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Music / Band-Maid

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L-R: Misa, Miku, Akane, Saiki, Kanami

Welcome home, Master & Princess

Breaking new gates!

Band-Maid is a Japanese Hard Rock band based out of Tokyo managed by Platinum Production and currently signed to major Japanese record label Pony Canyon.†  JPU Records distributes their material internationally. Formed in July 2013 and made up entirely of women, their gimmick is that they dress like the famous Maid Cafe waitresses Japanese cities are known for. This idea comes from founder Miku's experience working in one in Akihabara before forming the band, and is an intentional juxtaposition of the submissive Meido trope, with extremely aggressive music played expertly by ladies who, for the most part, don't really act like maids – they're more likely to trash a place than clean it for you.note 

Their officially stated goal for the band is "World Domination". (this later became the title of their fifth album)


  • Miku Kobato (小鳩 ミク) [Date Of Birth: 1991/10/21] – Rhythm guitar, backing & lead vocals; primary lyricist
  • Kanami Tohno (遠乃 歌波) [D.O.B: 1991/09/28] – Lead guitar, backing vocals; primary composer
  • Akane Hirose (廣瀬 茜) [D.O.B: 1990/12/14] – Drums, percussion, occasional backing vocals
  • MISA [D.O.B: 1992/10/15] – Bass
  • Saiki Atsumi (厚見 彩姫) [D.O.B: 1994/02/08] – Lead vocals, occasional lyrics

Miku came up with the idea after her previous Idol gig fell apart. She recruited Kanami via the internet. Kanami brought in her occasional backup Akane. Akane then suggested her friend Misa for bass. Not long after the band's debut, they realized they needed a stronger lead vocalist than Miku so they chose Saiki (who at the time was less than two years out of high school) after an audition. Miku, who did not play an instrument up to that point, asked Kanami to teach her guitar.

Their unique aesthetic and tight musicianship has gained them a significant cult following outside Japan. They played their first overseas gig at Seattle's Sakura-Con in 2016. Not long after, they embarked upon their first world tour (Mexico, Hong Kong, Europe). They toured internationally every year from 2016 to 2019, but did not do so in 2020 due to the global coronavirus pandemic which also caused them to cancel all of their Japan shows between Valentine's Day and September. It also caused, much to their own dismay, the suspension of their much-anticipated engagement at the prestigious Nippon Budokan in February 2021 shortly after the release of their seventh album. Instead, the Maids took to performing livestreamed concerts – titled "Online OKYU-JI" – to make up for it. Their December 2020 Online Okyu-Ji, held on Akane's birthday, had viewers from over sixty countries.

They are often compared to Babymetal due to both being female hard-rocking groups from Japan with clean vocal styles and Gothic-inspired outfits. However, the similarities mostly end there. That said, one thing Band-Maid does share in common with Babymetal and other Japanese acts is that they cultivate stage personas they maintain even when off-stage… though some members are more transparent than others. Also compare and contrast PassCode, an Idol Singer Girl Group with whom Band-Maid have long been friendly.

Their official website is here. The band's official twitter feed is here. Each member also has her own twitter and Instagram pages.

On April Fool's Day 2021, Miku launched a solo project called cluppo (an alternate romanization of her catchphrase). Despite its launch date, it's not just a one-off gag, and she has released three singles as of February 2022.

Full Albums
  • Maid in Japan (2014)
  • New Beginning (2015)
  • Brand New Maid (2016)
  • Just Bring It (2017)
  • World Domination (2018)
  • Conqueror (2019)
  • Unseen World (2021)

Singles & Mini-Albums

  • Love, Passion, Matador (2014)
  • YOLO (2016)
  • Daydreaming / Choose Me (2017)
  • Start Over (2018)
  • Glory (2019)
  • Bubble (2019)
  • BAND-MAIKO (2019)
  • Different (2020)
  • Unleash (2022)

Tropes that are breaking new gates:

