2022 was a year of quality music released by both male seiyuu artists and 2D groups. In this article, check out 20 of the best songs released this year.
This is the type of episode in which I had to transform my list of over 100 favorite songs released in 2022 into a brief 20 song top, which is a tall order as there were way too many awesome songs being released this year.
For this feature, I’ll cover the 10 best songs by 2D groups and the 10 best songs by male seiyuu artists released in 2022.
I’ll talk a bit about the songs but if you really want to go in-depth, sometimes even down to how the songs are or should be produced, I welcome you to check the reviews I wrote about those songs in question.
If you want to get a taste of the best songs released in 2022, at the bottom of this article there is a specially curated Spotify playlist including 60 songs that stood out for their quality, unique tone, good vibes, and most of all, the outstanding performances by seiyuu.
As always, have into attention that this is a highly subjective article as I will be talking about the songs that impressed me or that I enjoyed the most in 2022.
Additionally, the songs in this article are not ranked.
Depending on my mood, there are songs I enjoy more than others but, by the end of the day, these are the ones I consistently have returned to ever since I came across them or review them.
Now, without further ado, let’s start this feature.
Best songs by 2D groups
Reiji Amaha “Turn Around Again”
This was one of the earliest releases of 2022 and yes, it is still one of the very best.
“Turn Around Again” has the makings of a dancefloor anthem with its big party sound however it is its mature and elegant approach to that sound, matching Takuya Sato’s vocals and Reiji’s vibe that instantly grabs the listener’s attention.
And if the intoxicating instrumental is not enough to grab your attention, just pay closer attention to the stunner of a performance delivered by Takuya Sato.
This is the very first time that fans got to listen to him perform in head voice, showcasing that he is much, much more than just a baritone that has a cool high bass range. He is actually quite versatile, having a wide vocal range, being a master of several techniques and styles, and, overall has insanely underrated singing skills that shine to no end in this performance.
When “Turn Around Again” wraps up, you’re already hitting that play button again.
GYROAXIA “NEW ERA”
A statement song signaling the start of a new chapter. But not any chapter, a confident one under a major music label, one of the most impressive steps a 2D rock band has ever managed to take.
GYROAXIA’s “NEW ERA” is a treat for fans of shock rock however, I was not expecting the band – up until now known for their fast-paced, punk-rock-inspired mix with hardcore – to go the emotional route and bring out a stone-cold stunner with a shock rock sound straight from the late 90s.
The band absolutely nailed that feeling of emptiness and raw emotions that the genre is all about. It is loud and violent while being fairly simple, something that, after so many complex rock tunes in “Freestyle”, arrives as a welcome change in the pacing.
This is a song that arrives as a statement of the band’s dreams and intent with this new direction. It is intense, exciting, and fancy at times, with Jin Ogasawara’s mix of rapping and clean singing adding the cherry on top of what is a memorable song, the band’s best song to date.
Sir Vanity “Will”
Sir Vanity, rock band fronted by Yuichiro Umehara and Yoshiki Nakajima, has been making waves in the music industry with their irreverent sound.
And while the band loves to experiment with several rock sub-genres, it was with “will” that they delivered their best performance to date.
The tone is dark and decadent. It almost feels like the moment before giving up. It is crucial. Raw and violent and the instrumental reflects that, going straight for your feelings.
The guitars scream, the drums are pounding in the background. The sound as a whole is violent and it is clear hardcore influences in the instrumental.
“will” goes loud and straight for your heart, with Yuichiro Umehara and Yoshiki Nakajima making sure to hit the final nails in the coffin, delivering a raw performance mixing clean vocals with melodic, low parts, falsetto, harmonies, and vibrato.
Although underappreciated, “Will” is a fantastic song, one of the best released in 2022.
EROSION’s TOXIN “Hakusha”
EROSION is one of the most consistent 2D rock bands out there. Since its debut, the 5-vocal rock band has been delivering some of the most exciting, innovative, and emotional rock tunes for fans of the music genre to enjoy.
However, among all the songs released in the first half of 2022 – the only time that the band was active -, is TOXIN’s “Hakusha”.
The symphonic rock tune performed by TOXIN (CV: Shoya Chiba) is one of the most complex and grandiose songs released by the franchise and it counts with an emotional performance that will leave goosebumps all over your skin.
One thing that easily stood out for me is how dark this song is while staying classy and dramatic at the same time. It gives off a love metal vibe that Shoya Chiba ends up turning it into a tragically beautiful yet heartwrenching song with his faux baritone vocals (with a twinge of musical-style drama on top).
When “Hakusha” wraps up, you’re left with your emotions in a messy state.
Fling Posse “Kizuato ga kizuna to naru”
“Kizuato ga Kizuna to Naru” brought back laidback 90s hip-hop sound that was both a first for Fling Posse as well as a massive change in tone.
