“Cells at Work:” educational and entertaining

If you had asked me a week ago what the function of blood or the immune system was, you would have gotten a blank stare. Now after watching the anime “Cells at Work,” I could tell you with ease, and I’ll probably still remember, even if you ask me five years from now.

“Cells at Work” has achieved the rare feat of being both entertaining and educational. It is about the cells in the human body and how they keep us healthy. Each episode in the series follows a day in the life of a red blood cell and a white blood cell. All the cells are depicted in human form, each with their own individual personalities. The White Blood Cell has a passion for killing germs and the Red Blood Cell is clumsy and keeps getting lost around the human body. The show highlights how the immune system works and how it attacks viruses and bacteria, which are depicted as monsters.

The show came out in 2018. It is 13 episodes long. Scientists have praised it for its scientific accuracy, and biology teachers have even assigned it as homework in China, according to the South China Morning Post.

The show follows a well-made formula. Every week there is a new germ to fight or another medical problem, which the cells deal with. By the end of the episode, everything is resolved until the next time. The show is light and fast paced and entertaining, while at the same time very educational.

The art is beautiful and crisp with bright colors. The inside of the human body, which the cells call “the world,” is drawn as a large interior that contains residential apartments, cities, and slightly futuristic looking passages. The stomach is depicted as the inside of a volcano. The heart is depicted as a Japanese shrine. A lot of thought has been put into making sure the things are presented in a scientifically accurate way.

The character designs are very well done. Like most things in the show, the animators often try to incorporate into a design some metaphor for what they do in reality. Red blood cells are depicted as being delivery boys and girls who wear red jackets and red floppy hats shaped like the actual blood cells. Neutrophils, a type of white blood cell, are depicted in all white. They fight the germs. Most of the show has the various immune system cells fighting against germs from which the body is under constant attack. This makes up most of the shows’ action scenes, which are fun to watch.

“Cells at Work” has given me a new appreciation for how the human body works. I would highly recommend it for its entertainment value as well as for explaining complex ideas about our biology in an engaging and memorable way.