THTFHQ AWARDS 2021: Best 2D Group

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2021 was a strong year for 2D groups. From celebrating big anniversaries to pushing the boundaries of their sound and image or winning long battle series, these are the top best 2D groups according to our readers.

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

From December 27, 2021, until January 10, 2022, over 2500 of our readers voted at THTFHQ AWARDS 2021.

Nominees were shortlisted by The Hand That Feeds HQ and a winner emerged, however, in the interest of fairness – and want to put the spotlight on other male seiyuu that also had a fantastic 2021 -, this feature includes all seiyuu artists/seiyuu units that made solo debuts in 2021 (5 in total) in the voting, with only #1 being ranked.

To avoid petty fights between fans and disrespect towards seiyuu and their fans, no votes are disclosed in any of the written features covering THTFHQ AWARDS 2021.

If you want to check the abridged version of the complete results of this year’s edition, those were unveiled on episode 78 of SEIYUU LOUNGE, our weekly podcast all about male seiyuu music and 2D groups.

Without further ado, these are the 2D groups that made it to the top 10.

#1 Fling Posse

Fling Posse

As soon as I wrote the names of the groups nominated for this category, I knew this one would be a tough choice. And truth is, the top 4 are all separated by 17 votes in total.

I found myself not even being able to choose just one group because there is so much quality out there and, honestly, all groups nominated had a fantastic 2021.

Your group of the year is Fling Posse, rap crew that went through a tough set of battles in the 2nd division rap battle series in the Hypnosis Mic franchise.

First going against the incredibly popular and intense MAD TRIGGER CREW, surprising everyone by beating the crew, advancing for the very first time to the final battle in a Division Rap Battle series.

Then, going against the 1st edition’s champions Matenro and Buster Bros!!! and winning the battle in all its voting methods or categories was quite impressive.

Fling Posse, rap crew consisting of Ramuda (voiced by Yusuke Shirai), Gentaro (voiced by Soma Saito), and Dice (voiced by Yukihiro Nozuyama) released “Black Journey” in the first battle, showing their will to move forward as a crew and aim to the top while having each other’s backs.

Then, in the final battle song “SHOWDOWN”, the crew was on top of its game, easily standing out in what was a strong performance by all crews involved.

This is quite the… can I even say… “character development” in the franchise.

If you remember, when Fling Posse was first introduced to the fans, the group didn’t sound edgy at all.

Their sound was bubbly, the mood quite upbeat, however, what started to catch everyone’s attention, and I believe it’s like that since the release of “Stella”, is that there is a darkness underneath their peppy sound. In “Black Journey”, the crew didn’t hide that and fans were invested in the story, they wanted to take Fling Posse to the top.

And that not only happened in the 2nd Division Rap Battle Series with them being crowned Champions but also with Fling Posse winning the 2D Group Project of the Year award at THTFHQ AWARDS 2021.

From this point on, the seiyuu mentioned are not ranked (the order in which they appear below doesn’t correspond to the place they ranked in the final voting):

STARISH

STARISH led the way in the celebrations of the 10th and 11th anniversaries of the Uta no Prince Sama franchise.

The talented septet participated in the “Uta no Prince Sama 10th Anniversary CD” as well as “Shining All Star CD 3”, CDs that performed extremely well on Oricon’s charts.

Later in 2021, the group was back on stage for Uta no Prince-sama Maji LOVE LIVE 7th STAGE, the long-awaited live show that had been previously postponed.

In such an important year for the franchise, STARISH was out there sharing its charms to new and veteran fans alike.

TRIGGER

TRIGGER

TRIGGER had the most impressive year in its career so far – yes, even after, in 2017, becoming the 1st 2D idol group to rank #1 on Oricon Weekly Albums chart – in 2021.

The trio consisting of Gaku (CV: Wataru Hatano), Tenn (CV: Soma Saito), and Ryunosuke (CV: Takuya Sato) released its 1st concept album “VARIANT”, making a lot of jaws drop in awe with their perfect balance between power + aggression in their performances and their trademark alluring + intense sound.

They went on to release the emotional single “PLACES”, further solidifying their stance as one of the best 2D groups currently active.

Wrapping this all neatly, the trio held the very first one-man live show (simultaneously the very first online-only live show to be held by a 2D group) titled TRIGGER’s LIVE CROSS “VALIANT”.

GYROAXIA

GYROAXIA
GYROAXIA

GYROAXIA kicked off 2021 in style with the release of its 1st full-length album “ONE”. That was, easily, one of the best albums released in 2021 and one that made a lot of people turn their attention to the talented rock band.

Then, the band released “WITHOUT ME/BREAK IT DOWN”, wrapping up the year with the emotional “Hibana Chiru”.

