I do this introspective game for show all the time, so it’s almost surprising to me that I haven’t really pitched the idea the way Shirobako did. In its half-way climax, the story of Aoi and her underdog Musashi Animation going to the wire to deliver the final episode of Exodus, an 1-cour moe anime, comes to a conclusive stop. That doesn’t mean Shirobako will end there, but throughout this first half it has taught me things that I thought I knew, but didn’t.
The “Anno saves New Years” thing was so hilarious that I don’t know what to make of it. But what’s really true is that when these men and women pour their heart, soul and sweat into these lines and computer-shaded visuals like nobody’s business, putting together a product for us, I feel it. What Shirobako shows us is in what way does “pouring” work. You have shitennou-class guys like Anno, you have the whole range of craftsmen like Sugie, Iguchi, Ogasawara, and Yasuhara. There’s the Mizushima, Madoka, Segawa, and those guys. And even the whole range of folks from Takanashi to Honda, Ochiai even Watanabe. People might do things for different reasons, but the love is there.
When I watch even some trash-tier shows, I feel it. This is why I even if I don’t find Space Dandy “my bag” I can’t help but to like it. It’s like sometimes I can tell someone is doing their best in a less-than-desirable situation, in a less-than-desirable animation project, and animating things as best as they could. When sakuga otaku sing praises often times you can directly see how that translate into cuts of outstanding animation, but sometimes it’s not even that. It could be just a competently, error-free series of cuts in a production that probably is in dire straits. It could be just a set of cuts that got special attention. It’s those moments that sometimes stay around even if the plot or concept of a show might not be so memorable.
As a focus to the concept Shirobako uses an analogy to a love letter. And in a way animation are animators’ love letters to us. Perhaps not all the time, but sometimes. And that’s probably why I still truck along with 10+ shows a season because I want to read those. Isn’t it great to enjoy what others have put in so much effort to produce for you?
So yes, I’m easy. Those of you hard to get, though… One out of twelve ED sequences?