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BanG Dream! It’s MyGO!!!!! – Episode 7

Hello folks, and welcome back to Wrong Every Time. Today I’m eager to jump back into the thorny drama of MyGO, as our fledgling bandmates continue to tumble over each other both literally and emotionally. Most recently, Taki’s attempt to live up to Sakiko’s band leader legacy has left her anxious and overwhelmed, with the specter of CRYCHIC clearly still haunting our new band’s every step. Taki has been holding herself to an impossible standard, so desperate not to lose Tomori that she nearly destroyed the band in the process. Fortunately, our as-yet-unnamed new group is not nearly so brittle as the last; our players may stumble, but Tomori will always be there with a bandaid for their skinned knees.

As always, MyGO has articulated the band’s latest fault lines with uncommon grace and thoughtfulness, quietly emphasizing the very different ways each member perceives this group. Soyo is still desperate to create CRYCHIC 2.0, and her increasingly vocal indifference to Anon’s presence, combined with Taki’s desire to push Anon out of the active composition altogether, have made it clear that the band is essentially composed of two discordant social groups. But Anon is not the flighty transient she once was; having committed to sharing her feelings with Tomori, she’s now genuinely invested in this group, as her retrieval of Taki well demonstrated. And Taki herself is nothing if not earnest; if she can get over her dislike of Anon, the group will possess an iron core strong enough to weather both Soyo’s machinations and Raana’s unreliable attendance. Let’s see how our heroes fare in a fresh episode of MyGO!

Episode 7

We jump back in on the day of reckoning, as more guitar-bearing denizens of this entirely musician-populated world inform us that the concert is soon to arrive

And then we move directly to our group’s sound check, which is frequently a moment of profound stress for any new band. Not because the sound check itself is difficult, but more because hearing the PA affirm that all your levels are correct often serves as a key reminder that This Is Actually Happening, that you’re no longer a bedroom and basement group, that soon a full and unfamiliar audience will be listening to your sound. The indifferent professionalism of a PA is often your emotional introduction to the world of live performance

“This is bad. Afterglow is glaring at us.” Trust Anon to immediately pick a fight with one of the headliners

Taki running through the drum pickups provokes a powerful sense of vulnerability, the mundane intimacy of this moment drawing us alongside the band as they anxiously await their performance. Incidental moments realized with this degree of honest specificity are always an effective tool for dismantling the sense of perfectly realized performance that often emotionally separates viewers from characters

Nice detail of Raana bobbing her head to the sample drum hits

Raana runs away, and Soyo forgot to tune her guitar. Everyone’s a bit of a mess

And of course, Tomori can’t raise her voice for vocal checks. This group seems nowhere near ready for a live performance, but also desperately in need of one, if only to affirm that they’re truly a band at all

This angled shot as they retreat to the green room, framed as if we’re watching them from a security camera, creates an effective sense of emotional distance. It seems to echo how they’re all likely retreating into themselves in this moment; there is no warmth in this shot, no closeness

“And there were people who played guitar and sang at the same time!” Bless your heart, Anon

Tomori crouches on the floor in the corner, concealing herself even from the camera. The lack of background music echoes her sense of vulnerability; she has nothing to hide behind here

More nice, purposeful blocking as the camera flips, Taki and Tomori now huddled together on the couch in the corner of the frame, as if they’re actively avoiding taking up too much space

“At our other show, the audience said the vocalist was trying too hard.” Oof, what a cutting comment. When you’re legitimately throwing your all into something you’re passionate about, the last thing you want to hear is that you sound like you’re being insincere

Love Taki’s awkward body language as she snaps at this, then composes herself. Feels like she’s someone who always has to make an effort to keep her true feelings under control – except during performance, which is why she previously told CRYCHIC that she “can only go all-out once”

“Afterglow said I could take as much as I want.” “You talked with Afterglow!?” Anon possesses none of Taki’s anxious reverence for this whole subculture and its attendant rules

“If you feel like apologizing, then you shouldn’t perform.” An extremely Taki line. She must live a very stressful life, holding herself to this standard of commitment and authenticity all the time

And of course, Raana is just wandering around munching on snacks. You learn to take this stuff less seriously over time

The slightly muffled sound of their voices and persistent lack of background music is such an effective choice. It’s really building the sense of anxious anticipation, and is also going to make their eventual jump into their song all the more impactful