If that was not enough, it was announced that the band – alongside all other bands in the, then ARGONAVIS from BanG Dream franchise – were parting ways with Bushiroad music, setting itself on a new path that earned them a major debut under Virgin Music Japan.

A rollercoaster of a year for GYROAXIA but a memorable one filled with awesome music.

UNDEAD

UNDEAD

UNDEAD continues to be all about its refined mix of rock with jazz sound, delivering outstanding performances one after another.

The quartet counting with vocals by Toshiki Masuda, Wataru Hatano, Yuki Ono, and Kei Hosogai was active in the ES Idol Song CD series (“Ensemble Stars!! ES Idol Song season1 UNDEAD”) as well as the FUSION UNIT CD series (“UNDEAD ✕ Akatsuki “PERFECTLY-IMPERFECT”) and for both, the group impressed with powerful, emotional performances filled with technicality.

Loulou*di

Loulou*di
Loulou*di

Loulou*di hasn’t turned into one of the most exciting 2D music projects by chance.

The talented trio consisting of Toshiyuki Toyonaga, Shunsuke Takeuchi, and Daiki Yamashita released “Idéal” and single-handedly left a lasting mark in the 2D music industry.

“Idéal” is all about creating unique soundscapes in which you can lose yourself in, all courtesy of Takeshi Hama.

And it is with “Final Direction” that Loulou*di managed to officially be in a league of its own. From the refined – and extremely layered – chamber music-meets-EDM sound to the outstanding performances by the group, you’ll be constantly in awe.

Although extremely underrated, Loulou*di was shining within the Hana-Doll* franchise and yet again trailing its unique path in the 2D music industry.

cozmez

cozmez
cozmez

cozmez went on to win the Stage Battle series in the Paradox Live franchise after a hard-fought battle to the top.

The rap duo counting with vocals + rap by Yusuke Kobayashi and Toshiyuki Toyonaga was in a league of their own, trying something never-before done in 2D music: tackling sensitive – even borderline controversial – themes in lyrics without any flourishes or metaphors.

It was a straightforward, raw, and confident performance the duo delivered in “Ain’t no love”, the song I believe single-handedly earned them the win the Stage Battle series.

They started as the underdogs but their rise to the top in the Stage Battle series ended up being incredibly emotional and inspiring, leading to a set of performances that continuously made people want to root for them while simultaneously being in awe of the sheer talents Kobayashi and Toyonaga have.

ECLIPSE

ECLIPSE fully embraced visual-kei rock music and what a treat of a debut song “Gyokuza no GEMINI” is!

The duo counting with vocals by Toshiki Masuda and Shouta Aoi was absolutely untouchable in terms of the quality and intensity of their performance in the VISUAL PRISON franchise.

From the regal vibe to their song, to the theatrical style of singing by the members, the elegance in some details in the background – waltz-like tempo mid-way through the song -, the song was as ridiculously grandiose as it was impressive.

GROWTH

GROWTH stood out in 2021 among all TSUKIPRO groups due to how unique it continues to be.

Adventure and fantasy continue to go hand-in-hand for the group, with the soundscapes created taking listeners on a journey to the unknown, losing themselves in picturesque instrumentalization and lyrical performances.

Those continue to highlight just how skilled and highly technical Shunichi Toki, Daiki Yamashita, Junta Terashima and Yoshitaka Yamaya really are.

Jiyuu no Tabiji” was the perfect track by the groups and easily one of the best songs released in 2021.

EROSION

EROSION
EROSION

EROSION continues to go unnoticed by most fans of 2D music however, the 5-vocal rock band was in its best moment in 2021 (carrying it over to 2022).

The band fronted by Shoya Chiba and counting as well with vocals by Toshiyuki Toyonaga, Arthur Lounsbery, Ryota Suzuki, and Yuya Hirose was on top of its game, releasing the shredding 1st album “What is mine”.

The album neatly wrapped up the 1st season of CD series in the franchise, opening the doors for EROSION with YOU from CARNELIAN BLOOD CD series that kicked off in December with the first entry led by CREHA (cv: Toshiyuki Toyonaga).

From “What is mine” to “FIREMIND”, the band was focused on delivering outstanding performances on top of some of the most exciting rock songs released last year.


Thank you to everyone that voted and spread the word about THTFHQ AWARDS 2021!

Vanessa Silva
Vanessa Silvahttps://www.handthatfeedshq.com
The Hand That Feeds HQ founder, content creator, and music reviewer. Basically, the only person managing everything at The Hand That Feeds HQ. Stumbling upon Mamoru Miyano's "Orpheus" in 2011 was the start of this journey. If music is thought-provoking or deep, you may find her writing almost essays (not limited to, but it happens a lot with Soma Saito's music). She's the producer and host of the male seiyuu-centric podcast, SEIYUU LOUNGE (see Spotify link in this profile).

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