BanG Dream! 2nd Season is the second season of the BanG Dream! anime. The director for the second season is Kōdai Kakimoto, and it was written by Yuniko Ayaka. The studio that produced the second season is Sanzigen.
BanG Dream! 2nd Season aired during the winter 2019 season of anime, and is available to watch on both Crunchyroll and HIDIVE.
As a side note, I am writing this review as someone who has played the BanG Dream! Girls Band Party! game, as well as watched the BanG Dream! Girls Band Party!☆PICO and Pastel Life anime spin-offs.
BanG Dream!‘s second season of anime should very much be considered a companion to the BanG Dream! Girls Band Party! mobile game. The entry barrier for getting into this second season of BanG Dream! is set a little higher than the norm. It is not just enough to have watched the first season of BanG Dream! and its OVA.
Events that are told in-game are referenced in BanG Dream! 2nd Season, and more to the point, the bands that feature are all fully established. Whilst the first part of the season does dedicate one episode to each band to give an idea of their personalities, it is the mobile game that actually delves deeper into their respective origin stories.
Jumping into the second season straight from the first without having played the mobile game may be a little jarring, especially with three new bands seemingly appearing out of nowhere (four for those who skipped the OVA where Roselia appeared). Then there’s RAISE A SUILEN, but we’ll get to that in due course.
Of course, not everyone may have access to BanG Dream! Girls Band Party!, so there is another option for becoming more familiar with the other bands. That would be watching BanG Dream! Girls Band Party!☆PICO, which is a series of comedy shorts based on the Girls Band Party! mobile game. That entire series is free to watch on YouTube.
It may have a sillier tone, but it does a good job at communicating what each band is about.
Now to actually focus on BanG Dream! 2nd Season, and not how to properly prepare for watching it. The entire anime is done in CG; well, not quite. Some minor characters are drawn in 2D, which does lend itself to some rather odd scenes of CG characters interacting with 2D characters. These scenes are few and far between, though.
When it comes to almost everything else, especially the bands’ performances, the CG looks great.
There is a plot running through this second season, and that focuses on Poppin’ Party preparing for their first anniversary, as well as their first self-sponsored show. The drama that comes along with this revolves around Tae Hanazono particularly, and this is where RAISE A SUILEN is integrated into the plot.
RAISE A SUILEN could have just been a band introduced as rivals of Roselia, but they end up being more. Tae has a particular connection to them, and it is from said connection that the drama for this season arises.
BanG Dream!‘s drama here is particularly excellent, with it keeping viewers invested from beginning to end. Things do get emotional, and the audience will be feeling that right along with the characters. The payoff for all the drama is a satisfying conclusion as well.
It really need not be said, but an anime about bands has excellent music. There will be plenty of tracks that those who have played BanG Dream! Girls Band Party! will recognise, and they are all excellent. One of the composers is Noriyasu Agematsu, a name that some people may recognise from another music-themed anime, Symphogear.
With six different bands, who are all distinctive from one another, there’s bound to be at least one or two songs that will stay firmly with the audience.
It’s probably obvious by this point, but BanG Dream! 2nd Season has loads of characters. Five bands with five active members each, and that’s before even factoring in RAISE A SUILEN and characters like Rokka Asahi and Kasumi’s younger sister Asuka.
Still, the season does a fairly decent job of balancing things; most notably in episode nine, where every character in a band gets at least a line of dialogue. It all feels completely natural, too.
With its huge cast of female characters, BanG Dream! is certainly no exception when it comes to yuri shipping. Kasumi loves Arisa as much as ever, Yukina and Lisa get a little moment during one song and Kokoro and Misaki have almost an entire episode dedicated to them. Aya and Chisato of Pastel * Palettes do as well.
Most notably, BanG Dream! 2nd Season also introduces to the ship that is Rokka Asahi and Asuka Toyama. The Poppin’ Party fangirl and the younger sister of Poppin’ Party’s lead singer. Unfortunately for Asuka, Rokka might just be a little too obsessed with PoPiPa…
Whilst BanG Dream! 2nd Season does tie up most of its drama in a very satisfying conclusion, there is one particular loose thread with RAISE A SUILEN. However, that will almost certainly be something that the third season will explore.
BanG Dream! 2nd Season is an excellent follow up to the first season, as well as a great companion to the mobile game. Across its thirteen episodes, it manages to have fun, drama and all round excellent music. Strongly recommended.