The tenth episode of Bocchi The Rock! was another impressive affair, with a brand new band in the universe being introduced to the series. Bocchi’s eccentric older friend, Kikuri Hiroi, has referenced her own band in various episodes since its introduction, and this is the episode where her true abilities are shown for the first time.
The episode starts with Bocchi listening to her teacher in class talk about the upcoming cultural festival, and comes up with the idea of signing up the Kessoku Band for a live performance at the event. But Bocchi’s fear soon catches up with her, and her brief moment of confidence is replaced with a familiar sight: Bocchi talks herself out of doing anything because of the overwhelming anxiety she feels. However, all is not lost Bocchi the Rock! episode 10 as Kikuri Hiroi becomes the unexpected savior, once again.
After imagining the crowd of screaming fans who would witness the grandeur of her performance at the cultural festival, Bocchi is inspired to enlist the Kessoku Band for the event; but as she is about to submit the application form, Bocchi returns to her senses and stops herself from doing something she will later regret. She is surprised to see that someone tried to register the band for the cultural festival, but the shock of seeing her own name on the form causes Hitori to lose consciousness outside the student council office, leading to the series’ opening credits.
When she comes to, Bocchi sees Kita by her side. She considers telling Kita to have the band perform at the cultural festival, but decides against it, knowing that she would not be able to handle Kita’s excitement in her fragile state. Bocchi convinces Kita that she wants to head over to STARRY after resting a bit more, so Kita goes there before her. Bocchi keeps thinking about performing at the cultural festival, but she finally decides it’s not a good idea and scraps the application form.
She goes to work and opens up about it to Seika, who is of the opinion that she should definitely get the Kessoku Band to perform at the festival because high school goes by faster than you think. Despite Bocchi believing the conversation to be in confidence, Seika quickly tells her little sister Nijika about Bocchi’s concerns, which obviously piques her interest as the literal founder of the Kessoku Band.
Both Nijika and Ryо̄ are interested in performing at the Shuka High School Cultural Festival; however, they’re also aware of the pressure this puts on Bocchi, who undoubtedly wants to get up on stage and perform, but can’t shake the nervousness of getting up on stage in front of the people she goes to school with every time. day. However, their excitement makes Bocchi think more about it, but she can’t beat the voices in her head telling her not to go through with it. Little does she know that the ball is already rolling.
Paved with good intentions
The next morning, Bocchi is back to thinking that it’s impossible for her to perform on stage, and she even considers keeping her involvement in a band a secret from her schoolmates until her moment of fame, imagining a random classmate bemoaning the fact that she didn’t get an autograph from the famous Hitori Got®, before she was interrupted by the cheerful Kita, who tells her that she went by the nurse’s office again to check if Bocchi was really okay, but Bocchi had already gone to STARRY. Kita reveals that she submitted the application form, meaning that the Kessoku Band would be set to perform at the upcoming cultural festival.
This leaves Bocchi completely shell-shocked, and she again loses consciousness. Waking up on STARRY, the other band members wonder if there is any way for them to back out of the arrangement; But once their application was submitted, their fate was sealed. The grim tension in the bar is somewhat lessened by the appearance of Kikuri’s loud requests for free beer, which earns contemptuous treatment from Nijika; But Kikuri’s presence ends up having a much deeper effect than anyone expected, as she invites Bocchi and the others to the band’s gig later that day.
Kikuri gives the Kessoku Band free tickets to the band’s live performance, and when they offer to pay for them, she insists that she’s not the kind of down-in-the-dumps rocker who would ask teenage girls for money. She also reveals that her band is actually quite popular on the indie scene, so they make the ticket quotas quite easily. Naturally, her revelation breeds more disdain, this time from both Nijika and Seika, who joke that she takes advantage of their kindness and asks for financial favors from them far too often for someone who is part of a fairly successful band. It turns out that Kikuri uses most of the money she earns to replace the equipment she ends up breaking during her drunken performance. She takes the group to the band’s home base, the live house known as Shinjuku FOLT, a club with a much rougher and rougher feel than STARRY.
Bocchi and Nijika are overwhelmed by the intensity of the venue and its patrons, but Kikuri soon shows them that the people there are quite nice. They meet the bar manager, a 37-year-old man named Ginjiro Yoshida, who initially scares them with his intense glare and raccoon eyes; however, he turns out to be a very likable person. Soon after being introduced to Ginjiro, the Kessoku Band members get to know the remaining members of the psychedelic rock band known as SICK HACK. Before the band’s performance, Nijika, Kita and Bocchi find Ryо̄, sitting on a bench in the venue by themselves, and she bombards them with copious amounts of information about the band.
The lights dim and the music begins. Almost immediately, Bocchi is drawn into a completely different world, and within seconds she can tell that she is listening to an amazing band. The anime does what it does best with the visuals during the SICK HACK performance, with an appropriately psychedelic feel taking over the animation as it communicates that Bocchi is being whisked away to another dimension – a psychedelic dimension – by the music. After the performance, Bocchi sits backstage with the members of Kessoku Band and SICK HACK, with Kikuri asking how she found their music. Bocchi is clearly down on something as she claims to have enjoyed the performance, so Kikuri asks her what’s wrong. Seeing how incredible SICK HACK was during their performance makes Bocchi doubt himself, prompting Kikuri to finally open up and tell more about himself.
Kikuri tells Bocchi that she was once a gloomy misfit who sat in the corner of the classroom, and that she was once afraid to buy a bass in a music store or go into a club. Envisioning her future, she believed that her dreary life was far too boring for her, so she began, in Kikuri’s words, to play rock music to make her life “make a 180° turn”. She only started drinking to cope with the nerves she experienced before her first live performance, adding that most people are really terrified the first time they do something. Kikuri tells Bocchi that she did well during their impromptu street performance and during live at STARRY, adding that she didn’t even need to use alcohol as a crutch. The whole experience serves to be the push that Bocchi needed.
After the performance, the members of the Kessoku Band head over to a restaurant for some food. While Ryо̄ is there, Ryо̄ whips out paper and pen, and explains that she’s been thinking about their set list for the upcoming cultural festival performance for a while, so she already knows she wants the band to perform only original songs, to which Nijika agrees. She intends to make Bocchi and Kita shine, since it will be at their school, and suggests a guitar solo for Bocchi.
As Kita and Bocchi head home, guilt builds in Kita and she is forced to reveal that she knew Bocchi intended to scrap the application form for the cultural festival, but submitted it anyway. Bocchi explains that she is grateful for Kita’s actions, because while it is something incredibly terrifying to her, it is also something she is very excited about. Kita, with her guilt suppressed, gains a new level of motivation to succeed in the upcoming performance and works hard in the days leading up to it. When the day comes… Bocchi is nowhere to be found.
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