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BanG Dream! is a Japanese multimedia franchise created by Bushiroad, focusing on the fictional band Poppin' Party. The first manga began in January 2015, followed by two more in 2016, and in January 2017 an anime adaptation produced by Xebec began airing. Sentai Filmworks has licensed the anime for an English release, and Crunchyroll is simulcasting the series. The name comes from taking the "G" of "Girl" and putting it in place of the "d" in "Band". Therefore the title is basically a stylized form of "Girl Band Dream!".

Kasumi Toyama is a high school girl who wants to find something she can be passionate about. When she attends a music performance at a Live House, she finally realizes that's the "star beat" she's been seeking and decides to form a band.

A tie-in game, BanG Dream! Girls Band Party!, was launched in March 2017 in Japan and one year later worldwide, developed by CraftEgg and published by Bushiroad. In addition to Poppin'Party, it features four other bands: Afterglow, Pastel*Palettes, Roselia, and Hello Happy World!.

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The success of the franchise has led to the anime being renewed for two additional seasons and a series of spinoff animated shorts, Pastel Life, that focuses on the daily lives of Pastel*Palettes' members. Another series of shorts, Girls Band Party! PICO is currently airing.


For tropes specific to the mobile game, go here.


The franchise contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Early Appearance: In the anime, Saya greets Tae by name in the first episode, before Tae is properly introduced, and nearly all the bands from the game show up in the backgrounds and get very brief cameos, with implications that they'll feature more prominently in later seasons.
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: In the anime, as part of her Cuteness Proximity tendencies, Hinako did this to Rimi and Saya in Episode 9. In the same episode, Rii does this to Hinako to prevent her from subjecting Roselia to that behavior.
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  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: Random Star guitars actually do exist, mostly associated with musician Akira Takasaki, and are really worth a great deal of money.
  • Art Shifted Sequel: From 2D animation with CG band sequences in Season 1 to an All-CGI Cartoon for Season 2 onward.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: There are quite a few quiet characters who could fool the viewer.
    • In Roselia, both Sayo and Yukina are a lot quieter and less outgoing than both Lisa and Ako, but still generally more talkative than Rinko. But when they do speak, they tend to say exactly what they think, even when they know it might hurt another person's feelings. In-anime examples include Yukina telling Poppin' Party bluntly that they simply are not ready to put on a self-sponsored show (which is true at that point) and Sayo saying "Guess I have no choice", after Hina offers to let Sayo borrow her guitar at the School Collaboration Culture Festival. Despite just seeing Rokka play guitar before their eyes.
    • Rokka might be the newest Shrinking Violet in the anime, but after her spontaneous performance at the School Collaboration Culture Festival, there's not a shadow of doubt that her guitar skills far outrank her social skills. In less than 60 seconds, she manages to amaze all of the other girls present. Including Roselia. Sayo is no longer the best guitar player in the franchise.
  • Big Eater: Kasumi, much to the delight of Arisa's grandmother.
  • Big Sister Worship: This is actually a point of conflict between the twins Sayo and Hina, and in Roselia's band story, ties into how much Ako looks up to her older sister Tomoe, as she drives Ako to look for her own sound instead of following after Tomoe.
  • Bland-Name Product: During the first season of the anime, most of the equipment aside from the ESP guitars and Arisa's Roland keyboard has different names, although it is easy to see what it's supposed to be. Examples include the Marshall JCM 800-style "Marshmallow" amps or Rimi's Ampeg-style "Snail" amp. In Season 2, there are quite a few more real brands involved, and the "Marshmallow" is replaced with "Marshall". Rimi's amp still has the "Snail" logo, though.
  • Bunnies for Cuteness: Tae has a pet rabbit "boyfriend," who is, rather unusually for a rabbit, completely chill during the band's loud performance in episode 5.
  • Canon Foreigner: Glitter*Green was created for the anime and isn't one of the five main bands, but they end up showing up in the game.
