Animation Runner Kuromi (アニメ制作進行くろみちゃん Anime Seisaku Shinkō Kuromi-chan?) is a single episode OVA Anime film produced in 2001 by Yumeta Co. It is a parody of the anime production business itself. It was released on DVD in North America by Central Park Media.
The plot revolves around a girl called Mikiko "Kuromi" Oguro who grows up watching the fictional anime Luis Monde III. She decides that animation is something she wants to do, and so enrolls in animation school. When she gets out of school, she is delighted to find a job at a small animation studio named Studio Petit. The director of the studio shows her around and gives her the nickname "Kuromi," a name meant to abbreviate her own.
Very soon after Mikiko arrives the director falls seriously ill and leaves his post, but not before he appoints Mikiko with the job of Production Desk Manager, on the second episode of the studio's current anime, Time Journeys.
The audience follows Mikiko's frantic attempts and schemes to convince the studio's artists to work harder and produce their key frames in time to send them for production.
Animation Runner Kuromi 2
Mikiko "Kuromi" Oguro is still working as Production Desk Manager at Studio Petit, and thanks to the excellent job she did, she is now in charge of 3 anime series. Luckily for Mikiko this time around she has some help from a veteran producer in the form of Takashimadaira. Unfortunately Takashimadaira is concerned only with getting the product out on time, even if it means cutting on the quality of the product. This leaves Mikiko with a difficult decision on which is the more important, the quality of the product or the deadline.
Script error After the anime, the film includes a very short live-action documentary in which several anime artists give their opinion of the film's representation of the anime business, and the making of "Animation Runner Kuromi" itself is discussed.
Many of the problems Kuromi faces are the same as those faced by software project managers. The second episode is a classic example of what Ed Yourdon calls a "Death March" in his book of the same name, and many of the solutions Kuromi comes up with, particularly the use of triage, are the same as those found in the book.