Event Reports

Learn how the human body works at the Hataraku Saibou (Cells at Work) Exhibition

To commemorate Kodansha’s 110th Anniversary along with Matsuya’s 150th Anniversary, an exhibition of the popular manga title Hataraku Saibou (Cells at Work)  was held at Matsuya Ginza from October 9 until 22, 2019. The exhibition featured around 200 original and colored illustrations from the manga and is the largest exhibit to date. Matsuya was kind enough to let us cover the exhibition.

Hataraku Saibou Exhibit

What is Hataraku Saibou (Cells at Work)?

Hataraku Saibou (Cells at Work) is a manga series by Akane Shimizu about the anthropomorphized cells of the human body and their daily “adventures”, focusing on the directionally challenged but hardworking Red Blood Cell and the ruthless but kind White Blood Cell. It was first serialized in Kodansha’s Monthly Shounen Sirius in 2015 and has produced several spinoff series, which in total has sold over 3.5 million copies. It was adapted into an anime television series in 2018 and a second season is currently in the works.

Hataraku Saibou Exhibition Report

Attendees received a stamp sheet for the stamp rally located at various locations inside the exhibition area as well as other floors of Matsuya Ginza when it was held in Tokyo. The exhibition will be held from December 21, 2019 until January 5, 2020 in Osaka, and from January 11-26, 2020 in Nagoya.

The exhibition is divided into four areas, each featuring different aspects of Hataraku Saibou. When purchasing your ticket to the exhibition, you have the option to avail of the audio guide where Red Blood Cell, White Blood Cell and Platelet give you a short background on each area. 

Area 01 “Entrance” is where the characters welcome you to their workplace and is the first stop for the stamp rally. Platelet also gives you a rundown of the dos and don’ts in the Exhibition in the audio guide. Don’t forget to sanitize your hands before entering!

Area 02 “Cell Characters” introduces you to the cells that are brought to life in the manga, their functions and personalities. You will get to know more about Red Blood Cell, White Blood Cell, Platelet, Killer T Cell, Macrophage, Monocyte, Helper T Cell, Regulatory T Cell, Eosinophil, Basophil, Dendritic Cell, NK Cell, B Cell, Memory Cell, Mast Cell and the Normal Cell. There is  also a trivia spot explaining what a cell is.

Upon entering Area 03 “Welcome to the body!,” you will see a guide map to the different parts of the body as portrayed in the manga. This area features different episodes such as fierce battle scenes with various bacteria and virus, catastrophic disasters the body overcame, and memorable scenes for the cells. There are also trivia spots explaining the cells of the immune system and the sizes of each cell.

Area 03-1 focuses on the battles of the cells with different bacteria that invaded the body such as the influenza virus, the Bacillus cereus bacterium, cancer cell, mumps virus and the H. pylori bacteria. You also get the chance to become an influenza virus yourself with the lifesize standee in one of the photo op area.

Area 03-2 displays some of the “disasters” that occured in the body and how the cells overcame them: getting a scrape wound, a heat stroke, hemorrhagic shock.

Area 03-3 takes you back on memory lane with scenes of Red Blood Cell and White Blood Cell’s childhood as erythroblast and myelocyte, T cells training as thymocytes, and Red Blood Cell doing a full blood circulation by herself on display.

Another photo op area transforms you into a blood cell and lets you experience getting stuck on a fibrin prepared by the cute little Platelets.

Hataraku Saibou fans are in for a treat at the last part of the exhibition, Area 04 “The Room where Cells are Born” where never-before-seen design works are all on display. Fans can feast their eyes on initial character designs, rough sketches, plots, colored illustrations, cover rough designs. Original panels from Akane Shimizu’s “Saibou no Hanashi” which won the 27th Shounen Sirius Rookie of the Year Award in 2014 are also on display. You will also spot the second stop for the stamp rally in this area.

Finally, you can take home a souvenir or two from the goods shop where you can purchase merchandise exclusive to the exhibition such as the official pamphlet, pass cases, T-shirts, tote bags, pouches, keychains and more. Completing the stamp rally will also get you a free limited edition sticker of Red Blood Cell, Platelet and White Blood Cell. Don’t forget to leave a small thank you note to the hardworking cells on the wall space they prepared.


Hataraku Saibou (Cells at Work) is available in English at https://kodanshacomics.com/series/cells-at-work/


About the Hataraku Saibou Exhibition 

Official Website: https://hatarakusaibou-ten.com/

Tokyo venue
October 9 until 22, 2019
Venue: Matsuya Ginza 8F Event Square (3-6-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo)
Admission: 1,000 yen (general public), 700 yen (high school student and below), 1,700 yen (with audio guide), 2,200 yen (with goods and audio guide*), 1,500 yen (with goods*)
*Available on Lawson Tickets only.

Osaka venue
Date: December 21, 2019 until January 5, 2020
Venue: ATC Gallery (2-1-10 Nankou-kita, Suminoe Area, Osaka City)
Advance tickets: 800 yen (general public), 500 yen (high school student and below), 1,500 yen (with audio guide), 2,000 yen (with goods and audio guide*), 1,300yen (with goods*)
Onsite tickets: 1,000 yen (general public), 700 yen (high school student and below), 1,700 yen (with audio guide), 2,200 yen (with goods and audio guide*), 1,500 yen (with goods*)
*Available on Lawson Tickets only.


Aichi venue
Date: January 11-26, 2020
Venue: Nagoya Parco West Building 6F Parco Gallery (3-29-1 Sakae, Naka-ku, Nagoya City, Aichi)
Admission: 900 yen (general public), 600 yen (high school and junior high school student), 300 yen (elementary student) Free (below elementary student age)
700 yen (audio guide), 1,400 yen (with goods)


If you are interested in manga and anime events in Tokyo, be sure to read our articles on Animate Girls Festival 2019, JUMP Festa 2019DEVILMAN crybaby SABBATH SHIBUYACheese!’s Ikebo x Shōjo Manga Genga-ten, Land of the Lustrous Exhibit at Yurakucho Marui, Kizu Natsuki at Manga10Yoneda Kou’s Op: The Colourless Days of Yoake Itaru Book Fair@Shosen and Himouto Umaru-chan Exhibit.

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