It’s time to play, and BtR get’s right down to it. But while I was relieved Bocchi was on the stage, but there were still things to dread. Would her dad’s old guitar break, or Kita’s voice fail, at the worst possible time? Turns out, it’s the former.
Their first song goes off without a hitch, but early in the second, a string gives out just before Bocchi’s big solo. Before it happens, everyone (especially Kikuri, who breakes out of her drunken stupor) can tell something’s off, even though Bocchi’s playing is okay.
After it happens, Bocchi is ready to spiral into a full-on meltdown, but Kita has her back, ad-libbing a sort of rhythm solo for just enough measures to allow Bocchi to pick up one of Kikuri’s empty glass sake bottles and pull off a pretty rad bottleneck slide guitar solo.
Bocchi may be mortified, but both the adults and the kids love it. The former are super amused Bocchi thought to go bottleneck, while a lot of the latter didn’t even know what she was doing, but thought it was freaking awesome.
With their set complete, the band takes a bow, and when some in the crowd call out bottleneck Bocchi, Kita shoves the mic in her face. Bocchi locks up, unable to speak without prepared remarks, then asks herself What Would Kikuri Do? … and leaps into the crowd.
While she almost certainly would have been caught at a club where it would have been more expected, here she hits the ground with a punishing thud. Kikuri, Seika, and Ryou think it’s hilarious and Bocchi is now a rock legend while Nijika and Kita are more concerned.
When Bocchi comes to in the nurses office, Kita is by her side. Bocchi takes the time to thank Kita and to tell her how good she’s gotten in such a short time. Kita’s response is a little somber, since she’s resigned to never being good enough to be a frontman like Bocchi, Kit-aura or no. But Bocchi will happily keep teaching her.
It’s here where Kita officially starts calling Bocchi Hitori-chan, which is incredibly sweet. Bocchi delays the after-party to a date TBD, and back home apologizes to her dad for “breaking” his guitar. He tells her no such apology is necessary, but since his guitar is so old it may be time for her to buy her own. When she says all her STARRY pay goes to quotas, her dad produces a fan of 10,000 yen bills.
At first I thought he and her mom had been saving her weekly allowance for a social life she never had until now, but these are Bocchi’s legitimate hard-won advertising earnings from the clicks her videos receive. That’s right; she’s been posting to the Gotou family account, and they all know she’s guitarhero!
Suddenly having 300,000 yen burning a hole in her pocket, Bocchi gets all psyched up about quitting her job, since the cash will cover not only a guitar but her quotas. But when it comes time to actually bring it up to Seika, Bocchi folds like a cheap suit and issues a declaration of commitment to her current job.
She also considers that Seika might let her quit if she buys her a guitar, but when Nijika asks Seika what she’d want Bocchi to get her she says nothing (while privately blushing over how nice Bocchi is). With that, Kessoku Band is off to Ochanomizu, a historically musically-oriented district, to shop for a new guitar.
Once there, Ryou is annoyed when Kita and Nijika focus on the cute accessories, then unassumingly asks if she can try out a certain bass and proceeds to slap the shit out of it, impressing the store manager (and Kita).
When Bocchi spots a sleek black Yamaha, the manager approaches her and she goes to pieces, but Kita is there to operate Ventriloquist Dummy Bocchi, Oddly, even though the point of going to a physical store was to handle a guitar before buying it, Bocchi buys it without handling it. She even flees the store without the guitar, but her friends bring it out to her.
With that, Bocchi straps into her new guitar which she bought with her own hard-earned cash, and she does indeed look awesome, though her family witnesses her promising her dad’s old guitar that she won’t neglect it. Leaving her heavily bookmarked practice books and closet studio, Bocchi puts her new guitar on her back and heads out, saying Be back later not just to her family, but to us, as that’s the end of Bocchi the Rock!
While this was a pitch-perfect ending to the season, I for one hope we get an encore soon, featuring more confidence, more comedy, and more concerts! Until then, Bocchi the Rock! is a late but deserving addition to the conversation for Anime of the Year.