Brief Impressions Digest 10/24/14 – Shirobako, Psycho-Pass Season 2

Shirobako - 03 -7 Shirobako - 03 -12 Psycho Pass 2 - 03 -1 Psycho Pass 2 - 03 -6

If anime were played at bars on casino floors in Vegas, Psycho-Pass 2 would be a perfect fit.

Shirobako – 03

Shirobako - 03 -1 Shirobako - 03 -2 Shirobako - 03 -3
Shirobako - 03 -4 Shirobako - 03 -5 Shirobako - 03 -6
Shirobako - 03 -8 Shirobako - 03 -9 Shirobako - 03 -10
Shirobako - 03 -11 Shirobako - 03 -13 Shirobako - 03 -14

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

Psycho Pass 2 - 03 -2 Psycho Pass 2 - 03 -3 Psycho Pass 2 - 03 -4
Psycho Pass 2 - 03 -5 Psycho Pass 2 - 03 -7 Psycho Pass 2 - 03 -8
Psycho Pass 2 - 03 -9 Psycho Pass 2 - 03 -10 Psycho Pass 2 - 03 -11
Psycho Pass 2 - 03 -12 Psycho Pass 2 - 03 -13 Psycho Pass 2 - 03 -14

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.

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4 comments

  1. G

    You can see Saiga-sensei in the OP/ED standing with the other cast members. I'm wondering if Tsunemori will be bringing him on as a member of her team?

  2. B

    i agree on mika. it's getting a bit too much with her. the writer needs to calm down a little. how is akane not saying anything though. that pisses me off too. the new girl is so damn rude that akane better put her in a place at some point or i'm hoping an enforcer will. i'm liking the new series so far. the first was deffo more deeper and had some truly meaningful and amazing bits but it is early days with season 2.

  3. K

    I'm beginning to think that women in the series is going to be subjected to even more physical torture. Kamui strikes me as a sexual molester with some serious issues.

  4. m

    PP2 isn't a bad show in terms of entertainment value, but I think a lot of that comes with the ability to throw out any expectations. Its not something you can go into hoping to match the first, or be original/groundbreaking (not that the first was groundbreaking anyway) in any fashion. It works for me in a nostalgia with the first seasons characters appearing, the overall world is interesting still, and in an action/crime drama sort of way. After recent seasons I'm thoroughly tempering my expectations of shows (Aldnoah and ZnT certainly hammered the final nail in on that matter) and just trying to take them for what they are. In that scope PP2 is easily worth a weekly watch, even if it's nothing to recommend to others.

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