There was no shortage of awesome music in 2020. Seiyuu upgraded their skills as singers and, in some cases, as songwriters. 2D projects started to find their identities. Bands matured.
2020 was an awesome year filled with exciting and, at times, groundbreaking music releases for male seiyuu as solo artists, part of bands, seiyuu units or 2D idol/rock bands.
The 20 Best songs released by male seiyuu in 2020 were covered on episodes 26 and 27 of SEIYUU LOUNGE (videos below).
This article is the short, to the point version of those. If you enjoy listening to more opinions and ramblings about 90s music and how some seiyuu as solo artists were impressive last, then I invite you to check both episodes below.
This article includes a highly subjective list, so, chances are, you don’t share the same tastes as I do. And that’s okay.
This is, by no means, an exhaustive list as there were more than 20 songs that struck my fancy. Too many good ones to name. Make sure to check the Spotify playlist below for more awesome songs.
With that in mind, I welcome you to name your favorite songs released by male seiyuu in 2020 in the comments below.
The entries in this list feature are NOT RANKED.
Let’s revisit 2020’s best songs by male seiyuu.
Makoto Furukawa “Mosaic to Fairytale”
The only artist among male seiyuu that, for me, has completely nailed jazz music is Makoto Furukawa.
He thrives in this music genre. Those dimly lit jazz bar vibes with band members smartly dressed and the audience matching the class and elegance of the venue, shine with the charm and charisma that Furukawa exudes.
The more I listen to Furukawa, the more I appreciate his singing skills and singing tone.
Also, his artistry.
He’s quite the complex lyricist and the fact that he fully embraced jazz as his music genre to express and convey the feelings in the stories he crafts is even more commendable.
It arrived insanely late but it quickly and easily took a spot in my top 3. I’ve went through those reasons in quite some detail on his review.
“Mosaic to Fairytale” embodies all of these things I just mentioned. I love its fast tempo, the tricky drums sections, the bouncy contrabass, the brass is on point for me and those vocals, that charisma on the mic?
Makoto Furukawa is a blessing of a singer. Massively talented, oddly underrated and with a flair for creating elegant soundscapes in which you can lose yourself and have the blast of a lifetime.
SolidS “GAME IS MINE”
GAME IS MINE is too bold and unconventionally SolidS yet, it fits them perfectly.
The flamboyance and allure in jazz music is at center stage in this song and, as soon as that contrabass starts creating the foundation to GAME IS MINE, you’ll be quite into its danceable, bouncy and addictive sound.
Think of the catchiness of pop with the elegance of jazz, all in the same song. This is quite the simplistic way to describe this song but, at its core, it’s exactly that.
The brass is quite intense on this one so, if you’re not that into brass in your music, this will be quite the difficult one to digest. On my end, I found it as another element part of the whole classy vibe SolidS had going in this song.
GAME IS MINE is quite the awesome song, a massive surprise coming from a group that had never before tried their hand at jazz music.
TRIGGER “Crescent Rise”
TRIGGER had quite a good year with the release of “Crescent Rise” and “My Precious World”.
“Crescent Rise” is, indeed, a song that marked 2020 for me.
There’s a lot of emotion going in the song, something that can be easily felt by the group’s performances with Wataru Hatano taking the center position and showcasing his vocal prowess and emotional range in ways that impressed me.
There’s a rock edge to this song that I love despite the fact that this song is, indeed, a dance-pop track at its core.
The clock ticks and those overdriven guitar riffs distort the air around you in quite the dramatic fashion. You know you’re in for a powerful song by its presentation alone.
“Crescent rise” is dark and gritty. The verses are led by a looping overdriven guitar melody as deep, washy industrial synths shape this song into the absolute banger it is. Strings make a killer entrance, opening the dynamics in “Crescent Rise”.
The chorus is explosive and intense. The emotion it packs still makes me go back to this song from time to time. It was on heavy rotation for me in 2020 and will continue to be one of my favorite songs from TRIGGER.
RUBIA Leopard “Prisoner”
If you’re big on a punchy, robust bass sound with a lot of groove to it, RUBIA Leopard surely has you covered.