Atmospheric synths sparkle in the background. On top, a punchy bassline, a slow-paced hi-hat-driven beat, and a rhodes piano add an elegant twist to the vast soundscape in front of you.
The verses feel like a warm evening in the summer. Passionate, cozy, with happiness overflowing.
When you get to the chorus, you’re overwhelmed by the good vibes, passion, and joy. On a first listen, this chorus will catch you by surprise because this song sounds happy and is, indeed, a happy song.
Fling Posse appears for the very first time without a mask on top and what you feel is pure joy and good vibes.
I could listen to this track time and time again and I wouldn’t get tired of it.
1Nm8 “Break outta here”
1Nm8 made its debut in the Paradox Live franchise in 2022 and with it came a unique brand of chill hip-hop with passive-aggressive lyrics and an impressive lineup to boot.
“Break Outta Here” is all about its minimalistic hip-hop sound with a big funky piano melody leading the way.
The instrumental is surprisingly clean and simple, however with a groove that is impossible to not love. The verses are dreamy, having a “feel good” vibe to them, with atmospheric synths painting the soundscape in a way that you’ll want to lose yourself in these vibes.
When the time arrives for the chorus to kick in… you’re already jamming like crazy to this song, enjoying the performances of Amatsuki, Ryo Kitamura and Shoya Chiba.
As far as aesthetics go, this song is among the best I’ve heard in 2022. It’s impossible not to be drawn to that wide, clean and groovy soundscape.
Loulou*di “Abortive Flower”
While “Black Pulse” is the song that seems to have left the deepest mark for fans of the talented lyrical pop trio, it was actually “Abortive Flower” that I feel was the song that arrived to completely trash your emotions around, pick you up and then… bury you.
This is a visceral performance with a spine-chilling delivery by Toshiyuki Toyonaga, Shunsuke Takeuchi, and Daiki Yamashita.
The clock continues to tick. Legato strings enter the scene, fading away from your sight. A somber piano melody further fleshes out this solemn instrumental.
As far as vocals go, “Abortive Flower” is mindblowing. The keyword for this performance is “emotion” and all members cranked up those in the way they delivered their lines. You feel the weight. You mourn alongside them.
You feel like you lost a part of yourself. You feel… empty.
This song is a marvel to listen to and pay closer attention to the little details in its orchestration by Takeshi Hama but also to how emotional the vocals go, at times being on the verge of sounding like sobs, silent cries for someone dear.
While this is not a song to listen to all the time – given how dark it is -, it is certainly a memorable one with one of the standout performances of the year.
TOBARI’s Kuroi Hashiba “Setsunateki Blast”
Kuroi Hashiba‘s “Setsunateki Blast” is all about its eerily explosive emotional sound and powerful performance.
And as soon as it kicked off, I knew Takeshi Hama had his hand in the composition. It was too dark and violent, it was a perfect mix of rock and orchestral music. It was tailored for Tetsuei Sumiya’s vocals.
The contrast between the emotional, heart-bare side of the character and the darkness and twisted feelings going on on the other side, left quite a mark on me. The violence in this song is on full display.
This is a full display of violence – words and music – that will render you speechless the first time you listen to this song.
And Sumiya’s performance stands out for its technicality and emotional range.
He goes from those breathy mid-tones in the intro vs his delicate high notes in the pitch vocals to muffled, violent vocals in the pre-chorus, until you get to his raw, emotional vocals in the chorus.
When “Setsunateki Blast” wraps up, you’ll be wanting more of this. You will be wanting TOBARI to bring more of this to their music and you will also understand why Tetsuei Sumiya is one of the most exciting new talents in the 2D music industry.
Anthos* “Mirage In Mirage”
When it comes to unique songs you can always count on Anthos*.
“Mirage in Mirage” arrives to sweep you off your feet. This is a dreamy song. It has desire and love at its core. It is an extremely warm song coming from Anthos*. And it has hands down, the best performance by the group to date.
The harmonies and unique lineups on the vocal end, the sweet, ritualistic, ethereal sound, and that insanely catchy chorus were more than enough to grab my full attention in complete awe throughout as each member pulled their aces to the stage, determined to impress everyone.
This song is ridiculously good, and easily a highlight in 2022.
TRIGGER “Hidden Region”
TRIGGER celebrated its 7th anniversary in 2022 with the release of what is the grooviest song of 2022: “Hidden Region”.
70s disco takes over for the very first time for the group however, instead of being a cheesy take on the music genre, the instrumental was tailored to the group’s elegant and mature vibe.
The unity and chemistry in TRIGGER can be felt in this performance that is flawless on the vocal end – from the quality down to the way they connect with each other from part to part.
