Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.

16 November 2014: Shirobako is fascinating

Tarou and Aoi
This fucker.

Shirobako is one of those rare shows that not only features a cast of only adult characters, but happens to (semi-seriously) focus on a workplace environment. Moreover, the work in question happens to be about anime production. In a sense, it sort of like Otaku no Video except about the daily operational minutia rather than about ambition and dreams perverted by success. Miyamori Aoi is a junior production assistant at a fictitious anime studio. Shirobako examines the stress and hardships she and her co-workers endure to meet increasingly demanding deadlines in the face of contrasting work ethics and various emergencies. The struggle between competing interests is not unlike the doujinshi production parts of Genshiken except that the experience and professionalism of the Shirobako characters contrast starkly with that of the younger Genshiken menagerie.

Tarou and Ryousuke
This fucker.

In Genshiken, Sasahara and Ogiue both struggled just to complete a product in the face of adversity caused primarily by personality clashes and fractured relationships. At Musashino Animation, the employees don't struggle so much with completing a product on time as they do with balancing the goals and visions of the staff with the challenges additional details and better quality would invite. It's clear the studio cares about the anime it's producing and the characters it is bringing to life, either from a personal or professional standpoint or both. Their concerns spotlight more on the contrasting goals and bridging the gap between desire and reality in the light of already identified constraints and hazards.

Misato and Aoi
Thanks for your hard work.

Through five episodes, I can't quite dispassionately decide if the show itself is simply good, or if I'm biased toward viewing it in a more favorable light because I personally find fascinating the subject matter and behind-the-scenes details revealed by the show. There are frequent obvious references and portrayals with real-life counterparts. Unfortunately, I am too poorly versed about the industry to recognize the vast majority of them. Apart from moments such as when the uncannily familiar "Nakaharu Mei," "Kayana Mui," and "Itou Suzuka" showing up at a recording session, nearly all of these call-backs blow right by me. Thankfully, it's quite easy to enjoy the show without knowing anything about the characters' counterparts in The Garden of Rainbows.

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