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Episode 6 Idepon Miyamori: On The Move of Shirobako has gone missing in action, and is no longer available on CrunchyRoll. This post will, of necessity, contain spoilers.

As reported here and also here there are two possible copyright mines that the episode stepped on:

Densetsu Kyojin Ideon

Several characters visited the Densetsu Kyojin Ideon exhibition during a production crisis for the in-universe Exodus to Tomorrow. Along the way this identified Ideon as the childhood inspiration for both a key animator and a CG animator to enter the industry. Given that the two were involved in a moderately nasty argument at the time, you can see where this was heading.

Given how extensively Shirobako has been using Bland Name Products elsewhere, I simply assumed that Ideon was another example. I think I can be forgiven making that assumption given that it dates back to the early 1980s[1]. Wikipedia says that Ideon is an influential series, and is regarded as a precursor to Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Given how much Ideon was referenced and discussed in this episode it is quite possible that this was the problem.

I hope not: the usage is clearly a tribute, and that director Tsutomo Mizushima Shirobako didn’t try to dodge around directly referencing it, tells me that this is a personal tribute. It would be a shame to see that lost, and working around it might require an extensive rewrite to the episode.

Waiting for Godot

The reference to Waiting for Godot was part of the B Plot at the end of the episode. The aspiring voice actress Shizuka may have blown an audition, and runs into her former VA coach. The coach is now putting on the female production of Waiting for Godot, and invites Shizuka to watch a rehearsal.

This is relatively minor part of the episode, but thematically Waiting for Godot is directly relevant to where Shizuka is now in her life. Shizuka cannot wait for the audition results, but needs to go out and live for the moment.

I’ve heard before that the Beckett estate can occasionally be a bit feral when it comes to Waiting for Godot, so I think that this is more likely to be the problem.

This is also the reference that can be rewritten with minimal damage to the themes of the episode.

It also isn’t the first time

I’ll also note that this isn’t the first time something like this has happened to Mr Mizushima – fans of Girls Und Panzer will remember the Katyusha folk song that got cut entirely from episode 8 on CrunchyRoll, and replaced by an instrumental on the Sentai/Hanabee Blu-Ray release.

If you haven’t seen it, here it is:

Now what?

At this point I think all I can do is wait and hope that a reworked version of Idepon Miyamori: On The Move will appear.

I hope that the revised version isn’t too badly damaged by the process. Idepon Miyamori: On The Move was a solid episode, and in fact the episode that triggered my First Thoughts post.

[1] I don’t believe that Densetsu Kyojin Ideon was ever translated into English, but I could be wrong.