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Music / Wagakki Band

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Wagakki Band (literally translated, "traditional instrument band") is an eight-member Japanese Folk Rock/Folk Metal musical ensemble. The band, fronted by lead singer and songwriter Yuko Suzuhana, has gained significant popularity among fans of Japanese rock music for their exotic musical approach, which combines catchy vocals and a hard-edged rock/metal sound with traditional Japanese instrumentation; their lineup consists of a full 'regular' rock group and a full traditional Japanese ensemble playing as one large, perfectly balanced whole. The band is also well-known for their colorful and dynamic image; the members all wear some form of traditional attire, and combine Kabuki-esque theatrics with the wild and energetic showmanship typical of Visual Kei bands.

You may know them for their covers/rearranges of Vocaloid songs such as Senbonzakura or Tengaku - they even covered Luka Luka✭Night Fever!



  • Yuko Suzuhana - Lead vocals, arrangements
  • Machiya - Guitar, lead & backing vocals
  • Wasabi - Drums
  • Asa - Bass
  • Daisuke Kaminaga - Shakuhachi (end-blown wood flute)
  • Beni Ninagawa - Shamisen (three-stringed long-necked instrument similar to a banjo)
  • Kiyoshi Ibukuro - Koto (thirteen-stringed finger-plucked instrument somewhat akin to a dulcimer)
  • Kurona - Wadaiko (traditional Japanese drums)

