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BanG Dream! It’s MyGO!!!!! – Episode 5

Hello folks, and welcome back to Wrong Every Time. Today I’m eager to dive back into the drama of BanG Dream! It’s MyGO!!!!!, after an episode that saw Anon doing her best to resolve the roiling emotions and profound regrets left in CRYCHIC’s chaotic wake. It appears Soyo was indeed correct to choose Anon as her instrument of conciliation; after hearing the whole story from Tomori, Anon was swift to plant Tomori, Taki, and Soyo down in a café together, and demand these woebegotten teenagers Talk This Shit Out.

The resulting conversation was refreshing in its specificity of perspective and authenticity of character voice, but that’s frankly what I’ve come to expect from MyGO. This production’s script is one of the best I’ve seen in years, capturing the nuances of character voice and the inherent friction of motives and personalities in conflict with a grace that puts it in the upper echelon of high school dramas. Coupled with storyboarding and character acting dedicated to conveying the finer unspoken fault lines within these relationships, the overall effect is utterly gripping; with characters this fully realized, it’s fun just watching them bounce off each other. Let’s see how new guitarist Raana secures her place in the band with a fresh episode of MyGO!

Episode 5

Everyone is just too stunned by Raana’s presumption to respond as she sets up her guitar and glances over Haru Hikage’s melody. Clearly leaning even further into her cat-like mannerisms, as she engages in the classic cat ritual of walking up to humans and announcing that they have adopted her

Her guitar’s finish is scuffed all around the edges; she states the guitar is her grandmother’s, and then plays Haru Hikage’s piano melody perfectly. Sorry Anon, it appears we’ve also found a lead guitarist

Soyo seems so genuinely happy in this OP. Hard to imagine the Soyo we know experiencing and expressing such earnest emotion

“She’s RiNG’s stray cat.” Taki makes the cat theme explicit

“I’ll do the band.” She’s clearly also lacking in social graces, but nonetheless knows what she wants and makes no apologies pursuing it. Sorta reminds me of Bocchi’s Ryo – there’s no shame or anxiety in being antisocial if you own it

“You’re so good, other bands must have asked you to join them.” “They were all boring women.” Oh my god Raana. So she’s actually here for the drama, presumably feeling it enhances the authenticity of their music

And yep, she stares directly at Tomori when she says this. She’s not interested in being in a band with people who are playing music just because it seems like a fun hobby – she wants bandmates who have something they desperately need to express, like Tomori

Anon then excuses herself, saying there’s something she has to do. I imagine she’s feeling even more like an outsider at this point – this band already felt like CRYCHIC 2.0, and now she’s been replaced on both vocals and guitar

“Is band time over? Bye-bye.” The moment band concerns are resolved, Raana exits with all haste. No interest in socializing outside of the context of the music

Back at home, Anon is indeed cringing over her limited guitar skills, though she takes this less as an opportunity for personal reflection than a need to concoct a new scheme. I appreciate her staying true to her fundamentally self-absorbed nature even as she’s growing closer to Tomori and Soyo

“‘Haru Hikage’ is different now, isn’t it?” Having established a new social group, Tomori is realizing each friendship has its own unique sound

Her and Taki make for such a charmingly mismatched pair. Tomori can’t really parse subtext outside of when people are clearly just humoring her, while Taki can never express vulnerable, positive emotions outright, so it always results in Taki confessing she likes “being in a band with you” and then stomping off embarrassedly, leaving Tomori in confusion

Anon dedicates a good five minutes to practice, realizes she still can’t effectively hold a barre chord, and immediately retreats to watching nonsense youtube videos. She is the most relatable heroine

“Make things easier to save time?” Ushered on by the sages of youtube, Anon decides that instead of taking all the time to learn a difficult song, the band should instead write a song that makes things easier for her. Well, it worked for Green Day – you can get pretty far on power chords!

Over at RiNG, a group of concert organizers are lamenting the fact a band dropped out, leaving a small gap in their program. It’s quite a funny shift to jump from Bocchi the Rock, which actually articulates the harsh economic reality facing any would-be local band, to MyGO, which seems to exist in a universe where everyone plays guitar and every third building is a music venue

Taki relates this opportunity to the rest of the band. Anon is understandably nervous about playing live, given she can’t actually play her instrument

It’s actually Anon’s idle words of encouragement at karaoke that give Tomori the confidence to agree to a live show. A tidy example of one of the things this show does best: understanding how what we intend with our words is often not how they’re received, owing to the vast differences in perspective and experience between us. Less skilled writers often end up with characters who seem to speak with a “collective voice,” all speaking similarly and seeming to understand each other perfectly, but that’s not actually how humans speak. Outside of the closest of personal bonds, most conversations are necessarily going to be acts of translation and interpretation, with what others take away from your words never quite matching what you intended

