There’s a piece of insert music in Working that always reminds me of the opening theme to The Office. Now, a few more things about this show are giving me that vibe, and it has to do with some subtle but effective tonal changes in the show.
For starters, have a look at this screen shot from the first season:
The wall with the holes punched in it features what is the standard Wagnaria wallpaper throughout the season. Now, look at the wallpaper in season two:
It’s a lot darker, more ornate, and earthy-looking. Why would this change?
Interestingly, Working’!! shares neither its director, writer, art director, nor sound director with the first season. It appears that character designer/chief animation director Adachi Shingo is the only core staff member carried over from the first season. Considering the same studio, A-1 Pictures, is creating the new show, this seems like a pretty odd change!
Here are other new things I noticed. One, an increase in wide-angle and perspective shots (not that there weren’t a number of them in S1).
Perhaps the most notable addition to the show, which I can’t screencap, is a ton of background noise. There’s less music and more restaurant sound, which enhances a feeling of dryness. This is where the tone starts to remind me of The Office.
I just finished the first season of Working yesterday, and I can’t say I’m a fan. The series is unbelievably repetitive and there’s never enough of the characters that I actually care about. I can’t see this changing, and if the OP for season two is any indication, we’re in for more of the exact same. The only difference, probably, will be in presentation. Which may be exactly why they did it this way.