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SHIROBAKO Episode #10 Anime Review

5 min read
SHIROBAKO Episode 10
SHIROBAKO Episode 10

The deadline for completing the final episode of Exodus is fast approaching, but it looks like they may make it just in time. But big changes appear to be in store for our characters.

What They Say:
Episode 10: “Just One More”

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
It’s getting to be crunch time at Musani, since the final episode has only 5 weeks until delivery is due…while all the other episodes took two months to complete. Aoi has her hands full as she’s in charge of overseeing the final episode. As if needing to make sure all the production materials are created and finalized in time for broadcast isn’t enough, she still has other kinds of work to do, including running an errand for the company president. Episode 10 of Exodus requires the sound of a dombra, a rather exotic Central Asian stringed instrument. While there was trouble locating one, the company president found one (through his network of cooking buddies). Aoi has to deliver it to Sawara Studio, the sound effects studio. When she shows up at the studio, it happens that Mr. Kawano, a sound effects specialist, needs a girl to walk in high heels, so Aoi makes her performance debut as a foley artist. We get treated to a look at how sound effects are made (and it’s quite believable that they would just draft a random person at hand to help with creating sound effects, even though there are also experts who do this for a living).

Next thing you know, the makers of wellies will object and force this episode off the air.
Next thing you know, the makers of wellies will object and force this episode off the air.

This was a nice little look at one of the often overlooked parts of the production process, as we see where sound effects come from. To a large extent, the audience probably takes it all for granted and thinks that there are just these massive audio collections of effects (and there are), but some of the best in the business like to create things from scratch rather than reuse old effects that might not exactly match what they are currently working on or use a synthesizer to fake it.

You just know the product placement person at Kristy Kream is pissed that their arch rival got a prominent spot this episode.
You just know the product placement person at Kristy Kream is pissed that their arch rival got a prominent spot this episode.

Moving back to the “lives of the girls” continuing story, Midori fills in Aoi on Misa’s disappointment at work, so Aoi arranges a hot-pot party to talk it over. Misa really wants to work on something that has a story…one that doesn’t involve cars, cars, and just cars. Misa gets differing opinions from the others, with Shizuka and Aoi expressing the feeling that you have to stick with it (their experiences lead them in this direction) while Ema expresses some hesitation about staying with something that is unsatisfying. It will be up to Misa to decide what she wants in the future, which may not include working at her current company for too much longer (we see what could be a final break made…but the door is opened to a different future too).

On the Exodus front, Kinoshita finally finishes the storyboards for the final episode, which now allows Aoi to get the wheels moving in all departments. While speaking to Shimoyanagi, the head of CG at Musani, Aoi shows she hasn’t forgotten her friend Misa, asking him if he knows of any CG company looking to hire someone. He is surprised that she is quitting Super Media Creations (they are, after all, one of the top companies in the entire industry), but not so surprised when he discovers the reason. There isn’t much out there, though, except for a small firm that is run by a younger acquaintance of his. Elsewhere in the studio, a bombshell is dropped when Honda, the Production Desk head, announces that he’s quitting (this is not quite as shocking as it might be, since the show has been mentioning people moving in and out and sideways in the industry on a regular basis). He’s going to follow his dream of becoming a cake maker.

Kinoshita enters super saiyan mode to complete the storyboards
Kinoshita enters super saiyan mode to complete the storyboards.

So, it looks like the final episode will be completed in time for broadcast, even if Kinoshita tries to screw things up as much as possible by drinking a bit too much at the after party following the recording session for the finale.

As the season (but not the show) begins to wrap up, we come to the end of Exodus. That’s an interesting decision, since the “safe” play might have been to spend the entire show just with the production of Exodus, though the groundwork may well have been laid earlier when we saw Musani’s production heads attempting to win the contract for a new work that will be an adaptation of a popular print property versus Exodus, which is an anime-original product. Adaptation is a very different ball game from original works. Adaptations also make up the vast majority of broadcast anime that we usually see. It makes sense to wrap up Exodus and set the stage for the next half. That next half is going to involve a lot of change on other fronts too. Kinoshita might or might not direct the next work. Honda certainly won’t be there to oversee the production assistants and it looks like yet another assistant could be quitting, as Yano has made some ominous noises. I hope they don’t go down the road of suddenly promoting Aoi up to Honda’s position. She has not even been in the industry for a year, so it’s completely unrealistic. Better to have them hire someone new from outside with far more experience who could well provide a new conflict or new balance to the cast. We shall see.

In Summary:
It’s been a long road, but Exodus going to be completed on time, so it seems. It’s not the only thing that is finishing, as some characters appear to be moving on as well. It’s good that the real world production staff of the anime is trying to show the reality of the business where change and movement is a constant, not an occasional, event. Aoi has been getting a crash course in animation production, though we’ve only been given glimpses of it (and at times, you already need to understand what the process is to comprehend the shortcuts and shorthand this show uses). There is still more to see and much more to explore though.

Episode Grade: B+

Streamed by: Crunchyroll

Review Equipment:
Apple iMac with 4GB RAM, Mac OS 10.6 Snow Leopard

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