|Title (English)||Anime Runner Kuromi-chan|
|Title (Japanese)||Anime Runner Kuromi-chan||Art Sample
|Notes||There appear to be 2 sequels.
Yumeta, POBE-1004, 40 minutes, region 2, 4:3 aspect ratio, with both English and Japanese (!) subtitles.
|Synopsis||A good natured look into the details of getting an animation project done, through the eyes of a brand new employee, Kuromi.|
|Review||Akitaroh Daichi has come up with another winner in the marvellously witty
and enjoyable new OAV, "Animation Runner Kuromi-chan", a look into the
world of anime production. This is a production of the independent
animation house Yumeta, POBE-1004, 40 minutes, region 2, 4:3 aspect ratio,
with both English and Japanese (!) subtitles. There is a lot of information
on the anime at the official website, including several good English pages,
"Kuromi-chan" is not your "usual" OAV. There is no fantasy, no science fiction, no violence, no sex, and no fanservice. Instead what you have is a good natured look into the details of getting an animation project done, through the eyes of a brand new employee, Kuromi. Kuromi's name is actually Oguro Mikiko – she is given the nickname "Kuromi" right off the bat because of the "Kuro" and "Mi" kana in her name. Nicknames are a way of life in the world of animation production.
Kuromi also gets a much bigger surprise during the first moments of her employment – the production supervisor of "Studio Petite" is taken off sick and she must fill in as production coordinator for the second episode of the new series "Time Journeys". This means that Kuromi becomes the "runner", who must get all the various pieces of the "key" artwork together for production to proceed.
Unfortunately, things are badly behind schedule – with 4 of the 5 weeks for "key" production already used up, only 5 keys out of 312 are ready. Kuromi has to figure out what has to be done, who has to do it and how to get it done, and get it all done on time. We therefore get to see her learn "under fire" how to work with the Director, the Boss, the Assistant and worst of all, the Key Animators, and successfully bring everything together in time.
The show is totally engrossing, as is Kuromi's character. Her naïve enthusiasm rapidly turns into despair, but she also finds it within herself to find a way to get things done – working in the Animation Industry has been her dream and she wants a taste of being part of something creative. The supporting characters are also done in believable detail – we learn about them at the same time as Kuromi, and they turn from caricatures to people as the story unfolds.
The character design, animation style and pacing, and background music are very reminiscent of "Daa, Daa, Daa!". There is even a little alien/octopus (?) who appears from time to time to explain little details of what is going on in the background, similar to the "angel" in "Daa3". In addition, there is a little film at the end which chronicles the production of "Kuromi-chan" in real life in parallel to what happened in the story.
So if you are interested in getting a gently humorous look into the world of animation production, "Kuromi-chan" is a wonderful place to start.
|Credits||Dir: Akitaroh Daichi|
|TV Showing||See the whole series for free? This series may be syndicated to regional cable, satellite or terrestial TV stations. For Europe click here.|
|References & Help||Look up the latest data on this title at:
Richard Llewellyn's Animated Divots, or
Anime News Network (see Encyclopedia section) ,
or in "The Anime Encyclopedia" (Clements & McCarthy, Stone Bridge Press, 2001).
Help & further information.