“Prisoner” brings to table shredding guitar riffs, an electrifying bass line – sharing the top spot as RUBIA Leopard’s best bass line with Chained to You – and clean, snare-driven drums, creating a heavier and dirtier sound than usual in the verses.
The song carries over pretty well into the chorus, exploding into a catchy and slow-paced chorus that you’ll want to jam along to.
RUBIA Leopard’s approach to a heavier sound was done in quite the tasteful way in “Prisoner”, song that was a constant feature on my playlists throughout the past year.
If you can, please give the band a go. Refreshing rock sound, awesome vocals – we’re talking about Makoto Furukawa – and a repertoire filled with bangers to enjoy.
Fantôme Iris “histoire”
Fantôme Iris, visual-kei rock band counting with the vocals of Arthur Lounsbery, completely stole my attention with their riveting single, “histoire”.
Out of all songs in the release, the title track was the one that made me a fan of theirs. As a fan of rock music and particularly of visual-kei, I can confidently say that we do not have enough projects exploring both.
Visual-kei only got the spotlight on the male seiyuu side with FlyMe Project’s bands, MEDICODE and DRINK ME, and we experienced a bit of its greatness with Osiris in Band Yarouze!. One of those projects is on hiatus and the other was is slowly fading away.
So, there was a massive gap to fill in the visual-kei department within the 2D music industry.
Fantôme Iris arrived and filled that gap for me. I didn’t need more than 10 seconds to be completely into “histoire”.
The instrumental brings jazz vibes, mixing those with rock and classic elements. Strings have the spotlight in this song, shifting from legato to pizzicato to enhance certain phrases.
I love strings + acoustic guitar combo in “histoire”. It gives a rustic and classic touch to the song without mellowing it too much. As a result, it flows smoothly and seamlessly from verses to chorus and into the engaging guitar solo in the bridge.
On the vocal end, Arthur Lounsbery goes for a complete performance. Not only does he do it with flair – spreading a bit of his magic with vibrato and falsetto – but he also showcases a confidence as the frontman that really impresses me.
Not many seiyuu can say that they have attempted to perform visual-kei and ended up sounding like the real deal.
Just like Soma Saito (MEDICODE), Daiki Yamashita (DRINK ME) and Masanori Kobayashi (OSIRIS), Lounsbery embraces the visual-kei movement and its theatricality and delivers an authentic performance.
I appreciate this a lot in seiyuu that have singing experience or that are active in the music industry: the ability to absorb music genres, vibes and quirks and create a performance that is intrinsically theirs and incredibly believable as if they have been performing that music genre for a long time.
Arthur Lounsbery impressed me and Fantôme Iris’ “histoire” was quite the impactful song for me. A breath of fresh air in the 2D music industry.
The Cat’s Whiskers “4 REAL”
Among the various teams in the Paradox Live franchise, I am particularly fond of The Cat’s Whiskers.
They are a team that picked up lo-fi hip-hop and jazz-hop and put the spotlight on both when these are considered niche sub-genres that don’t attract a big crowd.
It was something that I was expecting to find in Hypnosis Mic when the project was launched – but we didn’t get it at all – and also, something that I didn’t know could be so well pulled off by a hip-hop group comprised of mostly unexperienced rappers among seiyuu.
The Cat’s Whiskers “4 REAL” brings old-school rap back to the table, very reminiscent of East Coast’s Jazz-hop by the legendary crew, Wu-Tang-Clan.
4 REAL counts with minimalistic jazz drums, a bouncy bass line, elegant piano melodies sampled and a beautiful saxophone melody playing in the background.
The rap performance is soulful and full of emotion, with the whole group displaying a lot of confidence and comfort in what was only their 3rd outing as a group.
The gospel inspired choir in the chorus gave me chills, it was like going back in time. Revising the likes of Jay-Z and Kanye West (the old one) and a clear nod to the New York classics.
As a result, “4 REAL” went straight into my favorites list and is a song that I rank pretty high among the best songs released in 2020.
EROSION “RAD HEAD”
EROSION, 5-vocal rock band from the CARNELIAN BLOOD franchise, were pretty active during their debut year. They released 3 singles and showcased a lot of talent and quite a lot of potential left to tap. There were highs and lows in the quality of their music but everything changed when “RAD HEAD” was released.
