And just like I promised last week, I’m back again with more Bandori/Bang Dream content. I’ve realized I haven’t been consistent with which name I’ve used to refer to this game (it’s changed over my first post about the game to my best characters list post to now), but I feel like the names are interchangeable to me, so, apologies for any confusion that may have caused.
Anyway, today I’m counting down my top 20 original songs from this game. Just like last week, I’ll be giving a little blurb on each one. Though it’s fun that this game covers well-known anime openings and the like, I still definitely find myself repeatedly coming back to the original music created specifically for the game.
In a lot of ways, they exemplify the personalities of the bands that “perform” them a lot better than the covers do. So, without further ado, let’s celebrate the best of the best!
20. Passionate Starmine – Roselia
Roselia is definitely the most popular band in this game, and for good reason. Their music, especially their originals, are consistently high-quality. Unfortunately for my tastes, that also sometimes makes Roselia’s music all kinda sound the same to me. It’s all pretty high-quality, but doesn’t always differentiate itself.
However, for those songs that do differentiate themselves, like this one, they tend to be home runs. “Passionate Starmine” has some real drama and a great, driving beat. Plus, I love Ako’s little lead in to the chorus. Sure, she’s got a kind of goofy, melodramatic tone, but it just works so well for this melodramatic band.
19. Natsunodon! – Poppin’ Party
One of the things I found kind of a shame about how this list shook out was the lack of Poppin’ Party. They only show up here a few times, which is really sad. I didn’t always used to like them much – they’re very much the bland main character band, and I feel like a lot of their songs fall into tired tropes. But that’s really only their early music. Their more recent stuff is great.
This song really utilizes the incredible power in lead singer Kasumi’s vocals. She really has a voice for rock, and this is definitely a rock song with a little bit of a folk song sound twist. It’s absolutely addicting.
18. Sunflower Dreams – Poppin’ Party
This song is an example of an early Poppin’ Party track that utilizes how much of a rock band they are. While yes, in canon they are a rock band, I sometimes feel like the songs they make forget that fact and try and fit them into a more idol pop hole.
But this song dodges that bullet and opts instead for a rock ballad kind of sound. There’s a lot of great, intense moments in this song, even if it is a softer-sounding one. The instrumentals are also very subtly powerful, and I love the way all of the girls’ voices sound backing up Kasumi’s.
17. －HEROIC ADVENT－ Roselia
We’re entering a solid block of Roselia songs I like, so I’m gonna be talking about Roselia for a while. Like I said before, I tend to appreciate Roselia songs that differentiate themselves in some way from the rest of their music. This song kind of pulls back from just going hard constantly for the whole song like it feels like so many Roselia songs do. And it has some interesting guitar work in the beginning that really draws your attention in.
Plus, I’m kind of a sucker for how Yukina sings “Heroic Advent.” “He-ro-ic AD-U-VENT!” Very epic. It’s one of those songs you can just picture the band performing live in your head, and that image is unforgettable.
16. Neo-Aspect – Roselia
Speaking of watching Roselia perform “live,” this song has a very cool animated music video that goes along with it. I can’t lie and say that that doesn’t influence my appreciation for this song. But I can say that I really appreciate how the whole package of this song celebrates another thing I appreciate about Roselia – their story.
Bandori/Bang Dream has a lot of really interesting character drama within each band, and Roselia is the band that comes down the hardest on the “drama.” The band was formed by Yukina in an attempt to create the most perfect band, and the attitude of Yukina and the band’s guitarist Sayo is cold and disconnected from any actual friendship or feelings of attachment that didn’t directly contribute to the band’s success. The tension that creates within the band is apparent in the video, and, I would argue, in all the serious-sounding songs this band creates.
15. Determination Symphony – Roselia
Are you tired of me talking about Roselia yet? Honestly it’s a shame almost all the songs I love from them ended up so close on the list, because even I’m a little tired of talking about them. But we soldier on!
I like the way the song gets quieter right before it blasts into the powerful chorus. And because I guess I just love when Roselia throws a little English into their songs, I also really enjoy the “Where there is a will there is a way” lines right before the chorus.
14. ONENESS – Roselia
What have we learned in this solid block of Roselia? Well, Roselia is a good band with a solid sound, and I love their drama, and their characters… but I’m good for now on talking about their sound. Not to say this is the last song of theirs on this list (it’s not, don’t worry), but this is the last of the collection of Roselia songs I don’t really feel a personal connection to but still enjoy.
