Category Archives: Editorial

BABYMETAL in Nikkei Business online

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

babymetal_wembley_750

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.

4644499_Babymetal-1

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.

Karin Maruyama : The Eternal Idol on the Stairway of Dreams

This might be the first time that your hearing the name Karin Maruyama and if that is the case ,then I am about to introduce you to a most special Idol.

Karin Maruyama

Karin was born in 1993 in Fukushima Prefecture and she goes by the nickname Rin-chan and made her debut in 2012.

Rin-chan is someone that I regard as a most special and true Idol ,because in her short career she had to stop her activities and restart her activities many times because Rin-chan has a brain tumor.

She has not let her health stop her as she has held several solo lives and has recorded her own original song CD that was crowd-funded.

Eternal Summer / Karin Maruyama
Karin Maruyama

The first thing you notice about Rin-chan is that her smile is heart capturing and no matter how difficult the day maybe for her ,she performs with all her best and gives her fans her beautiful voice and smile and the fans give their best back to her to help her gain strength.

Watching Rin-chan perform is like watching something more than just a live ,you’re watching an Idol in the truest definition , a moment in time that you will always remember ,because her charm and smile washes over you and creates a beautiful and lasting memory.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NVF_UlFw5c

Karin Maruyama is a true Idol in every way and for the members of this web site and her fans ,she will always be an Idol we wish the best for and keep supporting.

On Feb 7th Karin held a live in Tokyo ,it was her first live in 5 months. She was not able to dance as she was weak from her health. Karin had been in the hospital that morning as the cancer had reached her lungs. However Karin gave no thought to not seeing her fans this night ,as she has put it ,she is on the “Stairway to Dream”.

Source: Pure Idol Heart

Is BABYMETAL a case of «Suspension of disbelief»?

I mean the time of a concert and a video we all use Suspension of disbelief as we all know that Su don’t really scream her heart out in the song «Iine», we know that Yui and Moa don’t really scream or growl, even if they mime it in concert, and we all know that they use lip sync sometime to do their dance move.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VR-Lwp0aqXE

So, as when we watching a sci-fi move, a pro-wresting match, a theater comedy, we let BABYMETAL do their stuff as we enter their world, even if we know that some stuff are just lip sync or part of the babymetal «gimmick» like fox god, fox sign, metal resistance etc.. like a movie, the time of a concert or a dvd we suspend our judgement concerning the implausibility of the whole BABYMETAL world gimmick and we voluntarily disconnect from the real world and let us embark in a very kawaii metallic journey. I mean, this is a brand new way to do thing in the heavy metal world!! maybe kiss or alice cooper have done that in the past but not as strong and deep as BABYMETAL is doing it today.

In the 70’s Kiss and others were iconic, but they did not have the technology to spread their music and images around the entire earth, they did not have internet, social network etc.. all this technology built a strong community that connect all fans together to make some sort of very deep and immersive thing that i ever experiment before.. and im not sure i’m gonna live the same thing with another band in my life. Maybe we are «The One» who know 🙂

What is your thought about this?

for more info about Suspension of disbelief http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suspension_of_disbelief

Dom Lawson interview with Hedoban magazine (vol. 5)

The man who runs column on a major paper The Guardian, who is one of main writers of one of the top metal magazines Metal Hammer and who recognized Babymetal earliest and highest in the UK, finally came to Hedoban which pushes Babymetal as hard as can in Japan!

Dom Lawson

Dom Lawson

He was interviewed with Japanese metal magazine Hedoban before the second UK live at O2 Academy and its translation as follows:

Q : First, please tell us your metal experience as a listener and metal fan.

D : I spend almost of my life with listening to metal! Metal has taken my heart since I knew Iron Maiden, Motorhead and Twisted Sisters at ten years old. I devoted to thrash metal in my teenage years, and have listened to all sub genres of extreme metal from death metal to grind core to black metal, and underground music. I also like commercial and modern ones, but my true passion wants traditional metal and its descendants. I have listened to music of countless genres since then, my passion for metal is beyond ones for other genres. And I feel myself belong to it. Now I got a job to write about metal and drown in music with best circumstances. It’s so great!

Q : I went to see performance at Sonisphire and solo show at The Forum, I was surprised by an amount of metalheads there even more than those in Japan. Especially audiences in a solo show at The Forum was unexpectedly hyped, and it was one of the best hype of all. What in Babymetal do you think moved metalheads in UK?

D : Really? The impression might not be 100% precise. To be honest I was surprised to the fact that Babymetal got a big applause at Sonisphire. UK metal fans are so varied so we don’t tell what goes big and what not. But it was true that their appearance in Sonisphire this time gained tons of recognition all of a sudden. Fans who saw their stage got to know that Kami Band was real metallers and have superb talent. Also passionate performance of the trio of Babymetal had enough power of conviction. A power of making audiences enjoy flourished from the stage and it affected on the audiences. Yes, some somber and difficult audiences must have disliked a concept of Babymetal. But they react like that to anything.

Q : Have you ever had a interest in any Japanese metal band before Babymetal came to you?

D : I’m a big fan of Sigh and Church of Misery. And I like Boredoms, Ruins, Melt-Banana, Zeni Geva and more. Japanese bands give me an impression that they add new and a little crazy interpretation into established ideas on music. It makes music more fun and exotic for eastern listeners including me.

Q : In Japan die-hard Iron Maiden fans are recognized to be a high ranked metal fan and called as Gachi Metarā (true metalheads). And it is true that many in these Gachi Metarā never admit so-called perverted metal. What do you think of that, as one of die-hard Iron Maiden fans?

D : Yes, there are a lot of traditional metal fans in the UK, and they don’t accept anything but conservative and authentic metal sound. Fans of Maiden might support these narrow mindedness in a sense. But most of metal fans in the UK have an open mind about music. It would be because the UK is a major market and we have opportunities to listen to all bands, all kinds of music in the world. So there would be a lot of Maiden fans who also love Babymetal because it’s new, different a little and enjoying music, isn’t it? Not everyone listen to the music all the time along with a rule of what metal should be.

Q : Changing the subject, when and how was your first encounter with Babymetal?

D : Same as the many people I suppose, at first I knew Babymetal from a link which someone posted on Twitter. I clicked the link and watched a video, then I became a fan in a moment.

Q : Which song was it that you listened first?

D : I’m not 100% sure, but I think Megitsune was my first experience. I liked it in a moment. It’s enough heavy to me as a metalhead, its Pop aspect was also good. Good quality Pop music does no harm at all.

Q : So, which is your favorite Babymetal song?

D : I have two, Iine! and Ijime, Dame, Zettai. Iine! is crazy about mixture of different styles of music and has fine composition. Ijime, Dame, Zettai is a gorgeous epic metal song with killer melody!

Q : Hedoban thinks that Babymetal the first album is something that will become one of the best metal albums. What do you think of this album?

D : I think it’s a great album, too. All songs in it are powerful, also performance and production are first class. On top of that, it’s completely different from any other existing songs around us. I feel so refreshed by listening to it. I listen to it many times and my 11 years old daughter says she loves the album.

Q : Was Sonisphire your first time to see them live? I think it sounded different from sound sources or videos…?

D : I have seen Babymetal only at Sonisphire. I think the performance was minimum version of their full lives that they always do in Japan, even so it was the performance that exceeded my expectation enough. It was unexpectedly fun from the beginning to end!

Q : Then, which is your favorite member of Babymetal?

BABYMETAL uk flag

D : It’s a question I can’t answer to be honest. Haha! (wild)

Q : (laugh) So, what’s interesting about Babymetal for you? What’s the major difference from other metal and loud bands?

D : One of the best joys in life is to listen to something new. It should be not just a copy of existing music but fresh ones that surprise everyone. So Babymetal is exciting. The difference between them and other bands in metal scene is that everything they do is a series of joy and surprise. I watch them and think they are great.

Q : In Japan Babymetal is so popular enough to sell out arenas with over 10,000 audiences, but there’s a lot of controversial discussions about it’s metal or not metal. Do you think they are metal? If so, what do you think makes them metal?

