New Anime

BanG Dream! It’s MyGO!!!!! – Episode 9

Hello folks, and welcome back to Wrong Every Time. Today I am eager to return to the apocalyptic high school band theater of MyGO, wherein Soyo most recently had all of her dreams shattered into microscopic pieces. Having spent this entire series so far sculpting a new band purely to entice Sakiko back, she has now received the final word that Sakiko and CRYCHIC are gone for good. No more superficial smiles and steepled fingers; Soyo is now in absolute despair, her treasured dream in ruins, and her only companions now the bandmates she only saw as means to a greater end.

That’s probably for the best, honestly. Anon, Tomori, and Taki have all joined together out of genuine emotional need, finding in their shared performance the community, understanding, and validation that adolescence has otherwise denied them. For Soyo to move forward, she necessarily needed to rip off the band aid of her dependance on Sakiko – and though she’s hurting now, she is surrounded by people who care for her, and who know well the pain of being abandoned. If Soyo can let her shields down and become open to new sources of pride and companionship, she might find in this new group a more lasting, reliable source of identity than Sakiko could ever provide.

Or she might just take the whole band down in flames, letting her personal resentment poison the fragile bonds shared by the others. I’m sure it’ll be a great spectacle either way, so let’s dive right back into MyGO!

Episode 9

At last, the Soyo story! We flash back to a much younger Soyo, currently fretting over her signature on some kind of school form. From the very first moments, we see Soyo already preoccupied with presenting the “correct” version of herself, the version of herself that’s appropriate for some specific audience, rather than seeking an authentic selfhood and letting others either accept or reject it. She’s basically the opposite of Tomori, making it no surprise she finds Tomori somewhat off-putting

This was when she first moved into the high tower that’s her current home, owing to her mom’s promotion. The tower serves as a symbol of her isolation, her inability to interact with her peers as equals. I imagine one reason she was so attached to Sakiko is because she sees Sakiko as an idealized version of herself – a refined woman who always knows what to say, yet can also attract others with her personal magnetism

Of course, as we well know, Sakiko’s refined persona is clearly more a matter of upbringing than identity, while what attracts others to her is frequently the “unladylike” elements of honest vulnerability she shared with people like Tomori and Uika. Those two didn’t like her because she always knew what to say, they liked her because beyond her presentation, she proved herself sincerely passionate about them and the things they cared about

Given that fact, Soyo is actually facing a double loss at this point – the loss of Sakiko as a companion, and the loss of Sakiko as an ideal, a model to emulate. Soyo believed Sakiko held the secret truth of remaining aloof yet beloved, but the truth is that Sakiko simply never shared her honest feelings with Soyo, and Soyo made her own assumptions based on her own ideals of personal identity

Her mother asks her what middle school she’d like to attend, and she counters with “what school do you think I should go to?” Always trying to accommodate or impress her current company, never leaving any room for her own desires

And though she actually hesitates at her mother’s mention of Tsukinomori, her mother’s enthusiasm about seeing her in the uniform convinces her to agree

Her mother leaves on a work call, leaving Soyo alone in a vast room that only emphasizes her isolation and lack of self. This shot lends further significance to that butterfly decoration from the previous episode – it seems like between now and then, the only fragment of personality she claimed for herself was being a member of CRYCHIC

And Soyo only joins the wind ensemble after another student asks her to accompany them – always a follower, never making her own choices. The only sign of her disagreement with this path is her regular nervous tic, her habit of rubbing her thumbs against each other when she’s nervous or unhappy

At her apartment, her mother announces her return with “it’s so long since I’ve been home!” Soyo is prepped with a list of chores she can perform to make her mom’s life easier, but actually flinches when her mom leans into her lap. She’s not accustomed to genuine intimacy

And so Soyo commits to her upright bass because a friend was interested, and of course works hard and excels, attracting the attention of Sakiko

Soyo swiftly finds the disconnect between Sakiko’s refined presentation and earnest, naïve nature charming. So it seems she truly does appreciate both sides of Sakiko, but cannot imagine embracing similarly unguarded behavior – or appreciating the earnestness without the refinement, as Sakiko does with Tomori

Soyo is the one who sets up their site and takes their first group picture. For the first time she has an identity within something larger – she is now Soyo, the bassist of CRYCHIC

Damn, I guess she must have a talent for graphic design too. Nice band logo, Soyo!

