Shirobako – 14

Shirobako-Planes 1

Into the wild blue yonder!

winter15-highwSometimes meetings are just interminable. Especially when the goals of the people there are completely different.


Audition Time

Shirobako-her big chance

Shizuka being confident

Time to bring in a lot of people who can sound close to the same, and try to figure out which one is the one you want to have. Yes, it’s audition time for Third Aerial Girls Squadron. And they have 105 people to listen to, which makes for a really really long day. It’s also Shizuka’s new big chance, and while her reading for Noa goes fine, the director actually asks her to read for Catherine as well. I wonder what he was thinking, because she read the two parts very differently. Hopefully, this is a good sign that maybe she’s getting a little notice.

Shirobako-Hell is meetings

Not going well…

But what follows 105 auditions? A lot of wrangling about who is actually going to get one of the few regular parts in the show. Add to that some very different agendas in the room, and you’ve got the recipe for an awful meeting. Not only do you have the representatives for MusAni and Western Entertainment (which I am presuming is the distributor, much like Aniplex or Kadokawa would be), but the advertising firm’s producer, a game company producer, the music company producer, and the special events producer, not to mention the late-arriving and useless book producer’s representative. And while these guys start out trying to make an argument against the people they don’t want, for various reasons that have almost nothing to do with their possible performance in the role, it quickly devolves into just being stubborn and wanting someone represented by their agency, or someone who has a great ass. I can’t believe that the four guys on the right side of the table didn’t realize it would go like this, but the director probably just doesn’t deal well with being contradicted. We know he’s not the most forceful personality. And unfortunately, they can’t just go with the sound producer’s opinion every time. Besides, he just looks totally bored, as anyone would be listening to these tools go on and on.

Close but No Cigar… Yet

Shirobako-Feeling bad for Shizuka

Everyone else feels bad for Shizuka

When they finally get to the role of Catherine, of course the last role to be decided on, the director’s put Shizuka down as his second, and actually revisits her even though she didn’t get enough votes to be on the top 5 board. He even pushes for her, but in the end she gets beat out by Suzuka Itou. I think it’s good that she was noticed by the director, and the others did get to hear her again. But the ‘new’ tag is something that’s pretty rough to get rid of. And Shizuka won’t really know that she was close to getting the part, just that she didn’t get it. I’m holding out some hope though, because they talk about Suzuka Itou’s schedule (this is why I was wondering how MatsuYoshi could ever have been tapped for three harem MC’s in the same season. It’s not a secret, people!) and they didn’t mention that with anyone else. So maybe a conflict will come up and they’ll need to get someone else… someone who still has the time to do it because she hasn’t gotten any other jobs, perhaps…

Shirobako-Rii-chan gets an interview

Midori’s first break

But like I said, that doesn’t help ‘Zuka now, and when Midori is brought into MusAni for a part-time job as a Setting Producer (and gladly accepts the moniker “Diesel-san” even as Director Kinoshita is embarrassed about it), that puts four out of five of our heroines on the production of Third Aerial Girls, since Misa’s new job is developing CG for the show. And that’s a little uncomfortable when Aoi has to admit that the show that she didn’t get the part for is the one they’re all working on. Now even Midori and Misa are working on an anime with Aoi and Ema, and it’s only Shizuka left out (but I’m still hoping that’ll change).


Some excellent work as usual in the skies

Also, it struck me going through the show one more time for screenshots that the guy they were asking about being an art director was talking about clouds, and in this episode he talks about how he wants to make the perfect cloud and just can’t draw it quite the way he wants it. I realized that this is actually a somewhat interesting point to me, because I’ve always admired the skies and clouds in PA Works productions, and think that they are done tremendously well (look at shows like Glasslip, Tari Tari, and Nagi no Asukara). I wonder if this was a bit of a pat on the back for their work on those shows as well. I just found the intersection of the subject and the studio interesting.

Shirobako-Planes 2


And now it’s Show-Off time: Just for fun, can you say what the five jets the girls are flying in the OP are? Don’t need specific variants, just types. It’s “show off time” because I was able to get 4 of 5 just from memory, and the 5th just by searching planes. Can you do better? Answers in the spoiler (and if you want to help preserve the fun, put your answers in a spoiler tag in the comments)

Show ▼

Shirobako-Hopefully titanic is

Let’s hope that Studio “Taitanic” is more like the epic and less like the sinking



Another full episode, with things constantly happening, even as they spent 14 hours in a meeting to decide the main roles. Didn’t even get to the new guy, who’s kind of a jerk, or the outside studio that MusAni may be using to produce a couple of episodes. I do wonder who has left, given that they can only handle 11 episodes in-house, and that’s with Madoka and Yamada covering 3 each, and Kinoshita covering 3 as well. Why don’t those two other slackers who are just doing one episode do a couple? Well, they probably have something else going on. On a side note, I wish I were better at reading name kanji to puzzle out that chart a little better. See you next week!


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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14 Responses to “Shirobako – 14”

  1. Di Gi Kazune says:

    And then a couple of Raptors swoops down to down those birds. I miss my dose of Macross…

  2. Bobob101 says:

    Within the scope of the show, it makes the most sense for zuka to get the job. Though it does feel like the show is forgetting Ri-chan (cg girl) compared to the rest of the cast.

    The va meeting might be the funniest the show has gotten

    • Highway says:

      Just a correction: Misa (Mii-chan) is the CG modeler. Midori (Rii-chan) is the script writer / scenario writer / Setting Producer.

