Vazzrock The Animation Review

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Synopsis

Vazzrock The Animation is about VAZZY and ROCK DOWN are the two units that make up Tsukino Talent Production’s all-male VAZZROCK group. Led by Takaaki Mamiya and Shou Onoda respectively, both units announce via a round-table livestream that they are working hard to prepare for the upcoming VAZZROCK Live Flawless event. From taking extra dancing and singing lessons to starring in a TV period drama, these 12 idols must give it their all as they work toward a spectacular show that will impress their fans.

Review

Vazzrock The Animation is a slightly confusing cocktail of overall relatively interesting characters & storylines, pretty but stiff animation, and a mild over-reliance on cameos from their sister series (Tsukiuta and Tsukipro) au lieu of allowing the members of Vazzrock to shine on their own. I still enjoyed it, though.

(NOTE— though it says ‘preliminary’, I have actually finished the show, I just don’t know how to edit the amount of episodes that I’ve watched once the review it published.)

The characters, in my opinion, are alright as far as idol project characters go. Very trope-y, but not unpleasant. There are twelve in total, divided into two groups of six, and then again into duos within those groups. I think the show’s format works unexpectedly well— the first twelve episodes are split into pairs with one storyline told across two episodes, told from two different perspectives. It allows the audience to become familiar with the characters in a much more relaxed, comfortable way than if it had tried to make it one episode per character (*coughs* Tsukiuta *coughs*). While they’re not the strongest characters ever, it’s not hard to become endeared to them and their individual struggles. My favourite is Ruka by far, since I’ve always been a fan of both gender-non-conforming characters and catboys… though it’s also admittedly partially due to the fact that he seems to be oddly immune to how stiff the animation is in this show.

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It’s a classic from Tsukino Productions— extremely pretty character design with extremely stiff animation. Pretty much every character (except Ruka for some reason????) basically doesn’t move their face, leaving the voice actors sounding a bit ridiculous in comparison. A real shame, considering how good the cast is. While it’s by no means a dealbreaker for me, I can see it being annoying for other people, so definitely keep it in mind before watching.

I greatly enjoyed the pacing of this show. It’s an extremely easy watch, with relatively low stakes and a good amount of humour to balance out the lull. It’s also interesting that the episodes all seem to focus on various aspects of the entertainment industry, in particular acting (with the exceptions of episodes 9 & 10, which focus on an alternate universe known as TSUKIHANA KAGURA), while still portraying the interpersonal relationships between the idols pretty well. The episode’s plotlines are definitely a highlight— though as other reviewers have pointed out, it can sometimes feel like you’re watching a show about actors rather than idols.

My biggest issue is the fact that it relies far too much on cameos from past series. Cameos are normal for the franchise; Tsukiuta and Tsukipro were both full of them as well. Vazzrock’s problem is how the cameoing characters borderline overshadow the Vazzrock members at times, rather than complimenting them— in episode 6, it feels less like we’re watching Issa get advice from other members of the company, and more like we’re watching Nozomu from SOARA and Rui from Procellarum talk to each other about having older siblings, with Issa just so happening to be in the room with them. Issa’s not really involved in that conversation at all. If you’re familiar with other members of Tsukino Productions, that’s great! You’ll love the cameos (I, for one, was very excited about my boy Nozomu being there)! But it’s not a good look for new viewers that might not be aware that you basically have to watch four seasons of two other shows to completely understand this one.

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Overall, while it’s no masterpiece, it’s not the worst show ever. It has nice characters with stiff animation and a chill, easy-to-follow storyline. An extremely normal idol anime aside from the random alternate universe, really.

If you haven’t already, and you’re a fan of idol animes— or if you liked this one—, I would recommend giving Tsukiuta and/or Tsukipro a try (especially Tsukipro, which I consider to be the best series of the franchise, as well as one of my personal favourite animes in general). If nothing else, you’ll be able to understand the full Tsukino Productions universe a bit more. If you’re looking for something with higher stakes, try IDOLiSH7, which takes a much more… dramatic route in portraying an idol group’s journey through the industry.

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Synopsis Vazzrock The Animation is about VAZZY and ROCK DOWN are the two units that make up Tsukino Talent Production's all-male VAZZROCK group. Led by Takaaki Mamiya and Shou Onoda respectively, both units announce via a round-table livestream that they are working hard to prepare...Vazzrock The Animation Review
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