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EP. REVIEW: Shirobako


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Stark700



Joined: 30 Jan 2012
Posts: 11748
Location: Earth
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 5:49 pm Reply with quote
This show actually surprised me. Originally, it was on my low priority list but having seen two episodes now shows a lot of potential of what it can do with the premise.

And given that it's a 2 cour, there's a lot to expand with its characters and ideas. I think it's on the right track so far.
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Cam0



Joined: 13 Dec 2009
Posts: 4716
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 5:59 pm Reply with quote
It's 2 cour? Oh shi-.... I hope I'll get more out of it if I give it more time, but so far it has been like an anime making montage.
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configspace



Joined: 16 Aug 2008
Posts: 3717
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 7:44 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
For one, the characters are already in their dream jobs, right after high school. There's none of the struggling through minimum-wage service jobs while pursuing your dreams on the side, waiting to get good enough that they could become your day job

From what I've read, and the video footage I've seen, there are many young animators in Japan fresh out of school, sometimes even before college, in contrast to the US. Just due to the high demand it is also easier to land a job. So animation could be your first real low wage job.

That aspect was discussed in this interview with Aya Suzuki and also look at Bahi JD:
Quote:
That was when I was 17-- the first time I showed my work to someone from the industry. I was 20 when I started my first professional job.


Quote:
That said, most of the characters (both male and female) are some degree of otaku. The show does spend time depicting lighthearted downsides to this (as when a director completely reverses direction on the protagonist in their magical-girl series Exodus, because he's decided she's not cute enough to appeal to "the boys",) the tone is still dominated by a feeling of "Look, otaku viewers, they're just like you! You could do this, too!"

Well, nearly everyone in the industry really is an otaku, male or female as that is what drives them in the first place. I don't think it's like going to trade school to become a mechanic. Especially in the anime industry with the workload, I don't anyone could last for a month if they weren't motivated.



BTW here's a list of real life cameos
http://www.pelleas.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=862
Quote:

I just watched Shirobako on Cruchyroll, an anime about anime production, and noticed cameo appearance of well-known anime staffers under altered name. I already recognized few and anyone up for challenge?

Misato Segawa: Animation Supervisor (瀬川美里: 作画監督)

Yutaka Honda: Production Desk (本田豊: 制作デスク)

Tatsuya Ochiai: Production Assistant (落合達也: 制作進行)

Tarou Takanashi: Production Assistant (高梨太郎: 制作進行)

Yuuichirou Shimoyanagi: 3D Director (下柳雄一郎: 3D 監督)

Chiemi Doumoto: Inbetween Check (堂本知恵美: 動画検査)

Yumi Iguchi: General animation Supervisor (Sou-Sakuga Kantoku) Assistant (井口祐未: 総作画監督補)

Rinko Ogasawara: Character Design/General animation director (小笠原綸子: キャラクターデザイン/総作画監督)

Akane Uchida: Key Animator (内田茜: 原画)

Ema Yasuhara: Key Animator (安原絵麻: 原画)

Yoshiki Sakura: Camera Director/Director of Photography (佐倉良樹: 撮影監督)

Nao Shinkawa: Color Coordination and check (新川奈緒: 色指定・検査)

Erika Yano: Production Assistant (矢野エリカ: 制作進行)

Seiichi Kinoshita: Director (木下誠一: 監督)

Hironori Madoka: Animation Director(Enshutsu) (円宏則: 演出)

Masashi Yamada: Animation Director(Enshutsu) (山田昌志: 演出)

Masahito Marukawa: President (丸川正人:社長)
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Angel M Cazares
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Joined: 23 Sep 2010
Posts: 5056
Location: Iscandar
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 7:55 pm Reply with quote
I think this anime has a neat premise and potential to have charming characters. The series has been entertaining so far, but the anime making aspect can be overbearing. Still, I look forward for more story development and more screen time for the rest of the lead quintet.

And if this anime is indeed two cours (I have not seen official confirmation), I cannot see right now how the producers are going to fill 24-26 episodes with solid content; the premise seems too simple and somewhat monotonous.


Last edited by Angel M Cazares on Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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SailorTralfamadore



Joined: 25 Feb 2014
Posts: 498
Location: Keep Austin Weeb
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:01 pm Reply with quote
Thanks configspace for the info on the anime industry. I'll keep all that in mind with future reviews.

configspace wrote:
Quote:
That said, most of the characters (both male and female) are some degree of otaku. The show does spend time depicting lighthearted downsides to this (as when a director completely reverses direction on the protagonist in their magical-girl series Exodus, because he's decided she's not cute enough to appeal to "the boys",) the tone is still dominated by a feeling of "Look, otaku viewers, they're just like you! You could do this, too!"

Well, nearly everyone in the industry really is an otaku, male or female as that is what drives them in the first place. I don't think it's like going to trade school to become a mechanic. Especially in the anime industry with the workload, I don't anyone could last for a month if they weren't motivated.