D : Babymetal is not authentic metal. I think Babymetal is a hybrid of metal and Japanese Pop music. But they are heavy and enough metal, that makes metal fans enjoy it, including me. Personally it doesn’t matter to me whether Babymetal is metal or not. I can listen to Maiden or King Diamond or Carcass whenever I want some pure heavy metal. But sometimes you want to enjoy another things with more experimental and roguish taste, don’t you?

Q : I see. How about discussions in the UK about Babymetal is metal or not? And did it change after Babymetal’s appearance at Sonisphire and their solo show at the Forum?

D : As I said, there are many metalheads in the UK who don’t want to listen to Babymetal. But it’s not a problem at all! I think it’s not right to want acceptance from everyone because Babymetal is far from standard metal. But there must be a lot of people who find themselves enjoy Babymetal unexpectedly. I think it is just a proof of how good a concept of Babymetal was built.

Q : Then by seeing flat, what results did the Europa tour bring to Babymetal?

D : it’s a great success, I think. Because it had a lot of people change their previous impression on Babymetal. Their London live was sold out and everyone who I talked with said that they had an amazing night. Is it a most important thing, isn’t it?

Q : In Japan rock and metal media are rather negative to Babymetal and situation is like Hedoban fights alone. Hedoban thought “We can see the future of metal in Babymetal,” then issued special articles even insanely. What reactions are there from rock and metal media in the UK?

D : I think Metal Hammer is only medium in the UK that really supports Babymetal though some other magazines covered them and wrote positive articles. I think the more underground and extreme these media is, the less they mention about them. But we knew it in advance!

Q : The UK is a mother of metal and people have keen eyes and ears on metal, I believe. How do you think about metalheads in the UK?

D : UK people have an open mind to accept new things in general, and want to make a decision by watching and listening by themselves. So it never happens that everyone has the same opinion. And it’s boring if it happened. But UK metal community is powerful and passionate.

Q : Babymetal is going to come to London in next November. What live do you expect at Brixton Academy?

D : Needless to say I want eye-opening gorgeousness and unbelievable joy!

Q : How much popularity in the UK do you think Babymetal get on future? Do they go farther to O2 Arena?

D : The possibility is high, I think. To become as big enough to be a headliner at O2 Arena, Babymetal needs to bring in both mainstream Pop audiences and metalheads. But it must be possible.

Q : At last, Babymetal is going to play a solo live at an arena for over 20,000 audiences in next January. We want you to be there if you can! Metalheads in Japan who love Babymetal will welcome you!

D : I want to go to Japan because I want to see Babymetal. But I need someone who gives me my expense to Japan! (laugh)

Above is his review of BABYMETAL, the debut album.

Dom Lawson interview with Hedoban magazine (vol. 5)

The man who runs column on a major paper The Guardian, who is one of main writers of one of the top metal magazines Metal Hammer and who recognized Babymetal earliest and highest in the UK, finally came to Hedoban which pushes Babymetal as hard as can in Japan!

Dom Lawson

Dom Lawson

He was interviewed with Japanese metal magazine Hedoban before the second UK live at O2 Academy and its translation as follows:

Q : First, please tell us your metal experience as a listener and metal fan.

D : I spend almost of my life with listening to metal! Metal has taken my heart since I knew Iron Maiden, Motorhead and Twisted Sisters at ten years old. I devoted to thrash metal in my teenage years, and have listened to all sub genres of extreme metal from death metal to grind core to black metal, and underground music. I also like commercial and modern ones, but my true passion wants traditional metal and its descendants. I have listened to music of countless genres since then, my passion for metal is beyond ones for other genres. And I feel myself belong to it. Now I got a job to write about metal and drown in music with best circumstances. It’s so great!

Q : I went to see performance at Sonisphire and solo show at The Forum, I was surprised by an amount of metalheads there even more than those in Japan. Especially audiences in a solo show at The Forum was unexpectedly hyped, and it was one of the best hype of all. What in Babymetal do you think moved metalheads in UK?

D : Really? The impression might not be 100% precise. To be honest I was surprised to the fact that Babymetal got a big applause at Sonisphire. UK metal fans are so varied so we don’t tell what goes big and what not. But it was true that their appearance in Sonisphire this time gained tons of recognition all of a sudden. Fans who saw their stage got to know that Kami Band was real metallers and have superb talent. Also passionate performance of the trio of Babymetal had enough power of conviction. A power of making audiences enjoy flourished from the stage and it affected on the audiences. Yes, some somber and difficult audiences must have disliked a concept of Babymetal. But they react like that to anything.

Q : Have you ever had a interest in any Japanese metal band before Babymetal came to you?

D : I’m a big fan of Sigh and Church of Misery. And I like Boredoms, Ruins, Melt-Banana, Zeni Geva and more. Japanese bands give me an impression that they add new and a little crazy interpretation into established ideas on music. It makes music more fun and exotic for eastern listeners including me.

Q : In Japan die-hard Iron Maiden fans are recognized to be a high ranked metal fan and called as Gachi Metarā (true metalheads). And it is true that many in these Gachi Metarā never admit so-called perverted metal. What do you think of that, as one of die-hard Iron Maiden fans?

D : Yes, there are a lot of traditional metal fans in the UK, and they don’t accept anything but conservative and authentic metal sound. Fans of Maiden might support these narrow mindedness in a sense. But most of metal fans in the UK have an open mind about music. It would be because the UK is a major market and we have opportunities to listen to all bands, all kinds of music in the world. So there would be a lot of Maiden fans who also love Babymetal because it’s new, different a little and enjoying music, isn’t it? Not everyone listen to the music all the time along with a rule of what metal should be.

Q : Changing the subject, when and how was your first encounter with Babymetal?

D : Same as the many people I suppose, at first I knew Babymetal from a link which someone posted on Twitter. I clicked the link and watched a video, then I became a fan in a moment.

Q : Which song was it that you listened first?

D : I’m not 100% sure, but I think Megitsune was my first experience. I liked it in a moment. It’s enough heavy to me as a metalhead, its Pop aspect was also good. Good quality Pop music does no harm at all.

Q : So, which is your favorite Babymetal song?

D : I have two, Iine! and Ijime, Dame, Zettai. Iine! is crazy about mixture of different styles of music and has fine composition. Ijime, Dame, Zettai is a gorgeous epic metal song with killer melody!

Q : Hedoban thinks that Babymetal the first album is something that will become one of the best metal albums. What do you think of this album?

D : I think it’s a great album, too. All songs in it are powerful, also performance and production are first class. On top of that, it’s completely different from any other existing songs around us. I feel so refreshed by listening to it. I listen to it many times and my 11 years old daughter says she loves the album.

Q : Was Sonisphire your first time to see them live? I think it sounded different from sound sources or videos…?

D : I have seen Babymetal only at Sonisphire. I think the performance was minimum version of their full lives that they always do in Japan, even so it was the performance that exceeded my expectation enough. It was unexpectedly fun from the beginning to end!

Q : Then, which is your favorite member of Babymetal?

BABYMETAL uk flag

D : It’s a question I can’t answer to be honest. Haha! (wild)

Q : (laugh) So, what’s interesting about Babymetal for you? What’s the major difference from other metal and loud bands?

D : One of the best joys in life is to listen to something new. It should be not just a copy of existing music but fresh ones that surprise everyone. So Babymetal is exciting. The difference between them and other bands in metal scene is that everything they do is a series of joy and surprise. I watch them and think they are great.

Q : In Japan Babymetal is so popular enough to sell out arenas with over 10,000 audiences, but there’s a lot of controversial discussions about it’s metal or not metal. Do you think they are metal? If so, what do you think makes them metal?

D : Babymetal is not authentic metal. I think Babymetal is a hybrid of metal and Japanese Pop music. But they are heavy and enough metal, that makes metal fans enjoy it, including me. Personally it doesn’t matter to me whether Babymetal is metal or not. I can listen to Maiden or King Diamond or Carcass whenever I want some pure heavy metal. But sometimes you want to enjoy another things with more experimental and roguish taste, don’t you?

