What They Say:
Set in the glamorous metropolis Tokyo Midi City, where music is everything. Here, “battle of the bands” is more than just a teen rivalry: Dozens of ensembles compete for the honor of playing atop the city’s highest tower. Something strange is going on at Yokai Street, the hot new spot for street performances. Can Cyan and the others help solve the mystery?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
While Cyan and her Plasmagica are the main characters of Show by Rock!!, the comedic stars of the series are the outrageous goofballs of Shingancrimzonz. Their fans will be happy to know they’re the real stars of episodes 7 and 8 and get the lion’s share of screen time.
Cyan and Strawberry Heart are still investigating Dark Monster activity when they’re approached by Marimari of the Yokai band Shinimonogurui. It seems one of the band’s members, Tsugihagi, disappeared some time ago after being extremely worried about his keyboard performance. Marimari fears the worst: That a Dark Monster has gotten him. Plasmagica and Cyan decide to investigate his disappearance at Yokai Street in order to unearth more information on Dark Monsters.
Meanwhile, Shingancrimzonz just scored a new show at Ushimitsu Plaza, which just so happens to be the stage at Yokai Street. Though Shingancrimzonz play at being rock gods, we all know by now that they’re basically pampered nincompoops, and Yokai Street is a horrifying and traumatic experience for them. We’re treated to some horrified reactions stylized in the form of Umezu, Mizuki, and Ito faces as the group flees some of the cutest Sanrio yokai.
When it’s time for them to perform, Shingancrimzonz are ambushed by a giant tree Dark Monster. Thinking it’s just another yokai, the band decides to toughen up and fight back with their monster rock ballad powers. Luckily for them, it works. Cyan is unable to assist in their battle due to a kind of barrier that has been set up this time, but Shingancrimzonz makes short work of the Tree Monster. After it is defeated, Tsugihagi reappears, leading Strawberry Heart to the obvious conclusion that Tsugihagi was transformed into the Dark Monster through exploiting the darkness in his heart.
It’s some worry then when Aion begins exhibiting depressive symptoms and misses band practice. After the Dark Monster’s defeat, he comes under possession of the Dark Monster spirit, and threatens to quit Shingancrimzonz. After a fight that tears the band apart, the boys join back up together to lift Aion’s spirits, driving away the Dark Monster.
While Shingancrimzonz’ problems are solved, new ones crop up for Plasmagica: They may be disqualified from performing at the Grateful Rock Festival due to not having enough live performances under their belt. Maple suggests challenging middle school band Criticrista to a rematch, and the band agrees. The confrontation with Criticrista might be more fateful than anyone expects, however, as it’s finally made clear that Criticrista is under the Unicorn Virtual Rock label, and is Dagger’s own favored band. The members of Criticrista are also extremely competitive, and intend to crush Plasmagica once and for all! What threats await Cyan at the next battle?
Show By Rock!! delivers more fun along the same lines we’ve come to expect: Silly jokes, ridiculous characters, and some old fashioned kid show melodrama. While the main plot seems to be heading toward a final resolution for the upcoming episodes, there’s really nothing revolutionary here. It’s just a really solid, fun show, with some unexpectedly exceptional CGI work.
Streamed By: FUNimation
Sony VAIO 20″