8LOOM is a limited-time-only seven-member boy band that was launched by the TBS drama I’ll Be Your Bloom (which airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. JST).
Their songs have enjoyed continued success on the charts. Their first single, “Come Again,” which was released on September 21, has maintained its position at No. 3 for five consecutive weeks in Billboard Japan’s Heatseekers Songs chart dated November 30, and also came in at No. 49 on Billboard Japan’s Hot 100 song chart. The chart ranks rapidly rising songs poised to become the next breakout hits, by tabulating radio airplays, downloads, streams, and weekly video views for songs in the Japan Hot 100. Their third single, “Melody,” (released on November 9) came in No. 1 for two consecutive weeks on the Heatseekers Songs chart and reached as high as No. 32 on the Japan Hot 100 chart. The band’s success shows no signs of slowing. Let’s take a look at the appeal of 8LOOM’s music, which is tightly linked to the TV show’s concept and story, and how the band has been performing in the charts.
The drama series I’ll Be Your Bloom, headed by actress Tsubasa Honda, is an original story from screenwriter Erika Yoshida, winner of the 40th Mukoda Kuniko Award for her drama series Koisenu Futari (2022/NHK). Asuka Nakamachi used to be a high school teacher until a setback forced her into early retirement. A series of events lead her to becoming the live-in dormitory mother for a boy band called “8LOOM.” The seven members of the band just can’t seem to catch their big break, and as Asuka spends time with the band, she becomes closer to them, helping them in their efforts to achieve success.
The members of 8LOOM are played by Fumiya Takahashi, Ryubi Miyase, Keito Tsuna, Rintaro Hachimura, Shuto Mori, NOA, and Koki Yamashita. The talented members of 8LOOM, who are actors, musicians, and dancers, have released songs and made their debut as a band outside the drama. Their activities have extended beyond the bounds of a TV series to include appearances at the KCON 2022 JAPAN K-culture festival and a solo concert tour. The band has a steady hold on the spotlight and is continually improving its salesmanship. 8LOOM’s YouTube music videos are subtitled in English, Korean, and Chinese, and their efforts to become a global boy band are one of the distinctive features of the band. Let’s look at the singles they’ve released so far.
* 1st single “Come Again”
The melody line of “Come Again,” 8LOOM’s first single, is fresh and light, yet at the same time melancholic, with a pleasant, bouncy feel. The line “We are blooming here, Myself from tomorrow is calling” is a direct reference to the story of I’ll Be Your Bloom, and to the concept of 8LOOM itself. It’s an ideal debut song thanks to its arrangement, which blends a light pop feel with great musical depth.
The music video showcases the vocal and dance skills of each member, and depicts the hard work they’re putting into making their dreams come true. The high quality of the song provides a clear view of their potential as a boy band. In the TV show, the members of the band, who have hit rock bottom, perform a song at a show to a disinterested audience. The iconic scene of them starting to claw their way to a success generated a lot of buzz in social media.
This single debuted on Billboard Japan’s Heatseekers Songs chart at No. 3 and kept that position for five weeks. On the Japan Hot 100, it showed tremendous growth on the November 23 chart, going from No. 46 to No. 26 in terms of downloads and from No. 69 to No. 46 for streaming plays. Its overall ranking also improved dramatically, going from No. 91 to No. 50. On the November 30 chart, it climbed even further, to its peak position of No. 49. It performed particularly well in streaming, peaking at No. 36. As the rankings show, more and more people are learning about “8LOOM.”
* 2nd single “Kimi no Hana ni Naru”
8LOOM performed at the Rakuten Girls Award 2022 AUTUMN/WINTER (Makuhari Messe, Chiba) on October 8 and at KCON 2022 JAPAN (Ariake Arena, Tokyo) on October 15. Immediately after they raised their profiles by captivating audiences with these live performances, they released their second single, “I’ll Be Your Bloom.” The song was produced by UTA, who has also produced songs for Daichi Miura, BTS, and Kohei Matsushita.
