SHIROBAKO: Episode 19 – “Did You Catch Any?”

SHIROBAKO starts out with five friends in a high school animation club producing an animation to screen at their school cultural fair. Aoi, Ema, Shizuka, Misa, and Midori swear that they’ll eventually reunite in Tokyo and make another anime together. The story then jumps ahead in time two-and-a-half years, where Aoi started as a production assistant at Musashino Animation on the Exodus anime, and is now working as production desk for Third Aerial Girls Squad. Ema is also at Musashino Animation working as an animator, and Midori has joined the staff working on setting production. Shizuka is a newbie voice actress at Akaoni Production.

Episode 19 sees Yano returning to work and helping Aoi through her stress. Yano jumps right back into things by taking on Episode Five of Third Aerial Girls Squad and working directly with Taitanic. She also takes it upon herself to ask a particular episode director named Iketani Hiroshi to direct the episode, and uses her talent of persuasion to get him to take the job.

But it was interesting to learn that Yano already knows Hiroaka. Through a conversation they have, we learn that Musashino Animation is the fifth animation company he’s worked for. It appears he has a tendency to quit his jobs due to butting heads with others too much. But I really liked seeing how Yano was able to keep him in check and make sure he does whatever she needs him to do in order to get things accomplished. Since she knows and understands Hiroaka, his attitude doesn’t bother her as much as it does the others, and she also knows how to handle him.

The highlight of this episode is when Masato Marukawa, the president of Musashino, takes Aoi to the building for Musashino Pictures, which was a company that went bankrupt and Musashino Animation sprang up as a new company after its closure. It turns out that this building is being used as storage by Musashino Animation, and Aoi gets to see that the cut bags stored here also include animation cels. The one she picks up has a cel for Andes Chucky, an older anime that Aoi really likes. Aoi and Masato have a very important conversation as she’s looking at the cel from Andes Chucky.

During this sequence, we get to see a flashback of when Masato worked at Musashino Pictures as production desk for Andes Chucky. I never would have imagined him having once looked like a hippie, because this is just so different from the Masato that we know in present time. We also get to see Masahiro Ookura as a young man as well. It was entertaining to see some of these older characters as their younger selves in the past.

After spending time at Musashino Pictures and getting to watch an episode of Andes Chucky while she’s there, Aoi realizes that she’s starting to find the fun in the work she’s doing and is ready to take on her role as production desk with a new energy. And things get even better for Aoi when she receives a call that Masahiro has returned, and she gets to see the background that he designed. He also tells her about how his career evolved, and I think some of what he says to Aoi helps her to understand that she’s not necessarily alone when she feels like she’s not entirely sure what her ultimate goal for her career is.

Between Yano’s help and the interactions with Masato at Musashino Pictures, it appears that Aoi is starting to get back into a better place mentally and emotionally. She was so distraught at the end of Episode 18, and this carried over into the early part of Episode 19. Yano couldn’t have come back at a better time, and Yano’s coolheadedness has helped to save Third Aerial Girls Squad.

I should also mention that the ending credits were different for Episode 19. Instead of the usual SHIROBAKO ending credits, we get to see footage from what would have been the ending credits for Andes Chucky, which is accompanied by a theme song that sounds like it came straight out of the 1970s era of anime. I thought this was a nice touch, and I really enjoyed it. I also thought the Andes Chucky theme song was incredibly catchy.

Now that a couple of major issues in the production of Third Aerial Girls Squad seem to be coming under control, I’m wondering what the next production challenge will be for the studio staff to deal with.

FUNimation Entertainment Licenses Jinsei – Life Consulting

FUNimation has announced that the company has acquired the digital and home video rights for the Jinsei – Life Consulting anime.

The series will be available in its entirety on FUNimation’s site on February 26, 2015 at 6 p.m. ET/5 p.m. CT for subscribers. Episodes will be available to free users in two weeks. The company noted that these episodes will be the broadcast materials, and that they’ll release the series with final materials once they are available.

FUNimation describes the story of Jinsei – Life Consulting as:

When bespectacled Yuki Akamatsu joins his school’s 2nd Newspaper Club, he finds himself caught in the crossfire between three pretty panelists assigned to the Life Advice column. Rino Endo has a mind for science, Fumi Kujo loves literature, and Izumi Suzuki covers the world of sports. If students have questions that need answers, these are the girls to ask, but cute as they may be, these panelists never seem to agree on anything! Needless to say, navigating life in the 2nd Newspaper Club is gonna be more than poor Yuki bargained for!

Source: FUNimation Entertainment

New Cast Member Announced for the Second Season of Nisekoi

This year’s 14th issue of Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump is announcing that Kotori Koiwai is joining the cast for the second television anime series of Nisekoi as Haru Onodera’s friend, Fuu-chan.

