Cells at Work: Code Black Release Date, Visuals & Updates

Cells at Work! Or Hataraku Saibou is a Japanese manga series written by Akane Shimizu. It got an anime adaptation in 2018, licensed by Aniplex.

Now this educational, cute, shonen series is getting a spin-off for a mature audience in January 2021. The name of this series is Cells at Work: Code Black.

1. Release Date

Cells at Work: Code Black is a darker version of its previous season. It is set in a ‘Blacker’ environment of a human body suffering an unhealthy lifestyle.

Cells at Work: Code Black Season Updates
Cells at Work: Code Black

The April issue of the Morning magazine revealed that an adaptation of the spin-off manga, written by Shigemitsu Harada, would air in January 2021.

It is officially confirmed that there will be a spin-off Cells at Work: Code Black anime premiering on January 10th, 2021. There is also an announcement that the Cell at Work Season 2 will be releasing at the same time in January 2021.

Season 2 was supposed to release in 2020 but due to the Covid-19 pandemic the broadcasting was postponed to 2021.

‘Cells at Work: Code Black’ will be adapted into an anime TV show in January 2021! The story of the cells struggling in a black workplace. Giving courage to the people who work hard, this the start of the adult Cells!
Work. As long as you live.

English Translation, Twitter Translate

Cells at Work is that anime which not only has action, cute little children, clumsy red heads, but also heck lot of human biology lessons.

If you didn’t pay attention in class, this anime would be a perfect informational anime for you with comedic relief. Even fans say so!

Experts on Quora (https://www.quora.com/What-do-biologists-think-of-the-anime-Cells-at-Work)

But is Code Black the same as the season 1? Why is there a need to make spin-off in that case…why is it not a season 3?

2. Contrast with Season 1

Is Code Black similar to Hataraku Saibou to be a season 3? NO!

Code Black is a standalone story which has its own main characters and a whole new body (cough).

Cells at Work franchise has a lot of spin-offs, however, Code Black is the darkest of them all. Not just in name, but theme, settings, designs, and plot.

It was written by Shigemitsu Harada and supervised by the original creator Akane Shimizu. The story follows the highly-stressed cells of an unhealthy person.

In comparison with the first season of Cells at Work, it has the same setting. A red blood cell and white blood cell are the two main characters.

They show the harmful nitty-gritties of the human body and its diseases rather than how the human body works.

I. About the Studio

Liden Films is the animation studio taking up Code Black. It has produced several good anime like Miss Monochrome, Yamada-kun and the 7 witches, Berserk, Woodpecker’s Detective’s Office, and more.

Hideyo Yamamoto who has worked with Darker than Black, Kyou Kara Maoh, Strike the Blood, and Prince of Tennis is going to direct Code Black.

II. Response to the Manga

By 2018, the Cells at Work manga had over 1.5 million copies in print. It was listed as the seventh top manga preferred by male readers in the Kono Manga ga Sugoi guidebook in 2016.

III. How popular is the Franchise?

One factor is the rather stunning action sequences and bloody fight scenes, the other main factor is the series accurate depiction of biology.

The anime does in fact teach the audience how the human body functions through the anime!

With cute roles given to the platelets, hard-working red blood cells, always in demand white blood cells, and other different microscopic body parts, the anime may help future doctors in the studies. (Please study hard though)

Dr. Satoru Otsuka of Emory University School of Medicine praised the depiction of cancer cells in the series.

Biology teachers of Southwest University were so impressed by the accuracy of the series, that they assigned homework to students on it.

The ‘normal’ fans of the anime are rather more interested in the action and the beautiful white blood cells of the series. Which explains why the anime has an impressive rating of 7.71 by audience on MyAnimeList.


IV. Animation Quality

Season 1 of Cells at Work was produced by the David Production, the company that made the phenomenal anime JoJo. We can see some influence in this show for sure.

The visuals of the anime and background are all soft and bright and fit the theme of the anime. It is supposed to inform the viewers with good graphics and narration.

The modern-ish way they show the insides of a human compared to the outside world is very interesting. The creativity and character designs attract the attention of a viewer and make the anime worth watching.

Cells at Work! - AMV - Cruel World
Cells At Work AMV

But Code Black on the other hand would be made Liden Films. It is a good animation house in its own rights. However, this series is very different from the first season.

There are many obvious differences, starting from the setting of the story itself. The body which the characters inhibit is ‘falling apart’. It is filled with filth, broken pipes, and very industrial.

The characters too seem very battle-hardened and stressed, with no news when the next thing is going to blow up, all cells scramble here and there to keep the human body functioning.

The visuals of this series is likely to be very dark, musty, and dystopian. Let’s wait till January 2021 to check out the actual animation.

V. Why a Spin-off?

Cells at Work has a season 2 in works, also set to premiere in January 2021. The reason why they are not sequels is that they are very different.

They are set in different worlds occurring in a same “human” universe. They are also created by different studios, have a different cast and staff. Conclusion, they have two irrelevant storylines.

Cells at Work: Code Black Season Updates
Cells at Work: Code Black

Code Black has a more bleak and cynical point of view on the human body. According to the plot, the cells have been overworked and are stressed due to the carelessness of the host body.

If the first season of the Cells at Work was a heart-warming, comedy anime, Code Black is a wake-up call to all the viewers to take care of their bodies.

The spin-off is dark and painful as it doesn’t hold back the reality of situations. The body of the human seems very dystopian where the cells do their jobs or die trying.

