Recently I’ve gotten an excuse to do nothing but watch anime every day for hours on end (I got finger tendonitis), so I’ve been going through my anime backlog. I’ve been out of the scene for basically five years now, so I haven’t watched or even heard about all but the most popular shows since 2012.
I think it’s worthwhile to give my unbiased view on Shirobako. Judging from the progression of the score on MyAnimeList (top image), people came to like it more and more as the show went on, going from a trash-tier 7.18/10 to a top-100 anime score. And from the few blog posts I read [2,3], the cultured individuals of the blogging community have held it in high regard.
So this is where I come in, I guess. In my aimless browsing of memes on reddit, I ended up watching one of ProZD’s videos  where he mentions Shirobako as a top-10 anime. Although my taste in anime is completely different from ProZD’s (i.e. I wouldn’t put any of the other anime he mentions into my top 20), I started watching Shirobako almost immediately after, ran through it in four days, and slapped on a 10/10 score.
Character of the century, right here.
It’s not hard to see why ~*Erased*~ is so popular and highly rated. In all my years of watching anime, I can’t think of any characters as instantly endearing and likable as Kayo. She’s the damsel in distress trope, dressed up in cute little girl form with a touch of tsundere to boot – a weeb’s dream, huh? The voice actress behind Kayo (Aoi Yuuki, known for voicing Madoka) delivers raspy lines that ramp up from shy and quiet whispers to fully confident speech.
My favorite anime, Eureka Seven, takes its full 50 episodes to build up Eureka’s character from a stone-cold, emotionless wall to an emotional and outspoken love interest. With Erased, the same thing happens but over only 6-7 episodes. It’s Eureka Seven-level character development in its rawest form, and it’s just so satisfying to watch.
Unfortunately, after taking out the most interesting character, the last third of the series can’t even get close to the magic of the first arc. I read some people saying it’s just that fans felt like their SatoruxKayo pairing got ruined, and I think that’s essentially right. The overarching mystery plot got thrown away early on in favor of developing Kayo’s character and a romantic drama subplot. This bit got out of control, dominating each episode until Kayo basically gets cut out of the show… cold turkey. My and others’ feverish addiction of Kayo can’t be satiated by simply returning to that husk of a mystery show! I don’t care who the killer is! Give me more Kayo!
Time to read the manga. I heard that ends differently.
Two weeks ago, the iron juggernaut of Kabaneri exploded off the screen, ramming its hardcore action right up into my heart. Despite missing my brain entirely, Kabaneri won me over with its intensity and over-the-top energy. This week, though… not so much.