Show By Rock
December 5, 2015
If you like animes about rock music but find K-ON! too humanly moe for your liking or even ordinary high school girls in a rock band isn’t your cup of tea, and if you have a certain fetish for furries then perhaps Show By Rock could be the answer you are looking for. Yes, people. If you like animals anthropomorphized as humans or at least their animal ears and tail, then I am sure you would like this one. I think. How often do you see a cat girl jamming the guitars or bunny girl doing some power riffs or doggie girl plucking away the bass solo? I know rock genres like black metal rock, hard rock, acid rock, alternative rock, punk rock, progressive rock and all the other kinds of rock music genres you can think of, they usually dress in outrageous outfits and questionable garments and having moe furries might be a little contradicting. But who cares when you have furries rocking hard to bring you their brand of rock music. Oh, and in the mean time save the music world from an unscrupulous music lord who wants to horde all the music in the universe for himself. The greatest performance and show ever in rock music history?
Cyan Hijirikawa has always wanted to be part of a rock band but is too shy to introduce herself. Well, if she could stop fantasizing on how great her guitar playing skills and embarrass herself in public. Back home, she is still hesitating to hand in her application form. So she takes a break by playing her mobile game. She gets a high score and receives a Strawberry Heart item. Suddenly she is sucked into her handphone. Down in Midi City, she witnesses in awe the band, Trichronika putting up a mesmerizing performance in front of their screaming fans. Suddenly a monster appears so our male idols go into action to fight it. However to their surprise, they see Cyan in this dimension. Because Myumons with music skills should only be able to enter this space. The trio are no match for the monster as it corrupts their Melodisian Stone. Cyan needs to do something and that is when a heart shaped guitar, Strawberry Heart AKA Berry materializes and wants her to strum away. Her power chords free the trio, purify their Melodisian Stone and destroy the monster. Back down on the ground, Cyan is met with this funny egg dude. Maple Arisugawa is the president of Banded Rocking Records (BRR) and wants her to join his agency. The all-girl band under him is Plasmagica and consists of Chuchu (guitar/vocals), Retoree (bass) and Moa (drums). Sounds tempting to join but when you see Trichronika in their long luxurious limo with screaming fans chasing all the way compared to their small dilapidated van… Even BRR’s headquarters looks like a rundown building. Cyan also meets Maple’s secretary and band manager, Angelica who doesn’t hesitate to beat up the president whenever he gets goofy. And I think he kinda likes it seeing he sounds like an S&M maniac. Chuchu hopes Cyan can join the band as they are looking for another guitarist for a fuller sound. Those words that Cyan long to hear… So screw the mystery of everything or even the thought of going home because joining a band is her top priority right now! Meanwhile in some big music label company, Unicorn Virtual Music, Dagger Morse receives word of some failure but will give him one last chance. He then reminds a legendary guitarist, Grateful King of the songs that he must write as per contract or else there will be a big penalty to pay. Yeah, a typical goal of conquering music of the entire cosmos. Cyan is happy to play her first jam session but there is somebody else there.
Shingan Crimsonz is an all-male rock band and another band under BRR. Crow, Aion and Yaiba are always arguing with each other and always need to be put in place by Rom (he also the only one he does a full time job). Seeing Trichronika on a TV commercial, Crow suggests doing something more amazing than Shuuzou (leader of Trichronika) but Rom punches him and warns him never to say that name. Maple has a job for Shingan Crimsonz. The guys are excited till they find out it is to play an opening gig for Trichronika’s concert. Rom is not interested at all but with Angelica being scary, I guess he’ll take the job. BRR also houses a dorm that the girls can leave so Cyan doesn’t need to worry about lodging. In her room, Berry talks to her about Midi City where everything revolves around music. Myumons are musical beings like them who love music. Everyone has a Melodisian Stone inside their hearts that resonate with music. Play a good one and it becomes a crystal with high purity. A bad one will corrupt you and turn you like that monster. It seems Cyan is brought to this world to save it. Until she polishes up her skills and destroys those monsters, she cannot return home. Who the heck sign her up for this?! Cyan shares with Plasmagica the first song she wrote. They love it. On the day of Trichronika’s concert, Shingan Crimsonz is nervous! But no use panicking now. It’s their turn. As they go up on stage, the fans don’t pretty like them as they want Trichronika. But when they start rocking away, the fans switch ships! Talk about band loyalty… Needless to say, their performance was a big hit. Although they still can’t steal the main show from Trichronika.