There’s no denying that this single was their best entry in 2020 and including the song that I consider the best rock song in 2020 coming from a 2D group.
The title track, “RAD HEAD” marries electronica with rock in a unique way among all active rock bands in the 2D music industry.
Their sound is incisive, rough and plenty dirty, with their guitar riffs screaming, the drums pounding with a power and explosiveness that impress. The bass makes itself heard, reverberating on your ears, making the overall experience listening to this song all the more intense.
While the verses are pretty simple, the chorus, bridge and outro are out of this world. This is what rock music in 2D music projects should be all about, not being shy of sounding aggressive and being rough with a purpose.
I am a sucker for many things in this song. First off, love the production of this track, the mixing is balanced yet with a slight focus on enhancing the bass levels.
The vocals are clear and clean and, for once, I enjoyed the unison performance in the chorus. This is what unison is for, to enhance the power in the performance.
In the case of this song, it has a purpose and works well, in previous songs of theirs it was a bit too much for my taste.
Then you have those low guitar riffs and the double-bass drums, all taking me back to the golden age of nu-metal, being explosive and edgy and actually sounding good instead of being “edgy” just because.
If you’re a fan of aggressive, loud and intense rock music, I thoroughly suggest you to check EROSION’s “RAD HEAD”.
VAZZY “Yurete itaiyo”
VAZZY are pretty underrated.
While I can agree that not everything the group has released is gold, they have been finding their grove and managed to come up with some moments of brilliance. Such moments were captured in their entry in the COLOR series, BLUE.
The CD counted with 2 songs and out of those, it was “Yurete itai” that completely stole the show for me.
VAZZY are known for their mix of rock and electronica but upbeat and uptempo is something that you’d never say about their group music.
“Yurete itaiyo” arrived to add variety into their repertoire bringing in bubbly, summery vibes to the spotlight and betting on an overall higher-key oriented vocal performance.
This is the kind of easy-listening, feel good song that we all need in our life. It’s fun, groovy and danceable and the performance by Tarusuke Shingaki, Yusuke Kobayashi and Shun Horie left me speechless.
Yeah, VAZZY are an awesomely talented group with plenty of good music as their greeting card. If you want a slow tempo dancefloor tune, “Yurete Itaiyo” is the thing for you.
Shugo Nakamura “Oh No!!”
Shugo Nakamura didn’t shy away from exploring an elegant jazz-funk sound and how well did he fare? Pretty well, I must say.
I’ve been enjoying Nakamura’s music since his debut especially because he’s a singer-songwriter with his own unique sound and image, something that is still a rarity among male seiyuu performing as solo artists.
“Oh No!!” brought the dreamy Rhodes piano to the spotlight, enlisted the help of classy brass, jazzy drums, a groovy bassline and funky guitar riffs to create what is his best song released to date and certainly one of the highlights in 2020.
I love the break between the first chorus and the 2nd verse in which you shift the tempo, slowly introducing ska into the mix.
It’s not often that this music genre finds its way on the spotlight, especially in seiyuu music and, as a fan of the genre, it ended up being a treat.
Additionally, Shugo Nakamura went off in his performance, bringing a whole lot of energy into the mix.
All these points taken into account and yes, “Oh No!!” was one of the best songs released in 2020.
OLDCODEX “Blow Away”
OLDCODEX are now a matured punk-rock/electronic rock hybrid, Ta_2 has grown as a singer and songwriter and YORKE. has also perfected his lyrics.
This is a band that gives me a lot of pleasure to listen to. There’s always something new up their sleeve, even if it’s a detail with the guitar or piano melodies or a bass groove in the background, OLDCODEX always make their music special.
However, I have grown to love this band even more since they started to showcase a vulnerable and emotional side. LADDERLESS was the turning point for the talented band, venturing and embracing ballads, making them work with their whole aggressive, daring punk-rock image.
In 2020, OLDCODEX weren’t as active as in previous years but “Core Fade” – the single – was quite the powerful entry.
“Blow Away” paints a sorrowful yet beautiful image that is hard to not notice and be affected by it. The haunting piano intro, the dreamy synths, the urgent guitar riffs, Ta_2’s raspy and emotional vocals, all shone.
