For a while now, I have come across an article about BanG Dream. It’s about a statement that Kidani Takaaki made. He said that “the idol boom that has continued until now is already finished this year.”
In other words, he believes that idols will make way for the girl-band boom. However, I am very skeptical of that for many reasons that I will share.
First off, let’s talk about bands in anime, specifically girl bands. It’s a staple seen in most school anime as there is usually a club that focuses on playing music. Of course, this is usually a small aspect of the show, although enjoyable when the band performs. Some popular examples of girl bands performing is the performance of “God Knows” in Suzumiya Haruhi and Girls Dead Monster in Angel Beats. While these music performances are only a small aspect, it brings epic moments that makes their performances very memorable.
While there is anime like Beck, which focuses on bands in general, there are anime that focuses on girl bands also. K-ON, which aired back in 2009 became very popular. Sure, it focused more on slice of life rather than music, the character development and the music performances made the show every popular. Eventually, it went on to having a sequel and a movie. Also, there is Show by Rock, which has girl-bands. However, it focuses mostly on rock bands of both genders and of course, the story is crazy. Aside from also having a mobile game, it’s fairly popular.
Now let’s focus on Takaaki’s statement. He believes that the idol boom will disappear and the girl-band boom will begin. However, after taking an overall look of BanG Dream both the fandom and the show itself, I don’t necessarily agree. There are many reasons why the girl-band boom hasn’t started and probably won’t happen anytime soon. Let’s focus on a few reasons why.
First off, idols are still very popular. Sure, other idol shows like Wake Up Girls may not be popular as the big three (Aikatsu, Love Live and Idolmaster), the series take a realistic approach. Still, idols are a big part of Japan’s subculture. It mostly because idols and the culture of cuteness in Japan goes hand in hand.
While sturgeon’s law applies, of course there are going to be a lot of mediocre and crappy idol anime, manga and video games. This doesn’t mean that creators can’t create good stories or video games involving idols. Unlike girl bands, idols are already entrenched in Japanese culture and I don’t see it going away anytime soon. Unless Idolmaster, Love Live, Aikatsu, AKB48 or even Vocaloid becomes irrelevant, Takaaki’s statement doesn’t hold any water.
Second, I don’t believe there will be a band boom because BanG Dream haven’t defined the genre to deserve frontrunner status. Sure, it’s an enjoyable show, but it doesn’t have something that makes it unique and stand out compared to idol anime. It feels too much like idol genre shows, especially the first season of the original Love Live anime. As a result, I feel that this weakens the show’s position as a forerunner. This is not surprising given that the characters share similar qualities of the idols from Muse. If BanG Dream took a different approach that make the show worthy of the frontrunner status, I would think differently. Sadly, this is not the case.
Lastly, idol genre is very versatile and diverse that you can simply combine the girl band aspect into the idol genre. In other words, there isn’t a need to be a separate boom to happen since it’s mostly the same thing. Instead of dancing, they will be playing instruments while singing. With that, this makes me wonder why there needs to be a separate genre boom to accomplish this in the first place? Maybe if girls start forming rock and roll bands that focuses more on coolness instead of cuteness, I would think differently.
In short, I disagree with Takaaki’s statement. I do not think BanG Dream is the forerunner of the girl band boom nor there is a girl-band boom. It shows with very few people are talking about the show overseas (only a small handful of blogs are covering it). Moreover, there only a few participants on the doujin event. Still, I think there are many reasons this is the case ranging from the slow development to the late premiere.
To me, the main reason BanG Dream is not the forerunner is because it doesn’t bring anything new to the table to make people interested. It feels too similar to idol genre anime. Instead of the girls dancing, they play instruments instead with similar style music. That said, this doesn’t mean that the boom won’t happen in the future. Someone can create a girl-band anime or manga that might create a huge following like predecessors did.
With that, what do you think? Do you think that there is a girl-band boom? If not, feel free to share why you don’t think so.