Plasmagica is getting a job. Battle of the bands. Seems Maple got too emotional and entered a bet with Ogasawara, the agent for Unicorn. They will be facing off with Criticrista, an all-female rock group from a show business course. The battle of the bands format will have both bands sing out their best song and the audience (live and internet) will put in their votes. The winning band gets reward money and their Melodisian Stone evolve. Retoree is feeling a melancholy. There is not enough time for her. The reason she joined a band was to make friends. She remembers how Maple invited her to join his agency and despite she was happy to take up the offer, she still doesn’t know how to be friends. Also, Moa’s real goal in joining the band is to investigate this city. What about Chuchu? To be the best of the best of course. Cyan is writing her song and wants some advice from Berry but he remains silent. You grow best when you struggle yourself? During the rehearsal, Plasmagica is stunned by Criticrista’s performance. Demoralizing, eh? On the day of the battle, Retoree starts having cold feet. She becomes a pessimist that they can’t win over those girls. She fears if they lose tonight, their dream of playing at BooDooKan is as good as over. So she thinks it is better to avoid this humiliation and hurt and go home? Not so fast. Cyan wants to talk to her. After Criticrista finishes their gig, it is Plasmagica’s turn. The band is now confident after Cyan suggested improvisation for some parts of the arrangement. They start playing their best. After all the votes are counted, the winner goes to… Criticrista! Despite both band leaders being gracious and humble, but deep down in their hearts, they are just cursing the other. Cyan talks to Retoree about her introvert personality and should have said things sooner. But today she realized she can get through her friends through music instead of words. Meanwhile a group of Myumon students are discussing a cool new rock band that is currently making its grounds in Midi City with its fusion of traditional Japanese music. They are Tsurezurenaru Ayatsuri Mugenan (TAM).
Retoree sums up her courage to invite her pals to TAM’s concert. Of course they want to go especially Moa who is a big fan of the group. Meanwhile Ogasawara reports to his boss on Criticrista’s victory but he doesn’t care about them and is more interested in Cyan. He knows her guitar skills will take his company further but will let her swim around freely for now. Plasmagica are in awe at TAM’s concert. At the backstage, Aa and Un think the fans like them so Darudayu warns them they are wrong to think that since the audience just merely found their music brand curious. While Plasmagica are eating at a café, they are surprised TAM is sitting at the next table! When Retoree gets up and walks towards them, they fear she is going to declare rivalry. Turns out she declares herself as their biggest fan. Moa soon follows suit. Darudayu takes note of Cyan. Back at BRR, Chuchu suggests some originality and would like to start with their clothes. It all seems to not fit the theme and look more like cosplay. They ask the Shingan Crimsonz guys but they pretend they didn’t see or aren’t interested. Liars. When Chuchu asks Rom for advice he tells them off that they misunderstood everything. Clothes do not determine whether a band is good or bad. He snaps when they think of becoming popular because music isn’t about being famous. Woah! Cool it that brother. You broke the spoon! He goes to take some fresh air. Shuuzou happened to be there to thank him for making him shine during the concert. Short flashback reveals they once played together. Plasmagica discusses that they should write a new song and will come up with some ideas before the next practice. Later, Moa feels homesick and thinking about her mom. What a coincidence she just called to check on her. She hopes she will come home after her mission is done. But this leaves Moa in a dilemma. She wants to go home but don’t want to. Not after she has made great friends and great music to forget her loneliness.
