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  • Joined Nov 30, 2014
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Bocchi the Rock!

Feb 3, 2023

These are from a post I made on the forums that I've edited a bit. I felt it was good enough to be a review which is why it's here.
TL;DR at the end if you want it.

Bocchi the Rock is a pretty solid CGDCT* feel good show with DANG good music. If this sounds like it'd interest you, then you can probably stop reading here honestly. Otherwise I still have some qualms with the show, but they are primarily roadbumps or things that merely stopped it from achieving a truly great score of 9+.
(CGDCT = Cute Girls Doing Cute Things, a subgenre of anime in case you didn't know.)

So despite the raving reviews, I do feel it is overrated as it still IS a CGDCT feel good show. And despite how good the music is, it's still only an amazing complimentary to a good story at best, or a superficial add-on at worst.

That's not to say that being a CGDCT and feel good shows is an inherently bad thing, but it stuck too close to it's roots. The show does things like having the dad be a faceless porn game protag while newsmen on the TV and 1-time-asshole-gag male caracers receive actual faces. All while wasting the potential of the characters and story due to aiming too low by nature of being a CGDCT show. The comedy is also rather hit or miss*; which is not surprise since what's funny to each person is subjective despite the structure of what makes something somewhat objective anyways. If the comedy did hit really hard, then I would've probably added a +1/10 to the score easily. Still, at the end of it all the execution of the show was in fact pretty good for what it was trying to do anyways. And once again, the music is dang good when it does appear in the show.

*For quick reference of what my humor is like,
Top comedy anime: Hataraku Maou-sama, Barakamon, Kaguya-sama
Hated comedy anime: Gintama, The Demon Girl Next Door, Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei

Like, most music anime I encounter typically have music that ranges from bad to mid. And the few good songs, if any, are spliced carefully since they couldn't afford anything better, or get repeated until they lose their punch anyways. And this is considering that the music wasn't even a serious central point of the show; it was more of an add-on background feature to facilitate the rest of the show.

As a reference point, I went and looked up every song played in the anime and going to check out the album they released for the anime later today. I can't really say this about many other anime's insert songs. Sure there are some amazing OPs and EDs here like Paripi Koumei's as of recent. But consider that that's a show that was TRYING to be serious about it's music and story telling around it (even if only somewhat marginally compared to this show), but still had forgettable mid insert songs that were spammed into reptition as well. Bocchi just comes in and matches the level of covers that anime did, while also having straight up BANGER original inserts and EDs. There just isn't any competition among the shows it'd be compared to in this aspect like SoLs and Romcoms.

Also I know it's an industry standard to have VAs sing in anime for the past decade, but to see actual quality in the songs they sing is a new one for me. They're normally just thoughtless extra tack-ons to try and push for more sales, but the songs in this anime are just genuinely good on their own. It's very refreshing when you look at something like Oregairu where it has tack-on VA sung EDs to try and pull at your heartstrings, but the songs are mid. When you look at Paripi Koumei and the cover OP and EDs are great, but they still have a stand-in singer for the MC to create mid inserts (Kuroneko is amazing no hate here). Like I said, there's no competition and I have to give the music team props because this show is really only a 7, but I had to, begrudgingly, hand wave it an 8. That's just how dang good the music was (don't get hype just for it though lol).

That said though, there are still things that annoy the crap out of me, like how the dad is faceless. Like, just stop with the CGDCT rubbish for 1 second and give the guy a face. I'd have preferred they kept him off screen MIA entirely busy with work or something if they were going to do this. It's disgustingly immersion breaking with just how BADLY the author/director wants to make sure the fragile neckbeardotakus don't feel like their cute pure waifus are tainted from having ANY emotional connection with any men other than distant newsmen on TV or joke delinquents designed to be 1 time comic relief. Like, are these guys trying to self insert into him so they can be proud they're the ones who lent her a guitar? So they can feel like they're the ones watching over her as she slowly grows and matures? This is the one part of CGDCT genre that if you're going to implement, at least don't be dumb with it; there are plenty of shows that do it fine like Yuru Camp or Girls und Panzer.

Still, the faceless dad is just one pet peeve of mine. As a basic CGDCT show, it's execution is still there for the most part, and yet it could've been so much more if it wasn't. If it were a SoL and/or a coming of age show, the show could've reached for the stars at a 9 or even 10 out of 10. It just has to take it self a bit more seriously and take time to have it's characters go through some real development. Imagine a 24 episode show abotu the band's gradual coming together, the group struggling to improve together, and Bochi's personal growth through a 2 cor. With the right execution, it would've made for an amazing character focused show with all the same climaxes as it currently has.

I understand the show has a target audience and they enjoy it greatly. I do too mostly, yet I can't help but lament at the wasted potential. Because as it currently is, it's just a feel good show. It doesn't do anything terribly wrong, but there just lots of areas where it could've explored a lot more in terms of themes and/or characters to be far more interesting as a whole. There's not shortage of things they could've done to develop Bocchi and the cast through the interactations they could've had while practicing or playing on stage as a band. Without spoiling much (not that there is much to spoil), many of the harder things like practicing or struggling are left off screen as "they practiced until they got good enough for whatever's going to happen in the plot". When these are exactly areas where interesting character interactions and growth can happen. It's exactly where Bocchi can grow confidence from playing with her band. Once again, this sort of thing being ignored isn't a bad thing for this type of show, but it is nonetheles wasted potential that contributes to it not being worthy of extremely high 9+ scorings.

TL;DR - Music is great. It's a CGDCT show, so set your expectations of characterization, story, and dudes appearing accordingly. It's a feel good show, so don't expect anything deep. The comedy is a hit or miss.

6/10 story
7/10 animation
10/10 sound
6/10 characters
8/10 overall
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