This is a throwback to the good old times of fancy disco and funk music but approached from a modern lens, giving a mature twist to TRIGGER’s music but also not forgetting their origins and essence. Stellar vocals and an equally stellar instrumental shine in what is a sleeper hit tune by TRIGGER.
Best songs by Male Seiyuu Artists
Makoto Furukawa “Hikari no Kairo”
Makoto Furukawa was a roll in 2022, having released 2 stellar singles filled with stylish jazz performances and with some of the trickiest vocals he has tackled so far in his solo career.
Among the collection of amazing songs he released this year, there is a track that stood out more for me.
It is “Hikari no Kairo”.
The song, present in the anime edition of “Ware, bara ni insu”, is a fantastic reminder of how ridiculously good Makoto Furukawa is as a singer and why more people should give a chance to his unique brand of jazz – now pending more to a fusion style much in the likes of acid-jazz.
Everything I love about Furukawa as a solo artist is represented by a beautiful instrumentalization. It’s the staccato strings, that slowly introduce the listener to this sweet, downtempo tune. The cello intro with a unique Latin influence in there. It is the elegance and seductive vibe of Makoto Furukawa’s performance.
This is a stellar entry in his repertoire and an undisputed top 10 best songs released in 2022.
Shunichi Toki “Original scenery”
There are good songs but there are also perfect songs and those are not commonly found, even among the numerous songs by male seiyuu artists.
However, Shunichi Toki managed to pull off not only one of the best songs of 2022 but also released one of the best albums in 2022 with “Good for”.
Within this stellar album is “Original scenery”, song that goes strong on early 90s hip-hop and pop to deliver a stylish and groovy tune that will have you both singing as well as dancing along to it.
The approach is quite mature and contained, making sure that there are only good vibes in the instrumental and that the homage paid to 90s music is well done. There are 808 beats, vocoder vocals, spraying synth, brass stabs, funky guitar riffs, and a punchy bassline. And there, on top of it all, is Shunichi Toki’s fancy mid-toned vocals, dazzling you.
Yuma Uchida “your words”
Although most fans will only pay close attention to the leading tracks in Yuma Uchida’s singles, it’s actually the b-side tracks that impress a whole lot.
And it’s in ballads that Uchida excels, putting his vocal prowess into full display. “your words” is a rock ballad that goes deep on your feelings with grandiose strings, bassy and intense guitar riffs, a sweet yet pounding beat however, at the same time, with a gentle, delicate piano melody leading the way.
In the moments of quietness, Yuma Uchida shows constraint to his emotions, slowly carrying you over to the powerful chorus in which he brings forth beautiful high notes performed in head voice, adds some R&B riffing and just… delivers a performance that is made for you to enjoy in silence.
Beautiful and emotional, “your words” shines among the songs released in 2022 by male seiyuu artists.
Jin Ogasawara “Black Cat”
One of the most impressive releases of the year was, undoubtedly, Jin Ogasawara’s “Black Cat”.
This single features 5 different music genres mashed together in one of the most stylish mixes I’ve ever heard.
From breakbeat hip-hop to trap, synthwave, 50s rock, and pop, Ogasawara does everything in this song, showcasing both his versatility as a singer but also the limitless possibilities for his sound as a solo artist coming forward.
Innovative and filled with neat surprises left and right, Jin Ogasawara’s “Black Cat” is easily one of the best songs released in 2022.
Miyu Irino “Just give me the love”
If Miyu Irino is releasing music you know that, for sure, there will be one song that will absolutely dazzle you away.
For me, it was “Just give me the love” from Irino’s eclectic mini-album “NO CONCEPT”.
Now, this is a song that brings the best of Irino’s performances and sound to the spotlight.
As soon as you press play in this song, you’ll be taken to a broadway production. From the gospel choir to the intimate setting for this song, the stylish instrumental and Irino’s head voice performance, “Just give me the love” is a delight to listen to.
And it is a song that makes me wish Irino was more active as a singer than he currently is.
Mamoru Miyano “THE ENTERTAINMENT”
Early 90s R&B meets 70s funk and disco to create one of the coolest songs released in 2022. Mamoru Miyano made his long-awaited comeback with the 7th album “THE ENTERTAINMENT” and what fans got with its new tracks was a thing of beauty.
Among the various highlights of this album is the title track “THE ENTERTAINMENT”, song that is so stylish and fun, perfectly encompassing who Miyano is as a solo artist: a pure entertainer that does know how to put on a show with his singing skills.
Listening to “THE ENTERTAINMENT” was almost like going back to Miyano’s 2009 album “Break”, easily one of my favorites of his.
However, you can tell just how much Miyano has grown as a performer and singer when you listen to this performance. His technique is off the charts, his R&B riffing is second to none and you will, for sure, wrap up listening to this song with a massive grin on your face.
