When you think of the Japanese FGC, what comes to mind? A region full of killers? The hardest area to gain any success? Legendary fighting game players like Daigo, Fuudo, and Tokido? Well, all of those things are true, but you can now add boy band to that list. If you were paying any attention to the Japan 3 CPT tournament top 16, you might have noticed that in the player quotes just before his game with Gachikun, Moke said something interesting, which at the time meant nothing but turned out to be the most fascinating thing later on.
When I initially saw that quote, I was mildly amused, wondering why this pro player recommended a band for us to listen to. Well, as it turns out, Moke was indulging in a bit of self-promotion as it was soon revealed that he is, in fact, a member of a boy band.
Yes, you heard that right; Moke, one of the best Rashid players in the world, is in a boy band.
The fun doesn't stop there as he is not in the band alone. No, his bandmates aren't some weird nobodies either, but instead some of the finest Japanese players in the world. Moke, Nauman, Kawano, Mizuha, and Jyotaro are all members of this boy band, and they even have a single out on the internet!
As mentioned earlier, these are not simply a merry band of causal players but people with impressive results. For instance, Nauman was the winner of Evo Japan in 2020, beating out none other than Mago in the finals, and is currently with Team Detonation in the Street Fighter League Japan. Kawano was the winner of EVO 2021 Online - Asia East and was second place at the just concluded CPT Japan 3, where he pushed his mentor, Daigo, to the limit. Moke was first place at DreamHack Montreal 2018 for Dragon Ball FighterZ, while Mizuha has been a consistent performer at SFL Japan, and he has a Kolin that is an absolute pleasure to watch. Rounding out the list is Jyotaro, who plays Tekken and has competed in Evo 2019, Evo Japan 2020.
Round V has an official Twitter page and a single, 'Nanashi no Yuusha' (which can loosely be translated as 'Nameless Hero') out on YouTube. They were even invited to do a segment in Hamejun, a weekly fighting game TV show in Japan hosted by Jun Utahiroba, a huge celebrity in Japan and a member of the band, Golden Bomber.
If you fancy what you have heard, you should give them your support and it'll be interesting if this is something that would become more of a facet of the FGC in Japan and perhaps could potentially spread to other regions. I, for one, would love to see something like that.