  • The Alcoholic: Discussed regarding Misa. That girl loves her booze. During a 2020 interview, Miku stated she had worried about Misa drinking too much …then admitted it probably improved Misa's performance.
    • The irony of the above is that the other members say it's Miku who tends to drink the most offstage.
  • Animal Motifs: Two amongst the group.
    • Miku fancies herself a pigeon – her given last name translates literally to "small pigeon".
      • Or a dove, as the common pigeon's real species name is "Rock Dove" and Japanese (like many languages) makes no distinction between "pigeon" and "dove". This helps explain why Miku used white doves in her 2021 solo video "PEACE&LOVE".
    • Akane has called herself a gorilla. She is strong (you have to be to lug a drum kit around) and her playing style is best described as "maniacal", but also because of her eating.
  • Anime Theme Song: Their song "Different", composed by Kanami and intended partly as a challenge for Miku – "If you can play this, you can play anything I throw at you" were her words – was used as the opening for the Fall 2020 season of Log Horizon. The Maids' single includes the anime's 89-second version.
  • Asian Airhead: Not initially, but this is what's Kanami's band persona has grown into. In real-life, she is a bit scattered and dreamy when she's not in work-mode, so she really plays it up to this degree.
  • Big Eater: Discussed and shown in at least two music videos with Akane. She loves noodles and has said her Charm Point is her massive appetite.
    • She's also admitted in interviews to eating everyone else's leftovers. If it's not fried (see below)
  • Book Dumb: Akane's not too strong in math and she plays it up, she'll flub the multiplication table when Miku gives her a pop quiz.
    • More an aspect of the band being late-Millennials, but on Kannai Devil the interviewer asks them what books they've been reading recently. The band starts doing embarrassed laughing and Miku exclaims that's such a random question. Turned out it had been quite awhile since any of them read a book.
  • Breakout Character: In an interview, the band was asked who's the most popular member overseas, they all pointed to MISA, saying crowds would spontaneously break into chants of "MISA! MISA! MISA!" This is confirmed in pretty much any overseas fancam. Especially whenever Misa takes a drink from her flask.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: The Maids' music video for "RINNE" was shot in late 2019 using an 8mm film camera made long before any of them were born.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Miku likes to yell "Kuruppo!" when making an entrance, which is related to her Animal Motif.
    • Her call-and-response with the audience usually involves the Maid Cafe stock phrase "Moe Moe! Cune Cune!"
  • Charm Point: Not every band has them, Band Maid does as a reflection of Miku's Maid Cafe roots. So everyone has a noted minor flaw or beauty aspect (Kanami claims her big eyes are hers, and fans tend to agree) to appeal with.
  • The Cutie: Miku took an aspect of her Kobato persona and deliberately cranks it up to eleven for her Cluppo "Hippie-Popo" act. Her Tik-Toks also play up this angle, being full of silly games and poses done to idol pop background music.
  • The Determinator: Miku has discussed this about herself, including in an interview with Arubaitoarbeit, meaning "work") Magazine. She is very headstrong and does not give up when she's after a goal, in this case becoming an entertainer. When her father walked out on her family, Miku took three part-time jobs in Kumamoto to pay for singing lessons – she worked in a factory cutting tags, worked as a server/food prep at a hot-pot restaurant, and worked in a maid cafe as well, all while still managing good enough grades to get accepted for college. …Then she dropped out of college, moved to Tokyo, and took up working in another maid cafe – @Home Cafe (one of the most popular in Tokyo) before winning the audition for Li'l Cumin. When that gig failed after just over a year, she went to Gump which led to Band-Maid. There's also how often she's done shows while injured, including some broken ribs – see The Klutz below.
  • Does Not Like Fried Things: Akane stated in one interview that despite her appetite, she avoids fried stuff because it gives her terrible heartburn and indigestion. If a food isn't fried, though, she'll gladly inhale it.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: They're a band wearing maid costumes. Additionally the song "Black Hole" isn't a metaphor, it's about getting sucked into an inescapable gravity-well.
