Cells at Work! Code Black Volume One Review: Dark but still Educational

Cells at Work! Code Black Vol. 1 Cover

Disclaimer: Due to the Graphic Nature of this Series, I will not be going into detail as I would normally in Reviews. Also, it does contain nudity, violence, and blood.

With the manga getting an Anime Adaption, I figured it would be a good time to check out and see what made it so popular. Written by Shigemitsu Harada and illustrated by Issei Hatsuyoshiya, it is part of the popular Cells at Work! Series by Akane Shimizu.

A newbie Red Blood Cell is one of 37 trillion workings 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 CONTENT OF ADULTS There are trillions of cells in the human body, and they all have to work hard to keep that body alive. But what if that body isn’t taking great care of itself? What if that body smokes too much? Or drinks too much? What if that body forgets to use protection? Why it might find itself with all manner of dysfunction, and who’s going to have to pick up the pieces? It turns out the same immune cells that fight off the common cold also have to deal with troubles of a distinctly more adult nature…

You know the old saying, “Take care of your body and your body will take care of you,” but in Cells at Work: Code Black we learn what happens when you drink, smoke, and when you don’t take care of it. While it is a gender-swapped variation of the regular series, it follows the Red Blood Cell who just started his job circulating oxygen throughout the body, he shares a similar thing we all have in common when it comes to starting a new job, feeling confused and lost but what doesn’t help in doing the job is when things in the body going wrong. Again, like the regular series the Red Blood Cell befriends a Female White Blood Cell and meets during conflicts going on and also provides a good example of what cells do in the body.


While it does provide humor and certain topics discussed during each chapter, it is the atmosphere and nature of the body that gives it a darker tone. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, this shows what happens to your body when you don’t take care of it and being an informational series such as showing the side effects of smoking, drinking and The creators do an amazing job of showing these issues while still maintaining a humorous, when appropriate, and entertaining tone. While this isn’t for younger readers, I would recommend it for older readers who enjoy action, drama and learning about the biology of the human body. Also, if you are curious to read this manga, it currently is part of the Kodansha Comics Black Friday sale currently going on at Comixology. (Please Note: This portion of the review will be removed due to the sale being available for a limited time. The Sale will be going on until November 30th, 2020.)

Final Grade:

Rating: 7.5 out of 10.

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