Few Japanese music groups are as synonymous with anime music as FLOW. What’s that, you don’t know that name? Well, even if this is your first time hearing the band’s name, we are sure you’ve at least heard some of their music before. FLOW is responsible for a lot of memorable anime songs from “GO!!” to “Colours,” but we will get more into that later. For now, let’s have a look at one of Japan’s biggest anisong bands!
It’s our hope that not only will you learn a little about the band behind some timeless anisong music, but that we can help you discover even more songs from FLOW to enjoy that you may have never found otherwise. Their impact on the anisong world has been substantial.
Over Two Decades of Hits
FLOW is a Japanese rock band that got its start all the way back in 1998. Well, technically, they began in 1993 when brothers Kōshi and Take first decided to make music together! But it wasn’t until 1998 that the actual band FLOW was born when the brothers were joined by Keigo, Gotō, and Iwasaki. Kōshi, the older of the two original brothers, is the vocals and rhythm guitar. His younger brother Take takes the lead guitar. Keigo is the second vocalist, with Gotō on the bass and Iwasaki on the drums. It took a few years before the group was able to release their first single, “FLOW #0,” in 2002.
But after that, things started moving much faster. By 2003, FLOW was already in the top ten on the music charts in Japan and their first full album, “Splash!” debuted at number two the same year. Two years later, their songs were staying on the charts for weeks. FLOW had a major record label by then with Ki/oon Records, and was well on the way to a secure future. It wasn’t long after that that FLOW started to get involved in the anisong industry. By 2006, they were playing at AnimeFest in Texas, and from there they started to land more and more anime hits.
Now onto the fun stuff - where can you hear FLOW in the otaku world?
FLOW - “GO!!” from Naruto
Anime, Games, AND Drama, Oh my!
The answer to the above question is all over the place! But let’s back up and talk about the beginning. FLOW’s first big anime songs were “GO!!” and “Re:member,” both of which were openings for Naruto. Their singles “Days” and “Realize” were the main themes for the Eureka Seven anime and video game respectively. These songs were popular enough to get FLOW invited to perform at anime conventions in America, and served as the beginning of a lucrative anisong career. From there in 2006, FLOW produced “Colours,” the first opening of an anime that would go on to be internationally famous—Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion. FLOW went on to sing openings and endings for Naruto Shippuden, Beelzebub, Samurai Flamenco, The Seven Deadly Sins, and more.
FLOW’s music is also featured in video games and Japanese dramas! One of the most famous of these songs is “Cha-la Head-cha-la,” which was originally used for a Dragonball Z movie and would go on to be the main theme for both Dragonball Z: Battle of Z and Dragonball XenoVerse video games. As recently as 2019 FLOW’s song “Break it down” served as the theme for the game Naruto x Boruto Ninja Tribes. If you like Japanese dramas, you can hear FLOW’s song “Neiro” as the theme for Sachiiro no One Room. So while FLOW may be best known for their anime music, they’ve left their mark in the drama and video game worlds, too!
FLOW has since performed all around the world for anime fans, including in America, France, Germany, and Brazil. Their fan base reaches far beyond the borders of Japan due to their heavy influence in the otaku world. Their first world tour in 2015 took them to seven countries outside of Japan. They’re certainly come a long way from two brothers jamming together back in the early 90s, that’s for sure!
FLOW - “Colors” from Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion
Next time you’re listening to one of these great anime openings, we hope you think of FLOW! We also hope that if you just liked one or two of these songs, now you’ve found a lot more music to add to your playlist. FLOW has been providing the otaku world with great anime music for many years now, and here’s hoping they will continue to do so for many more to come! After all, we always want great new anisong music. For now, enjoy rocking out to “GO!!” - just in case you had somehow forgotten this otaku anthem existed.
Did you know much about FLOW before you read this article? What is your favourite FLOW song? Are you going to download any new ones now? Is there another anisong band you would love to learn more about? We would love to chat in the comments!