©2012, 2016 SANRIO CO., SHOWBYROCK!! 制作委員会 #
If I had to explain SHOW BY ROCK!! in three words, it would be music, animals, and craziness. Notice how “riddle-solving” is not among these words.
This didn’t stop the production committee of Sanrio’s late-night TV anime SHOW BY ROCK!! from getting in contact with escape game and riddle-solving game organizer SCRAP (who also produced the Ace Attorney riddle-solving game we covered previously) to request that they produce a SHOW BY ROCK!!-themed escape game.
The story of the escape game begins when all the bands in Midi City–the setting of the anime–are preparing for the “Puru Land Fes,” a music festival. They are interrupted when the queen of darkness announces that she will steal all the musical energy from the world in approximately one hour.
The only ones who can stop her are you and three other members, who have to form a band together. Toshi, myself, and two other players worked together in a four-man band, with me on vocals, Toshi on bass, and the two other members on drums and guitar. Of course, we weren’t on real instruments; instead, we were each given pamphlets with different questions and riddles depending on our position in the band (we hid the spoilers on the front of the pamphlet to save the surprise) as well as different-colored bracelets.
While the game is filled with the characters and themes of the anime, to increase the immersion even further, Sanrio allowed SCRAP to use its Sanrio Puroland theme park after-hours as the location for the event. Using the pamphlets and not much else, players must solve a series of puzzles to gain access to the final boss and save the world. As with the anime, instruments and music play a large part in the themes of the puzzles and how to solve them.
If you’re planning to try out this escape game, you have to have two things: Japanese knowledge and comfortable shoes. While running is not allowed, you will find yourself speed-walking around the park to pick up clues and go to different rooms. Even as a former game translator, this game’s difficulty spike brought some word puzzles that I couldn’t solve. However, thanks to the other members of the team, we were able to reach the goal… Barely. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that we made it with one minute to spare.
*Designs are subject to change
The game is extremely drenched in SHOW BY ROCK!! content, with anime footage matched to newly-recorded voice clips, theme songs playing throughout the park, and pamphlets that are covered in illustrations of the characters. While the game has elements and some characters from the second season, there is no requirement to have knowledge about the franchise in order to participate. In fact, SCRAP producer Saori Yoshimura explained in an interview after our game that she hopes the escape game will serve as an introduction to those who haven’t gotten into the series yet.
The SHOW BY ROCK!! escape game “Puru Land Saidai no Kiki Kara Dasshutsu!” (The Escape From Puru Land’s Greatest Crisis) will be held on January 1, 8, 9, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, and 29 at 7 p.m. at the Sanrio Puroland after it closes to normal visitors. Tickets with a CD containing the event’s theme song by Plasmagica will cost 4,500 yen (about USD $40) and normal tickets without the CD will cost 3,500 yen (about USD $30) Tickets with the CD for groups of four will cost 17,200 yen (about USD $1,450) and 13,200 yen (about USD $115) for groups who don’t need the CD.
The second season of the SHOW BY ROCK!! anime–SHOW BY ROCK!!#—premiered in Japan this past October and is streaming on Crunchyroll as it airs, and FUNimation Entertainment is streaming a dub of the anime. The first season and the short anime series Show By Rock!! Short!! are both streamed by FUNimation with English subtitles and an English dub.