It’s over and I’m so sad! So very sad because this was easily the best season of Bang Dream. It was wonderful hearing Popipa’s new song, it was wonderful seeing them come all together in the end and sing their rendition of the ED theme, and the animation was just spectacular. I just had a huge smile on my face, and all I can say about the girls is that I’m so proud of them all. They each had their bumps and obstacles to get through, some more than others, but they achieved so much. And I love it.
Arisa and Kasumi share a quick recollection of their entire journey up to this point, and thinking about it it really is amazing. They all started off as strangers, some of them being a bit inexperienced, but now they’re standing on the stage of the Budoukan performing for thousands of people. It’s crazy how far they all have come. The first half of the episode was your usual setting up for the concert. We get blessed with fun interactions from the girls again, and I just appreciate all the friendships. Masking and Ako being silly, Sayo relaying her feelings towards Lisa, and Chu2 finally getting along perfectly with everyone else (with RAS teasing her quite a bit). Even though this was always a competition and they were competing with each other for the longest time, even now, it certainly doesn’t feel like it with how close they all are. I just love this. Having rivals in music shows is kind of vital because it gives our main group a chance to grow, but because of how Bang Dream is, while Popipa are the “main” ones, we still get lots of focus on Roselia and RAS as well. RAS did start off as the typical antagonists (mostly Chu2), but they soon formed as friendly rivals that can still make Popipa and Roselia grow, but not leave themselves as one note. If I had to compare this whole dynamic to something, I’d compare it to my other music anime obsession Idolish7. Trigger, and now Re:vale, are both rivals to Idolish7 but friendly rivals. They’re not just relegated to be just “the mean ones” as other music shows do. They are actual characters with actual development, and while i7 may learn from Trigger, it’s the same vice versa. It’s gives them depth, and RAS definitely has depth.
Rambling aside, that’s why I loved this finale so much. Mirai Train is a fantastic song, and I absolutely loved Avant-garde History as well. Roselia killing it as usual. I also love the final version of Beautiful Birthday and I can’t wait to hear the full versions of all these songs.
Really, this episode was so simple but still so great. The animation for the performances were great, with maybe the frame rates being weird at times. However, the energy was there and the colors were just gorgeous and I enjoyed them all. I felt the characters’ expressions to be much better too, which was most apparent (at least for me) with Yukina. That was probably the most emotion and movement I’ve ever seen from Yukina, and man did she look good! Honestly, everyone did.
The ONE thing from this episode that was a downer were all the bands winning in the end. While Roselia won the overall competition, RAS and Popipa still won “Best Performance” and “Best Band” which…okay? I thought it was cool that Roselia were the champions as I predicted that Poppin’Party would take it, so I was fine with it. But then Owner did all that and it was kind of disappointing that they would go with the lazy cop-out route. It’s like those little league teams, or elementary school events where some kid/team wins but the other kids get participation ribbons so they don’t feel bad. And so the whole point of the competition is kind of ruined? In this case, not really since this season wasn’t totally about just the competition but it still is lazy. Still, this finale was just very fun.
I’ve kind of already said everything I wanted to say. I loved this season from start to finish. Like seeing how far Poppin’Party has come, I also have to say that for the series as a whole. It’s amazing how small this series started and how close it was to crashing and burning. The first season…while I found enjoyment from it, it has problems and it was met with not the best reception. If it weren’t for the popularity boom from the game, we wouldn’t even be watching this right now. I just find it so crazy that, when it comes to the anime, it started off really rocky but picked itself back up and gave us a gem like this one. The anime only progressively became better, and if we ever get a fourth season, I can’t even imagine how that’ll top this one.
While I am sad that Afterglow, Pastel Palettes, and HHW were all in the backburner this time around, I do admit that it was a wise decision this time around. This time we were able to focus on the bands that matter to the plot, being Popipa and Roselia, and most importantly Raise a Suilen. One problem the second season had were the other bands having their own respective episodes. And while some of them were really fun, those episodes did mess up with the pacing of the plot and made it a little janky. This time around, with the other bands making cameos here and there, we were able to actually completely focus on this season’s plot of the Girl’s Band Challenge as well as mostly focusing on RAS and building them up as worthy characters to the series. So while we had to sacrifice some of our favorite characters and their music, it paid off in the end as it gave a better and cohesive story.
The Girls Band Challenge was a very cool thing this time around, though I was hoping Owner would be more prominent since she only said one thing in the first episode, then just appeared for a minute in the finale. I wish she could have had a nice private moment with PoppinParty, where she could have commented on their growth as a band since the last time she saw them. Still, this whole competition was exciting and it was great to see certain characters grow from it, and to see the bands grow even closer together. Not just Roselia, not just PoppinParty, but RAS as well.
I was mostly excited to finally get to know RAS when coming into this season and I’ve come out loving pretty much all of them. Yes, I know I talked crap about Chu2 the whole time. I can’t say I love her, but I really do appreciate her character development since I feel like they did a great job with it. We got a bit of them in the second season but not nearly enough to really know who exactly they are, not even Layer. The focus on them this season was phenomenal, and I felt that each girl each had their proper time to shine in the spotlight and make an impression. Rokka already kind of did in the second season, but she still had some shining moments getting to officially join the band and befriend the members and be her usual self. RAS really just shone and I’m so glad they got the treatment they deserve. If I had to pick a favorite, I think Masking is still it but Pareo is a very close second. But Layer is still great, Rokka grew on me from how I felt about her in the second season, and while Chu2 pissed me off for most of the season, her character development was solid and I can at least appreciate her more. And with the girls growing, so did their band. They started off awkward even though they were talented, but with their obstacles and personal drama, they were able to become a much closer band. Chu2 coming together for the huddle and chant, with the girls being surprised, put a smile on my face because that alone shows how much they’ve all changed as individuals and as a band and I love it.
I’m not even sure what else to say, I feel like I’ll just be gushing over this forever. Bang Dream’s writing has always been very good compared to other music games like it, but for the anime it just needed to find its footing. The first season was rough because it was Bang Dream’s debut. The second season flourished after the game’s popularity, and while the second season had some problems, it was a huge improvement from the first one. And I feel like the writers and team just went all out for season three because it was just stellar when it came to the writing. I hope this kind of quality continues.
I just really love Bang Dream a lot and as a fan I’m just positively happy with how this season played out. Pretty much everyone is just waiting for a fourth season to be announced for Morfonica, but considering they were just introduced, I don’t think we’ll be seeing another season too soon. I won’t complain though. I’m just interested to see where the series is going to go from here. For now, I’ll just look forward to the next Film Live (though I have to watch the first one). Anyway, this was fantastic and I hope more people give Bang Dream a chance. Yes, the first season is rough which is why more people probably haven’t tried continuing, but the anime definitely improves so I hope more people discover it. I think it’s worth it.
And now, I’m pumped up for Argonavis even more than before! I can’t wait!