Megumi HanEriko MatsuiAyumu MuraseShow by Rock
Show By Rock!! Short!!
Episode 1 also reviewed here: Anime 1st episodes 2016: S
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2016
Director: Takahiro Ikezoe
Writer: Touko Machida
Actor: Ayane Sakura, Eri Inagawa, Manami Numakura, Sumire Uesaka, Ai Kayano, Ayumu Murase, Eriko Matsui, Hiromi Igarashi, Kisho Taniyama, Kouki Uchiyama, Mamoru Miyano, Megumi Han, Rie Murakawa, Rina Hidaka, Ryota Ohsaka, Saori Hayami, Tetsuya Kakihara, Yoshimasa Hosoya
Keywords: Show by Rock, anime
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 12 three-minute episodes
Website category: Anime 2016
Review date: 3 November 2016!!
Show by Rock!! should have been rubbish, but it was great. This astonished me and probably also the anime industry. Its main character is a schoolgirl who's turned into a cat girl and sucked into a world where she has to use rock music to fight monsters. She also has a talking guitar called Strawberry Heart. It's an anime adaptation of a mobile phone game. The odds of this being good were negligible, yet the show beat those odds and is now returning both for a second season and this throwaway spin-off series of comedy mini-episodes.
Don't bother watching this if you don't know the characters already. It'll seem bitty and pointless. It's random light-hearted fluff with different characters each week. I love these people, though, so I was delighted to watch it.
Plasmagica = ep.1,12
Shingan Crimsonz = eps.2,7,12
Criticrista = eps.3,8,11
Tsurezurenaru Ayatsuri Mugenan = eps.4,6,10
Trichronika = eps.5,7,9,12
Many of the episodes are based around TV shows, often specifically a talk show called "Tokiko's R-R-R-Room". Tokiko's a tiny, pompous cylinder with comedy glasses and lots of attitude. She patronises Plasmagica, gets annoyed by Rosia's exaggerated cutesiness and practically fills her knickers when Shuzo's flirting with her. About half of these episodes are her chat show.
Is it funny? Yes, maybe, a bit. I was mostly just enjoying spending time with these people, but there are a few running gags for particular characters. (1) Rosia is an attention whore who seems to be trying to kill you with girliness. (2) Shingan Crimsonz are testing to destruction the concept of "ludicrous hot-blooded machismo". Seriously. You could put them in a cupboard together and thirty seconds later they'd be roaring to the sky with clenched fists while volcanoes erupted in the background. Their table tennis game in ep.2 plays like a parody of all sports anime ever, while their live TV antics in ep.7 have to be seen to be believed. (3) Rom doesn't like Shuzo from Trichronika. That might not sound like much of a joke, but Rom's the leader of Shingan Crimsonz.
I'd have liked more Plasmagica, but maybe they're less comedic than the whackos? They're fairly normal. That's not true of many of this show's characters, although I see Retoree's lesbian crush on Cyan has gone to fetish-level strength. However they perform the closing theme song, so I'm happy.
It's fun. It doesn't mean anything. Everyone's safe and happy, with no danger or monsters. It's just a bunch of light-hearted mini-episodes, starring musicians across the spectrum of sanity. I enjoyed it a lot.