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Shirobako: The Movie Review

Have you ever wondered how anime is made and produced? What about how each key member of staff contributes to a project? Producer, director, writer, technical director, character designer, animator, voice actor, etc.… Well, you can see that in an excellent anime format with Shirobako. The Animation of the Year from the Tokyo Anime Awards show has 24 episodes that aired in 2014 but now has released a movie to follow up the show. Shirobako: The Movie, in conjunction with Eleven Arts and Fathom Events, released 8/10 in North American theaters.

The show centers around a group of friends in high school that is part of the animation club and promises each other that they’ll produce an anime together when they grow up. The main character winds up becoming an assistant producer, lead female Aoi Miyamori. The other ladies take various paths with their careers. She starts her first day at Musashino Animation and thus begins the series. You can catch the series streaming on HiDive if you’ve never seen it.

Now fast forward to the movie, and we start with Aoi Miyamori, still working at Musashino Animation. However, the studio isn’t what it used to be anymore. Many people have moved on, and even Miyamori is thinking about moving on herself. That’s when Musashino Animation decides to be bold and take a leap of faith in itself by producing its anime movie. Miyamori is given the opportunity to be the main producer for this possibly epic ride of creating a film. Thus, begins a long journey of trials and tribulations to produce a movie. Shirobako shows the importance of skill and talent that each member of a movie staff must-have. It also shows that each member has their weaknesses and room for growth.

The Shirobako is a beautiful film and a movie within a movie. The staff brought in the same Director and writer from the series—something you don’t tend to see as much anymore, especially from a director’s standpoint. Usually, a series director isn’t given the job of producing a big-budget film. It shows that Tsutomu Mizushima (Director) is ideally suited and skilled at the position. Let’s not forget Michiko Yokote, the writer. She gets the most credit for the television series and the single credit for the film’s screenplay.

PA (Progressive Animation) Works animation studio performs to perfection with zero CGI or 3D animation in this film. Even the final movie that Musashino Animation creates in the movie is beautiful! Now bring in all the same voice actors as the television series, and you have a recipe for big-screen success. We laughed, were shocked, mad, sad. Shirobako The Movie brought up all the range of emotions through this beautiful film. Let’s not forget the theme music by fhana, one of the great J-pop bands. We want to mention we’ve seen them live too! Here at Anime Pad, we give it a 5 out of 5!

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