Bocchi the Rock! is a recent CloverWorks anime adaptation of Aki Hamaji’s manga series. The story follows Hitori Goto, a lonely young girl who spends her time learning how to play the guitar. From the moment she picks up her dad’s old guitar, Hitori dreams of starting a band and coming out of her shell.

However, by the end of her junior high career, Hitori has failed to make a single friend. Despite her creative attempts at showing off her interests through band merchandise and song requests over the school intercom, she is still as alone as she was the day she picked up the guitar. The only change that Hitori has going for her is her growing YouTube channel under the name "guitarhero."

The Subscribers' Encouragement

Bocchi the Rock!: How the Internet Helps the Introverted Artist_0

Without revealing her identity, Hitori is able to post videos to her channel. The fear of people judging her or associating her with any mistakes she makes on the guitar goes away under anonymity. By posting frequently, Hitori grows her channel significantly. Lots of subscribers comment on her videos and praise her work. While Hitori feels a tinge of jealousy whenever her subscribers share their own accomplishments, she can’t help but feel inspired. Hitori makes a life-changing decision after reading a comment from a viewer stating that they would be interested in starting a band, but only if they knew someone who played the guitar.

With her guitar on her back, Hitori heads to school. As she walks by storefront windows, she spots her reflection. Looking back at her is a girl who she thinks looks kind of cool. Hitori feels a burst of confidence after seeing herself in a new light. Nonetheless, this confidence doesn't last long as the school day goes by and not a single peer takes notice of her instrument. Hitori, feeling defeated, goes to a park to dwell on her disappointment.

Hitori's Realization

Bocchi the Rock Hitori Goto

It doesn't take long for a girl, Nijika Ijichi, to spot Hitori. After a brief discussion, Hitori is dragged along to an underground bar to replace the guitarist that recently left Nijika’s band. Before she has time to prepare, rehearsal starts and Hitori is told to play. It doesn’t take long for Hitori to realize that playing alone is a lot different from playing with others. It isn’t until her new bandmates, Nijika and Ryo, discuss guitarhero’s YouTube channel that Hitori gains the slightest bit of confidence to stay with the group. Although the two girls have no idea that Hitori is the one behind the channel, their compliments and encouraging words help her realize that her journey is truly beginning. If Hitori never had the confidence to create her channel, she would never have pushed herself as far as she already has.

Hitori is able to reach an audience of people with her talents, even if she doesn’t reveal her true identity. Hitori hasn’t accomplished her original dream yet, but she’s not as alone as she thinks she is. These thoughts never seemed to have hit her until she spoke with her new bandmates. All of her subscribers, views, comments and likes come from real people who enjoy what she’s doing and are inspired by it.