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REVIEW: BanG Dream! Blu-ray




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Blatch



Joined: 26 Sep 2013
Posts: 314
Location: Northeast U.S.
PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2018 10:52 am Reply with quote
At risk of sounding like one of those gosh-darned echo chambers, I'll say that this review nailed it. I watched the show as a simulcast and was bored to tears by it by the end. It was especially egregious going into the last episode, where they give a comprehensive overview of Space and what the place is like on a normal day, but with the caveat that this is all useless now that it's closing down forever.

Additionally, I thought the characters were bland, which is as big of a sin as any to commit when idol shows love to pimp out their personalities. One of the girls (Rimi) had stage fright that she got over, and I think another (O-Tae?) was presented as a motherly figure to the others, but that was as far as each of them went. I understand that maybe the show wanted to present the band members as more realistic, to the point that you could actually meet them in real life, but not having even smaller weird quirks like in Love Live! just ruined them for me. Heck, I thought the grandmother with a dyed hair strand who helped the band practice was more fleshed out.

Other people don't have good expectations for the new seasons, but that's largely because they'll be CG. If they have any sort of competence in the writing, I'll be on board.
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Northlander



Joined: 10 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2018 12:11 pm Reply with quote
It's been a while since I watched two, maybe three episodes, and the standout moment to me was when the main lead thought it was quite OK to just take someone else's property -- a guitar -- home with her as if it was hers. And then the story proceeded to have the side character who actually owned the instrument end up just giving it to her anyway, because.... she's the main character, I guess?
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invalidname
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 11 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2018 2:09 pm Reply with quote
I’m in the same boat as a lot of people, having been won over by the mobile game and its tie-in shorts, and going back to this first season is just dire. It’s like it splits the difference between Love Live and K-On! and never finds what makes either appealing.

Worse, the whole gimmick of the BanG Dream! franchise -- the fact the seiiyu can actually play their instruments and perform concerts -- is completely lost in the anime. This is the rare show that would have been better served by an anime/live-action mix, like a 15-minute anime story and then 5 minutes of actual concert performance. Because, let's face it, this is the anime equivalent of The Monkees: if the music is good enough to outshine the comedy, then why not make the most of that?

At least the second season appears to bring in more of the other -- and frankly, more interesting -- bands but I’m still worried that this franchise doesn’t know how to make use of a full-length anime adaptation.
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DuskyPredator
It...it's not like I post for you or anything!It...it's not like I post for you or anything!


Joined: 10 Mar 2009
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Location: Brisbane, Australia
PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 6:58 am Reply with quote
I can barely remember anything about this show, and I tend to often get into the Love Lives, and other cute girls doing cute things anime. I don't really remember the girls of BanG Dream! having anything that set them apart and gave them an identity of strange quirks. I do remember getting really sick of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star around that time though. I could not even remember enough to recall how production wise it may have looked nice.

I am honestly surprised that the franchise seems to have kicked off with interest, and there is even another season coming. Kind of made me worried if I may have missed or forgot some major plot point that got people's attention.
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rizuchan
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Joined: 11 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:13 am Reply with quote
I actually just finished watching this show a couple weeks ago. I had a hard time getting into the anime when it first aired, but I've been playing the game off and on since it came out, so I figured I should finish the show.

This review sums up all my feelings almost perfectly too. I will say, Saya's arc was not only hard-hitting in general, but on a personal level for me, so it improved my opinion of the series a lot by the end.

But she, and maybe Kasumi, are the only ones who get any real character development in a show that should be purely character focused. I was especially curious about Arisa, who is apparently a genius girl with social pobia and lives with her grandma. Where does she get her smarts from? Why was she skipping school every day? What happened to her parents? Any of these things could have been explored for her arc, but instead she's basically a plot device to give Kasumi a stupidly expensive guitar.



Honestly my thoughts from playing the game were that Poppin' Party was probably the most boring choice to make an anime about. The characters in PoPiPa are probably the most appealing on a surface level, but nearly all the other bands in the game have far more interesting backstories.

invalidname wrote:
Worse, the whole gimmick of the BanG Dream! franchise -- the fact the seiiyu can actually play their instruments and perform concerts -- is completely lost in the anime.

Like, I didn't even know that until a couple days ago when someone posted a video on Reddit of Tae's seiyuu playing guitar. I asked whether all the girls played or just a select few, and it didn't seem like anyone knew! I don't think I'd go full-out Monkees with the show - blu-rays of the concerts will suffice fine - but it does seem criminal that the fact that the seiyuu can play isn't made more well known.
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invalidname
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 11 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 12:19 pm Reply with quote
rizuchan wrote:
invalidname wrote:
Worse, the whole gimmick of the BanG Dream! franchise -- the fact the seiiyu can actually play their instruments and perform concerts -- is completely lost in the anime.
Like, I didn't even know that until a couple days ago when someone posted a video on Reddit of Tae's seiyuu playing guitar. I asked whether all the girls played or just a select few, and it didn't seem like anyone knew! I don't think I'd go full-out Monkees with the show - blu-rays of the concerts will suffice fine - but it does seem criminal that the fact that the seiyuu can play isn't made more well known.

