Cells at Work! Neo Bacteria! Vol. 1 is an Infectious Read

Release Date
November 2, 2021
Akane Shimizu
Haruyuki Yoshida
Published by
Kodansha Comics
Available at:

A brand new spin-off of the popular Cells at Work! series, Cells at Work! Neo Bacteria! Vol. 1 is an interesting and relaxing read. Perfect for those looking for an easygoing yet addicting storyline, the debut novel is an excellent addition to the franchise.

The new series features the original creator of Cells at Work! Akane Shimizu, with art by Haruyuki Yoshida. Readers follow Bifidum bacteria in the intestines, a good bacteria that regulate intestinal functions and fights harmful bacteria. Bifi, a sweet but struggling bacteria, works alongside her team and the Commander to help the host. Meanwhile, readers can also follow the host herself, Ayumu Yuuki, as she traverses the difficulties of high school life while also trying to maintain her health.

As my first venture into the Cells at Work! world, I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly I became invested in the story. While the storyline isn’t a full-fledged, highly detailed narrative, it doesn’t need to make the book interesting. Many storytelling aspects are easy to overlook, such as the names of some people or details about how the bacteria function. The story itself has a variety of obstacles that keep it moving forward and interesting, and the reader can’t help but feel bad for Ayumu for encountering so many issues! Switching between the two points of view is also very smooth and transitional, and both effortlessly collide to create a complete story.


Aiding this excellent writing is the gentle artwork that Yoshida uses. When I first saw the cover, I was hesitant as I was not fond of the watercolor style. However, to my surprise, the drawing and coloring greatly complemented the storyline. The artist uses gentle shadows and soft smudges in many scenes to cover up some of the more delicate aspects. For example, the “fecal express” is a dark mass in the general shape of a train, but that’s it for the illustration. Yet there are heavy lines and high detailing when it matters, such as an action scene or even showing how much healthier host Ayumu is after a trial.

Another concern I had when starting Cells at Work! Neo Bacteria! Vol. 1 was the amount of information present. I’m not precisely a bacteria expert or gastroenterologist, so I was going into the book completely blind. But Cells at Work! Neo Bacteria! Vol 1 does an excellent job at balancing information with the story. There’s enough detail to understand what’s going on, such as the type of bacteria and their general function. But readers aren’t overloaded with unnecessary information and in-depth explanations. We only get the details we need, and it’s in a quick and easy-to-understand way that adds to the story instead of hindering it. But if readers did want more information, each chapter also features a detailed encyclopedia at the end that outlines the type of bacteria we encountered. This extra piece is a great way to offer more insight while still giving readers the option of whether to read it or not. 

With how surprisingly well-written this Cells at Work! Neo Bacteria! Vol. 1 is, it’s challenging to have any issues with it, especially as a new reader. But many Cells at Work! Fans have noted the host’s point of view is unique, and some are not happy with that change. As my first dive into this world, I felt the additional issue of view helped me understand what was happening in the story. It added to my interest and investment, and I felt more connected to the bacteria’s struggle because of that. I’ll have to read the original work, though, to balance my bias, which I can’t say I’m not looking forward to. 

Overall, Cells at Work! Neo Bacteria! Vol 1 was an intriguing and insightful read that had me addicted within the first few pages. This debut series features a great storyline and complementing artwork and is an excellent addition to the Cells at Work! Franchise. As a newly ‘infected’ fan, I cannot wait for the next volume.

Cells at Work! Neo Bacteria! Vol. 1 is an Infectious Read
An Infectious Read
Cells at Work! Neo Bacteria! Vol. 1 proves to be an excellent spinoff of the original Cells at Work! series. With a great storyline, soft artwork, and interesting information, the first volume is a relaxing yet intriguing read.
Fast-paced, intriguing storyline
Complementary artwork
Detailed information without being too much
Hard to believe bad luck streak (poor Ayumu!)
Simple character development