Why is Gesu no Kiwami Otome popular? Is there going to be another “band boom” with the rise of the new generation?

“Romance ga Ariamaru”, Gesu no Kiwami Otome’s third single managed to sell over 15’000 copies in its first week on the Oricon Weekly Singles Chart, outselling their smash hit “Watashi Igai Watashi Janai No” and setting a new personal record for the group.

At first, many treated them as strange because of their unusual band name. However, their high quality techniques and musicianship has stuck with a lot of people and they have become one of the most prominent acts in the “next generation rock” scene.

The members of Gesu no Kiwami Otome met at a “Battle of Bands” where “indigo la End”, vocalist Enon Kawatani’s other band, was one of the performing acts. Before long, the four of them hit the studio for jam sessions and recorded their first album.

“Because we all fit together so well, we finished our first album in only two days (laughs)”, announces Enon Kawatani.

They debuted under the indie label “Space Shower Records”, released a total of three mini albums, performed at smaller events and became more and more popular.

Shortly after, they had their major debut with the EP “Minna Normal” on the same day as indigo la End with theirs, via Warner Music Japan’s sub label “unBORDE”.

By the way, their band name “Gesu no Kiwami Otome” comes from words that were written on member Chan-Mari’s tote bag.

One reason why they became this popular so fast, is their marketing strategy. “unBORDE” is also the home of artists like androp, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu and Shinsei Kamattechan, who all promote on TV and social media very actively and skillfully as well.

By first debuting under “Space Shower Records”, they had access to the associated TV station (Space Shower TV) which was very beneficial.

Another factor is that unlike a lot of artists who only upload the short PVs of their songs, Gesu releases the full videos on YouTube before the CD release date and the title tracks of their releases always have a high-tier tie-up.

“asobi” was used as the au isai FL LGL24 CM song, “Watashi Igai Watashi Jyanai no” was the Coca Cola “Name Bottle Campaign” CM song and “Digital Mogura” was the theme song of TV drama “Subete ga F ni naru” to name a few.

A few years ago, there were a lot of acts that chose to be stoical and not appear on TV. Nowadays, such acts leave the impression that they fail to connect with their audience. That is why social media, etc. are so important now.

For example, SEKAI NO OWARI who are often compared to Gesu no Kiwami Otome, has resorted to YouTube and radio appearances ever since their indie days and have established a huge fanbase by being on music shows and variety a lot.

SEKAI NO OWARI aims to deliver a “whole world of entertainment” by mixing contemporary J-pop with stunning visuals and live performances.

On the other hand, Enon Kawatani says that Gesu focuses on creating “rusty melodies” and songs that don’t just stick with the Japanese audience, but have a western influence to them as well.

The members’ diverse musical roots clash together and a unique musical identity is born. A lot of people from overseas have expressed themselves about them in the comment section of their YouTube videos.

While idol groups and anime theme songs are still dominating the music charts, acts like Sakanaction, ONE OK ROCK, SEKAI NO OWARI and of course, Gesu no Kiwami Otome are the driving forces of the approaching “band boom” that might eventually take over Japan.