Cells at Work is fundamentally about the inner workings of the human body. The main characters are Red Blood Cell and White Blood Cell. Red Blood Cell is fairly new, and needs to find her way to the lungs to drop off the shipment of CO2 she’s carting around, when she comes across some pretty nasty bacterial guys. Enter White Blood Cell, who isn’t afraid to just blast right through these baddies with his bare fists. When the fight gets too much for White Blood Cell to handle, in comes Helper T Cells, who can tell Killer T Cells to attack. Then there’s B Cells who come with Antibodies to fight serious infections. Influenza threatens to take over at one point by spreading its zombie-like infection to regular cells. One day, Red Blood Cell is working pretty close to the epidermis, and a scrape threatens to pull her out, along with several of her Red Blood Cell buddies. White Blood Cell is there again to save her, especially from the bacteria that immediately infiltrate the cut. But, the bacteria didn’t account for another helpful cell: Platelets.
This was a surprisingly entertaining story, and, from what I can tell, fairly medically accurate. This was somewhat of an action-packed slice of life, if you take it from the perspective of these adventures being a day-in-the-life of blood cells. None of the chapters particularly build onto each other, and each is a separate battle with a new infection or bacteria, which leads me more to the slice of life designation.
Kodansha rates this for Teen. There is some blood - and I don’t just mean the blood cell characters. Every time White Blood Cell or Killer Ts come in, they blast through bacteria/viruses and are covered in what I’m guessing is blood. Maybe its goo? It’s hard to tell with black and white illustrations. Either way, the fighters look like they’ve fought in the zombie apocalypse, and that’s not just for when they fight the zombie Influenza cells.
Sara’s Rating: 9/10
Suitability Level: Grades 8-12
Tags: Rating: 9/10, Suitability: Middle School, Suitability: High School, Manga, Humor, Action Adventure
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