Written By: Anonymous
Show By Rock!! is a musical comedy anime that follows the exploits of a school girl as she finds her way in the world of her rhythm game, produced by the beloved Studio BONES. The series focuses on the different situations the bands in the show find themselves in while trying to make it in the music industry.
Show By Rock!! follows Cyan, an ordinary girl who was transported into the rhythm game that she plays. In the game world, she takes on a more catgirl like appearance. She has trouble saying what is on her mind at times but is very kind. She becomes a member of the band Plasmagica alongside Moa, Retoree, and ChuChu. Moa is the airheaded drummer of the band who has a sheep-like appearance and is also an alien who reports her activities to her home planet. ChuChu is the singer of the band who has a rabbit appearance and acts as the leader of the group. Retoree is the bassist of the band who has a dog like appearance which is quiet at times and loves how cute Nyan is.
The series follows Cyan as she is transported to the world of the rhythm game that she plays and ends up joining the band Plasmagica after a chance encounter with the other band members. The band focuses on trying to come up with an image as well as gaining a fanbase. There are at times conflicts between the band like Cyan not revealing that she is from a different world or Chuchu being feeling jealous over the attention Cyan gets in the band. The group is able to resolve these issues and becoming a more tight knit group as a result. After winning a battle of the bands rematch against Cristcrista, Plasmagica becomes popular enough to gain a spot at the Grateful Rock festival. Unfortunately, the show starts getting attacked by dark monsters. While fighting them, Cyan notices that the dark monsters are the members of Cristcrista. Plasmagica must figure out a way to defeat the dark monsters while also saving Cristcrista.
However, we don’t just follow Plasmagica, as there are other bands to look forward too. Other bands include Shingan Crimsonz, a group signed to the same label as Plasmagica. Shingan Crimsonz tries to come off as a dark and serious band but really, they are a hilarious bunch of dorks. They are mainly in the music industry to try to look cool and make it big, which makes their failure at being cool even more funny. Criticrista is a rival band for Plasmagica who helps push them to improve themselves. They are signed to Dagger Mouse’s label and are unknowingly working as his pawns. Trichronika is a popular boyband whose leader Shu tries to provide assistance whenever performances are attacked. Since Shu has already made it big, he acts like a mentor to the other bands in the series. The main villain of the series is Dagger Mouse, the manager of the label Unicorn Music Inc. His primary goal is to sign all the most prominent musical acts to his label and get rid of any bands that are not a part of his label. His method of trying to accomplish this is sending out dark monsters to eliminate groups not signed to his record company. Throughout the series, his goal is to get Cyan to join his label.
The show’s animation is split between traditional animation and CGI music segments. The regular animated portions of the show are fine. Nothing is impressive about it, but there is also nothing terrible about it either. The art style for the regular animated parts has Important characters appear humanoid while crowds at shows and fans will have a chibi animal look. To me, the CGI music segments look bad. It is a jarring shift from how the rest of the series looks. Main characters gain the chibi look that the non-important characters have, and while performing a song, their mouths don’t move. Lack of mouth movement takes part of the enjoyment out of seeing a song preformed away. I would have preferred if the music parts were done with regular animation instead of being CGI since it feels like a significant downgrade regarding quality.
Since music is a key part of the show, the quality of the music is essential for Show By Rock!!. Thankfully the music in the series is very catchy and well made. The English singing for the songs is well done which can be the most challenging thing to accomplish in anime. The simple CGI does help with dubbing since there is no need to worry about matching lip movements since there are no lip movements at all.
The series Blu-ray has mostly standard bonus features. There are episode commentaries, clean opening and ending, and trailers for other shows. One nice extra that the series has is promo videos for the major bands in the shows. These are nice to watch since it helps give the bands in the show some extra personality.
Show By Rock!! is a series that I found myself enjoying more than I thought I would. Initially, I was not enjoying the series due to the CGI performance segments. As the series went on, I found myself liking the show more mostly due to the comedy of the band Shingan Crimsonz. They stole the show for me and made it much more entertaining than I was expecting. Overall the series was a fun musical comedy that has good music, fun characters, and very lackluster CGI musical segments.