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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

‘Afterglow’ presents passionate performances, powerful vocals

By Jayden Tran | Staff Writer

BRIGHT PERSONALITIES Afterglow members depicted in album cover “Tied to the Skies” (clockwise from top left):  Tsugumi Hazawa, Ran Mitake, Tomoe Udagawa, Moca Aoba, Himari Uehara.

   Afterglow is a five-member girl band that debuted in 2017. They are my favorite musical band, despite being presented in a language I am unable to understand. Afterglow is a virtual band, but despite this, their focus on J-Rock brings the characters to life via instrumentals and powerful vocals. 

   Part of the group of seven bands in the media franchise, “BanG Dream!” Afterglow separates itself from the rest as a traditional J-Rock band. 

   The band is a “virtual idol band,” which means that the group is a fictional band whose members are anime characters, voiced by Japanese voice actresses.

   Afterglow has a total of 20 singles and numerous covers. All of their tracks demonstrate exemplary and emotional vocal performances by Ran Mitake, voiced by Ayane Sakura. 

   Ran is by far my favorite character of the band and her strong voice demonstrates Afterglow’s roaring passion.

   She demonstrates her incredible vocal range in the song “Kyouen RedxViolet,” a track made in collaboration with Roselia, Afterglow’s rival band. Ran’s lines in the chorus are fierce and hit extremely high notes to demonstrate the anger and rivalry her band has with Roselia. Yukina Minato, voiced by Aiba Aina, sings along with Ran, displaying vividly powerful vocals.

   The song instills a certain passion in me because watching the two bands duel it out on stage demonstrates the effectiveness of Ran’s vocals and how they contribute to the band’s passion.

   Another example is “SENSENFOKOKU,” a heavily drum-oriented track. Ran sings this song with the drummer of the band, Tomoe Udagawa who is voiced by Yōko Hikasa. This song is presents Tomoe’s fiery passion, which she demonstrates through aggressive drumming and her own vocal performance along with Ran. Although uncommon for a drummer to sing in a song, her voice compliments Ran’s and brings the song to life.

   Vocals do not make up the entire music as the instrumentation truly establishes Afterglow’s personality.    

   Being a rock band, Afterglow contains guitars, drums, bass, and keyboards.

   The most noticeable part of the band’s instrumentation is the lead guitar. Moca Aoba, voiced by Sachika Misawa, operates the lead guitar. Backed up by Ran’s rhythm guitar, Moca masterfully executes scales and riffs, which drive the music.

   Synonymous with rock bands, each song has a guitar solo segment, which allows Moca to truly shine. Her guitar playing inspired me to start playing the instrument. One of her most memorable solos is in the song, “COMIC PANIC!!!” where during the climax of the song, Moca displays her skills on the fretboard as she drives the ending of the song. 

   Even though guitars lead the music, the bass guitar provides the backbone and lets the listener feel the music. Himari Uehara, voiced by Emiri Katō, uses her bass to provide support for the guitars, and she is able to bust out low hard-hitting bass solos.

   The keyboardist of the band, Tsugumi Hazawa, voiced by Hisako Kanemoto, provides her additional melodies using her synth-keyboard. Ranging from supplemental instruments to entire piano solos. Especially with the powerful rhythm of the drums as mentioned earlier, the virtual band comes to life in the ears of the listener. 

   Being a huge fan of Afterglow, I highly recommend their music, which is available on every mainstreaming platform. Their tracks always leave a lasting impression on me and I have built a deep emotional attachment to the characters.

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‘Afterglow’ presents passionate performances, powerful vocals