A monster attacks TAM in the midst of their concert. Maple lets his band know about the Futures Indie Band concert that they will be playing next week. They just receive news about the monster at TAM’s concert. Although they saved the day Darudayu was slightly injured. This makes Chuchu remember Cyan was fighting one when they first met. Retoree shows Cyan her computer that contains all the information regarding bands, venues and music. Cyan is impressed and Retoree is happy to have made progress in their friendship. Dagger is not happy Ogasawara failed another mission at TAM’s concert and he is getting wearing of Grateful King’s stubbornness. Time to get serious. Berry is talking to Cyan about the important mission to fight monsters so she can return to her world quickly. Unknown to them, Chuchu is eavesdropping and is shocked to see a talking guitar. This has her unable to concentrate on the practice as her mind is too preoccupied to think who Cyan is. For the concert, Plasmagica is sharing a room with Corriente and Wendy of Shizuku Secret Mind who also work part time selling mineral water (they’re mermaids). They talk about rumours of bands disappearing and it has got to do with monsters attacking at concerts recently. As Shingan Crimsonz is up on stage, a news flash that another concert nearby is being attacked by a monster. Berry rushes Cyan to go fight it although Plasmagica’s turn is almost up. Chuchu confronts her and wants an explanation but they can’t waste time on that now. And so Cyan had to run all the way there? The concert is over. The attack is over. The band barely managed to escape. The monster is gone. Cyan gets worried that the monster may be heading towards Futures Indie Band concert and now she has to run all the way back. WTF?! But before her are her band mates. Care to explain now? She reveals she is from another world and is very sorry she hid this from them. Retoree is most affected because it means she will leave one day. Doggie girl runs away in tears. Cat girl standing there in tears. And Maple must be wondering what the heck is going on and is his band of the verge of breaking up?
Because Cyan is in too much shock to say anything, Berry will speak on her behalf, shocking everyone. He explains Cyan’s skills are what needed to destroy the monsters but it is not him but Dagger who brought Cyan to this world. And no, it is not to fight monsters but to make her join his band in his bid to gain ultimate control of music and make money. That is why he even went as far as to look for talents in other worlds and zeroed in on Cyan. The monsters are controlled by Dagger and are used to eliminate rivals. When Cyan was sucked into this world, Berry intercepted. Maple and Angelica knew all about it and never told the rest so as not to burden them. The guys want to go beat up Dagger but Berry tells them not to as violence would make them the same as Dagger who uses money as power. The only way is to beat him is with music. Maple suggests a training camp to strengthen their bonds. Of course this is all part of the training to get them ready for the legendary Grateful Rock Festival and they need to write new songs for it. While the guys head to the mountains (and ended getting lots of trouble), the girls are at the beach. However the tension with the band is still there especially between Cyan and Retoree. Cyan goes talk to her and her love for music and guitar but was too shy to join a band but Retoree just ignores her. Not till Cyan starts singing her new song, Chuchu and Retoree join in. It is then Retoree makes up with her. Yeah, music reaches your heart. But where is Moa? They find her at the cliff and think she is going to commit suicide! Moa also comes clean and reveals she is an alien who is here to investigate this world. But the rest are confused. They think it is her way to make up with Cyan. Besides, this alien gimmick might be good for the band. Don’t believe, eh? Moa then shows proof by using her antenna to summon her rocket! Now you believe? Everyone couldn’t care about whatever backgrounds they have because now they are band mates and will treasure the time they have together. The training camp for both sides goes well especially the guys who are pretty much fired up for the next challenge.
Marimari from Shinimonogurui seeks Plasmagica’s help. One of her members, Tsugihagi is missing. Apparently they heard how concerts at Youkai Street are great and decided to play there but monsters also start appearing. That is when Tsugihagi went missing. Marimari wants to apologize to Tsugihagi because he said something about wanting to improve his keyboard and should have listened to him. She wants their help to find her friend because she saw Cyan fought the monster before. Meanwhile Ogasawara reports to Dagger that he has successfully spread rumours of Youkai Street and bands have already start gathering there. He didn’t expect Cyan to turn up too. Shingan Crimsonz is at Youkai Street but they are being scared out of their daylights because they keep meeting monsters. Screaming like little girls? As Plasmagica make their way into Youkai Street, Berry senses a monster coming. Shingan Crimsonz is about to start their performance when they are sucked into another dimension to fight this huge speaker monster. They are no match for it at first but when Rom reminds them about the dream they are going to create, their passion starts burning, giving them the power to fight back and after pulling off teamwork combos, they successfully destroy it. Everybody loves this great show. Once they return to the real world, it seems the monster reverts back to Tsugihagi. Marimari is glad to be reunited with him. Tsugihagi doesn’t remember how he turned into a monster except being worried about something. The duo are reunited with their other band members which turned out to be those monsters who scared the sh*t out of Shingan Crimsonz. Unknown to everyone, the monster seed creeps into Aion. On the way back, Shingan Crimsonz didn’t realize they were fighting a real monster because they thought it was somebody trying to play a prank on them. This means they are great, huh? Don’t get too full of yourselves yet. But Berry is worried about band members turning into monsters and does having darkness in one’s heart turn you into one? Is there a link to it?