  • Fan Community Nickname: They call their fans Masters and Princesses, or Goshujin-sama and Ojou-sama. A concert is called a "serving" (お給仕 Okyu-Ji).
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Not Band-Maid per se, but Miku as Cluppo has an '80s-style outfit that mismatches color schemes and it has only one fishnet stocking for one boot and a missing sleeve on her jacket (the exposed arm is covered in something like a feather boa).
  • Geek: Not quite the otaku that Saiki, Kanami, and Akane are. But Miku and Misa have their geeky qualities. In fact, one Band-Maid song, "Hibana", is based on the experience of playing first-person shooters.
    • Misa loves watching movies and playing video games. She mentioned finishing Resident Evil 4 a whopping seven times.
    • Miku is really big on poker, especially Texas Hold'em and in this VANITYMIX interview, Miku admits playing PUBG all the time.
  • Genki Girl: Miku is very energetic in concerts and other public appearances. Po.
    • Akane is one in several behind the scenes videos.
  • Girl Group: Discussed and Defied. They are often called one but in reality they share nothing in common with them except being made up entirely of women and wearing attractive costumes. Akane used to be really distrustful of them, having been a member of an all-female band CHAMY'S that quickly fell apart. The lack of punctuality of MISA, Miku, and Saiki in early Band-Maid only made Akane even more leery about girl groups. She's since mellowed regarding girl groups.
  • Gratuitous English: As to be expected from a Japanese band, this crops up a lot, though to their credit it works pretty well.
    • Kanami, the band's primary music composer, has said she often uses random English words when coming up with her melodies before Miku writes the (mostly Japanese) lyrics to fit.
    • During the "Online Okyu-Ji", which were live-streamed worldwide, Kanami would sometimes let out a friendly "Hello" or "Hi guys!" to international fans.
    • In one interview, Miku mentions she's been working on improving her English.
  • Hidden Depths: You'd be easily forgiven if you thought Miku's only role is the Genki Girl. She's also the band's lyricist and is talented in adapting/truncating the Japanese spoken language for the band's fast-paced beats. And for those who see Kanami's stage persona only, she's the group's composer and has an economics degree.
  • Hime Cut: Misa's hairstyle.
  • Idol Singer: Miku used to be in a three-girl idol group called Li'l Cumin (リル・クミン) under the name Mika Noguchi (野口みか). She still exhibits Idol mannerisms when interacting with fans. Her "Omajinai Time" (a.k.a "Miku's Magic Time") that she does during every show so the rest of the band can take a breather, or a swig o' liquor, is a good example.
  • I Have Many Names: Miku. As a maid, Idol, and rock star, she has previously gone by Himawari ("sunflower") and Mika Noguchi (widely accepted to be her real name).
  • In-Universe Nickname: All members have at least one used during video clips and onstage.
    • Miku = Ko-bato, Miku-chan, Kuruppo
      (in English) "I am Small Pigeon. ♡Okay?♡ Okay-po."
    • Kanami = Mincho, Kanamincho
    • Akane = Ah-chan, Achi, Gorilla
      (in English) "I am gorilla."
    • Saiki = Sai-chan, Saiki-sensei
    • MISA = Ass Chin
  • Intercourse with You: "Don't Let Me Down" is in English and has some pretty steamy lyrics involving Sex Slavery.
  • The Klutz: Miku. Extremely headstrong, she's not one for looking where she's going and fell off stage in Hong Kong. She's also gashed her thigh by putting a glass on her sink at home and having it fall and shatter, with her getting a shard to the thigh. She's busted her ribs, once from getting banged too hard against her guitar and another time falling while snowboarding for the first time. Those are just some of the injuries she's picked up, with half being her fault and the others being really bad luck.
  • Lead Drummer: Akane was for a time Band-Maid's designated leader, despite the band being Miku's idea.
    • Akane was made leader because she was considered the most with-it (the others, not without justification, considered Miku too much of a Manic Pixie Dream Girl); in the early days, Akane was the one who made sure all their gear got where it needed to be. She's also the oldest. For obvious reasons, it's still her job to count-in songs during live performances.
    • Nowadays, Akane's old title has fallen by the wayside as Miku stepped up to the plate – Miku was always the most communicative with outsiders and leads audience interactions.
