WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Episode 7 of Cells at Work! CODE BLACK, "Caffeine, Temptation, and Jealousy," now streaming on Funimation.
AA2153 is the one shining beacon of light in the dreary, dismal environment of Cells at Work! CODE BLACK. His perseverance, earnestness and optimism have earned him much admiration from the other cells. However, while he often motivates the other Red Blood Cells to work harder, he's also inspired feelings of envy and jealousy. AA2153's friend, AC1677, knows he isn't as diligent and driven. Seeing him get constantly compared to AA2153 only ignites his frustration and jealousy, leading him to make some bad decisions in Episode 7.
AA2153 Becomes the Top Rookie
AA2153's overall work ethic and attitude make him one of the exemplary cells in the body, so it comes as no surprise when he's given the Top Rookie award. Ashamed, AC1677 remembers how he ran away while the Killer T cells. Two senior Red Blood Cells who previously pushed AA2153 around come up to AC1677 and offers him a way to improve a hundredfold. He rejects them, but the two Red Blood Cells are certain that he'll be back.
Oxygen turns into ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species), severely aging the cells. Unfortunately, most of the oxygen delivered by AC1677 has turned into ROS. The cells are angry, blaming him for what happened. Thankfully, AA253 comes to his aid and tells him that ROS isn't produced because of an individual's handling but as a result of the overall terrible environment.
A Dangerous Caffiene Addiction Is Formed
AA2153 and AC1677 meet Sebaceous Gland Cell, who remarks casually that today's his last day -- he'll be self-destructing soon, releasing all of the sebum that has been built up outside of the body. His death causes the oxygen that AC1677 just delivered to explode, releasing a huge amount of ROS and body odor. AC1677 blames himself, as all of the oxygen he's delivered to date has turned into ROS. Frustrated that it seems like everything he touches turns to disaster, AC1677 walks away from AA2153.
At one of the lowest points of his life, AC1677 bumps into the two Red Blood Cell bullies at the worst possible moment. Sensing a weakened resolve, the two of them drag AC1677 to the small intestine where caffeine and arginine shower down on them, giving all of the Red Blood Cells a huge spurt of energy. In no time at all, AC1677 is racing ahead of AA2153. His friend warns him that too much caffeine can be dangerous but he only scoffs at him for being a goody-two-shoes.
Because there's too much arginine, a nosebleed results in Red Blood Cells getting sucked out. AA2153 manages to grab onto a metal pipe and hang on. Another Red Blood Cell pulls AA2153 into safety. Turning around, AA2153 offers a hand out to AC1677, but something has changed. There's a listlessness to his eyes and all of the energy and bravado has gone: a caffeine crash, just as AA2153 predicted.
AA2153 & AC1677 Are Cell Bros for Life, No Matter What
AC1677 feels like a failure, but AA2153 offers him a surprising confession: he was able to be so brave because AC1677 was there at his side. AC1677 might not be the first to take action and often runs away, but nevertheless, he has always stayed with AA2153. AC1677 nearly fell to the dark side of caffeine addiction, but AA2153's reminder that they have been helping each other all this time is enough for him to come back.
AC1677 has been AA2153's sidekick for the past few episodes of CODE BLACK, with AA2153 often being the hero, but Episode 4 proves AC1677's value. The focus on the bromance between the two cells is a welcome surprise and a much-needed reminder that friendship isn't a one-sided relationship -- friends support each other and rise to the top together.