2D groups continued to impress in 2022 with stellar performances, technical vocals and insanely groovy music. These are the 10 best 2D groups according to our readers.
From January 15 until January 22, 2023, readers and viewers of THTFHQ voted for these awards that value, first and foremost, talent and quality over popularity.
Nominees were shortlisted by The Hand That Feeds HQ and a winner emerged in each category.
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 2022.
If you want to check the abridged version of the complete results of this year’s edition, those were unveiled on episode 130 of SEIYUU LOUNGE, THTFHQ’s 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.
IDOLiSH7 was shining in 2022. The group celebrated its 7th anniversary in the best way possible with the release of the stellar 2nd album “Opus” and went on to promote it in a 2-day live show – that was simultaneously held on location and livestreamed worldwide – with “Op.7”.
After that, the group released “HELLO CALLiNG” and yet again showed that they are an idol group maturing in front of everyone’s eyes and ears. Their sound is still as bubbly as when they started however the way they present it is completely different as of now.
Then, IDOLiSH7 Third beat 2nd cour kicked off and everyone – from those that religiously play the game to those that only watch the anime series – was floored by what is one of the most dramatic and well-done story seasons in the franchise.
With the anime series, fans got more new songs by IDOLiSH7 “Mallow Blue” and MEZZO with “Colorful”.
By the end of 2022, it was easy to notice that IDOLiSH7 had a fulfilling year in which they celebrated a unique and special birthday delivering high quality music and what is, easily, the best-ever written 2D idol story on anime you can get.
IDOLiSH7 is your 2D group of the year.
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):
GYROAXIA has been turning into one of the best rock bands fronted by seiyuu, slowly distancing itself from its 2D roots now that it made its major debut under UNIVERSAL MUSIC JAPAN.
And the band managed to completely snatch the attention of many people with the release of “Freestyle“, album that is, easily, the band’s best to date as well as one of the big highlights of 2022.
And while “Freestyle” initially divided the fanbase due to its alternative rock sound versus its original punk-rock/hardcore sound, I feel it is one of the most amazing albums released to date by a 2D rock or even rock band fronted by seiyuu.
It is growth. Maturity as a band in full display. It is a statement of intent in album format. And it is bloody awesome.
It put the band in the spotlight with a sound that attracted many people that weren’t even aware of how amazing GYROAXIA were up until then and showed that we can have good rock bands actively promoting in a 2D and 3D setting.
Throughout the year, the band participated in several live shows and promoted “Freestyle”, making sure to leave a lasting mark.
If the voting in this category is anything to go by, GYROAXIA certainly achieved that.
Loulou*di had a stellar 2022.
The lyrical pop powerhouses, featuring vocals by Toshiyuki Toyonaga, Shunsuke Takeuchi and Daiki Yamashita, released two CDs “Pensée” and “MONO“.
These two CDs were – and still are – a unique experience condensed in music form.
Both are though-provoking, impressive sonically and feature some of the most complex and difficult performances to pull off on the vocal end.
The level of quality in Loulou*di’s music is one cut above the rest.
The vivid experience you go through we Takeshi Hama’s compositions and the ridiculously high quality level on the vocal end consistently makes Loulou*di a highlight – even within the Hana-Doll* franchise that is overflowing with unique, quality music and performances.
EROSION was not as active in 2022 as it was in previous years, still what they did last year was more than enough to impress.
The 5-vocal rock band featuring vocals by Shoya Chiba, Arthur Lounsbery, Yuya Hirose, Ryota Suzuki and Toshiyuki Toyonaga released 4 CDs last year, part of the EROSION with YOU from CARNELIAN BLOOD CD series: “Devil’s Dinner“, “NEVER LET “U” GO“, “OneThing” and “Dancing on the edge“.
And they more than impressed with a refreshing take on their aggressive rock sound.
Fans got to experience songs in different styles and music genres and with performances that will continue to impress with time.
To top it all off, EROSION held its 2nd live “NEW MIXTURE” early in the year before the band went on a brief break to prepare for its 2nd full-length album of the same name.
