Babymetal is easily one of Japan's most popular girl groups.
They have dominated both domestically and internationally in ticket sales, album sales, merch, and many more. In addition, they are one of the few artists who constantly hold sold-out tours and concerts.
Due to their unique style, Babymetal can be polarizing to individuals who have never heard of them. So for those who are unfamiliar with their music and unique fashion, here's a quick rundown.
Babymetal is a two-piece idol group from Japan who are best known for their lolita-inspired stage outfits, dances, and their fusion of J-Pop and Metal. They have worked with artists such as Dragonforce and have won multiple awards.
Of course, there's a lot more to this group.
In this article, we'll be going over everything you need to know about Babymetal.
We'll introduce you to their members, and we’ll talk about the reasons for their massive success. We’ll also recommend our favorite songs and live concerts.
So keep on scrolling to learn more about this explosive idol group.
What Genre is Babymetal?
There are many unique things about Babymetal. One thing that helps define them is their music.
Babymetal has arguably created their own genre, which they call Kawaii Metal. This is a fusion of J-Pop and Modern Metal.
Kawaii metal is a pretty accurate term for Babymetal's sound. Kawaii means cute in Japanese, and it best describes the image that the band portrays. However, they blend this cuteness with the heaviness and aggressive sound of metal.
For most of Babymetal's popular songs, their basic style can easily be heard. You have high energy, distorted guitars, fast drums, and melodic vocal passages.
Songs such as Doki Doki Morning, Gimme Chocolate, and Megitsune best showcase Babymetal's style.
But what makes Babymetal different from other bands is that they have many songs inspired by more complex genres. Here are a few examples:
The song Road of Resistance is one of Babymetal's most popular songs. It is based on the power metal genre and features Herman Li and Sam Totman of Dragonforce. This song features signature Dragonforce elements such as fast guitar solos, crazy drum patterns, and high levels of energy.
Another genre that has inspired almost the entirety of Babymetal's debut album is death metal. Common elements of this genre include scream vocals, heavy guitars, and fast guitar solos. This genre is perfectly captured in the song Babymetal Death.
Babymetal has also incorporated more complex elements into their music. In Babymetal's second album, the group has also played around with progressive metal.
This genre usually contains odd time signatures, complex patterns, and a high level of musical skill. This is best seen in Babymetal's song, Tales of the Destinies.
And, of course, Babymetal has also played around with a popular metal subgenre called Djent. This genre is best characterized by heavy down-tuned guitars that mimic the word "Djent.” The song that best showcases this is Starlight.
So while it is easy to say that Babymetal is simply a fusion of J-Pop and Metal, most of their songs prove that their music has lots of complexity.
Babymetal's unique approach has inspired other Japanese acts such as the girl group, Passcode.
Are Babymetal Idols?
Despite all of their unique elements, Babymetal, at its core, is an idol group.
The group was initially born as a subunit of Sakura Gakuin.
Babymetal was just a little experiment of their producer, Kobametal. He wanted to see what will happen if you infuse the Japanese idol industry with a completely different and unrelated genre.
Most Idol groups disband once members graduate or are old enough to launch their solo career. However, this was not the case for Babymetal.
Babymetal has amassed global popularity and, in many ways, surpassed Sakura Gakuin in terms of global recognition. This has allowed Babymetal to continue performing and making music even after the three members have graduated from Sakura Gakuin.
All three core members have been training ever since they were ten years old. They can all sing and dance just like other traditional idols. However, the similarities end here since Babymetal is marketed differently compared to other idol groups.
How Old is Babymetal?
Babymetal was officially formed in 2010. This makes the group 11 years old at the time of writing this article. Since their formation, Babymetal has released three studio albums and multiple live albums and won multiple awards.
Babymetal celebrated their 10th anniversary in 2020 by releasing their album, 10 Babymetal Years. The celebration has continued in 2021 through their ten special concerts in Japan.
With how long Babymetal has been around, you might think that the members are now older than most J-Pop Idols. However, this is not the case.
The oldest member, Su-Metal (Suzuka Nakamoto), is only 23. On the other hand, the youngest member, Moa-Metal (Moa Kikuchi), as well as their former member Yui-Metal (Yui Mizuno), are only 21 years old.
Why Does Babymetal Use The Word Death?
Both Su-Metal and Moa-Metal introduce themselves as Su-Metal Death and Moa-Metal Death during interviews. All three members also add the word death to their names in the song Babymetal Death.
Their reason for this is actually very interesting. The way they pronounce the word death sounds like the Japanese word “desu.” This word is commonly used as a formal introduction. Therefore, the phrases Su-Metal Desu and Moa-Metal Desu are actually meant to be a quirky introduction.
How Popular is Babymetal?
The popularity of Babymetal can be best described as a global phenomenon. Ever since the group first debuted internationally in 2014, the band has won the hearts of countless fans around the world.
