The Man. Uncle Sam. The Feds. There are so many names to simply refer to someone who is an employee of a government. I recently considered employment with the US government, and that got me thinking. Though federal government employees in the US are in general looked upon with fear and loathing, how are government employees seen and portrayed in anime? Were they portrayed as slimy middle managers that lord their power and position over the regular citizen? Were they shown as apathetic paper pushers that mindlessly stamp paperwork and harass the unsuspecting innocent person with endless forms and red tape? Were they characterized as greedy and corrupt political ladder climbers that weasel their way to the top by taking and handing out bribes? Or were they something different? Something that is almost never seen in US entertainment. Was it possible that there is some tiny sign, some shred of decency in an anime government official? Could a government agent actually be good?
Midnight Occult Civil Servants
Though there is certainly plenty of corruption to be found in the anime government, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t also an intrepid group of anime characters that are determined to do what they can to help support their community. And sometimes that includes their occult community.
In the anime Midnight Occult Civil Servants, the young Arata Miyako has just started his new government job in the Nocturnal Community Relations Division. Little did he know, this was no paper pushing job, his new position would have him solving cases, improving relations, and reaching out to help all the supernatural creatures that, until he started his new job, Arata had thought were just urban legends and folktales.
In the anime Someday Dreamers a young magic user (Yume Kikuchi) is going from the countryside to the big city to get trained and become certified to use her magic as an occupation. The Bureau of Magic in Tokyo manages all the magic users of the country and they employ magic users to complete requests from citizens. Of course, after all the proper forms have been filled out and the request has been approved first. Magic users in this world are only allowed to use magic if they get permission from the government first.
Being just a trainee, a bit of a country bumpkin, and the daughter of an extremely powerful magic user, Yume gets herself into trouble quite often. One thing that gets her in the most trouble is that she can create something from nothing, a skill that is very rare, as in no one but her mother can do that. So, when she makes a bunch of money to repay someone, the money isn’t transported from a bank, it just appears from nothing. Not surprising, the local officials didn’t like that one bit. Though Yume doesn’t specifically work for the government in this anime, she works very closely with them and visits the offices of BOM often.
Read or Die (the movie)
In the anime Read or Die (the movie not the series) Yumiko Readman is an agent in the British Library Special Operations Division. She has the unique ability to control paper and can form almost anything from the material. Not surprisingly with an ability like that, she absolutely loves books and collects them with a manic obsession.
Being so very attached to books, when the someone attacks her just after she buys her latest addition, she fights them off with violent skill. Soon after the attack she is sent to the US to investigate the destruction of the Library of Congress (the largest library in the world) and she gets caught up in an international adventure that has her saving other library agents, fighting clones of historical figures, and using paper in the most improbable ways, all while protecting her beloved books.
Do you have any favorite anime that feature government workers doing good? Leave a comment below!
Check out my Podcast!
This weeks anime exclamation is: Okii! meaning Giant!
I’m currently watching:
- Zombie Loan
- Over Lord
- Case Closed
- Gegege No Kitaro
- Night Beyond the Tricornered Window
- Visual Prison
- Hanasakeru Seishonen
- Mars Red
- Takt Op. Destiny
- The Great Jahy will Not Be Defeated!
- Neo Angelique Abyss
- Lupin the Third: Part 5
- Yashahime: Princess half-demon
- Cardfight Vanguard Overdress
- Bungo Stray Dogs
- Tokyo Revengers
- The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
- Inari Kon Kon
- Click Link
- Banished from the Hero’s Party
- Toilet Bound Hanako-kun
- Obey Me!
- Taisho Otome Fairy Tale
2 thoughts on “The Man in Anime!”
Is Read or Die The TV a sequel?
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It’s more like a spin-off. None of the original characters are in the TV series, but rather it’s a friend of Yumiko that’s the main character of the series. The series is also really good, but it doesn’t have the government agent feel to it.
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