Here instead of common cold, allergies, and food poisoning; you get liver failures, STDs and erectile dysfunction problems.

The action and violence also get an ‘upgrade’, the bacteria looking less comical and more monstrous. The Red blood cells going to the liver for ‘detoxification’.

This story is about battle-hardened cells in a human body, and they just can’t be explained through the original manga. The manga readers agree and are expectant of the anime.

VI. Will there be a Season 2?

In 2019 a second season of the Cells at Work franchise was announced but due to the Covid-19 pandemic it had to be postponed to January 2021.

Season 2 is named Cells at Work: The Return of the Strongest Enemy. It is being produced by David Production. It also marks the return of the original cast and staff for the scripts and designs.

The anime will be based on the volume 5 of the manga. Some viewers think that the release of Code Black with Strongest Enemy is to emphasise the contrast between the two.

3. Manga Promotion

Under the supervision of the original creator Akane Shimizu and written by Shigemitsu Harada, the spin-off series has been serialized by Kodansha’s Morning magazine since 2018. It has released 5 tankobon volumes so far.

In addition to the original manga, there are other 2 digital-only series titled Cells Not at Work and Cells at Work and friends.

Following the new spin-off adaptation and the season 2 of Cells at Work, there is another series of the franchise called Cells at Work: Babies. It will be out for print release in 2021. It’s about ‘cute baby cells in a new-born baby body’.

4. New Key Visuals

Code Black is likely to adapt from the Volume 1 of the spin-off series. The official twitter has also released key visuals for the 2021 anime.

Volume 1 (https://kodanshacomics.com/volume/cells-at-work-code-black-1/)


5. New Teasers/Trailers

An official PV was released by Kodansha for Hataraku Saibou: Code Black. It states that the new anime spin-off will premiere in January 2021.

Cells At Work! CODE BLACK | Official Trailer

It shows how hard it is for cells to live in an unhealthy body and sets a rhythm for the upcoming anime.

6. Recap of Season 1

The story takes place inside the human body, where trillions of anthropomorphic cells each do their job to keep the body healthy.

This is the daily life of cells who get lost on their way to lungs, get wounds and allergies, and bicker with each other. But, they all work hard to keep their host’s body healthy.

The series largely focuses on two such cells. A rookie red blood cell, AE3803, who often gets lost during deliveries, and a relentless white blood cell, U-1146, who fights against any germs that invade the body.

Cells at Work: Code Black Season Updates
Cells at Work: Code Black

AE3803 transports goods such as oxygen and nutrients to different body parts, while U-1146 patrols the blood vessels and destroys threats.

The show doesn’t have any chronological order, as it is more episodical in nature. It explains the characteristics and importance of different cells in out body in numerous ways.

With a background story, we understand Killer, Helper, and Regular-T cells. The way the movement and depiction of body parts in represented in the anime makes the viewers understand the importance of them.

Like the heart is shown as a temple, normal cells are regular apartments, cells travelling using pipes and tunnels. There is comedy revolving our Red blood cell AE3803.  With her clumsy and forgetful nature, it is easy to watch entertainment in the human biology.

The anime is fun to watch and informative at the same time.

Watch Cells at Work on Netflix and Crunchyroll

Watch Cells at Work! on:

7. What Will Happen In Code Black?

Cells at Work: Code Black is different than the first season as it shows what will happen to you…if you had an unhealthy body rather than a young, healthy one.

Due to a severe shortage of workers, Red Blood Cell AA2153 has to quickly learn to deliver oxygen and collect carbon dioxide, even in dangerous conditions.

Meanwhile, White Blood Cell U-1196 has to do her part by dealing with germs and viruses during life-threatening situations.

This spin-off series focuses more on what can go wrong with a human body. Common colds, flu, bacteria are just a weekend daily routine for these tough cells.

In this case, a body of a middle-aged man is filled with diseases, and filth that couldn’t be explained before. Alcohol, smoking, and stress—in the body subjected to these irritants, the cells responsible for maintaining life seem to fight a war that never ends.

In the midst of these crises, AA2153 and U-1196 have to work together to keep the body healthy, despite not knowing if their sacrifices will be worthwhile.

Cells at Work: Code Black Season Updates
Cells At Work | Source: Fandom

This mature take on the series surprisingly has a large audience.   

8. Cast & Staff

Cells at Work: Code Black has a separate staff and cast from the original adaptation:

DirectorHideyo Yamamoto
Series CompositionHayashi Mori
Character DesignEiji Abiko
Kenjirou TsudaNarrator
Junya EnokiAA2153
Yoko HikasaU-1196

Kenjirou Tsuda is known for his work as Mikoto Suoh (K), Mikoshiba Seijuurou (Free!), Overhaul (My Hero Academia), and Atomic Samurai (One Punch Man).

Junya Enoki has voiced characters like Takaishi Takeru (Digimon), Itadori Yuuji (Jujutsu Kaisen), Hoshino Ryou (Fugou Keiji), and Kurata Takezou (Kno Oto Tomare).

While Yoko Hikasa voiced Mio (K-ON), Emi Yusa (Devil is a Part-timer), Frieda Reiss (Attack on Titan), and Olivier (No Guns Life).

9. About Cells at Work

The human body consists of approx. 37 trillion cells. These cells are hard at work every day within your human body.

From the oxygen carrying Red Blood Cells to the bacteria fighting White Blood Cells, get to know these unsung heroes.

This is about the drama that unfolds within you.


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