Maple has bad news for Plasmagica. There is a requirement that might prevent them from playing at the festival. Because they haven’t performed in a proper live concert before. Shingan Crimsonz was the opening gig at Trichronika and was counted but shouldn’t Plasmagica’s battle of the bands count too? So why suggest playing another battle of the bands with Criticrista again? Maple is afraid to call Ogasawara for the match so Angelica does it on his behalf. It will be next week. As Shingan Crimsonz being their practice, they notice Aion isn’t around and when he shows up late, Crow starts insulting him as usual but went too far saying that his songs he wrote were lame. The guys realize something is wrong when Aion starts acting strange and even more shocking, he quits the band! Once Plasmagica learns about this, Cyan worries that he might turn into a monster and it is better to go find him. Crow won’t forgive Aion for quitting the band and won’t go search with them. But where will they find him in this city? So happened Shuuzou spotted Aion on a building and informs Rom. Shuuzou’s band mates wonder about his past with Rom so he metaphorically mentions about the same yet different dream they once had that they couldn’t walk together and went their separate ways. Once the guys find Aion, Rom punches him to drag him back but it looks like there is no effect whatsoever. Till Crow comes by to tell him he is making his guitar sad. He apologizes for saying too much then and that he has not quit the band because nobody accepted his resignation. Because he will never allow a band member who writes soulful songs to just quit like that. Aion’s Melodisian Stone heals and in no time the band is a whole again. After Plasmagica receives the good news, a public announcement from Criticrista declaring their rivalry with Plasmagica for the battle of the bands rematch.
Grateful King talks to Dagger since he has writer’s block. Dagger mentions about his goal to gather all the best talents to stand atop of this world. It doesn’t matter what they think. They will come to him. Chuchu thinks performance is what they need to beat Criticrista. So she has her band members practice juggling their instruments and doing some acrobatic stuffs? That’s got to hurt. When Shingan Crimsonz sees this, Rom tells them off about doing something this superficial. Their job is to speak directly to the soul of the fans with their songs. That is all there is to it! Chuchu still thinks something is missing so Retoree shows a picture of their bond that they had during the training camp. On the day of the rematch, both groups pass each other in the hall. Chuchu thought of being polite to them but Rosia ignores her to greet Cyan (and then whisper how she’ll lose). So when Criticrista is putting up their cutie performance, Chuchu starts falling into depression about that incident. Something dark brewing in her heart… But she is snapped out when it is their turn. Plasmagica puts on a magnificent performance that Rosia starts shaking in fear! She knows Criticrista has lost! OMG! She’s getting too freaking emotional already! That’s what you get for counting your chickens. And Plasmagica is elated because they were having so much fun. Naturally when the results are out, Plasmagica wins! Ogasawara thinks a lost is nothing since they have already qualified for the festival but Rosia knows a loss will not do! That is when Dagger the man himself pops up. His dark aura… You can tell he is not happy. First he scares the sh*t out of Ogasawara over his failure and doesn’t want to see his face again! Better run for your life. Now what is he going to do to the girls? They know losing is not an option but that just happened. Oh sh*t! I hope no dark tentacle rape here. As if taking and corrupting their Melodisian Stone and calling them incompetent trash isn’t enough, I don’t know what horror stuff he unleashed onto them that had them screaming like it’s the end. And all they did was lose…
Chuchu is feeling down because the spotlight wasn’t on her despite Plasmagica won. If she had the guts to write using her friends as stepping stone to achieve her ambition in her diary, she must be getting desperate now. Berry gathers Plasmagica to tell them about Dagger who is probably going to use his monsters to attack popular bands as the festival. He is going to use the confusion by turning the audience’s Melodisian Stones dark. Although they can defeat the monsters, it still won’t solve the problem. The only way to defeat Dagger is via music. He reveals Dagger’s goal to gather top musicians for himself. His targets are Shuuzou, Darudayu and Cyan. Before Plasmagica could practice, Chuchu surprisingly tells her band mates that she wants a break for a change in pace. Actually she received a mail from Dagger who was watching her performance and wants to meet. She goes to Unicorn as he brainwashes her to work for him now. Chuchu remembers how she got into music. She saw Grateful King in concert and it inspired her to want to perform like that. Then, she thought it was better to perform as a band rather than solo because it seemed easier to get noticed. She was happy when Maple offered to be her agent. Despite the minor label, it was her first step to realize her ambition. And now nothing will stop her to reach that. Even if that means quitting Plasmagica. Dagger tells her to go betray her friends. Grateful King is shocked to see Chuchu and needs to do something but Dagger puts a stop to him. He knows Grateful King has been possessing Berry and helping the girls. He reminds Grateful King that he doesn’t care about him but only his songs. When Chuchu returns, she drops the bombshell that she is quitting the band and going solo for she has joined Unicorn. Plasmagica was just a stepping stone. Bye. I see now it’s her turn to quit. Berry tells the girls to stop her as she has been brainwashed by Dagger. They start playing their music till Chuchu joins in and is freed from the evil control. Berry explains Dagger was trying to use Chuchu to turn Cyan’s Melodisian Stone dark. Chuchu admits about her ambition to be noticed and all that she did was true and just for that. But the girls think positive because thanks to that, it also helped Plasmagica and they have gotten this far together. One last question: Will she quit the band? No way!
