“An Exodus Toward Tomorrow!”

「明日に向かって、えくそだすっ!」 (Ashita ni Mukatte, Ekusodasu!)

It’s nice when you have moderate expectations for a series and it manages to catch you by surprise. SHIROBAKO was never a show I was actively looking forward to this season considering the sheer number of popular new anime and sequels. It kind of just got lost in the pile, but it really managed to catch me off guard.

I should start by saying that this anime won’t be for everyone. You could say that this first episode was pretty dry – which I wouldn’t really disagree with – but as a whole, if you are at all interested in how anime is made, then you will find some enjoyment in SHIROBAKO.

It starts with a red herring of sorts, setting up for what to seems to be a school series about five aspiring girls of the Animation Club. They’re working hard on their own original animation – Shinbatsu Konkou: The Seven Lucky Battle Gods. Their work pays off – as evident by the satisfied faces upon them seeing their work in motion. But then… high school is over! Flash forward two and half years and our main character, Miyamori Aoi (Kimura Juri), is working at Musashino Animation and it just so happens that the fall anime season is underway for them as well with their one-cour (thirteen episode) anime, Exodus, airing that night!

But before that, a road race. Yep. With none other than Production I.G. J.C Staff G.I Staff. I, for one, was laughing at how absurd yet enjoyable this moment was. If I ever thought we were gonna get a full-blown road race this season, SHIROBAKO might have been my last guess. Regardless, Miyamori wins and so begins the introduction of all the characters as most of the studio gathers together to watch the first episode of Exodus!

And when I say all the characters, I mean it. We have:

Now, this is the part of the episode that doesn’t work as well as it could. Introducing 23 characters in the first episode simply isn’t going to work. We may remember one or two faces, but as of right now we have yet to dive into who these characters are besides their job title; though there does seem to be a few slackers and those with different creative approaches, so we’re bound to see the connections between these characters come together in future episodes. But even if this is by P.A. Works, I wouldn’t bet on there being a tremendous amount of character drama like you see in most of their anime. SHIROBAKO will be technical drama – things like focusing on deadlines, planning schedules, having Miyamori driving around like a madwoman, as well as facing the consequences of overworking. And that’s just in one episode!

In a single episode SHIROBAKO proves that making anime is not easy. Animation is hard, after all. As an animation student myself I know that, but being part of the industry with it’s ridiculous schedules and deadlines is something else entirely. Will that sort of drama work for the length of the series? I hope so. We have two-cours here after all so P.A. Works must be planning something. After Exodus are we going to see them working on more anime? Will there be successes and failures? Job troubles? A re-union of all five of the Animation Club so they can fulfil their dream of making an anime together? All I can say for now is that this premiere surprised me, intrigued me, and essentially promised me that I’m going to enjoy watching this every week to see where this goes!



Information Digest:

OP Sequence

OP: 「Colorful Box」by (Yoko Ishida)



    1. They are lucky to have Computer to help their work. Imagine, the Old School one done it with Hand, and if they mess the colors, they need to redraw again…

      Horray for Computer-tan

  1. Despite having a passion for anime, Aoi’s skill set seems more tuned towards being a getaway driver for a crime syndicate. Those were some pretty boss drifts.

    Anyways, looks good so far. I was kind of hesitant about this because, while I’d like to see how the animation process is layed out, I was worried that they’d glorify the anime industry and not really get into all the bad things that come with being a part of it. (Tight deadlines, low pay, high stress, overwork, etc.) Thankfully, those worries were allayed in the very first episode.

    Looking forward to more.

  2. Agreed Samucchi, a surprising first episode. It’s almost like P.A. Works remembered how to make anime! Plus it really felt like a work crisis, except they’re actually doing work they’re passionate about instead of the drudgery I do for a living.

  3. In spite of the problem I had with remembering any of the 500-odd names fired at me 30 minutes later (let alone the mains), it’s a pretty good debut IMO. It’s nice to see P.A. Works get back on the horse again after Glasslip.

    I came into this with -0- expectations, so I think that helped me a bit. And such a cliffhanger!

    Looking forward to next week.