I'm not surprised by this, and I didn't mean this part as a criticism of the series. Simply stating how it plays into the feeling of "otaku wish-fulfillment" that the series has. There's very much a "you, too!" air to it. While it's true that you have to like whatever creative thing you're doing a heck of a lot to prosper in doing it for a living (that's part of why I'm a musicologist rather than a performing musician, for instance Very Happy), most of your "average otaku" wouldn't actually be able to prosper in the anime industry, and I think the show can stretch that identification a little far in how it characterizes some of these characters. (For example, with the ending sequence in which it focuses on Aoi's stuffed animals, and the way that played into the story in the first episode, etc.)

angelmcazares wrote:
And if this anime is indeed two cours (I have not seen official confirmation), I cannot see right know how the producers are going to fill 24-26 episodes with solid content; the premise seems too simple and somewhat monotonous.


I agree with you here, and thought of bringing it up in the review but I'd rather not until I can find official confirmation on this.
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configspace



Joined: 16 Aug 2008
Posts: 3717
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:11 pm Reply with quote
SailorTralfamadore wrote:
I'm not surprised by this, and I didn't mean this part as a criticism of the series. Simply stating how it plays into the feeling of "otaku wish-fulfillment" that the series has. There's very much a "you, too!" air to it. While it's true that you have to like whatever creative thing you're doing a heck of a lot to prosper in doing it for a living (that's part of why I'm a musicologist rather than a performing musician, for instance Very Happy), most of your "average otaku" wouldn't actually be able to prosper in the anime industry, and I think the show can stretch that identification a little far in how it characterizes some of these characters. (For example, with the ending sequence in which it focuses on Aoi's stuffed animals, and the way that played into the story in the first episode, etc.)

Ok, I get ya. I agree that the average fan would not be able thrive or survive. In fact I wonder if it'll become a bit more serious and get into grueling, sometimes health-killing workload aspect.
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JulieYBM



Joined: 07 Apr 2012
Posts: 206
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:45 pm Reply with quote
Most animators are just kids right out of high school. Cindy H. Yamauchi did part-time in-between animation when she was sixteen and in high school, for example. This applies to Hisada Kazuya, Tate Naoki, and Shida Naotoshi, too. Iwane Masa'aki of Studio Cockpit fame was making short films in high school with friends and went pro in 1984.

The dedication of the staff in Shirobako isn't quite entirely pandering to the audience so much as it is reflective of a lot of the staff's actual likes. There is so much work being produced right now an animator has a wide variety of titles they can work on, so it wouldn't be a stretch to say this show has actual fans doing a lot of the good work on it.
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John Hayabusa



Joined: 30 May 2012
Posts: 1270
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 11:26 pm Reply with quote
I have learned so many things about how anime is done from this..... um, anime. Love the cute girls but the second episode bored me. It spent more time with fat men yelling around.
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AJ (LordNikon)



Joined: 14 Apr 2009
Posts: 453
Location: Tokyo & Maryland
PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 4:20 am Reply with quote
Typical Grandpa anime's long posts.

I actually like shows like this, and suspect where there is a lot of over-dramatization to make the show feel more exciting, and that in reality hose jobs in the anime industry are probably a little more drone than it really is in real life; I do suspect there is a lot of accuracy in the stress with the deadlines. Many, more so than many anime fan, or at least younger fans may realize.

Case in point, I'm was senior international photojournalist for a major media outlet with over 30 years in the field, (now I manage a magazine) I travel the world for pay, taking photos, and have been paid to go to Japan five times. And, it never fails if I actually get some PTO to go to an anime convention that one of my friends makes it a point to state this fact to people in a group, who then swam me thinking how awesome my job is, and how great it is to go to Japan cause they always wanted to go themselves.

I get flooded with questions about my work, where I've been and how great it is to shoot in Japan for pay, or throw out the compliment how jealous they are and how awesome a job it is. Yeah, it's nice to travel, but every day there is stress, airport stress, work related stress, such as deadlines, and lighting... I love photography, but it's also work which pays the bills. It is work, and the related quality of life issues in the industry sucks.

The same goes for anyone who works in almost any media industry. Sure there is a lot of love for anime, manga, and so forth, but it is work, and in a high stress job in any media there is constant pressure to perform and meet deadlines, and it's always very painful to see new young'ins get their dream job only to get kicked below the belt to see reality settle in.

Met many of voice actors over the years and got to chatting with them at the cons. Never would ask what shows they worked on, or favorite series, usually would talk shop. I've found often times, they had the same stress that I would. BTW: You want to make anyone who creates anime's day, rather than ask a hundred questions about minor details, which they get all weekend long at a con, thank them, or tell them how much you appreciate the work they do on a show. Trust me, that makes their entire weekend.

I can say for as many years in the media, that the jokes, and over-drama aside, this is probably a very realistic look at how things go in the day to day operations of making an anime. I cringe at the amount of work that goes in to making one, and know that the deadlines they have are razor thin. We just saw, ep.2 today (as of this writing) and I bet it is safe to say that ep.3 is in its final cut, and maybe a quarter to half way through ep.. I wouldn't be surprised to hear the storyboards for ep.6 of this show are not past the approval stage.

But, I digress. I really enjoy this series so far, because it does capture a feeling of what it is like to work in a high stress job, that most people really do not understand.

