I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Juri Kimura, Haruka Yoshimura & Haruka Chisuga -- Animetic Love Letter

Today, January 5th 2014, is the first designated Dread Day for this year. It is, after all, the day that everyone gets back into the usual routine after the Holidays...namely getting back to work. And here in Toronto, following a balmy Holiday season, the temperatures have plummeted down to a high of -7 degrees Celsius, and therefore all those rain-slicked sidewalks from yesterday (it was actually +7 yesterday) have become impromptu skating rinks. Nothing like meteorologically-induced reality to wake the commuters up.

(from 3:55)

Anyways, speaking of work, one of my favourite anime from 2014 has been a dramedy of sorts titled "Shirobako". Literally meaning, "white box", the anime industry term refers to the final product of a produced episode via a VHS tape placed in a white case for preview by the animation company staff. But as it is here, it's the story of five former female high school animation club members, three of whom now work for the fictional Musashino Animation, a bit of a cute tweak at the real-life Kyoto Animation.

I figure since there have been movies about the movie industry (The Artist) and television shows about the television industry (30 Rock), there probably has to have been an anime about the anime industry, so I was surprised that something like "Shirobako" hadn't been made sooner (although my anime buddy told me yesterday that there had actually been such a program although on a much fluffier level). But I digress. After watching the first round of "Shirobako" (it will be continuing for a second round from next week apparently), I rather thought that this was something that Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing) would have produced if he had been an anime otaku: there are tons of characters (the first few episodes even had to provide captions identifying them and their job titles) all going through the various trials and tribulations of pushing through the final episode of an anime, punctuated by a number of walk-and-talk cellphone scenes.

Life in the anime industry is probably even tougher than portrayed in this series, but at least we have been privy to a bit of the life there. "Shirobako", by the way, has been produced by P.A. Works, the same company behind another anime whose ending theme I've also enjoyed.

And yep, the ending theme here is one I do enjoy. Sung by seiyuu Juri Kimura(木村珠莉), Haruka Yoshimura(佳村はるか)and Haruka Chisuga(千菅春香), who portray three of the five young women (Aoi, Ema and Shizuka) from that high school club, "Animetic Love Letter" is this catchy uptempo tune with that hint of City Pop (especially the punchy synths at the beginning) that has become the earworm of the moment. And watching the two mascots of the main character dance around while the song is playing, I can consider the ending credits as arguably one of the cuter anime moments I've come across over the past year.

Halko Momoi(桃井はるこ)wrote and created "Animetic Love Letter" alongside the opening theme of "Colorful Box" by Yoko Ishida(石田燿子). Apparently, for the second round of the show, there will be new opening and ending themes which is a bit of a pity but understandable.

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