Bang Dream! Season 2 Episode 13: KIZUNA MUSIC♪ (Final Impression)

What a fun way to end the season. Just like the first episode of the season, we were treated to all the bands coming together (except Pasupare) and giving us an energetic live show. But what made this one even better was that every single band showed off their new singles! And I can’t even pick a favorite. If I go with Roselia’s “Fire bird” it’s kind of biased because they’re my favorite band musically, but honestly they were all good.

The day of the self-sponsored show arrives and it’s hectic and fun. They’re getting ready, goofing off, and hanging out. No conflict or drama this episode, just everyone being happy and excited to perform. They all come together to huddle and cheer together before the show starts. This section was just simple fun but I really have to commend the anime team for handling all these girls and not making it a complete mess. One scene that stands out was Eve putting makeup on a reluctant Maya while in the background, Ran and Moca were eating, Sayo was talking to a regularly boppin’ Hina, Ako running back and forth for food. I know usually animating these kinds of scenes, where there’s so much movement going on from different characters in different spots at the same time, can be a huge pain. I don’t know if it’s any easier with 3D models but either way it was a really good scene animation wise and it showed the energy in the room really well. It really makes the room feel alive and real(?).

The rest of the episode, again, was all music. Press F for Rokka who had to freak out and get the stage lighting right because they all didn’t go by their setlists. There were some less than exciting performances from this season but each performance this episode were amazing. Lots of dynamic camera movements, zoom ins, great expressions, lights, everything. They were all lively in their own ways and each performance from their respective band really showed their distinct styles. The crazy Hello Happy had an insane and fun show, the cute Pasupare had an adorable and energetic vibe, the mellow Afterglow wasn’t as flashy but shined with their smiles and hard rock, and Roselia with their intensity. And Popipa being cute and happy as always. They each shined in their own ways, and all of their songs were hits. Hello Happy is my least fave band in general but “Egao Sing a Song” was so good. I feel like the music has gotten even better than their older songs and they blew me away. I honestly can’t pick my favorite one.

FINAL IMPRESSION

It’s funny. I remember reading awhile ago how badly Bang Dream was doing where stores in Japan were begging people to buy the merch because it wasn’t selling at all. The first anime season didn’t do any better to make the franchise be a hit. It wasn’t the worst thing I saw but it certainly wasn’t all that good either. It was a rough time for the Bang Dream franchise and it looked like it would die off like other music franchises, but then the game came around and its popularity soared. Seeing how Bang Dream was before, to what it is now with this season and a third season, and now even a movie coming out this year. It’s really insane how popular it is now, and it really makes me happy.

Bang Dream has always delivered when it came to its music, story, and characters. I think this anime season was able to show all that pretty well, while also integrating all 25 girls without making it into some sort of mess. While it did play with its fanservice to us players, it wasn’t just that. It gave us additional stories to develop some of the girls and had the same great character interactions that we know and love.

Though I have to say this again, this anime isn’t too friendly for people who haven’t played the game. There are people that stuck around with it and I’m glad but I feel like they’re not getting the full experience without playing the game. So it’s sad that it pushes anime onlies away. But for fans of the game, it was a really fun season. Sometimes I did feel like the plot jumped around a lot, and the inclusion of the other band’s episodes kind of did put the main plot to a complete stop as their episodes didn’t really have to do much with Popipa (at least with the main plot). Some episodes were better than others, and I’m still miffed that Afterglow didn’t get their proper episode but they were still fun to watch. The drama that happened with Popipa, which in turn introduced us to RAS I thought was well done. The Tae drama was a huge step in Popipa’s history and a true test to their strength and love for each other and the development they all got as a group was important. This season gave us RAS and I’m glad we sort of have an idea who some of them are. Chu2 came out in the end of Popipa’s show and basically told them she’ll kill them with music, so I can expect a lot more RAS next time.

RAS was an interesting bunch but I can’t say I have a favorite yet. Maybe Masking, but I feel I still don’t know them too well yet save maybe Layer. So I can’t wait to see them more and see them form as a true band in the third season.

The drama, characters, and music were all great as expected. But the biggest issue people had was the CG change for this show and honestly I liked it a lot. Of course it wasn’t perfect because there were lots of weird moments. The mix of 2D background/side characters with the main 3D characters was really jarring and really weird, and I have no idea why they did that. It was so unnatural that it took me out of the episode at times, especially when it would happen for a long time like with that one Glitter Green scene. Other problems I saw were the side shots looking a little strange. I also noticed that there were lots of close up shots, which I found to be a bit lazy.

But for the most part, I had little problems with the CG other than those things. What I was worried was the girls looking like dolls, with strained expressions and unnatural movements. But the CG MVs we got before like Neo-Aspect, Mou Ichidou Luminous, etc. kind of alleviated my fears because those MVs were gorgeous. We got the same quality in the anime and I couldn’t be happier. Yes, some of the performances were a little boring but when they were good, like the RAS performance and all the performances in the finale, they can be great. I really enjoyed it and I think Bang Dream is one of the better looking full CG anime out there, right behind Land of the Lustrous.

This anime was a lot of fun, way more fun than I thought it would be. It really delivered on the fun and energy but gave us well-written drama. This anime didn’t feel like a soulless attempt at making a quick buck with the fans, it actually had a lot of heart. The third season is going to be delayed until next January but we’ll be getting a movie this Fall instead and I’m really looking forward to it. More Bang Dream content is a-okay with me!

8.5/10

Berry

Unfortunately still a weeb

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