5 CommentsTwelve Days / By Shinmaru /

12 Days of Anime No. 1 – Catharsis


Gif yanked from this good as heck article about 10 great moments of animation from 2015 by Twitter user @Yuyucow. Beautiful!

From the moment I thought about this project, there was no doubt in my mind regarding the final moment I would write about. More than anything, this simple victory is what Shirobako built to from the start — every character had their ups and downs, except for Shizuka, who seemed to be experiencing nothing but downs as she struggled to find even the most basic work in the ultra-competitive voice actress industry. Among other things, Shirobako is a show about finding who and what you want to be, and how tough it is to make that a reality. It is also about that amazing feeling when something does go right.

I won’t speak for most people, but I know that when I was a kid I had a specific image of what it was to become an adult and live an adult life. You graduated high school, went to college and magically discovered what you wanted to be when you grew up, and you immediately did that after getting your degree and lived a cool life doing cool things, happily ever after. The reality … well, let’s just say I relate a whole bunch to that smash cut of a dead tired Miyamori from the show’s first episode. I don’t think I graduated college knowing what I wanted to be, but I at least had an industry to get work in — an industry that, like many, is fraught with disaster and uncertain jobs. It took me almost a year to find work after I got my degree.

shirobako-shizuka-closer-to-dreamBut I won’t spend too much time on my sob story. Point is, navigating the path of adulthood is messier and harder than most anyone expects going in. We’re all out there blindly groping around, trying our best. Shit’s tough as hell. If we’re lucky, we have support — people who won’t give up on us, and people we won’t give up on.

In the grand scheme of things, Shizuka’s role is a bit part — an important character for compromise between anime director and manga artist, but not a massive role. Shizuka isn’t going to suddenly explode into stardom. But this tiny part brings such big emotions. The relief and happiness floods into Miyamori when something finally falls into place for a friend who seemed destined to face nothing but failure.

Shirobako is certainly an idealized series, even though it frequently acknowledges the difficulties people face every day. But I just can’t use that to knock a series that with all its heart tells people to never stop fighting for themselves. I look around and see plenty of friends who had a tough year. I sure as hell had a tough 2015. I’m not gonna stop fighting for myself, though, and neither should they.

Get your victories whenever and wherever you can find ’em, y’all!

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  1. DP
    Posted December 27, 2015 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    The thing about Shirobako is that, for all intents and purposes, EVERYTHING goes right in it, for just about everyone. And life isn’t actually like that at all.

    Indeed, pretty everything is accomplished without a helluva lot of struggle. The girls at its center aren’t exactly a bunch of middle-aged people getting one last chance.

    I appreciate why most people love the series. We all want happy endings, and to see hard work rewarded. But Shirobako isn’t just idealized. It’s complete and utter fantasy.

    And for my ridiculous fantasy, I personally prefer something like Symphogear.

    • Posted December 28, 2015 at 4:56 am | Permalink

      Did we watch the same show?

  2. Ken
    Posted December 28, 2015 at 2:57 am | Permalink

    Good choice Shinmaru. This was the moment of Shirobako that touched me deeply. I had to watch it several times because of the good feels.
    I’m reminded that there is actually an OVA of Third Aerial Girls Squad that PAworks did, and it’s actually pretty good. I like to emagine that the anime characters from Shirobako made it.

    • Ramiel
      Posted December 28, 2015 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      Fuck I need to watch that

      • Ken
        Posted December 29, 2015 at 3:27 am | Permalink

        Hopefully they will attach the OVA to the bluray when it comes out.

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