Well, the final episode of Show by Rock!! was very predictable, but was still enjoyable to watch nonetheless. In many ways we had known a finale like this was coming down the pike from the moments we found out about Cyan’s task in Sound World, but it delivered in a manner that was plenty satisfactory, and for me this is especially nice when the final episodes of otherwise decent series suddenly wreck the ending with “anime original content” that pretty much mangles any future seasons or just leaves things hanging and unresolved. This series has clearly told a story from start to finish, and has kept me (at least) engaged throughout the entire trip.

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Coming around to the final episode itself, it turns out that the dark monster moth thingee was not just Rosia – it was somehow the “prison” of all four members of Criticrista! (I wonder if that made it more powerful somehow?) Nonetheless, Darudayu proves to be more than a match for it physically in fighting it off. Shu Zo gets his chance to shine in the spotlight by releasing all of the previously captured members of the bands with his guitar playing and more importantly this means releasing the other members of Plasmagica so they can give Cyan the boost of confidence she needs at this point in the game to save the members of Criticrista – and interestingly they do so singing the first song they were shown performing together when they lost to Criticrista in the band battle. Nice touch.

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One of the nice things we are able to see in this episode is also the real regret on the part of Rosia for her actions and attitude towards the members of Plasmagica and Cyan in particular. It is a shame she had to go through what she did to come to such a place, but for some people a serious scare like that is “needed” (though I would not wish such things on anyone). Seeing how the members of Criticrista were all used as fodder for a dark monster was no doubt a very sobering moment for everyone, but unsurprisingly Dagger has been watching the events unfold, is not amused and shows up very quickly, unleashing his full power.

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A few episodes back Dagger once remarked to Grateful King that the three members of his “ultimate band” would have no choice but to join, and we see in this episode what he meant. Essentially, after going into full tentacle mode from the clouds he traps everyone, and at first threatens and then follows through on his threats to essentially torture Cyan’s friends if she does not agree to work for him – one can easily imagine he would do the same thing to both Shu Zo and Darudayu. And unsurprisingly his threats work on the gentle and tender-hearted Cyan. While all this is going on we are simultaneously shown Angelica and Maple breaking into Unicorn Virtual Music’s inc.’s studio Mission Impossible style (Angelica in particular is quite something) in the hopes of rescuing Grateful King from his imprisonment to aid in the fight against Dagger….and they succeed.

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What’s more, they succeed just in time – Cyan’s melodisian stone is almost consumed by dark energy when Grateful King busts everything up with an energy blast from his guitar (complete with his catchphrase yell of “Rock n Rollllllll!” and everyone is released from Dagger’s tentacles. Shortly after, though, Dagger takes on the form of a humongosized cloudy giant of dark energy and after scaring everyone to near-paralysis he attempts to devour Cyan once again. And once again Grateful King intervenes and decides to do a pretty clever strategic move – he sends Cyan back across dimensions to her own world out of the blue (much to Retoree’s dismay). Unsurprisingly, once again, Dagger is not pleased, and resolves to wipe out everyone present.

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As Cyan is travelling back she still sees in the distance that Dagger is about to … well … kill everyone, or make them slaves as dark monsters possibly (again for poor Criticrista!) and she finally finds her courage and resolve. On her own magical power she returns to Sound World, transforms into white gothloli angelic wing mode (called it last episode! XD ) and shocks everyone, including Dagger himself, by taking the final boss out in one shot after transforming Strawberry Heart into a bow and arrow. Unsurprisingly the explosions and pyrotechnic effects are just as dramatic as when she took out the dark monster in episode one at the Trichronika concert, and after the smoke clears we are given a glimpse of Dagger in his … erm … original form, I guess? He looks totally like the symbol on his music business’ sign, but … well … I don’t think that looks like a jellyfish at all. Interestingly, there is no attempt to try and “redeem” him as I thought there might be. Hmm.

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Another nice thing about Cyan returning and saving the entire world in the course of a minute or so (!) was that it gave a chance not only for the members of Plasmagica to say their farewells with her and for Grateful King to give her his heartfelt gratitude but also for the opportunity for her to perform one last time together with Plasmagica, and at the Grateful Rock festival at that. Uwasanopetals shows up just as the Grateful Rock festival starts up again, and it looks like Ogasawara may actually have half-way honest plans to rebuild his manager career from the ground up with them … which was kinda nice to see, in a way. Finally the episode ends with Cyan back in her own world, and finally able to work up the courage to join the music club. A fitting ending and a teensy milestone of growth for her. ^^

I will save my thoughts regarding the episode and include them in the upcoming series review post…. I hope the readers have enjoyed the series as much as I have!

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Currently the “oji-san” of the staff members age wise (in his mid 40’s) yet the most recent addition, he is also a Japanophile from his teen years while not quite an “otaku” who lives in the United States. Came to actively following anime late in life (in 2008), but in general loves the traditional arts, history and culture of Japan as a whole, both ancient and modern.

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