  • Chromosome Casting: Like another idol franchise, this series has almost no male characters in any role: main, supporting or minor. The PASTEL LIFE shorts showed a few of them, complete with voice acting.
  • Clark Kenting: A downplayed example in the anime, as Kasumi, Saya, and Arisa couldn't tell that their school's Student Council President and Glitter*Green's keyboardist were the same person until Nanana took off her glasses in front of them. This is also played up with Misaki and her "Michelle" identity. Even though she actively tries to get the other members of Hello, Happy World! to understand that it's her inside the Michelle costume, everyone besides Kanon is enough of a Cloudcuckoolander to continue to think that she's just Michelle's friend and that Michelle is an actual humanoid, talking, DJ bear. This includes her actively taking her Michelle costume off in front of them, at which point Kaoru, Kokoro, and Hagumi all assume that Michelle warped into the shape of a girl and that Michelle herself somehow ran away while they weren't looking.
    • The Happy Phantom Thief, also known as Seta Kaoru, is terrible at keeping her identity hidden, by still using words like "fleeting", which Kaoru is literally the only character in the cast to use. Both Misaki and Kanon quickly realize who it is, but Kokoro and Hagumi think Kaoru missed the ship and the Happy Phantom Thief is a completely different character all together.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: The series is rife with them — Kokoro, Kaoru and Hagumi especially. Kokoro's primary goal in life is "to see the smile of the world," Kaoru acts twenty-four-seven and is obsessed with Shakespeare and ideas like "transient," "destiny," and princes and princesses to the point some characters think she speaks another language (and shockingly enough, despite all this is very popular as a prince-like figure among girls in and outside her school), and Hagumi is...well, the most hyper of the cast. Outside of Hello Happy World!, the running contenders are Moca, Eve and Kasumi.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: In the game storylines and talks, Misaki acts as this to more than half of the entire band of Hello Happy World. She and Kanon are basically the only ones who can run the ship smoothly, so to speak, though even Kanon has her moments of spaciness, such as her tendency to get lost and daydream about jellyfish. Anyone who Moca's particularly friendly with can be one for her, such as Afterglow, Lisa and Saaya. Among Pasupare, Aya's particularly baffled by Eve and tries to make sense of her.
    • In the anime Rii seems to play this role for Hinako, reining in the latter's behavior.
    • The "suits-people" can be this to Kokoro.
  • Conspicuous CG: Happens whenever the band performs. Though a few performances, like in episode 8, mixes it with 2D animation.
    • All characters in Season 2 are done with CG. Except for Marina.
  • Colour Coded Characters: All bands have their own set of colours associated with them. For Popipa, it's bright and flashy colors, for Afterglow, it's different shades of red (associated with the sunset), for Roselia, it's black, dark purple and blue, for Hello, Happy World!, it's bright colours, primarily red, white and yellow. And for Pastel*Palettes, it's pastel colours. Raise A Suilen follows this trend, by primarily wearing black and white on-stage during their performances.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Sort of, anyway. Tae, Sayo, Hina, Moca and Rokka all play exclusively on blue guitars, and are all considered their respective bands' lead guitarist. Similarly, Kasumi and Ran are both rhythm guitarists and vocalists in Popipa and Afterglow respectively, and both play red guitars.
  • Conveniently Seated: Rimi sits next to the window, but at the front of the row, and Kasumi is at the front of the middle row.
  • Cool Big Sis: Tomoe is this to her sister Ako, to the point she calls herself the "second best" drummer in the world compared to her. Rimi also frequently gushes over her sister Yuri, the lead singer for the band Glitter*Green.
    • Hina also sees her older twin sister, Sayo, this way, saying outright that Sayo is the reason Hina picked up the guitar to begin with. Sayo doesn't share that sentiment, though, once she sees how fast Hina is learning and improving on the instrument, despite her careless attitude, leading to Sayo's inferiority complex getting worse.
    • Most of Popipa, as well as Hagumi, see Saaya this way. Her default card in the mobile-game lampshades this by simply calling her "Everyone's Big Sis".
