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Who would have guessed that three preadolescent girls headbanging, summoning spirits, rising out of red spinning pentagrams and singing in cutesy idol voices would be such a hit?
Meet The Members
For those of you who don’t know yet, YUIMETAL, MOAMETAL and SU-METAL all belong to a subunit of idol group Sakura Gakuin called BABYMETAL. Obviously, their parents weren’t crazy enough to end their kids’ names with ‘metal’ and stylize it in all caps; their real names are actually Yui Mizuno (13), Moa Kikuchi (13) and Suzuka Nakamoto (14). To date, BABYMETAL has released two singles and a split single with metalcore band Kiba of Akiba. They’ve been steadily gaining attention and popularity due to their unique musical style and concept, and may have even passed their parent group Sakura Gakuin in terms of attention.
The reactions to BABYMETAL’s music have been mixed, to say the least. I’ve seen comments from metal fans as well as J-Pop fans that express their disgust and horror that anyone would ever dare mix metal and J-Pop together. There are some, however, who love the idol-metal crossover and are happy that this unusual combination was a success and not a failure. As for me, I’m one of the people who wholeheartedly like and enjoy BABYMETAL and their music. I’d even go a step father and say that I believe BABYMETAL has a place in revolutionizing idol music and its fans as we know it.
Just by reading comments about BABYMETAL on Youtube and various other discussion sites, there are a number of newcomers to idols who discover BABYMETAL because of their hardcore half. People are saying stuff like how they’d never heard J-Pop in any form until they heard BABYMETAL and now they’re intrigued, or that they never knew Japanese music could be like this. BABYMETAL is providing a spark of interest in a radically different genre of music, and is attracting a lot of potential J-Pop fans that would never have thought twice about idol music before. This isn’t all speculation, either. More than one person on Youtube has commented on a BABYMETAL PV and claimed that they discovered an interest for J-Pop through BABYMETAL, and where there’s one, there’s ten more. A more personal example; three of my friends who live in Florida are quickly on their way to becoming idol otakus after I suggested they check out this cool hybrid group called BABYMETAL.
BABYMETAL has the potential to bring in a new wave of fans to the J-Pop genre thanks to their unique position of being balanced between two distinctly different genres. Also, since the attraction works one way, who’s to say they couldn’t bring more fans to metal as well? By bringing more attention to J-Pop and idol music in general, awareness will increase and hopefully the idea of idol fandom will reach far across the world, spanning both space and music tastes to more and more people.
Making Every Morning A Doki Doki Morning
Even if BABYMETAL isn’t exactly your cup of tea, you still might find something you like about them in one of their songs. So far, in only five released songs, BABYMETAL experiments with many other genres than just plain metal; including trance and rap (Iine!), cutest-of-the-cute J-Pop (Doki Doki☆Morning), and even dubstep and electronica (Uki Uki★Midnight). If one of their songs isn’t quite to your liking, give another a try and you might find something to headbang about. In conclusion, if you give BABYMETAL a chance, they’ll be sure to ‘put you in a daze’ (or a neck brace) and blow your mind, so make it a point to check out BABYMETAL!
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