Animation Runner Kuromi

Animation Runner KuromiType: OVA
Episode Count: 1
Genre: Mockumentary
Vintage: 2001

Version reviewed: Japanese Subtitled / English Dubbed
Date of Review: 30 May 2006

Grade: B

An anime about… making anime?

Plot Summary
Mikiko Oguro (“Kuromi” for short… a play on the name written in its Japanese characters) has just landed a job out of animation school at the production desk of Studio Petit. She has been brought in to replace the ailing producer before her and lead the completion of episode 2 of the anime “Time Journeys”. There isn’t much time left to meet the deadline for the episode to make it to air, and the animation team is far far behind schedule. Can Kuromi whip the team into shape and get “Time Journeys” episode 2 to air on time?

The Review
And so begins our lesson on the creation of anime as told by Akitaroh Daichi. If you ever wanted to know how anime was produced, and roll on the floor laughing while doing so, you need to see Animation Runner Kuromi as soon as possible!

I’ll need to see more of his work to know for sure, but I think Akitaroh Daichi has a thing for girls riding bicycles. First it was Jubei-chan, now Kuromi. But I digress… Animation Runner Kuromi is a highly entertaining autobiography of the anime industry. The staff at Studio Petit is eccentric to say the least, from the sheltered otaku to the overly self-conscious worrier. There is never a dull moment as Kuromi tries to bring the staff together and save the episode from missing the deadline; she’s always enthusiastic no matter how overwhelming the job gets. Even the soundtrack keeps the frantic pace going for the entire 40 minutes of this OVA.

If you’re an anime fan who’s seen it all, you should absolutely check out Animation Runner Kuromi. Anime newbies may not get as much out of this OVA that looks inward at the industry, but if you have even a passing interest in the process, this will give you a good, if twisted, view of how it all comes together. The only bad thing about Animation Runner Kuromi is that it’s over too soon! As soon as it ended I was wishing for more. Fortunately, there’s always Animation Runner Kuromi 2!

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