BanG Dream!

Kanna Funabashi

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BanG Dream! also abbreviated as Bandori, is a Japanese media franchise created by Bushiroad in early 2015. BanG Dream is a franchise centered around 5 “Girl Bands” – bands consisting of five girls each. Each girl plays an important role, playing either guitar, bass, keyboard, drums, or singer/vocal. These bands create their own songs, and also cover other popular songs, just as girl bands would in real life. Bandori has multiple manga series, currently two anime seasons (each 13 episodes), and a rhythm game for iOS and Android.

The first band created in real-life chronological order was Poppin’ Party. This band, although not the best skill-wise, makes up for it with their strong energy. Poppin’ Party was formed by Kasumi Toyama, from her strong desire to find that “sparkling, heart-pounding beat”. Poppin’ Party is formed with Kasumi on guitar and vocal, Arisa Ichigaya on keyboard, Rimi Ushigome on bass, Tae Hanazono on main guitar, and Saaya Yamabuki on drums.

(From Left: Rimi Ushigome, Saaya Yamabuki, Kasumi Toyama, Arisa Ichigaya, and Tae Hanazono)


Roselia, the second band created (in chronological order) is a popular gothic rock band, playing at a near-professional level. Their name is a combination of the word “Rose” and “Camellia” (both flowers). The leader of Roselia is Yukina Minato, a perfectionist singer, who initially created the band only to join the Future World Festival, to reach the dream her father could not. However, through the band, she begins to appreciate music as its own artform, and not just a simple tool. The band consists of Yukina Minato (Vo.), Sayo Hikawa (Gt.), Lisa Imai (Ba.), Ako Udagawa (Dr.), and Rinko Shirokane (Key.).

(From Left: Sayo Hikawa, Ako Udagawa, Yukina Minato, Rinko Shirokane, and Lisa Imai)


In addition, Poppin’ Party and Roselia are the only bands whose voice actors perform in real-life, performing their respective instruments. In fact, Bang Dream was launched due to the fact that Kasumi’s voice actor, Aimi, was able to play guitar. From there, Bushiroad gathered musicians, creating Poppin’ Party and Roselia. The other three bands do not perform, but instead the vocalist sings with a different backing band, known as RAISE A SUILEN.


Pastel*Palettes is the only girl band formed by a talent agency, as an idol band. At first, they were not expected to play their own instruments live. However, after days of practice and hard work, the members were allowed to perform live, gaining popularity for their originality. The first to join was Aya Maruyama (Vo.), an aspiring idol who believes that with enough effort, anything can be done. The second was Chisato Shirasagi (Ba.), a celebrity and talented child actor. The third was Eve Wakamiya (Key.), a modeling sensation. Then, Hina Hikawa (Gt.) from a successful audition, and Maya Yamato (Dr.), who was initially a support drummer, joined the band to complete Pastel*Palettes. Each member, through the band, is searching for the meaning of an “idol” and what it means to be one.

(From Left: Chisato Shirasagi, Eve Wakamiya, Aya Maruyama, Maya Yamato, and Hina Hikawa)

Afterglow is a band formed by five childhood friends, and their name comes from the english name for the sky following a sunset. This group was formed as a way to spend more time together after Ran Mitake (Gt. and Vo.) was only one to be in a different class in their first year of school. Although they are inexperienced compared to other bands, their strong bond and powerful performances attract people. The second member of Afterglow is Moca Aoba, the second guitarist and the closest to Ran. The third member, Tomoe Udagawa is the drummer, hot-blooded and most mature. The fourth member is Himari Uehara, the bassist, and the most cheerful and caring. The fifth member of Afterglow is Tsugumi Hazawa, who plays the keyboard with a positive personality and cheery heart.

(From Left: Himari Uehara, Tsugumi Hazawa, Ran Mitake, Tomoe Udagawa, and Moca Aoba)

The last band is Hello, Happy World! Hello, Happy World! is a girl band created with the simple idea of “making the world smile.” Led by crazy-rich and insanely optimistic Kokoro Tsurumaki (Vo.), they perform at preschools and children’s hospitals, making them popular amongst young children and teens alike. Kokoro quickly gathers Kanon Matsubara (Dr.), Kaoru Seta (Gt.), Hagumi Kitazawa (Ba.), and Misaki Okusawa (DJ) to join Hello, Happy World!. Kanon is a shy and clumsy girl, who was going to quit drums until Kokoro tells her it is too soon to give up. Kaoru is a flamboyant actress from the drama club, and agreed to join, inspired by Kokoro’s dream. Hagumi is an athletic girl, similar to Kokoro, and enjoys making others happy through her smiles. Misaki is the most calm and pessimistic of the group, unwillingly joining the band because of her part-time job as Michelle, the pink bear. However, she sees that Kokoro won’t give up, and continues to work as a DJ, in place of the usual position of a keyboardist.

(From Left: Hagumi Kitazawa, Misaki Okusawa/Michelle, Kokoro Tsurumaki, Kaoru Seta, and Kanon Matsubara)