Pretty unique take on the ballad genre – has some touches of power ballad on it –, with synths making their way to the spotlight.
The mix between rock’s power, ballad’s emotions and electronica’s chill out twist, made “Blow Away” stand out as a pretty unique song, one of the most memorable released in 2020.
ZOOL made their first big album release in 2020 with “einsatZ”.
I was rather vocal on how disappointed I was with the album as a whole when I reviewed it. For me, “einsatZ” is an inconsistent CD with many of the new songs being pretty uninspired.
It had potential for much more, especially taking into account how much the members have improved their vocals and harmonies and it could have turned into a powerful weapon for them.
But not everything about the album was lackluster, there are moments of brilliance taking the form of “4 ROAR” and “Ache”.
While most fans love the edgy image and sound that the group dons since debut, and many are falling in love with their K-pop inspired sound, I find quality and talent in their emotional, R&B inspired sound, a first for them.
Thus, their best song as well as one of the best songs in 2020 is none other than “Ache”.
Atmospheric synths with a retro touch to them, channeling 90s R&B vibes yet giving it a modern treatment, serve as the background to this beautiful song.
Then, delicate strings paint a sweet, dreamy soundscape that you want to lose yourself in. I don’t know about you but I wanted the song to be much longer than it is.
A minimalistic, bass-drum beat, hi-hats and clap track set a slow-paced tone to the song, more emotional than anything in ZOOL’s repertoire so far and much more focused on the vocals than expected.
I love the orchestral/synth stabs in the pre-chorus, opening the song only enough to make you invested in “Ache“. The chorus is passionate, with the vocals carrying a whole lot of emotion, overwhelming the listener.
Yuya Hirose goes for intense yet honeyed vocals carrying a lot of emotion, Subaru Kimura’s raspy vocals add a bit of a melancholic touch to this track, whereas Koutaro Nishiyama and Takashi Kondo smooth this song with gentle vocals.
Their harmonies in the chorus make chills run down my spine.
This is that one song from ZOOL that I can’t get enough of. Came as a surprised and stayed for its quality in my list of 20 best songs released in 2020.
Mamoru Miyano “Beautiful Doll”
In 2020, we didn’t that many ballads.
Perhaps it was intentional – 2020 sucked and ballads would only play with the fragile emotions of many fans – or maybe it was a mere coincidence and artists were more into crafting upbeat songs.
Either way, there were very few ballads being released in 2020.
Mamoru Miyano made sure that void was filled with the release of what is one of his best songs he’s graced us with in the past 5 years.
“Beautiful Doll” is a textbook, classic ballad with a jazz touch to it.
Verses are slow paced and emotional, with the piano setting the stage for Mamoru Miyano’s passionate, gentle vocals whereas the strings add a delicate, ethereal touch to this song.
This is one of those songs that will pull your heartstrings. Its setting already carries so much emotion, Miyano’s vocals arrive and deal the final blow.
A note that this song counts with lyrics written by Miyano himself, lyrics written mostly in English.
Steady, soulful and heart wrenching, Miyano’s performance in “Beautiful Doll” is one to remember, certainly one of the songs that left their mark in 2020.
Division All Stars “Survival of the Illest”
Division All Stars released the groovy tune “Survival of the Illest” and impressed.
The throwback funk-meets-hip-hop sound in this song is exactly what I wanted to find in the franchise from the start.
But more impressive than the instrumental – that I thought would end up being the highlight for me – were the vocals.
The song is split into 4 verses and 5 choruses.
There really isn’t a true “ensemble” part in which all crews sing / rap together instead, the song is split in a way that each crew has its own verse and chorus to showcase their talents.
And this is where things get interesting!
In a song like this, insanely groovy, 4 crews with different strengths and weaknesses on the vocal end and rap game went for completely distinct performances.
Buster Bros!!! gave a bouncy performance, pretty simplistic, yet pretty much what you’d find a rap crew doing: improvising to a beat. It sounds free and fun. The crew has a good balance, being solid in rapping as well as in singing, with their chorus sounding pretty tight.
