Shirobako – 17

Shirobako-Party Time

It’s Soumen Party Time!

winter15-highwIn my last post, I almost said that Parasyte was the best show airing now, but I caught myself before I typed it, because I remembered Shirobako. Well, the relative quality can be debated, but it’s for sure that I look forward to Shirobako a lot every week.

Just When You Think You’re Back on Track…

Shirobako-Honda's downsized

Honda’s gone from an Accord to a Fit

After a delay of two weeks or so, and having to redo a lot of the character animations from the early episodes, it seems like MusAni is getting back on track with the production of Third Aerial Girls. They even get approval for the rest of the main characters, so Iguchi can start splitting her time between finishing up the secondary characters and doing animation supervisor work. And the rest of the production is getting up to speed again, with things like backgrounds. Funny story, they wanted a background like some other shows had, but Kinoshita and Art Director Atsumi are too afraid to ask the legendary Ookura if he’d do them. But that’s when the fearless Aoi Miyamori steps in. Heck, if she could ask Kanno to do key animation, she can ask someone else to do backgrounds, even if he is described as moody. And like she says, asking is free.

Shirobako-How Katsuragi usually looks

This is how Katsuragi always looks when he deals with Chazawa

But something always gets in the way, and this time it’s a request from the manga publisher to produce a PV for them to show at Manga Festival. And of course it’s the jackass editor they have had to deal with, who swears he told them earlier, but I think we know who to believe there. This is what happens when you let Tarou stay in the company, see? You end up with a slime like that dealing with other entities. But as Nabe-P realizes, they don’t have much of a choice. They have to get this done, and in less than 2 weeks to the delivery date. And that’s without a lot of decisions made, like coloring and filming styles. That just pushes things a lot closer, and while Hiraoka, the slacker (of a different sort than Tarou), wants to just throw something together from things that are already almost done, Katsuragi and Nabe-P aren’t for that, and they’re the ones in charge. Plus, everyone wants to get things done right. You wonder if that’s the way it is most places, and that’s why a guy like Hiraoka just doesn’t stick around. He also pushes Miyamori’s buttons by not showing up for the morning meeting, missing information, and generally going at his pace. I really liked the scene of Miyamori telling him to come to the morning meetings, it was her acting very professional and in charge, while Okitsu sat there and listened by not overtly paying attention (I think she was in the shot for a reason, and that’ll portent good things for Aoi’s future).

Shirobako-Satou bulldozes Endou

Satou bullies Endou with politeness

Another Crunch Time

Shirobako-Satou worries about something.

Satou worrying about having to drive anywhere

I really liked the way they had Andou and Satou adjust to this. They both seem to be handling things better than even Miyamori did in her production of Exodus!. Satou plays the perfect Caveman Lawyer gambit in getting people to do the things she wants done, even if she doesn’t realize she’s doing it. And Andou just agrees with whatever sarcastic suggestions people make, roping them into doing things they didn’t think they should do. But they’re not perfect, as Satou gets lost while driving (she’s just not a comfortable driver) and Andou lets her fatigue get the best of her, falling asleep on the train and missing her stop.

Shirobako-help needed

Kunogi is a trip

And as usual, Shirobako brings the whole crew in for the montage treatment, and maybe even a little more. The new key animator Kunogi seems to be a favorite of the PA Works staff, with her inability to deal with anyone besides Ema and her outlandish expressions. Honda makes a return visit, and has lost approximately 70 pounds in 7 months, while working at a cake shop, making Kinoshita feel like he’s lost his ‘fat’ buddy. And after a lot of hard work, they get the PV done, with what seems like minimal extra wasted effort, since all the cuts in the PV are going to be in the show. Of course that means the President Murakawa has to throw a food party for everyone to see the finished PV. It’s definitely impactful, and for something that’s so far ahead of when the show will air (early July vs beginning of October) it’s in really good shape.

Shirobako-I've messed up plenty

Just keep getting better and things will work out


This is apparently nagashi soumen week in anime, it seems, with both Shirobako and Koufuku Graffiti joining in the fun of bamboo flume noodles. However, I still say that nothing has outdone the (NSFW) soumen scene in Kanokon‘s OVA (I really mean NSFW). As usual, so much happened in an episode of Shirobako that it’s impossible to get to it all in a post. Things like ‘Zuka filling in for Plum Piggie, and Misa getting complemented on the Jeep tires she was making for Third Aerial Girls. I was a little afraid that Misa would take the compliment of “Tires are what you’re best at!” the wrong way, and feel like she was getting pigeonholed at the office, but she took it in the spirit of “Using your past experience to impress.” I kind of wonder how far the show will go in the 7 episodes it has left, whether they’ll make it to the end of Third Aerial Girls in that time, and if we’ll find out anything more about after the show ends. PA Works doesn’t really do a lot of epilogue kind of stories, preferring to do the ‘window into someone’s life’ style. But I’m enjoying this one so much that I’d love to see at least 3 more shows come out of it: More Shirobako, Third Aerial Girls, and even Exodus!, although that last is much farther down the list (I just don’t think Goth Girls Baseball has the legs to make a whole series).


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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11 Responses to “Shirobako – 17”

  1. skylion says:

    You take that back about GothLOLi Baseball! LOL….

    Yeah, I think animators would love Kungoi. She has to be expressive, and that let’s them think about how a character like that will challenge them. Much like she is challenged by tooth brushing. Not like they could sit her down with Nisemonogatari, right?

    And honestly, what are they saying with Honda. I scratch my head at that…Director had better get into shape?

    I suddenly want soumen….or NSFW….both?

    • Highway says:

      I thought what they were saying with Honda is that when he was able to get away from the stress and the decisions, he reverted to a more healthy body shape. It wasn’t really something he tried to do, just happened.

      • HannoX says:

        A lot of people tend to overeat when under stress. And with the irregular work schedule he probably had at MusAni no doubt he ate a lot of junk food. Now that he has a regular work schedule and much less stress he began eating healthier and that led to his losing weight. At least that’s my take on it.

  2. Cytrus says:

    The prequel novel for Shirobako is very good, so if we get an open-ended finish, I want a sequel novel too xD.

    But I only want more anime Shirobako if they are 100% sure they want to do it. This series has given me so much joy because every scene is meaningful and perfectly crafted, wringing out as much juice out of the medium as possible. I’d hate for it to be tarnished by some “it sold well enough so maybe we should try another season” kind of approach.

    • Highway says:

      Well, if I talk about a sequel series, it’s mostly a blind hope. PA Works, to my knowledge, has never done a sequel series. They have done a movie or two to follow up, or an epilogue or OVA, but never a sequel. So I don’t think that there’s any real way they would do another Shirobako series. I still think they could do a good job with it, but it likely won’t happen.

      Third Aerial Girls would still be awesome, as it scratches a boyhood itch for me about fighter jets. 🙂

      • HannoX says:

        We really do need Third Aerial Girls. Hopefully fans in Japan are also calling for it.

    • HannoX says:

      While I would like a second series, I think we’re more likely to get a movie or an OVA or two. And that would be fine.

    • d-LaN says:

      So there a prequel novel in addition to a prequel manga, interesting. What the title of the novel may I know?

      • Cytrus says:

        “Shirobako – Introduction”

        It’s a collection of five short stories, one for each of the main characters. It focuses on the characters’ first days at work and the like, so the content is different from the manga version.

        • d-LaN says:

          I see, thanks for the tip.

          Just for curiosity sake, did you read it in JP or is there a translation online?

          • Cytrus says:

            I own the Japanese version. It was first released less than two weeks ago (January 31st), so I doubt there is an online translation at this point.

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