Cells at Work! vs Cells at Work! Code Black Review

Cells at Work!

Cells at work! is a manga series written and illustrated by Akane Shimizu. The Anime series of this premiered in 2018. The spin-off series Cells at Work! – Code black premiered in 2021. Here is my review of it.

Before we get into this though, do check out other related anime reviews like my review on Battle Game in 5 seconds or The Strongest Sage with the Weakest Crest.

Introduction to Cells at Work! and Cells at Work! Code Black

Photo(c): Akane Shimizu/David Production

Cells at work! and Cells at Work -Code Black! are anime series that feature the human body and its functions within it.

Cells at work! depicts blood cells working in a somewhat healthy body doing normal functions and preventing diseases etc. The spin Off to this, that is, Code Black represents an Unhealthy body or work environment under a lot of stress and basically a dangerous work environment.

As one can imagine, therefore, the Characters in this series are the Blood cells within the Human body with the Red Blood cells and White blood Cells as the main protagonists of the story.

While both these Anime follow somewhat the same plotlines and environment, there are some stark differences between the two.

The original cells at work, is a somewhat happy and light anime series, a slice of life type anime where the blood cells functions within an average healthy body with much more cells than in the spin-off and the cells seem to be much happier. Code black, however, is more of an Action- comedy anime series in which the cells function in a somewhat Unhealthy body that has experienced years of neglect. There are much lesser cells and they have more anxiety and stress. This can be seen sharply in the work environment they are in.

How are these anime different?

Photo(c): Akane Shimizu/David Production

In the original series, the main Red Blood Cell (RBC) is female and the White blood cell (WBC) is Male. There is somewhat a mix of genders also in the RBC and the whole interaction and animation are catered to all audiences. However, in Code Black, the Art is more adult-themed with the main RBC characters being Male and WBC being female. If my memory serves me right, even the RBCs and WBC, stick to one gender and are not mixed.

The original series also seems to have and impart more information on the diseases before the story progresses whereas, in Code Black, the information is gathered as the anime storyline itself progresses.

Another big difference seen is that the type of illness also varies sharply between the two. While the original cells at work, have diseases that one can say are more child friendly, the spin-off series have much more adult theme diseases. Not that a normal healthy body does not have all these sicknesses but as to the audiences, the first series is more of a universal viewing than the latter.

As mentioned earlier, there are also sharp differences in the character development between the two series. However, both of them have specific unique qualities that can be interesting to any viewer.

While looking at both cells at work series, I am reminded of the cartoon film Osmosis Jones, which follows a white blood cell as he teams up with a cold pill to protect his unhealthy host from a deadly virus. There is also a TV cartoon series of the same called Ozzy and Drix which is about the human body and the daily fight against diseases. However, if compared, Cells at work are more accurate in its depiction of the human body and its functions than both the film and the TV series. On a side note, Osmosis Jones the movie had a budget of 70 million dollars and I’m pretty sure the anime’s budget doesn’t even compare to that but in terms of execution and I will opt for the latter as the better-executed animation and storyline.


My Verdict is that Both Cells are at work! and their spin-off Cells at work! Code black are highly educational animations that paid attention to details and are a must-watch series for any anime fan. The level of details is incredible and whoever is behind the research should be given their due respect. Personally, I am just waiting for the multiple manga spin off’s to get animated into life.

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