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The best way to make a good story is by having good characters. Interesting characters will make any argument become more intriguing, while bland characters can make even the most difficult mystery become a chore. And of course, they do steal the show even from under the main characters because we want to know more about them, their past, and their reasons of being.
Show by Rock is one of those shows that is filled with interesting characters that help to make a premise, that might be a bit overused, work much better than normal. Because we’ve seen more than once the story of a young girl falling into a magic world and being tasked with the mission of fighting against the Darkness that is trying to conquer said word, but this is the first time the girl has to fight with the power of Rock, and with the help of a band.
But enough about the story, let’s get to know the real stars of Show by Rock, the top ten most interesting characters that give life to the premise.
The Plasmagica bassist, Retoree, is a very smart girl. She manages to balance the act of looking very cool and detached with her innate shyness. When she’s not working with the band, she’s engaging in her other vice: the internet, where she can be whatever she wants. In fact, she is one of those people who dislikes living “offline”, because she doesn’t find real life that interesting. Ironic, given the kind of things that she has to fight at Cyan’s side.
Retoree is, at times, a classical geek: Not only she’s very tech savvy and loves to have the latest technology at hand, she’s also a cosplayer, and an action figure collector; not to mention, she loves to have all the information on the other bands thanks to her constant activity in different net groups. It is interesting how different she is, how she manages to hide her shyness with all those masks, and it’s even more interesting to see how she starts opening up more to her bandmates, in particular with Moa. This ties in perfectly with her secret motive to join Plasmagica: to have real friends.
All of these characteristics are what make Retoree, the number ten of our lists.
9. Shu zo
The very handsome guitarist and vocalist of Trichronika, Shu zo is so handsome that many people consider him a Prince. He’s incredibly popular, in such a way that no matter where you go in Midi City, you can find a poster of him looking at you; and he has fans all over the world. Which makes it more intriguing that there’s not much known about his past, before he became part of a band called Ambivalence. His dreams, his ambitions, and why exactly he wanted to become a musician are completely shrouded in mystery. Even his exact species is unknown, because his agency forbade him from revealing it.
So what we know about Shu is not much. He also is a workaholic, and may or may not be working himself to death by trying to reach his personal dream. Or perhaps his illness –that is also a complete mystery to the fans- is what drives him to make his dreams come true as soon as possible, because his time is limited.
Whatever the answers to those questions are, we can’t deny that Shu zo is a very intriguing character. And because of that, he has the ninth place on our list.
Drummers are the backbone of rock bands in more ways than one. It’s not only that a great drum set can give life to a song, it’s not only that the drums look incredible in the back of the stage and can be paired with some really cool special effects: It’s that the drummer keeping the rhythm of every song usually is the band member who can keep his cool when everyone else is losing it.
Rom, the drummer of ShinganCrimsonZ, maybe the exception to the last rule, as he tends to let his fists do the talking when he gets angry. He’s very cocky and proud, and immediately managed to become the leader of his band, after having been in the shadow of Shu Zo for years in Ambivalence. Precisely because of that, there’s a lot of animosity between the two bands, even more as Rom revealed that his goal was to get his band to become a legend into music history, and previously, it had been to get Shu zo to be a legend into music.
That kind of loyalty, the one he gives, and the one he receives, is something to be admired, but what makes Rom really interesting is that he also sometimes seems to be unable to express himself if it’s not with violent outbursts. Because of this interesting duality, he has the eighth place on our list.
If you need something done, you call Angelica. If you need some special object for your concert, you call Angelica. If you need a giant mecha constructed with scraps… well, you probably call Angelica because there’s virtually nothing that the assistant of Maple Arusigawa, the Plasmagica manager at Banded Record Records. She is so efficient, that one wonders why isn’t she the actual manager instead of just the secretary that has to work for everyone at the same time.
Unfortunately, this amazing woman has little air time. She looks after both ShingancrimsonZ and Plasmagica, and makes sure everyone is on time for their concerts, she also makes sure that Maple doesn’t do anything too crazy, keeping him under control with her very stern personality. But we don’t know much about her, her past, or exactly how it is that no matter what you ask for, she can get it.
And because of that, she gets the number 7 on our list.
Female lions are, by far, fiercer and stronger than male lions. Which is why it shouldn’t surprise us that Ailane, Aion’s younger sister, is the leader of her own band, and carries herself in such a regal way, that it’s a surprise when people find out she is not a princess. The only thing that ruins her image is that given her interest in music, she never did much sports and thus, is very clumsy when she walks.
