From left to right: YUIMETAL, SU-METAL, MOAMETAL

With BABYMETAL’s popularity on the rise, Ben Quick gives you a crash course in what the group is all about.

In 2010, BABYMETAL were formed as a Metal/J-pop fusion sub-group of the larger Sakura Gakuin idol group managed by Amuse. The group whose main gimmick is graduating members once they leave junior high school. BABYMETAL is composed of 16 year old Nakamoto Suzuka (SU-METAL) on main vocals, with her 14 year old minions Kikuchi Moa (MOAMETAL) and Mizuno Yui (YUIMETAL) backing her up with dancing and ‘scream’ vocals. BABYMETAL has everything you’d want from an idol group: cute girls, amazing stage energy, strong vocals, and some really kick-ass songs you can’t help but headbang to.

Their live shows are one thing that sets them apart from some other groups. Instead of MC segments, BABYMETAL utilizes a series of VTR segments that tell the ongoing saga of the BABYMETAL mythology. Yes, that’s right, they have their own back story. For example, MOAMETAL and YUIMETAL went against the will of the Fox God and ate the “Check-it-out Choco” and fell into the dark side, preferring rap instead of metal. The two girls then come out and perform the hip-hop style song “Onedari Daisakusen“. After, SU-METAL performs the song “Benitsuki -Akatsuki-” to save them and bring them back to the side of metal.

BABYMETAL brings together idol fans and metal heads alike, and the mix has created some really interesting results. They’ve performed at heavy metal festivals with Trivium and Stone Temple Pilots, and were featured in the trailer for Metallica’s latest movie Through The Never. On the other side, they’ve appeared on music shows with AKB48. I know several people who are metal fans that wouldn’t give idols the time of day that really enjoy BABYMETAL, and people like myself that don’t normally listen to metal but my love of idols drew me instantly to this group.

Just a couple years ago, BABYMETAL was playing small theaters and clubs in Japan, but now they’ve just finished two sold-out solo shows at Budokan and just announced they’ll be going to Europe this summer. They’ve quickly surpassed their parent group Sakura Gakuin in popularity and sales, so much so that even when SU-METAL had to graduate, Amuse decided to keep BABYMETAL around as a separate entity. Their latest music video for Gimme Choco has started to draw attention from outside eyes too. Is BABYMETAL on the verge of being an international hit? Only time will tell, but you know where to find me when they make their way to the United States.

Are you ready to mosh? PUT YOUR KITSUNE UUUUUUP!

About NSK

New School Kaidan is a community-focused website for the Japanese idol industry international fan base. Between podcasts, broadcasts, events, and analytic articles, New School Kaidan aims to bring an understanding of idol culture to the masses.

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