Less Than One: Ladybeard Exits Ladybaby

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(image source: Twitter.com)
Ladybeard wearing a traditional Japanese clothing.

Fans of Ladybaby all over the world were shocked as they received a very sad news from Ladybeard. Last August 01, Ladybeard took to social media his announcement of leaving the Japanese Kawaii(Cute) Metal group. Indeed, a very sad thing to begin the month of August.

Before I go further to Ladybeard's announcement, let me share a little background about this weird(but in a cute way) group he's been a part of. I know the very first photo of this post may have already made some eyebrows raised, isn't it? That's good! Now get your eyes ready for this unconventional formation that destroyed the limits of girl groups—Ladybaby!


(image source: Google.com)
Rie, Ladybeard and Rei of Ladybaby in their Nippon Manju costume.

Ladybaby is a group of two super cute teenage girls named Rie and Rei which was led by an equally cute tall blonde "lady"—with a beard. What? Yup, you read it right and it wasn't a typographical error either. She is, I mean he is, Ladybeard. The group was launched last July 2015 with their first single "Nippon Manju" that drove people to the brink of their sanity. Ladybaby's music genre is Kawaii Metal but is rather described as Kawaiicore by the group's leader Ladybeard.

"Change the rules, Smash the boundaries."

The slogan of the group says a lot for their group itself. If you try to ask people to visualize a J-Pop(Japanese Pop) group, they will most likely answer cute young flawless porcelain-skinned girls dancing in a well-choreographed cute steps dressed in frilly fluffy skirts that delicately sways together with their body movements while singing in a childish-like to an almost anime-ish voice. This has been the standards to be a typical J-Pop idol and if you have these qualities, then congratulations, you're just on the road to becoming the next J-Pop Idol! But then came a bearded muscular man who probably hates the standards society has been putting to an idol's image and so he went out together with two girls and showed the world the kind of J-Pop group the world has never seen before. The group that will shake the galaxies and the whole universe as it smashes the limits of the sky. And it did, as expected. Their unique three-man combination and irresistible charm had their name spread like fire.


(video source: Youtube.com)
Ladybaby's first music video and super viral video, Nippon Manju!

What was your impression or what can you say about their music video? Can you say it was cute? Honestly, I like seeing people's reactions when I let them watch this music video and I like categorizing people who watches this video in two categories. The engrossed and grossed out. It's only either you approve seeing a bearded big guy doing a really weird combination of growl/scream while headbanging and dancing cutely in skirt or you're totally grossed out that you can't even dare to finish watching the whole video because you feel like puking.(So on which side do you think are you in?)

The group's very first music video "Nippon Manju"(Japanese Bun) was an instant hit in Japan and especially overseas. It defied gravity and turned the world three hundred sixty degrees in a span of four minutes and thirty-one seconds. With Ladybeard in the middle genuinely enjoying the song with the girls, nobody can unsee and forget this absolutely rad group. Ladybeard's image will probably be seared to anyone's minds who had laid eyes on the video. Did you know that through this song, they were able to perform at the other side of the world like United States and Europe? Anyway, their song Nippon Manju was all about the things they like to do, eat or visit in Japan. And speaking of their music video, I really enjoyed the public's reactions while Ladybeard shamelessly walks down the streets of Japan. I wonder what's on their mind. I would also probably stop and stare at this bearded foreign man in maid outfit because this is definitely rare! They also have another song called "ULTRA LUCKY" from their first single which is also nice but Nippon Manju had been more the talk of the town because of its music video.


(video source: Youtube.com)
See how Ladybaby fared with the Elders! They're reactions and feedbacks were hilarious!

Ladybaby is backed by Clearstone, a costume making company, who also mass produces Ladybaby's costumes to the market. (I wish Babymetal sells costumes too. Haha!) Speaking of Babymetal, people believed that Ladybaby has a lot of potential of becoming really successful and would later cause a threat to the mainstream Kawaii Metal band Babymetal. People kept comparing the two groups since they share the same genres. But enough with comparing these groups, I would rather compare and know the members of Ladybaby. So here they are!


▪ Richard "Rick" Magarey a.k.a. Ladybeard

(image source: Twitter.com)
A rare manly photo of Ladybeard.