To give you an idea of how popular they are, Babymetal's most viewed song on Youtube (Gimme Chocolate) has around 142 million views. Additionally, Babymetal has also made appearances in overseas TV shows such as The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.
They have also won many awards throughout their career. Their most recent one was Best Album of the Year on MTV Japan.
To truly get just how popular Babymetal is, let us look at the number of attendees at their concerts. Babymetal's special 2-night concert back in 2016 had a record-breaking number. Live at Tokyo Dome Red Night and Black Night amassed a total number of 110,000 attendees.
Almost all of Babymetal's tours and landmark concerts are also always sold out. This includes Babymetal's first US Arena Concert, Live at the Forum. Notable performances such as Su-Metal's Birthday Show and Moa-Metal's Birthday Show (Legend S and Beyond the Moon: Legend M) were also sold out.
Additionally, Babymetal was the first Japanese group to headline Wembley Arena. They were also the first Asian act to top the Rock Billboard Charts. Babymetal honestly has countless achievements that prove just how popular they are.
Why is Babymetal so Popular?
There are so many reasons for Babymetal's immense popularity. But for me, it all boils down to four major reasons: music, stage presence, positivity, and lore/merchandise.
Babymetal's music is simply innovative. They take the best elements of J-pop and fuse them with the complex elements of metal.
Their music breaks boundaries and unites fans of different genres. And the fact that each album release brings something new proves that Babymetal is not just a parody of metal.
Aside from Babymetal's unique musical style, their stage presence is always on point. Babymetal's costumes are inspired by Lolita Fashion, but there is always a twist. Their stage appearance always represents the aesthetic of their current album.
Babymetal's original costumes had a red accent, just like the cover photo of their debut album. Then the Metal Resistance costumes reflected the aesthetic of their second album. And, of course, the Metal Galaxy costumes have a Star Wars vibe to them, which fits the galactic theme of the album.
Their costumes are so iconic that it helped launch their own fashion brand, BMD Fox Apparel. Also, Babymetal's retired costumes are on display in Tower Records Japan.
And to add to their immense stage presence, Babymetal's live productions are always top-notch. You get moving stages, giant props, and many over-the-top elements that bring their concert experience to the next level.
There is a lot of negativity in modern music. However, you won't find any of that here. Despite featuring heavy and intense elements in their music, Babymetal always brings positive energy.
Aside from having fun elements in their songs, Babymetal also has many songs that uplift and empower individuals. To give an example, the song Ijime Dame Zettai translates to no more bullying forever.
Also, Su-Metal, Moa-Metal, and Yui-Metal always promote positivity on and off stage. Their interviews show how committed they are to help bring people together and how much they want people to enjoy their music. Babymetal serves as great role models that people can look up to.
Lore and Merchandise
Another thing that separates Babymetal from other bands is their lore and merchandise. Here's a glimpse of their lore.
The three members of Babymetal are warriors summoned by the Fox God who goes through various battles. These battles are their live performances which have been designated as different episodes of Metal Resistance.
They even have their own comic book called Apocrypha: The Legend of Babymetal, depicting their story in more detail. And aside from these, Babymetal has lots of high-quality products from shirts to Funko Pops.
Babymetal even has an exclusive fan club called The One. Being a member here gives you access to limited edition items and the chance to attend concerts strictly for The One Members only.
Does Babymetal Make Their Own Songs?
Just like most idol groups, the core members of Babymetal are not the ones who are directly responsible for writing their own music. Instead, Babymetal has a dedicated team that handles all writing and production of their songs.
This might seem like a negative thing to most people. However, having a dedicated team that helps with the songwriting ensures that all of Babymetal's releases are as good as possible.
Their songwriters have been working with them for a very long time. So they know to utilize the strengths of each member to make powerful and moving music. This collaborative process ensures that each release is authentic and best reflects the personality of each member.
Additionally, Babymetal's songwriters and consultants are all experts in their respective genres. This helps the group explore different sounds and evolve with each new release.
With that said, Kobametal has given the girls a chance to write some music. Song No.4 (4 No Uta) was written by both Yui-Metal and Moa-Metal.
Who Are Babymetal’s Songwriters?
Babymetal has had lots of writers and composers throughout the years. Some of the notable songwriters are Kobametal (Key Kobayashi), Yuyoyuppe (Yuppemetal), and Leda Cygnus (Leda Metal).
Kobametal is the group's producer and is responsible for arranging most songs in their debut album. Yuyoyuppe has written most of Babymetal's hits, including Karate, GJ, and Rondo of Nightmare.
And finally, Leda Cygnus is a guitarist that has worked on all major Babymetal releases. Some of his works include playing bass on Road of Resistance, making the arrangement for No Rain No Rainbow, and writing and recording all guitars for Arkadia. Additionally, Leda is part of Babymetal's live band.
Why did Yuimetal Leave Babymetal?
