The Winter 2021 Preview Guide
Show By Rock!! Stars!!

How would you rate episode 1 of
Show By Rock!! Stars!! ?

What is this?

Which of your favorite rock stars will shine the brightest? All the top bands like Plasmagica, SHINGANCRIMSONZ, Mashumairesh!!, and more are back in Midi City for an epic encore. But it's not all fun and games. This all-star battle of the bands is set to feature their cutest—*ahem*—toughest competition yet!

Show By Rock!! Stars!! is based on Sanrio's game franchise and streams at 9:00 am EST on Funimation on Thursdays.

How was the first episode?

Rebecca Silverman

There's a good chance that I enjoyed this episode of the latest Show By Rock!! series more than it technically merits because it's finally doing what I had spent much of the previous season hoping for: Plasmagica and Mashumairesh are going to meet. This was absolutely foreshadowed in the brief moment of Cyan and Howan bumping into each other last season, but what's really interesting here is that there may be a greater connection than them simply both being in girl bands and having the same taste in jingly accessories. That relates to the specter of this season's presumptive Big Bad: a giant sentient speaker who may or may not be involved in the disappearance of musicians in Midi City. When the monster appears as both bands are on the highway, the first real sign of its impending doom is that Howan's and Cyan's bells ring. Did this help to fend off the monster? Or am I already reading too much into things?

Whatever the case, there's a fun, caper-esque feel to this episode. The basic plot is pretty simple: the Mashumairesh!! girls are heading to Midi City for the Worldwide Love Rock Festival, and their manager has arranged for his friend Maple to take care of them while they're there. Maple gets too caught up listening to ChuChu's radio show, so he and Plasmagica are late for their meeting. Along the way, road rage gets the best of both Himeko and Maple when the sentient speaker attacks. Although Delmin is able to use her devil dragon powers to get rid of it, Plasmagica is run off the road and Mashumairesh is arrested for destruction of property. Whoops.

Needless to say, this is not a great start for the girls from Under North Zawa. It's definitely odd that none of the police who come to arrest them are aware that the giant speaker appeared again, or if they are, seem more concerned that Delmin's blast destroyed a building than pleased that she drove off the bad guy. Does that mean that she erased people's awareness of the monster? Or does someone have it in for Mashumairesh? Given how quickly they're thrown into jail (with their own customized prison uniforms!) and brought to trial, there's definitely something fishy about the entire situation.

In terms of the actual production, since no music has been performed we haven't seen the little CG chibis appear yet, but I'm hoping they look more like season one than season three when they do show up. Otherwise things look pretty good – Himeko's and Howan's body language is especially nice, particularly when Howan is sitting in jail hugging her fluffy tail. The ending theme (which may be the opening theme in disguise) is sung by both girl groups and is pretty catchy, so that's a good sign. I do hope that Howan and Himeko get a little more development as a couple after the previous season seemed to establish and then abandon the idea of them together, but on the whole, I'm feeling optimistic about this, especially since Mashumairesh seems to have acquired a hot lawyer in a few senses of the word. Let's hope he can get the girls out of jail next week, because this may be able to recapture the fun of the original show.

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