A few months back, one of the most hyped up anime of the year, Chainsaw Man, began airing.
While Chainsaw Man certainly did live up to its massive expectations, what was surprising was that there was another anime airing around the same time that seemed to be getting the same level of buzz, despite not having the amount of hype beforehand.
This anime was Bocchi the Rock.
Based off the manga by Aki Hamaji, it felt like this show came out of nowhere, becoming one of the most talked about anime of the year.
Having heard this discussion, I decided to check it out and discovered a charming and often hilarious story that relates to introverts everywhere.
Bocchi the Rock follows Hitori Goto (Yoshino Aoyama), a teenage girl who suffers from extreme anxiety when it comes to social interactions.
Wanting to make friends, she decides to learn how to play the guitar, in the hopes that this will provide new opportunities for her to meet people.
Unfortunately, due to her severe introversion, she is unable to approach people for years, until, in a twist of fate, she is approached by drummer Nijika Ijichi (Sayumi Suzushiro), who is desperate for a third member to join her band, known as Kessoku Band.
Now with a chance to make friends, Hitori joins the band, meeting the third bandmate, who is the bizarrely aloof Ryo Yamada (Saku Mizuno).
Later being joined by the upbeat Ikuyo Kita (Ikumi Hasegawa), Hitori earns the nickname Bocchi and struggles to fight her introversion in her efforts to help the band to succeed.
These efforts often result in some gut busting humor, including plenty of hysterical fourth wall breaks.
I often found myself pausing at least once per-episode so I could have a good laugh before continuing.
What really shines about Bocchi the Rock, along with the humor, is how relatable Bocchi is as a character.
Having struggled with a bit of social anxiety myself (although not to Bocchi’s extent), Bocchi’s journey to becoming more sociable through Kessoku Band was easy to become invested in and I know this was the same for a lot of other viewers as well.
Bocchi’s relatability makes the high moments of the show shine even brighter, which is most apparent in Episode Eight where one performance had me on the edge of my seat.
These performances of Kessoku Band come with some quality animation, which often changes style to suit the situation, whether that be serious or goofy.
The comedy in the goofy style of certain scenes is helped by the voice performances, especially Bocchi’s voice actor, Yoshino Aoyama, who has a truly impressive range.
It is not just Bocchi who shines through the comedy though because many of her bandmates also get their funny moments, with Ryo being a standout.
Overall, it is the relatability of Bocchi and how she grows as a character that got me really invested in this show.
Hopefully a season two will be greenlit so we can all cheer Bocchi and Kessoku Band on, while simultaneously laughing at the excellent humor of this anime.