Gakuto Kajiwara “otona”
Gakuto Kajiwara keeps on impressing with each CD release. The talented singer-songwriter has been showing more and more of his tastes and personality as a solo artist and what listeners get is always a collection of warm and fuzzy semi-acoustic pop-rock songs that will feel like a warm hug after a tiring day.
Among the songs released this year, “otona” is the one that stood out the most for me.
Citypop takes over but in a sort of unplugged ballad way, bringing forth a mature side of the solo artist that Kajiwara is. And although the whole song is amazing, what shines the most in this song is undoubtedly the chorus.
It has a bit of a retro twist to it – embracing hip-hop – with its bouncy bassline but also a cheeky fun side to it – 90s pop – as well as the neon lights soundscape created by the distant funky guitar riffs.
This song feels like going on a trip. It feels good. And I want to keep having it on repeat.
Kent Ito “Mayonaka no Love”
Not only was Kent Ito’s solo debut the best one in 2022 but “Mayonaka no Love” is also one of the best debut singles ever released by a male seiyuu artist.
This stylish citypop tune explores love and desire through a mature and tasteful sound, bringing a punchy bassline, funky guitar riffs, splashy drums, and beautiful piano melodies as the perfect backdrop for Kent Ito’s smooth vocals.
This is a song that shows that citypop should be a more regularly used music genre and can lead to fantastic results bringing all the class and maturity you can get while perfectly complementing the voice leading the way.
In this case, Kent Ito arrived with “Mayonaka no Love” and literally swept a lot of people off their feet. One of the highlights of 2022.
Soma Saito “Uzumibi”
The master of intricate concepts, mindblowing stories, and crazy performances made a long-awaited comeback in 2022 after a 2021 without any CD releases.
And fans got two ridiculously good EPs “my beautiful valentine” and “Yin/Yang”.
“my beautiful valentine” is all about surrealism and the dark, twisted things that he, as the narrator, can do to you while tricking you into thinking everything is “supposedly” okay.
But there is a chapter in the story you go through in “my beautiful valentine” that leaves a deep mark. It is the spine-chilling “uzumibi”.
This song is really dark.
Grim. Pitch black.
It feels like you have no way out of the story. It is contempt after destructing everything around you yet, at the same time, it is despair because there is no way out of that twisted nightmare Soma Saito carefully crafted for you since the very first song.
“uzumibi” is a descent to madness and a new start all on the same track.
This is a song all about its little details both on the lyrics, the performance by Soma Saito – that covers all his vocal range and mixes clean with whisper style of singing – as well as the instrumental.
This is, easily, one of the best songs ever released by a male seiyuu artist.
Soma Saito “mirrors”
Although “Yin/Yang” is a brighter EP in comparison with “my beautiful valentine”, at its core it is quite the destructive EP and I dare say, more intense.
In this EP you experience paradise, go mad in power, quickly destroy everything and yourself, and ultimately confront yourself in front of the mirror and… decide to kill off a side of yourself.
All of this while you’re mockingly judged by Soma Saito, the narrator, the saint-like figure that created the paradise you decided to destroy.
And the breaking point in EP arrives with the visceral “mirrors”.
By this point, you are already aware that it is your fault everything went wrong in this story. It was you that destroyed everything. You are both good and evil. Yet, you want to quiet a side of you. Which do you decide to kill off?
Isn’t it pointless to begin with as everything you do will simultaneously be good and bad depending on the people affected by you – and have good or bad consequences?
Saito puts you in a morally tricky situation here and as the backdrop for this, almost philosophical set of questions, you have one of the most cinematic and grim songs you can get.
The soundscape may sound dreamy but there is nothing dreamy about it. The guitars slowly create the stage for Saito’s whisper-style head voice to take over and… glue you to your seat. This is an extremely emotional performance delivered in such a cold and raw way, something that perfectly encompasses the dilemma that listeners have in their hands.
The moments of quiet provide you time to reflect on your actions, leaving the piano and dreamy atmospheric synths only as the background to Saito’s echoing vocals. When the chorus arrives, the façade is no more and all the emotions come pouring out and it is hauntingly beautiful.
When this song wraps up, you’ll be on the verge of tears. Emotions drained. A choice made.
It is a visceral song and it is the best one of 2022.
Best of 2022 by Male Seiyuu and 2D Units playlist
You can find all these songs and more in a massive Spotify playlist including over 60 songs that impressed in 2022. Hope you enjoy it!
What were your favorite songs released in 2022 by male seiyuu or 2D groups? Share those in the comments!
You can find all the content in this feature on episode 125 of SEIYUU LOUNGE, The Hand That Feeds HQ’s official weekly podcast in video format.
If you prefer content on the go, you can also find the content in this feature in the sound-only version of SEIYUU LOUNGE.
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