(The Vintage Tempest)
Having some prior knowledge of Shirobako the animated series is best before viewing the movie. While there’s a brief reintroduction to get viewers up to speed on what has happened to the staff of Musashino Animation, life is not always going to be easy to those who busted their chops to get to where they are at. This anime studio is home to five best friends working in different departments.
Aoi Miyamori (Juri Kimura) is the leader of the pack. They are Ema Yasuhara (Haruka Yoshimura), Shizuka Sakaki (Haruka Chisuga), Misa Tōdō (Asami Takano), and Midori Imai (Hitomi Ohwada) and the drama that unfolds is mostly about them dealing with the everyday hustle and bustle of producing a weekly animated show. The strain that shows is when they’re finally off the clock and trying to have a regular life or question why they’re still at it. The series nicely spends the time to show the stress they face. And when they overcome those personal obstacles in their climb to the top, we have to appreciate everything this team accomplished.
During the film, which takes place four years later, life is seemingly normal until Time Hippopotamus gets cancelled. After lamenting the loss of this project, they are encouraged to look at making a movie; not everyone feels ready given the deadline!
Air Amphibious Assault ship SIVA (空中強襲揚陸艦 SIVA) looks crazy enough to perhaps be realized as its own real life film. However, the Shirobako crew feel over their heads tackling this project! It’s a 90s sci fi western with anthropomorphic heroes and to see Aoi’s crew try to take this project is an interesting watch. To keep everyone invested, viewers included, is to show to everyone that you have to be passionate in even the oddest of works, whether or not it’s been conceived in-house, while stoned or not. There’s a lot of good emotional dialogue to carry this film to the end, and to the debut of this film within a film.
3½ Stars out of 5