Maple tells his rock bands about Dagger planting monsters during the festival. Cyan is worried Berry hasn’t spoken to her ever since that incident. Chuchu blames herself but everyone says it’s not her fault. Dagger is ecstatic that Grateful King has written the best song ever. Grateful King is exhausted after using up a lot of his power to save Chuchu. He wants to be released as per contract but you know, Dagger is such a typical bad guy and not going to keep his word especially if that promise was just verbally made. Dagger is now going to make sure the best entertainment will begin. All our usual rock bands gather and meet at the festival. Trichronika opens the festival followed by Shingan Crimsonz. During TAM’s performance, this is when Dagger strikes. All the rock bands are transported to another dimension. A monster bug attacks them and weeds out all the unchosen ones. Dagger orders to capture his chosen ones but Darudayu gets into her giant cat daruma to fight the monster. She believes she can do this by herself and the duo should save their power for later. She is about to emerge victorious and land the final blow when Cyan senses something familiar coming from the monster. She realizes it is Rosia trapped and crying for help. Cyan manages to stop Darudayu in time before she kills her.
Dagger orders the monster to take Cyan. With Darudayu getting in the way, Shuuzou uses his power to free the rest as Plasmagica put on a performance to purify the monster back to Rosia. So now she’s getting all emotional about saying bad things about them, the reasons she turned into a monster. But Dagger is not about to be defeated. In his monster form, he captures everyone. Meanwhile Maple and Angelica sneak into Unicorn HQ and pass all the security traps to free Grateful King. Cyan agrees to do what Dagger says to avoid her friends getting hurt further. She is about to be swallowed by him when Grateful King intervenes. Dagger doesn’t need him anymore and continues to take Cyan. See, if you don’t get rid of him, Grateful King is going to interrupt you as many times as he is going to take. This time, Grateful King is sorry about dragging her into this mess and making her fight despite she doesn’t want to. Just when Cyan recognizes him as Berry, she is thrown back into her own world. Now how are the rest going to deal with this monster boss? Cyan feels she can’t go back yet and returns. Oh wow. She’s in her angel form! A cupid more precisely because she fires her arrow of love to purify the monster once and for all. Dagger reverts to his harmless form. Uhm… Doesn’t he look like a sperm? Time for reconciliation. Time for thanks. Time for goodbyes. Chuchu presents her members each a guitar pick as memento. How sweet. Time for emotional group hug. But it isn’t the end yet. The festival continues and Plasmagica steals the limelight on stage. The girls learn a valuable lesson that no matter how far apart they are, they will always friends. Yeah, we get it. You love everybody, right? Back in her original world, Cyan still has jitters to join the rock band. But seeing Chuchu’s pick gives her the courage to open the door and make clear her intention.
