Boy bands are a very interesting part of the musical world. Hated by many, but loved by thousands of screaming fans, they are usually formed by five members, all of them really attractive, who sing their heart out to their adoring audience; which are more often than not, teenage girls. The formula may vary from group to group, and from country to country –after all, some J-pop bands have more than twenty members- but the essence is the same.
What makes one boy band better than the other? Well, here is where we enter a situation of controversy. Is it their looks? Their music? Their personality? If you ask fans of each group, it’s all of the above. But that is when we are talking about real life bands, when we are talking about anime bands, then we have to add their adventures, motivations and sometimes, even the power of their voice. With that in mind, it was a bit hard to make this list, but we are sure you’ll agree every act listed here is out of this world.
10. Sekkou Boys from Sekkou Boys (Sekko Boys)
One of the most common criticisms against boy bands is that the members are carefully selected, and sculpted into being the most attractive for their target audience. In the case of the Sekkou Boys, well, we can’t deny that the sculpted part is true, as the members are the busts of Saint Giorgio, Medici, Hermes and Mars. Yes, the classic sculptures are the ones who sing and… well, they don’t dance but that doesn’t make them less popular.
Each of the sculptures falls right into the usual places of a boy band. Medici is the sweet boy, Hermes is the handsome one, Mars is the romantic one and Saint Giorgio is the Leader. Their music is ear-worm worthy, and one can’t deny that despite their movement limitations, they know how to make a show. However, as they don’t dance, nor emote with their faces, we can’t give them a higher place in our list.
9. Bad Luck from Gravitation
Bad Luck is more of a band than a boy band, in the sense that instead of dancing, they play instruments. Not only that, but they sing songs written by their lead singer, Shuichi Shindo, so they are more formally a band rather than a Boy band strictly speaking. The band is formed by Shuichi, his best friend Hiroshi Nakano in the guitar, and Suguro Fujisaki in the keyboard. Fujisaki is a late addition to the lineup, and the cousin of their manager, brought on in order to round out the sound a bit more.
Bad Luck has a lot of spirit behind its music. Shuichi started the band because he was a big fan of another band, Nittle Grasper. Once he saw them on tv, he decided he wanted to start a band. Which means he’s lucky that his manager is the former keyboard player of Nittle Grasper and took him on despite not being very interested in them at first, due to the personal relationship between Shuichi and his brother in law, Eiri. Complicated? Absolutely. But the truth is that that complication is what makes Bad Luck so memorable. The drama behind the scenes is what fuels the music; and when there’s no drama, the music suffers a bit. Which is why Bad Luck lands on the ninth place of our countdown.
8. He☆vens from Uta no☆Prince-sama Maji Love 1000% (Uta no Prince Sama)
Formed originally by Eiichi Otori, Kira Sumeragi and Nagi Mikado, Heavens (written with a star instead of an A) was later turned into a 7 member band with the additions of Eiji Otori, Van Kiryuin, Yamato Hyuga and Shion Amakusa after being defeated by Starish during the UtaPri Awards. Heavens is the first really traditional boy band to appear in our list, carefully picked by their entertainment agency, Raging Entertainment. It helps that Eiichi, the leader, is the son of Raging Otori, the president of said agency, although that doesn’t mean they have everything on a silver platter. After all, they were in danger of being disbanded when they lost to Starish the first time.
Their shows are amazing, and very dynamic. However, there’s a lot of clashing among their personalities. They are, after all, the “evil” counterparts to Starish, and thus, it’s hard to like them completely. At least, when we’re talking about the original trio, as the four new members were only introduced in the last episode of the latest season, so we still don’t know much about them. Because of this, we can’t give them a higher spot on the list.
7. Shingan Crimsonz from Show by Rock
In a world where music controls everything, bands are a very important commodity. This is the case of the Sound Universe, inhabited by myuumons, antropomorphic chibi-like creatures who can take on human form. Shingan Crimsonz is one of the most popular bands in this universe, formed by Crow, a hedgehog; Aion, a Lion; Yaiba, a Fox; and Rom, a Leopard. As a curious inversion to the rule, the leader of the band is not Crow, the vocalist, but Rom, the drummer, who keeps control over his more hotheaded companions. Shingan Crimsonz also plays their own instruments, which make them more of a traditional band than a boy band.
Their style is also outside of what one typically thinks of as boy band music. They are catalogued as the Visual Key band of their world, and thus their songs are more energetic and, let’s say, violent, than the love songs of other groups in their same universe. Precisely for that reason, they rise above the other bands in their world and land themselves in the seventh place of our list.
6. Dear Dream from Dream Festival
And from the raw emotion of visual key, we go back to the world of boy bands controlled by their agencies and their fans; quite literally, as in the world of Dream Festival, Idols can be enhanced and even dressed with special magic cards that their fans have called Dorika. This, of course, means that the group with the most fans, has more options to make their shows really stand out from the rest. However, the bands can’t just go on stage and trust that their fans will make them shine, they also have to work hard to earn the love of their fans.
Dear Dream is an idol unit formed by Kanade Amamiya, Shin Oikawa, Chizuru Sawamura, Itsuki Katagiri and Junya Sasaki. Unlike other series, we see them as Kanade joins them, barely hours after being scouted to become an idol. Not only that; at the beginning, he doesn’t really get along with Junya –when in other series we can see the idols being close friends from the beginning- and this creates a very interesting dynamic among the group. Because of this, and because their songs and shows are really catchy, they get number six on our list.
