Shirobako begins with the five members of the Kaminoyama High School animation club all making a pledge to work hard on their very first amateur production and make it into a success. After showing it to an audience at a culture festival, that pledge turned into a huge dream—to move to Tokyo, get jobs in the anime industry and one day join hands to create something amazing. Fast forward two and a half years and two of those members, Aoi Miyamori and Ema Yasuhara, have made their dreams into reality by landing jobs at a famous production company called Musashino Animation. Everything seems perfect at first. However, as the girls slowly discover, the animation industry is a bit tougher than they had imagined. Who said making your dream come true was easy? – My Anime List
Based on 16 review scores:
Watch Shirobako. It’s a fascinating and utterly indispensable look at the anime industry, P.A. Works’ finest show to date, and one of the finest anime I’ve seen in recent years. Although I rarely say that one “must” or “has to” watch a given show, I’m inclined to do so here: if we’re going to watch and review anime, then I think we owe it to ourselves to look into the world from which it comes.Shirobako, as far as I’m concerned, might be the best means of doing so.
Coffee Bean and Tea Reads
Shirobako is a wonderfully uplifting anime. It is also a very satisfying anime about making anime, providing viewers with a very in-depth look into the industry through rose-tinted lenses. Some episodes suffered a bit story-wise, but everything comes together in the end. The series is critically and popularly regarded as one of the best anime in recent years. An inspiring breath of fresh air. Shirobako definitely deserves the praise.
The Garbage Man Reviews
If you thought that a story about anime, working adults, and doughnuts could not be the best thing you would ever watch, you would be mistaken. Instead of being a dismissible novelty, Shirobako does the absolute best to exceed the sum of its collective components, becoming an entertaining experience that just keeps getting better and better.
Now, Shirobako may be boring to many other people but it’s very interesting to others. I myself find it a white box of mysteries that shows how animation studios make anime. It makes you respect anime studios that get low pay but still want to make these animes for other people to be happy.
There tends to be at least one unique and genuinely interesting anime show every season, if not more, and they often tend to be original productions instead of adaptations of existing work. Shirobako is one such series. Real-life troubles and pressures associated with anime production are presented in an engaging way. This show provides a rare opportunity to gain an in-depth insight into the production ‘hell’ that is sometimes talked about in relation to anime. It is one of those high-quality shows that truly deserves to be remembered. It is easy to identify with at least one of its characters, and even just seeing them grow and become more confident as professionals makes it worth watching this series.
Anime News Network
Overall, in spite of the issues of the show packaging, Shirobako is a show I could not recommend enough. If you’re at all interested in character dramas or shows about adults, Shirobako is a rare gift – and even beyond genre tastes, Shirobako is funny, propulsive, and full of neat insights into the anime process. It’s heartwarming, dramatically engaging, and laugh-out-loud funny – pretty much all you could ask for in a show.
Shirobako’s story hits a home run and is another one that could easily be prime time TV in the U. S. I think more and more families are discovering anime as a great source of entertainment and once people get over the sub title issues they will discover a whole world of stories that they could have never imagined existed. This type of series is s shining example of the difference in American and Japanese animation. I for one can’t remember the last time I watched a slice of life animation from any american production company. Yea for Anime give us more shows like Shirobako please!
Shirobako brings its (first?) season to a close in a strong way and in many ways worked better for me than the first half did. The show the studio was working on back then didn’t do much for me and the director was problematic with how realistic he was. This half of the season may not dig into some of the supporting characters from the time Aoi was in school with her friends that were pursuing their own goals in the industry, but its heavy focus on Aoi and the challenges of adapting a light novel are very well done. The 3rd Girls material doesn’t do much for me but it was interesting to watch unfold and not quite the focus that the first series was since this has different (and more engaging) challenges. This is a strong work overall and the kind of piece that all anime fans should watch and understand so they grasp the basics of the nuts and bolts of how anime is produce. That, in my view, makes you a better viewer and more engaged with criticisms about a show. Highly recommended.
The Nihon Review
Unless you care nothing about the industry, I wholeheartedly recommend this series. Learning about anime production, including a few nods to popular anime, adds to an already fantastic series. The solid animation, effective music and, most importantly, the excellent script turns what could have been just another slice of life show into something unforgettable.
My Anime List
Shirobako is an anime that is “just right”. It breaks one’s expectations without betraying them. You just have to enjoy it as it is as you learn countless things about life, careers, and, of course, anime. The series is a force to be reckoned with and I could easily recommend it to anyone, especially to those in need of a surprise.
If you are a fan of anime then this really is a must see; it may not be full of dynamic action, life and death struggles or hilarious moments but it is an entertaining and fascinating insight into how anime comes to be. That doesn’t mean it has a documentary feel. The cast may be large but the characters are distinctive and well written with a core group taking centre stage. As well as the old school friends there is the director who is struggling to repair the damage done to his reputation after he made ‘Jiggly Heaven’ an apparently notorious series and a rather annoying member of the production team. The characters are so believable that when we see scenes from the shows they make one thinks it was them that did a good job rather than the people who actually made the ‘Shirobako’! Indeed as the series neared its end I was a little disappointed that the series they were making, “The Third Girls Aerial Squad”, was only a show within a show rather than something I’d actually get to watch! While it feels real for the most part it doesn’t avoid events that have clearly been added for comic drama and possibly to show off their own animation skills… the last episode even features a great scene where one of the workers races to deliver the tape to the TV company chased by several police cars! If you haven’t guessed by know I really liked this show and heartily recommend it.
There’s a lot to love in Shirobako and I am honestly truly glad that I have seen it. It teaches you a truth often forgotten. That the anime you love and the anime you hate didn’t just spring into existence. That there’s some poor souls working day and night to bring animated characters to life and show us their stories. To the animators of Japan, you have my sympathy and my respect. Though sadly if your end product is terrible, you will not have my leniency.
It was fun to watch a slice of life anime with this kind of concept. I learned a surprising amount about the anime industry by watching this series, and I think it’s an interesting aspect to watch, especially if you’ve been a fan of anime for many years. Some have already claimed Shirobako as the hidden gem of the Fall 2014 season, and I can definitely see why.
The Sushi Times
People who are not fans of the industry, unfamiliar with the either the creative field or the workplace in general, or just downright cynical may not take to Shirobako that well, and some may even nitpick whatever it got wrong. However, it can be agreed that it’s earnest above all else.
Shirobako is a fresh storyline, quite different from the typical school romantic comedies or violent supernatural stories. However, it feels so real that it might bore viewers after a while.