Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.
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Dated 1 November 2022: Bocchi the Rock! is excellent even though there's basically no ROCK yet

Ikuyo and Hitori
Not just "no," but "Hell no."

As it turns out, Bocchi the Rock! doesn't have anything to do with either SHOW BY ROCK!! or Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu. Maybe it was obvious to everyone else, but I don't actually know anything about SHOW BY ROCK!! or Hitoribocchi. Anyway, Bocchi the Rock! does star a girl named Hitori, but the Bocchi nickname is something she picks up later after joining a band, which is no mean feat for someone with crippling social anxiety.

Hitori
You might think she's just wasted one, but there are ways to reuse these.

Notably, that crippling social anxiety is the reason why "Bocchi" joined a band to begin with. You see, she's unsatisfied with her isolation and regards this move as way to change her lot. She is behind schedule, but at least this has provided her with additional time to improve her guitar skills. Through four episodes, it's apparent she's really good, even though her band mates haven't quite noticed yet.

Ryou and Hitori
Wait, are you drinking coffee and ice water at the same time?

At some point, her secret identity as a reasonably popular guitar-playing YouTuber is going to pay off, presumably as she overcomes the challenge of playing as a band in sync with the other members (as opposed to entirely alone, the only way she has ever played guitar thus far). She also seems fairly adept at coming up with new songs on the spot as long as she's not thinking about it.

Hitori
I should have embedded a video clip of this, because a screenshot doesn't do the sequence justice.

I'm probably portraying Bocchi the Rock! as if it's a serious show, but it is actually a comedy. (It's based on a 4-koma.) More importantly, it is also genuinely funny. Moreover, the production values as a whole are excellent and really go a long way towards selling various gags. I suspect, without them, bits related to Hitori's intense insecurity would come across as sad or uncomfortable instead of endearing.

Dated 2 August 2022: Luminous Witches doesn't have any nudity

Ginny
They're like magic headphones.

Renmei Kuugun Koukuu Mahou Ongakutai: Luminous Witches (League of Nations Air Force Aviation Magic Band Luminous Witches) is a Strike Witches spinoff set in the greater World Witches universe with a key difference: Instead of fighting Neuroi invaders, they sing and dance to raise the spirits of the populace. At least that's the way it has been through the first five episodes. Maybe later on they will also fight along with and/or perform for combat units.

Mana, Milasha, Inori, Ginny, and Elly
They're almost dressed normally.

We've come a long way from the original Strike Witches anime with its copious amounts of fan service and casual nudity. True, the Luminous Witches are still engaged in the War on Pants, but the series also relies on technicalities by cladding its characters in leggings, skirts, dresses, and shorts. In fact, some characters DO wear trousers, if you can believe it. Like I said, we've come a long way from the days when even the civilian girls in the franchise ran around without pants on for no clear reason. Actually, there was a reason: Because Fuck Pants. No peace in our time.

Jo, Sylvie, Maria, Milasha, Aila, Elly, Mana, Ginny, and Inori.
The original Strike Witches OVA also features animal familiars.

As far as the Luminous Witches anime itself goes, it's fine. I'm not exactly invested in any of the events or the characters. In fact, I definitely could not tell you all of their names or match most of the individual witches with their familiars. For that matter, I couldn't tell you the names of all the Brave Witches, either. (This might have more to do with the fact that Brave Witches ended more than five years ago.) I can still name all the characters from the 501st Joint Fighter Wing, though, even though they sometimes paraded around in the nude. I'm just saying.

Dated 28 June 2022: I don't know why I watched Black★★Rock Shooter: DAWN FALL

Black Rock Shooter
That's some nice shootin', Rock.

I sure have watched a lot of Black Rock Shooter for someone who claims not to care about Black Rock Shooter at all. I'm not even confident my understanding about Black Rock Shooter in general is even accurate. As far as I know, it is a Hatsune Miku song that was turned into a sort of popular music video, then an OVA, then a 2012 anime written by Okada Mari, and now Black★★Rock Shooter: DAWN FALL. I don't even know if Dawn Fall shares continuity with anything that came prior.