  • Darker and Edgier: Some of the PICO episodes tend to be quite a bit darker than the rest of the franchise. Especially episode 15. It is the only episode to not have "PICO! PAPI! Girls Band Party! PICO!!!" as its ending, settling instead for a dark, sad, eery piano-piece playing during the credits. Considering that 4 out of 5 characters are implied to freeze to death in that episode, that's quite fitting.
  • Diegetic Switch: In the season 2 finale, when the audience screams for an encore, Poppin'Party oblige by announcing they'll be playing "Kizuna Music", the show's opening theme. It then cuts directly to the end credits.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Both the opening and the ending are performed by the in-series band Poppin' Party.
    • This is repeated in Season 2, where the opening and ending are performed by Poppin' Party again, except for episode 2, where the opening is "Brave Jewel" and the ending is "Safe and Sound", both performed by Roselia. Which is strangely fitting, considering that Popipa were all but Demoted to Extra in that episode, to let the fan-favorites, Roselia, bask in the spotlight for a while.
  • Downer Ending: Episode 9 of Season 2 ends with Tae and Kasumi being unable to get back to the final day of the school festival in time to perform for Poppin' Party's first anniversary live despite everyone's efforts to give them enough time so they can make it. Yukina silently looks at Kasumi in disappointment when they arrive only for an empty auditorium to greet them and Tae breaks down crying knowing her being late prevented Poppin' Party from performing for what should have been their most important concert. Arisa, angry over what transpired, walks out in silence.
  • Dragged by the Collar: Glitter*Green's Rii does this to Hinako in Episode 9 after the latter suffered Cuteness Proximity towards Saya.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Nothing seems to go as planned for any of the bands, and they usually end up having to work hard to get what they want. Both Popipa, Afterglow and Roselia had to go through quite a lot of struggles to get to where they are.
  • Evil Is Petty: Raise A Suilen’s producer, Chu2, is arguably the closest thing the anime gets to having a villain. That said, she behaves exactly the way she looks: like a spoiled brat.
    • In fact, her entire motivation for wanting to bring about the end of the Girls Band Era can be summarized as “Yukina turned down her offer”.
  • Evolving Credits: Season 2's opening animation is this. In Episode 1, it only shows Poppin' Party (and Afterglow's silhouettes standing inside a small star Kasumi is looking at). After the other bands (Pastel Palettes, Afterglow, Roselia and Hello, Happy World!), are introduced in Season 2, the animation changes from Episode 3 and onward to show those as well (even though Roselia were already introduced in Season 1, they don't actually become important at all until Season 2).
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Father: Ran's father doesn't support her musical ambitions, wanting her to leave Afterglow and inherit his flower-arranging school. Afterglow's band story in the game is about Ran's troubles with this and her eventual resolve to change his mind.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Hina is much more lax than the very stiff and sharp Sayo, and although Tomoe's a kind and relaxed older sibling, she's much less whimsical than her Chuunibyou younger sister, Ako. Kasumi seems to be the sillier one compared to her responsible younger sister Asuka.
  • Foil: While not something that's immediately apparent, the "Hello, My Happy World" event nudges at how Ran and Misaki are foils of each other via Misaki's use of Ran's catchphrase, "Same as always" — both are aloof-seeming girls who secretly have a lot of passion, with Ran hotheaded and Misaki straightforward. Though while Ran mainly comes off indifferent, Misaki's a Deadpan Snarker.
  • Friendly Rivalry: While Yukina can be oblivious to it due to how aloof Ran can come off, Ran seems to wants to make closer friends with her.
    • It can also be said that Afterglow and Roselia as bands share this, as both bands aim to surpass each other.
    • Sayo seems to think she and Hina have this going, when it comes to playing guitar. Of course, much of it can be attributed to Sayo’s inferiority complex, since Hina doesn’t see them as rivals or even competitors.
  • Girls Love Stuffed Animals: One of Himari's many fruitless endeavors in making Afterglow... er, glow more, was to make a "cute" stuffed mascot character for each of them — which every one of her friends are promptly embarrassed over (as they either follow more "cool" trends or find the mascot too weird-looking), but immediately attach with a keychain to their personal belongings.
