The second episode of Shirobako, while well exaggerated out of proportions, does express just how fast-paced and nerve-wracking it is to work in the animation industry. It starts off with Miyamoto finding Segawa passed out in her room, another mangaka bites the dust to the struggles of the publishing deadlines.
We go from an ill mangaka to a dire situation regarding episode four because everyone’s running behind after the episode three fiasco where a part of the drawings fell behind schedule. Though Miyamoto doesn’t really stand out as a particularly amazing character right now, I admire her for her hardworking diligence in the company. Despite the giant cast of characters in the animation studios, it doesn’t feel like she falls short as the main character. Rather, she provides really great solutions to the story that the problem poses, without becoming too obviously hero-fulfilling. I also really like the fact that the writers provide opportunities where Miyamoto expresses that fangirl side of her. It makes her all the more relatable for all of us who are aspiring to be a part of the anime industry.
We also get a few glimpses of another key character of the girls’ original group, a struggling newbie voice actress named Shizuka who’s also working a part time job on the side while she struggles with her career. It is also revealed that the girls meet up once every month so when we get to that point in the story we’ll have all the girls properly introduced.
Though a huge bulk of episode two’s story didn’t focus on the main characters per se but it showed us a part of the voice acting recording process before shifting to the character development side of the studio. The director ended up asking the team to re-draw and re-animate a really emotional moment of the series when the show. Easier said than done when you’re on a tight deadline. I’m almost certain animation companies (or at least the good ones) have entire meetings about character development because we usually do get the character sketches and designs in the art books or released in promos. When you have companies that actually devote a lot of time and effort into the construction of their animated characters, it makes a difference, especially in those dramatic scenes. In this case, the team decides to go for the change but very often, the studio just can’t meet the budgeting and deadline when they decide to re-do certain parts last minute.
I enjoy Shirobako as a weekly de-stresser even though many of the events are fairly fast-paced. If anything I’m just really curious about the behind the scenes of the anime industry. Besides, the girls (at least the ones introduced thus far), are pretty interesting to keep up with and I enjoy the natural style of P.A. Works animation.
What are you pondering today?