Yabai T-Shirts Yasan

Feb 12, 2022

I’m going to try to write on a non-project related topic and see how it goes.

One of my favorite J-pop bands is Yabai T-Shirts Yasan (lit. The Bad T-Shirt Shop), or Yabai T for short. I first heard about them through one of their songs, KawaE, which was used as the credits theme for the Nisekoi live action, and have been enthralled with their work ever since.

Yabai T is a 3 member rock band founded in Osaka that’s been active since 2014 to present. Their 3 members are Takuya Koyama (guitar, vocals), Aribobo Shibata (real name Arisa Shibata; bass, vocals)1, and Mori Morimoto (real name Iketa Morimoto; drums).

In terms of their appeal, the band’s music is fast-paced and screams flippant young person energy. Naturally, their primary audience seems to be young adults (age range 18-35 if I had to guess). Yabai T is unique in their often unorthodox and out-of-left-field choices for song topics (ex. wanting to feed a cat, wanting to buy a drone, Morimoto’s name being Morimoto, etc). Songs often make use of word play and Kansai dialect which gives them an air of youth. However, this may also be one of the biggest factors for their lack of presence in the West despite seeing large popularity at home; their works are not really aimed for anyone outside of Japan.

While Yabai T’s primary audience is limited, this does not discount their phenomenal sound. Yabai T’s performances almost always get you pumped up, especially with their faster songs. Takuya and Aribobo tend to duet in most of them, with Takuya screaming into the mic and switching off to Aribobo’s high-pitch, more shrill voice. This fun, life’s-not-so-serious noise is what makes this band special to me. Yabai T feels fun and relatable (even to an American an ocean away). I think that’s part of what makes me and a whole slew of other fans love them so much.

  1. According to an interview, Aribobo actually lived in the US for a while! Supposedly she also lived in Maryland, but JP Wikipedia has scrubbed that bit of detail. An old revision’s citation leads to a 2017 radio interview that might just simply be lost to time.