Q : I see. How about discussions in the UK about Babymetal is metal or not? And did it change after Babymetal’s appearance at Sonisphire and their solo show at the Forum?

D : As I said, there are many metalheads in the UK who don’t want to listen to Babymetal. But it’s not a problem at all! I think it’s not right to want acceptance from everyone because Babymetal is far from standard metal. But there must be a lot of people who find themselves enjoy Babymetal unexpectedly. I think it is just a proof of how good a concept of Babymetal was built.

Q : Then by seeing flat, what results did the Europa tour bring to Babymetal?

D : it’s a great success, I think. Because it had a lot of people change their previous impression on Babymetal. Their London live was sold out and everyone who I talked with said that they had an amazing night. Is it a most important thing, isn’t it?

Q : In Japan rock and metal media are rather negative to Babymetal and situation is like Hedoban fights alone. Hedoban thought “We can see the future of metal in Babymetal,” then issued special articles even insanely. What reactions are there from rock and metal media in the UK?

D : I think Metal Hammer is only medium in the UK that really supports Babymetal though some other magazines covered them and wrote positive articles. I think the more underground and extreme these media is, the less they mention about them. But we knew it in advance!

Q : The UK is a mother of metal and people have keen eyes and ears on metal, I believe. How do you think about metalheads in the UK?

D : UK people have an open mind to accept new things in general, and want to make a decision by watching and listening by themselves. So it never happens that everyone has the same opinion. And it’s boring if it happened. But UK metal community is powerful and passionate.

Q : Babymetal is going to come to London in next November. What live do you expect at Brixton Academy?

D : Needless to say I want eye-opening gorgeousness and unbelievable joy!

Q : How much popularity in the UK do you think Babymetal get on future? Do they go farther to O2 Arena?

D : The possibility is high, I think. To become as big enough to be a headliner at O2 Arena, Babymetal needs to bring in both mainstream Pop audiences and metalheads. But it must be possible.

Q : At last, Babymetal is going to play a solo live at an arena for over 20,000 audiences in next January. We want you to be there if you can! Metalheads in Japan who love Babymetal will welcome you!

D : I want to go to Japan because I want to see Babymetal. But I need someone who gives me my expense to Japan! (laugh)

Above is his review of BABYMETAL, the debut album.

Kami Band who’s who – Another god of guitar, drum and programmer

Kami Band is a back band for BABYMETAL – its member is a god (Kami) of music summoned by The Fox God stage by stage. All the Kamis might have their own jobs.

1921145_10202540270581288_1614117966_o

So members are not fixed. In the previous article, this site explained Takayoshi Ohmura (guitar), Leda (guitar), BOH (bass) and Aoyama Hideki (drum) before. But other Kamis are on board. Let me explain Mikio Fujioka (guitar), Yuya Maeta (drum) and Hidefumi Usami (program)!

Mikio Fujioka – god of guitar

Some fans call him as Ko-gami (a small god) in Japanese with friendly feelings, compared to Ohmura Takayoshi as Oh-gami (a tall god). We can see his boyish outfit in a lot of his lecture books, columns on popular guitar magazine Young Guitar, also in videos of his plays. He’s a fulltime lecturer of a music school MI Japan which a guitar maker ESP runs. He’s rather a jazz and fusion player but plays all genres excellently. He was a student of it and became a lecturer right after he graduated. The Next video shows his various and skillful plays with Babymetal, in some other bands and other performances.

As a god of guitar, he appeared less than other guitarists Leda and Ohmura. So he is like a god of gods of guitar. It is true in a way because he taught Ohmura at the school. (By the way the rest Leda was also from the school.) He was first summoned at Inazuma Rock Festival 2013, and next appearance was BABYMETAL WORLD TOUR in this summer in France, German and the UK including Sonisphere festival. He saved Leda and the band on Sonisphere stage when Leda’s guitar had a trouble and took a few minutes for another one in the middle of the last song Ijime, Dame, Zettai.

Yuya Maeta – god of drum

doko_maeta

He was first summoned to BABYMETAL live in Japan on June 2014. And he played at the LA live and Lady Gaga support acts in this summer in the US, and the return tour in NYC and London. He was a support drummer for Blue Man Group and began to play with Marty Friedman Band from this summer. The following video is Headbangya!! with him in NYC live.

Hidefumi Usami – god of program

He is a programmer, arranger and also a composer who worked with Gospelers and other singers and bands. He was first summoned for BABYMETAL Japan tour on this June and has supported all of their live performances since then.

Kami Band who’s who – Another god of guitar, drum and programmer

Kami Band is a back band for BABYMETAL – its member is a god (Kami) of music summoned by The Fox God stage by stage. All the Kamis might have their own jobs.

1921145_10202540270581288_1614117966_o

So members are not fixed. In the previous article, this site explained Takayoshi Ohmura (guitar), Leda (guitar), BOH (bass) and Aoyama Hideki (drum) before. But other Kamis are on board. Let me explain Mikio Fujioka (guitar), Yuya Maeta (drum) and Hidefumi Usami (program)!

Mikio Fujioka – god of guitar

Some fans call him as Ko-gami (a small god) in Japanese with friendly feelings, compared to Ohmura Takayoshi as Oh-gami (a tall god). We can see his boyish outfit in a lot of his lecture books, columns on popular guitar magazine Young Guitar, also in videos of his plays. He’s a fulltime lecturer of a music school MI Japan which a guitar maker ESP runs. He’s rather a jazz and fusion player but plays all genres excellently. He was a student of it and became a lecturer right after he graduated. The Next video shows his various and skillful plays with Babymetal, in some other bands and other performances.

As a god of guitar, he appeared less than other guitarists Leda and Ohmura. So he is like a god of gods of guitar. It is true in a way because he taught Ohmura at the school. (By the way the rest Leda was also from the school.) He was first summoned at Inazuma Rock Festival 2013, and next appearance was BABYMETAL WORLD TOUR in this summer in France, German and the UK including Sonisphere festival. He saved Leda and the band on Sonisphere stage when Leda’s guitar had a trouble and took a few minutes for another one in the middle of the last song Ijime, Dame, Zettai.

Yuya Maeta – god of drum

doko_maeta

He was first summoned to BABYMETAL live in Japan on June 2014. And he played at the LA live and Lady Gaga support acts in this summer in the US, and the return tour in NYC and London. He was a support drummer for Blue Man Group and began to play with Marty Friedman Band from this summer. The following video is Headbangya!! with him in NYC live.

Hidefumi Usami – god of program

He is a programmer, arranger and also a composer who worked with Gospelers and other singers and bands. He was first summoned for BABYMETAL Japan tour on this June and has supported all of their live performances since then.

“Hedoban” Monster report on the Budokan 2 days

France! Germany! England! And then, Sonisphere!

news_xlarge_BABYMETAL_BDKN_BD

Listen up! …. The “Red night-Black night” are truly Japan’s cutting edge Metal — Babymetal!!

The first chapter of the Metal resistance is compiled right here.

Our report chock full of emotions spanning 10,000 characters (referring to the number of Kanji)

Are you holding on tightly to the Neck Brace that was handed out to you at the opening day at the Budoukan venue?

Are you daily watching the “Live at Budokan” trailer?
The Metallers, no, all of the fans who witnessed the “Red night/Black night” are certainly proud of what they saw and are filled with excitement everyt ime they remember every detail they experienced that night that has become etched into their minds. I would like to talk about the “Red night/Black night”. Over and over and endlessly I would like to talk about it. I dedicate this 10,000 character report to all those fans who shared these nights with me and with all those true Babymetal fans who have been so fascinated with Babymetal. It is the hope of us at “Hedoban” that this report will serve as a source of reference for “talking about the Red night/Black night experience. Our true feeling is that this can not be captured even with 10,000 characters. So, we have entrusted out intent with the 3 girls of Babymetal, with Kobametal and as well with the entire staff that supports Babymetal!

We hope we will be able to see unapologetically and in all its glory the “True Metal” of Babymetal at the Mecca of Metal as was shown to us at the “Red night/Black night”.

