Bocchi the Rock! is a seinen reimagining of a typical slice-of-life school band comedy anime.

In the series, a shy and socially anxious schoolgirl joins a struggling rock band. Together, these four face many challenges on the way to striking it big.

Because of its “schoolgirls start a band” theme, the Bocchi series has been compared to quintessential schoolgirl band series K-On!  The two even have similar origins as yonkoma (four-panel) manga published by Houbunsha.

However, Bocchi the Rock! takes a more realistic, serious, and dark approach, compared to K-On!’s more carefree, lighthearted and silly take.

Bocchi the Rock! Plot

Bocchi the Rock! episode at Crunchyroll - Hamaji Aki/ Houbunsha/ Aniplex

In Bocchi the Rock!, Hitori “Bocchi” Goto learns to play the guitar in middle school. Unfortunately, her social anxiety prevents her from reaching her goal of starting her own rock band. Nothing changes when she enters high school.

Luckily for her, she has a chance encounter with drummer Nijika Ijichi. This leads to her joining Nijika’s band, Kessoku Band (literally “zip tie”).

It seems that Kessoku Band’s lead guitarist, Ikuyo Kita, left the band rather suddenly, creating an opening for Bocchi to fill. Kita soon returns, and Bocchi helps her improve her guitar playing.

With Bocchi now playing lead guitar, the band aims for greatness. They are helped by Nijika’s sister, who operates a live music club, Starry. Starry becomes their primary performance venue — assuming that they can sell enough tickets to justify a stage booking.

While the band does a lot of the usual slice-of-life stuff, the main focus is on Bocchi, as she slowly comes out of her shell.  

Bocchi the Rock! Setting

Shimokitazawa, Bocchi the Rock! at Crunchyroll - Hamaji Aki/ Houbunsha/ Aniplex

With a couple of exceptions, Bocchi the Rock! takes place primarily in Shimokitazawa, a Tokyo neighborhood west of Shibuya.

Nicknamed “Shimokita,” Shimokitazawa is a hip and trendy bohemian area, known for vintage clothing, music shops, cafés and clubs. It’s an appropriate location for an anime series about struggling young rock musicians.

The Starry basement club where Bocchi’s band performs is based on Shelter, a real club near Shimo-Kitazawa Station.

Bocchi herself is apparently from the Yokohama area, as she went to a Yokohama middle school. Also, much of Episode 6 takes place near Kanazawa-Hakkei Station in south Yokohama (a couple of train transfers from Shimo-Kitazawa Station).

In Episode 9, the girls take a trip to Enoshima, a beach town and island in Kanazawa Prefecture.

In Episode 12, the band visits Ochanomizu in central Tokyo. Ochanomizu is home to many musical instrument stores, and the girls go guitar shopping.

Bocchi the Rock! Characters/Voice Actors

Hitori “Bocchi” Goto — voiced by Yoshino Aoyama

Hitori “Bocchi” Goto — voiced by Yoshino Aoyama - Bocchi the Rock! at Crunchyroll - Hamaji Aki/ Houbunsha/ Aniplex

High school girl Hitori Goto, a.k.a. “Bocchi,” suffers from extreme social anxiety. She has trouble speaking to others. At her worst, she panics. Unlike some anime loners, she actually wants to make friends, but she can’t overcome her shyness and lack of confidence.  

In the band, she plays lead guitar. Over time, the band slowly helps her conquer her fears, although she’s still extremely introverted. 

Her nickname “Bocchi” is a pun on her name. It comes from the Japanese phrase hitoribocchi, which means “all alone.”

  • Yoshino Aoyama is a J-pop singer as well as a voice actress. Prior to Bocchi the Rock!, she was Yoshino in Wake Up, Girls!, and Guri in Love Tyrant, among others.

Nijika Ijichi — voiced by Sayumi Suzushiro

Nijika Ijichi — voiced by Sayumi Suzushiro - Bocchi the Rock! at Crunchyroll - Hamaji Aki/ Houbunsha/ Aniplex

High schooler and drummer Nijika Ijichi is the one who convinces Bocchi to join Kessoku Band. As the leader and organizer of the band, Nijika is a cheerful, kind, and outgoing girl. She’s the one who figures out Bocchi’s secret alias as the online guitarist, “guitarhero.” 

Nijika’s sister Seika manages Starry.