  • Meido: It's sort of their thing. This idea was from Miku's experience working in a maid cafe.
  • Motor Mouth: Miku Kobato in every PR event or interview ever. During one event where every group featured had 45 seconds to introduce themselves, Miku managed to fit at least a minute's worth of information into her time including promoting Conqueror and (of course) never skipping a "-po".
  • Ms. Fanservice: Well, they dress like maid cafe waitresses after all. As noted above, the intention was to subvert the submissive maid concept. That said, some of Miku's and Kanami's uniforms show off their legs, and Misa's "Assassin Dress" is rather form-fitting.
    • Plus, though she rarely gets out from behind her kit, Akane's uniform has short-shorts. However, this is largely for practical reasons – it's nearly impossible to use a double-kick pedal plus a hi-hat while wearing a dress, and it gets VERY hot at the back of the stage given the lights and how much she moves.
  • Non-Uniform Uniform: Since their second album release, they've customized their maid costumes according to their personalities. Only Miku and Kanami keep the full Meido outfit. Akane and Saiki ditched the apron and maid headdress, and Misa simply wears a long black dress which she calls the "assassin" (殺し屋) outfit.
  • Not the Intended Use: In an interview on Kannai Devil, the band mention that they've taken to using golf balls to roll the stiffness out of their sore muscles.
  • One-Steve Limit: Invoked by Miku, who changed her name from Mika because it was too similar to Misa's.
  • Only One Name: Misa is the only one without a disclosed surname.
  • Otaku: Discussed. At least three of the Maids count in one way or another…
    • Akane enjoys anime in general but is a huge fan of Neon Genesis Evangelion, especially Asuka. She said her drum-kit is red as a Shout-Out to Asuka and EVA-02.
      • She also collects anime figurines. How much of an otaku is she on that? She won't handle most of them (especially Asuka) without wearing gloves.
      • To absolutely no one's surprise, she attended the Japan premier of the final Eva film in March 2021.
    • Saiki has also discussed this about herself. She is a rail-otaku and enjoys trainspotting.
      • She also collects limited-run Nike sneakers. Many of her Omeisyusama "Maid's Room" videos show her with dozens of shoe-boxes behind her as she discusses her latest acquisition. And yes, they're all in her size.
    • Kanami, by her own admission in interviews and "Maid's Room" videos, is a coffee-snob and hand grinds her beans per cup, demonstrating her method on at least two separate occasions.
  • Pseudo-Romantic Friendship: Discussed. Kanami has spoken multiple times of her love for Saiki and also insists she means more than merely going out on a date. Saiki just kinda takes it in stride. However, out-of-character interviews suggest Kanami plays it up a bit for the camera …though she really does adore Saiki.
    Kanami: "What are my ambitions? Well, I have two. The first one is to marry Sai-chan. But what's the second?"
    Everyone Else Except Saiki: "? ? ?"
    Saiki: (nods)
  • Punny Name: Maid in Japan, most obviously.
    • Also, the name of the band itself being a pun on band-aid.
  • The Quiet One: In public appearances, Saiki and Misa don't talk much.
    • The only time Misa really opened up publicly was during a 2019 solo interview on a radio show sponsored by Sapporo Beer (natch). While she did discuss her musical background, she was far more keen to talk about booze.
  • Really 700 Years Old: This is part of Miku's shtick. She insists she's an 810-year-old pigeon.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Deliberately invoked (in photos & MV's) with Miku and Saiki respectively.
    • Miku wears a red rose – she's very outgoing and emotional
    • Saiki wears a blue rose – she's extremely reserved
  • Scary Musician, Harmless Music: Inverted somewhat. Upon seeing them, most would assume they're a JPop idol group, not a hard rock band. However, the music itself is very accessible.
  • Special Guest: The band lucked into an appearance on Netflix movie Kate, director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan thought doing a bar scene for Miku Martineau would be too adult for her character. So he chose a scene with a band performing as the perfect way to introduce her. Seeing some images of Band Maid, he thought they were stage performers rather than a real band and believed their visuals would be something a teen girl would like. Upon learning the maids are an actual band, he got them to perform as themselves in the film and got two of their songs for the soundtrack.
