In Kaminoyama High School, animation club members and good friends Aoi Miyamori, Ema Yasuhara, Shizuka Sakaki, Misa Tōdō, and Midori Imai promise to each other that they will make an animated feature together one day. Two and a half years later, Aoi is working as a production assistant at Musashino Animation, an animation studio that is currently working on an upcoming anime for the fall season, called Exodus!. She visits Misato Segawa, the animation supervisor for the anime's fourth episode, to retrieve the checked animation. Then, she drives to the studio, where she attends a meeting as the entire crew (including Ema, who is a key animator) watches the premiere of Exodus!. When the anime premieres, it is met with a lukewarm public response, to everyone's relief. Later on, while previewing the third episode, the crew finds that Tarō Takanashi, another production assistant, was unable to finish the key frames in time, thus leaving the quality of the episode's animation erratic. Since there are no other key animators available to finish the frames, the crew turns to Segawa, who reluctantly decides to take the extra job at the request of the third episode's animation supervisor Ryōsuke Endō, who is her rival. Once the frames are finished, Aoi retrieves them before taking the animation director, Hironori Madoka, to a dubbing session. She then stops by Segawa's house and finds her lying on the floor unconscious.