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A slice of life comedy yonkama created by Hamaji_Aki. It began on December 19, 2017 in Manga Time Kirara Max magazine. It was adapted into an anime TV series by Cloverworks. It was directed by Saitou Keiichirou, written by Yoshida Erika, and its score was composed by Kikuya Tomoki. The vocal songs were performed by anime seiyuu in character. The characters were designed by Kerorira who was also the chief animation director. The anime ran from October 9, 2022 to December 25, 2022.
The manga was inspired by Hamaji's own love of bands. She wanted to create a manga based around a band, but she realized that she had no actual experience with musical instruments. She then decided to pick up bass and drums by herself. When she was developing the manga, she decided to differentiate her series from the most well known girl rock band based series, K-ON!, starting by centering her story around a live house based rock band. With the series, Hamaji wanted to balance the slice of life comedy elements that are standard for Kirara manga with the focus on a developing rock band like more serious band manga.
Production on an anime adaptation of the manga got started once it caught the attention of the anime's character designer Kerorira. He liked the manga so much that he suggested to producer Umehara Shouta that it should be adapted into an anime. Coincidentally, the idea of adapting the manga into anime had also been proposed by others at Cloverworks and the project was greenlit with Kerorira enthusiastically joining the project.
The series follows Gotou Hitori, a girl so socially anxious that she has never had any friends for her entire life and no contacts outside of her immediate family. Gotou desperately wants friends, but has no idea about how to get any. One day, in middle school, she catches a TV interview of a popular rock band. One of its members admits to being an introvert in his past, but being part of the band inspired him to improve himself. Gotou is inspired by this interview and decides to pick up the guitar so that she can one day improve herself and achieve the popularity and respect that band received.
Fast forward three years later, Gotou has become proficient at the guitar and has created an online persona called guitarhero. On her channel, she uploads covers of the latest rock hits. Gotou is starting to gain an audience of online fans. Unfortunately, her burgeoning online popularity does not translate to her offline life. Gotou is still as socially anxious and friendless as she has been her whole life and no one knows that she's actually guitarhero thanks to her never showing her face in her videos. Even Gotou's attempts at gaining attention at school, such as bringing her guitar to class and decorating her bag with fan memorabilia, fail to draw any attention to her. However, Gotou gets her chance to improve her life and chase her dreams once Ijichi Nijika spots her and has her join her band, Kesshoku Band, as a last minute replacement for a guitarist that suddenly bailed. After joining the band, Gotou, who earns the nickname Bocchi, must learn how to work together with others as a band and overcome her social anxiety to pursue her dreams.
The anime adaptation notably uses a wide variety of medium blending techniques to comedically visualize Bocchi's neurotic thoughts. Whenever Bocchi starts getting carried away with her imagination, the series will suddenly switch from standard 2D animation to mediums like claymation, different art styles, or even live action footage. This style of cutaway humor was intended by director Saito and writer Yoshida a way to emphasize the comedy and emotion of Bocchi's condition as opposed to a completely realistic depiction. As a rock-based series, the series has numerous references to rock musicians, particularly the popular J-rock band Asian Kung Fu Generation whose songs formed the basis for many of the episode titles. The rock performances were first done with live action performers performing the music and acting in-character as the cast. The performances were down adapted into a CG previs, where the animators could determine how every shot should be constructed. Then, the animators animated the final product.
The anime was also the big darkhorse success of the Fall 2022 season. The series premiered alongside a plethora of highly anticipated anime series with well-established fanbases, but was able to avoid being overshadowed by those series. The anime sold a total of 16,793 disc sales within its first week. The popularity transferred back to the original manga causing it to sell over one million copies. The original manga also ranked 8th at the Next Manga Awards in 2019.
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