Sawako HataMoe ToyotaAina AibaAyasa Ito
BanG Dream! Garupa Pico
Episode 1 also reviewed here: Anime 1st episodes 2018: B
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2018
Director: Kenshiro Morii, Seiya Miyajima
Writer: Kenshiro Morii, Seiya Miyajima, Masahiro Hayashi, so-shi
Actor: Aimi, Aina Aiba, Ami Maeshima, Ari Ozawa, Aya Suzaki, Ayaka Ohashi, Ayane Sakura, Ayasa Ito, Azusa Tadokoro, Emiri Kato, Haruka Kudou, Hisako Kanemoto, Ikumi Nakagami, Megu Sakuragawa, Miku Ito, Moe Toyota, Rimi Nishimoto, Sachika Misawa, Sae Ootsuka, Satomi Akesaka, Sawako Hata, Sumire Uesaka, Tomoyo Kurosawa, Yoko Hikasa, Yuki Nakashima, Yuri Yoshida
Keywords: BanG Dream, anime
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 26 three-minute episodes
Website category: Anime 2018
Review date: 1 July 2020
bang dream
BanG Dream! was a 2017 anime about schoolgirls starting a band, from a multi-media franchise that also includes manga, mobile phone games, CDs, etc. It was also quite good. I enjoyed it.
This series is a bunch of light-hearted shorts to tide us over while we're waiting for Season 2. (Well, more to stop us from forgetting about BanG Dream. I enjoyed the show, but it's pretty generic.) It's throwaway fluff... but, again, it's quite good at that and I enjoyed it more than I'd expected.
It has lots and lots of characters (five bands, each with five members), but you don't need to know them already. It'll help if you do, but you'll pick it up. What's interesting about the show is the range of its humour. It's happy to go in surreal and sometimes even horror-comedy directions, albeit sometimes explained away with "it was all a dream" or as fiction written by one of the girls. However that'll be side-by-side with episodes where Yukina can't stop picking up cute cats, or Moca and Lisa chatting at their part-time job.
The show's early episodes are a little weaker, I think. They're more conventionally written and based more on just having the girls be themselves, in the hope that this is funny. I don't mind, say, the silly ideas for spicing up the band's act in ep.2 or the doomed 25-girl conference in ep.7, but these episodes are blandly passable rather than actually much good. The show improves later on as the writers get more playful and experimental.
The results are fun. Episodes that particularly amused me include:
5. the surfboard chicken race
6. Michelle Land, which has our first comedy horror ending. The episode's also surreal. (Michelle is a band member who wears a huge pink bear costume.)
9. Junji Ito does chocolate cornets. "If I became a chocolate cornet, would you eat me?"
10. it's not the skydiving itself that's surreal. It's the way it's light-heartedly setting up an ending where one of the girls is going to become pavement pizza.
12. Ran gets ill. The attempts to heal her include praying to a tribal god to ward off demons. (This works and there are other references to Babanbo-sama in later stories.)
14. Survivalism, lost on the mountains in a blizzard. From cute anime girls who can't take anything seriously and are talking about their musical instruments.
16. Body swap episode.
18. The underground labyrinth of cardboard boxes and, perhaps, Lovecraftian impossible dimensions. Again, has a pseudo-horror punchline. Which is funny.
...and so on. I also liked the detective story pisstake in ep.20 and the weird psychic link between sisters in ep.24, but that's interspersed between a running gag of the girls destroying their concert venue. It's also possible that they repeatedly kill Marina, who works there, but if so then she always gets better.
I'd give this show a light recommendation. It's a laugh, although most of the show is normal, everyday fluff with girls going about their daily lives and swapping ideas for cute drum cases. The art style is super-deformed, of course. Everyone's three heads high. Even if you don't know the characters, it's easy to get up to speed given, say, the way they'll resemble their stage personas and so on. (Roselia are goths, Afterglow are punks, Hello, Happy World! are drum majorettes with Michelle as their DJ, etc.)
Does this series matter? Not in the slightest. Is it quite funny? Yup.