So over the weekend, I decided to watch Show By Rock Masumairesh because I’ve seen so much of it on Twitter and I got really curious. I didn’t know much about the show before I watched it so I had no expectations going into it but was really happy with the outcome. The show stars a girl named Howan who is from a small town but is off to the city to pursue a career in music. Along the way she meets Himeko, Delmin, and Ruhuyu who are in the process of deciding where to take their own musical careers. They quickly become friends and decide to form the band Masumairesh and perform to their heart’s content.
The first thing I noticed about the show is that it really doesn’t take itself too seriously and I really like that. Humor is all over the show from running gags like talking about how Howen’s career would make her grandfather proud implying his death only for him to always be in the room during this joke to Howen’s Grandmother going from having a sweet cheerful voice to saying “Destroy” with such intensity when describing Howen’s path to success. None of the jokes had me rolling around in hysterics but I often found myself chuckling and enjoying how cheerful the tone was.
However, even though the tone is overall very cheerful and light-hearted that doesn’t mean it stays that way the entire time. The show will also put a lot of very serious moments throughout the season and transitions really well into these moments. The episode won’t just suddenly become serious but instead, you get a slow lead so the viewers really can tell something is about to happen and this smooth fluent transition is done beautifully which really helps because otherwise, the tonal shifts would be so massive it would be jarring to watch. The moments that are serious really have an impact too because during the light-hearted moments you grow attached to how charming these characters are so when it gets serious you really feel for these characters. You have one scene near the water where Howen and Himeko are having a discussion about their feelings about each other as well as their feelings about what they should do. Howen is concerned but ignorant to Himeko’s feelings who is feeling scared and rejected for reasons I won’t go into because of spoilers. When these emotions are expressed it’s easy to get chills at how well the acting is. Howen is played by Macy Anne Johnson who I praised for her acting abilities in my review of Akudama Drive and Himeko is played by Giovanni Cruz, this is my first experience seeing any of her work. Both of these individuals made this scene absolutely flawless. I was attentive to every word, every expression, and just on the edge of my seat and excited to see this outpour of emotion which really gave me chills. This to me was the highlight of the season and really is a great testament to the talent and care that was used to create it. I also found out this was the first dub directed by Megan Shipman who can be heard in shows like My Hero Academia and Bofuri so I’m quite a fan of her work and was really happy to see such phenomenal results for her first show as a director.
The band faces challenges such as overcoming the differences between each other to form a bond that really enables them to work well together as band mates as well as other bands that already have the spotlight and have taken a special interest in Mashumairesh. Normally challenges from external forces in most shows adds an element of suspense to a situation but I just didn’t feel that here. The tone of the show is so light-hearted that you really get a sense that everything will work itself out so you never wind up worrying about the characters. I also think that was intentional as this mindset really seems to be how Howan perceives any of the situations that she finds herself in.
So the execution of the show was fantastic but there are also some really noteworthy details that I really want to talk about. First of all the actors actually did their own singing and the songs were really catchy. I had one of them stuck in my head for a while. I’m honestly thinking of doing another entry of my voice actors that sing blog and just feature the cast of this show because everyone did an amazing job. It really shows the talent these individuals have to not only bring these incredible characters to life but also be able to convey their talent as singers in the process. I’ve seen a few instances where the singing was done by someone different and the fact that this was not the case here really adds to the show. Each time that the band performs it’s really like being in the audience of a show and it’s amazing how every band that performs has their own distinct style and multiple songs. It was really impressive.
Another thing I want to mention is that this season also contains a side story of an all male band that was formed because they would be punished if they refused and they have their own adventures into pursuing the music business. The emotional moments for this band aren’t as powerful and I think that works because while their story adds to the season it doesn’t overshadow the main story that is being conveyed. Even so the story is very well told as these four who were forced together start off hating each other with great intensity to becoming tolerant of each other. I don’t think I would call them friends quite yet at the end of the season but they really seemed to let go of any grudges they had for each other. Where as Masumairesh really bonded together and quickly resolved emotional disputes the concerns of this band lingered for most of the season. I absolutely loved this contrast because it really made each band’s path for the same goal really distinct and enabled the season to tell two stories really well and in a really captivating way.
Overall the humor in this show really helps to set a light-hearted tone for the entire season that made everything charming to watch. However, that doesn’t mean they pulled any punches either as the serious moments really had a lot of power to them and were absolutely captivating. The stories of both bands features were fun, engaging and very different from each other. It’s a very entertaining show and well worth watching.