This episode is the “calm before the storm” as it takes place right before Kessoku Band’s concert performance (their first one with everyone present). While I mostly meant that figuratively, I suppose I also meant that literally given what we find out at the end of the episode. I guess I also mean it ironically because with Bocchi, “calm” isn’t exactly the first adjective to come to mind.

Before the concert, Nijika and Kita visit Bocchi’s home so that the three of them can brainstorm T-shirt designs for Kessoku Band. Nijika wants a unique design so that she and her friends look more like a band (and as potential merchandise, talk about killing two birds with one stone!). Ryo is noticeably absent as she just wants to chill and have some time to herself. She does lazily submit designs and I do mean lazy as all she does is paste images of food she wants to eat over stock images of shirts as a less than coy way of asking her friends for input. It’d be less rude of her to not play a part at all.

In Ryo’s defense, it’s not like the whole brainstorming sessions is very productive. Bocchi, Nijika, and Kita all get sidetracked throughout the day, particularly when the latter two meet Bocchi’s family for the first time. Both Bocchi and Kita each come up with a design but they’re pretty out there. Kita’s design does look like a team uniform but as Nijika points out, it looks like something you’d wear for a sports festival than for a band. Further ruling it out, the sports festival-esque look causes Bocchi to have a panic attack. As an aside, I love that half of Bocchi’s episode is seemingly done in stop motion and that it continues after the commercial break as an excuse to change art styles and to have Nijika break the fourth wall to acknowledge it. This show’s commitment to its humor continues to amaze me. As for Bocchi, her T-shirt design captures the band’s rock theme more than Kita’s but it’s very busy and tryhard with the font choice and an odd inclusion of zippers and chains so it’s also a no-go. I do feel bad for Bocchi, though. She gets so excited over her design that you can’t help but root for it to “win”.

Ultimately, Nijika settles on her design, hilariously defeating the whole point of her gathering her friends to brainstorm. Joking aside, I like the shirt design. It’s a black shirt with a white zip tie encircling the kanji for Kessoku Band. The zip tie is what “kessoku” literally means, a punny symbol for the band’s bond, so its inclusion is appropriate. The design is simple but I dig it and it certainly looks like something a band would wear and sell. I imagine Nijika had to swallow her pride a bit here, however. She did say it in Episode 1 that she find her band’s name cringey. Then again, some time has passed. Maybe the pun has grown on her.

There isn’t really any reason as to why Nijika and Kita are specifically hanging out at Bocchi’s place apart. To be fair, it’s not like you need a fancy justification for friends hanging out at their friend’s home. The fact that hangout is at Bocchi’s is nevertheless important for the episode’s setup. As Bocchi points out, she’s never had friends at her place (or friends to begin with) so she has no clue as to how a hangout should go. And knowing Bocchi, she’s bound to go overboard. Unsurprisingly but also hilariously, Bocchi gets over the top here. She hangs a giant banner welcoming Kessoku Band at the front of her house. She puts on some silly accessories such a pair of LED sunglasses and a fake mustache. She decorates her room with party decorations. It’s all really ridiculous. As always, Bocchi’s heart is in the right place. She just doesn’t know how to go about with the execution and the results speak for themselves.

If you recall in Episode 4, Bocchi decorated her bedroom with copies of Kessoku Band’s group photo (and that wasn’t weird at all). Apparently, Bocchi’s mother later asked for the photos to be taken down so Bocchi’s room is back to normal, party decorations aside. Nijika and Kita do stumble upon a pile of copies but while that does puzzle them, they don’t really dwell on it. I can’t decide how I feel about this. On one hand, I would’ve loved to have seen their reaction to seeing the wall plastered with the same picture over and over again. On the other, it is really funny that they have no idea and are probably better off not knowing the truth.

As mentioned earlier, Nijika and Kita meet Bocchi’s family for the first time. This amusingly irks Bocchi a bit as everyone is more sociable than her and she struggles to be part of the conversation. She’s able to able to bribe Futari away with an ice pop though there’s not much she can do with her parents. I laughed pretty hard when Bocchi’s parents admitted that they thought Bocchi’s friends don’t exist or if they do, they’re a part of one of those rental services in Japan. Even with the group photo, they thought it might’ve been photoshopped. It makes sense that they’d be skeptical but damn, talk about savage. As funny as it is, I would’ve liked to have this bit balanced out with something less mean-spirited. Like, maybe have the parents privately talk about how happy they are that Bocchi finally has friends. I don’t get the impression that they think badly of Bocchi but there hasn’t been a lot of footage of them supporting their daughter and this episode could’ve remedied that some more.

The funniest gag comes near the end of the episode where Nijika and Kita convince Bocchi to try on some of the clothes she has lying around in her wardrobe. While falling in love with fawning over Bocchi, Nijika tries to brush Bocchi’s hair. Overwhelmed from having her face exposed, Bocchi dies and crumbles into ashes. No really, that’s actually what happens to her. Even Nijika and Kita both acknowledge what just happened. Just when you think things couldn’t get weirder, Bocchi’s spirit then curses Nijika and Kita, causing them to slowly die on the floor and become just as depressed and self-loathing as their deceased friend. After that, the show cuts to the next day where the three girls are perfectly fine. They don’t talk about what happened and the only implication as to how they’re recovered is that Bocchi’s parents were somehow able to cure them. I still have five more episodes to watch and this technically isn’t the first time BOCCHI THE ROCK completely disregards its internal logic. Be that as it may, this scene is definitely a top candidate as the show’s most insane scene. What a wild ride this scene is.

Around two thirds into the episode, there’s a brief shot of the weather report on Bocchi’s TV, revealing that a typhoon will soon hit the region. This is brought up again at the end of the episode, right before the day of the concert. Out of the four band members, Bocchi is the most worried about the storm. Admittedly, Bocchi is always worried though this time, her anxiety feels different. She has come a long way since Episode 1; the last thing she wants is for all the hard work she and her friends have done to fizzle out. Unfortunately, it appears that the show hates its titular character as the typhoon has hit the Shimokitazawa area, where STARRY is located, leaving the viewer to check the next episode to see how Kessoku Band makes do with this massive setback.

Watch BOCCHI THE ROCK! on Crunchyroll.

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