Shirobako continues to be a modestly interesting take on the trials and tribulations of the anime production process, though I do find myself wishing it would refrain from inserting the extraneous tropey moments that undercut the sense of realism. I kind of doubt cute production assistants routinely slap their bosses as a way of routinely making a point.
I still find myself a bit unsure as to just what kind of series Shirobako is trying to be. There are times when it almost seems to be taking a stab at being a Christopher Guest-style mockumentary, a Waiting for Guffman for the anime industry. At others times it seems to be a moe series using anime production as a backdrop, and at still others a more or less straight docudrama about anime production which even includes a bit of commentary on the state of the industry.
I suppose this confusion is likely intentional, as the series wants to be different things to different people at different times. And it does manage to be entertaining a decent percentage of the time, as it was this week. The events depicted were a case for why planning for every contingency is a necessary part of every business – what can go wrong will go wrong, and eventually does (FTP server failures are a fact of life). Production, like politics, is the art of the possible – and while the scrambling we saw to get the fourth episode of “Exodus” finished in time for airing was well-played, I would have enjoyed it even more if we’d seen some artistic sacrifices required to get it in under the gun.
Psycho-Pass Season 2 – 03
Generally speaking Psycho-Pass 2 thus far is about on the level of a very good cover band – if you close your eyes you can almost believe it’s the real thing (and if you have a couple of drinks in you, so much the better).
This show is working for me strictly as an entertainment, but it does seem as if a lot of themes we saw in the first series are being repeated, and that the execution is generally less subtle. We have a writer change and a one-cour schedule this time, so that’s not entirely surprising. And Mika is seriously pissing me off – she may very well be the most useless and annoying character in any watchable series this season. If she’s there as a foil and a device, fine, but it needs to be brought off better than it is.
On the other hand, it was nice to see Saiga-sensei – whose episodes were some of the more interesting in the first series – back again, if all too briefly. He’s been sent to an isolation center as punishment for helping Kougami, but Tsunemori still considers him a unique resource – one she utlilzes to try and get to the bottom of the W.C. mystery and look for solutions that don’t involve her being insane. This is obviously a red herring in the sense that Kamui’s conspiracy clearly runs deep and it will become clear soon enough that the “ghost” is real, but it makes for a good diversion even if nothing comes out of the visit that Tsunemori couldn’t have easily arrived at on her own.