5 J-Pop singers to discover through anime

Anime is a medium capable of providing a lot to its viewers, from unique stories and lovable characters to eye-catching artwork and memorable, sometimes even truly iconic music. Whether the tracks were used in 90s classics such as Sailor Moon, evangelization Where cowboy bebop or come from more contemporary shows like The attack of the Titansmusic can contribute immensely to the overall visual experience.

However, it can be difficult for anime fans who are also interested in the Japanese music scene to know where to start. Luckily, there are plenty of Japanese singers currently active in the industry whose songs are frequently used in a wide variety of anime, making them a perfect entry point into mainstream J-pop. The following five female artists or female-led groups are great examples of this, especially given their general accessibility to Western audiences through their official YouTube channels.

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Making her official debut in 2011, Aimer stands out from many other Japanese singers who often tend to sing higher or have a more nasal vocal quality. Instead, Aimer’s voice is distinctly mature and raspy, reaching a range of high and low notes. Although her songs vary in style and tempo, she has become particularly known for her powerful, piano-centric, emotional ballads, which can start out slow but gradually turn into something raw and emotionally powerful.

Aimer’s songs have been featured in a number of popular anime over the years that span all genres and demographics, including Bleach, Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works, Natsume’s Friends Book, After the rain, Vinland Saga and, more recently, the second season of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. Over a decade after its debut, with eight studio albums currently to its name, Loving shows no signs of slowing down, and fans would be wise to keep an eye out for future anime announcements.

Aoi Eir

Aoi Eir from Sapporo also made her debut in 2011. Although she announced an indefinite hiatus from music in 2016 due to poor health, she resumed her activities in 2018 and continues to release singles and albums since. Aoi’s musical style has been heavily influenced by her own interest in anime, with lyrics that directly reflect the story or characters of the titles she produces her work for. Her songs are often uplifting and uplifting, with positive messages that come through even when she sings about sad or difficult feelings and experiences.

Although Aoi’s music has been featured in many anime, listeners may notice that most of them have supernatural or fantasy stories and themes, such as Sword Art Online, kill her kill her, The heroic legend of Arslan, Granbelm and Fate/Grand Order – Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia. His most recent anime contribution was to the second opening theme of 2021’s mecha series. back arrowand it seems almost certain that anime viewers will hear it again very soon.

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Not a single person but rather a duo, GARNiDELiA consists of vocalist Mizuhashi Mai (stage name MARiA) and producer Abe Yoshinori (stage name toku). Although GARNiDELiA has been active since 2010, their debut album wasn’t released until five years later, with five studio albums to date. While comfortably fitting into the broad genre of J-pop, GARNiDELiA’s music is often less traditionally “poppy” and more electronic in sound, with certain songs having a typically Eurodance or synthpop vibe and style. This generally results in a rather playful and upbeat listening experience, especially with the pair’s faster tracks.

While still being featured in some hugely successful mainstream anime titles such as kill her kill her and The Irregular at Magic High Schoolother songs by GARNiDELiA have been used for slightly less well-known titles, in particular Gundam Reconguista in Sol, Code Qualidea, without beat and Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka, the latter being their most recent appearance in the anime. Their music might just appeal to fans who enjoy OP and ED J-pop anime tracks that nonetheless bring something a little unusual to the table.


Oribe Risa, better known as LiSA, might just be one of the reigning queens of the J-pop world, at least when it comes to anime. Active since 2005, the Gifu-born singer-songwriter has since taken the world of anime music by storm, with a particular brand of pop that frequently veers into pop-rock and even pop-punk territory, influenced by artists like Avril Lavigne, Paramore and Green Day. In fact, LiSA’s first big debut was as part of a group in the story named Girls Dead Monster for the 2010 anime. angel beats – an anti-establishment act, “us against the world” if there is one.

LiSA’s songs have been featured in the anime almost too many times to count, but aside from the massive hit angel beatssome of the highlights include FateZero, Sword Art Online, Nisekoy, my hero academia and Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. His musical journey will soon become even more well-known, in the form of a Netflix documentary titled LiSA Another great day should be released later this year. Until then, her five studio albums and more than 20 singles should keep new listeners busy.

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Singer-songwriter and guitarist from Fukuoka, Sayuri has an interesting vocal style that, especially on his faster tempo tracks, comes across as urgent and intense. While remaining firmly within the larger realm of J-pop, many of his songs have a solid rock feel, while his singing tends to be high-pitched but remarkably steady and powerful. Although active in the music industry since 2010, she made her major debut in 2015 at the age of 18 with a song that featured as the anime’s ED track. Rampo Kitan: Laplace Game.

Since then Sayuri has gone from strength to strength, releasing two studio albums and appearing in many other anime including Deleted, Scum’s wish, Golden Kamuy, my hero academia and more recently, Eden Zero — a particularly impressive curriculum vitae given his young age. However, his days as an independent artist continue to shine beautifully in his music which, while very polished, has a certain raw edge to it that will likely appeal to listeners who like their pop with a slightly darker undertone.

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