Gorillaz could be the most well-known instance of a digital band, no less than within the west. Elsewhere, digital idol Hatsune Miku is omnipresent, her persona projected on to her by followers. 4-piece outfit OFK are completely different: earlier than you’ve heard a word of their music, you’re going to seek out out precisely who they’re. The band itself just isn’t actual – it’s an invention of the songwriters, composers and recreation designers working collectively at LA developer Workforce OFK – however the music is, and it is a novel and intriguing option to expertise it.
We Are OFK is a band biopic delivered over 5 animated episodes. 4 associates come collectively via happenstance, sowing seeds of creativity and alternative that blossom regardless of LA’s cut-throat music scene. As catchy because the band’s electro-pop earworms are, the true hook comes from spending time with them: supervisor/keyboardist Itsumi, vocalist Luca, producer Jey, and VFX artist Carter.
There’s a danger that anybody who isn’t a zoomer may battle to narrate to the younger, painfully hip solid, particularly when studying via the textual content chats that make up a good portion of the sport. (At the very least we are able to discover solace in Jey, the oldest member of the group, who correctly punctuates her texts.) But within the fingers of writers Teddy Dief and Claire Jia, what might need come off as indulgent or irritating makes an sincere attain for the center. The script brims with persona and authenticity, delivered naturalistically from its voice solid; Dief, who juggles many hats because the collection’ showrunner, additionally supplies the voice and singing vocals for Luca.
Beneath the peachy settings of boba tea cafes, stylish golf equipment and Hollywood events is an aching melancholy, as every band member works via their private points, be it Itsumi along with her latest unhealthy break-up, or the seemingly cool-headed Carter, who remains to be haunted by previous occasions they don’t really feel snug sharing with their new pal group. The band’s numerous make-up of various ethnicities, sexual orientations and gender identities permits the sport to depict the unsavoury components of the business that marginalised musicians need to navigate, whether or not’s it’s creepy dudes at events or gatekeeping label bros. But it surely additionally doesn’t dwell on these limitations, quickly bouncing again to upbeat vibes that swimsuit the sun-kissed setting. The songs themselves, whether or not the darkish gloomy beats of Infuriata or bittersweet closing monitor Thanks, with its refrain line, “We’re not OK, and that’s alright,” echo the temper of this digital band’s era.
Every episode, paced to imitate your common Netflix collection, culminates in a playable music video, which feels inconsequential in comparison with the tight arcade thrills of music video games resembling Sayonara Wild Hearts. Textual content conversations present time for introspection and selection, as you may determine how to reply to them – although regardless of which response you choose, you’ll find yourself on the identical vacation spot, as this isn’t a recreation with completely different endings and outcomes relying on the way you play. For those who’re not satisfied that textual content messaging could make for good narrative drama, then wait till a revelation by chance spills on to the group chat, resulting in the collection’ tensest alternate.
The stakes of attempting to launch an EP could seem small, and it is a digital band that appears to have the ability to afford spacious flats to exist in whereas they do it (an early dialog about needing to pay hire is forgotten about simply as shortly). However as a result of we get to know OFK’s members intimately, by the point you’ve completed their origin story it’s arduous to not be invested of their goals, their music, and no matter comes subsequent.