cells at work, hataraku saibou, anime

The creators of the hit manga-based show Hataraku Saibou have embraced its role in the classroom. This led to the recent launch of official assets from the show, specifically for learning.

Medical students and practitioners have praised the anime (which goes by the alternate title Cells at Work, its literal translation) for its accurate representation of how the body works. The show explains internal body functions in a simple manner through antropomorphic cells.

This prompted the creators of the show to offer official downloadable images and information on its official website as special content. These free downloads include the body’s natural cells, as well as the invaders that already appeared on the show.

Users may download and use the files under these guidelines:

  1. Images are meant for academic institutions

  2. Images will be used for academic purposes

  3. Use it in line with existing morals

One question, though: What’s the big deal, especially since loads of images are already available online?

Anime copyright at work

Japanese media companies have always been stringent when it comes to copyrighted content. Their products have been the subject of considerable violations throughout the years: video fansubs, manga scanlations (scan translations), and unsanctioned third party merchandise, to name a few.

This has been a touchy subject, since Japanese cultural products such as anime and manga often reach overseas recognition through unofficial broadcast or publication channels. Recently, the Japanese government has cracked down on websites that host pirated anime and manga.

(Yes, that Facebook video of Platelets-chan isn’t exactly legal, if you know what I mean.)

By offering official content for download, Hataraku Saibou’s creators recognize their show’s contribution in education. Although they can’t officially upload full episodes, their special release is a nice gesture.

So the next time you talk about how accurate Hataraku Saibou is, remember that the creators are gratefully nodding in approval. And encouraging you to use their free content for educational purposes. –MF


  • https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/interest/2018-10-01/cells-at-work-continues-to-education-with-free-assets-for-teachers-medical-staff/.137549


Author: Ronin Bautista

Ronin is a Christmas-loving wandering scribe who wanted to be a doctor, until he learned it meant cutting dead bodies open. He is currently finishing his MA in Asian Studies (major in Japanese Studies), while teaching journalism classes at UP Diliman’s College of Mass Communication.