Full series title: BanG Dream! Girls Band Party! Roselia Stage
Yukina is a serious girl with a serious dream: to form a band with other dedicated and talented musicians and play at Future World Fes, one of the largest festivals. She practices every day and performs often at Live Houses with the hopes of finding other people to compliment her vocals. Here, she finds guitarist Sayo, who is breaking up with her band for not being serious enough. Sayo and Yukina's sound mesh well, but now they need to find three more band members: a bassist, drummer, and keyboardist. Over the course of volume one, the two find their band mates and create a magical symbiosis of sound that leaves them all hopeful.
Despite Yukina and Sayo's serious nature, this story is anything but. It reads like many other musical manga, where the bottom line is working hard and doing your best. One of the band members does have agoraphobia, so it will be interesting to see her overcome that fear to perform live. The illustrations are very detailed and the girls are all beautiful, as is common for Idol bands (and in this, I'm assuming because they didn't actually mention what genre of music they're performing, but the band make-up and costumes is informing my assumption). Sayo and Yukina are drawn very similarly, so attention will need to be paid to the difference in uniforms and the slightly different hair color (and, obviously, one has a guitar in her hands when they perform). The mangaka admits that the hardest scenes to draw are the performances, but the hard work pays off, as they are some of the most beautiful of the manga. Overall, there wasn't anything super different or impressive about this storyline that sets it apart from other music manga, but the story was low-stakes and good for someone getting into the genre.
Tokyopop rates this for teen, and this seems appropriate. The main characters are high school students, mostly 10th and 11th graders, with one middle school student (9th grade), so there will probably be more teen-relevant themes in this series.
Sara's Rating: 7/10
Suitability Level: Grades 8-12
Tags: Rating: 7/10, Suitability: High School, Manga, Music, Friendship
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