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Shirobako and Making Anime~

Shirobako is basically an anime about making anime. It follows the life of five girls each taking on a role at a different stage of anime production (such as producer, or seiyuu, or key animator, etc), as they dream to make it big on screen and fulfil their high school wishes of making animation together once they are experienced members in anime production circles.

That being said, I’m not exactly the slice-of-life anime lover here, since I’m the kind that prefers to binge watch and marathon anime series, the slice-of-life genre has never been really marathon friendly for me (read…short attention span). Either the plot provokes you too much so you have to sit down and start questioning your life choices, or the plot, while good, is just a bit too dry to keep watching for hours on end.

So, it’s not without ulterior motives that I ended up watching this anime and finishing it in three days too…A record breaking speed for a two cour slice-of-life anime, for me at least. To put it shortly, I’m attempting to make a short animation with a couple of friends (sounds familiar?) and thought this is the right time for some motivation by watching Shirobako. So, take this article as my anime production journey so far with sprinkles of Shirobako humor.
"You don't make anime by yourself! Anime production is teamwork!" 
- Erica Yano (Production Assistant)
Of course in my small production, we have the director (though he’s not that horizontally challenged as Seiichi Kinoshita in the anime). The one that comes up with the scripting and the story boarding.
"We have to lie...but in a cool way..." - Seiichi Kinoshita (Director)
Basically, the director is the one with the ideas going around in his head, and it’s all up to him to spell out want he wants for the rest of the team. If not…we will meet production mayhem! Cue the puru puru images…@-@ That happens when production is rushed to meet deadlines and the in-between frames of the animation drawings are sloppily drawn.
Puru Disaster! T T
You’re thinking, surely if you watch this anime you can predict the production pitfalls, and avoid them! Wrong. We still ended up changing character designs (CD), even after extensive meetings… You know just cause the director wants a character in a suit doesn’t mean it’s easy… Here’s a quick look of the evolution of men’s suits… Just which one do you pick?

That’s just the tip of the iceberg I’d expect, especially since we’re only still doing the CD drawings and confirming the characters backstory and making sure every detail makes sense.

As for what I’m doing? Well, my role is more of a mash-up of whatever the rest in my team cannot do. Namely drawing the background scenes, and animating animals… Unfortunately, this production involves some sort of bull fight, which equals to watching endless bull fighting videos on loop (short of going to Spain to watch first hand...) to make sure I have the movements of a bull down to the T. I’d call myself a bull anatomy expert now... maybe…>>
Rough sketch...~
Pulling out the relevant cross-referencing points on Shirobako, would be episode 13 and some follow up episodes which mention backgrounds design, where they talk about clouds and real life experiences and the artist feeling the backgrounds that they are drawing. And on drawing and animating animals, to be as life-like as possible would be referencing episodes 7 and 8, where character Ema struggles with animating the movements of a cat.
Learning movement of animals by experiencing them in real life!
I haven’t started on the background scenes yet since the story boarding and cut scenes still need a bit of sorting out.

Animation is some tough thing…Well it’s back to drawing now…Wish me luck~

Written by Neko :3

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