Meetings, meetings, and more meetings! This week, Shirobako gets down to the nitty gritty aspects of anime production. If you break it all down, the anime industry revolves around these meetings to get the creative process going. Everything seems to be going smoothly but something is always bound to go wrong, right?
Musashino holds a welcome party for their newly hired employees. As usual, everybody doesn’t share the president’s enthusiasm. We meet the two new production assistants, Satou who just switched careers and Andou, a high-spirited newcomer who seems to know a lot about the industry.
In their daily morning assembly, General Manager Okitsu puts up the two new assistants for training, having them sit in meetings and such.
*All meetings are accompanied by Mimuji and Roro who explain to us the gist of things as they go. Ah yes, these meetings are also accompanied by lots of food.
The first is a table read where the staff discusses the scenario. It is then revealed that the head writer, Maitake, sometimes works under a pen name. Andou then reveals that she knows a lot of his works as a pinch hitter. Impressed the director asks her what else she knows and she says she knows that an Exodus! episode was delivered only minutes before airing. Maitake is worried about how the anime will end when the manga isn’t yet completed. Watanabe offers to call the editor to find out what happens next. Mimuji comments that the meeting was all over the place.
After, the team visits an airport for location hunting. Endou reveals that he is actually an airplane enthusiast and says that he’d be glad to do the mecha key frames. Art director Atsumi is also with them inspecting the skies. 3D animator Shimoyanagi asks Kinoshita about how he wants to animate the clouds and the director describes to him how he pictures the sky battles.
Back at the studio, Kinoshita finishes the storyboard for the first episode. The assistants reproduce copies but express their doubts about the drawings in them. The directing staff then holds a storyboard meeting to discuss the layout for the rest of the series. Yamada and Madoka go page by page but Satou and Andou don’t understand what’s going on. The two episode directors remark that Kinoshita has gotten over his trauma from Jiggly Jiggly Heaven but pretend they didn’t say anything.
Watanabe calls the editor to tell him he’s run out of patience waiting for the manga writer’s approval. He then gives Aoi the green light for the production meeting.
In the production meeting the director assigns some key frames to Kunogi, an extremely shy newbie key animator. Afterwards Kunogi tells Ema that she noticed a ladybug on the director’s sleeve.
Tarou brings the new assistants to collect key frames from the home-based animators. They first go to Kisa who greets them half-naked. They then go to Segawa who remarks on Tarou’s unreliability.
In a supervising animator meeting, the staff then meets with Iguchi for some cleanups. Right after, they meet with Atsumi for his initial backgrounds. Then they go to the coloring department to discuss the color patterns with Shinkawa. They then meet with Shimoyanagi at the CG department to have a look at his plane designs. He says that their workload might be so they suggest outsourcing to another studio, Studio Kanabun, Misa’s new workplace. And lastly, they go to Sakura to discuss filming.
Aoi sits in an accompaniment meeting where they discuss the series’ score. Kinoshita tries to describe how he wants it to sound but audiography director Inami helps him out it in words.
Madoka, Yamada and Kinoshita all finish their storyboards at the same time. Aoi assigns them to Satou and Ando, shows them how to go about production, and advises them on how to effectively manage their time.
On a rainy day, Watanabe gets a call from Katsuragi. He then tells Aoi to stop all production because the manga author wants retakes on the character designs.
Will theses drawings work? asks the title. Well, apparently not, according to the mangaka. I knew that editor spelled trouble. The story isn’t so funny anymore, don’t you think, Mr. Editor?
A little professionalism goes a long way, especially when you’re adapting a manga. Of course you’d need the author’s approval. Now we see that both adapting and producing an original work have their set of hardships. Only, the former involves more people and permissions.
I think Iguchi-san gets all the flak since it was her designs that the author didn’t approve of. But then, we can’t totally blame her since it’s her first time doing character designs and the author never really gave his insight about them. I wonder what her senpai Gothloli-sama will say.
As for the nitty-grittiness, I guess they don’t want that to take over the whole show and that’s cool. P.A. Works put showed it in a clever way so that it will balance out with the story. After all, there are still nine more episodes and there are still more aspects to be explored.
Is it too early to call it a pinch? What does our production team have up their sleeves? We’ll have to wait and see.
Oh, and here’s a list of all the meetings that happened during the episode. Quite a lot, don’t you say? I bet there are more within the individual departments and when we get to the business side of anime.
- Table read/Scenario meeting
- Location hunting
- Storyboard meeting
- Production meeting
- Key frame collecting
- Supervising animator meeting
- Art meeting
- Color meeting
- CG meeting
- Filming meeting
- Accompaniment meeting
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