Man, this episode was a doozy. A WHOLE lot happened!
Third Aerial Girls Squad?
You know, after the great end to the “Exodus” arc, I knew somewhere in my head, that the next 12 episodes would have to feature a new anime. A new set of challenges, a new production schedule to struggle with, and a whole new story to get used to. However, I have to say, I really didn’t know exactly how Shirobako would go about starting it off.
I shouldn’t have ever worried.Third Aerial Girls Squad is, in-universe, a rather notable manga series, from the looks of it. Rather than an original story, this series is an anime adaptation of a manga–and as such, has concrete characters, concrete art styles to work with, bringing with them their own sets of challenges.
There’s a lot that happens. And, similarly to the very first episodes of the series, we get a look as to what might go on in the process of creating a new anime.
This sequence of events happens very fast, but it was enjoyable, getting to see a little bit more in-depth, the thoughts behind the creative process of creating an anime. It’s looking to be a busy time!
From a narrative perspective, this is providing a LOT of potential set up. It’s building a base, from which numerous problems have the potential to rise, and you know, it did a solid job of that–especially in regards to setting up the character growth of Aoi!
Aoi’s Moving Up in The World!
Aoi’s been growing, even if she hasn’t been explicitly aware of it, and I love it.
As much as Aoi’s been expressing doubts, she’s been doing so in a very natural way, one that’s honestly felt really relatable. However, she’s also been working hard–rising to the challenges that naturally come up, showcasing her natural talent of being sociable and honestly, rather harmonious as a whole. As often as challenges would arise, Aoi’s been able to rise to meet them, in a rather natural way.
Which is why I can’t help but be exceedingly excited for her, to tackle the newest set.
Aoi is understandably stressed out, and this episode went out of its way to show that she felt out of her league. Through her complaints, her polite objections, and through actually seeing the amount of work she was responsible for, Shirobako did a good job at showing, not telling, the stress she was under.
However, we also get lots of indication that she is up to the challenge–all while retaining her sense of individuality, the cute, family-girl dork Aoi we’ve (well at this point, I’ve) grown to know and love.
There’s not much more to say here that hasn’t been said already. Aoi’s being put in a position of huge responsibility–one that her coworkers have total faith in her, to do well. I’m looking forward to seeing how it’s going to pan out!
That said. There’s still a bit more set up this episode got done, that made me rather excited, for something that I had honestly not considered quite yet.
The Don-Don-Crew’s Meeting Up!
Well, no they’re not all meeting up quite yet. But boy oh boy, the set up is there, and I didn’t realize just how ready I was for it.
So, first off, we got Midori, who is once again helping Aoi with research, this time, on fighter planes, for Aerial Girls! She’s a writer, a literary nut who likes learning about new things, so hey, it works out! But the interesting thing, the thing that hints at Midori becoming a lot more involved in the main plot with Aoi and Ema, is that Aoi actually mentions Midori–her mysterious high school researcher–to her employers, who then become more interested in using her.
Man. This is how connections work. I watched this scene, and getting really excited upon realizing what was happening, simply because I’ve seen the same thing happen for real life jobs. Someone does something that helps a company out, they get a good recommendation, and next thing you know…
Well. I’m not going to jinx it. But man, good on ya Midori.
Next, we finally got to see Shizuka, making strides! As it turns out, she’s gotten another interview, and that’s pretty exciting, right? Is it going to be a big company? A small one? What’s going to be the first step?
Well, if it wasn’t obvious enough, Shizuka’s going to be auditioning for the Third Aerial Girls Squad. And when this reveal was made, as obvious as it was, I found myself getting hyped–that would be four of the original five reunited!
I have to stress though, that this revelation felt good, BECAUSE of the failures, the discouragement that Shizuka felt in the first half of the series. Shizuka didn’t get much handed to her during the first half–working a part-time job, failing her auditions, and feeling like she was left behind, Shizuka…hasn’t had it easy, among the members of the Don-Don-Crew.
Yes, that’s what I’m calling them.
The main thing here, is that Shizuka’s heading to Musashino Animation, and I’m looking forward to seeing how that’ll work out. How will Aoi react? Will she pull some strings, or will the executives just genuinely like Shizuka for herself?
Find out next time, on Shirobako…! Yeah.
Well–finally getting started on the second half of Shirobako–sorry about that!
And if you see some posts that are completely empty–my bad, life’s been rather busy as of late, and my scheduling has been messed up. I’ll try my best to keep things consistent!