YOASOBI - Behind the New BEASTARS Music and So Much More!

YOASOBI may have only formed in 2019, but you might have already heard of them - they’re the talent behind the opening and ending songs for the second season of the hit anime Beastars. But let’s back up a little bit first before we get to that; the concept and creation of YOASOBI are actually pretty cool! You may only know them as the voice behind one anime, but keep reading to learn more of the story behind this fun new duo!

Short Stories, Novels, and Anime!

“Kaibutsu” by YOASOBI from Beastars 2nd Season

YOASOBI originally formed in 2019, and is made up of two people - Ikura provides the vocals, and Ayase is the producer. Typically, you will see their music credited as Ayase/YOASOBI, reflecting both members of the duo. YOASOBI’s concept is unique from many other bands. They usually write songs based on short stories that appear on a website called Monogatary (https://monogatary.com/ ), which is run by Sony Music Entertainment Japan. Beyond these songs, YOASOBI also does music based on novels (and a little anime music, too, but we are getting to that!).

When YOASOBI came together, both Ayase and Ikura already had established musical careers. Ayase got his start on the Japanese video sharing site Niconico Douga, where he had already released successful songs in 2018 and 2019. One of his songs even made it to third place on the iTunes album chart when it was released. Rira Ikura, meanwhile, had released her own music in 2017 and 2019, also relatively successfully. In November 2019, the two came together to release their first song called “Yoru ni Kakeru,” based on the Monogatary short story Thanatos no Yuuwaku. The song gained traction both on YouTube and TikTok, and then later Spotify and Line Music, and eventually reached number 1 on the Billboard Japan Top 100 in June 2020.

“Yoru ni Kakeru” ("Racing into the Night") by YOASOBI

Already off to a great start, YOASOBI released “Ano Yume o Nazotte'' in early 2020 based on another short story called Yume no Shizuku to Hoshi no Hana. Shortly after, came “Halzion,” which was inspired by Soredemo, Happy End, the first story written by a professional novelist. “Halzion” was actually used by the major Japanese snack company Suntory to promote the release of its newest energy drink, called Zone, when it came out.

"Halzion" by YOASOBI

In late 2020, YOASOBI released their first song connected to the otaku world - “Gunjou,” which was a collaboration with the manga Blue Period. Then came “Haruka” in December 2020, inspired by the novel Tsuki Ouji by Osamu Suzuki. On the last day of 2020, less than two years after their establishment, YOASOBI held their first live performance bolstered by all their success thus far. YOASOBI also began to do a lot of VOCALOID collaborations, using Hatsune Miku in many of the new songs hitting their YouTube channel.

“Ghost City Tokyo” by YOASOBI with Hatsune Miku

In January 2021, YOASOBI took the plunge into the world of anime music. The duo released two songs, “Kaibutsu” and “Yasashii Suisei,” which became the opening and ending themes to the second season of Beastars respectively. In January, they released their album "The Book", and in February, they held their first solo concert “KEEP OUT THEATRE,” which you can read more about here (YOASOBI Solo Concert "YOASOBI 1st LIVE "KEEP OUT THEATER" Streams Online February 14th! Overseas Tickets Available! )!
YOASOBI has a short history, sure, but that’s only because they’re so new! In a few years, we are sure that they will have left an even more interesting legacy, so don’t forget to keep checking back on them to see what new stuff they have created.

Final Thoughts

“Yasahii Suisei” by YOASOBI from Beastars 2nd Season

It usually takes any musician some time to really gain traction in the industry, and that will likely be the same for YOASOBI. But the duo has already hit the ground running, and the music they have produced - especially for Beastars - has them on a lot of people’s radar. And with Blue Period getting an anime this year (Award-Winning Art Manga "Blue Period" Gets Anime in 2021! ), we may get some new anisongs from them soon! Hopefully, this is just the start of what will be an epic music journey, in the anisong world and beyond. YOASOBI’s original concept of creating music based on stories was already really cool, too, so we wish them luck going forward in their musical careers. We hope to be rocking out to more YOASOBI music in anime openings and endings soon!

What is your favourite YOASOBI song? Did you know much about them before reading this? Are there any other anime opening/ending groups that you would like to learn more about? Drop us a comment before you leave!

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Author: Jet Nebula

Living the dream in Tokyo, where you can find me working at a theme café catered towards women. When I’m not writing for Honey’s, I’m working on original dystopian science fiction or blogging about Tokyo’s trendy coffee scene. I spend my free time in Harajuku and Shibuya wearing alternative Japanese street fashion. I love video games, J-rock, tattoos, and Star Wars.

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