Hataraki Man (TV)

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Characters in "Hataraki Man" are apparently named after actors who appeared in the late "Battle Royale" director Kinji Fukasaku's 1970s yakuza film series, "Jingi Naki Tatakai" ("Battles Without Honor and Humanity"), known in English as "The Yakuza Papers: Battles Without Honor and Humanity": Hiroko Matsutaka (Hiroki Matsukata), Tatsuhiko Umemiya (Tatsuo Umemiya), Kimio Narita (Mikio Narita), Akihisa Kobayashi (Akira Kobayashi), Fumiya Sugawara (Bunta Sugawara), Yumi Nogawa (Yumiko Nogawa), Mayu Nagisa (Mayumi Nagisa), Kunio Tanaka (Kunie Tanaka), Maiko Kaji (Meiko Kaji), and Shinji Yamashiro (Shingo Yamashiro).

Episode 1 of Hataraki Man drew a television audience rating of 4.6% in the Kantou region (includes Tokyo and Yokohama) of Japan, making it the highest for the first episode of any late night animation / anime series debuting in the fall of 2006 in Japan. Oricon reported the story of the 4.6 percent television audience rating for the first episode of Hataraki Man, which made the headlines of Yahoo! Japan News on Saturday, October 16, 2006, Japan time.

Hataraki Man recorded the highest television audience ratings of any series in the history of Fuji TV's Noitamina late night animation time slot [before Nodame Cantabile]. Hataraki Man scored a 4.01% television audience rating average, drawing its highest television audience rating of 5.1% with episode 9, "Ichininmae no Hatarakiman." Very, very few late night television animation series in Japan have ever achieved a television audience rating average of 4.0% or higher.

On December 28, 2006, Mainichi Shimbun Mantan (Manga Town) Web News and Yahoo! Japan News Headlines ran a story by Kei Watanabe on the unlikely but highly successful - and very lucrative - combination of animation (Hataraki Man anime) and temporary work (DIP employment agency {Tokyo Minato-ku, company president Hideki Tomita}). DIP marketing director Hidenobu Aihara/Aibara made the decision to sponsor the Hataraki Man TV anime, using the main character, Hiroko Matsukata, as DIP's new promotional image character - replacing Japanese actress Koyuki, who became internationally famous for being in The Last Samurai movie with Tom Cruise, Hiroyuki Sanada, et al. Since the Hataraki Man promotional compaign began in October 2006, the number of registrants at Hatarako Net, DIP's portal site for temporary employment, increased from several percent growth a month to 20-30 percent growth a month. One unexpected consequence of Hataraki Man's success: DIP is looking to invest in more anime.

Rie Tanaka has cosplayed, or dressed up, as many of the characters she plays in anime, games, etc., including Hiroko Matsukata from Hataraki Man.

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