And yet, she’s not the classic spoiled child. As the guitarist of Bud Virgin Logic, she cares for her band mates. And yet, since they appeared under the control of Dagger Morse and Victorious, they could be considered villains. How they fell under Victorious’ control, and how they feel about serving her, is part of what makes Ailane and the rest of Bud Virgin Logic so intriguing, and thus, she is number six on our list.
The main character of the series, and a non-native of the Sound World, Cyan is more or less the glass through which we view Midi City and all the adventures. This is usually a bad thing because these kind of main characters that are made to identify with most of the audience have the unfortunate side-effect of being very bland. But Cyan has a little extra depth that allows for her to avoid this problem.
She may be shy in the real world, and unable to even join a school music club, but once she is in the Sound World, she starts coming out of her shell and being friendlier. She is a cute gothic Lolita cat, and is pretty determined to become the best music star in Sound World; or did, until she realizes that fighting Dark Monsters may be more important than fame. And that kind of personality makes her far more interesting that a girl looking for her true love in a magical world, or among a dozen of equally handsome guys, don’t you think?
Together with her guitar, Strawberry Heart, Cyan is interesting enough to climb to the middle of the list, and land in fifth place.
Calling someone a Black Sheep is pretty much shorthand to imply they don’t belong. And of course, that makes black sheep really interesting when they appear in a story, because they are completely different to what one expects. Moa is such a black sheep, in a more literal way, as she is an alien princess from a different galaxy who is here to study the Sound World. As a cosmic sheep, she also lacks a mouth filter, which means that she will blurt out whatever passes in her brain which will, of course, end up bringing some problems for the band.
Moa is the drummer of Plasmagica, and as such, sings lead in only a couple of her image songs. But thanks to her open personality and her blunt honesty, she is far more interesting than many of the other characters. And that is why she jumps even over Cyan and lands straight on the fourth place of our list.
3. Daru Dayu
Yet another drummer in our list, Daru Dayu is part of the Tsurezure Naru Ayatsuri Mugenan band, together with A and Un. Daru Dayu is a skilled drummer, and in fact, teaches A and Un about music, which also makes her the leader of her band, and here is where things get interesting. While she is a very beautiful white cat girl, whenever she is behind the drums, she is seen wearing a Daruma costume.
She’s very elegant and private, but at the same time, she is a very skilled musician whose talent woos everyone around her. And just because of that, it’s impossible not to want to know more about the woman behind the cat behind the daruma. And because of that, and the fact that there must be a lot more to her than what little we see, she lands in the third place of our list.
2. Dagger Morse
The President of Unicorn Music is everything you want in a shadowy villain. Starting with the fact that he is always hiding in the shadows, being a black jellyfish he easily blends in within the darkness. And not only that, but one has to wonder about his plans, or how he brings dark monsters into being, and his plans to control both Midi City and the Sound World. He also has his reasons to fight against the Darkness, as we learn in season two.
He is not a trustworthy person, and in fact, one has to admit, he can be cruel at times with his underlings. This makes the twist of the second season even more surprising, because well, it’s hard to believe and trust us, you need to see it for yourselves, rather than us spoiling it.
And because a villain is always more interesting, he safely lands in the second place of our list.
1. Grateful King
King is a very interesting character given that everyone knows him. He is the most legendary composer and singer in the whole Sound World. But by the time the series started, due to his contract with Unicorn Virtual Music, he has been a literal prisoner of Dagger Morse and that is the reason why we, the audience, never get to see him. However, he was not ready to just give up and so, he found a way to help Cyan without Dagger Morse knowing it.
But he is not only interesting because of his courage. He is also a mysterious character because despite his importance to the story and the world itself, we never get to see him. He is never on screen, and the truth of how he managed to thwart Dagger Morse’s plans is one of the great twists of the first season.
Keeping a character under wraps is not an easy trick to pull. After a while, the audience may lose their interest if nothing is said about the character. But with King, the clues are good enough that one just wants to know more with each mention of his name. And because of that, he keeps being interesting, and that is why he wins the first place of our list.
The best part of every character is that if they manage to intrigue you, they automatically become interesting. And because of it, making this list was a challenge to us. Everyone has a different opinion on what makes someone interesting.
But since we can agree that Show by Rock does have great characters, we’d love to know your opinion about who is the most interesting character in the cast.