Despite the success of Babymetal, Yui-Metal officially left the group back in 2018. She cited health issues as the main reason for her departure. She also stated that she wishes to pursue a solo career once she has fully recovered.
Unfortunately, with how secretive Babymetal is, that is all that we know. She is still currently signed under Amuse. However, she has not done any activity since 2018.
How Long is a Babymetal Concert?
Due to how much movement Su-Metal and Moa-Metal make during their concerts, most shows do not last very long. Most of their live performances usually last around one and a half hours. This includes the two encore songs that they usually add at the end of their shows.
Babymetal has also performed shorter shows during festivals where multiple bands share the stage. For shows such as Summer Sonic, Download Festival, Rock on the Range, and Glastonbury, they usually perform four songs.
What are Babymetal Fans Called?
Just like every popular group, fans of Babymetal have their special name. The official term used is “The One." This is derived from the title of the closing song of their second album.
The reason behind why they call their fans "The One" is two-fold. First, It was derived from Babymetal's lore which signifies members that are chosen by a divine figure called the Fox God. and Second, "The One" also symbolizes the band's wish to unite all fans around the world.
The reason for using this term is due to several reasons. Based on Babymetal's lore, The One signifies members that are chosen by a divine figure called the Fox God. Also, The One can signify Babymetal's wish to unite all fans around the world.
Another term used is “Kitsune,” which was first heard in Babymetal's song Megitsune. The term is also derived from Babymetal’s lore which heavily focuses on divine fox figures.
Who is the Backing Band of Babymetal?
Unlike most idol groups, Babymetal incorporates a live band in all of their performances. These musicians are called the Kami Band or "god band" in English.
The Japanese word Kami is a very accurate term to describe these musicians. Each person that has ever played for Babymetal is an absolute master of their instrument. Babymetal's songs are very demanding and require a high skill level to play flawlessly in live shows.
The Kami Band is technically made up of various session musicians. But ever since 2015, the lineup has remained consistent.
The most popular Kami Band members include Takayoshi Ohmura on guitar, Leda Cygnus on guitar, Mikio Fujioka on guitar, ISAO on guitar, BOH on bass, and Hideki Aoyama on drums. And although they are not mentioned in any official Babymetal media, it is very apparent from tweets, interviews, and live performances that the three girls and the musicians have mutual respect.
Babymetal has also formed a Western Kami Band that has helped them in recent overseas performances. Most of these musicians are members of the Star Wars-inspired instrumental band, Galactic Empire, who performed with Babymetal back in 2018.
The current lineup includes Anthony Barone on drums, Chris Kelly on guitar, CJ Masciantonio on guitar, and Clint Tustin on bass. Fans initially did not like the idea of having a second band. However, they were convinced when the Western Kamis and the Japanese Kamis joined forces during the Legend Metal Galaxy show in 2020.
Who are the Avengers of Babymetal?
Despite sharing a similar name, the Avengers we are talking about here isn't related to Marvel's superheroes.
Instead, the Avengers of Babymetal are three dancers that help with live performances. They are the second generation of dancers that have come after Yui's departure.
In 2018, Babymetal completely changed their appearance and incorporated five additional dancers. This was known as the Chosen Seven Era. Unfortunately, this was not well received by most fans.
But in 2019, before the launch of their third album Metal Galaxy, Babymetal returned to the three-member format. This time around, the third member is usually one of the three chosen Avengers.
The Avengers have appeared in all of Babymetal's recent live shows. However, they do not appear in interviews and are not official members of Babymetal.
They also do not provide vocals, meaning Su-Metal and Moa-Metal are the only live singers. The three known Avengers are Momoko Okazaki (Sakura Gakuin), Riho Sayashi (Ex Morning Musume.), and Kano Fujihira (Sakura Gakuin graduate).
What Does Babymetal’s Name Mean?
Before we wrap things up, let me discuss the true meaning of Babymetal's name. Of course, in the beginning, Babymetal directly referred to the group's age. But now that they are no longer babies, why are they still called Babymetal?
Both Su-Metal and Moa-Metal have stated in interviews that Babymetal signifies a newborn genre. And given how unique their style is, Babymetal has certainly given rise to a fresh sound to the metal scene.
Also, according to Koba, Babymetal rhymes with heavy metal. It was so catchy that they decided to stick with it.
Babymetal Song Recommendations
If you are interested in listening to Babymetal but do not know where to start, here are some of our top picks:
- Gimme Chocolate
- Road of Resistance
- PA PA YA!
- Ijime, Dame, Zettai
Babymetal Live Concert Recommendation
If you wish to experience Babymetal's unique charm fully, I highly recommend checking out any of their live performances. Every major concert tour is worth watching. However, the highlight of their career is their Tokyo Dome Performance.
Live at Tokyo Dome Red Night and Black Night has everything from moving stages, dance moves, blazing solos from the band, and the best songs from their first two albums. These two nights show the band’s full capabilities.