Anime Blu-ray Review: SHIROBAKO Collection 2

SHIROBAKO Collection 2 is a two-disc Blu-ray set that includes all 12 episodes of the second cour of the series. The set only has the original Japanese audio with English subtitles.

SHIROBAKO Collection 2
English Publisher: Sentai Filmworks
Format: Blu-ray
Release Date: May 24, 2016

SHIROBAKO Collection 2 shows what happens to the characters in the next phase of their story. After completing Exodus in the first half of the series, Musashino Animation begins working on an anime adaptation of the Third Aerial Girls Squad manga during the second half of the series. Aoi finds herself being promoted from production assistant to production desk, so she learns a new job and how to handle all the stress that comes with it. It doesn’t help that Aoi realizes that she isn’t quite sure what her dream is even though her friends all have goals and aspirations. Ema is given more responsibility in her work, Midori is brought in to help with research for Third Aerial Girls Squad, and Misa works for a new computer graphics company that’s brought in to help with the anime. Shizuka has gained more confidence in her voice acting, but she’s still having a hard time getting her foot in the door. The end of the series culminates with the five friends (Aoi, Ema, Midori, Misa, and Shizuka) getting a step closer to realizing their dream of reuniting in Tokyo and making another anime together.

Four new characters are introduced and join the Musashino Animation staff: Tsubaki Ando (a new production assistant who is also an otaku), Sara Sato (a new production assistant who is responsible but horrible with directions), Daisuke Hiraoka (a new production assistant who comes with experience from other companies, but is easily annoyed with those who seem to take anime too seriously and he is also standoffish), and Ai Kunogi (a new in-between animator who is extremely nervous and shy). While I understand that Ai was introduced to be so shy and nervous in order to show how much Ema has progressed, but Ai’s nervousness was so over-the-top. Of the new characters that were introduced, she was my least favorite.

When it comes to the actual story and episodes of this cour of SHIROBAKO, one of the most memorable moments came near the end of Episode 23 when Aoi realizes that she and her friends have gotten one step closer to achieving the goal they set for themselves back in high school. I nearly shed a tear during that scene. Aoi’s speech at the wrap party for Third Aerial Girls Squad also ranks very highly as a memorable scene from this cour. However, when all is said and done, I can say that I’m very happy with how SHIROBAKO concluded.

The Blu-ray video for this set has 1080p High Definition / 16×9, and the audio includes Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. I had no complaints about either the audio or the video quality of this release.

There are only three bonus features included on the release: a clean opening, a clean version of all eight endings that appeared in the second half of SHIROBAKO, and trailers for other Sentai Filmworks releases. I’m not terribly disappointed with the bonus features, since this is rather standard for releases put out by Sentai Filmworks.

If you’ve already seen and enjoyed SHIROBAKO, I would highly recommend adding the two physical releases of the series to your physical anime library.

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