Fling Posse had an awesome year with the release of “Kizuato ga Kizuna to naru“. The single was released to celebrate the crew’s win in the 2nd Division Rap Battle series and what a CD it was!
Embracing an old-school 90s hip-hop sound focused on good vibes, Fling Posse was, for the very first time, performing a song with relaxed, happy vibe instead of its – usual – dark songs.
From the old-school rhodes piano melodies, the organ and synth accents or even the electric guitar melodies in the background all create a beautiful, emotional soundscape.
Also in the same year, the crew released the funky hip-hop tune “Torima Get on the floor” and continued on a good spell, impressing in an album filled with hit tunes by all crews in the Hypnosis Mic franchise.
Veronica, band part of the Dear Vocalist franchise fronted by Momochi (CV: Toshiyuki Toyonaga), gets a shout in this edition of THTFHQ AWARDS after a spine-chilling performance in “Kaleido“.
While all the bands in the franchise cranked up their quality, delivering headbanging tunes, it was Veronica’s “Kaleido” that left a big impression due to how twisted and dark it is.
Storytelling-wise, the instrumental alone tells you all you need to know creating a setting in which love is twisted, going hand-in-hand with pain, guilt and obsession. And when the vocals kick in, the only thing you can do is just stay silent and listen to everything unfolding around you.
Veronica arrived a bit late in 2022 but “Kaleido” is easily one of the standout releases of the year, making this band, the best representative from the Dear Vocalist franchise for THTFHQ AWARDS.
Whenever Buraikan appears, fans go crazy.
And there is a big reason why everyone goes crazy: Buraikan have a bloody amazing groove and an imposing 90s style of hip-hop that relies a lot in both Kensho Ono and Junichi Suwabe being melodic in their performances.
In 2022, the team didn’t release many songs but what was released was more than enough to eclipse all other releases in the Paradox Live franchise.
The VAZZROCK franchise was quite active in 2022, especially due to the fact that its anime adaptation – VAZZROCK THE ANIMATION – was set to premiere in the Autumn season.
The franchise kicked off a new bi-color CD series as well as complemented that with the release of tie-up songs from the anime series. On top of it all, the franchise held another live show late in the year, impressing yet again with rocking performances by all bands.
However, there was a band that stood out the most: VAZZY. Their teamwork, the complete lineup, the power in their performances and the overall consistency throughout the year impressed and left many eager to listen to more and more from them.
In 2022, aoppella!? continued its steady stream of releases, with both units impressing everyone with their stellar acapella performances.
However, it was FYA’M’ that was a step ahead in terms of quality after the release of the EDM tune “Voice, Heart, Body & Soul” that stole the show and made the group stand out.
FYA’M’ is a highly technical acapella group covering all of men’s main vocal ranges – tenor, baritone and bass – and to add to that, they have a strong percussion and bass going on in their music that, usually, makes their performances quite groovy in their R&B style.
With such a unique lineup and powerful performances, FYA’M’ continues to conquer the hearts and ears of many people and in 2022, they were on a mean streak of absolutely amazing performances.
Last year, TOBARI returned to releasing music as a group instead as of part of the super group, pioniX.
As such, fans got to see and hear the group maturing with a set of release in the “In Yo” (or Yin Yang) CD series.
TOBARI arrived and… stole the show out of nowhere.
Tetsuei Sumiya and Yoshiki Nakajima took the duo’s intense rock sound and brought in… Takeshi Hama and Zakbee, two of the best composers currently active with 2D music projects.
Takeshi Hama added layers and layers of darkness and violence to Kuroi Hashiba (CV: Tetsuei Sumiya)’s solo track “Setsunateki Blast” and Zakbee made sure the vocals were extra unbelievable in the dreamy b-side track “Gekkou”.
What fans get in this CD – easily the best entry by any group in the Tsukipro franchise as a whole – is a set of outstandingly technical performances with refreshing and, at times, mind-blowing, instrumentals to go along.
It was quite impressive the level of quality in “In – Black with high purity” as well as the complementary “Yo – Lively and dazzling light”.
Thank you to everyone that voted at the THTFHQ AWARDS 2022! A new edition will be held in January 2024 so make sure to follow THTFHQ on social media for notifications when the voting starts.