If Hataraku Saibou had a live adaptation…

I haven’t watched a new animé in a very long time. But when I came across sakimi-chan’s take on ‘White Blood Cell,’ I had to Google the character and where the heck he came from.

And that was how I spent my last week of 2019 watching 13 episodes of Hataraku Saibou (Cells at Work!)

Hataraku Saibou takes place inside the human body and our cells that work to keep us healthy. The cells are represented in human form and take on different personalities. The series mainly focuses on a rookie red blood cell and an experienced white blood cell and their adventures.

While this isn’t a review of the animé, I want to briefly mention that it’s a fun, entertaining, and educational resource.

So, what if Cells at Work! had a live adaptation? There’s already a stage play, which looks pretty promising by the photos released. I want to give my two cents on who I would cast as some of the characters from the series.

Red Blood Cell (Nagano Mei)

Red blood cell is clumsy and sweet. She cares dearly for her friends and works hard at her job. Nagano Mei has been in many endearing roles, and she plays it well. She also has an innocent aura that’s associated with Red Blood Cell. Though, I may also be biased, since I’m a big fan of Nagano Mei.

White Blood Cell (Arata Mackenyu)

White Blood Cell is kind, quiet, and calm. Though Mackenyu may be slightly too baby-faced for the role, his collected aura makes up for it. Plus, I would love to see Mackenyu and Nagano Mei in another drama together. Their chemistry in Fugitive Boys was great.

Killer T Cell (Suzuki Ryohei)

When I thought of Killer T Cell, I instantly thought of Suzuki Ryohei. Though, I wasn’t expecting to find Suzuki Ryohei in a (sort of) similar role in the past. I wasn’t even sure he could pull off blonde. Anyway, his body is definitely a fit.

Macrophage (Ishihara Satomi)

I had trouble with this one. Ishihara Satomi looks slightly too young to play Macrophage, but her elegance makes up for it. With her experience, there’s no question she’ll nail the ‘sweet but dangerous’ leader role.

That picture also reminds me of Jang Man Wol from Hotel del Luna.

B Cell (Shison Jun)

Shison Jun gives me ‘sidekick’ vibes. He seems like a funny, social, supportive guy. This judgement came complete based on feeling.

NK Cell (Watanabe Naomi)

Body type aside, NK Cell is fierce, independent, and determined. I can see Watanabe Naomi being that person. She’s confident and comfortable in her own skin, a quality that NK cell also has. I can also see the sassiness that Watanabe Naomi would bring to NK Cell’s character.

Her arguing with Suzuki Ryohei would also be a funny aspect too.

Cancer Cell (Yamazaki Kento)

If Cancer Cell wasn’t… cancer cell, he has a boy-next-door vibe. And after seeing Kento in Todome no Kiss (Kiss that Kills), he’s also great at the psycho / villain role.


There are so many cells in Cells at Work. I only named the ones that I had ideas for. Also, so many actors and actresses can also fit the role of these characters.

If you haven’t checked out the animé, give it a shot. Also, check out sakimi-chan’s take on White Blood Cell on her deviant art page!

Let me know your thoughts on your cast for this series below.

7 thoughts on “If Hataraku Saibou had a live adaptation…

  1. I actually haven’t watched “Cells at Work”, but I loved seeing your list! I was taken by surprise by seeing Nagano Mei next to Red Blood Cell, since they really seem to look alike already! Not to mention I think a role like this would be an interesting challenge for Mei.

    Also absolutely YES to Yamazaki Kento as Cancer Cell. He does such an amazing job with more dangerous/villian roles. I loved his character in Back to School at age 35, and I would love to see less houjo hero and more villian roles from him!

    This was such a cool article. I might be inspired to do one of my own in the future (crediting you with the idea of course!)!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would love to see your list! Seems like we are both avid J-drama / J-pop fans. So, I’m curious to hear your thoughts on any Japanese singers (who aren’t actors/actresses already) have potential for any roles. And you know… Introduce me to some new music and shows in the meantime haha

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I mean… if you insist lol. I’ll see if I have something up my sleeve~ I’m glad to have found your blog since J-Drama and J-Pop fans seem to be a bit rare these days.

        Liked by 1 person

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