      And yes, we didn’t really see much of Misa getting her new job, or how they got the work from MusAni (possibly because she got that job with the company mentioned by the MusAni CG guy as run by his kouhai). I’d expect that to be a little bit more of a deal coming up in the future. But Misa is definitely the 5th of 5 in terms of priority in the show.

      • bobob101 says:

        Thanks Highway, there goes all my Otaku cred. I’m just going to go shoot some water through my brain.

        I guess MII-CHAN already had her arc and found what she wanted to do, so if we gave her a lot of time there just might not be interesting conflicts like the rest of Musani.

        • Highway says:

          I think this might have actually been a bit of setup for another go round for Misa. She’s gotten less focus than any other character. Heck, she’s gotten less focus than Aoi’s sister, or Endou, or Erika, or the president of MusAni, or Honda… I’d like to see more of what she’s doing, but I think that her work is not that interesting. She isn’t having that crisis of confidence or work wall that Ema did. She’s just doing something that gets her closer to what she wants to do.

  3. HannoX says:

    While I agree that the three who kept pushing for someone who could sing or had a great ass, etc., were forgetting that the most important thing was to cast people who could voice the roles, each of them did have a point. It’d be good to have an established singer as a cast member in order to sing any song(s) in the anime. And for public appearances it’d be a plus for at least one cast member to have a great figure. And for publicity purposes it’s a plus to have someone who’s very popular with fans. Plus, it was part of their job to try and get someone from their agency cast.

    I think we got only a small idea of how contentious casting meetings can be. Every company representative arrives with their own agenda, and they don’t all put who’s best to voice the role first.

    We did get a hint that Zuka might yet get the role of Catherine, and if she doesn’t she could still get one of the secondary roles. The fact that the director has noticed her can only be good.

    • Highway says:

      I think that those points, in this context, were things that the people on the ‘right’ side of the table – Nabe-P, Kinoshita, the other reasonable guy, and Katsuragi – already knew, but given that they know more about the property and presumably the wishes of Yotaka Bookshop, they’re not as worried about it. Plus, things like character songs don’t really need great singers to sell merchandise, it’s more about people liking the character.

      Basically, their reasoning came off as trying to use established wisdom things that everyone already knew as a wedge to force their preferred picks. And that’s how you end up with some huge miscasting (trying to get the ‘almost 60-year old’ woman as the main character because she was a good singer reminded me of the panning that Miki Itou got as the main girl in Shuffle! as a 45 year old trying to play an 18 year old, a really bad miscast).

      • HannoX says:

        For an animated show age shouldn’t matter as long as they can voice the role. It’s not like someone in their 40s trying to play a teenager in a live action show. And we now have Kotono Mitsuishi voicing Usagi in Sailor Moon Crystal. Although in her case there’s probably the nostalgia factor of her voicing the role originally. Let’s remember that veteran VAs can be expected to bring a fan base to a show.

        However, trying to push an almost 60 year-old into this particular role wasn’t a good idea. From the reaction of MusAni it’s clear they didn’t think she could voice it.

        But I think the main thrust of the casting meeting was to show the audience how continuous such meetings can be and how everyone arrives with their own agenda and not necessarily ones that are best for the show. Just one of the downsides of having production committees made up of several different companies behind an anime.

    • Highway says:

      Also, DiGi’s mention of Macross reminds me: Macross Frontier had one person (Aya Endou) as the character voice, and another person (May’n) singing. A disappointment for me because I like Aya Endou’s singing, but I’m in a big minority there.

  4. skylion says:

    The one thing I took away from the ‘bored’ meeting: Pretty much anything can be developed when it’s treated as the “flavor”. Geez, so much of it felt overblown and saturated…think of qualities…plug in VA name…done. No wait…

  5. Marina says:

    Isn’t Zuka’s problem the pain most everyone just entering the job field has to face? Countless companies require so many years of experience, even for entry-level positions. It’s laughable how this requirement makes it ridiculously difficult to gather the experience needed if no one will give young professionals the chance. I sincerely hope they’ll revisit Zuka later on as a possibility. As agonizing as this episode was, I actually enjoyed watching the VA decision meeting, which felt very real with its lack of progress and amount of head-to-head.

    • Highway says:

      There’s certainly a common thread among anyone trying to start a career. Perhaps it’s a little less of a problem in a performance field like Shizuka’s, since if you get noticed you are in, and there’s probably less of the ‘work your way up with experience’. Personally, I was super lucky when I started working as I found a company that mostly hires new, inexperienced people, and has a long longevity record with them (I’ve been here over 20 years, now). But it is a catch-22 thing: You need experience to get a job, but you need jobs to get experience. There’s a certain amount of luck needed all the time.

      • skylion says:

        …which is preparedness meeting opportunity…You want the employees with both the patience and sense of urgency…They’re the ones that make the difference.

      • Joojoobees says:

        There’s also a problem in between. The fresh folks are brand new and willing to work cheap, so there are some folks interested in taking them on. Then you have the folks who want to only hire the the Senior whatever — sometimes they will require 10-12 years of experience in a role. There is a huge gap in between. The folks who aren’t still willing to put up with the kind of folks who hire cheap, because they have a family now, for example, and yet they don’t have enough experience to be the Senior whatever. I’ve seen this first hand when people refuse to hire someone with 8 years of experience because they aren’t sure the candidate can do the job. 😛

        I think they did a good job depicting the various unrealistic pressures that casting an anime is subjected to. I personally was getting annoyed by the attitude of the folks from the associated companies, but I’m sure there is a lot of reality in that scene.

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