(All featured images belong to their respective copy right holders and P.A. Works & Sentai Filmworks)
A bit different from our Let’s Talk Anime articles. These articles will try to cover anime that are new and have just ended. So, I hope you all enjoy this first review piece!
Shirobako. An anime that follows it’s own path and it’s own footing, is developed by P.A. Works. It takes the slice of life genre and gives it a rather natural and normal feel to it all. Of course it still has it’s rather funny bits and anime moments but, the overall piece is something to be greatly admired. What exactly is Shirobako? Well, the title itself represents a piece of the anime industry. Specifically a, ‘White Box’ that housed a VHS copy of the final product of the animation that they had been working on. While the box is not used physically any more due to the expansion of digital transfers and disc’s, the term is still used here and there within the anime industry. But what the anime, Shirobako represents is the drives of five high school students who swore a promise on some donuts to all work within the anime industry. After their partings from high school a few years later, we find the characters dabbling apart in separate corporations or mingling within the same ones. Simply put, Shirobako is an anime about the creation of anime. It gives us a look into the industry and also allows for a human tale to the final product, rather than something as simple as a message to pass on; that is not saying that this anime doesn’t still carry a message, it just is more focused on the everyday lives of the characters working within the anime industry.
For a high consumer of anime, this title represents a delightful detour in the other wise soaked down selection that is available for viewing. That being said, this opinion is coming from a standpoint of what I have available via the service I subscribe to. Though, it isn’t without some truth. Science Fiction & Fantasy are always much more popular with the general audience as it provides fantastic experiences and interesting situations. That being said, Slice of life’s are usually a welcome addition to help filter and let everyone’s minds settle for a while. Shirobako was that coolant for myself. I have not found an anime of this quality that really sounded with me, that drew me in and kept me watching. I actually didn’t know about this anime until I stumbled upon it during Naka-Kon this early march. Least to say, I have not regretted stumbling across this anime. The cast of characters in this anime is something of a Bacanno! or Durarara!! level. However, we still have five primary characters. Those being (in no specific order):
With five key characters, it is quite easy to find a favorite among them, however the anime itself tends to follow Aoi Miyamori around quite a bit more. However, I personally found Ema Yasuhara’s character a bit more fun and enjoyable to follow. Her focus was key animation and she eventually managed to get promoted to the position of assistant general animation supervisor. Though sadly, this isn’t a topic about characters… Rather a review of a terrific anime.
In terms of the overall animation, there was not one moment where the animation dipped; of course I have an untrained eye, so for my own stand point it looked very gorgeous and well animated. The music, coloring and emotions were all there. Everything mixed and blended well. Each episode rode off the other and neither one failed to drop the ball. The series even inspired a new dance routine, thanks to the wonderful Ema Yasuhara. The ending even ended on such a wonderful note that they left it rather open. By that I mean that the ending is an ending but, how it ended will possibly allow for more to follow should the creators feel it is suited for one. That being said, again the ending was solid and it left the series on a terrifically high note. It was enjoyable watching each an every character grow. This is one of those anime where the characters actually develop rather nicely along with the story and in the end we get to see their efforts rewarded and pushed forward into an even brighter future. This anime, as stated above, even allows us a glimmer into what the work is like for a animation company. It provides us all a sense of the stress and processes that each company likely has to go through. Heck, it even helps brew a better understanding and reflection in the community that watches it. No one company is perfect. Animation takes time, blood, sweat and tears to finally get it delivered to the general public. Even then it sometimes isn’t enough and animosity and hate will still brew some questionable posts. That being said, it is still nice to see an animation company producing a content that helps show how much work actually goes into something like the anime we have watched.
So, with all that I can muster, please look into giving this unlikely anime a chance. It currently is available on Crunchyroll, with premium members being able to access the whole anime now. Free members will have to wait until April 2nd to watch the final episode of this terrific anime! I hope you all enjoyed this first review! We hope that more will follow in its footsteps.
So… Don-Don-Donuts! Lets go nuts!
Offical site(japanese only): http://www.shirobako-anime.com/