Talk about a cliffhanger.
So yeah, BOCCHI THE ROCK! is saving the Culture Festival concert for the very last episode. I figured as much as this penultimate episode went on and before watching, I figured it’d be saved for last to end the show on a high note (pun not intended). I must say, this episode did have me at the edge of my seat. Like, nothing bad happens here but that’s exactly the point. Kessoku Band hasn’t had great luck with their concerts. You can’t help but think something will go awry during the Culture Festival. Assuming a setback does exist, the fact that this episode doesn’t get that out of the way leaves me anxious (though not as anxious as Bocchi).
BOCCHI throws a bit of a red herring in that regard at the end of Episode 10 and the beginning of Episode 11 where Kita, Nijika, and Ryo learn from Bocchi’s classmates (the same ones from Episode 3) that Bocchi has gone missing. Obviously, it’s nothing horribly dark. Rather, Bocchi’s class is doing a made café with her as one of the maids and Bocchi has run off to a secluded part of her school to curb her anxiety. This is resolved within the first act of the episode and it takes place a day before the concert so this is in no way the feared setback I’m expecting. I got to hand it to Professor Kita here. She does a good job leading the search for Bocchi, starting with the area the two of them practice guitar and narrowing other possibilities based on Bocchi’s personality. Mind you, Kita does take her search a little too far as she apparently checks trash cans and cisterns offscreen (a shame we don’t get to see that). Still, those aren’t bad guesses and these go to show how much Kita cares about Bocchi.
While at her corner, Bocchi browses online and realizes that she hasn’t uploaded a video as “guitarhero” in a while, causing her to worry that she’ll lose her following if she doesn’t post something new. Wow, it’s almost like my blog! Honestly, I was wondering if Bocchi uploaded a new video since the first episode, what with her being busy with Kessoku Band. How nice then that this episode answers that question. I’m curious if the show will follow through and have Bocchi upload a new video next episode. Even if for a brief scene, it’d be nice to keep track of this thread. While I’m at it, it’d be fun to have a recording of Kessoku’s concert uploaded and then have Bocchi’s online fans notice and speculate on the “similarity” between her and guitarhero.
Once Bocchi’s friends find her, the four of them tour around the culture festival. A highlight of this scene is when Kessoku Band checks out a class’s haunted hospital exhibit. Nijika and Kita get frightened while Ryo and Bocchi are unfazed. In Bocchi’s case, I assume it’s because she’s already panic-stricken. Eventually, Kita leads the group back to Bocchi’s class as she realizes that Bocchi is using the tour to excuse herself from maid duty. I’m nitpicking here but why isn’t Kita with her class? I get that she left to check on Bocchi but not once do you see her with her class, let alone find out what her class chose to do for the culture festival. This girl is making Bocchi be a maid when she herself has ditched her class. Talk about a double standard.
Maid duty for Bocchi goes about as you’d expect. You’d think she’d be alright given her part-time work at Starry but I suppose this is a case of apples and oranges. Maybe it’s the fact that she’s at school with people who know her. Maybe it’s the embarrassing costume and phrases she has to use. Maybe it’s the lack of a paycheck. Whatever the case may be, Bocchi couldn’t be more demotivated to work at a maid café. Later in the scene, Kita and Nijika don maid outfits (and funnily enough, this isn’t the first time Kita has worn one) while Ryo dresses up a butler. Not only are they more into the job than Bocchi, they end up making the café a huge success. While this gives Bocchi less work to do, this does feel like foreshadowing to how she’ll be received at the concert compared to her friends. I’m not sure why the show visualizes this with a 3D, T-posing model of the character but it sure is funny.
After the first day of the culture festival, Kessoku Band does one last session of practice at Starry. Bocchi quickly notices a sudden spike of improvement in Kita’s guitar playing, presumably thanks to the lessons the latter has secretly been taking with Ryo. As I said in the last episode review, Kita seems to be doing this for Bocchi. I’m curious if Kita will succeed in making Bocchi shine at the concert. With her improved abilities and her popularity, she’s running the danger of overshadowing Bocchi, which is definitely the last thing she wants to do. Another thing to note is a particular bit of dialogue where Kita is seemingly about to compliment Bocchi. She did something similar in the last episode though she did so internally and the show cuts before you hear the line in its entirety. Here, she’s about to tell Bocchi in-person she’s amazing in some way, only to then stop herself partway through. I’m very curious as to what Kita was going to say. Maybe she was just going to tell Bocchi that she’s amazing at the guitar but that seems too trivial to me. Who knows, it could be a love confession. The Bocchi x Kita subtext has gotten really strong as of late. Given the buildup, it definitely has to be something meaningful.
At the end of the episode, it’s the big day for Kessoku Band. Some familiar faces are in attendance here such as Bocchi’s family, her classmates from Episode 3, her fans from Episodes 6 & 8, Seika, and Kikuri. I’m not entirely sure how Bocchi’s fans heard about the culture festival but bless their hearts for supporting Bocchi all this time. Honestly, the bigger enigma here is Kikuri. Either she snuck all that booze in her jacket or security at Bocchi and Kita’s school is insanely lax. As mentioned at the start of this post, the show cuts right as Kessoku is about to perform, leaving the actual concert for the next and final episode.
Watch BOCCHI THE ROCK! on Crunchyroll and VRV (via Crunchyroll)