  • Sayumi Suzushiro performed Akira Ono in Hi Score Girl, Uruka Takemoto in We Never Learn, Asagao in In the Heart of Kunoichi Tsubaki, and Hana Sunomiya in Don’t Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro.

Ryo Yamada — voiced by Saku MizunoRyo Yamada — voiced by Saku Mizuno - Bocchi the Rock! at Crunchyroll - Hamaji Aki/ Houbunsha/ Aniplex

High school girl Ryo Yamada is the bassist for Kessoku Band. She’s a quiet introvert who likes to be alone. She gives the impression of being aloof and mysterious. But she’s also a mischievous and eccentric girl.

Although she comes from a rich family, Ryo is often broke and borrowing money from others.    

  • In addition to Ryo, Saku Mizuno has been Rena Hananoi in Selection Project, and Liu Shouxue in Raven of the Inner Palace, among other roles. 

Ikuyo Kita — voiced by Ikumi Hasegawa

Ikuyo Kita — voiced by Ikumi Hasegawa - Bocchi the Rock! at Crunchyroll - Hamaji Aki/ Houbunsha/ Aniplex

Guitarist and vocalist Ikuyo Kita is cheerful, optimistic, and friendly. But she also comes across as somewhat immature and ditzy. 

She temporarily left Kessoku Band right before Bocchi joined, because she didn’t want to admit that she lacked guitar skills. With Bocchi’s encouragement, she returns to the band. She also trains on guitar with Bocchi.  

  • In addition to Kita, Ikumi Hasegawa has also been Desumi Magahara in Love After World Domination, Shizuka in World Dai Star, Sorane Matsuyama in If My Favorite Pop Idol Made It to the Budokan, I Would Die, and other roles.

Seika Ijichi — voiced by Maaya Uchida

Seika Ijichi — voiced by Maaya Uchida - Bocchi the Rock! at Crunchyroll - Hamaji Aki/ Houbunsha/ Aniplex

Seika is the manager of Starry, and Nijika’s older sister. She takes running Starry seriously.

Although she’s Nijika’s sister, Seika maintains the appearance of a strict and harsh club manager. But deep down, she wants Nijika and her band to succeed. Her role is similar to that of a tough mentor who teaches hard lessons. She’s also somewhat tsundere.

  • Maaya Uchida is a singer as well as a voice actress. She has had a lot of voice acting roles, including Rikka Takanashi in Love, Chunibiyo, and Other Delusions, Shinobu in Urusei Yatsura (2022 reboot), Sharo in Is the Order a Rabbit?, and Catarina in My Next Life as a Villainess.

Kikuri Hiroi — voiced by Sayaka Senbongi

Kikuri Hiroi — voiced by Sayaka Senbongi - Bocchi the Rock! at Crunchyroll - Hamaji Aki/ Houbunsha/ Aniplex

Kikuri Hiroi enters the story as a drunk woman who meets Bocchi while she’s trying to sell tickets to Kessoku Band.

Despite her drunkenness, she becomes friends with Bocchi, and helps her out. It turns out that Hiroi is also the bassist for the band SICK HACK, and a former college kohai (junior) to Seika.

  • In addition to Kikuri Hori, Sayaka Senbongi has also voiced Haru in Beastars, and Shuna in That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, among others.

Bocchi the Rock! Trailer

Official Crunchyroll trailer with English subtitles:

Official Aniplex trailer in Japanese:

If you can’t watch the Crunchyroll trailer, you may need a VPN in your location. Check out this article for details.

Bocchi the Rock! Release Dates

The entrance to Starry, Bocchi the Rock! at Crunchyroll - Hamaji Aki/ Houbunsha/ Aniplex

Bocchi the Rock! began as a four-panel manga. Aki Hamaji started the series in 2017. As of June 2023, it still runs in Houbunsha’s Manga Time Kirara Max seinen manga magazine. American manga publisher Yen Press will release an English translation starting in October 2023. 

The manga series also inspired a spin-off, Bocchi the Rock! Gaiden Hiroi Kikuri no Fukazake Nikki  or Bocchi the Rock! Side Story Kikuri Hiroi Drunk Diary.

The first season of the anime began in October 2022. It had 12 episodes through the end of December 2022. The producers have not said if there will be a season 2.

A compilation film version of the first season will come out in 2024, the creators announced in May 2023.

Where to Watch Bocchi the Rock!

Bocchi the Rock! at Crunchyroll

Bocchi the Rock! is available at Crunchyroll in many places, and on Netflix in Singapore and Japan. Click here for more details.


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