It all started in Kaminoyama High School, when five best friends—Aoi Miyamori, Ema Yasuhara, Midori Imai, Shizuka Sakaki, and Misa Toudou—discovered their collective love for all things anime and formed the animation club. After making their first amateur anime together and showcasing it at the culture festival, the group vows to pursue careers in the industry, aiming to one day work together and create their own mainstream show.
Two and a half years later, Aoi and Ema have managed to land jobs at the illustrious Musashino Animation production company. The others, however, are finding it difficult to get their dream jobs. Shizuka is feeling the weight of not being recognized as a capable voice actor, Misa has a secure yet unsatisfying career designing 3D models for a car company, and Midori is a university student intent on pursuing her dream as a story writer. These five girls will learn that the path to success is one with many diversions, but dreams can still be achieved through perseverance and a touch of eccentric creativity.
Shirobako: Behind the Scenes of Anime Production
Shirobako is a meta-anime, an anime about making anime. Centered around Aoi Miyamori, a production assistant at the fictional Musashino Animation studio, we follow her and her group of friends as they navigate the challenging world of Japanese animation creation. Each character encompasses various roles within the industry – from key animators, voice actresses, to scenario writers. They all share a dream from their high school anime club days to create their anime that will enchant the masses.
As the episodes roll on, Shirobako delves a realistic, personal journey through the anime production cycle’s highs and lows. It does not withhold the daunting bureaucracy, taxing overtime work, unforeseen production issues, and the wavering passion amid stress—a perfect window to understand the painstaking efforts behind our favorite anime shows.
The most striking thing about Shirobako is its detail. The show is incredible in its depth – even the most mundane tasks of production are fascinating under its lens. P.A Works has fantastically captured the essence of anime production, with its intricacies and the crazy schedules. It’s an enlightening watch for anyone curious about the industry.
Animation-wise, Shirobako is a treat, fitting since it’s an anime about creating anime. The character designs are distinct and appealing, and the environments are detailed. The animation’s fluidity aids in telling the story – contributing to the atmosphere, the humor, and the overall feel of the show.
The characters in Shirobako are beyond mere representations of their jobs. Each character has distinct motivations, backstories, and personal hurdles that add to the story’s appeal. Aoi and her friends are not just enduring the pressures of the industry, but are also coping with their personal insecurities and struggles – a far cry from the often glamorized view of the industry.
What’s more, Shirobako treads a fine balance between optimism and reality. There’s an underlying message that champions perseverance and team effort. When they finally overcome the hurdles, it feels rewarding because you’ve seen what it’s taken to get them there.
Shirobako offers a unique perspective on an industry we love but seldom understand. The insight into the ups and downs of the anime industry, complemented by an interesting cast and superb animation, make it a must-watch.
Whether you’re a seasoned otaku or someone who appreciates good storytelling, Shirobako won’t disappoint. It’s worth the rent/buy/stream decision for the novelty of its concept and the quality of its execution. It doesn’t just tell you about making anime—it shows you, and beautifully so.
Score: 9/10 – A rare gem that tells an intriguing tale about the anime industry’s blood, sweat, and tears. It’s time to add this beloved series to your collection!
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