The Show Must Go On
Oh yeah! Music save the world and universe! Ahem… Overall, unless you are a fan of rock music and furries playing them, many would just pass it off as just being average. So it wasn’t all just a dream after all. Because Chuchu’s pick is proof that Cyan has been there, done that and become the legend that saved Midi City and the entire universe from a greater evil. Speaking of which, I think despite the happy ending, they leave a little room in case there needs to be a sequel. Don’t you see? Dagger still roams free! Sure, he might be useless and harmless in his sperm-like form but if he can still shout out profanities and the fact that he is not captured, this leaves room for him to return once he gets his power back. And will Cyan be back again when that happens? And how? But we’ll leave that for next time. For now, let’s just leave with the good feeling that Cyan is now able to join a real band back in her own world. Assuming they let her in of course. Say, doesn’t that band have a strange resemblance to the Plasmagica members? Truth is stranger than fiction.
I feel the plot although isn’t quite the original and generic (how often do you have a main character from another world being casted as the one with some sort of hidden latent power and becomes the chosen one in rescuing denizens of this world), it is not that bad and with the episodic feel of the episodes, sometimes I find myself hard to stay focus on the story and its progression. Because you know, it is mostly how Cyan bonds her friendship with her band mates. They have their little issues to deal with and goals to achieve but ultimately they grow closer in the name of friendship and music as they work their way up to become one of the greatest bands and realize their dream.
Therefore the characters don’t really feel fleshed out that much. To be fair, with only a dozen episodes and a handful bunch of characters, you’re not going to see a lot of character development. Of course Plasmagica is the star of this show so they get more focus than the rest. But even so, their past and struggles are only as much as shown here. Like Moa being an alien coming to observe this world. It’s like they’re trying to give her some sort of background so as not to make the drummer a total empty character but that is all about that to her. Chuchu wanting to stand atop the rest feels like to serve as a convenient flag to advance the plot when Dagger starts to make his move. I don’t see how a rock band is a place to make friends if this is what Retoree’s goal was all along. Then there is something going on between Rom and Shuuzou, something that led them to split ways but you won’t know more than what you see. Or maybe it is just as simple as that. It’s just a music show. Why complicate things? Well, I thought musicians themselves are pretty complicated…
So Cyan as the main character and big heroine of the series she’s got a lot on her plate. At least for a high school girl. She’s got to figure out how to make the band stick together since it is a dream come true and at the same time defeat monsters and save the world if she wants to return to hers. Such heavy responsibility for a girl whose only initial girl is to sum up her courage to join a rock band. Sure she got her wish but it looks like it came with saving the world mission too. Well, at least joining this rock band is different than a certain high school all-girl rock band who mainly wastes time drinking tea and eating snacks in their club room instead of doing any serious practising. I wonder how long has she been in Midi City. Because I could imagine all the classes she would have missed and her family lodging a missing daughter report.
Sometimes I feel the guys in BRR are like for comic relief. For example, look at Maple himself. If you have a band manager looking like an egg already, you can’t help want to crack Humpty Dumpty jokes. Then they shock us in one of the final scenes: Maple’s true form is a handsome elderly dude???!!! WTF???!!! OMG!!! At times he may turn into a joker and step out of line and thus perhaps Angelica’s role there to string him back in line. Maple’s secret masochist fetish may make me start thinking that eggs are all masochists because they can’t wait to be cracked open… Don’t you think so?
Shingan Crimsonz provide an alternative distraction if too much Plasmagica may make you puke. With Crow, Aion and Yaiba being jokers at times, Rom’s role feels like Angelica to Maple. To put them in line and remind them about why they make music. And when this guy speaks, you listen. And always they really get so touched by it like they’ve seen the light or something. Awesome, right? Like jokers, right? But in terms of personality, Shingan Crimsonz is more amusing than Plasmagica because when you have a guy who thinks he is god and only can talk with his hand over his mouth, a guy who keeps talking like a samurai, a guy who calls his fans as cattle, they’re far more interesting than a group consisting of shy girls, ambitious girl and alien girl. Don’t you agree with me?
Other characters outside BRR feel rather okay but as I’ve said, nothing much more about them. Shuuzou’s never ending limo feels like a running joke as well as those piggy girl fans who constantly scream and follow him wherever he goes. To have TAM get more screen time rather than on the stage, it is often shown Darudayu ‘lecturing’ to her band mates in their backstage room about their important goal of spreading their far east music style to Midi City. Dagger of course is stereotypically the big bad villain that we all love to hate. The additional reason why our good guys continue to play good music so that they can beat the crap out of his vile schemes. Via music of course.
