From the first moment Bocchi The Rock Season 1 introduces viewers to Hiroti Gotoh, sequestered in her closet recording guitar songs for her video channel, until the final shot of her on stage at her school culture festival, CloverWorks takes its audience on a brilliantly crafted journey about a young woman who wants to rock out with her friends. Except she doesn’t have any friends, she’s scared of crowds, and she doesn’t know how to approach someone about joining a band. Just a few small tasks to overcome, right? But for Hitori, these aren’t molehills, they are mountains. But with a little help, she’ll climb them and set her feet on the path to her dreams.
The socially awkward loner is not a new concept, especially when a show deals with teenagers. But while this general concept is well-trodden territory, Bocchi The Rock Season 1 treats its protagonist in a way I’ve rarely seen. Rather than making her the butt of jokes, the show explores the whys and hows of her feelings and gives the viewer the chance to understand what she is going through as she makes new friends, gets a job, and starts playing her first public performances with her new band. This journey is layered with lots of humourous visuals that depict how Hitori processes the challenges she must face. These comedic moments never feel like they are at the expense of the character. Rather, the comedy comes simply from Hitori’s exaggerated lens, rather than the world’s view of her.
The only minor stumbling block where the series comedy is concerned comes in its quantity. There are a couple of episodes that lean into the series’ comedy a bit too hard, eventually eliciting more eye-rolls than laughs. This is far from the norm however, and barely leaves a lasting blemish on the show’s 13 otherwise stellar episodes.
The respect the show has for Hiroti is also reinforced through the charming supporting cast Bocchi The Rock Season 1 builds around her. From her ever-caring family to her newfound bandmates, Hitori finds a support net that balances acceptance and encouragement beautifully. They accept Hitori’s panic attacks and unusual reactions, while trying to gently nudge, or occasionally strong shoves, into growth.
The visuals that CloverWorks crafts are some of the most creative and varied I’ve ever seen utilized in an anime. While it never delivers the raw eye-popping level of gorgeousness series like Chainsaw Man have delivered this season, Bocchi The Rock Season 1 utilizes too many styles and designs in bringing Hitori’s perceptions of the world to life to count. The show even ventures outside of animation at times, deploying claymation or CGI to craft even more variety into the series. Every episode brings something new and unexpected while delivering the warmth and charm that becomes so familiar so quickly.
When all is said and done, Bocchi The Rock Season 1 delivers a near-flawless look at social anxiety, making friends, and endeavoring to live your dreams. It has loads of fun with its protagonist, while never making fun of her. It is a wonderful experience that anyone looking for a heart-warming story that utilizes wonderful characters and humor owes it to themselves to watch. It more than amply deserves its spot on our Best Anime of 2022 list.
Bocchi The Rock Season 1 is streaming now on Crunchyroll.
Bocchi The Rock Season 1
Bocchi The Rock Season 1 delivers a near-flawless look at social anxiety, making friends, and endeavoring to live your dreams. It has loads of fun with its protagonist, while never making fun of her. It is a wonderful experience that anyone looking for a heart-warming story that utilizes wonderful characters and humor owes it to themselves to watch. It more than amply deserves its spot on our Best Anime of 2022 list.