5. Three Lights from Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon (Sailor Moon)
Seiya, Taiki and Yaten Kou are the members that form the Three Lights, the boy band that appears in the fifth season of Sailor Moon. Their shows are very sober, as we usually just see them in their color-coordinated suits singing their most popular single “Nagareboshi He”. Their fans don’t know it, but the real reason behind their creation and their song is that they are aliens, the Sailor Starlights, and are trying to find their lost princess on Earth.
Including the Three Lights here is a bit tricky, since while in the anime they are all male and transform into women when they become the Sailor Starlights; in the manga they are always female which would make them a girl band (even if their fans don’t know this) and that would disqualify them for the list. However, as we are going by the anime incarnation, they do get the fifth spot.
4. Six Gravity from Tsukiuta. The Animation.
There are many ways to be scouted for an idol unit, but Hajime Mutsuki, the leader of Six Gravity, probably had the weirdest one. In his third year of high school, as he was preparing for his university exams, he found a large black rabbit that seemed hurt. The owner of the rabbit, thankful that Hajime and a friend, Haru Yayoi, were ready to help his pet, immediately scouts them to become part of a new idol unit to be prepared at the Tsukino Dorms. Together with Kakeru Shiwasu, Koi Kisaragi, Arata Uduki, and Aoi Satsuki, they are Six Gravity, a group themed around the months of December to May.
Their songs are very catchy, and their voices blend very well together. And because their world is without magic or special technology, they only depend on their own talent to make their shows really enjoyable to their fans. Whenever alone, or with their rival/brother unit Procellarum, they always manage to bring the stage down. And because of that, they have the fourth place in our list.
3. B-Project from B-Project: Koudou*Ambitious
We’ve talked about how Idol groups are part of big idol units that sometimes may shuffle their members among existing groups or into new groups to reach new demographics. That is pretty common in real life, but not so much in anime. That is what makes B-Project special, we’re not talking about a single group, but about a unit formed by three groups; Kitakore, THRIVE and MooNs. Because the same person manages them, and they are considered one big band despite the divisions, we’re counting them as one band for this list.
Formed by Hikaru Osari, Nome Tatsuhiro, Kazuna Masunaga, Momotaro Onzai, Mikado Sekimura, Ryuji Korekuni, Tomohisa Kitakado, Goushi Kaneshiro, Kento Aizome, and Yuuta Ashuu; B-Project manages to give a bit of spotlight to every one of them, even when they perform together and not separated by units. Speaking of the units, Kitakore is a duo, THRIVE a Trio, and MooNS a quintet, so B-Project manages to hit every possible formation of a Boy Band. Because of this, and because their music is really catchy, they get the third place in our list.
2. Galaxy Standard from Prince of Stride: Alternative
With all the work that entails being an idol, it is rare that the members of any given group have a chance to practice any other activities. They say they have hobbies in their interviews, of course, but those hobbies take a second place to rehearsal, recording, photo shots, interviews, costume fitting, concerts, and the necessary exercise to stay in shape. Which is why it is really unusual when a whole band can also double as a team of a pakour-like relay race sport named Stride, but that is the case with Galaxy Standard.
Reiji Suwa, Shizuma Mayuzumi, Bantarou Chiyomatsu, Tasuku Senoo, Asuma Mayuzumi, and Kaede Okumura are the current members of Galaxy Standard; the Stride team in Saisei. They are very disciplined, as they have their idol practice right after the stride club practice, which means they simply don’t rest to be the best in both worlds. And since their songs are very upbeat and dynamic, they more than deserve the second place in our list.
1. Starish from Uta no☆Prince-sama Maji Love 1000% (Uta no Prince Sama)
Being in the top requires a lot of work, training, preparation, and sacrifice. This is something the members of Starish know well since they have even been going to school in order to be the best idols they can be. As part of the student body of the entertainment school, Saotome Academy, each member of the group has their own tribulations as they also have to secure a good composer that makes songs that work with their voices and their personalities. All of this to be able to insure a contract with the Shining Entertainment group that will propel them into stardom.
Natsuki Shinomiya, Tokiya Ichinose, Cecil Ajima, Ren Jinguji, Otoya Ittoki, Kurusu Syo, and Masato Hijirikawa, have done all that hard work, despite being in different classes at the school, and even manage to get an amazing composer in the form of Haruka Nanami. Their shows are breathtaking, their music upbeat, and each of their personalities fits the boy band formula to a T. Although in the series they started as a six-member band, Cecil Ajima joins after he is inspired by the effort the others put into the group, as well as wanting to be around Nanami.
And because of this ability to inspire others through their music, Starish definitively wins the first place in our list.
Music is one of the greatest forms of expression that we have. When it’s good, it transcends culture, and even language. We all have danced and grooved to a song even when we don’t understand the lyrics. And if the music is accompanied by great visuals, it’s even better.
Perhaps that is why we love boy bands. Because no matter what, their music is cheerful, contagious and makes us want to smile even when things are going badly. Of course, everyone has their own taste, and because of that, we want to know if you agree with our list, and if not, who are your favorites that we missed on this top ten chart?