Elections can be pretty divisive so shall we just set that aside for a minute and give all the bands some appreciation? This is gonna be long and I apologise, but here’s what I personally love about each of them
I may be biased because my best girl is the keyboardist but PoPiPa has a special place in my heart. They don’t get that much attention, which is kinda unsurprising since they’re not edgy or cool or eccentric or eye-catching like the others. But that’s exactly why I love them—they’re ordinary, they could be you and me, they could be anyone passing on the street. Just a bunch of girls who found something to strive for and stuck together to do it. They’re so often dismissed as generic but I think they have a lovely camaraderie that isn’t really talked about—in fact I think their mutual understanding of and respect for one another is second to Afterglow’s. Everyone supports everyone else despite Arisa’s griping, Tae’s airheadedness (though she’s really quite perceptive) and whatever problems they might run into and that warms my heart. Lack of conflict (I mean Double Rainbow exists but mostly they’re chill) doesn’t equate to tedium either because individually they’re all quirky and different and their interactions reflect that—like how Arisa is forever going “Kasumi NO” and “wtf O-Tae” but is super sweet to Rimi, and can’t hold her own against Saaya’s teasing.
More of the same tbh? Afterglow is like PoPiPa but with girls who’ve known each other for much longer, who see each other as equals and are completely comfortable spending time together. Moca knows Ran inside out, knows exactly how to approach her when she’s in a mood and what to say to cheer her up. When Tomoe’s sick she texts Himari in anticipation of Himari getting antsy and wanting to visit her, and the others tell Himari not to in anticipation of Tomoe reacting exactly the way she does a literal second later. I mean. If that isn’t friendship goals idk what is. Other than that Moca’s wit is an absolute highlight for me in any Afterglow story and judging by her popularity I’m sure a lot of people would agree. So much teasing. Himari getting all flustered but not really minding because it’s all in good fun. The others being affectionately exasperated. Good stuff.
PasuPare’s dynamic is a nice contrast to the above two—instead of bands based on friend groups we have one put together by an agency. Sure they go to the same two schools as everyone else but it’s still super interesting because they didn’t choose to be in a band together, so they have no say in who they’re dealing with but need to learn to get along regardless. They’re also the only actual professionals despite their rocky start—with that in mind, the writers could easily have made someone like Hina the leader, but instead we get a naive idealistic girl with big dreams and awful stage fright, and if that wasn’t enough she’s pitted against the local jaded Slytherin and former child celebrity who’s been in the industry for years. Add a boppin’ prodigy, a pro model who’s also an amateur samurai and a studio musician who doesn’t feel like she’s good enough and I don’t even need to go into how they interact because the setup is already A+? They’re so much more complex than a typical cutesy feel-good idol group and I’m really proud of their growth.
I love them. Too much, especially as of late. I need help (I blame Aiai and Yurishii in particular ;_; they’re still tied with PoPiPa though). Yes they’re extremely popular and that can be frustrating for fans of other bands, but as much as I love their aesthetic, they are not simply pretty goths in goth outfits playing emo songs. They struggle, they fight, they have trouble understanding each other but push through, and it feels realistic. Roselia is essentially two pairs of close friends and a twin with emotional baggage, and due to the combination of pre-established relationships, general restraint and an intense focus on music above everything, they remain pretty fragmented as a group. I love that they have different levels of closeness. They’re grappling with their own issues and all of them are nerds who have no idea what’s going on, which is adorable and such a huge contrast with their stage image. Being at the top of their game music-wise isn’t enough—they’ve got a lot to work on, and that imperfection appeals to me as much as a perfectly happy, transparent relationship, if not more.
Not gonna lie, they used to be my least favourite band. But holy heck have they grown on me. This is also the hardest one to explain but I guess that’s the point. You’re not supposed to dig deep and dissect HaroHapi’s workings—all you gotta do is strap yourself in and go along for the ridiculous ride, and end up discovering a surprising amount of heart behind the silliness. HaroHapi makes the world smile, and it doesn’t matter that nothing they do makes sense because they’re still here, right? And they wouldn’t be if they weren’t all whole-heartedly invested in their cause. That’s what unites them, that’s what makes them click even though 99% of the time you look at them and see nothing but complete goddamn chaos and wonder how Misaki is still alive. They radiate joy and their antics are hilarious to watch so what more could you ask for?
Leave some more love for the bands in the comments if you wanna
Here's my Popipa Cosplay Group from Connichi 2018 (Germany)! The endless joy Poppin Party literally radiates is what first got me into Bandori at all so cosplaying the babes was a must.
tae: @bunmorii (instagram)
rimi: @pixieprxnce (instagram)
kasumi: @nessalibritannia (instagram)
arisa: me! ♡
I heard a lot of Bandori players wanted a Madoka crossover, so I like, made it a thing. Ayadoka and Yukimura have arrived. Gacha salt is huge motivator apparently, didn’t think this would get finished today lol.