Aniplex of America brought the special premier of “Cells at Work!” Episode One along with special guests from Japan to Anime Expo 2018 Day Two.

For those who have not checked out our manga review or the Aniplex announcement on “Cells at Work!”, the anime is an adaptation of Akane Shimizu’s manga about the world within every human’s body. It features a fledgling Red Blood Cell (RBC) who has yet to memorize the delivery routes (arteries and capillaries). Trouble comes in the form of aggressive bacteria wanting to wreck the area and devour RBCs. However they are stopped by the body’s constant police force, white blood cells (WBCs).

Red Blood Cell Cosplayer posing at Aniplex AX Booth. Photo Taken by Faith Orcino.

After the screening, there was a panel discussion with White Blood Cell voice actor Tomoaki Maeno, Kodansha Producer Yohei Ito, David Production Inc. Producer Nobutaka Kasana and Aniplex Producer Yuma Takahashi. Maeno was asked how he felt getting the part and he recalled how he auditioned with Red Blood Cell’s voice actress (Kana Hanazawa) and thought they made a good match for the roles. Regarding WBC’s personality in comparison to his own, Maeno joked that they had similar vocal quality but also had the same mindset of prioritizing work.

The talk shifted to the development of the show, starting with Producer Ito’s involvement. He said that “Cells at Work!” was a manga with good potential to becoming an anime due to its very large cast of characters and detailed backgrounds. According to him, both Aniplex and David approached his company interested in making the adaptation at different occasions. Producer Kasana said he was a fan of the manga and bought it when the first volume initially came out. He then continued saying the series was both realistic and fantastical with its reimagining the microscopic realm of the body. The collaboration with the different companies worked out because both Aniplex and David worked on the anime adaptation of “Inu X Boku Secret Service”.

A question was raised on why choosing Anime Expo 2018 as its special premiere venue. Aniplex producer Takahashi answered that AX was a great anime event and even though they made the series in Japan and this event is in the U.S., everyone has the same body inside. Kasana passed on a message from Director Kenichi Suzuki who he said put a lot of effort in the detailed labeling on the many body parts and hope viewers take those as a chance to learn some Japanese.

As a closing remark, Ito said “Hope to love our bodies”, our loved ones’ bodies and to take good care of them. Maeno shared the same sentiment with his closing statement before giving fans a small performance as WBC out of the Episode One script which Takahashi brought.

Episode One of “Cells at Work is now available and the rest of the series will stream with subtitles on Crunchyroll. Check out their page for more information. We also have our manga review of Shimizu’s original work which has five volumes out in English.

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