It’s no secret that many animes today play on moe for their success. Shows like K-On and such are built on a foundation of “cute girls doing cute things”. As such these shows tend to be something people either love or hate. For me, I tend to ride the fence, not overly hating them but not going out of my way to watch them. Since many “Moe anime” largely fall into the slice-of-life genre, I tend to just ignore them, perfecting shows with a bit more action. As such when I came across this anime, I just assumed it was “K-On with catgirls”.
I was only half right.
Mates, today I’m going to look over Show by Rock!
Show By Rock tells the story of a girl named Cyan Hijirikawa who wants to enter her school’s music club. Though she is decently skilled with music, she is also incredibly shy and as such can’t work up the courage to join. One night while thinking about this, she gets sucked into the rhythm game she was playing, ending up in the music centered world of Midi City. She find that’s she’s been turned into a catgirl, but before she can come to term with all these changes she’s forced to defeat a so-called Dark Monster with the mystic guitar Strawberry Heart. From there she’s approached by Banded Rocking Record’s CEO, who witnessed her battle, and asked to join one of the bands in his company. Having always wanted to join a band, she gleefully accepts. From there the story follows her and her new band as they try to top the music charts, while also battling Dark Monsters and finding a way for Cyan to return home.
So saying this show has a lot going on would be an understatement.
That said, I never found the story to be convoluted or hard to follow, as after the initial insanity things start to be explained at a slower place. The largest portion of it is focused on the band’s first goal to top the city charts and them growing closer as a group.
As for the characters, the primary focus is on the band Cyan joins, Plasmagica. Besides Cyan herself, it also consist of lead guitarist Chuchu, bassist Retoree and Moa the drummer. Though very different from one another, they work well as a team and are all enjoyable characters. However for me the ones who really stood out where the secondary characters, especially the other BRR band Shingan Crimsonz. A male Visual Kei band, its four members are all very over-the-top and theatrical, making them an absolute treat whenever they are on screen.
Being a show focused on music, it comes as little surprise that Show By Rock has an amazing soundtrack. Though the music in it varies in its genres, it’s primarily made up of rock and electronic tracks, all of which are quite energetic. Of these, my favorites are largely the songs played by both Shingan Crimsonz and the Enka band, Tsurezurenaru Ayatsuri Mugenan. However the entire soundtrack is a treat for the ears, definitely being the strongest aspect of the entire show!
In terms of animation however, things are slightly mixed. You see, the show has two kinds of animation in it. Most the time it is 2D, all of which is quite skillfully done by Studio Bones. These sections are the most enjoyable, with their bright colors and expressive characters. However the show also has parts that are primarily 3D, often when one of the various bands are performing, which can feel quite jarring. That’s not to say the 3D sections are badly done, but I do feel like they are unnecessary and ultimately take away from the experience somewhat.
Ultimately Show By Rock is something that I greatly enjoyed and would recommend. While not groundbreaking in terms of story, the music and visuals largely make up for that and it just overall a fun show. It may not be for everyone, but I suggest giving at least the first few episodes a watch. You may be surprised to find you like it, just like I did!
And that does it for this four part mini series mates, I hope you enjoyed it!
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