MAD TRIGGER CREW brought a completely different vibe to the table. The cool yet imposing air about the crew shows in their poised rap, with fierce lyrics yet, when it comes to the singing, the crew sounds – apparently – a bit slower, and with less emotion or connection to the song. Yet, the members still go for some legato in their singing – riding on Shintaro Asanuma’s steady mid-tones.
Fling Posse continued to be pretty unique as in, their looks and vibe don’t match their sound and lyrics; plus, although their rap game is not bad, it highly contrasts with their top singing skills. They are doing some pretty awesome harmonies in the chorus – with Soma Saito’s vocals leading this section while Shirai and Nozuyama made their singing match his key. This level of balance is something that other crews didn’t manage to pull off. As a result, their verse + chorus combo sounds the most complete out of all crews’ performances in this song.
Matenro were the complete opposite. The crew exudes an imposing, untouchable vibe that fits perfectly with their urgent, mind-boggling rapping. When it came to singing, the group sounded unbalanced, mainly due to the members having polarizing singing tones and levels of skill. They didn’t have harmony in the chorus but still wrapped up the song in their unique style.
“Survival of the Illest” is the song that I consider best represents the Hypnosis Mic franchise, putting the spotlight on a type of hip-hop that isn’t what you’d consider trendy.
At the same time, it’s a song that showcases the different charms of each crew be it by their own sound or the members’ rap skills.
Loulou*di “Addictive Whispering”
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the year and, coincidently, debut of the year for me was Loulou*di with their album “Univers”.
In this CD you can find what I consider to be one of the best songs released in 2020.
“Addictive Whispering” is an unpredictable song, one that put me on the edge of my seat, eager to see where the composition would take me next.
There’s a tropical vibe running deep in this song, with a slow paced, groovy beat dictating the vibe and tone of this track.
Seasoned fans of 2D music projects and especially of the Tsukipro franchise will instantly pinpoint the sound to Growth and QUELL and they would never be far from the truth. The composer for Loulou*di is none other than QUELL’s composer.
As a result, you have a dreamy song that demands a lyrical performance and that is exactly merging the best of Growth and QUELL in the same song. Add to it spine chilling vocals by Toshiyuki Toyonaga, Daiki Yamashita and Shunsuke Takeuchi, and you pretty much have a recipe for a tantalizing song.
“Addictive Whispering” has layers and layers of instruments carefully crafted and mixed in a way that makes the vocals shine yet, being memorable without taking the spotlight away from those. I deeply enjoyed this about the composition of the song. It is subtle yet every single element on it shines.
The talented trio didn’t shy away from dazzling everyone and I can safely say that although underrated and still under the radar for many of you, Loulou*di have in “Addictive Whispering” one of the best songs released in 2020.
Soma Saito “Vampire Weekend”
Soma Saito‘s quite the gifted singer and songwriter and, since he’s been in charge of his solo career by composing and writing all his songs since “Date” , single released in 2018, he’s been creating his own concepts and delivering thought-provoking, deep and introspective songs.
Saito tailors his music to his geek level which, in a way, makes his music apparently less appealing to those that search for easy-listening music.
However, under that misconception, some have missed out on Soma Saito’s sophomore album “in bloom”, easily his best release to date in all departments – singing, production, composition, mixing and mastering.
You’re barely into the album and, by the time that track number 3 starts playing, you’re caught off guard.
Wait… Why is Saito performing dance music with a sexy vibe?
Not only he likes to create rock music with a really heavy emo vibe but, this time around, he played around with our expectations.
“Vampire Weekend” was such song for me. I was not expecting a dance tune to make its way into the album, much less a loungy, sexy tune like this one!
Needless to say, I was enthralled by this song the moment it started playing.
I love the bass line – I am a massive fan of deep, punchy bass lines, lending a bit from funk and disco and this one hits all the right spots while being pretty minimalistic.
I also love the subtle finger snaps announcing the entrance of the story’s protagonist but, at the same time, making you follow his actions from start to finish because this protagonist is that charismatic. The wordplays in this song are clever, toying around with subtle innuendos + those vocals are incredibly enjoyable to listen to.
