Episode 1 Impressions: SHIROBAKO

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Working for the anime industry is near and dear to many who love the scene. Creating animated art that is seen by thousands while also being plugged into the behind the scenes developments sounds great. However in truth it has never been known for being a glorious work environment. Who knows if SHIROBAKO will manage to capture the truth or become an excuse for the more silly side of it all.

e1shirobako3Synopsis
In high school, Aoi Miyamura was part of an animation club with her friends Ema, Shizuka, Misa, and Midori. Together, they made a vow to make an animation feature together in the future. Fast forward 2 years, Aoi is now a member of the animation world working for an animation studio “Musashino Animation.”

There, she works as a production assistant. Though she’s not alone as it seems Ema works there as well as a key animator. The studio is working on a new series called Exodus, and after its first airing, it seems to be met with decent responses.

Unfortunately the team can’t celebrate long as they have to get to work on later episodes, constantly ahead of the airings by several episodes. There’s also an issue with one of their episodes having missing frames. With all of their key animators unavailable, the team has to turn to the animation supervisor Segawa who is also a rival of the third episode’s animation supervisor.

e1shirobako2Putting aside their differences of style, Segawa agrees to help and the team meets their deadline. However when Aoi visits Segawa later, she finds her collapsed in her apartment.

Thoughts
Ah, PA Works at its best. Visually, SHIROBAKO taps into the same great consistency that PA Works brings to the table. From great animation and character designs, to the loving care it seems like they put into each and every environment the characters are in. It always turns out immersive and pleasing to the eyes.

So far the story has revolved around throwing us into their world. A world of an animated studio fighting to meet deadlines. I’ll admit that some of it was very hard to follow, but it was also fittingly chaotic.

e1shirobako4While I always unfairly weigh PA Work titles in search of another Hanasaku Iroha, I can honestly say that SHIROBAKO could be another one of those. There’s just something about the feel that it gives off that reminds me of Hanasaku Iroha, but with characters that are slightly older.

It’s nice for once having a show about making animation that isn’t fake and silly to the point that it is completely implausible. While I’m not an expert in the anime production scene, this all seems to be falling in line with what I do know.

Seeing characters struggle with working on animation rather than having fun with it in school. Seeing how they grow in their new work environment. The characters look enjoyable, the comedy is subtle and doesn’t try hard, the drama is real, and it visually looks good. Everything spells out a good show. Let’s just hope it holds strong.

This show is streaming on Crunchyroll.com!

Episode 1: Exodus to Tomorrow!

THUMBS UP!

THUMBS UP!

IMPRESSIONS VERDICT:
Great

Pros:

  • Good setup
  • Great character designs
  • Amazing visuals
  • Decent comedy

Cons:

  • None

Impressions are based on a single episode and don’t necessarily reflect the series as a whole. Unless dropped, we will continue to give updates on thoughts and impressions of the series as time goes by.

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Co-Founder of OtakuSpirit.com and Co-Host of the OtakuSpirit Animecast. A huge fan of anime since the early 1990s, consuming over 800 shows. While he's late to the collecting scene, he's found a lot of joy in filling his DVD/Blu-ray collection as well as collecting figures. Once a week, he posts unboxing and feature videos on anime goods to YouTube.