    Main takeaways: Initial D and the D is for Donuts. Oh, and making animation is really freakin’ hard, especially when one of your PAs is an idiot. (Way to go haircut guy.)

  4. Looks interesting and Seriously…. G. I. Staff? Is that a foreshadowing or some sort?


    Jamie Hazaford? I thought you’re fine tuning Argevollen? Or is this about your past before you got yourself involved in Argevollen?

    Show Spoiler ▼

  5. SHIROBAKO actually met my expectations. Seeing the varied people that were making the Exodus anime, it was interesting seeing a glimpse on how an anime was made and the different personalities of the people there. I especially handled how they introduced the episode, with the animation club and that wicked race (thank goodness there was no traffic), and it looks like this anime is going to be enjoyable.

  6. I think they made this anime to make the viewers appreciate just how much hard work really goes into making these things. Nothing seemed to be exaggerated here, I am almost sure that’s exactly how tense production is.

  7. This definitely exceeded my expectations! So glad they just skimmed through the high school years and get the real deal going. I have always wanted to learn more about the making; this is just perfect!

  8. Ah yes, the world of chasing deadlines. I once worked in a company like that, but in my country, you cant do an Initial D type of driving due to the incredibly small roads. I was forced to teach myself the fine arts of parkour just to get from point A to point B…. The good old days…

    I initially had no interest in Shirobako, but it seems to be a gem so I’ll keep watching

      1. Yep, Production I.G. and J.C. Staff are the two giants within Musashino, which is a historic hub for anime production (there are a number of former greats too, such as Tatsunoko, Gainax, and Artland, which have faded into the background a little. We can probably view the fictional Musashino Animation as an older studio that’s trying to re-enter the limelight as a main contractor).

        The satire is all in good fun though given the close relationships the producers have with those studios – Production I.G. with P.A. Works, and J.C. Staff with Warner Bros.

  9. That is sure some ensemble cast introduced. Probably far more than your standard epic mecha anime.

    Whether it’s delivering tofu or animation shorts, basic drifting skills is a prerequisite job requirement.

    You know Musashino Animation has a potential winner when their character designer is a cute goth loli cosplayer. <3

  10. I was kind of pleased they breezed through the entire high school animation thing in a few minutes and moved on to the real deal.
    Largely because it’s good to see a show that’s not set in a high school and which features working adults.
    Like the whole behind the scenes aspect of the show too.

    So far, it’s very promising.

  11. Girl’s got Takumi level Drift Skills she wasn’t even paying attention to the road hahahaha! I’m glad this is turning out well unlike the one from last season which was a complete train wreck

  12. Never, AND THE ROCK MEANS, NEVER underestimate a work directed by Tsutomu Mizushima, since the man has shown us that a seemingly low-ranking premise can be a giant killer, and this could be easily the next Girls und Panzer in the dark horse department. Clean presentation, characters which one can identify and honestly, it’s a breath of fresh air.
    Power drifting at 60 kph in FWD hatchbacks make me lol.

  13. I fuckin loved this premiere. I don’t care about memorizing characters’ names, just seeing their faces is enough. If this was a novel it would be a serious mess but with a visual media it’s not very hard to at least remember faces. Oh and I love the character design, can’t wait to see more of the blonde stoic gothic girl.
    This is two-cour? I couldn’t be more overjoyed! Definitely one of the series I’ll wait for with the least patience this season, hope it gets covered till the end!

  14. Oh, I don’t know as busy as the introduction scene was, as a guy who is very interested in anime production, I was very fascinated. I have already got a few impressions from some of the production staff due to their personality quirks other than the main girl.

  15. I looked forward to this. I think everything but the slamming of 23 characters in my face at the same time worked out really well. I kept trying to find Miyamori’s classmates amongst the sea of humanity, and the one we do see plays no role in the episode outside the first five minutes. I’m gonna have to re-watch this episode so I can properly digest all the info.

    1. If my Braincells not fail me, then it was in someone Interview about Ponyo (i have the Blu-Ray SE)
      I have many Blu-Ray of this Studio. Well, i grown up with their Films. This “little” Studio reached many many Children hearts, as they think.

