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BanG Dream! Poppin'Dream! - What We Know So Far

Back in 2015, a Japanese franchise called "BanG Dream!" was born. The multimedia empire from Bushiroad started with a manga but soon expanded to encompass anime TV, live concerts, albums, and games from the all-female bands and characters created for the projects. One of these girl groups is Poppin' Party, which was formed in February 2015 (via Anime News Network).

The franchise's first anime TV series, called "BanG Dream" or "Bandori!," was released in winter 2017, and aired three seasons through fall 2019. Bushiroad then made plans for two films: "BanG Dream! Film Live" opened in 2019, while its sequel, "BanG Dream! Film Live: 2nd Stage" dropped on Aug. 20, 2021 (via Dengeki Online). The franchise also scheduled two more films, "BanG Dream! Episode of Rosella: Promise" and "BanG Dream: Episode of Rosella: Song I am," for release in 2021. The third movie is "BanG Dream! Poppin' Dream!" (via My Anime List), and it will focus on the musical adventures of the girls in that group. 

Here's what we know about the newest upcoming project on the BanG Dream! slate.

What is the release date of BanG Dream! Poppin' Dream!

According to the trailer for "BanG Dream! Poppin' Dream!," the next animated film in the franchise will arrive in Japanese theaters on January 1, 2022. 

It is unclear when the Bushiroad and its licensees might make "BanG Dream! Poppin' Dream!" available to international audiences. In the past Crunchyroll streamed the anime show "BanG Dream!" as it aired (via Anime News Network), and you can still catch the anime episodes there. However, note that none of the "BangG Dream!" movies or spinoffs are listed on the site. Meanwhile, North America residents could access "BanG Dream! Episode of Rosella: Promise" for a limited time, and "BanG Dream: Episode of Rosella: Song I am" is currently still available through the streaming service Eventive. 

Hopefully the "Poppin' Dream!" film will come sooner rather than later, but we just don't know yet when people outside Japan will have access to it.

Who is in the cast of BanG Dream! Poppin' Dream?

The trailer includes a list of the cast. "BanG Dream! Poppin' Dream!" features Aimi Terakawa as Kasumi Toyama on guitar and lead vocals, Rimi Nishimoto as Rimi Ushigome on bass guitar, Ayasa Itō as Arisa Ichigaya on keyboards, Sae Otsuka as Tae Hanazono on lead guitar, and Ayaka Ohashi as Saaya Yamabuki on drums. These five are all the original members of Poppin' Party, and the voice actresses for the characters all play their own instruments (via Comicsverse), record actual songs (their first official single dropped in 2016), and perform live, as well. Believe it or not, they have even come to the U.S. for concerts. So their voiceover jobs are a bit more involved than most, seeing as they are essentially a band. 

Behind the scenes, Sanzigen Animation Studio is producing, and Masanori Uetaka will direct the movie from a screenplay written by Yuniko Ayana. Music will come from Elements Garden (via Anime News Network).

What is the plot of BanG Dream! Poppin' Dream!

"BanG Dream! Poppin' Dream!" will continue the anime "BanG Dream! 3rd Season," which Anime News Network describes (quoting Animax Asia) as a story that begins when Kasumi Toyama enters high school and gets led to a star-shaped guitar in a pawn shop: "It is this fateful meeting that evokes the emotions that have been locked up within Kasumi. Teaming up with four other girls who, like Kasumi, dream of a place that can make them shine, the five of them work towards realizing their musical dream," the publication  explains.

The anime featured Poppin' Dream (also known as PoPiPa) meeting other bands in the Bushiroad pantheon, such as Roselia and Raise A Suilen. The members of these bands grow together, compete together, and experience teen drama like overwork and overcoming doubts about their talent during the course of the three seasons. The final season features a competition called the Girls Band Challenge, which takes place at the famous indoor arena Nippon Budokan. The trailer seems to indicate that the girls' next gig will be "overseas" — and an image of a plane flying overhead seems to reinforce that message.