Cells At Work Season 2 review: The benefits of vaccination and probiotics explained

·3-min read
The second instalment of Cells At Work continues to follow the experiences of Red Blood Cell AE3803 (Kana Hanazawa) and White Blood Cell U-1146 (Tomoaki Maeno), as they travel around the body. (Screenshot: Netflix)
The second season of Cells At Work continues to follow the experiences of Red Blood Cell AE3803 (Kana Hanazawa) and White Blood Cell U-1146 (Tomoaki Maeno), as they travel around the body.

Cast: Kana Hanazawa, Tomoaki Maeno, Daisuke Ono
Language: Japanese with various subtitles

Streaming on Netflix from 30 July

4 out of 5 stars

This review covers all episodes of Cells At Work Season 2.

SINGAPORE — An unorthodox anime, Cells At Work personifies the cells of a human body, illustrating their functions as if they are employees in a big company. The second season continues to follow the experiences of Red Blood Cell AE3803 (Kana Hanazawa), who is no longer a rookie, and White Blood Cell U-1146 (Tomoaki Maeno), as they travel around the body. (You can also read our review of the spin-off series, Cells At Work: Code Black, here.)

While the first season focuses on the relatively more common cells, such as the different kinds of white blood cells including the aggressive Killer T Cell (Daisuke Ono) and the lovely yet violent Macrophage, and the cute Platelets, the second season dives in deeper to the less known cells (at least for someone with minimal biology knowledge), such as the Megakaryocyte that produces platelets, the Mast Cell that releases histamine, and the Dendritic Cell that produces cytokines used in cell signalling.

Cells At Work may be a biology anime, but it should be noted that the story has greatly simplified the functions of trillions of cells that exist in a human body. Along with its comedic elements, the anime is an enjoyable introduction to the multi-faceted human biology, which helps people understand what’s going on in their bodies a little better.

Unlike the first season that hardly talks about external support like medicines — it mainly covers how the body reacts to threats – the second season is more well-rounded with topics on acquired immunity through vaccination (how relevant during this pandemic situation!) and the benefits of ingesting lactic acid bacteria.

What makes Cells At Work more like a regular anime and less dry like a school subject is how it pits the human body's cells as the protagonists against the bacteria and viruses as the antagonists. In fact, there is even a nemesis — the Cancer Cell, hell-bent on creating a world where cells no longer have to kill each other, even if it means risking the life of the body. The Cancer Cell first appeared in episode seven of the first season, and later gets a revival in the finale of the second season.

Although the first season tends to explore one topic per episode, usually with a new cell introduced, the second season plays it differently with some episodes having two topics. Although Season 2 only has a short eight episodes, as compared to the 13 episodes in the first season, the content is still as rich and interesting.

If you’d like to learn about the human body's cells in a more engaging and fun manner, Cells At Work is a good place to start. After finishing the second season, you may understand the importance and benefits of vaccination, especially in light of the coronavirus, and may even look into consuming more lactic acid bacteria.

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