On February 25th BABYMETAL’s first album went on sale. The night before this albums were first released for sale at Shinjuku’s Tower records. Toy Factory twitted on its official twitter site that a “Stupendous line of people” had formed outside Tower records. I couldn’t take my eyes off my Smartphone screen. I became so concerned with each passing second of the current state of affairs of Babymetal that I was unable to concentrate on my work. In a fortunate turn of events “Hedoban” Vol. 3 was scheduled to go on sale this same day. I received a mail from the editor on the day it was to go on sale which said, “It is amazing! Everyone standing in line at the cash registers are holding their hands the Babymetal CD and “Hedoban!”.

So apparently he had gone to Tower records to check on how things were going. I am quite certain that he wrote that mail with his eyes tearing up.

At the end of last year’s December 21st Babymetal solo concert, “Legend 1997 Su-metal’s Seitansai” held at Makuhari Messe it was announced by way of a video presentation that Babymetal would be performing 2 days at the Nippon Budoukan. For a large number of fans this meant they would have to wait patiently until March 1st until they would be able to experience once again (or for the first time) a Babymetal live performance. Of course some lucky fans would be able to see them before that at a joint show with Kinniku Shoujo Tai, or at their Singapore or Taiwan performances, but this is obviously only a very narrow segment of their fan base. Considering their rapidly expanding number of fans this scarcity of live performances is kind of weird.

Legend 1997 Su-metal's Seitansai

Legend 1997 Su-metal’s Seitansai

For the ordinary fan the pace of Babymetal’s activities that they are aware of appear to be rather uneventful. It goes without saying that this pace is not anything like the 8-year intervals between albums that we saw with AC/DC but it does feel to one that the metal resistance that has been carried out up to now has been slow and kind of inching steadily along. That is why it is very interesting that in spite of this there has been this sudden increase in the number of fans.

There is very little information about Babymetal. They have no blog and even the official Twitter account only announces the bare minimum of information deemed necessary. It does seem kind of weird. However, that said, one can also be of the point of view that having a smaller amount of information makes things easier to organize and handle in your head. Having too much information can in some cases bring on fatigue or cause you to lose interest. It also may make it easier for new fans to get on the boat so to speak. It is not a simple of case of more is better when it comes to information. Fans who are starving for information tend to listen to the music and watch available video material over and over. That goes for the writer as well and I find myself repeatedly viewing “LIVE ~ LEGEND I, D, Z APOCALYPSE”. I don’t think that it was a purposeful intent to create a state of starvation in their fans, but I would say that most certainly the lack of information has served as a side effect playing around in the background of this rapid increase in the fan base.

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And now we come to the long awaited date of March 1st. Due to the large number of fans perched on the edge of starvation the tickets sold out almost immediatelyThe fate of these 3 girls will be decided one the first day of this 2-day event, the “Red night Legend, Giant Neck Brace festival, the Tenka metal Budoukan Final”.

I was planning to get to the venue early to stand in line to buy goods, but since I was unable to sleep well the night before I ended up arriving after 3 O’clock. I really wanted to buy the legendary Budoukan version of the “Corset Festival” T-shirt but one look at the monstrous line of people made me give up on that idea. I decided to wait for a while outside the venue.

When I looked over the line of people waiting to buy goods I was delighted to see that there were people holding copies of “Hedoban” and even some reading it as they stood in line – a favorable scene to see. It appears that the publication side of the metal resistance is gradually making inroads as well. I had heard all this through mails from my editor before but seeing it with my own eyes actually caused them to well up with tears of happiness.

Had the octogonal center stage really been changed on purpose to make the “most superior metal stage on earth-the Budoukan” into a fighting arena, or colosseum?

OK, here we go-entrance time! My spirit of excitement has been building up to incredible heights.
As I approach the entrance I am handed a corset and told, “Please put this on as you enter the arena”. It is an obligation possessed by all who enter to wear their corset. When I entered the Budoukan with the corset wrapped around my neck I let out a expression of surprise as I had done when I saw Babymetal at Makuhari Messe.

There was a great octogonal stage positioned right in the center of the Budoukan, and there was a monitor hanging down from the ceiling. Surrounding the octogonal stage there were 4 circular stages in place which connected to the main stage by with aisles. The stage which was all done out beautifully in red and black was embellished with magic squares (Mahoujin). This is truly a work of excellence.

A center stage, and what is more, at a standing only style of concert, at an arena of the class of the Budoukan is an extremely rare occurrence. A long time ago ARB set up a boxing ring in the Korakuen hall upon which they performed and in more recent times Brahman put on a standing only performance at Makuhari Messe. However this may in fact be the first time that a concert has been put on with a stage set-up like this at the Budoukan.

The octogonal center stage deliberately draws out the elite status of the “most superior metal stage” and further helps to portray it as a fighting arena, or colosseum. When I reflected that this Budoukan performance would be a part of a story that began with last spring’s “Babymetal Death Match” and continuing through 2013 Summer Sonic a wave of emotions rose up in my chest.

The stage set-up was a true spectacle and then when I looked around the entirety of the arena an even more mysterious scene met my eyes. The periphery of the stage seemed to my perception like a scene that had been recorded and shown to me in black and white. This was due to everyone in the audience wearing a black T-shirt or a black jacket thrown over their shoulders which were in contrast to the white corsets they were wearing. While I do not know how many people were in attendance, the vast majority were all dressed more or less the same. This also I can only express as being truly spectacular. This type of scenery is also one of the factors that goes into to constructing the world of Babymetal. By the way, if you were to come into the arena without a corset around your neck, one of the “Bonesman” patrolling the areana would point and gesture to you to quickly put it on.

These “Bonesmen” really carried out good work in the arena. Before the concert began they were walking around the arena carrying flags bearing the logo mark of Babymetal on them raised high in the air. They would lead people who had entered the arena to their seats and help them out. At times they would call out “Oi, Oi!” in a loud voice. From time to time their actions would appear on the monitor hanging from the central ceiling. This being seen by the fans in the stands helped greatly in building up their excitement and involvement with the event unravelling before them. This great attention paid to the fine details of putting a first class show is truly a wonderful thing. The result of all this attention to details helps to create a world that separate and removed from ordinary reality.

Somewhere along the way the arena has morphed from a concert venue into a sort of underworld theme park.

The concert has yet to start. I wonder what will things be like when it has finished.
The arena goes dark. A “Boneman” appears on the monitor and in a deep voice he says, “Kobametal Death” (I am Kobametal) Kobametal is a figure well known to our readers and who is best known as the porducer of Babymetal. However, Kobametal appearing on a large screen monitor at a performance is indeed a rare event. I do not know if he is someone who likes to be the center of attention or not but the fact that he has chosen to appear in form of a character is itself a really interesting idea. He goes on to announce that the “Neck Brace festival” that was in the past held at the Meguro Rockmaykan would now have its venue changed to the Budoukan where it would be called the “Giant Neck Brace festival”.

Next, we are informed through an oracle from Kitsune-sama that, “When the pitch black darkness transforms into a crimson red color, Babymetal is challenged with a further test conveyed by Kitsune-sama”. The Fox god continues, “There will be no stories or commentaries between songs, no encore and that from the time one puts the corset on your neck the battle will begin. Indeed we are already headed toward destruction…”. When I heard the word destruction I felt myself shake. The countdown to destruction…Wait a minute sometime in the past I bought a CD that had that as its title.

“Have you made preparations for your neck?” Is the switch about to pressed?
“I will ask you once again, have you made preparations for your neck?”
The audience growls back loudly, “Guoooooooo!”
“The Giant Corset festival begins now!”

With that the excitement building visual presentation of Kobametal came to a close and the countdown switch was pressed. Here the breakdown part of THAT song was played over and over in a loop. Ki—Tsu—Ne—Ki—Tsu—Ne—Ki—Tsu—Ne…….. That’s right, “Megitsune”.
No mistake about it, the most fitting song to be performed as the opening piece is none other than “Megitsune”. The circular stages rise up in a mysterious red light with the three girls posed theatrically. When the “Soiya, Soiya”, “Sore, Sore, Sore” begins the audience is in a festive frenzy.