If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s Roselia performing “Soul’s Refrain” from Evangelion in concert: https://youtu.be/vclUU-6Ewao. Watching this, I think I’d be more interested in a Roselia concert Blu-Ray than another anime season, but we almost never get concert BDs licensed in the West, and I’ve never really looked into importing.
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John Hayabusa



Joined: 30 May 2012
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 2:55 pm Reply with quote
invalidname wrote:
It’s like it splits the difference between Love Live and K-On! and never finds what makes either appealing.

That comparison seems to be a little silly. Neither Love Live nor K-On has its own male counterpart. Idolmaster has one because it wants to maintain its status as the face of Japanese idol genre even if it meant breaking traditions and upsetting their hardcore fans in favor of general appeal and wider audiences. BanG Dream is aiming to be like Idolmaster, unlike Love Live and K-On who want to keep the tradition of being all about idol/band girls and appealing to specific target audiences.

invalidname wrote:
Worse, the whole gimmick of the BanG Dream! franchise -- the fact the seiiyu can actually play their instruments and perform concerts -- is completely lost in the anime.

Even worse that is that not all of the bands' seiyuu can do all that. Last time I checked, only Poppin' Party and Roselia can do live concerts. It also recently got a new girl band but maybe they should focus on training all of their voice actresses first before going after other audiences.

invalidname wrote:
At least the second season appears to bring in more of the other -- and frankly, more interesting -- bands but I’m still worried that this franchise doesn’t know how to make use of a full-length anime adaptation.

As much as I want this to fail like the first season, BanG Dream has stepped up their game (no pun intended) big time this year. And despite the CG move in animation, I can see this topping the sales chart next year. This is going to be another case of an overrated idol series dominating an anime season, even when BanG Dream is not really an idol series.
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yurigasaki



Joined: 06 Apr 2015
Posts: 59
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 6:59 am Reply with quote
Local Reviewer Shocked And Confused When A Low Stakes Slice of Life Comedy Has Low Stakes And Comedy
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Kimiko_0



Joined: 31 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:21 am Reply with quote
I agree with the review. I haven't watched Love Live, but Bang Dream definitely didn't live up to my expectations from K-On!. That said, I watched it right before diving into the game, and the anime does a reasonable job of telling the story of how PoPiPa got together. The game has stories about each of five bands, but PoPiPa's skips the actual getting-the-band-together part. So I think the anime serves as a nice introduction there. The game is where the meat of the franchise is though.

As for the CG concert parts in this first season, and the upcoming second season being full-CG, I feel they mostly stand out because CG is much less static/more fluid than classic 2D animation. If you compare the two as stills there isn't really much difference, and I'm not worried about the new season being worse for going full-CG.

I think I'll buy this BD release on principle still. I'm looking forward to seeing more PoPiPa and Roselia (and maybe the other bands and RAS) next year.
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omiya



Joined: 21 Sep 2011
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Location: Adelaide, South Australia
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 7:59 am Reply with quote
invalidname wrote:
If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s Roselia performing “Soul’s Refrain” from Evangelion in concert: https://youtu.be/vclUU-6Ewao. Watching this, I think I’d be more interested in a Roselia concert Blu-Ray than another anime season, but we almost never get concert BDs licensed in the West, and I’ve never really looked into importing.


I haven't had any Japanese concert blu-rays region locked and generally the production quality is quite good.

Besides artist-specific, franchise specific and record label specific concerts, there are blu-rays of the Animelo Summer Live concerts, Roselia appeared in 2017: https://anisama.tv/2017/special/setlist.html and Poppin'Party appeared in 2016: https://anisama.tv/2016/special/setlist.html.
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KariOhki



Joined: 15 Feb 2005
Posts: 43
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 1:56 pm Reply with quote
John Hayabusa wrote:

Even worse that is that not all of the bands' seiyuu can do all that. Last time I checked, only Poppin' Party and Roselia can do live concerts. It also recently got a new girl band but maybe they should focus on training all of their voice actresses first before going after other audiences.


I really don't think you'll be seeing Ayane Sakura or Yoko Hikasa playing instruments anytime soon...
Those three bands were basically made to fill out the roster in the game, not to perform live. On the flip side, the newest group was originally live performers that got characters.

About this anime itself...it's simple. It's low key and relaxing, and makes you appreciate the characters more if you're coming from the game side, is what I think.

John Hayabusa wrote:
As much as I want this to fail like the first season

I don't get why you want a series to flop, though.
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John Hayabusa



Joined: 30 May 2012
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 4:26 pm Reply with quote
KariOhki wrote:
I really don't think you'll be seeing Ayane Sakura or Yoko Hikasa playing instruments anytime soon...
Those three bands were basically made to fill out the roster in the game, not to perform live. On the flip side, the newest group was originally live performers that got characters.

What about those voice actresses from big franchises like Idolmaster and Love Live, who not only provide voices for their characters but also can sing and dance in front of a sizable crowd? Their characters are equal and none of them are there just to fill out the roster or increase the number of the group. Do you not think it is a little unfair that some bands are more popular than the rest but cannot do live concerts while the rest can? They already lost three members this year but they all got replaced.
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