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!.
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.
For tropes specific to the mobile game, go here.
The franchise contains examples of:
- 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.
- Aluminum Christmas Trees: Random Star guitars actually do exist, mostly associated with musician Akira Takasaki, and are really worth a great deal of money.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Magumi all assume that Michelle warped into the shape of a girl and that Michelle herself somehow ran away while they weren't looking.
- Cloudcuckoolander: The serious 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.
- Conspicuous CG: Happens whenever the band performs. Though a few performances, like in episode 8, mixes it with 2D animation.
- 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.
- "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Both the opening and the ending are performed by the in-series band Poppin' Party.
- Dragged by the Collar: Glitter*Green's Rii does this to Hinako in Episode 9 after the latter suffered Cuteness Proximity towards Saya.
- Early-Bird Cameo: 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Hair Decorations: Kasumi wears cute star clips in her hair.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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, Roselia and Hello Happy World. All of Popipa's girls attend Hanasakigawa, and all of Afterglow's girls attend Haneoka, but 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Shrinking Violet: Rinko and Rimi are the most timid among the entire in-game cast.
- 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.
- 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.