Bang Dream: MyGO!!!!! Anime

I just finished watching the mid-2023 TV anime (web anime?) Bang Dream: MyGO!!!!! and it is definitely a remarkable work. The weird part about my watching experience was that having tried and failed 2 episodes in, back when it was airing, then I watched the live-action band play in person, then I watched the first 7 episodes again, then I watched the same band play in person yet again, then I finally finished the series.

For starters, it’s definitely a series better binged. The non-linear narrative does the series a disservice until you make it to episode 3. MyGO’s strength, and to an extent all character-driven series like this, is character-based emotional investment. Without that, the dramatic “ball hiding” or “mystery” is just too surface level as a pull for me. Until I care, I’m not going to want to know, and this is why the back story retelling finally makes it possible. Yes, do the 3-episode test, but at least this many episodes.

Spoilers ahead.

What really sealed the deal for me in MyGO are the crazy music/lyric/reading performances. The first-principle rendering of the Girls Band ideal builds on what the rest of the Band Dream series is missing–the music being actually what the band is about? It is not about the performative, but about the reconciliation and the introspective. The raw emotions made great drama in MyGO anime, but it also made compelling performances that honed all that emotions into a piercing blow. The performance is not only performative, or a part of the story, but part of the actual theme.

It’s very much a contrast to Ave Musica’s glamorous display at the end of the series. I guess to its credit, it is thematically consistent with the ongoing character drama in the MyGO anime, but as impressive as it is, there’s just zero originality…much like rest of Bang Dream’s bands. It isn’t really a slight–but in a sea of copy bands who are all pretty high quality (in corpo world), MyGO can be a fresh breath of air.

It’s appropriate that MyGO is named after a group of girls who are lost in the direction in life. It’s also pretty funny in that thematically, people who don’t ask for directions are the ones who are lost, and that lack of communication is a running theme surrounding the drama and the plot.

I found that the voice acting performances (in JP) overall did elevate the anime by quite a bit. Hina Yomiya (who plays Tomori Takematsu), both in the anime and at concerts, delivers some really good vocals. It’s an emotional voice. However I generally found the other cast members grating to listen to. Even Coco Hayashi’s snippy Taki falls a little short in my opinion. The supporting cast for the other Bang Dream bands all show up at some point.

Just to say, the refreshing solo performances by Tomori probably lit up old timers’ eyes. It’s raw, it’s powerful, it’s moving, it’s unusual and it’s unlike anything else from Bang Dream. So naturally it’s to my disappointment that for the most part, that’s not MyGO!!!!! the band, on Spotify, in the games, or anywhere else. It’s yet another band, crafted with another vision, just like another band cut from the same cloth. It’s the CRYCHIC moment for MyGO anime fans like myself when the thing you enjoyed is frozen in time, to nobody’s fault, everything just suddenly ends.

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