Soyo hugs her phone displaying the band page close to herself. This is something that is truly Hers, something that gives her community and identity just like Tomori. The shot cuts back to frame her alone within her vast apartment, emphasizing CRYCHIC as a sanctuary within a vast and lonely world

“That wasn’t us disbanding. It’s not over yet. We simply failed to connect, that’s all.” While Tomori fell into despair after CRYCHIC’s disbanding, Soyo simply refused to believe it was a real breakup

“You only ever think about yourself, don’t you?” Sakiko’s words cut deeply into Soyo, who is so desperate to make others happy, but nonetheless cannot give up the one thing that gave her a sense of self and belonging

Man, these girls would have had a profoundly depressing school life if Anon weren’t around to strong-arm them into building a community again

Taki tells Anon she doesn’t know where Soyo lives, and Anon responds “how is that even possible.” These girls’ secretiveness and lack of honest communication is just totally bewildering to her; in contrast with the rest of the group, Anon’s ability to say “hey, what’s up with you” is like a superpower

“Maybe it was wrong for me to be in a band.” The long, lonely train rides home shared by Tomori and Taki are such a good dramatic device. Taki always acts confident and authoritative when the band is assembled, but can barely say anything to Tomori when they’re alone, even though Tomori’s happiness is all she really cares about. This show does an excellent job in general of using the city’s geography for dramatic purposes, conveniently isolating pairs of characters through the necessity of their various paths home

Taki at least finds the courage to declare that Tomori “doesn’t have to worry”

Jeez, Mutsumi can shred!

Taki texts Mutsumi to ask where Soyo lives, but Mutsumi has unfortunately already hit her limit for facilitating band drama via the Soyo-Sakiko correspondence

Anon and Tomori attempt to confront Soyo after school, but she’s already on her way to karaoke, and ignores Anon when she calls out. Anon is just confused by this, but Tomori takes it personally – she’s likely used to being “politely ignored” by people who find it too difficult to engage with her. And frankly, this is pretty close to how Soyo has always treated Tomori – Soyo wants to surround herself with people who echo her idealized self-image, not people who remind her of the anxieties driving her performative nature

Extremely like Soyo to just entirely ghost the rest of the group. She can no longer get what she wants out of them, so they are now nothing to her – or at least, that’s what she’s certainly trying to tell herself

Taki gets a full-on Kubrick Stare shot as she mulls over Soyo ignoring Tomori

And so Taki goes the extraordinary step of asking her older sister Maki for help. Jeez, their parents named them Taki and Maki?

Taki thus confronts Soyo at her next wind ensemble performance. “What are you going to do about the band?” “It’s got nothing to do with me anymore.”

“Taki-chan, that lie was to keep you and Tomori committed to the band.” I imagine this must feel satisfying to Soyo, finally admitting to all the deception and false smiles you endured in order to regain Sakiko

“But you and Anon…” “She was useful, so I was nice to her. But we don’t need either of them in CRYCHIC, right?” Soyo gets to both unburden herself of these lies and push Taki away for good. Win-win!

“Taki-chan, you’re fine as long as you have Tomori, right?” Soyo knows she’s selfish, but Taki is too. Taki was up until now perfectly fine discarding Anon so long as she could keep Tomori

“What is it that needs doing?” Love Taki’s bizarre friendship with her classmate, who now subs in as the new bassist

“I see.” “Sounds good.” Oh god, now the band has two Takis

Her name is Umiri, and she’s “currently in about thirty bands”

“Only about ten of them are active in a practical sense, though.” Oh, that’s all right then

Taki attempts to brute force the band into playing again, but Tomori won’t sing. Extremely like Taki to keep bashing her head against this wall until it crumbles under her determination, and equally like Tomori to not sing unless she is in a space where she feels comfortable and wanted. Taki’s drums are a statement of selfhood she would stick to even if the whole world was against her – Tomori’s singing is a flower given time and space to flourish, easily destroyed without the proper care

Umiri swiftly deduces the band is still preoccupied with Soyo, and makes her exit, though not before telling Tomori she’s rooting for her. A graceful, considerate appearance for Umiri

Aw jeez, Anon’s defeated “huh” when she realizes Soyo has only ever been lying to her

She thus sadly sacrifices herself, leaving as she tells Tomori to play in CRYCHIC with Soyo. Damnit Soyo, you’re ruining everything for everyone!

And Done

Goddamn, a whole friggin’ episode of band dissolution and despair. Soyo’s lies are now pulling the whole band apart at the seams, dissembling the fragile bonds that brought all of them to this point of treasured connection. As with her pre-performance attempts to act as band leader, Taki’s desperate efforts to keep the group alive have only wrought more friction, while her revealing of Soyo’s true motives have broken the trust of both Tomori and Anon. Soyo worked hard to consolidate this quasi-CRYCHIC into a working band, and the necessity of her machinations is proving all the clearer now that her puppets have lost their strings. Our hopes now rest with Anon: neither Taki nor Tomori ever truly connected with Soyo, but Anon and Soyo share a cynical, lonely, performance-based view of the world. Let’s hope that’s enough to bring our poor bandmates together again!

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

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.