Anon’s clearly worried about all of this getting too real too fast, while Tomori can’t help but notice the sense of discord and uncertainty hanging over the band. Good beat of Soyo rushing to mediate, simultaneously escaping Tomori, who she always has trouble talking to

“Maybe I really should quit after all.” Oh my god Anon. Even after Tomori’s confession, she’s still treating this whole situation so lightly – and again, this is all a credit to MyGO’s excellent character writing. Lesser dramas would have everyone on relatively the same wavelength, likely communally reflecting on Tomori’s comfort levels – here, Anon is entirely in her own headspace, idly thinking “well, maybe it’s time to ditch” while Tomori and Taki wrestle with much more significant doubts

Tomori confronts her at the astronomy club, revealing she actually doesn’t want to play live. She can’t say no to an expectant Taki, but she also doesn’t want to repeat the experience that somehow broke up CRYCHIC

“If we perform live, that’ll be the end of the band.” Yep. Also love Tomori attempting to use Anon as an emotional shield, but the other two just straight-up ignoring Anon in order to ask Tomori how she feels

“Tomori-chan, thank you for telling us.” Soyo really can’t help but fall into that condescending guidance counselor tone when attempting to mediate this group

“We can just keep going like this, never performing live. We can play as a band just in the studio.” Soyo’s face is concealed by shadow as she intentionally provokes Taki, knowing that Taki’s passionate words mean more to Tomori than her own suggestions. Having failed to gently convince Tomori to play live, she now hopes to manipulate Taki into convincing Tomori for her

“When I first heard Tomori’s song, I thought it was about me. All the feelings I couldn’t put into words… Tomori turned all of them into a song.” A little heartbreaking that Taki’s inability to express her feelings is both what drew her to Tomori and what prevents her from getting any closer

“You should tell Tomori all of that.” What would be framed as earnest advice from a friend in another show is here just the next step in Soyo’s manipulation, urging Taki to put all of this emotional baggage on Tomori’s shoulders

Having primed her players, Soyo calls a group meeting, and immediately attempts to provoke a response. “Right now we’re all on different pages. Is there really any point in being in a band like this?”

As expected, Taki swiftly charges ahead, suggesting they do the concert in order to bond over a shared goal

“You’re using Tomori to run away from learning the guitar, right?” Taki ain’t wrong

Anon stands up, declares “I’m not running away,” and promptly runs away. As expected, Taki can only confidently express her emotions in a negative way – rather than the speech about feeling seen that she offered Soyo, she redirects her frustration about not performing with Tomori into anger at Anon for not practicing

“It’s something that someone would have to say eventually.” Soyo’s too discreet to give Anon such a speech, but she still agrees with Taki, and would be happy to see Anon pushed out of the band

And so Anon runs directly into some students from her old school, who know her as Chihaya, and who she apparently told she was transferring to England

She starts to slip into a panic attack, and imagines herself collapsing to the ground just before Tomori calls out and rescues her

They retreat to the place Tomori feels safest: the penguin exhibit at the aquarium

“Could this be her way of trying to make me feel better?” Perhaps the first time Anon’s ever expressed curiosity about her bandmates’ feelings

“Earlier, what Ricky said…” Oh my god, Anon’s sticking with that nickname for Taki. Well, pettiness is one of her greatest talents, after all

“I was studying abroad, but I couldn’t keep up at all. So I ran away.” Tomori makes both Taki and Anon feel safe – Anon has carefully guarded her past, but in the face of Tomori’s obvious vulnerability and halting attempts at connection, it feels that much easier to be vulnerable in turn

It seems her time in England was when her confident self-image first crashed against her limitations. Until we experience profound failure, our abilities can seem boundless; that confidence prompted Anon to take a major leap and experience a major fall

“I also want to move forward, even if I feel lost.” God, such a good scene for the two of them. Tomori believed in Anon’s words even if Anon herself was uncertain, and now she refuses to let Anon be left behind either

And Done

Aaagh, this show is so good! We at last received the context for Anon’s desired reinvention, which made perfect sense of both her often feigned cheer and general tendency to retreat from anything that seems too difficult or personal. Having leaped for the stars and landed further back than where she started, Anon was ready to lead a painlessly superficial high school life, but Tomori’s support has unexpectedly led her towards genuinely trying once again. It’s now easy to see why Tomori is so important to Taki, and becoming similarly important to Anon – her efforts give each of them permission to try even if they fail, and her support is emphatically unconditional, embodying her desire to be in “a band for life.” Tomori is the unexpected rock at the center of this group, and though Soyo’s manipulations have guided them together, it’s clearly Tomori that will lead them forward (if still in the form of her desires being voiced as Anon proclamations). MyGO continues to find fresh nuances and reflections of our mutual, ever-frictious humanity in the interplay of its bandmates, as these uncertain allies desperately seek a mutual understanding. You can do it, girls!

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