BOCCHI THE ROCK! – Ep. 6

Halfway through BOCCHI THE ROCK! now. Quite a lot of has happened so far and evidently, the show thought so too as it begins Episode 6 with a recap of the first five episodes. It’s a really short one too, clocking in at about one minute. Recaps are nothing new in anime but usually, they’re full length episodes and they happen to pad out a show’s broadcast and/or when production falls behind schedule. Not only is it short, it is also composed entirely of original animation that re-enacts scenes differently from how they originally played out. The show justifies this with the pretext of Bocchi recalling things with her talking guitar imaginary friend (though given the direction so far, it could’ve easily gotten away with not providing an explanation). This recap is a strange and atypical one but I give it points for being both funny and concise.

Following the last episode, Bocchi has the daunting task of selling five tickets for Kessoku Band’s upcoming concert. Bocchi originally intends to sell tickets to her family, including her pet dog, but even if she does, she’s still one ticket short. Unfortunately for her, even that plan goes south as Bocchi’s parents hit her with the obvious reality that Jimihen couldn’t count as a customer and they also forbid Bocchi’s younger sister, Futari (Misaki Watada), from attending a live house, due to her being five years old. Bocchi now needs to sell three tickets. Her mother offers to talk to her friends about the concert but Bocchi declines, presumably to save face and out of a subconscious desire to actually try selling the tickets on her own.

One thing that I would’ve liked for the episode to do is actually show Bocchi going around, trying to sell the tickets. We even learn that she drew fliers to promote the concert (how funny that it’s based on the group photo when Bocchi has definitely printed enough copies of it). Unfortunately, the show just cuts to her sulking outdoors after a presumably long day of getting nothing done. While that bit is funny, it still would’ve been nice to see what happened before. I would’ve at least liked to see her try at school, maybe even have her talk to those two classmates from Episode 3 again as a callback. Thankfully, the rest of the episode more than makes up for it.

Things take a turn when Bocchi is approached by a very eccentric and very drunk woman asking for help. As she recovers with Bocchi’s help and proceeds to get drunk again, the stranger notices Bocchi’s guitar and reveals that she plays the bass for an indie band. Bocchi then explains her whole ticket situation and the stranger decides to both help her and trigger her social anxiety by holding an impromptu street performance with her. In other words, Bocchi now has a whacky mentor and this is one of the best things to happen in this show so far.

Naturally, Bocchi struggles a bit on how to deal with the stranger. I don’t think that’s entirely due to her social anxiety. Just about anyone would be weirded out by a whacky drunk. If there is a moment where the anxiety kicks in, it’s when Bocchi realizes she’s talking to an older musician. The age gap between these two characters is probably just a few years but that’s enough for a potential gap in experience for Bocchi to fear being judged as amateurish or underserving of her instrument. Fortunately, and after a very funny scene where Bocchi tries to weasel her way out, the stranger proves to be easy to talk to (and more sober) whenever music is concerned. With that settled and with some common ground, Bocchi is able to feel comfortable around the stranger, certainly enough to deal with the latter’s drunkenness.

As for the stranger, she’s certainly an interesting one. While she is most definitely an irresponsible alcoholic, I really do think she acts as a mentor of sorts for Bocchi. This becomes the most apparent when the stranger gives Bocchi some advice before their performance. Bocchi is anxious to play in front of a crowd, prompting the stranger to tell her that they are not her “enemies”. That kind of does sound like something a drunk mentor would say but it is also true. The crowd may judge Bocchi on how well she does but at the end of the day, the only opposition she actually faces is herself. Her fear of her audience is just that, a feeling, hence the idea that Bocchi doesn’t have any enemies. when it comes to actually performing well, the only opposition she really faces is herself. And once Bocchi realizes what the stranger means, she is able to focus entirely on her music and ultimately give a good show.

There’s a couple of other ways in which the stranger helps Bocchi. In hindsight, the stranger making Bocchi perform with her is a really smart move. It may make her nervous but this will also make Bocchi get more used to performing in a crowd, something that she’ll inevitably have to do during Kessoku Band’s upcoming performance. While the stranger is the one leading the way during the performance, her ad-libbing is really to support Bocchi, guiding her until the younger girl feels more confident and her guitar takes over as the dominant instrument in the song.

The impromptu street performance ultimately pays off as Bocchi is able to sell her remaining three tickets. The first two tickets are purchased by two women who appear to be friends with each other. One of them actually cheers Bocchi on, thereby helping Bocchi realize the stranger’s advice (so props to her for doing that). While these ladies will most likely show up during the live show, they do appear in OP so it’s possible they’ll show up beyond just that. I hope so as it’d be really cute if Bocchi has fans in real life, backing her before Kessoku ever goes big. As for the third and last ticket, that gets purchased by the stranger. I figured as much when the character first showed up but it is a fitting end to all the help the stranger does for Bocchi. It can also be interpreted as the stranger rewarding Bocchi for overcoming her fear and acknowledging her potential as a musician. That all said, it is really funny the stranger ruins the sentiment a bit by asking Bocchi for some money back so that she can go home.

While all this is going on, the rest of Kessoku Band is at Starry worried that Bocchi hasn’t shown up for practice. With nothing else to do, the girls start to reflect on how they’ve been treating Bocchi. Nijika wonders if they pushed Bocchi too hard on selling the tickets. Considering her heart to heart with Bocchi last episode, in which she admits that she’s afraid of forcing things on her friend, you get why Nijika would be self-conscious here. In a later scene, Kita shares how Bocchi is doing at school and while it’s nothing surprising, Ryo thinks it’s a shame given how much Kessoku enjoys having Bocchi around. It hammers in how important the band is for Bocchi. They’re more the exception than the norm so they especially don’t want Bocchi to feel left out (Lord knows Bocchi has those thoughts already).

Funnily enough, when Bocchi finally messages that she fulfilled her quota, the gang does not believe her. On one hand, they really should give Bocchi some benefit of the doubt. On the other, Bocchi lying that everything is alright would be on-brand so I can’t blame the others too much for making that conclusion. At least they collectively agreed to be nicer to Bocchi next time they hang out with her. It’s the thought that counts.


Watch BOCCHI THE ROCK! on Crunchyroll.

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