I didn’t think I’d be back with another review for Show By Rock! The first episode wasn’t the greatest thing in the world and the three styles of animation was very off-putting. Yet here I am talking about episodes 2 and 3 (I kind of dragged my feet on episode 2). The thing that gets me is that the main animation is really good and the character designs are fantastic. Some of my concerns about the first episode were addressed and others were only kind of brought up and ignored. For instance the Manager (he’s the little egg guy) was toned down a lot in both episodes. It makes his jokes actually hit with the super detailed animation they love to use on him. They also toned down the CG super cute style which was the best thing they could have done.
Things not really addressed… Cyan. The Strawberry Heart guitar gives her some insight saying that she’ll be called upon to save the planet and she comments saying she hopes to get it done before Golden Week. Not, where is my family, just before Golden Week. Obviously that’s not the point of the story, but it’s still strange to see it completely ignored.
The second episode introduces label mates Shingan Crimsonz which is the boy band. They’re all basically the same character and each is more over the top than the last. The story largely focuses on them as they get a gig to open for the other band introduced in the first episode. On the Plasmagica side the girls begin to bond when Cyan sings a song in the bathtub.
With the third episode the girl’s band is challenged to a “Battle of the Bands” which pits them against a middle school band on a rival label. Plasmagica is faced with their biggest problem, they’re technically sound, but they don’t have charisma. Cyan fixes this somewhat when she tweaks a song at the last-minute, but only when Retoree says she’s giving up and going home. The episode focused a lot on Retoree who joined the band to make friends which make her and Cyan kindred spirits. Ultimately the girls lose the battle, but they’re spirits are renewed and every one of course is paying closer attention to Cyan whether she knows it or not.
There’s still technically three animation styles which is annoying and not my thing, but I guess a lot of people like it that way. There’s the main animation which is great looking (see pictures), there’s the CG super cute animation and then the 2-D super cute animation that’s used for the audience while the bands are in CG super cute mode. It makes for a rough transition back and forth. It’s a shame because the normal animation is really good. In fact some of the best of the season, but I guess this way gives them less to animate overall.
The story is predictable, but I like the humor and the main animation enough that I’ll keep watching it. Hell the toned down Egg manager is enough of a reason to keep watching at this point. I doubt I’m ever really going to fall for the story, but as long as it continues to be simple and amusing I’ll give it a view. Who knows if I’ll continue reviewing it though.
Show By Rock! Episode 2: “With Our Crimson Gaze… etc” Episode 3: “Yes! Idol Declaration” Official Website show by rock! 1.2 & 1.3