I thought the general themes were flushed out fairly well in this episode. You have Ema struggling with the pressure to draw well and draw better and draw quicker. She doesn’t even know if she can aspire to have big dreams when she’s such a newbie and her work depends utterly on her talent and skill.
On the other hand and along the same lines, the idea of dreams and goals has been circulating around the office with Ochiai’s departure for a better producing role in a different company. I’m surprised Miyamori hasn’t already decided on producing. She’s really good at coordinating everything after all.
Miyamori’s onee-san comes off as an example of someone who works at a job she doesn’t like. She’s making a lot of money but the repetitive routine is just the worst. Her job experience is subtly juxtaposed throughout the episode with Ema’s frustrations as a fledgling key designer where the pressure of work is taking away the pleasure of drawing what she likes. The notion of doing what you like and struggling or doing what you don’t like but making a lot of money is always an issue we find ourselves dancing around when it comes to deciding on career goals. I thought this notion was really well incorporated and executed with the story while keeping the atmosphere of realism. There isn’t much we can do to shirk our responsibilities in our jobs (well unless you quit). Sometimes you really need to find a way to relax and clear your head to push on through. Ema and Igushi-san’s senpai-kouhai moments were really refreshing.
Though things don’t really happen at an astonishingly quick and exciting pace, I’m finding the series’ story much closer to the realism that the slice of life genre generally aspires for. When we see slice of life paired with comedy, it usually involves our characters don’t ridiculous things or having ridiculous personalities and reactions to amp up the excitement of mundane events. However, while Shirobako has comedic scenes at times, it doesn’t depart from the grounded reality of the working world and I find myself becoming strangely fond of this pacing.
I’m really enjoying Miyamori’s internal conversations with the polar bear and the doll LOL even if it’s only a few lines of dialogue at a time, it really gives us insight on her way of thinking that we don’t see manifest in her work life.
I can see why some viewers might find the characters too mundane and two-dimensional, but I really think they hit the nail on the way people conduct themselves in workplace settings. Miyamori is always polite, courteous and punctual at work. We never see her really complain (unless it’s lecturing Tarou, the other assistant producer). Only when she’s with her friends or her sister that we see the exasperated or overly-excited Miyamori appear. When Miyamori, Shizuka and Midori or Rii-chan, convene to drink after a long day, Rii-chan expresses her desire to write a story and work with all her friends at their former anime club to create an anime.
What are you pondering today?