Animenewsnetwork - Eight episodes into Shirobako, I'm beginning to notice a pattern—at least, a pattern in "what works" for the series. Each episode has a basic unifying theme or principle, and that episode focuses on how this idea affects a few different characters across its wide cast. The exact set of characters varies each time, which has the effect of both fleshing out its ensemble and showing how people in artistic fields all have similar struggles. Be they writers, actors, animators or directors, every creator deals with different permutations of the same hurdles. There are exceptions to this pattern—last week focused almost solely on Ema to great effect—but that's the general groove Shirobako has settled into.