The Cells At Work! CODE BLACK Season 2 anime will have Red Blood Cell (Erythrocyte) AA2153 and his female friend White Blood Cell (Neutrophil) U-1196 continue to fight back against the darkness even as they find themselves in unexpected circumstances in a completely new body.
With the Cells At Work! CODE BLACK manga ending in 2021, what does that mean for Hataraku Saibou Black Season 2 and the future of the anime spin-off series?
The main Cells At Work! anime series finished adapting the remaining manga chapters in the main series with eight episodes in the second season. The story of the Cells At Work! Code Black anime is literally set in a completely different body (two at that) so there is no overlap between the story arcs for characters AE3803 and U-1146, which ended in January 2021 with Chapter 30.
The two seasons of the main series were produced by anime studio David Productions, which is best known for the Fire Force anime, and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. Hopefully, they will announce Fire Force Season 3 and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 6 anime in 2021.
The first season of the Cells At Work! CODE BLACK anime was produced by animation studio LIDEN FILMS, which is known for recent anime such Blade of the Immortal, Hanebado!, and Boarding School Juliet. In Winter 2021, LIDEN FILMS also released Otherside Picnic, Hortensia Saga, and Suppose a Kid from the Last Dungeon Boonies Moved to a Starter Town? They also produced the April 2021 Tokyo Revengers anime.
The studio and returning staff for Cells At Work! CODE BLACK hasn’t been announced yet. The first season was helmed by director Hideyo Yamamoto, who previously worked on the Strike the Blood anime series (see our news story for Strike the Blood Season 4).
Writer Hayashi Mori wrote the script and series composition. Artist Eiji Abiko was the character designer and Psycho-Pass anime composer Yugo Kanno created the music.
Kazuaki Hara was the 3D CGI Director. Masahiro Sato and Chiaki Tsukahara were the art directors, with Mayuka Ota acting as their assistant.
The Cells At Work! CODE BLACK cast has Junya Enoki is playing the male Red Blood Cell AA2153, Yoko Hikasa is playing the female White Blood Cell U-1196, and the narration is provided by Kenjiro Tsuda.
The Cells At Work! CODE BLACK Season 2 OP (opening) and ED (ending) theme song music hasn’t been announced yet.
For the first season, the OP was “Run! (Hashire!) as performed by Yamasaki Seiya, while the ending (ED) ws “Look Up and Carry on with Red/White Blood Cells” as performed by the two main Japanese voice actors.
The first volume of the Cells At Work! CODE BLACK Blu-Ray/DVD box set released on February 24, 2021. There will be seven volumes in total containing 13 episodes.
The first season was streaming in Winter 2021 on FUNimation and Netflix Japan (not Netflix U.S.). The finale for the first season, Cells At Work! CODE BLACK Episode 13, released on March 18, 2021.
This article provides everything that is known about Cells At Work! Code Black Season 2 (Hataraku Saibou Black Season 2) and all related news. As such, this article will be updated over time with news, rumors, and analysis. Meanwhile, let’s delve down into what is known for certain.
FUNimation’s Cells at Work! CODE BLACK English dub released in March 2021
In the past, Aniplex of America produced a Cells At Work! English dub, which was released with the Blu-Ray box set in 2019. FUNimation’s Cells At Work! CODE BLACK English dub release date happened on March 11, 2021.
Here is the Cells at Work! CODE BLACK dub cast:
- Kyle McCarley as Red Blood Cell AA2153
- Allegra Clark as White Blood Cell/Neutrophil 1196
- Jon Allen as Red Blood Cell AC1677
- Lizzie Freeman as White Blood Cell/Neutrophil 8787
- Tiana Camacho as White Blood Cell/Neutrophil 1212
- John Bentley as Gastric Chief Cell
- Lizzie Freeman as Platelet
- Suzie Yeung as Macrophage
- Lauren Landa as Hepatocyte
- J. Michael Tatum as Brain Cell (Commander)
- Jason Marnocha as the Narrator
Hataraku Saibou Black Season 2 release date predictions
As of the last update, Kodansha, LIDEN FILMS, or any company related to the production of the anime has not officially confirmed the Cells At Work! CODE BLACK Season 2 release date. Nor has the production of a Hataraku Saibou Code Black Season 2 sequel been announced.
Once the news is officially confirmed this article will be updated with the relevant information.