      Here again. I bow in deep respect for your passion to bring us Stories, Studio Ghibli

      1. “Learning from the Past, to have a better Future!, and try to Lite the Darkness of the Future Path for the Young Ones, to take their Fear and loneliness”

        Is a conclusion that born from that Emotion, deep inside me

        “Respect is for Knowing, Trust for Friendship. Love born from Heart” Thats my own

  16. This anime has such a “Hataraki man” feel to it! I absolutely love it! It combines the excitement and satisfaction in getting your work done on time and all the little things that make you feel significant and accomplished in the workplace.

  17. Ep 02:

    Alone the “Breath Life into the Figure!” from the Director, is totally worth watching. As if the Voice actor of this Anime figure is a Soul buddy.

    This Show really have Soul. Yes, i think i want to watch this path

      1. I really like the Directors dreams and enthusiasm of the Crew. But above all Dreams and Hope, the big bad Money Budget is flying like a Grim reaper of Dreams.

        Even Gundam G, is bind bye this Rule

      2. I wished the General Manager, Yuka Okitsu should fill the role of the supervisor of the Budget in her kind of way. She is the Person with both Feet on on the Ground, called Finances reality

  18. Ep 08:

    i loved how they handle the Blockade of the Animator. Some Persons try to open some doors for her, and looks like she walked through it

    I really loved, how the “old Senpai” helped her out.

    it is nothing wrong in copying other Senpais. With this you begin to learn how to Walk. When you got good at it, then you can step out of His/her Senpai’s shadow, and begin to walk your own Way.

    it is like in the school. technical, all Schoolers are copying letters and how to write them. With age you begin to give your writings your personal touch, am i not right?

    i only say personal Autograph

    See, there is nothing bad in copying to learn how to Walk. See this as the basement for your own Path (and do not sell the copying for your own. Thats awful)

    In Short? Shirobako sill has it’s touch. Sure it is different then the other Animes. but for me (an Adult) it is entertainment, and let me wait for every week of a New Episode

    1. note from me:

      I suggest that RandomC Blogers, do not follow this Show. let it be of lack of time or no interest. So i try to bring the Fans of this, some Hints how the Story unfolds. Thats because i use these Appetizer.

      I try to be as spoiler free as possible. But sometimes i need to use a little bit spoilers, like Salt in a soup.

      So, Gome-ne Mina-san

  19. Ep 09:
    this time the Episode open the Knot for the Finale

    See sometimes, even the best Director has a “Blank out”. Perhaps this is the time like they done in Ep 8 with Ema.
    He or She could surf some Blogs knowing for Fanfiction or other external sources. To see his kind of Work from a Fan eye or other perspective

    Gome-ne, but i think my Favorite Manga-ka of Claymore had done the same. Or the Land outside Claymore was never uncovered. Well in the Manga we only saw a glimp. But gave the hole story a reason

    And my experience is tingling, and we will see our CG Girl in action… “Horses, hundred of them” i only say Madan no Ou to Vanadis

    CG can work with hand-drawn Animations. But when both styles are on the same time on screen, then Uncandy Valley is your greatest enemy, or CG Budgets…

    Do not see CG as Enemy. it do not make automatic some newbie into a Pro. They still need their Skills to drawn the Figures, the Soul. if it comes to Animes. Soulless things is easier then give Figures a Soul

    Emotions = How can i display the Char Emotions? Visuals? Audio? Do i need the Background Theme for that? Like Rain, Sunlight, Spring and so on
    movement = do not forget the difference of hand drawn Animations (Frames per Seconds) and CG (Thats 1 part of the Uncandy Valley
    proportion = Have an Eye for deep in field heights. aka 2.5D Animations. sure with Computer-tan you just move the camera.
    Gamma = Well i call it gamma. have a eye for the intense of the Sunlight or darkness, like in Ronja. There is heavy uncandy valley, if the background suggest you midday or dawn, but the CG Sunlight says High-noon. You do not need to drawn to much realistic shadows, in the old Hand drawn time, they was also not 100% accurate. You know, in the end it is important how our Mind-cinema see it