Birthdate: August 03, 1983
Twitter: @Ladybeard_Japan
Facebook: /ladybeardjapan
Blog: Note.mu and Weibo
Website: www.ladybeard.com/

Ladybeard is an Australian who found his passion in cross-dressing when he was at the very young age of 14. (Cross-dressing is the act of wearing clothes that is of your opposite gender. If you're a male and wore female's clothes or vice versa, then you just did a cross-dress.) On interviews, he happily speaks about the costume party he attended wearing his sister's uniform. According to him, he got a lot of attention out of it during the party and received good comments. And that was when the gates of his heart opened for cross-dressing. I know you would ask, is he a gay? I would answer, I don't think so. I believe Ladybeard is a straight man who just happened to have a weird hobby and passion. You know, people with a tinge of weirdness are awesome! How about telling that Ladybeard is also a martial artist, stunt man, metal singer and a professional wrestler?

On 2006, he went to Hong Kong and worked as a stunt man on some action films. Later on, he took the road of professional wrestling and heavy metal music which gave birth to the Ladybeard concept. He had a successful career in Hong Kong but chose tnot to stop there and tested the waters of Japan last 2013. Surprisingly, he received a positive feedback and was later offered to join a group of two girls which is now known by everyone as Ladybaby.


(image source: Twitter.com)
Ladybeard in his wrestling outfit.

Ladybeard's trademark wrestling outfit is this white undergarment and skirt with pink linings. An to complete his cute image he puts his hair into twintails. Now he's ready to take down and smash his opponents with cuteness and fluff! If I am not mistaken, I read somewhere that he likes to wear women's clothes and has tailored dresses because of difficulty in finding clothes that would fit his body.

Through this female outfit for his wrestling career, definitely, the Australian wrestler easily got everyone's attention and can have them spot him instantly even from afar. (Oh, that big man wearing a pink skirt? Ah, that's Ladybeard for sure!) If I can recall it correctly, he said wearing skirt allows him to move easier. So the cute outfit isn't really just for a show but actually helps him bring out the best in him. Cool!

(image source: Twitter.com; collage by Katsanslimites)
A Ladybeard pink bus! Photo probably taken in Japan or Hong Kong.

Well, Ladybeard was blessed with so much love from his fans. He got pretty popular when he stepped into Japan and had several shows within the different parts of the country. He even had his image on a bus as you can see on the photo above. Though I'm not sure if this is a bus owned by Ladybeard's team or just a random bus used for advertisement.

Ladybeard Trivias: Japanese fans refer to Ladybeard as ビアちゃん("Bia-chan", a shortened word for "Beard-chan".) ちゃん("chan") is added at the end of a name commonly to children or to person who is younger than you. You can also use this if you want your name to appear and sound cute. Just this year, a non-Japanese fan asked him on Twitter what name would he like to be referred to and he answered, Ms.Beard. You don't even have to get frustrated translating Japanese sentences because Ladybeard translates his tweets in English for his non-Japanese fans. And to get more even serious of his cute image, he started using a hashtag #ー日-かわいい along with some of his photos on his tweets. (I'm not sure how to translate the hashtag but I would guess it means something like a cute photo for the day. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Hehe!)

▪ 金子理江 (Rie Kaneko)

(image source: Google.com)
Rie Kaneko in her Renge Chance! costume.

Birthdate: December 18, 1997
Twitter: @ChuuuRie
Instagram: @chuuurie
Blog: www.ameblo.jp/chuuurie
Website: www.pyramid.tokyo/kaneko-rie

Rie Kaneko is a singer, dancer and model who won as Miss iD2015. She was born in Tokyo,Japan with a Japanese father and (Surprise!) a Spanish-Filipino mother. Rie has a sister and when they were still young, life was so hard for her family. They lived in their car and moved to different places. There are also rumors that she does not have a close relationship with her mother.

Despite her tragic past, I'm glad to see her doing well with her career. I've heard that it's difficult to establish a career in Japan especially when you're not a pure Japanese or not Japanese at all. Well, she does look like a pure-blooded Japanese though!

▪ 黒宮れい (Rei Kuromiya)

(image source: Google.com)
Rei Kuromiya in her Renge Chance! costume.

Birthdate: November 29, 2000
Twitter: @rei_Neverland
Instagram: @suicide_u 
Website: www.bambinapro.net/talent/rei_kuromiya.html

Rei Kuromiya, like Rie, is a singer, dancer and model and was nominated as Miss iD2015. She was born in Saitama,Japan and the youngest member of Ladybaby. Rei started her career in 2008 at an early age of eight and became a member of the band Brats on 2011 as the guitarist and lead vocalist with her sister Aya as the bassist. She may be the youngest from the Ladybaby group but she has gone further and has more musical experiences than her co-member Rie.


