OP: 「」 (Paper Sky) by (Survive Said The Prophet)
In light of recent developments, within CloverWorks, I’ve decided to give this first episode a second chance, now having watched the 45-minute episode a second time, my opinion remains relatively unchanged, the tone of my review does not. My original review was childish full of edge and well just plain salty. This came from a blissful unawareness of the harsh conditions CloverWorks is going through. I apologize to anyone who read it and anyone who has not yet read it. I’ve attached it in a Pastebin, linked above, and I’ve set it to self-destruct in two weeks for posterities sake. And of course, apologize need to go to the staff and studio as a whole, I am now aware this is not a representation of the final product that was intended.
The Current State of CloverWorks
Thanks to wilfang over on the MAL forum we have a full timeline translation of the event’s currently transpiring within CloverWorks, from October of last year, the AD or Animation Director, Kiminori Itou, has been vocal about the harsh conditions and overall hellish landscape that is working for an understaffed and overworked environment. More and more nowadays it seems this is the norm, but some companies really try to mitigate that, by fighting for better working conditions, while others simply do not care and have to rely on their superior overlord’s animation committee. There’s a reason Tokyo 24-ku was the last one to be announced out of the 3 shows that are airing this season, all from CloverWorks. Tokyo 24-ku is behind schedule and there’s really nothing we can do about it. Delays are inbound.
Kiminori-san was not the original AD on Tokyo 24 he was brought in just before Halloween of last year. The job of an AD is usually to fix the keyframes that are badly drawn, sometimes even whole segments of animation are redrawn by an AD. If I’m not mistaken there’s a Director who signs off on the AD’s work, however, that doesn’t seem to be the case for Tokyo-24, and it all falls on Kiminori-san shoulders. If anyone is saving Tokyo 24 is Kiminori-san, as it seems he’s already overworked, and the staff below him even worse, at least that’s the overall feeling that permeates through the online articles and spaces where fans are discussing the anime. Of course, we don’t know exactly what’s going on and can only speculate.
Come December and it seems the first episode wasn’t even complete, 20 cuts still missing, with the January premiere date, staff might have had to work long overnight hours, not even being able to take a break during Christmas, let alone New Year. Are they being fed properly at least? And there’s one common denominator that permeates with fans and staff alike. Aniplex is pushing its studios and it’s pushing its studios hard. After the pandemic, animation was one of the many industries to be hit, people work in close-quarter offices with fluorescent lights and grey carpet floors. It’s hard to work on anime when not in close proximity, so it all falls down on one person, to make sure cuts stay consistent and on model. That’s one hell of a job for one person to do alone. Let alone having to draw and edit at the same time. Think of time constraints alone!
What does it mean for the show?!
Unfortunately, the final product we got is the final product we got, there’s no changing the fact that, well, things are rough, and saying otherwise would be lying to yourself. As much as I want to support the people behind them and cheer them on, it is what it is. There’s a lot of effort behind this show and now realizing Kiminori was behind what is considered the second part of the episode makes more sense, as the movement becomes more fluid, characters express emotions, and overall moments just stand out more.
Having watched the episode a second time, there’s certainly a sense that all of this could be fake, the powers and the looming quantum computer that seemingly makes no sense whatsoever, make more sense when you think that they could all be in some sort of simulation, some glitch in the matrix situation might be going on here. How did the girl following Daisy get stuck between the tracks, one moment she was fine the next the train tracks ate up her leg. Was she being controlled and that’s why she left all hindsight out the window and jumped straight into tracks? I personally do not know. There’s a lot of serendipity going on between the plot points, a lot of things casually happening here and there, I say don’t question it and go with the flow, this show might end up surprising us.
I enjoyed the characters this time around, even more, Aoi, Shuuta (Enoki, Junya), is oblivious to a lot of the world around him, he lives in his own little world not carrying for anything else, and is quick to get into fights with Suidou, Kouki (Ishikawa, Kaito) who is in the legacy seat to the party currently trying to take control of the 24th ward, and Akagi, Ran (Uchida, Yuuma) a fun high spirited Youtuber that is also an expert hacker, all three are part of the titular RGB group. And the main protagonists of the show. They have some sort of rivalry going on and the fact they can’t really stand each other but are able to work really well together, speaks a lot to their bonds.
After all, it might be hard getting together as seeing each other may trigger them into reliving that night with the fire.
What can I say? This is either going to be really good and is going to blow our minds out of the water with the simulation concept, or well it’s going to drive itself into the ground. Let’s hope it’s the former. I wouldn’t mind if somewhere along the production airing, it took a one or two-week break so that animators can bring it up to snuff. I might have pulled a 180 on my review, but the way people are being treated was not worthy of such harshness.
Anime is made by humans and we need to acknowledge them and encourage them through this hell of a production!
がんばれ きみのりーさん そして-すべて CloverWorks クス-スタッフ！
Good luck Kiminori-san and all of CloverWorks staff!
We are all rooting for you!
Full-length images: 72.