Animation Runner Kuromi
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Kuromi just landed her dream job at a famous animation studio, and boy is she in for a rude awakening! It's up to her to finish a hot new cartoon, or fans everywhere will be let down. Will Kuromi's love of cartoons clean up this horrible mess...or make an even bigger one?
Because she grew up watching Louis Monde III, Mikiko "Kuromi" Oguro decided to pursue a career in animation: to her brief delight, she lands a job as "animation runner" (assistant production manager) at Petit Studios. Then the fun begins. With just a week left to go on episode #2 of Time Journeys, only five of the 312 cuts (scenes) in the program have been completed! Kuromi spends the week on fast forward, nagging animators, chasing down artwork, juggling schedules, etc. Director/storyboard artist Akitaroh Diachi punches up the humor by including bits of the show in various stages of completion. This brief (40 minutes) OVA offers a very funny spoof of how studio animation is done, both in Japan and the United States. The more the viewer knows about the process, the more they'll appreciate the jokes. (Unrated: Suitable for ages 10 and up: tobacco use, minor cartoon violence) --Charles Solomon
- Interviews with the director
- Commentary Track
- Featurette on the Animation Process
- Director's diary
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Who could pass up an an anime based and parodies the actual anime industry? I've heard about these type of parody anime and I recall reading about Mikimoto Haruhiko ("Macross", "Gunbuster", etc.) actually creating one but was only given to staff and friends back in the early 90's but really haven't seen anything for the many years I have been watching anime.
But there are always stories about the behind-the-scenes of an animation studio and how sometimes the anime that is aired, sometimes gets there within minutes or an hour after finalization. From the crazy tight deadlines and overworked staff, for those of us here in America who will never get to experience or see that kind of work environment of how anime is created and developed, fortunately "Animation Runner Kuromi" is here.
The series is directed by Daichi Akitaro known for his work with "Fruits Basket", "Now and Then, Here and There" and "Jubei-Chan the Ninja Girl" to name a few. The sreenwriter is Nagatsuki Tou and the OAV won "BEST OAV" Award at the Tokyo International Anime Fair.
The series is about a new employee named Oguro Mikiko (which the president of the company automatically names her Kuromi) who was hired to work at the famous animation studio, Studio Petit.
The studio is behind on schedule for "Time Journeys Episode 2' and with the boss falling ill, he appoints Kuromi as production desk manager and puts her immediately in charge.
Essentially just a newbie in the industry with hardly any experience, Kuromi is put in leadership position and has to motivate a staff that is too lax and literally a bunch of slackers. With the threat of the second episode of "Time Journeys" not being completed, Kuromi is learning that this staff, during deadlines, they make excuses and end their work early. The fact that many of them work at home, makes it a problem for Kuromi.
Because of their way of working, Kuromi feels dejected and has nightmares that the episode will not get to the TV station on time and feels like quitting.
But Kuromi decides to not quit and make immediate changes that will affect the studio and hopefully they will complete the next episode of "Time Journeys".
I pretty much enjoyed the insight of an anime studio. May it be the parody from the anime OAV or the actual behind-the-scenes footage on the special features.
I'm very glad to see that CPM decided to include so many special features for the DVD release and all in all, it was just a blast to watch, especially if you have interest on what goes behind-the-scenes at an anime studio.
But all in all, this is an OAV that is not meant to be taken seriously, it is not meant to spawn a TV series. It's just a parody on what goes on at an anime studio and for anime fans to just sit back and enjoy.
It accomplishes what it wants to convey to the viewer. No deep storyline, no major character development. Just an enjoyable and hilarious OAV about woman working her dream job at an anime studio and realizing that it's all hard work, stressful but is handled in a way that people can watch, understand but laugh at the same time.
I got what I want from it and that's to learn about the crazy things that go on at an anime studio and the fact that the viewer not only just gets to see a parody of it, but also included in the special features are video footage of people at work. That was great to see!
All in all, I recommend this OAV series for the anime fan who has interest on how an anime series is created.
Great animation, great designs and the music is memorable. I still hum the theme tune today, 2 years after watching it. When the price is just 6 bucks, there is no reason not to pick this up. It's only 40 minutes long, but it'll be worth the little sum of money.
I'm really happy this once aired on a swedish TV-network, undubbed. It has shown me that OVAs with a total of only 1 or 2 episodes can be really unique and fun, as long as you're an Anime fan. It's a classic, go and buy it now!