Now This Is A Smart Anime Gag

Now This Is a Smart Anime Gag

There are lots of visual gags in anime. Some are funny! Some are not. But few are this biting about the anime industry itself.

Here, you can see frames from a recent episode of Shirobako, an anime about, well, making an anime. Shirobako gives an inside look at how anime is made. The most recent episode reuses art from the first episode. Even bits of the conversation is recycled!

In anime, shows that reuse animation or dialogue do that because they're short staffed, trying to save a buck, or both. Shirobako isn't simply doing that, but instead, the show is making a biting commentary on the state of the industry: How things don't change, how studios save money, and general stagnation.

Here, have a look at stills from website Yaraon:

Now This Is a Smart Anime Gag
Now This Is a Smart Anime Gag
Now This Is a Smart Anime Gag

Some images are slightly different.

Now This Is a Smart Anime Gag
Now This Is a Smart Anime Gag

Or barely different.

Now This Is a Smart Anime Gag

Or exactly the same.

The scene in the first episode shows them getting together after the premiere of the studio's first anime. The 21st episode shows them getting together after the premiere of their second episode.

Now This Is a Smart Anime Gag
Now This Is a Smart Anime Gag

Because these seems are so similar, what's different becomes even more noticeable, whether it's different beverages or employees who seem to have left the studio.

Now This Is a Smart Anime Gag

This episode is done so knowingly and so cleverly, indirectly commenting on a technique studios have used over the years by directly doing it. Smart stuff.

Richard Eisenbeis contributed to this report.


Comments

    Shirobako is AWESOME!!!! Sad that it's over end of March T-T

    I guess you could read that into it... I just thought it was consistency.

    You wouldn't believe how many of my meetings feel like groundhog day reruns.

    I love this anime so much.

    Someone making it sure is getting revenge on former colleagues & staff members.

    Would have been nice to have some spoiler tags on this before this bit: employees who seem to have left the studio.

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