There’s something about “Vampire Weekend” that is familiar to fans of Soma Saito’s music yet, at the same time, so refreshing, making this song pretty addictive from the get go.
This is so different, so unexpected, that you find yourself wanting more.
VAZZROCK’s Issa, Sho and Reiji “Sue-Kiss-Sue-Kiss”
The VAZZROCK franchise had its hiccups with the “play of color” series, with 2 of its entries taking over 1 year to be released.
Issues aside, it was well worth the wait, at least for VAZZROCK play of color Series Vol.4 Strong Taste.
The CD included “Sue-Kiss-Sue-Kiss”, song that is far from being subtle.
Masahiro Yamanaka (VAZZY), Yukitoshi Kikuchi (ROCK DOWN’s leader), Takuya Sato (ROCK DOWN) went full-on sexy with “Sue-Kiss-Sue-Kiss”, song that came as a surprise, especially when you look back at the VAZZROCK franchise and the last word you’d use to describe it would be “sexy”.
As soon as this song started playing, I was hit but a wave of nostalgia.
This is a textbook sexy pop song with a rock edge yet with a lot of R&B flair to it.
“Sue-Kiss-Sue-Kiss” may sound a bit cheesy to some people but, for me, it was an instant winner. You don’t find songs sounding this openly suggestive – with pretty explicit intentions stated in the lyrics – and still having a rather classy, hypnotic touch to it.
On the vocal end, fans got the best display of talent, technique and, weirdly enough, natural allure from the trio.
Takuya Sato stole the show. He’s the center for this song and he absolutely went off with a performance that made a lot of people reach out for a fan or a glass of water, whichever was closest to you in July 2020, when the song was released.
Sato is quite gifted as a singer. For starters, he has a robust, warm deep singing voice.
Then, there’s the technique. Sato has improved a lot over the years, especially in the way his performances connect with the listener.
And of course, let’s not forget, Takuya Sato exudes a mature vibe and is naturally alluring in his performances. In “Sue-Kiss-Sue-Kiss” he cranked that up to the maximum and well, the rest is history.
He delivered quite the memorable performance.
Masahiro Yamanaka was not that far behind as he also cranked up the allure and went off with his velvety vibrato, making sure no one forgot about him.
Yukitoshi Kikuchi was the wildcard for me before listening to the song but after? Yeah, he was up to the task and delivered. I find his singing tone pretty unique – in a way reminds me of Hikaru Midorikawa’s nasaly singing tone – but he delivers his performances in quite the high key.
In “Sue-Kiss-Sue-Kiss” he added a fragile and gentle touch to a performance that, had Sato and Yamanaka been left alone, would have been way too much to handle.
All this to say that, “Sue-Kiss-Sue-Kiss” is one of the best songs released in 2020. Deeply underrated but of a quality that will make you beg for more and more.
Tsubasa and Ichiru “Arata na COLOR”
SolidS’ Tsubasa (voiced by Soma Saito) and QUELL’s Ichiru (voiced by Sho Nogami) teamed up, performing a funky, danceable yet loungy song song in the style of QUELL.
All this to say, Arata na COLOR is quite the experimental song, blending old-school pop with dreamy EDM, while putting the focus on being groovy and pretty bouncy.
QUELL’s trademark minimalism and ethereal sound shine in this track, with the strings adding dashing accents taking the song to a whole other level.
From a music production and mixing perspective, this song was well crafted. Pretty flawless I must say. The soundstage is amazing.
The instruments aren’t on top of the listener and, instead, are spread out at a comfortable range while the vocals were taken to front and center – although with some instances in which the vocals are split between monitors.
The mixing is clean with both voices being clear at all times.
I love as well that, instead of going for a regular unison in the chorus, the duo is tackling the same parts in the chorus challenging those in different keys and in completely different vocal registers.
This is yet another detail that works towards making the vocals mixing sound as clear as it does.
The detail on the vocals – with those ad-libs in the background further enriching the overall performance – add yet another quality layer to a song that, production wise is off the charts.
There’s never a dull moment on the vocals side with the insane skillset that both SolidS’ Tsubasa (CV: Soma Saito) and QUELL’s Ichiru (CV: Sho Nogami) bring to the table.
