Shirobako Episode 16 (Damn it Author! You’re Why We Can’t Have Nice Things!)

So yes, once again we’re back to the wacky world of the anime making Shirobako. And before you get excited, nope, this episodes doesn’t have the voice actor girl either. So. If you were excited for her perhaps being in this episode like I was, you get another giant fat middle finger from the show.

Great. Now that the thing i’m MOST interested in isn’t involved in this episode, what the hell DOES happen?

Well I guess I should probably get going with the recap.

So the episode picks up right after the last one left off. It turns out the author is unhappy with the character design of one of the characters and wants her redone from the beginning And of course he’s extremely vague with the reason WHY it’s bad, he just says it is.

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Whew. For a moment there I thought he was going to be specific!

Seriously, this is ridiculous. He says “They’re different. They’re lacking cuteness, do it again.” That has to be some of the laziest notes from an author i’ve ever seen. Honestly, if I was a manga artist and someone got my character wrong, firstly, I wouldn’t wait so long to say anything, secondly i’d give a more detailed email rather than “You’re doing it wrong.” How about something like “I can see what you’re going for, however the character has  more of a youthful face with an internal struggle she has locked herself in with as she tries to exude a more mature facade.” SOMETHING LIKE THAT. not “nope, you’re doing it wrong.” For an author, this guy sure sucks at writing.

Anyway, due to his vague email, the character designer girl goes back to try again.

She does, and he sends an even nastier email

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Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with this guy? Does he have to be such a vague giant dick?

And of course, due to these continued emails, she loses more and more confidence in herself.

Eventually the gothic lolita girl shows up and talks to the producers basically telling them that they’re all being useless as they’re not helping her at all, they’re just telling her to do it again with no direction. It turns out that she actually had this same problem when she worked for another company. it crushed her so badly that she ended up changing personas and outfits, which she calls her “Armor” changing her from this

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into this

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The producers realize they should be more helpful and they talk to her and explain what they believe the author has meant. and with their help, the author finally likes her drawings.

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by the way. for reference, here’s the one from last episode that he said was “Bad”vlcsnap-2015-02-01-11h56m54s197

I actually had to look back and forth to see what in the fuck he was even talking about as they looked pretty damn similar to me. So I asked Oki, our resident artist. She tells me that they ARE very similar, but there is a TINY nitpicky difference with a rounder face and a bit of a more emotive disposition. I don’t really think that would have been that hard to express to the artist. The guy’s just an ass.

And that’s basically where the episode ends.

Notice I left a character out of this review. Who could it have been….

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Oh yeah, Miyamori, the 1940’s Paperboy. I totally forgot about her.

Look, there’s been something about Miyamori that’s bugged me since the beginning. And I finally think I know what it is as this episode has finally nailed it for me.

See, there’s a difference between this character and say Kuromi or the voice acting girl. I have a feeling that they’re trying to make this girl the “fish out of water” protagonist. However, I never once thought this girl was a character who couldn’t handle the thing she was given. Yes she has a lot of things on her plate, but she’s very capable and goes from assistant to production desk in a very short amount of time. I just..I don’t see any arc with her. She starts out with a good job, and she just continues with a good job. I never feel a sense of urgency with her. I don’t feel a deep character.

Don't cry, you're just boring as fuck

Don’t cry, you’re just boring as fuck

Basically her job is to make sure everything gets done. She in herself doesn’t actually DO any of the things such as music, voice acting, art, story, but her job is important. However, unlike in Animation Runner Kuromi, I find myself not caring about her job. She doesn’t have the personality, energy, or comedy to make this sort of character work. She’s just very bland. Her only really “problem” seems to be her not knowing what she wants to do within making anime. However, she’s already on the production desk. She has no roadblocks stopping her other than her own inability to make a decision. In a word, she’s boring. I do not know WHY this INSIST on making her the main character, but I am SO bored around her She makes me not want to care. I actually wish I could just skip to the voice actor girl scenes. Because I DO NOT CARE ABOUT THIS CHARACTER.

She’s prevalent in nearly every single episode but to me, she’s become more of a background character as she doesn’t have a plight and she’s not interesting enough for me to care.

Regardless of all of that, this episode also wasn’t very exciting. It was simply a “Have faith in yourself and work together and you can do anything” episode. I have to say, I’m getting very tired of this show. Ever since Shizuka (i think that’s the voice actor girl’s name) didn’t get the role, I haven’t really cared at all. These past two episodes have seemed like filler to me. If you want to have a character growth arc and you don’t want to focus on the voice actor girl, how about mohawk guy? He has an extremely far way to go and I would be VERY interested in seeing him grow and develop as a character.

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Miyamori almost feels like she’s meant to be bland on purpose, kind of like how a main protagonist of a dating sim is because you’re supposed to self insert yourself in their shoes to pretend it’s you. If they’re NOT going for that, then they just did a terrible job with this character. There is nowhere to go with this character and i’m just bored off my ass with her. I hope something interesting happens with her because I just don’t give a shit anymore.

Not a bad episode but…..goddamn was it unnecessary. However I did learn that Authors can be cryptic asses when they want to so um….there’s that?

Episode: 5/10

-Hideki

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