/end long old man lecture.
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jymmy



Joined: 11 Nov 2011
Posts: 1244
PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 6:04 am Reply with quote
I'd just like to say that I thought episode two, from the second half onwards, was bloody fantastic. With the possible exception of some of Mushishi or Ping Pong, it was easily the best anything from this year of anime. It started off pretty funny, but became side-splitting, and at the same time depicted the spark of inspiration and love being lit under a group of people. They started from worrying (not unjustifiably) about schedules and assigning work, and as they debated, the room changed from a group of harried businessman to passionate creators. It was inspiring and relentlessly funny, simply transcendental. The cast of Exodus appearing in front of them I would have rolled my eyes at in almost any other circumstance, but here it was just a perfect moment. I don't expect that many people will share my reaction, but for me episode two of Shirobako was something that reminded me why I watch anime.
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RosaBatata



Joined: 31 Jul 2009
Posts: 36
Location: Israel
PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 1:10 pm Reply with quote
Speaking of cameos, obviously episode 2 had the seiyuu cameos which were great. I really felt we got to see a little of the amazing talent of Mai Nakahara, Shizuka Itou and Ai Kayano with both their actual roles in the shows, and their roles as themselves acting out the characters in different ways. Was really exciting.
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reanimator





PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 11:27 pm Reply with quote
configspace wrote:
BTW here's a list of real life cameos
http://www.pelleas.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=862
Quote:

I just watched Shirobako on Cruchyroll, an anime about anime production, and noticed cameo appearance of well-known anime staffers under altered name. I already recognized few and anyone up for challenge?

Misato Segawa: Animation Supervisor (瀬川美里: 作画監督)

Yutaka Honda: Production Desk (本田豊: 制作デスク)

Tatsuya Ochiai: Production Assistant (落合達也: 制作進行)

Tarou Takanashi: Production Assistant (高梨太郎: 制作進行)

Yuuichirou Shimoyanagi: 3D Director (下柳雄一郎: 3D 監督)

Chiemi Doumoto: Inbetween Check (堂本知恵美: 動画検査)

Yumi Iguchi: General animation Supervisor (Sou-Sakuga Kantoku) Assistant (井口祐未: 総作画監督補)

Rinko Ogasawara: Character Design/General animation director (小笠原綸子: キャラクターデザイン/総作画監督)

Akane Uchida: Key Animator (内田茜: 原画)

Ema Yasuhara: Key Animator (安原絵麻: 原画)

Yoshiki Sakura: Camera Director/Director of Photography (佐倉良樹: 撮影監督)

Nao Shinkawa: Color Coordination and check (新川奈緒: 色指定・検査)

Erika Yano: Production Assistant (矢野エリカ: 制作進行)

Seiichi Kinoshita: Director (木下誠一: 監督)

Hironori Madoka: Animation Director(Enshutsu) (円宏則: 演出)

Masashi Yamada: Animation Director(Enshutsu) (山田昌志: 演出)

Masahito Marukawa: President (丸川正人:社長)


Those are character names, not real life people. So far only few are identified as real. Such as Masahito Marukawa = Masao Maruyama (Madhouse producer/Mappa founder). Please check the site again for update
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Dian Z





PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2014 12:17 pm Reply with quote
I love episode 2 <3

Those discussion scene, I really enjoyed how they're arguing and keep talking and going off-topic and getting some inspiration randomly. I mean whoa, ain't that some well written scene?
What I see is that the crowds and their different characters interact pretty naturally.

I wonder if the real anime production discussion is also this high-spirited.

I won't deny that it does felt lacking realism, but I think PA Works knows its market and, just as their previous shows, it's ultimately about dreams and fun.
So I think it's good the way it is and not going to the less enjoyable less fun realistic direction.

Honestly though, I've been bothered by the fact that such indecisive-looking guy is trusted to be the director. I've always thought that a director would be the one who is capable of calmly deciding things for the best and manage his staff wisely. Now I'm not very sure about that. Or is this part of the lacks of realism?

Regardless, it's really nice to see some cameos and to have some knowledges on the behind the scene of anime production.
I've been wondering about this anime behind the scene a lot.
Seriously, while there are so many anime about manga-making, why is there so little about anime-making? (I only know this one and another one about independent anime-making).
So it's like the show I've been waiting for (like a fool) since once upon a time.
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configspace



Joined: 16 Aug 2008
Posts: 3717
PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2014 1:42 pm Reply with quote
reanimator wrote:
Those are character names, not real life people. So far only few are identified as real. Such as Masahito Marukawa = Masao Maruyama (Madhouse producer/Mappa founder). Please check the site again for update

Oh, thanks for pointing out the update. Embarassed

Still I think it's pretty cool they did feature some real staffers. From his update, apparently Japanese fans did some detective work:

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SailorTralfamadore



Joined: 25 Feb 2014
Posts: 498
Location: Keep Austin Weeb
PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2014 1:51 pm Reply with quote
Ha, totally didn't catch the director was Seiji Mizushima! Even though he's one of the closest likenesses in the group!

Guess I just wasn't thinking of him directing magical-girl stuff, since I know him from FMA...
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