Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

Guitarhero, STARRY, and Bocchi the Rock!


Bocchi the Rock!‘s master guitarist and protagonist, Hitori “Bocchi” Gotou, who goes by the online username “guitarhero,” makes her stage debut at a live house called STARRY. Although used to playing guitar in the comfort of a cramped, dark cupboard, Bocchi’s dream is to be part of a band. Despite posting videos on the internet for three years, she wants to be popular and, at the very least, make a few friends.

When the live house asked him to be the last-minute guitarist for a band, she didn’t refuse. Socially, to even say a word, she is too anxious. When the Kessoku Band’s debut doesn’t go as well as we’d hoped, we’re all out of sync. Bocchi can break the guitar when performing solo. However, she was playing with a different group, not even getting to the part about overcoming her fear of performing in front of a live audience.

Bocchi spends her time playing guitar instead of facing reality. She lives in her head, a safe place, and feels at home in a small, dark room, like a trash can or cupboard. When she could muster up the courage to stare at people, she always turned to dust and even fainted.

Extreme Social Anxiety

Bocchi the Rock! becomes a series that does not only focus on music, à la K-On!. However, it is related to extreme social anxiety in everyday life. In particular, the series highlights its trope in a slice-of-life format, with internal monologues or mental exercises to get out of situations. Together with those who are as funny as they are endearing, the tempo at which Bocchi makes significant progress slowly begins to break out of her shell.

The other parts of the series as well are centered around music. It is about the struggle of a musician in particular. However, it is not an easy task when breaking into the world of music. People must put in many efforts when forming a band. One of them, the most difficult thing, is not even producing lyrics and music. Of course, bands with progressive genres don’t need lyrics and focus more on musical complexity alone.

However, they have so much to do, from ensuring ticket quotas to the difficulty of getting exposure and even a place to perform. Rehearsal sessions meant renting a studio, booking venues, creating and selling the band’s merchandise at concerts, putting out albums, and making sure the instruments were at their best.

Improvisational Spices

Regardless of everything, it takes a lot of time and money. When it comes to songs, Bocchi can be an introvert, despite the lead singer, Ikuyo Kita, being an extrovert in the text. Kita’s aura, which shines with the power of a thousand massive stars, makes Bocchi struggle to imagine how someone like her would sing such gloomy lyrics. Kessoku members have to work together, and each member has a specific part to play besides the instrument.

It became something that the Kessoku Band miraculously excelled at. Each character supports the other, being humble enough to admit their flaws. They work together to get through their obstacle. Their bond is so strong. Bocchi the Rock! into a musical treat that has improvisational spices. The techniques the characters use when appearing become moments that some people relate to.

For example, Bocchi had to appear suddenly on the street with bassist Kikuri Hiroi. Kikuri’s improvised bassline complements Bocchi’s guitar, resulting in the delightful sound of one of the Kessoku Band’s songs. It is powerful yet energetic, giving Bocchi more confidence to play live. At such a moment, Bocchi’s guitar strings broke in the middle of the song.

Layer of Dynamism

She was unable to tune any other strings because the peg was broken. On stage, she ingeniously decides to grab a can and play slide guitar as she begins her solo. She didn’t just overcome the broken string dilemma. She did, however, manage to add a touch of blues. It becomes one of the unique references of Brian Jones, guitarist of the Rolling Stones when playing a bottleneck guitar.

The series has an excellent soundtrack, as we have come to expect from anime music. In terms of visuals, the animation is not limited to just two dimensions. It incorporates a variety of stylistic techniques, all of which people frequently use to illustrate Bocchi’s internal breakdown with humorous results. The sudden change in animation style, from sketch sequences to CGI and live action, makes us take a step back.

Further reinforcing the fact that Bocchi’s thoughts are very far from reality, each character in the series is different in their way. It appears in every shot of the anime. The change in body language, from robotic movements to smooth games, is so thrilling. Cinematography and perspective shots incorporate clever use of lighting. It adds another layer of dynamism to the series, whether it’s Bocchi’s isolation or close-up shots of each character.

Lonely Girl and Her Guitar

Bocchi the Rock! may not be the toughest anime outside, with all the references to Neon Genesis Evangelion or FLCL. There are no fight sequences, no action, and nothing electrifying. At the same time, it is inspiring and upbeat. The story is simple—about a lonely girl and her guitar. She tries to live a fun but awkward life. After all, the “guitarhero” uses her alter ego and guitar as swords against herself and her anxiety.


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