Sho Nogami is performing most of the song in his natural high range and Soma Saito, although also pretty comfortable – worth noting that, as he’s gotten older, his voice tone has been gradually turning deeper – is performing a couple of keys below Nogami’s tone, even when he’s on the spotlight.
This may seem like an irrelevant detail to those of you listening to the song in a casual way, but it is actually what holds this performance in a robust, charismatic place.
Saito made sure the core of the song is powerful and robust and Sho Nogami showcases the range and flair of both by taking things further with his high notes and ad-libs.
Their chemistry was felt in this performance. For all these reasons and more, “Arata na COLOR” is one of the best songs released in 2020.
Wataru Hatano “Vivid Junction”
2020 was a weird year and as such, Wataru Hatano had to release his single “Never End! Summer!” as a digital single in the summer and then, in December, released a physical single with the same title and including one of my favorite songs released in the year.
I am talking about “Vivid Junction”.
Chilling, futuristic synthwave made its way into male seiyuu music territory. This was a first.
Neon lights, retro beats, old-school synths and a simple, catchy performance were more than enough to take this song to my favorites.
After all, this song was unique. There were no other seiyuu solo artists, bands and 2D groups releasing synthwave music, so bonus points for Hatano for managing to go outside of the box and bring to the spotlight a niche music genre and making it sound cool.
Hopefully this can start a trend. I’d love to hear more synthwave coming from male seiyuu and, who knows, 2D music groups.
GYROAXIA were one of the most exciting outfits in 2020.
EGOIST stood out as their best single and its title track was not shy about its heavy and aggressive sound right off the bat.
Explosive and fast paced drums, urgent, shredding guitar riffs and a thunderous bass line create the core of this punk-rock track tailormade to be played live.
The raw power and energy in this song is off the charts, something that you certainly wouldn’t expect from a band part of 2D music project.
I like this about GYROAXIA’s music. Their punk-rock sound isn’t sugar coated to please a wider audience like what happens to most 2D groups.
They are aggressive and loud and that adds a lot to their unique identity. I find myself enjoying their music as I’d do with rock bands outside of the seiyuu industry.
There’s not much I can say without giving away a song that is pure power and fun. Give it a chance and check it out.
“EGOIST” made quite the good impression.
Yuma Uchida “Image”
“Image” was released in the summer of 2020 and is quite the interesting piece, exploring R&B and EDM in a unique fashion, at least, within his repertoire.
It is a song that makes the best out of a dreamy atmospheric EDM sound and smooth pop centric verses however never forgetting to add the soul and emotion of R&B with punchy bass lines and, on the vocal end, Yuma Uchida never straying away from delivering a honeyed performance in which R&B riffing is the greeting card.
I believe that, among all male seiyuu performing as solo artists, Yuma Uchida is the only one that always sings with an R&B flair. He’s got a natural melodic, smooth singing voice and his ability to shift between vibrato and falsetto make it only natural for him to be that type of singer.
Personally, I love that he has this unique singing style. It fits him well and ends up being more versatile than I expected.
“Image” is quite slow paced in comparison to other title tracks of his.
Still, that slow pace is perfect to set the stage to the explosive chorus, making washy atmospheric synths slowly taking the listener to that place.
The beat is sampled and minimalistic – I would love to watch this song being performed live with live drums playing it, it would sound massive – and the piano adds quite the beautiful touch to “Image”.
Once again you get that bright, gentle image that is associated to Yuma Uchida as solo artist from this song. It is tasteful, flows pretty well and is catchy without being intense just for the sake of being intense.
“Image” ranks high in my favorite songs released in 2020 by male seiyuu.
These were the 20 Best Songs released by Male Seiyuu in 2020.
There were plenty of clever lyrics, unexpected twists, unusual songs that ended up being favorites to many of us, trendy songs aplenty and rock showed its grit and power in a year that had everything to be dominated by pop music.
2020 was that awesome in the music department.
You can check an extended version of this article in podcast version (2 episodes below) as well as in video version (2 episodes can be found in the intro to this feature).
What were the songs released in 2020 by male seiyuu, bands, seiyuu units or 2D groups that you can’t help but hit that replay button?
Leave those in the comments!