Shirobako – 08


This week on “Bonjour: Sweet Love Patisserie”

spring14-highwMasshiro-na omoi ni… I don’t know if any series this season has a more looked-forward to opening to the OP song for me this season.


Scaling the Wall

Shirobako-Discussing the future

Discussing the future of the project and Yasuhara-san

Or maybe it’s going around the wall. Ema’s still trying to figure out what she’s doing wrong, and it becomes pretty obvious to all those around her that she’s trying too hard. I like they way they’re portraying it: everyone thinks that Ema has talent, and as Segawa says, she’s close to being able to draw the way she wants to draw. But right now, she doesn’t know how, and doesn’t even know what the way she wants to draw is. It’s only something that comes with experience, and the knowledge of more of the process. And you only have time and attention to give to that expansion of outlook when you attain enough mastery in what you’re doing right in front of you.

Shirobako-Let me explain some things

Being the good senpai

That’s why it’s good that even in a fairly dog-eat-dog world like animation production, this group of people is interested in helping each other out. Iguchi wants to help Ema, but probably realizes that Ema needs to be in a place where she’s able to ask for help (and not be a bother to Iguchi). And Sugie, recognizing the struggle she has, even asks Iguchi to set that aside and reach out to Ema. So another piece of learned wisdom is passed down: When you’re stuck, everything looks like this (o-o) . Especially if you’re looking down at your desk. Sometimes you need to see more, to widen your perspective, and taking a walk can certainly help with that. And in this case, it even helps immediately, as they have a chance meeting with the park’s resident cat. So ultimately, with the help of those with more experience, you learn about how to move forward.

Shirobako-no wonder the cat gets annoyed

How to tick off a cat

Finding a Dream

Shirobako-Take us with you

Take us with you!

We’ve seen throughout the series that Aoi has been struggling with finding a dream. This is one of those common themes in anime, and I’m half wondering if they threw this in because it’s such a clichéd plot device as a meta thing. I suppose it can take a while to understand that you don’t need to have a dream. Some people dream big, sometimes too big. I thought it particularly rich that Midori and Shizuka are latching their dream onto Aoi, the person who is most successful, and the two of them, the least successful of the animation club, are trying to grab onto Aoi’s coattails. Would Aoi mind helping out her friends? I don’t think she would at all, but I found it just a bit distasteful. Come back when you guys are established on your own, and then the project has a much higher chance of success.


So gray and dull

We also get introduced to someone else’s dream this episode: Kaori. And not that the show was subtle about it, but it didn’t make her explicitly come out and say “This is my dream.” She feels alive in Tokyo, and feels stifled and downtrodden in the country. Sure, working at the credit union is a stable job, but it’s all so drab, with everyone wearing gray suits (and everyone with black hair), and stupid OL politics and talking about the TV dramas, and no excitement whatsoever. So on her trip she gets her chance to spread her wings a little bit and takes Rii-chan along with her. You get the impression that she’s not ready to just drop everything and move to Tokyo, but that it wouldn’t take a lot of inducement to get her to. After all, she does go back, and doesn’t take the opportunity to pour out her problems on Aoi. Maybe she just needs to think about it a little more. But after having that taste of excitement, it’ll probably take a lot less to get her back there.

Shirobako-Kaori fun

Some things bring Kaori to life


Ema seems to be past her wall, no matter how she actually got past it. And in the process, she’s learned a lot, not really about drawing, but about dealing with the pressures of work. And maybe most importantly, she’s learned that she’s not the only one who wasn’t inherently blessed with talent. That will certainly help her going forward. And Aoi’s not really closer to her dream, but I think she’s learning more about what things there are to do. The show has been going through the different advancement paths that are in the industry, like to become a director, you go back through animation director, key animator, and in-between. Or to become a producer, you start as a PA, but realize that Production Desk and Producer are different paths. More interesting industry information from the show.


Proving that you don't have to be young to love anime, I enjoy all genres and styles of shows. If it's not hurting anyone else, you should never be ashamed of what you like!
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3 Responses to “Shirobako – 08”

  1. bobob101 says:

    First, I gotta give some love to the background art from when Ema went on her walk. PA was clearly taking a page from Glasslip, having these water color esque backgrounds. No other group does visuals like these guys, and I love it.

    With regards to Aoi here, she seems like the character to be given a goal, who will then work towards it. I don’t think that is a problem in any way, but it is clear that having a dream isn’t her highest priority.

    Overall, this is just the kind of show I fall more in love with as it continues its run.

    • Highway says:

      I’ve been getting my fix of that with the urban backgrounds they’ve been putting in. The amount of detail they include in those is tremendous. Even the building they’re in, with all those little panels.

      I’d love to see Aoi just realize that she can set goals and work toward them. I get a little annoyed at the constant drumbeat of “without a dream, you are a lesser person”. It’s not really overt, but it’s certainly presented as “You don’t have one? Is something wrong with you?”

      I realized this week that this is by far the show I look forward to most throughout the week (It’s ahead of Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de aru, to mention my second favorite). It’s just been excellent, and I really like the characters that the show has.

  2. Namaewoinai says:

    So this animation company once a big time and more famous than the recent. Until they facing some complicated matter that lead to their not-so-demise, Definitely a Directors fault i guess, just has been discuss on the last episode.

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