Spite for Transformative Coercion Is the Fuel for Rock Music

Let’s talk about Bocchi the Rock. First of all, here’s a nice video on Youtube talking about its qualities as an anime adaptation.

I think the gist of the video is pretty much the explainer for “Anime no Chikara.” And on a basic level, when you sic 100s of animation creators to create something based on a comic that a handful of people put together (at best, as with most 4koma works), you’re going to likely get something that’s more amazing than what the original manga team can put together, on average. (The video says how some people who checked out the comic for Bocchi because of the cool anime were disappointed. Isn’t this exactly what happened to some people during K-ON era? And that adaptation is quite straight-laced.) Frankly, this should be the case every time, but isn’t, is a post for another day, but we are on Youtube on 2022 and people hamming on something as basic as this still gets some stuff wrong.

In this particular case I feel the youtuber is a bit overexaggerating or using language that could stand to be more precise. Unfortunately I think being a little bit over-gushing about it is kind of the selling point of this sort of videos, correctness be damned. Maybe the algorithm has its upsides, but I don’t think I can approve any implementation that further encourages the selling off of veracity for clicks, which basically makes Youtube’s the worst offender there is. And, I guess, that is also another post, but there’s something more egregious about that video’s comments that I want to highlight. (Want to hate society? Go read Youtube comments.)

The top rated comments (as of this writing) says that Bocchi is an extrovert who has crippling social anxiety. Well, the social anxiety part I think we all can agree on, but who can possibly say Bocchi is an extrovert? It boggles my mind, but the person lays out that it’s because Bocchi seems to chooses or wants to do social things but can’t due to her, uh, issues. I’m sorry to say but doesn’t this mean this person has never met an introverted person who wants to party? (Has this person never has talked to people like myself?)

All of which is just to say, even engaging with the anime and story about an introvert, and a huge part of the appeal of Bocchi is just how she thinks and feels like an introverted person, is upended when you engage the thing that I would charitably call as society. Youtube served me a video about something I like and it just irritated me. This is how an introverted mind works, this is how Bocchi’s mind works.

Wanting to burn down society makes a great villain character if you are an old-timer JRPG creator, but it is even better if that motivation becomes the burning soul of a rock band. This is the third-level meta I want to see in Bocchi. I get it that cute girls can’t be bad girls in a Kirara 4koma, but I think there’s space for it and Bocchi will only get better the more chaotic it gets, which I think we all agree.

PS. The most serious foul in that Bocchi video is putting it in on a pedestal in a season when Pop Team Epic is airing, and then praise Bocchi’s…non-anime parts as if it was rare or even the first time something like this happened?? In another time, maybe it won’t be as offensive, but talk about applying the same analysis without paying attention to the context, the context of this season in 2022, as well as the context of this introverted thinking that characterizes Bocchi. Like if it was science, maybe it’s okay, but literary analysis? I’d give you no better than a C.

One Response to “Spite for Transformative Coercion Is the Fuel for Rock Music”

  • bitbybyte

    There was a time I didn’t think video essays were rotten to the core, but it’s become my prevailing feeling as more and more video migrates entirely to one platform where everyone is encouraged to expand content to be unnecessarily longform. This Bocchi one wasn’t as egregious with the Wikipedia synopsis reads, but I did come away with the same impression that we got a lot of fan gushing without many critical ideas or research presented. That doesn’t have to be a fault, but it’s definitely worn me out to see video made to elevate a movie or a show when it seems to talk exclusively to fans that need to be convinced they’re witness to a masterpiece.

    All that is to say, Bocchi really does deliver me a lot of joy every week, and also excitement to see relatively unknown sleeper hits (as can be kind of a grab bag with Kirara adaptations) can still cut through the clamor of a season along other heavy hitters. There is a lot to be said about the production structure on this show that sakuga folks smarter than me are probably already glued to, but it’s quirky fun and that’s really all I need to internalize to say it’s earned its praise.

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