Now moving to the climax of this post is Ladybeard's shocking announcement. Ladybeard began the first day of August with a tweet stating that he just left his group Ladybaby and that he is no longer associated with it. He thanked everyone who had been a part of the group, the girls Rie and Rei, staff and most especially the people who supported Ladybaby. He hopes people would still continue to support him in his solo career.


(image source: Twitter.com; collage by Katsanslimites)
Ladybeard's farewell message as a member of Ladybaby.

Fans were deeply saddened with Ladybeard leaving the group some even saying that it wouldn't be Ladybaby without him and he was their sole reason why they look after the group. It was hard to believe but then he again confirmed it on the very last episode of his radio program Ladybeard's Kawaii Konnection on SBS PopAsia last August 03. I tuned in to his program in hopes to get a clear reason why he decided to leave Ladybaby but then he said that he doesn't want to spill too much details about it other than the fact that he will no longer be involved in the group. He said he was very thankful being a part of the Ladybaby project for a year and a half and wished the girls Rie and Rei good luck as they will still be continuing the group. Ladybeard admitted that Ladybaby opened more doors for him and considered it as the beginning of a great career especially when their song Nippon Manju became viral and noticed even outside Japan.


(image source: Twitter.com)
The photo that came along his announcement on Twitter.

Now that he is out of the group, he next revealed a good news of pursuing his solo career and even mentioned that his schedules were already piled up until December of this year. After his announcement, he played the song which brought his former group to fame, Nippon Manju. He said that it would probably be the last time everyone will hear Ladybeard with Ladybaby. But Ladybeard's good news didn't end there, after the Nippon Manju song, he announced that he is having a solo single soon and even played a sneak peek for his listeners. It was then followed by Babymetal's song "Catch Me If You Can" which surprised me and brought me to a lot of confusion. I thought he was already being adopted by Babymetal.(Lol!) Though he said after that it was his favorite Babymetal song along with "Karate" and "Gimme Chocolate". When the program was about to finish, he played the song "Throne" by Bring Me the Horizon and told his listeners to listen to the lyrics as this song is very much related to the recent events in his life. He dedicated the song most especially to everyone who thinks it's the end of Ladybeard. He said Ladybaby is just the beginning of Ladybeard.


(image source: Twitter.com)
Sing, Dance and Destroy!

All things come to an end. And in every ending comes a new beginning. Recently, he's been out of Japan doing solo shows and appearing on international anime conventions. Oh and he already did went to Philippines last 2015 for a meet and greet with his Filipino fans. I think his strong point is his distinct character which makes him stand out from other performers. Going back to Ladybaby, the group will still continue with remaining members Rie and Rei with a slight change to the group name which is now "The Idol Formerly Known As LADYBABY". I'm not sure if the group name is just temporary or really final because it's quite long. Rie and Rei have their own solo careers even before Ladybaby so maybe they can manage to survive even without Ladybeard. Although I am not expecting them to be as popular as they were before when Ladybeard was on their group because he is the main reason why people got so hooked with their group. He set them apart from the typical cutesy J-Pop groups through their unique combination and now that he is gone, Ladybaby will just be plain and ordinary blending with the rest of the J-Pop groups. I wonder how would they cope up after losing such an important member, I mean their leader. I wish them luck! Well, if you are interested, you can check their Facebook, Twitter, Official website and Youtube channel for more videos! Through his short stay in Ladybaby, the trio were able to make three singles ("Nippon Manju", "Age-Age Money" and "Renge Chance") and a song for a game called Combo Warrior.

I personally admired Ladybeard's bravery of expressing his passion for cross-dressing. Some people may not like it and find it unacceptable or offensive but who are they to stop you, right? People will laugh at your weird interests at first then praise you when they see you get successful with it. I think he is a real strong person, emotionally and socially(physically is a given), because being a man and going out in public in a girl's dress is no joke. He is so serious about this passion that you find it more embarrassing to make fun about it.(Lol.) Honestly, I didn't like Ladybeard when I first saw him but it's really interesting when he seemed to be very confident about what he is doing and that's what's most important. I believe nobody else can do it better than Ladybeard himself and I can see a very bright future ahead of his career. Truly, Ladybeard has only just begun! All the best, Ladybeard!

Thanks for reading!


✧ Katsanslimites

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