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article image'Shirobako' EP 15 shows brutal pre-production process

By Can Tran     Jan 23, 2015 in Entertainment
The latest episode of "Shirobako" covers the strenuous pre-production process of having to go through one meeting after another.
Episode 15 of Shirobako, titled ā€œWill These Drawings Work?,ā€ is currently available on Crunchyroll for premium members. Free members can watch this episode less than seven days from now. The episode begins with Musashino Animation president Masato Marukawa welcoming all the new employees.
I like Masato because he comes off as friendly grandfather figure. It is apparent that Masato's main hobby is cooking because he is able to cook many things like gyoza dumplings, fried chicken, takoyaki, and many other things.
Screengrab from episode 15 of  Shirobako.
Screengrab from episode 15 of "Shirobako."
Crunchyroll
This is a person I would love to work under.
Andou was the scene stealer in the episode by showing that she is well informed in the production of anime. It is always good to do your homework before any sort of meeting. This is a crucial trait that goes a long way in the workplace in most professions.
The episode impressed me by showing an important part of the process, which his hunting for a location.
This is incredibly crucial for film and TV when you do not necessarily have a set to use. It is cost-effective to find shooting locations rather than manufacturing sets. The episode shows that anime isn't different in that regard because you need an environment to draw.
It got interesting even more when the episode discusses the importance of picking one design blueprint that is going to be used as the storyboard for future episode. This is to ensure that all the animators are on the same page.
Screengrab from episode 15 of  Shirobako.
Screengrab from episode 15 of "Shirobako."
Crunchyroll
If the animators were not on the same page, then everything goes to sā€”t.
I kind of wanted to gouge my eyes out when Seiichi envisioned himself wearing a tight looking maid outfit.
Screengrab from episode 15 of  Shirobako.
Screengrab from episode 15 of "Shirobako."
Crunchyroll
Anime is enjoyable to watch, but the industry is not fun and games. If you want to go into animation, then you need to get used to attending one meeting after another.
Screengrab from episode 15 of  Shirobako.
Screengrab from episode 15 of "Shirobako."
Crunchyroll
Taro, though I can't stand him, revealed another important aspect of production. There are freelancer animators that draw key frames from their own homes, but they usually drop them off at the studio or vice-versa.
Screengrab from episode 15 of  Shirobako.
Screengrab from episode 15 of "Shirobako."
Crunchyroll
In the case of Shirobako, the studio picks up the key frames from the animators because of time constraints. One of the pick-ups is awkward as one of the animators is working in his boxer briefs.
This is perhaps one of the most educational and intellectually stimulating episodes of Shirobako because you can learn one aspect of pre-production. I love how Aoi's plush toys narrate the different meetings and what they are for.
Episode 15 does its best to navigate the world of Japanese anime.
This covers many aspects of the production such as the key animator meeting, supervising animator meeting, CGI meeting, film meeting, music meeting, and more. It also shows that a company may outsource to other companies to finish certain things that they do not have time for.
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