If you’ve seen Shirobako, you know the scene pictured above. Even if you haven’t seen the series, this image’s memetic prowess among anime social media circles is impressive – almost like the word-of-mouth rapid-fire spread of the Shirobako gospel itself. There’s no doubt that this image will top many “best-of” lists and 12 Days posts, as Shirobako grew an impressive cult following by the end of its run, emotionally resonating with many.
Here are my Shirobako stories.
Ultimately, Shirobako is a story of young adults trying to find their way through their workplace – which happens to be an anime production studio. Their line of work comes with its own set of unwritten rules and troubles intrinsic to the anime industry. From an anime fan perspective, watching Shirobako is fairly eye-opening, although it’s definitely filtered through a rose-colored lens and cute characters. Of the five main young women – all of whom are chasing childhood dreams by working on anime in various respects – Shizuka Sakaki, the would-be voice actress, stands out as the least successful of the group.
While her friends are struggling at their respective positions, Sakaki struggles to find work. When she finally does, it comes as a part for a series that her friends are already working on. This is unbeknownst to Production Manager Aoi Miyamori, a close friend of Sakaki’s, until Sakaki announces herself for the recording.
Sakaki’s final line recorded is, “I just got a step closer to my dream!” At this point, Miyamori can no longer hold in her emotions, and she covers her face with the script as she cries at Sakaki’s success.
In covering League of Legends esports closely over the past year, I’ve had the pleasure of befriending many talented people who struggle to find work, or seemingly have everything going against them, especially in one of the minor regions I follow closely: Brazil. I’ve had a few Miyamori moments this year, and I hope to have more in the future, as there are so many hard-working and talented people out there who deserve that step.