The first act of Episode 2 has Kessoku Band trying to break the ice at their live show venue, Starry. In Bocchi’s case, there’s a huge emphasis on “trying”. Oddly enough, Ryo brings out a giant dice with topics written on each side as an icebreaker. I can’t decide what’s funnier. The fact that Ryo has such a thing in her possession or that she and Nijika seem familiar with the topics written down, implying that this is not the first time they’ve used it. Maybe they used it with their previous guitarist.
The icebreaker goes about as you’d imagine, with Bocchi’s contributions to the discourse proving to be a lot darker than the others expected. Even talking about favorite music causes Bocchi to talk about a complex of hers and even hallucinate an imaginary friend (that talking guitar did show up in the last episode but I didn’t think Bocchi would ever acknowledge it). Maybe Ryo and Nijika could’ve approached this icebreaker better but in their defense, they’ve only just met Bocchi so it’s not like they know what works and doesn’t work with her.
An interesting yet important point made during this scene is the distinction between Bocchi and Ryo. Ryo doesn’t appear to be very sociable, certainly compared to Nijika, and she does admit that she doesn’t have a lot of friends outside of Kessoku. At first glance, Bocchi ought to relate with her to some extent. However, the difference is immediately made clear. As the show puts it, Ryo is a loner but she isn’t lonely like Bocchi. She doesn’t actively make friends and she’s fine with that, preferring to do some things on her own. Bocchi meanwhile isn’t content with her social anxiety holding her back and her entire goal right now is to change that. When you put it like that, these two are actually quite different from each other, hence why Bocchi still feels shy around Ryo.
Towards the end of the icebreaker, the gang establishes two goals that they need to accomplish. The first is finding themselves a vocalist. Apparently, the previous guitarist also served that role but since she dropped out, the gang needs to find a new one. All signs are pointing towards the fourth girl the show keeps hinting at; this may very well be resolved in the next episode. The second and more overarching goal is money. They have to meet a certain quota of tickets sold for their performance and if they don’t, they have to pay the club back for the loss in revenue. Fortunately, the gang can just work part-time at Starry itself. The place happens to be managed by Nijika’s older sister Seika (Maaya Uchida). It makes sense though I do question how much income they can net here. I mean, Seika could just dock their pay when they fail to meet their quota.
Not much is shown of Seika though interestingly, she does pick up that Bocchi is actually quite good with the guitar. The show even suggests that Bocchi’s guitar playing is familiar to Seika. Maybe she heard of “guitarhero” from Nijika. Later in the episode, Nijika describes her sister as a lot nicer than she seems on the surface so it’s possible she’ll be pretty understanding of Bocchi’s situation. I half expected her to reprimand Bocchi for some of her antics but that surprisingly does not happen here. However, that could be attributed to the episode running out of time.
As evidenced by her numerous (and admittedly relatable, comedic, and stylistic) freakouts, Bocchi naturally finds the idea of serving refreshments to a couple dozen strangers nightmarish. Out of fear of disappointing her friends, she still agrees to work though she does try to get herself the deadliest disease in anime to avoid it. Since that would be unproductive for character development and comedy, Bocchi’s plot armor doesn’t wear off until the end of the episode so she has to attend work anyway. Bocchi actually does pretty well with fulfilling orders. She doesn’t mix up anyone’s order by mistake and she gets their drinks ready in seconds. Unsurprisingly however, she’ll need some more practice when it comes to more personal aspects of customer service. At least she doesn’t get capital punishment like she feared she would.
Episode 2’s ending gives Bocchi the same takeaway both interpersonally and more broadly. Just as the live show finally starts, Bocchi can finally hang out with her friends and Nijika confides to her how much she loves Starry and how she wants others to feel the same way. While it would be nice for Bocchi to open up, the thing Nijika wants from her is to enjoy the things the band is doing together first and foremost. At the same time, Bocchi gets swept up from seeing both the performers and the audience members enjoying themselves. Bocchi has been keenly aware of her poor performance last episode but here, she’s able to put it into perspective. She wouldn’t want to pay money to see that performance and more importantly, she wouldn’t enjoy watching it. She wants to give something that everyone would enjoy, including herself, and for that to happen, something needs to change. You start to see that resolve when Bocchi finally serves as a customer directly in person. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before it manifests in her music.
Watch BOCCHI THE ROCK! on Crunchyroll.