|Name:||BanG Dream, Girls Band Party!|
|Medium:||Video game, manga, anime|
|Country of Origin:||Japan|
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BanG Dream! is a Japanese rhythm game with slice of life elements, featuring the lives of five schoolgirls who decided to start a band together. They, along with four other girl bands, play both original and cover songs from many anime series, including Full Metal Alchemist and Attack on Titan, among many others.
There is also an anime of the same name, currently consisting of three seasons and an OVA. The second season introduced a new band, Raise A Suilen, and featured all characters moving up a grade. As part of the game's 3rd anniversary celebration in 2020, another new band, Morfonica, was introduced, bringing the total number up to seven.
Poppin’ Party (PoPiPa)
- Kasumi Toyama (guitar, vocals)
- Tae Hanazono (guitar)
- Saya Yamabuki (drums)
- Rimi Ushigome (bass)
- Arisa Ichigaya (keyboard)
- Ran Mitake (guitar, vocals)
- Tomoe Udagawa (drums)
- Moca Aoba (guitar)
- Tsugumi Hazawa (keyboard)
- Himari Uehara (bass)
- Aya Maruyama (vocals)
- Eve Wakamiya (keyboard)
- Maya Yamato (drums)
- Chisato Shirasagi (bass)
- Hina Hikawa (guitar)
Hello, Happy World (Harohapi)
- Kokoro Tsurumaki (vocals)
- Kanon Matsubara (drums)
- Kaoru Seta (guitar, occasional vocals)
- Hagumi Kitazawa (bass)
- Misaki Okusawa (DJ, mascot)
- Yukina Minato (vocals)
- Ako Udagawa (drums)
- Rinko Shirokane (keyboard)
- Sayo Hikawa (guitar)
- Lisa Imai (bass)
Raise A Suilen
- Rei Wakana, stage name LAYER (vocals, bass)
- Rokka Asahi, stage name LOCK (guitar)
- Masuki Satou, stage name MASKING (drums)
- Reona Nyubara, stage name PAREO (keyboard)
- Chiyu Tamade, stage name CHU2 (DJ, producer)
- Mashiro Kurata (vocals)
- Touko Kirigaya (guitar)
- Nanami Hiromachi (bass)
- Tsukushi Futaba (drums)
- Rui Yashio (violin)
Since the game’s initial release in early 2017, its influence has spread rapidly due to its combination of elements. Fans of Guitar Hero and similar enjoy the gameplay mechanics, while anime fans appreciate famous soundtracks being incorporated into the game. A lot of effort has been made to give each and every one of the 26 characters a distinct personality, which makes for a very fluid, interchangeable gameplay experience. The player can rearrange their 5-piece band however they like, even featuring five vocalists if they so desire, and the variety of characters guarantees that everyone has at least one favourite. The strength of the storytelling and character development is a detail that many fans think makes the game stand out compared to similar franchises like Love Live!.
Being a game with an entirely female main cast, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the vast majority of shipping is femslash. Despite there being only one definite lesbian character, many of the other girls are shipped together irrespective of this, such as ToMoca (Tomoe Udagawa x Moca Aoba) and YukiLisa (Yukina Minato x Lisa Imai). Hundreds of combinations are available, including two incestuous ships, Udagawacest and Hikawacest.
Common Tropes and Themes
- Misaki and Michelle - Misaki from Hello, Happy World wears a bear suit named Michelle at recitals and live shows, but despite this, three of the other band members (Hagumi, Kokoro and Kaoru) are completely unaware that it’s Misaki who is in the bear suit, believing Michelle to be alive and sentient. This leads to genuine confusion from the three of them whenever Michelle isn’t readily available, and Michelle getting requested for impossible tasks, such as getting shot out of a cannon and being in two different places at once. Misaki can only confide in Kanon for emotional support.
- Personality clashes - because there is such a wide range of personalities across the cast of BanG Dream!, clashes are inevitable. This can come in the form of rivalry, such as the one between Ran and Yukina, or thinly veiled dissent, such as Chisato’s attitude towards Kaoru.
- Anomaly by okapifeathers, a College AU fanfic focused on the pairing of Kokoro/Misaki.
- Bearing the Weight of Happiness by DivineNoodles, a Canon Divergence AU fanfic focused on Misaki.
- Reign of Silence by CureMoose, a dark fantasy fanfic that also incorporates characters from Love Live! and Revue Starlight.