How Bocchi the Rock Perfectly Portrays Character Growth

Bocchi the rock is a new anime that aired in the last season of 2022 and has shown to be the underdog of the season. On the surface level, the anime appears to be just your typical slice of life of cute girls doing cute things. But in reality, it’s a very well-written story of a person growing out of her shell and improving her life little by little.

About Bocchi the Rock

The anime follows Hitori Gotoh(AKA Bocchi), a girl with social anxiety since she was little and a loner that didn’t have any friends. One day however she saw a band interview on TV where one of the members was an introvert like that. With newfound motivation, she embarks on a journey to learn the guitar and form a band so she can be popular and everyone will love her!

Except she spent 3 years alone learning guitar before entering high school, even creating a YouTube account named “Guitarhero” and uploading her covers online. Still, that gives her 0 real-life friends. Bocchi really wants to make friends, but she is too scared to talk to people, so instead, she often resorts to tactics she thinks will make people come to talk to her. Bringing her guitar to school, wearing band T-shirts and looking “cool” is what she thinks will help. However, she quickly learns that people won’t just come to talk to her out of nowhere if she doesn’t take the initiative to do so.

Finding Friends?

Luckily as she is sulking in a park, overthinking every scenario in her head and how she will stay alone forever, she is found by Nijika. A bubbly, energetic drummer girl who is in desperate need of a guitarist for today’s live session since the last one ghosted them. Unable to refuse because of her social anxiety, Bocchi accepts the offer, where she is introduced to the live band “Starry” and the other band members of Nijika. Ryo is the bassist, a stoic girl who seems serious at first but is just empty-headed, with her one brain cell being the Bass.
What is interesting about when they play together for the first time is that Bocchi sucks. Even though she is an incredible solo guitarist, she has never had the experience of playing in a group environment before, leading to her playing becoming absolutely awful. Bocchi doesn’t just appear to be good right away for the sake of it, she actually has to learn how to work in a band. And on the first live show, she plays inside a card box because she is too scared to be seen by other people.

Even after entering the band, Bocchi figured she still had a long way to go if she wanted to grow. And that’s exactly what this anime tackles. Little by little, Bocchi is able to overcome her struggles in the small things, like looking clients in their eyes as she starts to work at Starry, being able to say what she thinks and becoming more confident in her ability as a musician.

Character Growth in Bocchi the Rock

All of the characters grow in their own way, but Bocchi is seen growing the most out of the bunch. The anime even tackles the question of what exactly growth is at some point. Is it the same as putting in the effort? Is it something that can be easily quantified or seen?

When Bocchi starts to question that and look back at how much room she still has to cover, she starts to realize that she wants to grow. Not only for herself but also for her newfound friends.

In the performances, Bocchi shows her growth through her playing of the guitar. Being the one that lifts the band upwards when they are down. The anime even goes out of its way in the music department to show us a bad performance instead of telling us. You can hear the drums being iffy, you can hear the guitar playing out of tempo and even the vocalist singing out of tune. Only to have Bocchi bring it all together, taking the lead.

Bocchi has to go on this journey to start having more confidence in herself before she can pull this off. As we can see in one of the episodes where she performs in the street to sell tickets for the band’s show.
At first, she is terrified, but she is told something she really needs to realize. “The audience is not your enemy”. Little by little, Bocchi opens up her eyes and realizes the audience is attentively listening to her. Her music was being heard because they were the people that stopped to listen to her.

Bocchi’s growth is also seen in other people as Kita, the vocalist, and in training, the guitarist starts to want to become much better to be able to support Bocchi.

More Goodness!

Another thing is that the dynamic of the cast is incredible as well. As they serve as parallels to Bocchi and help her grow more and more. Ryo teaches her that she needs to write songs that she believes in, not something simply to sell. “If you put your heart into something. It might not resonate with a lot of people, but to the ones that do, it will cause a great impact.”

Nijika serves as the leader, always being aware of Bocchi’s feelings and becomes a beacon and motivation for Bocchi to keep improving.

Kita serves as a great friend that wants to help Bocchi break out of her shell, always caring for Bocchi.

Their growth as a band is also addressed throughout the series, as the Owner of the live house won’t let them perform unless they show growth and determination. This leads the band to achieve new heights and actually start to become a band more and more as the series goes on.

The most impactful thing about Bocchi the Rock is seeing the characters at the start of the series and at the end of the school festival. Sometimes the changes are in the small things that you can’t see very much. But even those small things speak volumes to show where they are heading.

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