As a music themed genre, rock music plays a big part and of course the main attraction of the show. However I am not really a big fan of rock music so what I say may not reflect truly on the rock music in this series. In short, I personally don’t find the rock music to be appealing. Like the opening theme, Seishun Wa Non-Stop by Plasmagica is supposed to be that lively rock piece that is supposed to get you into the pace of this anime. But to me it just sounds like a generic anime rock song. The ending theme, Have A Nice Music also by Plasmagica too tries to match this liveliness but again I don’t really find it to my taste. Not even the cute moe animation stuffs at both ends could sway my heart. Even the rock themed insert songs sung by Shingan Crimsonz, Trichronika, TAM and even Criticrista didn’t quite appeal to me. Maybe I am just not cut out for this kind of rock music. And if it was, it is going to take something really catchy and special. Unfortunately this series didn’t have that sort of magic for me.
But instead of spamming us with music concerts all the way, I guess that is why sometimes we have those monster battles as variety. Sure, it’s to develop the plot as a certain villain was just testing out. Even if it is just mediocre, but I suppose it is a way to showcase the power of their music in bringing down the monster. I think just like some rock bands, they have cool names for their instruments. Whether it is like Holy Arc or Red Tomahawk or Ryuken-den or Skull Jaguar, they really sound cool. Some of their instrument’s designs are also cool especially Yaiba’s bass guitar that also doubles as a samurai sword. I don’t know, I thought Chuchu’s guitar looked a bit like Batman’s logo. Well, almost.
Voice acting is rather okay but if you love rock music, you’re not going to pay much attention to the voice acting. Only Ayane Sakura as Moa (~pyuru) and Mamoru Miyano as Shuuzou are the ones I recognized. The rest of the other casts include Eri Inagawa as Cyan (Ai in Youkai Watch), Sumire Uesaka as Chuchu (Sanae in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai), Manami Numakura as Retoree (Riko in Love Lab), Hiroyuki Yoshino as Berry/Grateful King (Bossun in Sket Dance),Yoshimasa Hosoya as Rom (arata in Chihayafuru), Kishou Taniyama as Crow (Jean in Shingeki No Kyojin), Kouki Uchiyama as Aion (Raku in Nisekoi),Tetsuya Kakihara as Yaiba (Natsu in Fairytail), Megumi Han as Darudayu (titular character of Mushibugyou), Yuji Ueda as Maple (Keitaro in Love Hina), Risa Shimizu as Angelica (Amira in Shingeki No Bahamut: Genesis), Takaya Kuroda as Dagger (Renjou in Kurenai) and Rina Hidaka as Rosia (Ririchiyo in Inu x Boku SS).
If you are a purist fan of hand drawn 2D animation, then the downside of this series is that they employ 3D CG animation here. However this is only limited to when the characters perform on stage during concerts. It is a good try to use CG but this means there is a very big discrepancy with the 2D animation for the characters look very different as they are in their full animal form. Sometimes I can’t help think that the CG effects used are like claymation because of the visuals and everything. But if it was claymation in the first place, the animation would be jerky instead of this smooth. The monster’s design somehow feels bland. Sure, we don’t care about the monsters. As long as they have those speakers embedded in their body as an attack feature, I suppose they’re fine.
As for the 2D art and design, they’re rather okay and pleasing to the eye with lots of colourful stuffs especially the character clothes design (somehow I find Cyan’s gothic design to be my liking… Is it because it resembles closely to a maid?). And of course, those animal ears and tail you can identify what kind of animal they are having those. I thought Grateful King was the ‘laziest’ design (Dagger is second to this) because his form is like a shadow and you can only see his outline. Not even a decent face he’s got. I am guessing from that pompadour hairstyle and outfit, he is based on Elvis Presley? Even his name hints greatly of it. Yeah, rock on forever. Then we can hear conspiracy theories of how Elvis was spotted alive in Midi City…
This anime might be generic and doesn’t rock any boat but at least with its easy to follow and very simple plot of good triumphing over evil, this isn’t a bad series after all. Heck, with all the colourful and cute stuffs everywhere, this series might even be suitable for kids. And maybe they’ll find out if they really like this brand of rock music or not… Well, I know I won’t be caught dead in using my music to save the world or anything. But you’ll never know. Time to brush up my guitar skills and keep practising in case it ever happens. If not, maybe just to woo chicks. I hope… ;p.