    • In the anime, Glitter*Green's Rii is often seen with a plush demon she names Debeko, which she occasionally uses as a puppet.
  • The Glasses Come Off: In the game, Maya is insistently recruited by Chisato to Pastel*Palettes immediately after she takes hers off. In the anime, Nanana removes her glasses when she performs with Glitter*Green, and it wasn't until she did that everyone in Popipa aside from Rimi and Otae realized she was Glitter*Green's keyboardist. Rokka also takes off her glasses in season 2 episode 9, before she starts shredding at the festival.
  • Hair Decorations: Kasumi wears cute star clips in her hair.
    • All of Roselia's outfits feature some sort of complex hair-decorations. To a certain degree, Ran's scarlet stripe could qualify too.
  • Hope Spot: In episode 9 of Season 2, Tae and Kasumi manage to arrive at Haneoka's gates after running as fast as they could in the hopes of being able to make it in time for Poppin' Party's anniversary performance... only for an empty auditorium to greet them once they get there with Arisa, Saaya, Rimi, and Rokka cleaning up after everything was done without having been able to perform at all.
  • Idiot Ball: In season 1, it is established early on that neither O-Tae, Arisa, Rimi-rin or Saaya are lacking in intelligence (Arisa is even stated to be the top student at Hanesakigawa, despite never showing up). Fast-forward to season 2, right after the festival fiasco. Arisa, Rimi-rin and Saaya have all seen first-hand how good Rokka is at playing guitar, and they know she’s looking for a band and that she will do anything to help Popipa. And yet, when Chu2 confronts Popipa, trying to get O-Tae to quit Popipa and join RAS full-time, not one of them even considers suggesting that Chu2 asks Rokka, ‘’’who is desperately looking for a band, and is easily the best guitarist in the show’’’.
  • Ill Girl:
    • Saya's mother is anemic and prone to bouts of weakness. Saya's concern for her mother and insistence on looking after her is the reason she left her first band and initially refused to join Poppin' Party.
    • Tsugu's collapse from overworking herself without any rest triggers a rift among the girls of Afterglow.
  • Informed Flaw: Mid-season 1, as Poppin'Party are preparing for the cultural festival, Kasumi is told point-blank that they're nowhere near good enough to play Space. You wouldn't know it from their slick-sounding, album-quality concert at the cultural festival mere days later. When they actually do audition for Space in the next episode, they suddenly become Hollywood Tone-Deaf for dramatic reasons.
  • The Nicknamer: Kasumi calls Rimi "Rimi-rin" and Tae "Otae." The rest of Poppin' Party also adopt the latter nickname as well.
  • Off-Model: A common complaint in regards to the OVA special. Likely due in part to the animation studio hired to help animate it going through financial issues of its own.
    • Of all things, Ran's Gibson Les Paul Tribute suffers from this, with the actual position of the bridge being inconsistent from one image of it to the next. Which becomes more jarring, when you realize that it is the only instrument in the entire franchise that changes appearance from image to image.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: When Kokoro goes to recruit Kaoru for Hello, Happy World! in HHW's band story, Misaki notes at the end how she's impressed that neither of the two actually listened to each other, yet it still went as planned.
  • One-Gender School: Two (technically three) all-girls' schools, Hanasakigawa and Haneoka (and its middle school, in which Ako is from), are the origin of five bands: Poppin' Party, Afterglow, Pastel Palettes, Roselia and Hello Happy World. All of Popipa's girls attend Hanasakigawa, and all of Afterglow's girls attend Haneoka, but Pastel Palettes, Roselia and Hello Happy World have girls who go to both. Ako's an odd one out, in that she's in her last year in Haneoka's sister middle school.
