Two wildly different reactions to two wildly different anime.
This is basically soccer by way of Squid Game. Obviously not as deadly, but that’s the general vibe this show is going for. To be completely frank, it wasn’t my vibe. At all. To me, it just came across as really dumb, but in a cringy try-hard way as opposed to an entertaining one.
Granted, I’m absolutely not the target audience for this anime. I don’t care for soccer, I only occasionally watch sports anime at all, and obviously I don’t fit into the shounen demographic, so perhaps this just wasn’t meant to be. When I do watch sports anime, I generally prefer them to be more realistic and down-to-earth (think Run with the Wind or Yuri on Ice), and Blue Lock is just so incredibly not that that I found myself laughing where I’m pretty sure I wasn’t supposed to be. It has all the Intense Seriousness of something like Attack on Titan but… you know, with teenagers and soccer. So yeah, definitely not my jam, sorry. (Also… so did those teens all basically get kidnapped, or do they just have really understanding parents?)
Bocchi the Rock
Hell. Yes. This is why I watch anime – to be extremely surprised every now and again when I go in with next to no expectations and come out having had such a positive experience with a premiere that seemed to lack any kind of major hype. If you like anime about music – and I mean actually about music, not just about a bunch of school club members who sit around talking about stuff that may occasionally involve music – this is definitely something you’ll want to try out.
I also found myself immediately charmed by the main character’s extremely relatable social anxiety, which was treated lightheartedly yet realistically, as well as by her entire family (yup, this also isn’t one of those shows where the story treats the band members like their families don’t really exist). Oh, and in case all that wasn’t enough, the music aspect itself seems fairly authentic, in that Girl Who Plays Alone In Her Room And Is Moderately Successful Online doesn’t turn out to be some musical genius who’s instantly able to play well as part of a live band. I personally haven’t played any musical instrument seriously since middle school, but I can still absolutely appreciate the attention to detail that something like Bocchi the Rock offers. My returning fave Spy x Family aside, this is, so far, my top anime of the season, and by a considerable margin at that.
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