Though the bureaucrats at ANN won’t let you vote for Shirobako for AOTY (despite the fact that it’s anime of the year, every year), the best episode did air in March. Hell if I watch just this episode next year, I’ll probably include it on my list again because episode 23 of Shirobako is just one of my favourite anime episodes of all time.
From Seiichi meeting with the author and delivering comeuppance to Chazawa to the end of the episode where Shizuka records her lines and Aoi breaks down from happiness. It’s all fantastic and more memorable than the actual final episode that follows after.
It’s such a simple and powerful scene that for months after got me to tear up just thinking about it. I could be waiting for my bus after work and remember Shizuka turning to thank them and how Aoi just tries her best and man, gonna sure try not to cry at the bus stop.
Such a display of joyous emotion, of the happiness you have when a loved one succeeds, the pride you feel for them is all so wonderful. The excitement we viewers have for Shizuka whose talent shone through, who finally caught a break, and who as a miserable adult surrounded by succesful people, a lot of us saw ourselves in. She did it.
It’s a scene that will stay with me forever. An episode I’ll come back to watch over and over on it’s own, as if I wasn’t already encouraged to rewatch the series.
Thanks for being so great, Shirobako.