The song begins with a soaring chorus by the entire band. The song stands out with its tight four-on-the-floor beat, its beautiful guitar riff, and the way the melody opens up when the chorus hits. The message shared through the lyrics is one of working together to keep moving forward, no matter what happens. This ties into the TV show’s story, but it’s also a message directed at listeners about “being their flower,” successfully elevating 8LOOM’s presence as a real boy band. Bearing the same title as the TV show, this became 8LOOM’s first anthem.
On the Heatseekers Songs chart, the single reached a record high of No. 2 on November 2. On the Japan Hot 100, it came in No. 49 on the October 26 chart, and although it then dropped off the chart for a moment, the rising popularity of the TV show and the accompanying increase in streaming plays, along with the further growth in already-solid downloads caused the single to bounce back up. On the November 30 chart, it came in at No. 35 for downloads and No. 52 for streaming, both new records that hint at the single’s potential to become a long-lived hit.
* 3rd single “Melody”
In the fifth episode of I’ll Be Your Bloom, the band is told that if they don’t come in first place in the streaming chart, their contract will be terminated. That’s when this song appears. Released on November 9 as the band’s third single, “Melody” really did come in at No. 1 on the Heatseekers Songs chart on November 23, after the episode aired. Many fans rejoiced that “the show has become reality!” The music video for “Melody” surpassed one million views in just three days, record speed for the band, and on the TikTok Weekly Top 20, a chart measuring songs popular on TikTok, it entered the Top 10 by taking the No. 5 spot on November 30. This was likely driven by the desire among listeners who had become interested in 8LOOM through the series to turn the group into a real-life success story, as well, together with the high quality of the song itself. As the trajectories of the previous two singles show, the success of this song also significantly boosted the rankings of “Come Again” and “Kimi no Hana ni Naru” in the November 23 and later charts, following the airing of the fifth episode.
“Melody” begins with the sweet line “My heart sings a beat, Next to you is My Best Place.” With its smooth, delicate rhythm and its sound, evocative of neo soul or city pop, this song has a pop sensibility that appeals to a wide range of listeners (even more than 8LOOM’s previous singles).
* 4th single “HIKARI”
From November 2 to 15, 8LOOM held its first and last multi-city tour — the I’ll Be Your Bloom “Let’s 8LOOM” TOUR ~FIRST and LAST~ — with shows in Tokyo, Osaka, and Fukuoka. As the band broke through in the TV drama, which wound towards its finale, 8LOOM released its fourth single. The kick drum sets a pleasant, fast pace. A synth line floats on top. The rhythm of the chorus bounces long. The lyrics share the message “You shine just the way you are.” This pop tune balances all of the best features of 8LOOM.
Looking through the comments on the video for the song, “8LOOM ‘HIKARI’ Special Video for 8LOOMY [TBS],” on the official TBS YouTube channel, you see many sentiments like “I don’t want this to be a limited-time-only group, I want you guys to keep going. I became a die-hard fan after watching the show,” or “The lyrics are so beautiful they bring tears to my eyes. I don’t want 8LOOM to end.” Comments like these are a testament to 8LOOM’s growing momentum. This can be seen in “HIKARI” debuting at No. 31 on Billboard Japan’s Hot 100 chart released on November 30, a new record for the band, as well as the single debuting at No. 8 on th Download Songs chart.
On December 2, 3, and 4, 8LOOM played solo shows at Tokyo Garden Theater on their I’ll Be Your Bloom “Let’s 8LOOM” TOUR ~THE FINAL~. They’re still highly active, releasing their fifth single, “Forever or Never,” on December 7th. As the series’ finale approaches, without a doubt, even more eyes will turn to 8LOOM to see what becomes of this “limited-time-only boy band,” so deeply intertwined with the show’s story.
—This article by Tomoyuki Mori first appeared on Billboard Japan.