HomeComics/MangaMANGA REVIEW | "Cells at Work!" - Volume One

MANGA REVIEW | "Cells at Work!" - Volume One

MANGA REVIEW | "Cells at Work!" - Volume One

There are trillions of cells living within one person. So it should come as no surprise that a story would humanize the likes of red & white blood cells, platelets, and macrophages. Of course, the first to do it were the Farrelly Brothers in the 1998 film Osmosis Jones. However, author Akane Shimizu did it much better in their series Cells at Work!

Most of the focus in Cells at Work! is on a Red Blood Cell and a White Blood Cell. Living inside of the human body, Red Blood Cell spends her days carrying oxygen through every aspect of the person. White Blood Cell, on the other hand, spends his days fighting bacteria and disease, destroying them in the most vicious of ways. But the paths of Red and White often cross one another, as there isn’t a single dull day to be had living inside of the human body. However, living in the human body can be a dangerous thing, especially when germs come in wave.

Much of Cells at Work! showcases humor to educate its readers about how the body works. Whether it’s oxygen being carried in delivery packages, adorable platelets aiding in healing certain wounds, or B cells using explosives to deal with deadly germs, everything is exaggerated in order to both entertain and teach. Even the germs are presented like they’re supervillains, with germs looking like aliens and influenza viruses acting like zombies. It’s all done with delightful wackiness, even if the action can get pretty violent in places.

The first volume of the series focuses on four different kinds of ailments. Its premiere chapter acts as a way to introduce this world and its key players. However, not only does it do a great job with educating readers with human body tidbits, but it does so with a plethora of unexpected humor. One of the funnier gags involves the ridding of Pneumococcus, as a rocket launches and causes the human body to sneeze them out.

These gags continue with the introduction of Cedar Pollen, who look like blobby ghosts. The amount of chaos they create is both terrifying and hilarious, as the cells panic whilst noses become stuffy and tears literally flood the area. A Naive T Cell takes center stage when an influenza outbreak occurs, as the weak cell takes the time to grow into a strong (and violent) ally against the zombie hoard. When a knee becomes scraped, the adorable platelets are the ones to save the day thanks to their useful (and incredibly sticky) nets used to close up wounds.

Education, action, and comedy go hand-in-hand with Cells at Work!, and it works to many degrees. You feel like you’re learning something about the human body, while your brain becomes entertained by the madness that happens in these pages. The premise may seem silly at first, but Cells at Work! finds many ways to be both informative and fun to read. In its own way, it showcases the importance of a healthy human body, and why a clean bill of heath is necessary to fight off even the weakest of germs out there.


Promotional consideration provided by Kodansha Manga.

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The J-POP king of America, Evan has been bringing the hottest sounds of the Land of the Rising Sun to the English-speaking public since his college radio days. He's also an expert in the gaming, anime, & manga realms, never afraid to get critical when the times call for it. Born & bred in Boston, he achieved his biggest dream yet by making the big move to Tokyo, Japan in Summer 2023! For personal inquiries, contact Evan at evan@b3crew.com. For press/band inquiries, write to us at thebastards@bostonbastardbrigade.com. (Drawing by AFLM of Wicked Anime)