Bocchi the Rock is a love letter to band music that has completely gripped the anime world. Its creator, mangaka Aki Hamaji, is a huge fan of Japanese pop-rock, and the world of Bocchi the Rock is filled with references to real-life J-rock bands!
We’ve picked out some of our favourite references in the series for bands that you’ll probably recognise from other anime or J-rock in general.
Asian Kung-Fu Generation
Arguably the biggest single influence on Bocchi the Rock is Asian Kung-Fu Generation, a huge alt-rock band that was formed by friends during college and has since had a successful career spanning multiple decades.
In Bocchi the Rock, Kessoku Band itself is a reference to Asian Kung-Fu Generation, with each character’s surname being connected by their role in each band (with the exception of the singer & guitarist who are swapped):Band RoleKessoku BandAsian Kung-Fu GenerationSingerIkuyo KitaMasafumi GotohBassistRyou YamadaTakahiro YamadaGuitaristHitori GotouKensuke KitaDrummerNijika IjichiKiyoshi Ijichi
Some fans have also suggested that Hitori may live in Yokohama, which is where Asian Kung-Fu Generation formed while studying at Kanto Gakuin University.
Arguably Japan’s biggest rock export, Band-Maid is a five-piece rock band that shot to prominence during the 2010s, performing at major events worldwide.
While their involvement in anime music is less pronounced – their most recognisable track is the opening theme for Platinum End – they are widely seen as flagbearers for J-rock on the international scene while also having a huge domestic following.
Bocchi the Rock’s manga regularly parodies music videos and albums in its chapter covers, and one of its most popular parodies is of Band-Maid’s music video for the single Domination.
The level of detail in the illustration, down to the fine china, is impeccable! It’s not just a meaningless parody, though – the chapter involves the band members working at a maid cafe during a high school cultural festival.
Bump of Chicken
Anime fans will likely recognise the name Bump of Chicken as they have been responsible for some hugely popular anime songs, none less so than Spy x Family Part 2’s opening!
The four-piece has a strong following in Japan, with their albums regularly charting domestically.
In Bocchi the Rock, the club Starry (itself modelled on a real club) is filled with band posters, and almost all of them are parodies of a real-world group! In the scene below (from around 13 seconds), you can see a poster for Sleeping Day by Champ of Human.
Another poster you might have noticed in Starry is for BLACK by U’s, situated behind the bar.
This is a parody of Yuzu, a popular duo who fans might recognise as the singers in four of Hunter x Hunter’s six endings (Reason, Nagareboshi Kirari and Hyori Ittai twice)!
It’s not clear what BLACK is a parody of exactly, although they do have a few songs named after colours.
It’s not just Starry where band references can be found, however. Hitori’s guitaring hideout – her closet – is also filled with posters of her favourite band, HAKO-BOON!
HAKO-BOON is a parody of KANA-BOON, a Japanese four-piece rock band that’s synonymous with anime music! The group performed the first Boruto opening song and also performed an opening for Naruto.
More recently, they provided the song for My Hero Academia Season 4’s hugely popular second opening:
The group’s vocalist, Maguro Taniguchi, is also helping create the songs for Bocchi’s anime! The first ending, Distortion, was written and composed by her:
Most of the posters in Hitori’s closet are related to a particular release. In the clip below (around 46 seconds) you can see an astronaut poster peeling off the wall and another featuring people carrying colourful boxes. These relate to the KANA-BOON singles Full Drive and Nandemo Nedari respectively.
Perhaps Hitori’s tastes come from the mangaka, who herself is a huge fan of the band:
In reality, this only scratches the surface when it comes to Bocchi the Rock’s band references! If you want to see more, the best way is to check out the Bocchi the Rock manga, which is stuffed with amazing illustrations!