I like how kind of… ominous this song sounds. Yukina performs it like she knows something everyone else doesn’t, and that thing is dangerous. Is that just me? Maybe it’s the fact that all the other singers sing “Get out” on occasion.
13. Your Gift to Me – Poppin’ Party
Though I said up above that I most appreciate Poppin’ Party when they’re rocking and rolling, I won’t lie – this is my absolute favorite of their originals. I just love when another vocalist besides the main one gets a chance to shine, and Rimi’s vocals in this case are just so sweet and adorable.
This song is soft and adorable, and yet towards the end it crescendos into a power ballad sound that I actually really dig. This song strips itself down for most of its length, and that works especially well considering the context behind the song. The event story that accompanied the song explained Rimi’s process of writing it as a gift to her older sister, who inspired her to become a musician. All that sentiment and gratitude is displayed in such a gorgeous package here.
12. Sekai Nobbinobi Treasure! – Hello, Happy World
Oh look, it’s my favorite band, back again. Yeah, if you thought my bias died with last post, you’re sorely wrong, because Hello, Happy World is about to make a lot of appearances. Anyway, this song is great.
It’s essentially two songs wrapped into one. The beginning is an honest-to-god hip hop song that is… charming, though maybe not the most impressive of songs. Then the song makes a surprisingly effective transition into a charming little march that sounds a lot more like what HHW usually does. Then, it’s right back into that hip hop sound. Weird as it is, I love when this band gets weird. That’s their wheelhouse.
11. Fuwa Fuwa☆Yumeiro Sandwich – Hello, Happy World
Okay, honesty hour. This song isn’t actually… great. It’s kind of kawaii cliche garbage music. I mean, the music is kinda pretty and nice, almost music box-like. But the vocals? Well, they’re… um… childish and grating. I’ll admit that. But there is one thing that pushes this song above many others in that list.
Yup, Misaki sings! Not much, admittedly. Six words, and three of them are just sound effect words. But they are six of the prettiest words I’ve ever heard. Misaki has such a beautiful voice, you guys! Give her more to sing! #FreeMisaki2k18!!!
(Also, Hagumi sings in this and it’s adorable too.)
10. Yura Yura Ring-Dong-Dance – Pastel Palettes
Anyway, I promise from here on out I’m only gonna be talking about songs I actually enjoy, that aren’t carried on the weight of who sings in them. Rounding out number 10 is the first appearance of Pastel Palettes on this list! I feel like I don’t often give this band its due. As much as they’re definitely an idol-pop bubblegum kind of band, a lot of their songs are honestly bops.
Take this one for example. They did not have to go so hard with this one! And yet? This song never relents. It’s catchy and epic and such a fun time. Plus, it’s another song that features vocals from someone besides the lead vocalist – this time, Chisato! It’s great to hear her voice.
9. Tenka Toitsu A to Z☆ – Pastel Palettes
Another surprisingly epic-sounding Pastel Palettes song featuring several vocalists besides Aya – in this case, the whole band! I’m a sucker for the songs that allow every member in the band to sing (Hint: My number one pick is one of these as well.)
This song is just so fun. I really like the community appeal of it. Plus, it’s got a catchy melody and I love the way the girls pronounce “A to Z.” I don’t know what it is about their pronunciation, but it’s endearing, for sure.
8. BLACK SHOUT – Roselia
Ah “BLACK SHOUT.” A classic if any original song in Bandori deserves to be called one (actually, in my opinion, many do). This was one of the first original songs in Bandori I actually became pretty familiar with, probably because its title is in english in the Japanese version of the game as well.
Not to sell this song short, of course. The gothic stylings at the beginning give way to a trademark Roselia hard rock sound. It’s essentially a primer for this band, to the point that it even features the vocal talents of every member! I’m personally fond of the line Lisa sings, because I adore Lisa and I wish she sang more. Though, Ako’s entire verse is pretty entertaining for just how extra it is.
7. Wacha-Mocha-Pettan Koushinkyoku – Hello, Happy World
If I forgave “Fuwa Fuwa” for its musical faults thanks to its singer, this song gets bonus points because it not only features one of my favorite characters on vocals, it also is a legitimately great song. Kanon’s voice is so pretty and pure, and this song succeeds where “Fuwa Fuwa” failed in balancing a cutesy style without going too overboard.
I think the chorus of this song is great for pure catchiness and fun, but I also gotta shout out to the percussive vocals in the verses, making the whole song move at a steady and enjoyable pace. I love the little chime sounds in the background too, especially contrasting the guitar. Lovely.
