Shirobako Review

Hey everybody!! Sorry if it has been…a while since my last review. It took me a little bit longer than expected to watch this anime. I was struggle busing. But this anime I was really excited about because it’s an anime about what we all love, ANIME!! Now I do not know exactly how accurate any of this show is about how anime is made but I feel like this would be somewhat accurate. There were times when it was really complicated and, in my opinion, if they were not being true to the industry they probably would have probably just have left it out. It was definitely interesting to see this little look into how an anime is made. So here is my 10th Anime Review!!! (That’s right 10th!! I’m actually really excited that I’ve reached this milestone).

Anyway, so here is my 10th anime review for a show that gave us a little look into the world of anime: Shirobako. Okay so Shirobako premiered in October of 2014 and just wrapped in March 2015. It has one season that consists of 24 episodes. An anime with more episodes like this one is always nice because the show does not seem as rushed because the plot can be spread out more. Not to say this show could not have been done in 12-13 if it only covered the making of one show, but I liked how it was well spread out and focused more on the little details. Shirobako’s story revolves around five girls who were in an anime club together in high school. They vow to all work on the same anime one day, so after they graduate they all go off to try to work in the anime industry. Our story mainly covers all five girls working at their every day jobs, and the struggles of working on an anime. It focuses a lot on Aoi, the main character, working at her job as a Production Assistant at Musashino Animation as they work on two anime shows.

The cast of this show is pretty good-sized but I’m just going to focus on the five girls that the show is centered around. These five girls were in the same animation club in high school who made an anime for their school festival. After it airs, they promise to all go into the anime industry so that one day they can work on a real anime together.

So I’m going to start out with Aoi who is basically our main character. She is the one that the story mostly centers around and we as viewers spend the most time with. She works as a Production Assistant, a job that basically makes sure an episode comes together properly. It’s safe to say that Aoi went through a lot of stress in the course of the show. Like an unimaginable amount of stress, but somehow she got through it with a little help from the people around her. As a main character she was a pretty good main character.

Next is Ema who is the character who we see the most after Aoi. She works as a Key Animator at Musashino Animation so we get to see her a lot since her and Aoi work in the same place. She is very quiet but is very helpful to those around her. Ema goes through a few hard times during the show but also works her way out of it with a little help. Ema too was a nice character to have in the show because she showed us another side of anime that we had not seen before.

The next three characters we do not get to see as much but they still play a large roles in the story. Shizuka, nicknamed Zuka, is a voice actress who is trying to land her first job in an anime. She goes to auditions and unfortunately does not really land any roles in the course of the show. She works as a waitress in a pub to help pay her bills and also does other jobs to try to get a name for herself in the voice acting community. We get to see her struggle in trying to land her first large role in an anime.

Misa, called “Mii” by her friends, is another former member of the animation club who now works in the 3D computer graphics animation industry at a studio specializing in 3D animation. She is a huge fan of this style of animation and was happy to get at the studio, but she too begins to struggle with her job because she does not find her current work interesting. I think a lot of people could relate with Misa not really liking her job because that happens to people everyday. I don’t know, I thought she was really an okay character because the first few times that she appeared she complained about her job.

The final member of the club, and the last character I will talk about, is Midori or “Rii”. She is still in college studying in hope of becoming a screen writer. She lives in the same apartment building as Aoi so we do get to see her quite a bit. Rii often helps out Aoi by doing research for some anime and actually ends up working for Musashino Animation looking up information for them. Rii, too, has a few problems towards the beginning of the show because she feels like she is still dependent on her parents. I did like Rii a lot because I understood the feeling of being in college and feeling like you still depend on your parents for everything.

The rest of the characters, even though there are so many of them, each have their own little story and attitudes. None of them are the same, each one of them is different in some way. Even if you know a character is there just to be a comic relief, they are still fun to watch. If you read my Confession Time blog you know that I have a problem with getting overly attached to background characters and Shirobako was no exception. Tatsuya Ochiai was probably one of my favorite characters in the whole show so I was a little upset when he ended up leaving. Anyway, all of the side characters were interesting and helped the show in a huge way.

On to the soundtrack. Unfortunately, I was not really a big fan of any of the openings or endings. They were not necessarily bad, they just did not really stand out to me. None of them made it onto my iPod and in all honesty I do not really remember any of them. Compared to the show, the soundtrack fell a little flat.

The animation style, on the other hand, was actually very well done. I think as an anime about making anime I had to have good animation or else it would just turn into a mess. It was done by P.A. Works which is the same studio that made Angel Beats and Red Data Girl. It was very pretty to watch and held up over the course of the show. I would expect nothing less than perfect for a show about making anime, and that is what we got!

I have to be honest. While I did like the premise of Shirobako and though the animation was beautiful, everything about this show threw me straight onto the struggle bus. There were times when I just did not want to watch this show, and I really had to plow through some of the episodes. Even writing this review gave me problems. I got the worst case of writers block while writing this and it took me MUCH longer than it usually would to write this. I had almost finished it last week, but my computer didn’t save my latest draft and I had to type almost all of it all over again. Ugh. I’m still trying to figure out what cause these problems for me.

Overall, Shirobako was a very good show that just caused some problems for me as a viewer and a reviewer. It was interesting to watch anime being made and I did enjoy it. I mean I do not know exactly how accurate it was about making anime, but it was still nice to watch.

I award Shirobako with a B. It was a good show that just fell flat in a few areas. It is a good show and from what I hear it is pretty popular. In all honesty I probably would have given it an A if I had not had any problems while I was trying to watch and review it. I do highly suggest it though to anyone who is looking for something to watch.

So that wraps it up for now! I feel like I have defeated the boss of a video game by finally finishing this review. Anyway, what do you guys think? Do you think Shirobako accurately represented creating an anime? Are there any shows that you really struggled to finish? Let me know down in the comments below!!

See you next time!!

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