Naoshi Komi’s original manga and the anime revolve around Raku Ichijo, a normal high school student who happens to be the heir to a yakuza group. The attractive but violent transfer student Chitoge Kirisaki, the heir to a rival yakuza group, transfers to his class, and the two must pretend to date to keep a war from breaking out between their families.

SHAFT is producing the second season of Nisekoi, and Naoyuki Tatsuwa is directing. Nobuhiro Sugiyama is designing the characters. The second season is scheduled to debut in Japan in April 2015.

Komi launched the manga in Weekly Shonen Jump in 2011 and VIZ Media is releasing the original manga digitally and in print. Aniplex of America began releasing the television anime series on Blu-ray Disc in November 2014, and Crunchyroll simulcast the television anime as it aired in Japan.

Source: ANN

English Dub Clip for Unbreakable Machine Doll

FUNimation Entertainment has posted an English dub clip for Unbreakable Machine Doll to help promote the series’ release on home video on March 3, 2015. The release will come with the twelve episodes, two episode commentaries, six OVAs, the promotional videos and the clean opening and closing sequences. The release is being packaged inside a solid art box and will come with a “titillating art booklet” as well.

The dub for Unbreakable Machine Doll was directed by Christopher Bevins, and Bonny Clinkenbeard wrote the dub script.

The story of Unbreakable Machine Doll is described as:

Raishin Akabane and his beautiful companion Yaya enroll at Walpurgis Royal Academy to study Machinart: a dangerous blend of magic and technology. Raishin is a puppeteer capable of using magic to power up Yaya, his automaton, for ruthless battles no mere human could survive. In the wrong hands, Yaya is a deadly weapon, but the honorable Raishin, despite his mysterious quest for vengeance, takes no pleasure in killing for sport. Instead, he joins forces with a harem of gorgeous classmates to unmask those responsible for a rash of heinous human experimentation. If new enemies and terrible grades don’t spell doom for Raishin, he and Yaya might live long enough to conquer the school where magic meets machine!

I am embedding the dub clip below, and I apologize in advance to any of my readers who are unable to view it due to region blocking.

Source: The Fandom Post

Cast for the Vampire Holmes Anime

The official website for the anime adaptation of Cucuri’s escape game app Vampire Holmes announced the cast for the series:

  • Yoshinobu Sena is Holmes
  • Nobunaga Shimazaki is Hudson
  • Ayahi Takagaki is Kira

The website also announces that the anime will premiere in Japan on April 4, 2015.

The story of the original game takes place in London shrouded in night, where “Vampire Slasher” incidents have been happening in the streets. Holmes, a detective who does not solve mysteries and does not use reasoning skills, investigates a suspicious mansion and learns the truth.

Nami Tamaki is performing the anime’s main theme song, “Everlasting Love.”

Source: ANN

Two Spinoff Manga for The Seven Deadly Sins Posted

The Japanese version of DeNA’s free Manga Box smartphone and tablet app added Nakaba Suzuki’s two spin-off manga of his original manga The Seven Deadly Sins.

The first spinoff manga, titled Naku na, Tomo yo (Don’t Cry, My Friend), is about Hendrickson and Dreyfus during their younger years. The second spinoff, titled Gilthunder no Shinjitsu (Gilthunder’s Truth), is set after the Byzel Fight Festival arc, with Gilthunder as the protagonist.

Both manga are available for a limited time until May 10, 2015. Users must install both the Japanese Manga Box app as well as DeNA’s smartphone RPG app Nanatsu no Taizai: Poketto no Naka no Kishidan (The Seven Deadly Sins: Holy Knights Inside the Pocket) to read them.

Source: ANN

Natsume Ono’s Futagashira Manga Is Getting a Live-Action Drama

Natsume Ono’s Futagashira manga will get a live-action drama adaptation on the WOWOW channel starting in June 2015. The show will air on Saturdays at 10:00 p.m. Yu Irie is directing the drama, and Kazuki Nakashima is writing the scripts.

The story is set in the Edo period and centers around two men who have left their thieving ring, the “Akame Gang,” to strike out on their own journey. Ken’ichi Matsuyama stars in the drama as the frank thief Benzo, and actor and stage actor Taichi Saotome co-stars as the cool playboy Soji.

Ono launched the historical manga series in Shogakukan’s Monthly Ikki magazine in May 2011. After Shogakukan suspended publication of Monthly Ikki last year, Futagashira resumes publication in Shogakukan’s new magazine Hibana starting on March 6, 2015. Shogakukan will also ship the fifth compiled volume in Japan on March 6, 2015.

Source: ANN