I can now say without a shadow of a doubt that if we’re counting it as a 2015 show, Shirobako is easily my Anime of the Year. At the end of 2014, I praised it for being a realistic slice-of-life with relatable characters and scenarios that explored the ins and outs of modern anime production while juggling hints of workplace stress and subdued comedy. It was perfect.
Which is to say that Shirobako lost its grip on reality in its second half…or did it? See, I was shoved into a terrible spot as a reviewer with this show because by the time all the “realistic” praise I gave its first half actually got listened to, people tuned in to see… that shit and a boardroom meeting where one guy just kept pestering the others to choose a voice actress based on her breasts. Shirobako didn’t lose itself, it just took…creative liberties. Instead of being a show completely grounded in drama with realistic characters, the characters themselves got so overwhelmed that all this shit had no choice but to go down.
I joke of course, since a couple of those clips were imagination sequences anyway, but the message remained clear. Shirobako could (funny story…) be a goofy story and a stressful workplace drama with equal excellence at the same time. It’s a win-win. All I otherwise feel like I could say about Shirobako I said for 6 months straight last fall and winter, so I’ll spare you the bullshit and just tell you to go watch it, especially if work’s been rough for you lately and you need a boost of inspiration. It’s got what you need.
So again, win-win.