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Julius Kondratyev
Julius Kondratyev

Bocchi The Rock! Episode 1 VERIFIED



By the twelfth episode, 6 months have passed in the Bocchi The Rock! anime universe since the Bocchi's fated meeting with Nijika. Bocchi The Rock! episode 12 serves as a good end to an amazing journey for the anime, and there are various things this episode does particularly well.




Bocchi the Rock! Episode 1



During the breaks between songs, Kita takes care of the MCing, since she's the group's social butterfly. She puts Nijika on the spot by asking her to say a few words to the crowd as Kessoku Band's leader, but Nijika is just as socially-adept, and manages to expertly deliver the story about her little disagreement with Ryо̄ about the nature and purpose of MCing at a rock concert. She tells the crowd to talk to Kita or Bocchi if they're interested in hearing more from Kessoku Band. After the brief break, Kita introduces the next song, "To Become a Constellation", and it is during this second song on their set that Bocchi's problems begin to show themselves. She is almost surprised when it's time for the song to begin, and the worried expression on her face is soon given a reason. Bocchi realizes that her E string is out of tune, and she can't fix it. When she tries to re-tune it, the E string breaks. Bocchi attempts to do damage control by tuning the B string, but the tuning peg is broken.


With her guitar solo coming up, Bocchi's mind is overrun with dark thoughts as the despair sets in. She desperately doesn't want to be the reason why their big festival performance fails, but she sees no way out. However, Kita's hard work shows itself when she's able to ad-lib to cover for Bocchi and keep the song going. Spurred on by her bandmate's guts and confidence, Bocchi grabs a glass jar she sees nearby and begins bottleneck playing to compensate for her guitar being out of tune. The result is far better than the original idea as it gives the song a certain flavour during her solo bit, not to mention it hypes the crowd to no end to see the guitarist pull such cool tricks out of the bag under such heavy odds. Kessoku Band's performance of "To Become a Constellation" is received incredibly well by a full venue, and if one recalls Ryо̄ and Nijika's observation of the Shuka High gymnasium in Bocchi The Rock! episode 11, the place should be able to host a crowd 1000 strong.


At first glance, the premise of Bocchi The ROCK is reminiscent of something from decades past; a musical anime where, like this one, high school girls form a rock band, with the journey of the protagonist following from her beginner stage leading up to her mastery of one cool instrument: the guitar. With it being so similar at first glance, is it fair to see Bocchi The ROCK solely as a different interpretation of the same idea as the legendary 2010 Kyoto Animation music anime title, K-ON!? Or is this new kid on the block going to carve a name out for itself and turn out to be something entirely different?


Aside from the surface-level similarities like their centering on a young girl who learns how to play the guitar, and become a great musician; or the female-only main casts, K-ON! and Bocchi the ROCK don't develop into a similar kind of story at all. For one, Bocchi the ROCK is a bit more on the serious side, with there being several emotionally charged moments in the first few episodes. It is very clearly a careful exploration into Hitori's journey; and comparing the main characters, Hitori's learning and practice when it comes to playing an instrument is skipped to make for a show with higher stakes.


The eighth episode of Bocchi The Rock! continues the series' great run, and even gives viewers a taste of two Kessoku Band songs that will be featured on the upcoming 14-track album. Despite their best efforts to have the weather swing in their favour, the looming typhoon lands, greatly disrupting the entire plan for the day. Despite the danger, Kessoku Band arrives at STARRY, waiting for an audience that might never come.


Very few people manage to make it to the venue for the live in the first place, which is a huge damper on the band's first performance. However, a few friendly faces make an appearance, like Kikuri Hiroi, the drunken rocker Bocchi met in the previous episode, and the two girls who were in the crowd during Bocchi's street performance. The collective disinterest of the crowd in Kessoku Band because they're newcomers, not to mention the lack of crowd reaction to their presence on stage negatively affects their performance of their first original song, "Guitar, Loneliness and the Blue Planet". The bad start makes the audience lose even more faith in Kessoku Band, and their confidence withers even more. Hitori notes that Nijika's drumming is slower than usual, and Kita makes more mistakes throughout the performance than she did in their rehearsals leading up to the big day. A collection of nerves and bad luck sullies their morale, and as a result, "Guitar, Loneliness and the Blue Planet" is not received as well as it was by Seika at their audition a few weeks prior.