In the meantime, it’s possible to speculate about when, or if, the Hataraku Saibou Black Season 2 release date will occur in the future.
The anime’s first season received good reviews. FUNimation’s platform seems to organize categories by each show’s popularity and CODE BLACK topped their list on many days.
Streaming revenue is the most important factor for being renewed, but we’ll get an idea of the TV show’s popularity in Japan once the Hataraku Saibou Code Black Blu-Ray/DVD box sets release in 2021. The first season of the regular series sold 4,453, so it’ll be interesting to see if CODE BLACK can match it.
In the best-case scenario, it’s possible that the anime production committee has already planned out the second season. Given that LIDEN FILMS seems scheduled out for most of 2021, it’s possible that Hataraku Saibou Black Season 2 could premiere in 2022. We’ll just have to wait and see if Episode 13 is our lucky number.
Cells At Work! CODE BLACK manga ending with Volume 8: Chapter 48
The story of the Cells At Work! CODE BLACK anime is based on the Hataraku Saibou Black manga series by writer Shigemitsu Harada and illustrator Issei Hatsuyoshi. Original series creator Akane Shimizu provides oversight for the many varied manga spin-offs.
Besides CODE BLACK, there are Bacteria at Work, Cells That Don’t Work, Platelets at Work, Cells at Work! Baby, Cells at Work! Lady, Cells At Work! Friend, and Cells At Work! WHITE. Next to CODE BLACK
The Cells At Work! CODE BLACK manga’s ending in Chapter 48 was released on January 21, 2021. The final chapter will be released in Cells At Work! CODE BLACK Volume 8, which comes out in Japan on February 22, 2021.
The official English translation of the Cells At Work! CODE BLACK was by North American publisher Kodansha Comics. The English Cells At Work! CODE BLACK Volume 8 release date was scheduled for June 22, 2021.
The differences in the title are based on cultural differences. In English-speaking countries, specifically the UK, Code Black is when a hospital reaches max capacity. Whereas in Japan, a Black Company is where working conditions are horrible.
Hataraku Saibou Black manga compared to the anime
Jumping into the Cells At Work! CODE BLACK anime from the main series can be jarring due to the tonal shift. Whereas the main anime was light comedy combined with some Shonen-style action, CODE BLACK is a dark comedy intended for Seinen audiences. The newer anime dives down into some truly depressing topics making it seem more like a survival horror TV show in some episodes.
Even the action sequences are more intense and bloody. In the more wholesome counterpart, White Blood Cells would slice through the invading contagions with their knives, which was shocking enough, but in CODE BLACK the gore and viscera are explicitly drawn. Even the cell characters experience horrific deaths that are gruesomely depicted.
All of the characters are like edgy counterparts. Besides the obvious gender swap, with Red Blood Cells being male and the White Blood Cells being buxom females, even the cute, wholesome Platelets have been replaced by bratty delinquent kids. The Killer T cells are still the same overbearing males but CODE BLACK takes them to a new level of savagery when their overactive immune response causes them to begin murdering innocent body cells during a berserk rampage.
Even the villains are more like feral monsters whereas the main series had the viruses/bacteria gloating and monologuing like cheesy villains out of a Shonen manga.
If the goal is to depict how excessive vices like smoking, drugs, etc. negatively impact the human body then it worked. Hazards and adult concepts like hostess clubs abound. The characters are like shell-shocked survivors of a warzone, making the main anime series seem like a utopia even at its worst when dealing with weighty topics like cancer.
The first season’s OP even seems to show what RBC AA2153 wishes for his ideal world only for him to be sucked down into the darkness and wake up in this hellish real world. AA2153 is literally staring down death daily, feeling as if all of his actions are futile gestures against the inevitable.
Many of the differences between the anime and manga are minor. U-1196 somehow seems even bustier, but in Cells At Work! CODE BLACK Episode 2 the dancer (the Kupffer cells responsible for cell apoptosis) in the Red Light District-like liver (who is in the OP) was censored (given clothing).
Some of the episode titles removed specific mentions of bodily functions. For example, the title of Episode 3 was changed from “Erection, Ejaculation, Emptiness” to “Excitement, Swelling, and Emptiness”. Some title changes reflected the combination of multiple chapters being adapted by one episode.
