Animation Runner Kuromi 2
Distributed by Central Park Media
Running Time: 45 Minutes
Reviewed by Jon Minners
Kuromi is back and more determined than ever to make it in the anime business. But all hell breaks loose when one of the bosses quits smoking just when the workload bursts out of control. If thatís not enough, she has three animators looking to slip out of work early armed with excuses each day and one animator with an ego and drive, but absolutely no skills. Add to that the new producer and his hack team of animators that look at deadlines before quality and Kuromiís back is up against the wall having to complete three quality series for the network with so many obstacles in her way. Can she meet her deadlines? And if she does, will she want to do it all over again?
This is the sequel to the best-selling Animation Runner Kuromi and comes from the mind of Akitaroh Daichi, who directed Fruits Basket, Kodocha and the Jon Minners highly recommended Now and Then, Here and There; Aki Itami, screenwriter of Fruits Basket and Mushishi and Toshio Masuda, who did the music for Excel Saga, Naruto: Movie 2 and Now and Then, Here and There. Already highly acclaimed, this sequel has won the Outstanding Production Award at the 2005 Tokyo Anime Fair.
But Animation Runner Kuromi 2 isnít worthy of being purchased until it gets the G-POP stamp of approval. So, letís break the tension. I loved it. Animation Runner Kuromi 2 is an absolutely hilarious look at the anime industry and yet it is also an educational look at a business many of us probably take for granted. The whole idea of the series is about an anime fan who finds out what the industry is really about; what goes on behind the scenes before we get the final product. And while she is learning; in a unique, quirky matter, we are also provided with an inside look at the whole production; start to finish.
There are some serious moments, but overall, this is a rather peculiar anime perfect for an Otaku or someone just curious about animation. The actually animation didnít blow me away, but fit the fun, intense and stressful atmosphere that was conveyed in the title. The characters are awesome. Each one brings their own quirkiness to the table. Kuromi is just so loveable; you have to feel for her when there is just so much craziness going on around. Then you have the sci-fi geek and his love for Battlestar Galactica (at least in the dubbed version), the producer and his crazy walk that is just too weird for words and the dry, but equally funny boss who gives up cigarettes and ends up smoking anything she can fit in her mouth. This is a situation comedy that could only act as an anime.
Extras include alternate angle storyboard feature, an interview with the creator, a Day in the Life of Kuromi featurette, an art and sketch gallery, trailers, previews and more.
With so much cookie-cutter anime out there, Animation Runner Kuromi 2 is a refreshing entry into the genre. I donít know how much further they could go with this series before it gets stale, but for now, I am enjoying running right alongside Kuromi. That means yes, I do recommend you pick up this title. I am already waiting for volume three.