    Okay, Ghost in the Shell is an expectation. But fantasy and so on.. do you really need to measure the Sun position exact to the Figure to draw the Shadow? It worked in Knight of Sidonia. They have a artificial Sun inside the Life-ship and in Space there is no Atmosphere..so here the Sun is always on the same Spot, unlike Nature/Earth Landscapes (*hint*)

    As you can see, if empty minded Directors or his Helpers, surf from time to time some Fan-fictions Blogs, we both can help us out

    They perhaps get some important Mind Spark, that evolved into a SuperNova, and we fans get our Daily Animes

    CG is not an Enemy, it can be your helper. in Workload or Budget. Dont fear it

  20. Ep 13:

    We got a new OP and ED

    I want to talk a bit about the new OP

    The Plane sequemce. Sure the Planes was CGI but i do not saw any “uncandy valley” in this. Well made. You get me this for you.

    And if there was background CGI animation when the two of them talked about research. Also an
    from me

    Only the car at the beginning could use more FPS. if there are no hand drawn animation on the screen, you can go full CGI. The eye do not have comparison effect. So Uncandy Valley not working.

    Shirobako, Ganbare. And Desk-neesan, too 🙂

    1. after re watching 2nd time, i found a Uncandy valley scene

      When they was visiting the Airplanes Museum. When they was talking about her Research Friend, a Plane behind a Window class was landing on a runway….

      Please watch these scene again, and perhaps you will find it out yourself

      Yes, you forgotten the 3D effect. The Plane shadow on the runway ground. Without this shadow we get a flip book effect. Perhaps you inserted this scene in a hurry. But while continue the talking, we saw a AWACS Plane behind a Class of Orange Juice?, this time it had his 3D Shadow effect.

    2. Black out on a Pilot:
      When the Brain get his Blood pressed out, because of the G-Force. Mostly on the Top of a looping

      Red out:
      When the Brain gain to much Blood, there is a Risk of Brain Damage. Also because of the G-Force. Mostly on the bottom of a looping

      But Whit-out?
      Gome-ne. But if you rub your eyes with a little pressure, do you not begin to see White Lights? I think it has something to do with the optical nerve and eye ball pressure. but this is only my guessing

      But Flight suits, are there to help the Blood pressure to prevent this all

  21. Ep 14:

    There was this Seiju meeting in this episode. And what they talked about singing and Opais and such…

    You know, i saw lately Witch Craft Works. And i found some things..

    Seiju’s able of singing. This 5 Witches in the ED, was only build in for this. Singing and Music CD pushes. I mean, what point was for them in the Anime?
    And in the ED they have the full screen-time. Rosario + Vampire the Female MC done the sining. That was okay. So this 5 subclass Witches was only for “music-cd” cast here

    And this “Kissing on the lips is to embarrassing” play is so old.. is he a mice lower as a Mouse? Is he not men enough to kiss her on the Lips? And all Witches are after his White Stuff?..
    Then the push the Plot. We real saw it, after the Episode where he cast his first Big familiar..

    1. and the Angel Dance, it was worth the Animation. It was awesome

      And i did not know that they know to count to 8 in different languages, the last one was it Portuguese?

      The Baseball Pitcher and Hitter Animation, *Naruto Gay Thumb Up Double*

  22. Ep 20:

    I think these many Sidetracking in this Episode do not helped at all. The Anime team searching for an original Anime Ending, the sidetrack of Employers, the Girl start to write Dialog’s and so on.. i think these are became now a bit to much. To many “lose Ends” created. or i am not a fan of this. I dunno. It do not feel right for me. To many Cooks, destroy the meal for me

    and yes, i feel like a supporter, hey i can dream

  23. Ep 23:

    It get 9/10 from me. Alone for the Directors Fighting Scenes, it is alone for this worth watching

    And yes our “Funny Story” Person get what he deserver

    If you love Shriobako, you should not miss this Episode. Trust me

    1. btw, i admit it.

      Even i could not hold back my Manly Tears, when Miyamori began to cry in the end. I could feel the same emotion like her. An Anime that transport Emotions to his Viewer, it’s the best. Do i need anything more to say?

      Director, you were awesome. But you should also be happy to have such an Amazing Team, and a very Trustful President


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *