.

This series is a great learning tool for students to study human anatomy and biology. The show explains to viewers the functionality of each organ and cell as well as how the human combats against various viruses and bacteria that enters the body. Ironically, this series is relevant in regards to the coronavirus: people are researching how this illness attacks our lungs and how it causes other severe health problems. It’s quite informative to know how the body functions when it’s up against an unknown entity. Overall, this is a great teaching tool. If you watch the series with English subtitles, you are provided with written descriptions explaining each organ’s and cell’s function—a great supplementary biology text.

I also like how biology content is explained to viewers. Not all of us are science majors, but the show explains difficulty concepts in laymen terms and through metaphors and symbolism. For example, in order to discuss the process of how the heart receives oxygen, the heart is represented as a sacred temple, where red blood cells deliver and exchange box package to represent how blood pumps in and out of the heart. Also, all the human cells are represented as people whose names are the very role they are given in the body. In this case, our main protagonist is this “Red Blood Cell” who constantly gets lost while delivering nutrients and oxygen throughout the human body and also gets attack by viruses. As a result, a “White Blood Cell” always comes to save her from danger. There are other metaphors and symbols that this show uses to help readers understand the human anatomy such as using a desert to represent what happens to the body during a heatstroke and a nursery school to represent the place where newborn red blood cells, white blood cells, and T-cells, train for their roles in the body.

This series is quite clever and creative and I can’t wait for the second season. You can watch the series on Crunchyroll.


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