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Bocchi the Rock!

One would think that in a season jam-packed with some of the most hyped and anticipated anime of the year, a simple show about a girl dealing with anxiety and trying to form a band would not be able to hold its ground. Well, Bocchi the rock did precisely that while airing alongside the likes of Chainsaw man and Bleach. It has managed to carve out its place in the seasonal anime charts and gathered a large following in a very short time. It was due to the representation of social anxiety and the struggles one faces, shown to us through the main character Hitori Gotō’s life as she tries her best to become a famous musician while dealing with social anxiety.



A Slice of Life with a Relatable Cast

Bocchi the Rock! cast

 

As mentioned above, we follow Hitori as she has become a reclusive person who spends most of her free time locked up in her closet, surrounded by boxes making music. We are shown that she is a highly talented guitarist and even has her own YouTube channel, which she operates under an alias. She does attend high school but has no friends, to the point where even her little sister makes fun of her. But a chance meeting with Nijika Ijichi turns her life upside down as Nijika asks her to become the lead guitarist of her band alongside Ryou Yamada. From there, we see the girls struggle to find their image and voice as a band while trying to write their first song.

Anxiety and social acceptance play a significant role in the story, as Bocchi, the nickname for Hitori, isn’t able to interact with people normally due to an incident in which she was caught playing over the intercom in her middle school. This made her fear people and slowly become anti-social after a failed high school debut. But throughout the show, we are shown how Bocchi is actively trying to get over her flaws and even learning from her friends to better herself and her music.

Bocchi the Rock! characters

She is a skilled guitarist but lacks knowledge of how to work in a group and synergize with her bandmates. She is slowly shown learning from her friends, such as Nijika, who shows her the fun of meeting new people, or how Ryou teaches Bocchi that maybe being alone isn’t that bad. Episode by episode, we are shown how she is improving and changing from the lonely girl in the closet who only knows how to play the guitar. Her aspirations also change as she starts to question if being famous is all it is cracked up to be. It does all that while being a comedy show most of the time, but it knows when to dial that back to let the somber scenes play out.

It is an emotional journey that many people nowadays can relate to Bocchi. Seeing her overcome her flaws and improve will spur many people to change themselves for the better. The side cast is also solid as they help expand the world and help our main cast in their journey to become a band.

 



Animation with Passion

Bocchi the Rock! story

 

Animation for slice-of-life shows like this usually is tame and in a low-budget production. Clover works, it seems disagreed with that statement and gave us some of the most beautiful and creative episodes this season. You can see that each episode has a lot of love and care put behind it. It can go from an ordinary hand-drawn scene one second to a literal stop-motion clip the next. The way they drew Bocchi to show her mind is just next level, as in one scene, she is shown literally glitching when asked to make an Instagram account. The way the theme and narrative of the story sync up with the animation is just superb, as you can see how Bocchi sees her anxiety manifesting and hindering her. Some shoots also have little jokes littered around, which help to add a bit of humor to the show.


Bocchi is one of very few anime to come out in recent years that have managed to relate to their audience in such a way. It is a fun and enjoyable show to watch, but it also manages to cheer people up and show that you aren’t weird for having social anxiety.

 

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