The anime added many original scenes that greatly expanded the story, with some characters being given more screen time in comparison to their manga appearances. The action sequences are often longer and some of U-1196’s squad’s battles are original.
The biggest difference between the two series so far is in how the main working relationship between AA2153 and U-1196 is developed. Fans may have shipped AE3803 and U-1146 in the main series, but in CODE BLACK it’s more readily apparent that AA2153 and U-1196’s friendship is tinged with romance.
The anime emphasizes this relationship even more by adding new scenes and rearranging existing scenes to focus on the two characters. Such change is actually welcome since the majority of characters, even friends of the main characters, end up dying brutally.
The pacing of the anime has been perfect since most episodes adapt only one manga chapter. This approach was also how the main series’ first season was handled, but the second season inexplicably doubled the pacing in a race to the finish.
Warning: The following paragraphs contain a major spoiler for how Episode 13 sets up Cells At Work! CODE BLACK Season 2.
The first chapter/episode of CODE BLACK is named “Smoking, Germs, and the Beginning of the End”, which literally tells the audience from the start that the anime won’t have a happy ending. In Chapters 9 and 10, their host body suffers a heart attack and barely survives thanks to modern medicine. After this wake-up call, the host begins to turn his life around.
Seems like a happy ending, right? In fact, the manga was originally supposed to end with AA2153 and U-1196 dying with their first host during the heart attack story arc, but when the spin-off became popular enough it was greenlit for more chapters. To pull that off, the main characters were transferred to a new human host via blood transfusion.
Chapter 10 is the perfect stopping point for Cells At Work! CODE BLACK Episode 13 since it brings full resolution to the main conflict. Unfortunately, the next major story arc created a problem for the anime writers, who were forced to reorder story events, character introductions, and dialogue by adapting chapters set after the body change.
This change meant that any references to AA2153 and U-1196 being “outsiders” from the “other world” were removed by the anime’s first season. Certain manga scenes that used new characters from the new body were either modified or removed completely.
Instead, AA-2153’s best friend AC-1677 was given many extra lines and extra comedic scenes since he shows up in scenes that weren’t in the manga. U-1196 and her squad also showed up more often in order to replace a new female White Blood Cell character that will be in Cells At Work! CODE BLACK Season 2 (see the spoilers below for more details).
Episode 7 especially was a welcome anime original addition since it expanded the friendship story arc of AA-2153 and AC-1677 by completely reworking elements of Chapter 12 to show how the blonde friend worked through his almost-deadly combination of jealousy and caffeine addiction.
In the manga, AA-2153 rescued one of the fresh-faced rookie red blood cells from being sucked away by the nosebleed, but a different older RBC that was addicted to caffeine lost his strength boost and died. There was no drama or emotional growth so the anime actually improved on the source material.
Episode 8 reworked even more later chapters to show how AA-2153 and AC-1677’s bond had strengthened and it also allowed AA-2153 to be a hero by rescuing the entire body from the blood clot. The only negative impact on the timeline is that AA-2153 originally used his experiences from the first body in order to figure out a solution for the blood clot in the new body.
Episode 9 continued the theme started by Episode 7 by heightening the character development of AA-2153, who had become obsessed with emulating U-1196’s work ethic. The anime introduced the rookie training mini-arc by introducing NC8429 early to give a better motive for AA-2153’s sudden obsession with overworking himself to death. The earlier growth of AC-1677 in Episode 7 also worked well as a contrast since the blonde friend went from being a jealous slacker to a competent worker who could help AA-2153 find a middle ground by finding time to rest.
Note: The following episode guide includes predictions and will be updated over time.
