The plight of a hard working editor

Hiroko Matsukata is single and a workaholic. The 28-year-old is one of several editors at the magazine, Weekly JIDAI, which covers political scandals, food trends, sports and scantily clad models on certain pages.

It is not unusual for her to pull all-nighters, subsisting on natto hand rolls. Yep, natto. The sticky soybean, which is an acquired taste.
She earned the nickname, Hataraki Man or working man from fellow employees because she works really hard and doesnt think too much of those who cruise through their jobs.

We see her get excited about stories, work like a maniac, interact with her fellow editors and bemoan the time she cannot spend with her equally busy boyfriend.

Thus goes Hataraki Man, one of those slice-of-life animes geared for an older set. Dont get me wrong. The animation looks sharp and the character designs are true to the manga version. Theyre normal looking folks, if you get my drift.

She goes drinking sometimes with the tubby editor who deals with the food section and the models. Theyre pals only. In an earlier episode, she went out on a stakeout with the prickly Fumiya Sugawara, whose job seems to be going undercover or doing stakeouts to get photos of people caught in the act.

Im predicting sparks will eventually happen between them. Its a clich in anime. The couple who gets on each others nerves eventually falls in love or feels some sort of attraction.

There are only 11 episodes but I didnt feel the need to rush back to the store after watching three episodes. Part of my disinterest is that the show hits too close to home for me. Ya see, I watch anime because it has nothing to do with my real life. I doubt that giant robots would suddenly attack the towns I cover or purple-haired school girls with magical powers would soon attend the local middle school.

I write for a living and I deal with more eccentric characters than Hiroko does so her pals and sources leave me bored. The fact she works through the night isnt unusual in our business either. And I was appalled that her fellow employees seem amazed she works that hard. They should be embarrassed theyre not working as hard as she is.

At the JIDAI, she and her co-workers are called editors when they would clearly be reporters here. I was also surprised when she sent an interview back to a government official so he could approve it after they chatted. I know nothing about Japanese journalism so Im not sure if this is common practice over there or just something the shows writers made up. I can tell you that we never do that in American journalism.

Maybe I will watch the rest of the show this summer when I have some extra time. Right now, its sort of a yawner for me.

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