Monica
It would have been better if the human characters didn't wear these masks all the time.

What I do know is that Black★★Rock Shooter: DAWN FALL was 12 episodes of a grimdark future where there is only war. Well, war and rape. I don't mean this in a metaphorical sense, and I can see why you might think that considering a lot of what happens in the 2012 Black Rock Shooter was allegorical. No, I'm letting you know that a significant plotline in the 2022 anime involves young girls being raped literally to death.

Smiley
Is it better or worse that the rapist is a big freaky robot with limited emotional range?

So, is Black★★Rock Shooter: DAWN FALL actually good? Well, mostly not? I don't know if it's better for people who have strong attachments to the franchise. I can't claim I do, although I recognize Dead Master and Strength as characters who were present in previous Black Rock Shooter installments—that sort of thing. And I'm not fundamentally opposed to a series introducing characters, trying to make us care about them, and then having something terrible happen to them. I don't think I'm in favor of sadism, but I can appreciate that a show like this can still exist, and even be associated with an IP people presumably still value. Also, learning this was licensed by Disney was wild.

Dated 10 May 2022: Paripi Koumei is not an idol anime, but I'm pairing it with Love Live! Nijigasaki anyway

Eiko and Kongming
It must be inconvenient carrying that thing around all the time.

I initially passed on Paripi Koumei (a contraction of Party People Koumei, but officially localized as Ya Boy Kongming!) because a show about Zhuge Liang (a Chinese strategist from the Three Kingdoms era) reincarnating in modern Japan and adapting his expertise for use within the music industry didn't really appeal to me. However, I kept hearing good things about it, and the OP is really catchy, so here we are.

Eiko
I enjoyed Eiko's bewilderment at her sudden spike in popularity.

It turns out the series really is good. It's also worth pointing out Paripi Koumei is much more about Eiko, a singer who Kongming decides to support, than I had realized before I started watching it. Or, at least it was for its first four episodes. The latest two have been about a rapper who Kongming pursues, and there are more characters from the OP who I still don't recognize, so I don't actually know if Eiko's role will remain as prominent.

Yuu and Kaoruko
Somehow, questions about their hair never come up, though.

Questions about who the series is going to focus on also appear in Love Live! Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol Doukoukai 2. Besides the already sizable cast, the second cours of Nijigasaki adds new characters who, through six episodes already, haven't honestly appeared very much. From the looks of it, this season is probably going suffer from having too many characters to juggle, just as its first season did.

Setsuna
It's not as if she was stealing recipes from restaurants and fighting Pretty Cure.

I did enjoy the resolution of the whole Setsuna v. Nana secret identity thing, despite never genuinely believing this double life was truly necessary in the first place. Actually, maybe that was its appeal. The absurdity of it all amused me, as did the student body's baffling inability to penetrate her flimsy disguise. It's at least a contributing factor as to why Setsuna (and Nana) have rocketed towards the top of my Love Live! character rankings. (Meanwhile, fellow student council presidents Eli, Ren, and Dia are mired deep in the bottom half of the list.)

Lanzhu
I was expecting you to have done more stuff by now.

I'll probably still enjoy whatever Love Live! Nijigasaki decides to do going forward, but I expect it will be a far cry from Love Live! Superstar!! and its successes. Speaking of which, I hope adding those four new idols doesn't end up ruining the second cours of Superstar!! for me, but that's a whole 'nother topic.

Dated 16 November 2021: I don't care if Takt Op. Destiny probably isn't supposed to be written as {tákt: op. Destiny}

Ms. Brown, Cosette, and Anna
To a Musicart with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

I'm adding braces and styling the title of {tákt: op. Destiny} this way because doing so approximates how it appears in the anime. It also seems appropriate because the series itself is also very stylish, possibly to its detriment. It is a neat looking show, but I don't know if I can call it good. Nevertheless, at a minimum, the idea of using eccentric superpowered girls to fight off the monsters that attack whenever they detect music is sort of interesting. It's not exactly the sort of anime that everyone will like, though.

