Genres: Drama, Slice-of-Life
Aired: Oct 2014 to March 2015
Summary: Five friends are determined to work together in order to produce an anime. To achieve their dream, the girls decide to enter the anime industry as writers, producers, voice actors, animation artists, and CG artists.
If you want to do Shirobako an injustice, you could tersely describe the series as “cute girls working in the anime industry.” Yes, a large portion of the series does feature the aforementioned girls trying to find career success, but there’s also much more characters than just the fab five. The main girls aren’t the only ones who develop as the series progresses, as well.
At any rate, Shirobako also focuses on anime production. The show goes pretty in-depth with it, to be honest, which proved to be rather educational whenever I could keep up with all the terms being thrown around. And despite several instances of dramatization (for the sake of humor or drama or simplicity), the series remains a fairly realistic portrayal of the anime industry and of the working world.
As someone who never really had any idea about his ideal job, I felt like I could relate to this show. You get to see the girls struggle with their career, fail with landing jobs, etc. It’s all quite sobering, but their hard work eventually pays off. Maybe viewers can feel inspired from watching Shirobako and become motivated to keep going. I know I certainly did.
To me, the show was quite slow for the first few episodes. I originally started watching back in late Janunary 2016, but then I became busy with real life. During the months in which I tried to wrap up college, I didn’t feel compelled to continue wathng the series. However, once I picked the series back up in early July, I grew hooked and marathoned the rest within a few days. Despite how Shirobako is a pretty realistic show, the conflicts and mishaps are quite unexpected and keep viewers on the edge of their seats and wanting to watch more and more episodes to find out what happens.
As for the yuri, there’s plenty of subtext and plenty of different ships (the five girls can be shipped with one another or with their co-workers and superiors, wow). However, there’s a lack of canonical romance within the show itself, which is fine! Everyone is too busy trying to do their own jobs, so there’s no room for romance. That doesn’t stop viewers from shipping, however, thankfully. But again, the show handles this aspect quite realistically.
Of course, as mentioned above, there’s the matter of a large cast to address. It’s nice seeing the different character interactions, but I ended up keeping a tab open while watching Shirobako so I could keep track of all the different names.
The animation is decent. Some series have better while others have worse. Some people may say decent is not good enough, but it gets the job done for me.
The music is also decent. The non-vocal tracks were pretty forgetable since I can’t actually remember any of them, but the second ED was rather nice.
Give Shirobako a shot if you’re a college student anxious about jobs or a college graduate struggling with the job hunt. Actually, just give it a shot if you want to become motivated. The series is really hit or miss. If you can get through the first few episodes, the rest of the show can really hook you in.