6. Wonderland Girl – Pastel Palettes
It’s Hina! God, I love Hina. She’s such an agent of chaos, so it’s hard not to love the song that pays homage to her catchphrase (“Runrunrun” in Japanese, “Boppin” in English). Plus, I adore her with Aya, and I’m so glad they got to duet on this beautiful little song. Does my
shipper heart good.
What I truly enjoy about this song, I think, is the way it connects easily with the theme of Pastel Palettes’ story. Unlike the other bands, these girls did not choose to perform together, and especially in the early days of their story, their personalities easily clash. But their charm – the fact they come together to make music and eventually become great friends, is definitely reflected in the lyrics of this equally charming little song.
5. Jamboree! Journey! – Afterglow
Oh boy Afterglow. Are you all ready for my top 5 to be completely taken over by this band? Only two of the top 5 aren’t Afterglow. There’s a good reason why, and it starts and ends with my undying love for everything this band does. They’re rock n’ roll to the core, and I love every character.
My love of every character in this band is a big part of why I love this song so much. Every character gets a goofy little moment in this goofy little song. Sure, it’s not exactly the punk rock fare Afterglow usually does, but it’s got a 70s psychedelic rock vibe that is unexpected and adorable. This song is definitely underrated, and I’ll defend it to the end.
4. Hey-Day Capriccio – Afterglow
Most lists ranking the original songs usually have this one as the top Afterglow song, and it’s not hard to see why. While it isn’t my favorite of theirs, I still can completely see how it might deserve the top spot. It accompanied a sort of Halloween-themed event, and it conveys a fun, spooky vibe without impeding too much on Roselia’s usual gothic style.
The guitar goes hard, Ran’s vocals go hard, everything about this song goes hard. And that’s exactly when this band is at their best, I think. They’re born for that loud, boisterous sound.
3. LOUDER – Roselia
Top 3! Every song from this one on has the capability of making me an emotional wreck, isn’t that embarrassing? Well, it won’t be once you check out the live performance of this song. Believe me, you’ll understand.
Yukina is a character I don’t always agree with the morals of. I talked about this when I talked about her in my favorite characters post, but I think her extreme perfectionism is a huge flaw of hers, one she doesn’t always acknowledge. However, when you hear this song, and watch her voice actress Aiba Aina absolutely slay at performing it, you start to understand that drive. Yukina has a lot of depth to her unrelenting struggle for perfection, and it’s emotional to watch her scream out that drive in song. It’s for that reason that I feel like no Roselia song could ever top this one. There’s emotion that pushes through the normal polish this band is known for, and that makes this song nearly unbeatable.
(I say, about to move onto talking onto two songs that did, indeed, beat this one. But we’ll get to it.)
2. Goka! Gokai!? Phantom Thief – Hello, Happy World
I will always have a soft spot in my heart for this song. As you all are perfectly aware of by now, I adore Hello, Happy World and everything they do. And to me, this song is a mixture of everything that makes them so great. It’s goofy and silly, sure, but so completely fun that you don’t even worry about the ridiculous premise of the song.
I love that swinging, jazzy sound this song uses. It really sells the dramatic mystery of the search for “The Phantom Thief.” That’s what I think makes this song work so well, and is a microcosm of why I love this band so much. Sure, they’re ridiculous, and no one is fooled into thinking they aren’t, but they’re ridiculous in such an honest way that it’s hard not to be fond of them. This band isn’t goofy for goofy’s sake, they’re goofy because that’s just who they are, and they’re not afraid to show it off in the loudest, jamming-est way possible.
Ugh. I love them so.
1. Y.O.L.O.!!!!! – Afterglow
The power of this game amazes me sometimes. They managed to make a song called “Y.O.L.O.!!!!!” that is not only an absolute jam, but is also so good that it actually kinda makes me emotional.
I attribute it to the fact that, as I mentioned before, I adore every character of Afterglow so much. And what I adore even more about them is their friendship – they’ve all been together for years at this point, and this song is essentially about that friendship. It dissolves me into a puddle of emotion every time.
Plus! Everyone gets to sing! It’s such an obvious choice for a song about their friendship to let them all sing about it, but like… it still gets to me. That’s the formula for destroying me, you know. Just get five characters I adore, all part of a band I adore, singing about a friendship they’ve built with each other I also adore, and package it in a fun rock song. I’m yours.