For many of the fans here this is the first time to meet the girls since the Seitansai held at the end of last year. And there must be many for whom this is their first time to encounter Babymetal-their, “At last I am able to see them in person” moment. So how is it?! Just how incredibly cool is this?! Just how cute are they?! Look! Look at the way they move! All of it including of course the performance of the Kami band is of the highest quality found in Japan at the present time, isn’t it!

During the performance of “Doki Doki Morning” and following through “Gimme Choco” a vortex is formed in the Mosshu Pit. Since the arena is separated into differing blocks each block has formed it’s own respective Mosshu circle all of which are spinning around with incredible momentum. Babymetal fans refer to each other as Mosshu mates. And so Mosshing with this kind of intense energy is just a matter of course. “Zukyun!” “Dokyun!”

The cuteness of Yuimetal and Moametal has in an instant pierced the hearts of 10,000 fans. And this number shall most surely increase as time goes on. In “iine!” a laser beam was used which added a further feeling of theatre to the arena and immediately following “Kitsune Da O” one saw the incredible sight of 10,000 fans all together doing a Dogeza Hedoban. A true masterpiece of performance.

The girls got to take a brief break before diving into “Catch me if you can”. The long version intro provided the 4 members of the Kami band each ample opportunity to show their mind boggling musical skills. The sounds they were drawing out from their vast pool of abilities resonated deeply in the hearts of the audience propelling on the excitement the show. The 3 girls made their reappearance as the entire arena was thoroughly grooved into the heavy sound of the Kami band which served to further heat up the excitement. One could almost feel the Mosshu pit heating up tangibly on one’s skin.

After “Uki Uki * Midnight” it was time to unveil Su-metal’s solo, “Akumu no Rondo”. Once again I have to ask myself, “Just what is this aura, or presence that this teenage girl possesses”? As usual her standing posture is the embodiment of cool strength, but at this moment I felt she was attempting to reach an even higher level. She is truly in possession of a deep well of talent and at this point in time we yet unable to see how far she will go. This chaotic song rolls along with a viciously modulating tempo which she masters perfectly even while engaging and fixating the entire arena. She performed this very difficult piece with smooth ease. I have listened to this song since then repeatedly on CD but it is certainly quite a different animal from the one I heard performed with the blasting sounds of the live performance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJqL1NxGiB8

Black Babymetal composed of Yuimetal and Moametal then performed “Onedari Daisakusen” followed by the incredibly lighthearted and fun yet extremely wild “Yon no Uta” which was unveiled at this venue on this day. Ever since I heard this song for the first time“Yon Yon Yoyoyoyon” has been playing in my head virtually non-stop. And I truly appreciate the Metal reggae section that reminds one of the way the Scorpions did this many years ago. This too is metal. I once again recognized the fact that metal is a genre of music that is able to swallow up any type of music it encounters.

The split second that Su-metal screamed out, “Now, Akatsuki!”, fire flared up from locations around the stage. Akatsuki”. When Su-metal’s voice rides on the Speed, on the Metal everything heats up to a fervent pitch. I feel that I will fly up infinitely high riding on this accelerated vocal myself. Akatsuki has totally recharged me with vitality and I even have a heightened sense of courage surging through my chest. “Babymetal Death”. A low bass sound that seems to lead one into the very depths of hell resounds eerily throughout the entire arena as the audience responds with chants of, “Death!, Death!”.

“Headbanga!” We must be coming close to the end of the show. I was already filled to the brim by this time. Just as Kobametal had declared, this show had proceeded as a non-stop, no MC heavy metal onslaught. In the interval before “Headbanga!” Yuimetal and Moametal were running around the periphery of the stage calling out “Hedoban, Hedoban!” stirring up the audience.

Babymetal-concert-schedule

It was at this time that a problem occurred. There were only two girls on the stage. I didn’t at first realize that Yuimetal had disappeared from the stage. Some of the people around me were also starting sense something was wrong tilting their heads in confusion. Where did Yuimetal go?

The performance went on unheeded but there was some kind of commotion going on amongst the fans located near the stage. At this time I was still unable to get a grasp on what was happening. What I heard later was that during the pre “Headbanga!” interval Yuimetal had slipped and fallen off the stage. I was unable however to verify what had happened at that time from where I was sitting.

Su-metal and Moametal performed “Headbanga!” to the end without Yuimetal. The lights in the arena went out and stayed out for some time. I was thinking there is probably one more song to go.

From my perspective I knew there was some sort of accident but it was still unclear to me. My mind went blank-was the show just going to end with things the way they were? Throughout the audience people were yelling out, “Yuimetal!” here and there. These individual calls gathered up naturally into one big Yuimetal call that enveloped the entire arena.

After a few minutes had gone by the lead in for “Ijime, Dame, Zettai” started up. Even with this the audience was still all worked up. On the other side of the darkness appeared the three figures of the girls. The whole erupted in an unbelievable roar of, “Guooooooooooo!!!!” As I stood there overwhelmed and in a state of stunned amazement right in front of me the preparations for IDZ were moving ahead without fail. Yuimetal and Moametal were crouched down in runner’s starting positions. Wall of Death followed by the “Dame” jump-this all feels like a dream. This whole flow of confusion pressed upon me. I was all confused and upset with the excitement of Yuimetal’s accident and I felt for some reason like Moametal had also fell down with all of this seemingly impressed on my memory in a lump sum of detail.

The narration from the Metal master went on to state that the “3 girls had conquered the Tenka Ichi Budoukan” had achieved the status of “Real Metal” bringing this narration to a conclusion.

I was unable to believe all the events that had occurred right before my eyes. I remember thinking this is what is meant by having one’s mind go completely blank almost like being in a trance. I think there must have been a large number of others fans who felt the same way as I did. With that the countdown to the “final chapter of the metal resistance” had begun. I was unable in my state of mind to follow what the narration went on to say however.

While the length of the concert was just about exactly 1-hour, in consideration of all that had happened it certainly didn’t feel like just 1-hour. I have read what has happened with this accident as being part of the great power that has become part of the Babymetal legend when I reflect upon it now.

Even when the lights went on in the arena, I was unable to return to ordinary reality.

SETLIST
1. Megitsune
2. Doki Doki Morning
3. Gimee Choco
4. iine!
5. Catch me if you can
6. Uki Uki Midnight
7. Rondo no Akumu
8. Onedari Daisakusen
9. 4 no Uta
10. Akatsuki
11. BABYMETAL DEATH
12. Hedobangya!
13. Ijime, Dame, Zettai

A conclusive ceremony that spreads out to the final and a thorough homage to X Japan.
The first chapter in Metal resistance opens the door to a new form of metal beauty.

Black night
Legend “Doomsday”
Justice of summation
March 2, 2014
Nihon Budoukan

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Every seat in the arena is filled. Everyone here is hoping to become a witness to history.

The night before March 2nd I was filled with an incomprehensible excitement and ended up drinking too much. There was no way I could get through this night without drinking.

As you can imagine I was completely concerned with the situation surrounding Yuimetal every since my encounter with it at the first performance. However, I had received a twitter saying, “yesterday we are sure you were really surprised but Yuimetal is now completely fine and healthy” which even included a picture verifying this claim. Twitter is certainly useful in these situations. With my feelings of uncertainty being wiped away from my mind I went drinking with a friend. With that and a feeling of being one of the chosen ones I made my way to the arena. I was once again unable to buy a T-shirt.

In the same manner as yesterday, the stage was a center stage layout. But there was one part that was different. A barrier had been set up alongside the runway leading up to the stage. All of the fans felt a feeling of relief knowing that safety measures had been taken. All that is left is to wait for the start of the show.

This is the second day of the Budoukan performances so I am wondering what will be the ceremony prepared for this Black night Legend “Doomsday”Justice of summation show. Every seat is filled. Every fan here is here with the intention of becoming a witness to Babymetal history.

