You know, in a lot of ways the members of Kessoku Band are pretty mature for their ages. I’ve known plenty of teenage musicians, but certainly not all of them had the wherewithal necessary to book and perform an actual gig. Even fewer managed to do that without getting drunk to deal with stage fright first. But while Kita, Ryo, and Nijika certainly have a leg up on their age group in some ways, they’re still kids, and this week they discover they’ve made a pretty big mistake: they’ve all been neglecting their Bocchi.
That’s a big deal! Bocchis are sensitive and delicate creatures that require a lot of maintenance to live healthy lives in captivity. They need to be fed and watered regularly, obviously, but also a consistent daily routine to keep them content. Regular exercise is a must, along with fresh air and direct sunlight, but you need to make sure they don’t get overheated, as most Bocchis cannot naturally shed their track suit-like skin, so be sure to have a shaded and climate-controlled environment for them to return to. And most importantly they need regular, positive attention to maintain social confidence. If you don’t pay mind to all of these factors, much like the girls find out this episode, your Bocchi could seriously start to suffer. Sure, it may seem like a fun, viral-worthy moment when a Bocchi starts randomly digging cicada graves and dancing the samba, but Bocchis only do that when they’re in serious distress!
Really though, we have a comparatively light and simple episode of Bocchi this week, and I think it’s a good time for it. After several banger episodes that hit hard, close to home, and often both, giving the girls a chance to chill out and get up to wacky shenanigans is a good way to decompress. It makes for a fairly funny episode that’s worthwhile in the grand scheme of the show’s story, but not particularly memorable on its own.
Sure, it’s amusing to see Nijika and the others figure out the important lesson that socializing outside of school or work takes more effort and forethought than they’re used to. It is very relatable seeing Bocchi waver over the simple act of asking if everyone wants to hang out. But they’re all mostly riffs on jokes the show has done before, and outside of the delightful “TropicaLove Forever” bit there’s not much in the way of stylized or experimental visuals. This is about as straightforward and simple an episode as Bocchi has ever delivered, and while that’s still a solid baseline of quality, there’s not a ton to dive into. Though as somebody who can’t turn their head too far to the left today because I slept on it wrong, I definitely relate to post-adventure Bocchi being bedridden with muscle aches. However, the most important part of this episode is at the end, with that not-so-subtle sign for the upcoming culture festival at Bocchi’s school. The idea of playing with a band at a school festival has basically been the big milestone of Bocchi’s aspirations of musical socialization, and that would make it just about the perfect place to end this season on.
Though I’m not sure how, precisely, I’d like the show to tackle the event itself. Fact is, despite what so much nostalgic anime will tell you, most of the time the shit you do in high school – let alone a glorified school talent show – won’t suddenly change the trajectory of your life. So having Bocchi and the band deliver a rousing show-stopper performance that suddenly gives her the confidence to make friends would feel both disingenuous and out-of-line for the show’s outlook. On the other hand, after seeing what previous concerts in this show were like, I can’t even imagine what it could do with one of the most classic of anime setpieces as a culture festival song. No matter how it shakes out though, I am thrilled to see it go down.
Bocchi the Rock! is currently streaming on