Here is a guide for how the anime adapted the manga:
- Cells At Work! CODE BLACK Episode 1: Chapter 1 “Smoking, Bacteria, and the Beginning of the End”
- Cells At Work! CODE BLACK Episode 2: Chapter 2 “The Liver, Alcohol, and Pride”
- Cells At Work! CODE BLACK Episode 3: Chapter 3 “Erection, Ejaculation, Emptiness”
- Cells At Work! CODE BLACK Episode 4: Chapter 4 “Gonococcus, Invasion”
- Cells At Work! CODE BLACK Episode 5: Chapter 5 “Overwork, Delirium, Hair Loss”
- Cells At Work! CODE BLACK Episode 6: Chapter 13 “Kidneys, Kidney Stones, Passing Blood” and Chapter 14 “Urinary Tract Infection, Silence, Tears”
- Cells At Work! CODE BLACK Episode 7: Chapter 12 “Energy Drinks, Nose Bleeds, Quotas”
- Cells At Work! CODE BLACK Episode 8: Chapter 16 “Calves, Work Harassment, Nightmare Returned” and Chapter 17 “Pulmonary Embolism, Quick Thinking, Reunion”
- Cells At Work! CODE BLACK Episode 9: Chapter 6 “Calamity, Athlete’s Foot, Meaning of Work”
- Cells At Work! CODE BLACK Episode 10: Chapter 7 “Stomach Ulcer, Friendship, Loss”
- Cells At Work! CODE BLACK Episode 11: Chapter 8 “Desperation, Gout, Rebellion”
- Cells At Work! CODE BLACK Episode 12: Chapter 9 “Return, Heart, Demise”
- Cells At Work! CODE BLACK Episode 13: Chapter 10 “Cardiac Arrest, Revival, Change”
All in all, the anime adaptation is a great improvement on the manga version. Characters’ motivations are developed further, the psychological horror is enhanced, and the extra scenes increased the tension and emotional impact on audiences.
Better yet, the finale in Episode 13 leaves plenty of room for Cells At Work! CODE BLACK Season 2. The second season will just need to introduce some anime original materials at the beginning in order to bridge the gap and introduce the characters of the harsh new work environment.
Manga readers who wish to read ahead of the anime should jump to Volume 3: Chapter 11. You should also skim through Chapters 12 through 14 if just to check out the new characters in action.
Hataraku Saibou Code Black Season 2 anime spoilers (plot summary/synopsis)
The last time we watched, the Cells At Work! CODE BLACK anime, the host body had begun eating healthier, stopped drinking and smoking, and created a more active lifestyle to the great relief of all the overworked cells. Many of the surviving cells feel as if they’ve been given a second lease on life now that the host body to began taking better care of himself.
That’s not to say the world is perfect. Some cells still complain about being exploited. When a polyp is discovered in the large intestine, NK Cells investigates whether it had become metastasizing cancer, but thankfully it was just an increase in benign gland cells.
And then tragedy strikes just as they were finally starting to enjoy the peace of normalcy. A great metal object descended from outside, sucking AA2153, U-1196, and several of their friends away.
Whirling through the air, AA2153 is knocked on the head. Fade to black.
When AA2153 awakes he finds himself back in a hellish landscape as if nothing had improved. He’s confronted by a bacteria and is barely saved in time by an unfamiliar White Blood Cell who looks quite different from his normal comrades.
It turns AA2153 was transported to a new body via granulocyte transfusion therapy. AA2153 and U-1196 essentially find themselves out of the frying pan into the fire. This new host body is in shambles, a breeding ground for bacteria that’s suffering from blood poisoning.
Most of the local White Blood Cells have already been wiped out by bacteria. U-1196 and her squad have been immediately put to work fighting the bacteria.
With this new body being blacker than black, AA2153 and U-1196 must learn to survive in this hostile new environment that’s teeming with new hazards. Trapped in this new body, AA2153 is no longer motivated to keep working hard, especially since it’s not his own home.
The locals even dump troublesome jobs on the new Red Blood Cells, joking that “if they don’t like, they can leave this body the next time it bleeds!” Despite all the harassment, AA2153 rallies his buddies and they manage to save this new body during an emergency situation to the great thanks of everyone.
AA2153 realizes that he can’t treat this new world like his old body, while U-1196 is motivated to fulfill her role of saving her new home. Both eventually leaders of their respective cell groups and AA2153 even takes on a kouhai named NC8429, a newbie Red Blood Cell with red cheeks (the anime introduced this character earlier than the manga).
The emergencies are just beginning since it turns out the host suffers from type 2 diabetes in addition to sleep deprivation, smoking, alcoholism, hemorrhoids, anal fistulas, shingles, and other medical maladies. Multiple surgeries are required just to keep the body living.
Of course, with this new body in even worse condition, the Cells At Work! CODE BLACK Season 2 anime will broach even darker topics like suicide via drug overdose. The new body does eventually start recovering from depression only to suffer a new tragic fate.
Unfortunately, anime fans will have to wait until the Cells At Work! CODE BLACK Season 2 release date to watch what happens next. Stay tuned!