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Anime Review: Show By Rock!! S1E01

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Episodes: 1st episode of the ongoing series now into its second season (English Dub)
Show By Rock!! Online: Wikipedia, Funimation
Genre: Science Fantasy, Music, Adventure

I first heard about this show a few days ago after seeing one of the scenes posted on Crunchyroll’s facebook page. Curious, I decided to give the show a run. I came in with significantly different expectations as to what to expect.

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD

The show revolves around a young high school named Cyan Hijirikawa, a shy girl that really wants to join one of the school band groups but whose social anxiety keeps getting in the way. One night after practices guitar, Cyan plays a music app on her mobile phone and wins a game item, the Heart Guitar. Soon after, her phone is taken over by a malevolent force and she is transported to another world, a place where music has real and tangible force. After being in awe of a concert for a male trio, she and the lads are transported to a place where they are attacked by a large monster that has the ability to steal lifeforce gems which are tied with musical ability. Seeing the trio get captured, the girl learns from her apparently sentient guitar (yeah, it she appears to be trapped in some sort of game) that she can use it to save the lads and look awesome doing it. She intercedes, looks awesome and is subsequently transported to some other part of the bizarre world that she is in. Not long after that, a record producer voiced by English-Kirillon offers her a record contract. After meeting with the girl band that egg-man has as one of two signees, she rebuffs the offer by that group of guys that she saved earlier and agrees to sign up after being asked to join the girls in their band because she’s always wanted to be asked to join a band. Queue to unseen scene of egg-man involved in weird BDSM situation with his Dominatrix manager lady. We pan to the malevolent guy that zapped her into the world in the first place and discover that she is there because one of his musical contractees/slaves has been assigned to write a song and only she can play it. Something about world and universe domination. Cut to credits.

To begin with, I went into this show expecting a musical rather than a world-jumping digital world thing. It was odd, but I went with it to see if there was an apparent point.
The artwork goes from standard cutesy to occasionally chibi-CG sequences, which might be associated with the mobile app that the show is attached to. This attachment to a game really does show, and I really hope that the writers did something unique with the idea instead of a standard exit parameter.
The story is somewhat standard, but with the twist that Cyan, now a catgirl, likes being in the world as it fulfills her fantasy of being wanted. We can see the possible threat to her freedom looming in the background though, which might lead to her being more proactive in learning how she got there in the first place. Of course, the answer may very well reveal itself to her rather than our protagonist having to do much digging.
The first episode is a little bit of a head-scratcher, but I think that I will stick with it for at least one more episode to see if it builds upon what was in the first episode in some meaningful way. However, I suspect that some folks may be immediately put off by some of the elements because they are somewhat basis.

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Author: keikomushi

Reader, Writer, New Media Buff, Anime Fangirl, Gnome Hunter, Last Action Femme Fatale, Appreciator of Nature, Jack-of-all-trades.

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