Shirobako | A Review on An Anime Animating Anime

Shirobako | A Review on An Anime Animating Anime

One thing I love about Anime as a medium is how you can gain experiences through it. A few things I wanted to do as a kid was, to be an animator or mangaka. Well, thanks to Anime, I no longer want to do those things. As much as these jobs are well respected in this community, they are often romanticized in media. Thankfully, some anime has been able to shed some light the best way possible. Bakuman showed us the gruelling grind of being a manga artist, constantly fighting for popularity and relevancy. What did Shirobako present to an audience that may want to venture into the field of animation?

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For those who don’t know, Shirobako is an anime revolving around five friends who created an anime together in high school. When they graduated they vowed that they would one day be able to work together on a real anime. 2 years and a half years later we find these girls striving for their goals, traversing their separate paths. Two of the five are working in the anime industry, even at the same company, while the others are still on their journey to catch up to their comrades. End goal: share the opportunity of working on a mainstream anime project together.

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This description is not even half of what this series really is. It is an anime revolving around people making anime. I will say that, before watching this series, I had a large gap of knowledge on the process of making an anime and what pitfalls could happen along the way. I would recommend this anime solely on educating the anime community that doesn’t understand that process. It’s very interesting stuff.

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As the production assistant, our heroine Miyamori Aoi’s job entails checking and carrying around materials and constantly being in contact with all the artist attached to the episodes she’s assigned to. Initially, I thought the series had too much going on. So much was happening in such a short time. This was intentional. We are gaining perspective of the job of a production assistant. It’s crazy and almost never-ending.

Fun Fact:

Shirobako actually translates to White Box.

White Box, in the anime industry, refers to video recordings that are delivered to members of the production team before airing. Back in the day they were VHS in White Boxes. Since times have changed, they are now in discs but the name lives on.

ShiroBako was a great original anime that I truly hate myself for waiting so long to watch. The characters are all great, except for this guy.

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With such a massive cast, I was very concerned that characters wouldn’t get any attention but I felt that there was a fair balance for MOST of the characters that deserved. We also got some great cameos from some pretty big people in the anime industry. What more can you ask for?

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As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, these anime series shed light on these dream jobs but I will say that after watching Yasuhara Ema fight her way out of the shadow of her fellow key animators, it really made me want to pick my pencil up and draw. As much as this job can be gruelling and taxing, the love is there. Yasuhara loves drawing and she enjoys bringing joy to fans like herself of anime. I love this kind of energy and I just want to see more of it.

Thankfully this isn’t the end of the tale. The Shirobako movie was recently announced! I’m so looking forward to the next chapter for Musashino Animation and what our girls will cook up for us this time. I’d love to hear your thoughts on Shirobako also! Let me know in the comments below!

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