Walküre
Walküre should definitely be singing while fighting.

It would probably benefit {tákt: op. Destiny} to feature more music. Since the focus is on classical music, I guess it's not realistic to expect the Musicarts to sing while fighting, Symphogear style. I would absolutely enjoy an aria or two, but Takagaki Ayahi is not in the cast, and I don't expect there are many other seiyuu who would theoretically be up to the task.

Takt, Cosette, and Anna
I find it odd that no one is riding shotgun.

This is also a road trip anime. I appreciate those because they're sort of rare. (I get the feeling Japan's extensive rail infrastructure contributes to the relative scarcity of road trip anime.) It works here because {tákt: op. Destiny} is set in the United States. I guess it's not technically a road trip anime, but there is a road trip in it. Close enough, eh.

Dated 16 February 2021: This is an IDOLY PRIDE spoiler, but I don't think it matters anymore

Mana
"I can see my house from here."

There are plenty of other shows I'm watching that I should probably write about instead, but y'all getting an IDOLY PRIDE update instead. Deal with it. Okay, so after six episodes, I don't know why there is a ghost. Mana gives Makino someone to talk to, but there's no reason why she needs to be dead. She could have just retired, or started her own production company instead, or any number of other options. Or she could still have died, but not returned as a ghost. So far, Mana returning as a ghost has had no meaningful impact on the story.

Mana and Makino
I wonder if Mana can change her outfit.

And we do have confirmation that she's an actual ghost (as opposed to a hallucination). One of the other idols can see her, although they haven't continued interacting after the episode with the initial revelation. If we're racking and stacking idols in the show, I do like Mana best, so I appreciate having her around, but I was sort of expecting her whole phantasmness to have a bigger role in shaping the IDOLY PRIDE lore. As far as I can tell, there aren't even any other ghosts in IDOLY PRIDE—former idols or otherwise.

Dated 25 August 2020: I'm so glad myco is back

Those of you who know who myco is likely remember her as the seiyuu and singer who voiced the lead character in Full Moon wo Sagashite, the best anime of all time. Apart from FMoS (which ended in 2003), myco has had very few other voice acting roles. However, she did release at least one solo album, my-collage, which you can still buy, And I think the album she released with Quintillion Quiz, Memento Mori, is also available, although I've only ever seen it offered on the iTunes; I've never found a physical copy of the album.

Fortunately, myco recently announced a new channel on the YouTube. Since then, she has covered a few songs and I'm hopeful that she will continue to update the channel regularly. I'd really like to see a new album someday. I was pretty disappointed Quintillion Quiz did not release more music. Memento Mori is different from myco's single album or the FMoS music she did with Changin' My Life, but it was fantastic.

Dated 3 December 2019: Still enjoying Kono Oto Tomare! despite (or because of) all the drama

Hozuki
Hozuki is still Best Girl even though she's nice to people now.

The second cours of Kono Oto Tomare! Sounds of Life continues to satisfy with its steady stream of people being judgmental assholes. That bit from the first cours where smug douches jump to conclusions based on false accusations and totally unfair assumptions reappears here, but still manages to avoid crossing into irritating territory. It's a fine line, but I like how the show doles out the inevitable comeuppance and vindicates the accused.

Akira
You're okay. Try not to drive into a hedge.

I don't know how the source material is paced, but a bunch of characters are piling into the show as of the most recent episode, presumably in a rush to work in all the bits related to the upcoming competition before the season ends. This does work to its detriment, but it's the sort of thing I'm willing to excuse since the sum of the parts totals favorably. I'm not expecting further episodes of Kono Oto Tomare! after this season ends, but I'd watch more.