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While waiting for the show to begin I was pondering on the hidden meaning of “Doomsday” that had been inserted into the subtitle. From before I had been concerned about the homage to X Japan that had been repeatedly introduced into the Babymetal world. “Crimson night” and “Black night” were certainly created based on the “Blue night” and “White night” concerts held on Dec 30 and 31, 1994 and the roots for the Neck Brace definitely came from Yoshiki. And I certainly can not be without remembering Toshi’s scream when considering “Akatsuki”. However, I keep getting the feeling that there is something more hidden and contained in this term Doomsday. And I am sure this will be revealed in tonight’s performance. I may in fact have missed something from yesterday’s show.

I knew from reading an interview in a magazine that Kobametal is a big fan of X Japan. Even before become a producer I got the feeling that he had the quality of being a big fan of X Japan. He expresses his love of music very openly without playing down his deep appreciation of heavy metal. This is actually a very big point. This gives him a very unobtrusive almost air like quality in his approach to producing Babymetal that is not just one of producing them as a product. Metallers are extremely sensitive to this air like quality of producing. The Metal music market when looked upon world wide is a very big market and yet each band that has succeeded has done so with a production quality similar to the one possessed by Kobametal. The atmosphere surrounding big bands such as Iron Maiden or Metallica all very much feature this quality. The reason we Babymetal fans are able to trust the entertainment provided by Babymetal is perhaps found in this quality.

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One performance is already finished and from today this vast Babymetal story will begin once again. And that is absolutely the way things must be.
“Doomsday-From the gigantic magic circle the sound of gong emanates out announcing the final stage of the Metal resistance”
The lights go out in the arena and the narration begins. Yesterday’s “Crimson night” performance, excepting for the accident that happened, was a simple and straightforward stage without excessive dramatic touches. Today’s performance looks like it will develop into theatrical one flavored with movies.

“The Metal soul burning in the dark of the night turns into the crimson flames and all is consumed in flames”.
The picture story theatre begins. Today is one period in time. One story ends and from today once again a vast story begins. It must be this way.
“The time remaining has become very scarce…”
From before I had a thorough premonition that today something would be coming to an end, but when I actually heard it coming through the narration my chest was hit with emotion.

The first song was “Babymetal Death!”. The arena immediately turned into “Hell”. My mind and body shook with the fact that today’s setlist differed from the day before. In the next song, “iine” Su-metal nonchalantly threw out the ominous word of, “Doomsday”. By the way, yesterday the word was “Budoukan!”. This is one of my favorite moments, when one can peer into the extremely scarce moments of “essential” Su-metal.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2c3MM3zf0Y

Not appearing in the set list yesterday, “Answer for Animation with you”, was performed today with the 3 girls flying all over the gigantic stage in every direction. While I would love to be able to more closely observe each girl’s expressions and movements, the speediness with which they move makes this impossible. There is just so much information that enters into one’s field of vision at a Babymetal performance. Even though there are just the 3 girls on stage it feels like an unlimited space spreads out before one on the stage. So, I often feel like I may perhaps be missing something that I should have seen. I think this is one of the reasons all of us tend to repeat over and over some scenes when watching a recorded video format. The number of view counts on Youtube for “Gimme Choco!” is an amazing phenomena but much of that is probably due to this natural desire to re-watch parts of the performance. The picture story theatre portrays the pair of Yuimetal and Moametal extremely excited watching the most recent version of their favorite Anime, “The happy grape man” in the Cyber city of A-Ki-Ba.

Grapeman challenges the girls to show him real reggae and he will reward them by teaching them the real way to arrange the number 4. With this, the two transform into Black Babymetal and go on to perform “Onedari Daisakusen” and then “4 no Uta”. Happy 4! The cuteness of Yuimetal and Moametal was so outstanding that even today I felt a rush of infatuation. The picture story theatre begins again. Both screens show a story of a young girl carrying a cross of despair with a soft yet strong ballad playing in the background. It would appear that this is a new song.

Su-metal’s voice completely blends her heart with the song. The emotions that bubble up from within her build up to their limit and expresses this song straight and honestly as a 16-year old girl would. While it still might not yet be a 100% perfect performance, her emotional posture strikes right to the core of the hearts of all who hear it. When she was singing “Akatsuki” I could swear that there were huge streams of fire shooting up behind her. I promise I am not lying.
As we enter the second half, they fly right through “Catch me if you can” and into “IDZ”. This rich and dense stage show leaves one bored for not one single second. This style of performance reminded me of Yoshiki’s famous quote of, “the aesthetics of a moment”.

In this completed stage we find a rich and dense style of beauty that has been fostered over nearly 40 years of Heavy Metal history. When I first saw Babymetal exactly 1 year ago they were already in possession of the ability to transmit a very powerful and attractive charm. Babymetal has progressed this far due to a strong belief in themselves. The result of that is that they are able to fire up and entrance 10,000 fans in a live show. Now the scale of their stage shows are 10 times or more greater than they were then. We believed for a long time that this would be the case.

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“We are ! …Babymetal!”

When I came to my senses I realized that we are almost at the end of the show. I seems I always feel this way. The girls pleasantly sing out, “See you!” and make their lightfooted exit from the stage. I was happy beyond measure. I want to express my appreciation for having met Babymetal. Kitsune-sama, thank you!

One of the factors of attractiveness of Babymetal is their “style of beauty”. This is not a “Style of beauty Metal”. That is to say it contains the essence of Metallica’s theme of the destruction of the goddess and X JAPAN’s Speed Metal sound and many of the other great parts of the Metal movement that have so excited the world. This so magnificently completed stage is built on the foundation of a style of beauty that has been fostered over almost 40 years of Heavy Metal history. It can be said that the world of Babymetal is a form of entertainment that is built based deeply on the past history of Heavy Metal. And that is why they are able to engross and entrance us to this degree.

And further, today is a special day. Everyone in attendance today knows that this is not the end of things. The narration begins again. “The crimson flame burns up everything, and when this land is completely engulfed in a pitch black darkness at last the moment of fate shall come to us…we are heading to the final chapter of the Metal Resistance”.
As soon as the narration began, the entire arena became completely silent. “Kitsune-sama said, ” With that the Gong is rung making a divine oracle like statement that the curtains have risen on a new legend.

This brought on an uproar from the audience. This eruption of cheers from the fans came at the moment when it was announced that the Legend would be starting up again. On both of the screens a new character was seen and this is the mother of Kitsune-sama-”Godmother”. “You are the one who banged the Gong”. With this the crowd erupted into laughter and a very pleasant mood spread throughout the arena. Amidst this aura of new hope that filled the arena the audience began the calls for an Encore.

“Doki Doki Midnight” started. Isn’t it a heart warming gesture that the song that commemorates the start of Babymetal is selected for the initial Encore song? And now we know that the group will continue to exist. I felt like I would cry. They continued with one more song. The last song of the first chapter of Babymetal and their first major debut song, “Headbangya!”. That’s right, the 3 girls sent out a wolf smoke signal of the metal resistance with this song.

“Hedoban, Hedoban, Banbanbaban!”

The performances of the first period of Babymetal continued to this point. The audience had their eyes riveted on the form of this performance. The shows have now completed transformed into a ritual. Every single fan was watching quietly over this pattern of events in an atmosphere of dignified seriousness. Even with the conclusion of the 2nd song of the Encore the lights in the arena stayed off. “Shall we now talk about the totality of the Metal Resistance?” After a short span of time began the “History of the fierce fighting of the Metal Resistance”, or, a history of the activities of Babymetal. “The media, politics, economy and indeed everything in this land was under the control an enormous entity known as “Idol” and its dark and overwhelming power. Everything other than Idol songs were considered to be harmful and Metal was no exception.

I read this over and over and could recite this narration from memory even now. “The prayer of the messenger requesting the reinstatement of the rights of Metal reached the ears of the god residing over all Metal matters, Kitsune-sama, who went on to give the name of Babymetal to Su-metal, Yuimetal and Moametal a unit given birth on the theme of fusing together Idol and Metal and brought them in to this land. Kitsune-sama provided Babymetal with numerous trials to make it possible for them to take possession of true Metal”.

