BABYMETAL in Nikkei Business online

Here a translation of BABYMETAL interview from japanese site Nikkei Business online


Babymetal is a Japanese music group that gets best attention worldwide not by its idol-ness but by its performance. By researching its popularity coming from, we might see the new possibility of advertising Japan Culture, Cool Japan to be said.

Its success began with MV of Gimme Chocolate in ’14, its viewcount is over 32 million now. Its album was on Billboard Chart. It hit No.1 on iTunes Metal and Rock chart in western countries and southeast asian countries. Babymetal did its world tour last year in UK, France, Germany, U.S. And Canada. In the UK they performed in front of 65,000 audience at Sonisphere Festival, their quality of singing, dancing, songs, plays were praised.

Then they made their appearances on other music festivals over the world, now in their world tour again at 15 sites in 10 countries. Big names like Metallica, Megadeth and Dragonforce are on the same festivals. And they were awarded in two of popular Metal magazines. They’ll perform a solo live at famous Wembley Arena with 12,000 audience next year.
This is a series of accomplishments as Japanese artist, and exceptional as an idol. They are the youngest solo performers at Budokan, also did at big arenas like SSA and Makuhari Messe. On the other hand, they rarely appear on TV, don’t do any handshake event like other idols. Release periods of songs are slower, they’re far from “National Idol”, even their idol-ness is getting disappearing in Japan.

Then, what in them gets attention from people around the world? I (the author) am a huge fan of them, my wife sent doubtful eyes on me being excited about watching underage girls singing and dancing on YouTube. Now I believe two of us are fans…I assume these eyes are familiar to many middle aged men. Ages of Babymetal audience are varied. Men and women. Their types of music too, from Metal to idols. Fans in their 40s and 50s are not so rare.


I stood alone at a platform of Keiyo line in Tokyo station, in the band tee with red and black, to their concert at Makuhari. I felt weakness remembering my wife’s glare, but noticed many men, like me, in the same tee. Solo attendees were there. So I was much encouraged to Makuhari.Metal in Japan is said to reach its peak in 80’s, then lost its moment. So they would be that old boys who loved Metal and its heroes in these days. After long years, they found Babymetal, their love of Metal firing up again, and took their feet to the venue again. There’s a reason why people distant from idol culture accept Babymetal. They don’t use Metal as a flavor of idol performance, but they try to pursue Metal as their own power, in a high level.

The concept of Babymetal revealed through Kamishibai, is Metal Resistance (a movement of three girls taking back the moment of Metal). Each member of the back band is top notch players in Japan, their solo performances are in a program. The girls barely talk in their lives, songs performed nonstop. A lot of homage to metal songs grab metal fans’ hearts. From their lives we feel that they aims to be more Metal than idol.

Here’s the point why Babymetal is getting its success over the world. Heavy Metal has dedicated fan base in western countries and Babymetal ran straight into it, not as an idol with Metal fashion but as Metal with girls singing and dancing.

Regarding Metal is western culture, Babymetal can be said to localize idol and Kawaii boldly to western Metal culture. Not to mention, it’s not about deodorizing a smell of idol, but about making a fusion. Metal instinct of pursuing performance skills and idol ones of appealing to majority are two opposites, so making fusion of the two in a higher standard results in a unique performance never been for a Metal fans, gives an impression vividly. There’re discussions going about Babymetal is Metal or idol, or a real thing or not. The fact itself is some kind of proof that Babymetal makes the fusion to some extent, and it’s innovation.

An uncompromising fusion of opposites in a high standard – to generate something new. Babymetal might be the case of it. They even make this attempt to their ongoing story as Metal Resistance.
This can be adopted to other Japanese contents making their way to overseas? It would be just about combining something different into one. But pursuing it to the limit, new contents for new markets would be made. A problem is that such things could survive long or not. Babymetal just released its debut album. As a fan I hope their release of the second and keeps us surprised.

Sakura Gakuin intros part 1 and 2

Sakura Gakuin introductions part 1 with English subtitles

2015 Metrock Festival: BABYMETAL report on Nippon TV with English subtitles

Nippon TV morning show ZIP featured live footage and interview with BABYMETAL at the Metrock Festival this morning.

BABYMETAL at 2015 Metrock Festival with English subtitles

Babymetal fan vs Metal Elitist with English subtitles

You will have to watch it to understand (?) it. No explanations will help. Translation of this fascinating YT.

Karin Maruyama Loses Lifelong Battle With Cancer

Back in March Pure Idol Heart introduced our readers to a true Idol in every way.

My one regret is that Karin did not cross my path sooner, so I could enjoy her singing longer. Karin suffered from brain and lung cancer and until her final few hours May 22 2015, she dreamed of releasing a second single.

Karin Maruyama (August 2, 1993 – May 22, 2015)
Karin Maruyama (August 2, 1993 – May 22, 2015)

According to her mother, Karin went peaceful at 13:10 JST.

For a few weeks Karin had been making these short 1-2 minute soliloquy videos, smiling as best as she could to encourage fans. I believe in some ways Karin gave her fans strength as much as fans gave her.

Eternal Summer / Karin Maruyama
Karin Maruyama

Today`s post is about remembering a true Idol who only wished to entertain fans as best as she could.

Karin was the living spirit of an Idol, between her stays in the hospital she danced and performed as many lives as she was well enough to do. When her health took a turn, Karin shifted to sitting always smiling, always giving her best.

Although Karin was an Idol for a very short time, she was a true Idol to the very end.
Karin`s final soliloquy a few hours before her death.

Karin doing a live for her single. After this live she signed items for 2hrs to thank her fans for coming.

One of Pure Idol Heart readers on Facebook posted this MV in remembrance of Karin, we have decided to add it to this article as the readers of this website way of remembering Karin

Sakura Gakuin: Making of Aogeba Totoshi

Sakura Gakuin Making of Aogeba Tootoshi with English subtitles

Album release from Sakura Gakuin, a girls idol unit consisting of 10 members, including Moa Kikuchi (MOAMETAL) and Yui Mizuno (YUIMETAL) who are members of BABYMETAL. Includes “Heart no Chokyu” produced by Tommy february6 & Shunsaku Okuda, “Aogeba Totoshi,” and more.

Kayama Yuzo loves Babymetal

Japanese popular musician and film star Kayama Yuzo revel his love for BABYMETAL in a recent japan tv show.

Sakura Gakuin on Hot Wave 2015

Sakura Gakuin Hot wave 2015 March Part 1, 2, 3 with English subtitles

Vote for BABYMETAL in the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards

BABYMETAL are up for Breakthrough Artist!

hammer babymetal

You have to register to vote at the link above. Vote for BABYMETAL in the Breakthrough category plus vote for other artists in various other categories!

This would be a great award for BABYMETAL! Metal Hammer broadcast their awards over the internet and many famous metal musicians are featured on their Youtube channel! Check it out!

Vote and support BABYMETAL !