Publisher: Sentai Filmworks
Distributor: Section23 Films
Release Date: June 19th, 2018
Edited by CrimsonMomongaSSS
BANG! Have you ever had something inspire you in less time than an episode of Teekyuu? Want fewer boy troubles than were in Anonymous Noise? Need more touchy-feely older sisters with no sense of personal space in your life? From the studio that brought you To Love Ru, but without all the ecchi, comes BanG Dream!. No, not that kind of bang! This lovely gem of a story was brought to the US by Sentai Filmworks. Many thanks to Section23 for providing a review unit.
Kasumi Toyama has a dream: She wants to sparkle and shine to the beat of the stars! The problem is, she doesn’t know how to achieve that dream. One day, while on her way home from school, she notices a trail of star-shaped stickers that lead her to a pawn shop. Inside the storehouse she finds a guitar in the shape of a star, absolutely covered in more stickers shaped like—you guessed it—stars. This situation eventually leads her to a live music club where she’s inspired to start a band! Can she learn guitar in time to perform? Will she become a star? How will this wild ride turn out? Find the answers to those questions, and more, by… actually watching the show. You’re not here to get the entire story from me.
As for my personal experience with BanG Dream!, I absolutely adored everything. As I mentioned in the Anonymous Noise review linked above, this show also has a female lead that reminds me of Yui from K-On!, except this series does it even better. Anyone who knows me (such as my Editor for this review) knows that I freakin’ adore K-On!. There was a point in my life where I would watch it every week. No, I don’t mean an episode a week. I mean both seasons, all OVAs, and all specials once a week. And then the movie came out and I added that to the rotation. I was obsessed, to say the least.
As such, I couldn’t help but compare this series to K-On! in just about every possible fashion. Kasumi is a less-challenged Yui, but still has her flair. Rimi is Mio, but a bit less of a scaredy-cat. Arisa is an even more easily-embarrassed Azusa. Okay, the characters actually are distinct from K-On!’s characters, but I still saw the familiar traits in them. It made me root for the band to get together; I wanted to see a band of friends become a band of musicians once more, and BanG Dream! delivered.
The music isn’t bad, either. Just like in K-On!, again, the song titles are incredibly endearing and slightly embarrassing to say out loud, but they reveal the feeling behind the songs nonetheless. I mean, what kind of person names a song “My Heart is a Chocolate Coronet”? Regardless, each new song made me shiver with excitement. Seeing the girls grow from their experiences together and watching them put their all into their music was absolutely breathtaking. I found myself humming their tunes all the time, even on the way to the bathroom.
The storyline was engaging enough and didn’t hesitate to get deeper and more emotional than I would have ever expected from the thirteen episodes. Unlike in Anonymous Noise, BanG Dream!’s use of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” actually got me emotionally invested in the storyline. When an emotional moment arrived, I was right there with the characters, feeling their sadness or happiness or depression. The animation style and level of detail in the artwork really fit with the storytelling as well. The lack of a dub didn’t prevent me from enjoying the series, and, to be honest, I think I’d prefer it not to be dubbed if that means the songs get to retain their original glory.
In the end, I basically cheated on K-On! with BanG Dream!, and, while the former will always have a special place in my heart, I’m eagerly awaiting a second season that I can bang in my dreams again. (Okay, NOW it’s that type of bang.) I want the sensual caress of the band’s music and the anime’s story to grip me tight. That sweet kiss of genuine human growth in storytelling totally turned me on, and I need it in my life again. With an SRP of $59.98 USD on the Sentai Filmworks store, this show is absolutely worth every penny. While the disc art isn’t all too flashy, I still had a Poppin’ Party of a time with this show, and I hope you will too.
Lolinia gives BanG Dream! a Drastik Moé Measure of 8.9 out of 10.0 (89).
PS. Before watching the show, I thought the disc art was really bland. After watching the show,
I realized I couldn’t have asked for anything more.