Shirobako – 11

Shirobako-Remembering Past Mistakes

Aoi’s finally been killed

spring14-highwThe deadline’s coming up fast, and the work’s not getting done yet.


How Many Cuts Left?

Shirobako-cute hoods

Cute little hoods

Aoi is dredging the bottom of the seas to find key animators. Seriously, I’m surprised she hasn’t come to ask Fosh to help out. After filling up everyone on staff, she’s searching for anyone that can be found, although Erika makes the good point that there are some people you just don’t want to be dealing with, because they’re worse than an empty slot. Making more work for the rest of the crew doesn’t save you time in the long run, so even if it might seem like it’s getting done, it’s a bad move.

Shirobako-Totally desperate

She’ll ask anyone at this point

The personality arc of Aoi is kind of fun to watch this episode, as she goes from hopeful and bright and bubbly to increasingly desperate. Part of the problem, as it’s explained to her, is that everyone else’s animators are trying to get an early start on the shows for next season. In fact, it’s certain that almost every new show’s key animation is done already, or they’re in big trouble, given how far Exodus! 13 is behind, and the new shows only have one more week until air. So there’s just not a lot of extra capacity out there. The show throws in a cute little vignette of her as the Little Key Frames Girl, seeing some other studios in a dream (like B Productions, which I’m guessing is A-1, and SunUp, which I think EVERYONE figured out is Sunrise), which shows just how desperate she’s getting. She even crashes Nabe-P’s mahjong game, although she gets trolled a little bit by one of his co-players who gives her the name of the “Neon Generation Avalgadon” director. Onoue didn’t realize how desperate Aoi is, as everyone else realizes that she’s totally going to ask him.

As Always, Life Goes On

Shirobako-Interview Panel

The Interview Panel

As we saw during the other push episodes, the rest of the world is still turning, and there are other things that need to get taken care of. One of them is the replacement of the production staff who have left to go to other ventures. And in a move that really shows how the company thinks of her, the President and Okitsu have asked Miyamori to help interview candidates. This is one of those things that you have to learn to do, and even if she’s completely unprepared, Aoi is learning something valuable, even if it’s just to compare her memories of interviewing with how it actually turned out. She might not realize it now, but being able to apply that delta to what she sees from the other people is a good way to evaluate people. I liked the Directorial staff’s little aside about hiring people, especially acknowledging that they even hired Tarou, and that while it might seem to early to hire people now, when you have a project, it’s too late, and there’s too fast a ramp up. So you need to have people on staff to get the project. And personally, if I was judging those folks, I’d probably hire the first guy, and the last two women. Even though the one has just been in customer service in a mall, she seems like the organized type, and that could probably go a long way. Not everyone needs to be as creative as Aoi to get the job done.

Shirobako-Helping Erika

Erika’s finally overwhelmed

But there’s another part of life that continues to go on, and Erika is the one who has to experience that. I’ve been wondering if she’s going to quit soon, because of her saying that Honda ‘beat her’ to his announcement of quitting, and because she has been doing things like recommending Aoi for the interviews. But what’s really on her mind is her father’s health, which is going poorly at the moment. And it finally gets to “Iron Yano” as she just runs out of brain during a late night at work. It’s really heartening to see that even in the midst of all that rush, all that work, the people at the office still take time to try to do the best they can for Erika, including sending her home with Tarou in the company car. Whether he’ll improve is a question, and we’ll see if Erika can bounce back to bring Episode 12 home.

Shirobako-Ema gets support

Ema gets Iguchi’s support


Aoi is so close, but still so far away it seems. She’s gotta find someone to do those last 20-some cuts, including the all-important horse scene. I think a lot of the answer was foreshadowed by the other key animators talking about Sugie, who we’ve heard isn’t really a moe animator, but he’s been really good at animals. And all of us who are watching Madan no Ou to Vanadis are glad that they didn’t think of going to the CG department for the horses. One other thing to note: We see why Ema has become a Key Animator so quickly, because we get the other animator’s opinion about her in encouraging her to do an important scene in the B-Part, because she’s good at animating girls’ movements. It was nice to see the others supporting Ema like that.


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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12 Responses to “Shirobako – 11”

  1. belatkuro says:

    Wonder if they’ll go full meta and have the real Anno be a key animator for the next episode while Aoi succeeds in inviting Kanno to be a key animator. Or maybe he could just voice himself.

    • skylion says:

      …he could voice himself…But, he really is busy with his directorial work now, isn’t he? Rebuild of Avalgadon: You can (not) Key-Frame…

  2. Joojoobees says:

    I really like this series. The comment about the impact of bringing bad people onto a project is so low key, but accurate. There is some real life experience behind the little lessons that are introduced throughout the series. I am looking forward to seeing how everything gets resolved.

    • Highway says:

      I’ve worked along with some people who are ‘worse than an empty slot’ (the nomenclature I use for WoW raids for people who cause more trouble than the benefit they bring). In one way, they can be useful, say if you need to pump up some billings. They’re really good at burning hours. But there’s not a lot of instances where you need to burn hours, and you can’t get away with that with clients for very long. And when you’re your own client, like MusAni is here, it just hurts them.

      • skylion says:

        It happens in my freelance work and in the Food and Bev industry as well. I mean, they might be able to help….

  3. HannoX says:

    I realize getting Tarou out of the office for any length of time is probably going to improve production, and he’s certainly the one they can most do without, but is it really safe to have him drive Erika? Yes, she can’t drive herself, but isn’t there somebody else who can be spared? It’d be just like Tarou to speed and get Erika in an accident.

    • Highway says:

      I dunno, we are probably not giving Tarou enough credit. He’s more of the lovable loudmouth kind of character. His episodes have not been a complete mess due to malfeasance or neglect. They have gone ok except for major sticking points that were not really out of his control, since he stoked the fire between Key Animation and CG, but at least were not his initiation. His biggest problems are that when a problem comes up, he doesn’t handle it in a good way: escalating when called for, defusing, and keeping calm. Instead he sits on problems and lets them fester and become infected. But in general, we have to assume that he’s getting his work done, he’s getting his episodes out, and he’s generally competent.

      So I don’t think there’s any real danger in sending him out to take care of Erika. Plus, as he said, his Episode 11 is pretty much on rails until delivery, and it’s mostly out of his hands. He’s the right person to drive her.

  4. skylion says:

    mmmmmf….Little Keyframe Girl moment got me strange looks on the bus…

  5. Namaewoinai says:

    Hmm…This Episode seem to had a lot of cameos (cover with mosaics) lately, anyone notice that? i was thinking, is this is going to be running gag or something?…Just Asking Anyways!

    • Highway says:

      I think it was more “We don’t want to get in trouble with these other studios, even though everyone can pretty much figure out who we’re talking about.” Perhaps if the characters were shown looking too much like, say, a gundam or other unlicensed character, PA Works would have to pay for using the likeness.

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