  • Product Placement: There's quite a large number of ESP instruments used in the anime, which is strangely realistic, considering the popularity of ESP Japan instruments. Poppin' Party and Roselia exclusively use ESP, and Ako even has a set of custom cymbals. Additionally, the two bands use custom ESP guitar straps, which can also be bought. Arisa's keyboard also displays the Roland JUNOS logo quite prominently. In Season 2, both Marshall, Hughes&Kettner and Strandberg also show up a few times.
  • The Quiet One: Rinko of Roselia is the biggest case, as she's very, very shy and introverted, doesn't do well in crowds, and often has Ako speak on her behalf — however, she has a bit of a spark in her, considering that it's her who insists on joining Roselia in the first place. In the same band, Yukina tends to be reserved, and Sayo often speaks ahead of her or very pointedly asks for her opinion. In Afterglow, Ran's basically a girl of few words, but when she speaks more, there's a lot of meaning behind it. And in contrast to the extroverted nature of the majority of Hello Happy World, Misaki also tends to think to herself more than speak, though when she speaks, she's very blunt and open about her thoughts.
    • In the anime, Hinako was thought by Tae to be this for Glitter*Green because she doesn't speak at their concerts. It's averted when it's revealed that she's actually a Cloudcuckoolander who was told not to talk during the concerts by Rii, not wanting her to ruin the group's image with her manic behavior.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Three of the bands have this dynamic. Interestingly enough, it is always shown in their instruments.
    • In Poppin' Party, Kasumi is the Red Oni and Tae is the Blue Oni. Fittingly, their respective guitars have the respective colours (Kasumi's red ESP Random Star and Tae's blue ESP Snapper).
    • In Afterglow, Ran is the Red Oni while Moca is the Blue Oni (while performing, anyway). Again, their instruments have the same colours (Ran plays a red Les Paul, while Moca plays a blue superstrat).
    • In Roselia, Lisa is the Red Oni while Sayo is the Blue Oni. Lisa plays a red bass, while Sayo plays a blue guitar. Interesting enough, this also fits their respective in-band colors (Lisa's ribbons being red and Sayo's being light-blue/teal), as well as their hair colors (Lisa being a Fiery Redhead and Sayo having teal hair).
    • As bands as a whole, Afterglow can be considered the Red Oni to Roselia's Blue Oni, fitting their respective bands' color-themes.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: Kokoro. She has enough money to buy anything she could ever want, and a group of secret service agent-looking suits working for her, even though she doesn't know who they are.
  • Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: Moca often acts as if she has something of a crush on Ran, teasing her about whether a song she's written is a love letter to Moca, and worrying about her constantly, despite her easygoing appearance. Tomoe and Himari also have a romantic feeling to their friendship, as Tomoe is Himari's go-to person when she needs to cry over something, and Tomoe is very protective of her friends in general. And then there's Kaoru constantly hitting on Kanon, and practically every other girl. Of course, when it comes to Kaoru, it's not certain what is actually real and what is just her practicing acting.
  • Rule of Cool: Hello, Happy World!'s concerts seem to be planned with this in mind, combined with Rule of Funny. At their first concert, Kokoro even stage-dives before a single note is played, despite stage-diving being banned at the venue. Of course, this being Kokoro, the suits would just have bought the venue if anyone were to complain.
  • Schoolgirl Series: The in-game storylines revolve around girls who go to three all-girls' schools, and so far the anime and manga have followed Poppin' Party of Hanasakigawa.
  • Shout-Out: Season 2, episode 4 opens with Misaku dreaming that she's Tony Stark in freefall from the Iron Man film, only with Michelle instead of the Iron Man suit. At the episode's end, it happens again in real life, with an additional shout-out to the Konami Code.
  • Shrinking Violet: Rinko and Rimi are the most timid among the entire in-game cast.
    • Season 2 introduces Rokka.
  • Shown Their Work: The anime, and the mobile game to a lesser extent, is pretty much gear-porn in anime-format.
    • All of the instruments and amplifiers used in the show exist in real life. Aside from the Signature models, the following instruments have been identified so far:
      • Arisa's Roland JUNOS keyboard
      • Ran's Gibson Les Paul Tribute.
