Chazawa Shinsuke – Shirobako
There are a lot of characters that are annoying. Some loudly shout their life goal every two seconds, others are just pests. But we think that it takes special skill to make a character that is supposed to get on your nerves, in a thoughtful, calculated manner. That’s why Zenko and I agree on Chazawa Shinsuke from Shirobako.
「変な話…」(hen-na hanashi), contextually translated as “Funny story, right…,” is this guy’s go-to line. If he needs to deflect criticism or blow something off, “Funny story, right…” Shinsuke is probably the closest you can get to a villain in a slice of life (work) anime. You’re never really sure if he’s incompetent or intentionally obstructing what the cast is trying to accomplish, but it’s never good. The problem is he isn’t evil, he seems to honestly think he’s doing his job well. At every turn he makes life more difficult. But that may be the way it’s supposed to work. Shinsuke is working for a publishing company and his job is to protect the author from a constant barrage of inquiries. But that’s the problem – him doing his job is getting in the way of the cast doing theirs. Perhaps why he gets on our nerves the most is that pretty much everyone has encountered someone like him. It’s plain frustrating to encounter people where it seems like it’s their sole job in life to prevent us from doing what we need to do. But that guy is Shinsuke. As a side note, Zenko wanted to punch this guy in the face every time he showed up on screen.
A little background on the anime, Shirobako, which I rated Masterpiece. It’s an anime about making anime, that is a must-see once you’re getting higher in your watched-anime count. I’ve heard that it’s very accurate about the day-to day struggles and difficulties present in the anime industry. Through Shirobako, I have gained a deeper appreciation of even anime I have rated on the lower end. This anime is particularly special because it highlights for the viewer the excellent techniques and practices in anime while maintaining a strong story and characters.