10,000 fans were gazing at the monitor in the center of the stage in silence. The narration goes on passionately as scene after scene of momentous episodes in Babymetal history reeled by on the screen. “Traveling down this pathless path, the girls changed ever single challenge they faced into Legends and the sight of actions struck deeply into the hearts of all witnessed them”.
Oh, that’s right, this is reality. This all really happened. This was not a work of fiction. “Kitsune-sama spoke divinely to Babymetal. The first chapter of Babymetal in this land has come to a conclusion” and with that 3 coffins began to descend slowly from the ceiling of the BudouKan. It appears that the girls are being summoned to a new land. “Doomsday-time has come”, it seems the time has arrived. For whatever reason, the narration now continues in English.

“Screaming and Dance-Moametal”
“Screaming and Dance-Yuimetal”
“Vocal and Dance-Su-metal”

Dressed in new costumes each member is introduced. When the 3 girls have entered into the coffins they are raised up high. This is now nothing other than a ritual. In the background orchestral music is playing. Every fan, every single one of them was watching this in solemn silence. In conclusion the narration goes on to say, “Babymetal, say Goodbye”. The crowd moaned in awe, “Eh..!”

“to Japan, Japan, Japan…..”What is this?! What in the world is happening!? This seemed to be the mood in the arena and my head was thrown into confusion. On both of the screens appeared the words, “Babymetal Japan”. Next the words of “Legend “Y” Yuimetal Seitansai (Birthday festival) and “Legend “M” Moametal Seitansai”. Next on the screen appeared a world map moving away from Japan and on to…Europe. While my mind was in a state of confusion to the end and I don’t remember clearly what took place, it seems that the Seitansai were going to be held in the countries of Europe. Babymetal’s Metal resistance on this land has come to a conclusion and it is now time for them to continue their warrior training in foreign lands.

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When I looked up I saw the the Hi no Maru flag of Japan. Alright this is not bad, Europe is great idea!With this the curtain came down on 2 days of performances in the BudouKan. Even though a few months have passed since then the incredibleness of the event stays with me. I have no idea how I am going to be able to convey this in writing. Anyway, we have once again been witnesses to the creation of a Legend. Of that I have no doubt. “Japan, Japan, Japan…” for quite some time this “Japan” echoed in my head. I am sure that those of you who are familiar with X JAPAN will understand this. That is this reverberation of “Japan”. Their live performances begin with a narration. The orchestra that was playing in the background was an homage to “Amethyst”!

At the 2 days concerts “Blue night” and “White night” held at the end of December 1994 at the Tokyo Dome, X JAPAN used this “Amethyst” as their opening song. This song was released in 1993 and was included in YOSHIKI’s solo album and was also released as a single. While this song was playing each member of the band was introduced with a female voice narration as they made their entrance onto the stage. And then the narration went on to echo, “X JAPAN, Japan, Japan…” followed by the performance of their first song in the Set List. And then, one more thing. In yesterday’s narration the phrase, “heading toward destruction” was used. In January of 1992 at their 3 days of concerts at the Tokyo Dome and when X JAPAN was still going by the name of X they used exactly this phrase as the title of the concerts. Not Mega Death. Babymetal’s final concert in this chapter can also be considered to be one performed under the name of X and of “heading toward destruction”.

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Now, I see, all is connected. The lights in the arena went on and if one looks up one can see the Japanese flag, the Hi no Maru. Not bad. Not bad. Europe, sure Europe is an excellent choice. Show the entire world this new type of Metal that was born in Japan! Show them this incredible entertainment packed full of Heavy Metal history! Babymetal is a group with whom it is possible to draw a straight line right into the history of Metal. As a form of Metal renaissance this will become a movement that totally envelops the entire world. There is no doubt about this and it is coming soon. The age of Babymetal will come into existence without fail.

Set list

1. Babymetal Death
2. iine!
3. Answer for Animation With You
4. Onedari Daisakusen
5. 4 no Uta
6. New song
7. Akatsuki
8. Catch me if you can
9. Uki Uki Midnight
10. Gimme Choco!
11. Akumu no Rhondo
12. Megistsune
13. Ijime, Dame, Zettai
Encore
14. Doki Doki Morning
15. Headbangya!
The summoning ritual

Five moments that differentiated BABYMETAL as what it is today

Prologue: To the Metal Resistance

Many reactions, reviews and news have been issued about BABYMETAL. Many of those referred to their forming as an Idol unit, their ignorance of Heavy Metal before the beginning, their going viral with Gimme Chocolate MV, and their successful performance at a main stage of Sonisphere festival.

But how many people know what happened between these moments? Everything has a chain of cause-and-result cycles. The same does to BABYMETAL. Here reviews a series of five critical moments from its birth to date that became causes/results made them what they are now.

1. Kobametal the producer found the way to shine Suzuka Nakamoto aka Su-metal, the talented lead vocalist most

Suzuka Nakamoto has been in show biz over 10 years even she’s 16 now. She’s said to have been always recognized as special talent and had already proved her powerful and distinctive voice and live performance skill when she was ten as a member of Karen Girl’s, one-year-only idol group act. They fired up an arena with 10,000 audiences by their performance. When the group disbanded as planned in 2009, her bright future was promised as an idol singer in Japan.

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But her voice and dance was just out of standard from Japanese idol, even too powerful and straight. The fact that her office Amuse didn’t promote her like that was the proof of it. Here was the one who worked at the office. His name was Key Kobayashi – future Kobametal the producer.

Key was decades-long fan of Heavy Metal, had experience on PR and an administrative job of some rock bands back then. He thought carefully about the best way for Suzuka to make full potential of her unique talent of singing and dancing out to the world. He saw her as a limitless type of performer. She said by herself that she didn’t remember anything when she’s in the zone on stage. And everyone saw her hit unexpected quality in singing and dancing.

An idea finally hit the man that a speed and loudness of Heavy Metal was the answer that could bring chemistry with Suzuka’s full power. At the same time he went to Lollapalooza festival in Chicago, US to see Japanese Metal band X Japan performing. He saw many people there finally jumping around here and there along with its Japanese-lyrics song with their X-shaped arms high up to the sky, even hard-looking reggae guy.

He felt confident in these jumping clouds that Japanese heavy music could transcend a border of languages, nationalities and music preferences to touch and move people who even didn’t understand Japanese at all.
So he was sure he could make it by blending two powerful weapons together – one was Suzuka Nakamoto the quality-proven performer and the other was heavy music, his lifetime devotion and profession.

2. BABYMETAL was formed with twins-like enchanting girls Yui Mizuno and Moa Kikuchi with Suzuka

Suzuka was a powerful asset but she’s so distinctive by any means. Also in Japan a solo idol became out of fashion. So he thought to add partners to her but at the same time standard girls’ group format didn’t seem to work. In the recruiting period, he wanted a feel of little twins dancing around of Suzuka like former famous twins idol The Peanuts signing for Mothra, and finally Yui and Moa caught his eye.

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Both of them were eleven years old, almost identical outfit like twins also had years of experience of CMs, fashion shows and stages at the time. The miracle was that those twins-like two girls were in the same office along with Suzuka. The two are becoming less identical now but they kept almost identical like twins in years.
Both of them easily cleared average qualities in performing, but each of them have different strong points. Yui is good at dancing and more modest and Moa is good at charming and communicative type. And Suzuka is also well known as gno-brainerh type of person at her own pace. They are capable also professional, synchronized also complementary like a stable triangle.

3. BABYMETAL came with a unique and quality coupling of Heavy Metal sound, J-pop melody, dynamic dance and Idol appearance by their debut song Doki Doki Morning

Doki Doki Morning was released on 2011/10/24 from Juuonbu Records label that was just built for BABYMETAL only. Juuonbu means a heavy music club that is a name of a subsidiary of Sakura Gakuin that is an idol academy in their office, Amuse Inc. The song is catchy J-Pop number with cute choreography of three little girls, but once you listen to its instrumental version you’ll find how heavy its sound really is. It uses some of PANTERA drum sounds (how many other girls’ groups use sounds from PANTERA?)

