Unfortunately this is the last Show By Rock!! episode I’m able to blog, since I’m going to America for two months and thus won’t be able to do the last three. Which is a huge shame because a)I’m really enjoying the show and would love to blog it to the end and b) the end of this episode is….well. That’s what this review’s for!
I still do want to blog the rest; but it will probably have to be a batch review after I return…a month after it finishes, unfortunately, although I won’t be able to blog anything next season for the same reason. (unless I -also- do a batch review for the first 3-4 episodes – I can watch stuff on my ipad during downtime after all) I’m working on a draft of another doll review so I can finish writing it at the airport, but after that there most likely wont be any posts from me until August.
Ariana and Skins will be taking care of First Impressions and may not be able to cover everything but we’ll see. If I manage to watch any of the new stuff, I’ll still be leaving my opinions in the comments of their reviews as usual.
Lastly…if any Australian readers are going to SMASH in Sydney this August 8-9, I’ll be in the artist alley as TorinoArt! Come and say hello.
With all that out of the way, let’s get back to Show By Rock!!
Plasmagica have been practising hard in preparation for their Battle of the Bands rematch with CritiCrista, prepared to give it their all. Chuchu initially thinks that it’s their acting that they need to work on in order to leave a better impression, and, once again, Rom lets them know how shallow that is. However, despite being scared of CritiCrista’s power and tight grip on the hearts of otaku (and their voting power), Retoree reminds everyone that Plasmagica has The Power of Friendship.
Meanwhile, Rosia doesn’t seem to feel the need to beef up CritiCrista’s power as she refuses to entertain the possibility of them ever losing; even when her other bandmates caution her not to take Plasmagica lightly.
Of course, her pride results in CritiCrista’s first ever loss, with Plasmagica winning due to them pouring all their feeling and emotion into their new song that they had written during their island retreat. Rosia is devastated, and with good reason..Unicorn Virtual Music’s boss and Big Bad – Dagger – who had high hopes for CritiCrista as part of his plot, decides to personally let them know that they are no longer necessary.
me: criticrista is the worst band they should just go away
So um, I wasn’t expecting that. There were a lot of important things that happened in this episode, but the surprisingly dark turn it took in the last two minutes or so almost overshadowed everything else. To reiterate, CritiCrista were punished by Dagger in a bizarrely creepy sequence in which he revealed his true form (which is apparently Slenderman I guess) and gives the audience the implication that he offed them. Obviously it’s 99.9% unlikely that he did – CritiCrista are almost certainly going to be appearing as Dark Monsters in the next episode or potentially even the climax of the show, so it’s not what happens to them that was so unexpected and ‘holy shit’ inducing. It was more the fact that Dagger is freaking terrifying and for a show full of such ridiculously cute squishy animal people it sure did a pretty good job at suddenly horror-animeing the colour palette, tone and camera angles in a suitably jarring way.
It also made me like Rosia more, since her actions make a lot more sense. The whole episode really does delight in making the audience think she’s a spoilt brat who just didn’t want to lose, but I’d say she had a pretty damn good reason to not want to. That’s provided she actually knew about it, anyway…after all, if the consequence of losing was so serious, you’d think she’d have taken the battle just a little more seriously. I get that she was overconfident but honestly they sang the same song from the last battle of the bands and everything. As for the rest of CritiCrista – the beginning of the episode does let us get to see a little more of them and their personalities. They may be one of my least favourite bands and I’m still not overly fond of Rosia (what is it with ‘evil’ pink-haired idols in anime anyway), but they’re still pretty darn cute.
Whatever is going on regarding Dagger and Grateful King is still in the dark at this point (literally) – but this episode does drop another hint – Daru Tayu has a connection to him, to the extent that Maple and Angelica contact her to try to seek his counsel. Whether or not they know about him being held captive by Dagger is unclear (if that is what’s going on here), but there’s a lot of the usual cryptic anime ‘the fecal matter is approaching the cooling device at maximum velocity’ foreshadowing in that usual cryptic anime way of not actually letting the audience know what they’re talking about.
There’s so many ‘serious’ things going on with the plot in this episode (and at this point I’m actually just kind of used to accepting this ‘seriousness’ even when it does seem a bit jarring with these character designs) that it’s easy to forget how nice it actually was to see Plasmagica’s new song performed and them doing the whole Friendship Power thing. Although Chuchu’s acting strangely, and judging by the next episode preview we’re going to find out why that is.
Basically it’s gotten itself geared up for a finale, and this really is an unfortunate place to have to leave it.