Akane Shimizu’s anime and manga series Cells At Work is an entertaining depiction of the microscopic world. Its story is centered around anthropomorphized versions of human body cells and how they act in order to keep the body healthy.

Due to the nature of its story, Cells At Work has appealed not only to those who already enjoy anime and manga, but also to a wider audience using the series as a way to learn more about human biology. Seeing an opportunity in the latter, Cells At Work’s official anime website put up a special webpage not long after the show first premiered. The webpage allowed educators and health professionals to download free educational posters with the show’s characters teaching children about the importance of washing their hands.

Almost three years after its first anime episode premiered, Cells At Work still has a steady fanbase and is continuing to help raise awareness on health concerns. For their latest collaboration, they’re working with the AMR Clinical Reference Center (under Japan’s National Center for Global Health and Medicine) to raise awareness on the issue of antimicrobial resistance, or AMR for short.

According to the World Health Organization, AMR is defined as the ability of “bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites [to] change over time and no longer respond to medicines.” This can lead to an increase in the “risk of disease spread, severe illness and death,” and AMR is also one of the primary reasons behind the evolution of what we now commonly know as “superbugs”.

In Japan, November has been designated as National AMR Awareness Month, and the Cells At Work collaboration features images of characters from the show alongside informational text explaining what AMR is. These images were printed out into posters, clear file folders, stickers, and a total of 137,000 leaflets that were distributed in clinics and pharmacies all across Japan.

AMR Clinical Reference Center also has a website where you can see the other forms of media created specifically for their 2021 AMR Awareness Month Campaign.

By - Jen Laforteza.