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Firechick's Anime Reviews: Show By Rock Mashumairesh!!



I give this distant sequel to one of my favorite mobile game franchises...a 54/100.

Full truth: I love Show By Rock. The first two seasons of it, at least. The first season, while objectively nothing to write home about in the public eye, I personally thought was fun, funny, dramatic, silly, awesome, and reveled in its sparkly, musical silliness. The second season, I feel, improved on many of the first seasons flaws, though it itself isn't without its problems, and was still just as fun and entertaining. I own both seasons on Blu-Ray and when I heard that a third season starring an entirely new cast of characters was going to air, I was hyped as hell. I really thought I was going to enjoy this one, and having a new cast of characters can actually be refreshing if done right. Sadly, Mashumairesh had a promising start but ultimately failed to reach beyond mediocre.

So instead of focusing on Cyan and her band Plasmagica, the story focuses on an entirely new character, Howan, a girl living in the snowy countryside who wants to make it big. She decides to go out to Midi City for an audition...only for her to lose her form and be unable to do so. But she finds a band performing on the street and they invite her to join them. Touched by their kindness, Howan decides to join them, proposing that they start a band together and see if they can make it big, just like Howan always dreamed. Yeah, tell me you haven't heard this premise before. Unoriginal as hell, though unlike the original show, there's no evil villain out to destroy the world, so any conflict is scaled down. I've heard someone say Show By Rock would be better as a pure slice of life show rather than have a more urgent save-the-world conflict, and I could see where they were coming from, but with the way Mashumairesh was executed, this shows that going that direction may not have been the best idea.

I'll get the positives out of the way first. For one, the animation is quite good. The original show was made by Bones, but Mashumairesh was animated by a different studio, Kinema Citrus, who you may know worked on shows such as Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, Made In Abyss, Rising of the Shield Hero, Is The Order a Rabbit, and other shows. While I do feel the character designs are way too ridiculous and over the top for their own good (Himeko's huge hair curls, anyone?), the show still feels true to the feel of the original, and while the CGI chibi models don't have as much shading and depth to them as the first show did, they're still cute and easy on the eyes, and stay away from looking really creepy and uncanny. I'm kind of mixed on the music, though. Some parts of it are good, such as the opening and ending songs. I wasn't a fan of the opening and ending themes for both the original show and the sequel, and the songs used here are much more pleasant to listen to and less obnoxious. That said, some of the songs sung in-universe are kind of odd. The melodies and beats are fine, but some of the lyrics make no sense, especially for some of Dokonjofinger's songs. Many of them have lyrics that feel like they were just slapped together at the last second.

Speaking of Dokonjofinger...I'm not gonna lie, they're pretty much the biggest dark spot on this show, and pretty much encapsulate the show's biggest problem: Its complete lack of interest in giving its characters any meaningful development whatsoever. All of the characters, even the ones we're supposed to care about and root for, are all really bland and dull, with many of them only having one character trait that's shilled to high heaven and that's it. Ruhuyu's whole adding the world lunatic to literally every word she said and shouting it every chance she had got old really fast. No, show, giving your character an annoying quirk and having them do nothing but said quirk all the time does not make a good, endearing character. Nearly every single character has all the emotional depth of a wet paper bag, and not helping matters is that the characters are implied to have interesting backstories, but they're never explored or fleshed out in any way, except with a throwaway line of dialogue here and there that's never followed up on. Tying back to Dokonjofinger, not only are they the absolute worst characters in the show, because they're all annoying as hell and their plight is completely inconsequential to the story, their whole setup is a complete logical disaster (They've done bad things and are about to get expelled from school...but to avoid that, their principal makes them form a band and forces them to compete with other bands. How can any principal expect problem teens to be able to get along as a band and NOT be scared that they'll just use it as a means to cause even more trouble?! And they do exactly that!!) and they get a crap ton of screen time but no meaningful development that'd make the audience care about them. How little does this show care about its characters? Here's an example: In Dokofin's introductory episode, the narrator explains that Joe's hobbies are, I shit you not...giving blood and receiving IV treatment. SHOW, THOSE ARE NOT HOBBIES!! Nor do they add any kind of depth and nuance to a character whatsoever! Out of all of them, Hachin is the absolute worst, because not only is he an annoying brat who always starts fights, even with his own bandmates, for kicks and giggles, he's got an especially grating voice that makes you want to stick needles in your ears. Think Asta from Black Clover but ten times worse.

The characters all stay the same throughout the series, and as a result, nearly every important moment they have near the end of the series not only feels fake, but completely unearned. It's especially bad because the creators wasted their resources on showing the bands having fun and wasting time on pointless activities, like a curling contest of all things, when they could have used that time and their resources to really flesh out their characters and make the audience care about them. Unfortunately, every character is dull and remains the same, with Dokofin's worst qualities never changing at all. Say what you will about the original show and its second season, it at least recognized its flaws from its first season and tried to rectify them in its second season. I mean, it's no sacred masterpiece, but it at least tried and put effort into making you care about the characters, even if its writing could be all over the place at times. Mashumairesh just feels like a shallow imitation that can't stand on its own two feet.

It's a shame, because as flawed as the original Show By Rock is, I still enjoy watching it, and I wanted this show to be good as well. Overall, while Mashumairesh isn't utter crap, I can't recommend this show, even for Show By Rock fans. It went too far with showing silly band shenanigans and lost sight of what made the original show so good. So I'd give this one a miss.
Tags: anime, by, mashumairesh, review, rock, show
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