Anime Vice News

SERVANT X SERVICE #1 - - Special Review

Office politics are mildly amusing!

So I’m guessing SERVANT X SERVICE is some nod to HUNTER X HUNTER, right? And the “X” would have to be silent then, too?

Anyway, putting aside the topic of anime’s needlessly complicated titles, I can’t imagine how much money Ricky Gervais must be making off THE OFFICE. Why’s that relevant here? Well, his show’s been officially remade for TV in pretty much every civilized country in the world… and it tickles me to think that this show is anime’s answer to it. Sure, there aren’t any one-to-one character parallels yet - - no obnoxiously eager-to-please boss, no weird sycophant, no romance between a secretary and a salesman - - but it’s still a sitcom trying to find sitcom shenanigans in the most banal of corporate settings.

As such, I again wonder if I would’ve enjoyed the show more if it’d been dubbed. Humor just tends to hit a lot harder when it isn’t separated by the language barrier. Or maybe I just wasn’t in the mood. I found the one-upmanship with our lead’s skirt-chasing co-worker to be far more amusing than gags surrounding her rather lame obsession with getting revenge on civil servants.

The gag about him parrying her second offended attack? Funny. Her long-winded explanation about how she’s carried a grudge on state employees for enabling her silly name? Not as well-designed, no. Maybe more pointedly, it’s a gag that doesn’t really make sense in a rote sub like this. Obviously, there’s some wordplay in Japanese, and it would’ve gone a long way for the translation team to use a little more creative license (the horror!) when they were working out the sub-titles.

Of course, this is fresh out of the stream, as it were, so there probably wasn’t time for any of that. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a rushed product but, nevertheless, there was some unrealized potential here to elicit more than just shrugs and faint smiles from me.

Watch this episode, "Be Careful About How You Refer to Someone and Why” here and decide for yourself.

Now, read my write-ups on other pilots from this season below…

metalsnakezeroon July 15, 2013 at 2:44 p.m.

Most of these sitcom animes are from a 4-koma manga where 4 panel lay out a joke kinda like most news paper comics. So most of the time the shows are like the 4-koma, really for a good smile instead of huge laughs.

As for the subject of the jokes many are Japanese related so for westerns that aren't too familiar to Japanese culture it will miss out on a bit. That said Servant X Service is pretty enjoyable. Reminds me of another show involving work called Working. Check it out on Hulu if you want http://www.hulu.com/wagnaria

YotaruVegetaon July 15, 2013 at 4:45 p.m.

"X" in Japanese titles usually mean "Cross." If it's a nod to Hunter x Hunter, I don't know.

Daniel_Newton moderator on July 15, 2013 at 5:42 p.m.

@YotaruVegeta said:

"X" in Japanese titles usually mean "Cross." If it's a nod to Hunter x Hunter, I don't know.

It can be either, it seems. In KissxSis it's silent, but in Street Fighter X Tekken it's cross.

I'm guessing the silent use is an equivalent of using a dash "-" in the English language.

metalsnakezeroon July 15, 2013 at 7:31 p.m.

@YotaruVegeta said:

"X" in Japanese titles usually mean "Cross." If it's a nod to Hunter x Hunter, I don't know.

Yeah "X" is used for "Cross" and has been used for years. Meaning the original manga of SERVANT X SERVICE was titled like this. So no nod.

Marshal Victoryon July 15, 2013 at 10:09 p.m.

@metalsnakezero: Was gona post link to Working to hehe. Thats a good show An this one reminded me of it at times. Tho not near as well writen as Working .Stil worth a watch .It also reminded me of Inu x Boku Secret Service mostly cause i thought this might be a spin off of it .

Also THE OFFICE did not invent the work place comedy.Tho it get highest marks check out the list here http://www.imdb.com/list/7NRGMBhqjVE/ Personaly id rather watch 1st season of The Drew Carey Show(1995 TV Series) over The Office(2001 TV Series) any day of the week.

SamJazon July 16, 2013 at 1:45 a.m.

Huh. I could've sworn that the Office was older than that, but I guess I was wrong.

DocHauson July 16, 2013 at 4:24 p.m.

This series was amusing, but the civil servant stuff was played too straight for me to be interested in this show.

YotaruVegetaon July 16, 2013 at 6:03 p.m.

@Marshal Victory: The Office obviously did not create the workplace comedy. It was several decades old by the early 2000s. It did help pave the way for the current crop of documentary style, laugh track-free comedies. Those are my faves.

Marshal Victoryon July 16, 2013 at 6:49 p.m.

@YotaruVegeta: You would be surprised how some think the latest flash is the brightest in entertainment.Prefer no laugh track my self .Sure they can the laughter for freshness but ehh its stale trick to get people to laugh along with the show.

Oddly enuff some of the anime comedies work for me in subtitle,Tho its not unheard of in animation comedy i can not think of one anime with a laugh track.. The caned laugh thing .. take this fellows body of work http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000316/ every movie that hes directed that i can recall has no laugh track..Would feel odd watching any of them with it i think.

Dig Deeper into Servant X Service

From the same writer behind "Working!" The life and times of the civil servants working in a Japanese welfare office with a humorous twist.

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