Also a smart choice to make this episode proceed almost in real time, only cutting out the sequences where we’d see other bands performing. That plus the persistent emphasis on the green room’s clock really hammers in the sense of this being a countdown to execution, as each member of the band gets increasingly nervous in their own way (well, except for Raana)

“Tomori-chan… even after today’s concert ends, let’s keep playing as a band, okay?” This might be the most honest comment we’ve ever heard from Soyo. After the events of the last several episodes, she may be realizing it is Tomori, not Sakiko, who is the heart of the group she is seeking

Soyo is so hungry for this community, yet so unwilling to express her feelings honesty – it’s a compelling combination, and I am intensely eager to see her eventually admit how much she cares

“Everyone should take some water on stage.” Damn right! Live performances exhaust you far more quickly than practice would lead you to expect, and stage lights can easily dehydrate you

In spite of the sound check, their levels are still wonky as they prep for performance. More unvarnished moments to emphasize their sense of vulnerability, as they literally fumble in the dark, nothing left to obscure their imperfect sounds

And then suddenly the lights go up. That’s how it feels – the harshest possible transition from “we’re going to be performing soon” to “oh god, the crowd’s staring right at us”

Oh my god, Anon’s deer-in-headlights expression. Fantastic

Aaand then they flub the opening twice in a row. Legitimately painful to watch, and also very honest to how amateur first performances tend to go

Anon just keeps fumbling. Soyo starts up some banter with Raana to give her a moment to compose herself, a very kind gesture

Tomori can barely speak at all, while Anon is just desperately attempting to keep playing her part. They really weren’t ready for this performance at all, for as much as they collectively needed it – movies and shows tend to assume that everything will just click when it comes to a live performance, but the truth of it is that you need to practice to the point where you are absolutely, effortlessly flawless in rehearsal, because performing live is always going to be a much harder physical and mental experience. The most you can generally hope for as amateurs is to only play the music much faster than you intended

A glare from Sakiko seems to basically scare Tomori into singing with her full voice

And yet her performance is still far from perfect, another welcome splash of relatable realism

“I’m going to stop saying ‘someone as pathetic as me,’ because I don’t want you to say that about yourself.” Her new song is essentially a prayer to both her bandmates and herself, voicing the words she and Anon needed to hear

It’s also just a damn good song. Between this and Bocchi, I’m eating good in terms of music anime with music I might actually listen to

Tomori continues with a confession of her feelings directly to Sakiko, which Raana is kind enough to accompany with a pensive guitar melody, essentially turning it into a spoken word interlude

“I can only do things by throwing all of myself into it! Because my songs are screams from my heart!” How dare they say she was “trying too hard.” Of course she was trying hard! That’s what expressing yourself through art is! If it were easy for people like Tomori to express themselves, they wouldn’t have to turn to music, have to find people who make them feel strong enough to shout out their true feelings

And Raana gracefully transitions this interlude into their next song, forcing the rest of the group to catch up. Her confident ability to improvise is a great asset to the rest of them

And her second song is one of thanks, cherishing the new warmth she’s found – a reprise of Haru Hikage, now even more poignant as both a farewell and a new beginning. Seeing what she’s lost, Sakiko flees the room – an act that shocks Soyo in turn, who believed this performance might be the way they bring Sakiko back into the fold. Tremendous sorrow in Soyo’s expression as she realizes Sakiko will never come back to them

In contrast, Raana has never seemed more authentically happy, for once fully living in the moment. And the song is great!

After the performance, Soyo snaps, demanding to know why they played Haru Hikage

And in our post-credits stinger, Sakiko calls another musician named Uika, desperate to forget this sorrow

And Done

Goddamn, what an episode! That first half served as yet another marvelous exercise in atmosphere and restraint, exploiting its minimalist sound design and careful storyboarding to vividly convey the sensation of prepping for a first live performance. And all that frantic anticipation only made the ensuing songs land all the harder, with stark silence giving way to first uncertain, then joyously synchronized guitars, drums, and lyrics. Hina Youmiya’s performance as Tomori has always been excellent, but her articulation of steadily increasing vocal confidence was something else altogether, syncing perfectly with the excitement of Anon, Taki, and Raana all shining together. An emotional gut shot of an episode, which through its tight conceptual focus made this key turning point for all our leads land like we were there beside them. Another triumph for MyGO!

This article was made possible by reader support. Thank you all for all that you do.

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