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It didn’t become a big hit but it could make BABYMETAL survive, and it set the tone of its sound since then – brutality of Heavy Metal and catchiness of J-Music with complexity of Idol song. Japanese Idol song is even chaotic. It can allow almost anything under the name of Kawaii girls. Many music talents from other genres have come to the genre and create vast range of songs, and it became like a meta-genre that holds a lot of genres underneath because it would be said that music industry has been shrunken much in Japan and Idol is now the only genre that generates enough sales to be able to sustain Japanese music industry.

In fact, there have been a lot of songs of Idols with heavy taste and Heavy Metal bands with cute girls in Japan. But the genius of Key and greatness of the girls are that they never accept BABYMETAL to stay just a taste but challenge to be a real thing. Their Heavy Metal sound is real. So is their Pop melody, choreography, Idol charisma, Suzuka’s voice and Yui and Moa’s cuteness, too. That makes the difference. You can tell by yourselves and those who came to see them live left their comments that even metalheads in decades really enjoyed their performance, held their breaths away by Su-metal’s voice and melt their hearts by Yui and Moa’s cuteness. And to our surprise their performances seem to keep improving from comments and reviews.

4. BABYMETAL made a successful first appearance to a big rock festival, Summer Sonic with the youngest performer record

Summer Sonic is a big rock festival in Japan with a long history since 2000 which now hosts over 120,000 audiences in two days. Its headliners were big names like Green Day, Marilyn Manson, Guns N’ Roses, Oasis, Linkin Park, Metallica, Stevie Wonder and more.
BABYMETAL appeared there in 2012 by invitation from its host which saw BABYMETAL as something new with potential though they had only 5 songs, released only 3 singles and no album and little appearance on TV and magazine back then. They played at sub stage rather small. But it was their first exposure to many non-Idol fans, musicians and persons in music industry and media of broader music genres.

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The band got into the second level from the performance. They didn’t play at small event space anymore, held first solo live with 1,300 audiences and did first performance abroad in Singapore. And these lead them to their major debut and to their back band, Kami Band.

5. BABYMETAL acquired authentic Heavy Metal feel with their major debut song Ijime, Dame, Zettai and introduced Kami Band as a back band in their live

And early in 2013 their major debut came with Ijime, Dame, Zettai. It was actually their second song, but it was their fourth single. It might be that Kobametal kept waiting for the release until the time came. It was a straight and strong power metal number with well-structured melody line that could maximize power of Su-metal’s power with impressive shredding guitar solo and endless twin bass drum roams.

Kobametal said that he “thought it’s time for a fast ball hard enough to surprise metalheads,” and they won the bet. He “finally got some credit to talk with metalheads,” and it earned “pretty good sales figure. The CD sales kept its moment long in the front of stores.”

And at the same time, he made a decision to introduce live back band into their stage performances. BABYMETAL had played with pre-recorded track till the period. Despite of financial and temporal cost, the back band could improve their live performance a lot. And it needs mentioning to the quality of these band players.

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It’s named as Kami Band. Kami is a word that refers to god. All the member deserve the name because every one of them is regarded as top notch musician in Japan. But why these best of the best join to this three-piece idol girls’ unit? They are the ones who never be pressed for good offers. More money? Maybe. A pressure of big music agency? Maybe.
But some of them said playing in BABYMETAL behind of these hard-working talented girls and trying different types of well-produced music are just so much fun also challenging. Also they said they felt confident that BABYMETAL was going to be something before it became as it is now. They even said these girls were so professional enough to respect as a musician. They are all top notch performers. Both the girls and the band. And here would be chemistry between them. So is there any reason that BABYMETAL is NOT going to be a real thing in the world?

Epilogue: The Metal Resistance is going on

So these are critical moments that BABYMETAL has had until it became the Internet viral with Gimme Chocolate. Maybe many of you know what happened after the song. And I want to say. The song IS – or was – viral. It is watched over 17,000,000 times from last April on YouTube. Some said it’s another WTF thing from Japan. Yes it’s very different from American or Europian Pop, Heavy Metal or any other music. It might have surprised tons of people in the world in various senses.

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But is BABYMETAL itself just a viral in the Internet? Three months later when BABYMETAL appeared into curios eyes from 60,000 people and left from a main stage of Sonisphere with great amount of applause under the opening-up UK sky on July 5, audiences there and so many other people in the world who watched it via YouTube later would have felt that BABYMETAL was something in the real world. Or anything different with potential to the future.
Now they just closed the Metal Resistance Episode II with live performances in Japan, Germany, France, UK and US. Audiences and media people from various countries felt their performance live by their own eyes, ears and hearts. They must have felt BABYMETAL was not another WTF from Japan but something new that can deliver quality experiences that  can trancend borders of languages, nationalities and music preferences to touch and move people who even didn’t understand Japanese at all. And BABYMETAL declared the beginning of Metal Resistance Episode III from O2 Academy, Brixton in UK.
We don’t know what it is yet. But whatever it will be we already know this will come next year with quality. It will come. We will see it before long.

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Rumor of the Internet : BABYMETAL, DragonForce and Attack on Titan collaboration

The moment BABYMETAL played the bland-new song «The One», a rumor started to fly over the Internet. It says that the song indecates future collaboration of BABYMETAL with Attack on Titan, an Anime which went to the Internet phenomena last year.

Nothing has been confirmed at the point, but what makes people talking about the rumor? I am going to pick up some “coincidences” said in the Internet.

1. Coincidence of riding a horse
In the biginning of the song, Su-metal, Yuimetal and Moametal do choreography of riding a horse running fast with whipping. And in Attack on Titan, horses are main carrier and main characters ride their horses.

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2. Coincidence of salute posing
In the middle of the song, the three girls do saluting pose with putting their right hands on their chest. In Attack on Titan, the same saluting is using a lot of times as a sign of royality and bravery to their army against titans.

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3. Coincidence of motive and characteristics
From its early days BABYMETAL describes their lives and other activities as The Metal Resistance. They have a mission to save Heavy Metal and the world by introducing the new style of Heavy Metal. That mission started from nothing, has a lot of obstacles and difficulties. So it is called as resistance.
As for Attack on Titan, the story began from massive attack of titans with countless casualties, and almost no hope left with human race. The main characters faced a lot of obstacles and difficulties. The main character never give up and keep his heart burning, pushing him and his friends forward as he can.

The new song is a straight power metal number with shredding guitar and J-Rock melody. Lyrics of BABYMETAL brand-new song describes a resistance from solidarity to unity as one with keeping their inner fire burning up, overcoming obstacles and difficulties. In a word they have same storyline, motive and feeling.

4. Coincidence of release dates
The song had its debut last week. The first movie version of Attack on Titan is going to release next week in Japan. It is not likely to use the song in the movie as an image song with considering no official comment has done a week early of the release. But what if they would use the song as a secret collaboration BGM? All audience must be so hyped.
And the second Attack on Titan movie will come next year, furthemore a live-action version in two episodes is under production aiming to next year release. This new song would be a signal for future collaboration if it would not be this time.

5. Win-Win effect
BABYMETAL gets wide attention from this April with the Internet viral song Gimme Chocolate and got recognition from metalheads and little monsters through its first World Tour in France, UK, US and Canada including its performance on a main stage of Sonisphere, a big Metal festival  in UK and support acts for Lady Gaga’s US tour, artRAVE: The ARTPOP Ball. They would be able to get another big attention from new audience by a collaboration with movie business.
Also as for Attack on Titan, a collaboration with the Internet sensation would be able to get wider interests from non-Anime fans.

Some BABYMETAL fans are favorable about this rumor, others are not. Critical responses say such collaboration with Anime would ruin BABYMETAL’s core value as authentic “one and only” live unit that surprised the world by its quality of songs, voices, dances and sounds.

For the Dragonforce and BABYMETAL collaboration well, Herman Li have these on Facebook earlier this week.

I've been summoned by the Fox God along with Sam Totman of Dragonforce to join the Metal Resistance with BABYMETAL. 😉

Posted by Herman Li on Tuesday, November 11, 2014

So what do you think about that?