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Anime Review: Show By Rock!! Season 1

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Year: 2015
Episodes: 12  (English Dub of Japanese series)
Show By Rock!! Online: Wikipedia, MyAnimeListFunimation
Genre: Comedy, Action, Science Fantasy, Music, Adventure

I watched the first episode of this series back in early November of last year. I did so after seeing a clip promoting the second season of the series and thought, “What the heck!” That first episode was enough for me to put the show on my to-watch list. I was pleasantly surprised with how the series turned out.

Cyan is a schoolgirl with a love of music. She wants to join a school band but keeps choking whenever she is about to approaching the existing members. Cyan’s main solace apart from songwriting in her bedroom is a little mobile game. Unfortunately for Cyan, her life is about to become a lot more complicated when she is sucked into the game by an entity looking to become emperor of the universe. So begins Cyan’s musical adventure that will have ramifications for the real world.

To begin with, this show is a little strange in that it straddles several otherwise opposed genres yet still manages to be an entertaining watch. It periodically borders on Ecchi several times throughout the twelve episodes of season one. I also had the impression of an implied if unspoken romantic attachment between Cyan and one of her other female band members. These are all thrown into the odd blend of genres.
To the worldbuilding, I am unsure how much of it reflects on the mobile game for which the series is based. However, it shows us time and time again that Cyan is still restricted by game mechanics. This also means that she has to gain experience in order to become better at combatting the dark monsters that the inhabitants of the world have to deal with. This also provides a means for conflict as well, as Cyan and her friends have an incentive to perform in competitions and concerts.
That being said, some of the rules for the creation of these monsters strikes me as a little lame. I find that something as simple as joining a band as a stepping stone for a solo career is not necessarily evil. However, I would argue that not being upfront about your reason for joining a group is. But I suppose that is more of a philosophical argument and is likely highly subjective in nature. (I also had issues with the rather vague Dungeons and Dragons alignment rules which changed from GM to GM.)
On the character front, I found the use of character archetypes to be exaggerated for comedic effect. This works well, in my opinion, but some folks might not appreciate the style. At times, it feels like a parody of those archetypes. Not quite to the level of Gintama, mind you. Probably the most exaggerated are the members of BRR’s male quartet of ShinganCrimsonZ, otherwise known as the “four idiots”. (To clarify, that is my description of them rather than an official title.)
Storywise this series is somewhat logical and easy to follow. It doesn’t necessarily feel cliched either even though the series does have a lot of the cheesy concepts such as “believing in yourself” to unlock “x” power that we see in a lot of series these days. Regardless, the series is gloriously self-aware and the dialogue does an excellent job of conveying just how ludicrous everything is.

In conclusion, I really enjoyed this weird series. It won’t appeal to everyone but you should get a good indication of what to expect humour-wise from the first episode. Please note that it also avoids some of the dreaded info-dump as well. As such, you will learn more about the world by watching more episodes.

Next time, I will be reviewing the kendo-themed comedy drama series Bamboo Blade. Keep those anime and manga recommendations coming, though. I will try to look into each suggestion in a timely fashion.

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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.

2 thoughts on “Anime Review: Show By Rock!! Season 1

  1. Never heard of it but it seems interesting enough to at least give it a shot.

    • It is an odd one that I found myself entertained by in spite of myself. As I’ve said in the past, my reviews are my personal opinion even though I try to address certain criteria.

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