The significance of episode 8 in the overall Bocchi The Rock! anime is not to be understated as the episode title is the series title, not to mention Bocchi's reaction to the title drop from Nijika when she refers to Bocchi's type of rock as "Bocchi The Rock!". It's clear that on various levels, this performance at STARRY was a huge win for Kessoku Band, and a big milestone for Bocchi's personal growth as well. It's a significant point in the band's journey towards the goal, which, for Nijika, involves becoming a very famous band and performing at her sister's bar on a regular basis. She reveals her primary reason, beyond wanting to play at the Budokan, for wanting to form her band. Since her parents passed away a very long time ago, Nijika's only family has been her older sister. Seika's reason for quitting the band scene was specifically to establish STARRY, a place that Nijika can frequently be in contact with the rock music scene she came to love so much from watching her big sister perform. Bocchi is very inspired by this, and tells Nijika that her only objective is to make Kessoku Band the greatest band it can possibly be.


The series amassed various elements seen in its arsenal over the course of eight episodes in this most recent one, with there being an added dramatic edge due to the stakes being higher than they've ever been. It was hilarious, but heartfelt, while musically satisfying (it's not surprising that a band based on ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION makes good music) and it still gave its interesting approach to the animation and the kinds of beautiful shots that the series has produced over the course of its run. Episode 8 of Bocchi The Rock! is an exciting point in the series, and definitely the series' best so far, using the typhoon as a plot device to avoid having to show any other bands and focus solely on the main group. If this is what Kessoku Band has to offer, that album is going to be absolutely amazing.


The premiere episode of Bocchi the Rock! introduces the very lonely and socially anxious yet extremely talented Hitori Gotou. Three years before the start of the main story, Hitori dreamed of having friends and being popular. Understanding that she's naturally introverted, she is inspired by a rock band on TV to pursue music in order to gain popularity. She dedicates herself to the guitar for three years and becomes exceptionally good at both playing guitar and singing -- to the point where she becomes popular on OH!TUBE, gaining numerous followers and compliments on her work. However, this talent alone doesn't get her where she wants to be.


After the great performance Kessoku Band put on in the previous episode, episode 6 of Bocchi The Rock! presents Bocchi with a different problem altogether: getting five people to buy tickets to the upcoming live. Her mind goes into overdrive as she realizes over and over that the four people in her life (this includes the family dog, Jimihen) are not enough to make up the numbers she needs to fulfill her portion of Kessoku Band's quota for the evening.


After helping the stranger, Bocchi tries to take her leave, but she asks for her name and starts talking to her about how great drinking is. Bocchi's discomfort isn't even a consideration, since the older lady is so drunk she only realizes that Bocchi is much younger than she is a while into the conversation. When she notices Bocchi's guitar, Hitori tries to lie about it, claiming that she's not worthy of playing it and was on her way to selling it at a pawn shop; however, the older woman tells Bocchi not to give up on playing the guitar. She reveals that she also dabbles in rock music, which makes the nervous Bocchi even less capable of regular social interaction as the premise of interacting with an older rocker makes her anticipate the kind of bitter treatment rookies tend to get from bitter oldheads, regardless of medium. However, the happy-go-lucky stranger quickly snaps up the opportunity to show her junior rocker a thing or two.


Bocchi the Rock! plays a bit of a trick on its audience, I think. It lures you in with a big flashy poster, promising a cool rock & roll show, all shots of lovingly rendered guitars and smeared drumsticks. Then once everyone is inside the venue, waiting for the band to storm the stage and rock their faces off, somebody locks the doors behind them. Now you're trapped as an image of yourself from high school appears on stage and starts reading from your teenage diary, looking you dead in the eyes the whole time.


So yeah, it's fair to say she hits close to home, and much like WATAMOTE nearly a decade ago, that could honestly be too much if the show weren't extremely funny through it all. A lot of that comes down to the presentation: while this is an adaptation of a 4-panel comic, you'd never know it by how the jokes are paced out and delivered, with each conversation transitioning through jokes and dialogue so smoothly that a whole episode can go by before you realize it. Bocchi's imagination spots are rendered with stylized, artistic flair, from fantastical fields of flowers flowing into lava to the court case sentencing her to death for the crime of poor customer service. There's a million incidental details like Bocchi's side-ahoge making a random sproing sound effect, or a flying saucer popping out of Nijika's ponytail, that aren't strictly necessary but put the biggest smile on my face whenever I think about them. Not to mention Bocchi's already legendary face game. It all culminates to make what could be a genuinely depressing wallow into some of the funniest television of the year. 041b061a72


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