It seems like every day, the world of Cells at Work! just gets bigger and bigger. What started out as a surprising debut anime back in 2018 has quickly begun to sprawl into a massive animated franchise, as a bevy of new entries in the anime adaptation of the Cells at Work! manga franchise has been announced these past few weeks. We first got word that a second season of the anime version of Akane Shimuzu’s manga would be arriving next year, with much of the cast and crew from the first season set to return. Next, it was announced that one arc in the upcoming second season would get an early theatrical screening this year as a special feature-length animated film.
Then, just a few days ago, it was revealed that yet another anime in the franchise would be arriving in 2021, this one being an adaptation of the dark and brooding Cells at Work! Code Black spinoff manga from Shigemitsu Harada and Issei Hatsuyoshiya. When it was revealed, it wasn’t clear if this would be an entirely new series or a section within the already-announced second season of the main series. A new announcement, however, confirms that this is an entirely new anime.
— 『はたらく細胞BLACK』【公式】 (@cellsatworkbla1) April 16, 2020
Announced via the official Cells at Work! Code Black Twitter account, the anime adaptation of the series got a debut trailer showing it in action. While a YouTube version of the trailer is also available, only the Twitter version is currently viewable globally. This series is a much darker take on the usually bright and inspiring tone of the series, as official English licensors of the manga, Kodansha Comics, describe:
In this new spinoff of the hit manga, a newbie Red Blood Cell is one of 37 trillion working to keep this body running. But something’s wrong! Stress hormones keep yelling at him to go faster. The blood vessels are crusted over with cholesterol. Ulcers, fatty liver, trouble (ahem) downstairs… It’s hard for a cell to keep working when every day is a CODE BLACK!
The manga and anime Cells at Work! showed you what happens when a young, healthy body gets in trouble… but what if the body wasn’t so young, and was never very healthy? This new take stars a fresh-faced Red Blood Cell and his friend, the buxom White Blood Cell, as they struggle to keep themselves and their world together through alcoholism, smoking, erectile dysfunction, athlete’s foot, gout… it’s literal body horror! Whoever this guy is, he’s lucky his cells can’t go on strike!
The Cells at Work! Code Black anime features Junya Enoki as the Red Blood Cell, also known as Erythrocite. It also features Yoko Hikasa as the White Blood Cell, or Neutrophil. Kenjiro Tsuda will be the narrator of the anime, and you can hear some of his work in the debut trailer above.
The anime adaptation of Cells at Work! Code Black is being produced by LIDEN Films, with Hideyo Yamamoto set to direct. Yamamoto previously worked on Strike the Blood and Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka. Hayashi Mori, who previously worked on The Snack World and Layton Mystery Tanteisha: Katori no Nazotoki File, will be handling script and series composition. Eiji Abiko is the character designer, having previously done work on Last Hope and Baby Blue. Finally, acclaimed composer Yugo Kanno of Psycho-Pass and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable is composing music for the series.