The last three episodes of the Hataraki Man anime have drawn at least a four percent television audience rating in the Kantou region (includes Tokyo), Japan - episode 6, 4.7%; episode 7, 4.0%; episode 8, 4.2% - raising its overall television audience rating to 3.90%.
Of all the late night animation series which debuted in Japan during the fall of 2006, Hataraki Man remains No. 1 in overall television audience ratings. (DEATH NOTE is No. 2.)
Hataraki Man appears to be on its way to becoming the highest rated series so far in Fuji TV's NOITAMINA late night animation block by a sizeable margin.
Because of its popular success as an animated television series, a number of Japanese fans think the prospect for a live action television drama series of Hataraki Man has gone up significantly.
The main stumbling block: casting the main character in Hataraki Man, Matsukata Hiroko.
Apparently, Japanese fans are having difficulty on coming up with someone who can play a live version of Matsukata Hiroko - almost as much they did with coming up with someone who could play an animated version of Matsukata Hiroko.
Even the severest Japanese critics at the anonymous 2ch message boards - notorious for their negativism and personal attacks on anyone and everyone - could offer up only a few feeble alternatives to Tanaka Rie as the voice actor (seiyuu) for Matsukata Hiroko.
The popular success of the Hataraki Man anime among general audiences in Japan have muzzled, if not for the most part silenced, those 2ch critics. People who ordinarily do not watch anime - working men and women in their 20s and 30s - tune in late at night to Hataraki Man.
Once again, Tanaka Rie
has demonstrated her knack for playing very popular characters, in anime and games, who appeal to broad, mainstream audiences and casual fans, and/or to otaku and hardcore fans: Matsukata Hiroko in Hataraki Man; Kujou Hikari (Shiny Luminous) in Futari wa Pretty Cure Max Heart; Lacus Clyne in Gundam SEED and Gundam SEED DESTINY; Chii in Chobits; Suigintou in Rozen Maiden and Rozen Maiden Traumend; Futami Eriko in Kimi Kiss (Kimikiss); etc.