    • Most of Band-Maid appeared for Genshin Concert 2022 to perform Memories of Wind and Wine. Since the song was an instrumental, Saiki was a no-show for that performance. In a video about the making of the concert, Miku tells how she's a big fan of the game and was happy to perform for it.
    • Kanami did a few episodes of NHK's Sound Fighters where she battled such players as the guitarist from Ningen Isu.
  • Spell My Name With An S: While Miku's catchphrase during Omajinai Time, “もえもえ! きゅんきゅん!”, is usually Romanized as "Moe-moe! Kyun-kyun!", the spelling used by Miku for its second half is "Cune".
    • Plus, “お盟主様” (Omeishu-sama) is officially Romanized as "O-Mei-Syu Sama"
    • Miku's solo project is romanized as Cluppo, but pronounced the same as her catchphrase.
  • Stage Names: Invoked in BAND-MAIKO with tongue firmly in cheek. As part of the shtick, the girls adopt more archaic versions of their names.
    • Miku → Hatoko (鳩子)
    • Saiki → Fujiki (富士姫)
    • Kanami → Kanoemi (叶笑)
    • Akane → Akatsuki (紅月)
    • Misa → Umemisa (梅美沙)
  • Statuesque Stunner: Misa especially, to the point the other band members have commented on it.
  • Step Up to the Microphone: Miku sings lead on at least one song for most of their albums. Miku was originally going to be the band's lead singer, and she occasionally splits lead vocal duties with Saiki.
  • Take Over the World: Band Maid's ultimate ambition is world domination. Though this amounts to them just wanting to be Household Names around the world.
  • Team Mom: One of Akane's role in the band. As the only "normal" one according to herself and the most organized according to the other members, she's the one that kept the band in order early on. And it was her idea to alter the maid costume theme to something which would be acceptable to Misa and Saiki who hated them. Akane is also the only true extrovert amongst Band-Maid (Miku can be real spunky, but is actually by nature somewhat reserved when not playing up her persona) and friends that the band has made often came through Akane introducing them.
  • Third-Person Person: Miku sometimes addresses herself as "Kobato". Whether she's just intending it as her last name or its meaning ("small pigeon") is up in the air, though she has explained her name in English and called herself a pigeon onstage.
  • Trademark Favorite Drink: Misa's Charm Point is that she loves her whisky/beer and carries a flask or small bottle with her, often having it resting on her amp while performing. When the band collaborated with Zippo to release limited edition lighters, her design included the words "Alcohol is Necessary".
  • Tradesnark™: Until 2016, the band's name was stylized as BAND-MAID®.
  • Trash the Set: During the music video for "After Life", the staff of a maid cafe (three maids, the manager, and the janitor) slowly become more and more fed up with a hard day's work until they all take part in this. Then after more shots of the band, it ends with the cafe staff dancing in formation amidst the mess they created.
  • Tsundere: Discussed and invoked. During interviews, the other members have called Saiki one. Miku stated she only gets Saiki's tsun-tsun side while Kanami usually gets the dere-dere half… but, whenever Kanami tries to show affection during shows or other interviews, Saiki often shuts her down.
    (Kanami has been talking about her private Instagram made specifically for Misa to praise her cooking attempts)
    Kanami: (to Saiki, hopeful) "Do you want to see my cooking photos?"
    Saiki: "No."
    Kanami: "Oh." (turns back to the camera, Trying Not to Cry)
    • MISA is often mistaken for one. However, she's known to be very friendly and often silly when she's with her bandmates and friends (especially Akane). She's just painfully shy around strangers.
  • Unplugged Version: Their online acoustic concert, released on 25 December 2021. Also one of the earliest surviving videos of them performing a more than one song, released January 2015.
  • Verbal Tic: Miku punctuates her speech with "po", the onomatopoeia for pigeon call, in every public appearance (but not when singing), because her surname Kobato means "little pigeon". Yes, she'll even do it when speaking English at international gigs. Or on twitter.
  • Vocal Tag Team: Saiki and Miku trade lead vocals with each other in some songs. On other songs they're both credited with lyrics as well, though Miku still handles the majority of lyric work.