      • Himari's Fender Jazz Bass
      • Moca's Fender HSS Stratocaster
      • Tsugumi's Nord keyboard
      • Kaoru's Gibson ES-335 and Gretsch White Falcon
      • Hagumi's Rickenbacker Bass
      • Hina's Fender Telecaster
      • Chisato's Fender J/P Bass
      • Rokka's Strandberg Boden-6 Standard
  • Spoiler Opening: The first season's opening makes it abundantly clear that Poppin' Party is going to consist of Kasumi (guitar and vocal), Tae (guitar), Rimi (bass guitar), Arisa (keys) and Saaya (drums), even though all of them, except Kasumi, are initially strongly against it.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Sayo and Hina as they are twins, and in the anime, there's no mistaking Rimi and Yuri for anything but sisters.
    • On the other hand, Tomoe and Ako look nothing alike, despite supposedly only being a year apart in age. Of course, with Ako's obsession with becoming her idea of "cool", and her Chuunibyou tendencies, it's not sure how much of Ako's appearance aside from her height (or lack thereof) is actually real. Light purple hair-dye and red eye contact lenses do exist, after all.
  • Take That!:
    • In the 23rd Episode of Girls Band Party!☆PICO , Shirasagi called the producers (mostly the male ones) as "lousy".
    • In the 2nd Season, Yukina later mentioned that they doesn't need a producer for their band.
  • The Glasses Come Off: Rokka removes her glasses and her hairband in Episode 9, practically turning into a completely different person, before pulling off a completely spontaneous Van Halen-style guitar solo, in an attempt to buy time for Poppin' Party. Even Roselia is impressed by her performance, which says quite a bit.
  • Time Skip: Season 2 of the anime starts 9 months after season 1 ends. Apparently, in this time, Popipa has become close enough with the other bands from the game that they're on a first-name basis already. How they got there is not explained in the anime at all.
    • We can, however, presume that the game's events accounted for the bonding, as the game has referenced anime events before.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: A two-way street for Hina and Sayo—Hina's more of a tomboy in looks and preferred hobbies, with Sayo seeming to prefer more refined things, and Sayo's more of a tomboy in personality, with Hina being the more easygoing, cheery sibling. Many other pairs among the game's girls can be said to have such a dynamic, too.
  • You All Look Familiar: In season 2, the majority of girls either wear palette-swapped band uniforms or school uniforms, since it's much cheaper to reuse 3D models with different hair and minor adjustments for height, eye color, and bust size. This also seems to be the deciding factor in who gets a 3D update and who doesn't—when Umino (who wears a school uniform) reappears she's 3D, but when Glitter Green (college students who wear regular clothes) reappear they're animated traditionally.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: While many of the characters have either black, brown or blonde hair, there are quite a number of less common hair colors in play.
    • Saaya has light-brown hair with a very faint pinkish tint to it. This may just have been done to make it appear a little lighter than Kasumi or Tsugumi.
    • In Afterglow, Tsugumi is the only one with a perfectly ordinary hair color (dark brown). Ran's used to be all black, but after forming the band, she added her iconic red stripe. Himari's hair is entirely pink, while Tomoe's is all dark red, and Moca's is very light gray.
    • Pastel*Palettes has Eve with white hair, Aya with pink hair (who also sports Mega Twintails) and Hina with light-blue or teal hair.
    • Roselia has Sayo, who has the same light-blue/teal hair as her younger twin-sister Hina, Ako with purple hair, and Yukina with gray hair (which is strangely fitting for Yukina, as it is often used to imply dignity or skill, rather than old age).
    • Hagumi is a mild subversion, in that as odd as her bright orange hair may look, it's actually the least strange weird thing about HHW. Hagumi might just be a ginger, as rare as those are in Japan. Kaoru's purple and Kanon's light-blue hair, however, is not as realistic.
      • According to Kokoro, Hagumi and Kaoru, Michelle has pink and white fur. Of course, since Michelle is just a costume, this isn't quite the case.

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