Wagakki Band provides examples of the following tropes

  • All Drummers Are Animals: Subverted: Wasabi and Kurona are known for their heavily synchronized, rapid-fire fills and extremely energetic playing style, but both members are highly proficient drummers who had a lot of rep prior to joining the band.
  • Animated Music Video: "Sakura Rising". "Seimei no Aria" later got anime version of the song.
  • Anime Hair: Wasabi and Kurona. Daisuke as well in their music video for Ikusa, though he usually keeps his hair cut extremely short.
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  • Anime Theme Song: They did the opening and ending themes songs for Twin Star Exorcists, the anime adaptation of Samurai Warriors 4, the ending theme song for Holmes at Kyoto Teramachi Sanjo and the opening theme song for Mars Red.
  • Answer Song: Wasabi said "Bougetsu" is an answer song to Machiya's "Shiromadara".
  • Bare Your Midriff: Beni's outfit during the "Synchronicity" era.
  • Based on a Dream: Yuuko said she wrote "Fuurin no Utautai" and "Tori no you ni" based from her dreams.
  • Breakout Character: All of the band's members. If comments aren't about Yuko, it's usually about Daisuke's frenzied playing on the Shakuhachi or Beni looking cool.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Wasabi is the sole non-Japanese member of the band (he's 3/4 Chinese).
  • Cherry Blossoms: "Senbonzakura" and "Nadeshikozakura"
  • Child Prodigy: Kurona joined a professional wadaiko group at age nine, and Yuko has been trained in shigin (a way of reciting poems while chanting) since she was five years old, and classically trained pianist since she was three.
  • Cool Teacher: Daisuke has his own school in Tokyo and also teaches at colleges and universities. Yuko teaches Shingen and has a formal license to teach high school music. She also does music instruction on her Youtube channel.
  • Corpsing: There was an incident in an encore of "oto no kairou Tour 2018 in Okinawa" that Yuuko burst out laughing during a ballad number "Okinotayuu" when she saw Daisuke (shakuhachi) wearing a t-shirt that has "ハゲてねぇし (Not Bald!)" written on it.
  • Costume Porn: All eight members typically wear outfits that are a fusion of traditional Japanese dress with some modern Western-style touches.
  • Cover Version: They have covered quite a lot of Vocaloid songs.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Machiya always performs barefoot.
  • Fade Out: Done with "Irohauta".
  • Folk Rock: Certainly one of the few Japanese folk rock acts to rapidly gain recognition as of late.
  • Geek: Growing up, Beni was hard into anime and still is. Her Youtube channel has pre-Wagakki Band videos of her doing anime theme song covers. For that matter, pretty much the whole bands are kinda geeky - in a SXSW 2016 interview, they were asked what Japanese artist they'd recommend, Daisuke mentioned they should listen to video game music and Yuko backs him up on that, then Asa recommends Vocaloid.
  • Genre-Busting: Fuck yes. To put it another way, performing a Youtube search will call up songs ranging from straight-ahead rock ("Kishikaisei"), to swing-tinged pop ("Synchronicity") to soaring power ballads ("Okinotayu").
  • Guest Star: Amy Lee of Evanescence appears for a few of their songs in a live performance.
  • Hidden Depths: Wasabi is a fantastic cook and he plates dishes that look worthy of being in a restaurant.
  • Incredibly Long Note: Yuko loves pulling these off in both studio and live performance.
  • Intercourse with You: "Shiromadara", "Bougetsu", and "Amaryllis"
  • Kimono Is Traditional: In keeping with her fondness for traditional Japanese music, Yuko wears some incredibly ornate ones in videos and during concerts.
    • While most of her outfits are modified from kimono outfits, she actually wore real kimono only twice, once in MV of "Nadeshikozakura" and later wore the same kimono in "New Year Live 2015".
  • Jidaigeki: Their early music videos under Avex, wouldn't look out of place from anime like Ayakashi: Samurai Horror Tales or games like Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
  • Lady of War: "ikusa" and "Valkyrie"
  • The Leader: Yuko is the Mastermind type since she formed the band to bring the sounds of traditional instruments to a wider, younger audience.
  • Let's Duet: Yuuko and Machiya performed "Doppo" with this way in live "Premium Symphonic Night Vol.2 in Oosakajou Hall"
  • Motor Mouth:
    • Yuko in "Watashi Shijou Shugi", "Tokyo sensation", and "Rokuchounen to Ichiya Monogatari".
    • Machiya in "HAGANE", "Hakushu Kassai", "Ignite", and "Guernica".
    • Yuko and Machiya in "Noushou Sakuretsu Girl".
  • Mr. Fanservice: Wasabi sometimes playing drums without his shirt also got washboard abs.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Both Yuuko and Beni. Beni occasionally notes how her outfits show a lot skin in interviews.
  • Past-Life Memories: Yuuko said "Sabaku no Komoriuta" is her past life memory. She later choreographed a dance for an instrumental song composed by Kiyoshi (koto) named "前世の記憶 (Past Life Memory)" which was performed before "Sabaku no Komoriuta" in "New Year Live 2019 -Ryugu no Tobira-"
  • Power Ballad: There are surprisingly many ballads performed by the band. To mention few, "Niji-Iro Chouchou", "Nadeshikozakura", "Okinotayuu", "IZANA" and "Gekka Bijin".
  • Seppuku: Machiya in the music video for "Strong Fate".
  • Snow Means Love: "Yuki yo Maichire Sonata ni Mukete" and "Sasameyuki"
  • Solo Side Project:
    • Machiya is the vocalist and guitarist for m.a:ture.
    • Yuko, Machiya, and Asa have their own respective solo careers outside of the group.
  • Special Guest: As her Cradle of Eternity song was used for SD Gundam G Generation Genesis, Yuko is a DLC character who's ridiculously overpowered.
  • Spectacular Spinning: The band members sure love to spin around while performing, especially Kurona, Machiya, and Yuko.
  • Stage Names: Machiya, Kurona, Asa, Wasabi, Yuuko Suzuhana, Beni Ninagawa. Only Kaminaga and Ibukuro is confirmed to be using their real names.
  • Translated Cover Version: The Japanese version of "Dong Feng Po".
  • Two Girls to a Team: Yuko and Beni.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: The Hanafugetsu subunit consisting of Kiyoshi, Daisuke, and Yuko.
  • Visual Kei: Some fans consider them part of the Angura subset, owing to their Folk Rock sound and Kabuki-inspired image.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Because of how he dresses, many wouldn't expect Asa to have the deepest voice in the band.
  • Vocal Tag Team: Yuko and Machiya in every song except for "Yoshiwara Lament" which Asa teamed up with the former instead.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Wasabi is nearly always shirtless in live performances and past music videos, so it's actually quite surprising to see him put one on with a light sweater in the Hangeki no Yaiba music video.
    • Downplayed since "Synchronicity", as he stopped being shirtless in music videos.
    • Wasabi later addressed about this on his Youtube channel, which the reason he stopped being shirtless was because of Psoriasis vulgaris.
  • Widget Series
  • Yuki-onna: Main motif of song "Yuki yo Maichire Sonata ni Mukete". Yuuko also appears as one in said song's music video.