Hello everyone! Finally, I’m done with my Baguio City blog series. Sorry if it took so long. Thank you so much to those who read it.
Now for a new beginning, what better topic do I have to write but about Babymetal’s new era that drew mixed reactions from the fans. I know most of you don't know this group so let me introduce them again first.
WHO IS BABYMETAL?
Babymetal is a Japanese idol/kawaii metal group consisting of three members: Su-metal (Nakamoto Suzuka), Moa-metal (Kikuchi Moa), and Yui-metal (Mizuno Yui). The group was formed by Koba-metal on 2010. Babymetal is known for their out of the box music which is a combination of headbanging metal sound and cute performers. They are the pioneers of the kawaii metal music genre. ("Kawaii" is a Japanese word which means "cute".)
Babymetal also believes on a superior entity whom they call the “Fox God”, whom they owe all their success and future endeavors as a group. The girls are also popular for their signature hand sign called the “fox sign”. In addition, they have a backing band called “Kami band” (God band) with members consisting of one of the best musicians in Japan.
You can read more about Babymetal’s history and its members here. (Babymetal: The Queens of Metal from the East!)
A REVELATION ON THE FOX DAY
Babymetal has a special day called the Fox Day which is celebrated every 1st of April. For most people, this day is the April Fools' Day. But for Babymetal fans, this day is something to watch out for. For this day, is the day the Fox God reveals huge announcements. Only the Fox God doesn’t fool during April 1st!
METAL RESISTANCE EPISODE VII AND THE CHOSEN 7
Until now, we've only experienced the Light Side. The legend of Three Metal Spirits. An unknown Dark Side also exists. A legend of Seven Metal Spirits. THE CHOSEN SEVEN. A new era is about to begin.
Their big revelation for this year’s Fox Day is their announcement of Metal Resistance Episode VII and the introduction of the “Chosen 7”. Fans knew very well that only three metal spirits were chosen by the Fox God. These are the three girls and nothing more. So the Chosen 7 announcement immediately brought different speculations such as four new girls to the group or the Kami band will now become 7. Some even shrugged it off and believed it was just another contest by the management where they’ll choose seven winners. (Last year, Babymetal had that contest but it was called something like “the Chosen 5”.)
Everyone were just playing guesses until the Fox God reveals what the Chosen 7 really means.
NEW SONG: DISTORTION
Last May 7, a day before the World Tour begins, Babymetal surprised everyone with a new song and music video entitled Distortion. The music video features seven characters which most fans believe are the Chosen 7. Distortion rose up to #1 on the metal chart on iTunes UK, Germany, Denmark, Czech Republic, Finland, Netherlands, and Sweden while it landed on #2 on iTunes US, Canada, Australia, France, Italy, Belgium, and more. (Here's the link to that news.)
I believe this is the only Babymetal music video where the three girls did not appear. Or where they at the music video? Because some of the characters’ faces could be barely seen. This video with seven characters just made some of the fans’ hunches stronger that the additional members will be on the girls and not with the Kami band. Meanwhile, the CGI on the video was amazing. I like the part from (1:22 to 1:26), where one of the characters was smoothly hovering and moving. It looks so calm and cool. Oh, and the song itself? Just like what I am expecting from Babymetal—pure awesomeness! My ears were very happy again. As of writing this blog, the music video already had reached 2.5 million views.
BABYMETAL BEGINS WORLD TOUR, SURPRISES EVERYONE
Babymetal’s first show after the revelation was in Kansas City last May 8 which is also the beginning of their World Tour. Their first show in Kansas has been the most talked about show among the fans lately as Babymetal had finally began the Metal Resistance Episode VII and unveiled the “new era” of Babymetal. Everyone was freaking out with what they have just witnessed that night and even fans who weren't physically on the venue expressed what they think of it through social media.
● NEW MEMBERS A.K.A. THE CHOSEN 7
Fans were surprised to see additional two members on stage which are believed to be a part of the Chosen 7. However, these two members were only just dancing. The vocals were still on the old members. In short, the new members were included in the group as backup dancers only. Still, fans were not approving of this setup and they prefer seeing no one but only the three girls on the stage.
● NEW SONGS
(image source: MetalMethyl via Youtube; screenshot by Katsanslimites)
Intro song, "In The Name Of". Su-Metal (front), Moa-Metal (middle back), and backup dancers on the sides.
Aside from the new members, another revelation from Babymetal are three new songs. One was Distortion while the other was entitled “Tattoo”, a solo song of Su-Metal. Meanwhile, I think the title of the third song is still unknown but videos of it were titled "Elevator Girl". I wonder if this is the real title.
Along with the three new songs is a new intro song too which is called, “In the Name of”. Each of them also has a staff-like props for this song.
● NEW COSTUME
(image source: MetalMethyl via Youtube; screenshot by Katsanslimites)
Moa-Metal (front), Su-Metal (middle back), and backup dancers on the sides.
Of course, a new costume is just rightful and acceptable when having changes for a group. What better way to let the fans instantly feel the major changes? Costumes, of course! For me, I think the first thing we always notice on a performer is how the performer looks and what the performer wears.
Babymetal has been very well-known for their iconic pigtails and fluffy skirts. Since the beginning of the Metal Resistance Episode VII, the girls had bid farewell to their old look. They now look more like a warrior with a Greek warrior style skirt and a headdress that looks similar to a warrior’s helmet. Their costume is still a combination of black and gold just like on their previous Metal Resistance look. The dominant color is still black but is now accentuated with gold lines. And they seem to be wearing leggings now instead of stockings.
One thing I just really get sad about is that they no longer sport their cute hair bangs! Yes, the girls also got new hairstyle. Part of their hair is now braided on top while the rest are freely hanging. Now we get to see how long the girls’ hairs are. They looked more mature with their new hairstyle too. Meanwhile, the backup dancers got thicker eyeliners and short hair so for those who don't know the original members of the group, you can just look at their hair and you'll know who is and who's not. Another thing that sets the new from the old members is a slight difference on the costume. The old members got short black sleeves while the new ones does not.
I would also like to comment something about Su-Metal’s costume. The design makes her appear thin especially on the hips. I wish her skirt is just like Moa’s. This is definitely not one of Su-Metal’s best costumes. Well, aside from the girls, the Kami Band is also not an exception to costume changes. Their white gowns are not color black.
There were lots of new things the fans have to absorb all at once but one thing was evidently noticeable...
WHERE IS YUI?
(image source: Giphy)
The biggest question that night and most controversial issue that had ever sparked in the Babymetal universe was, “Where is Yui?” Babymetal's fan base all over the world were awaken to express their concern about Yui-Metal’s sudden disappearance which even led to a hashtag on Twitter, #WhereisYui.
Babymetal staff and its management, Amuse, has remained silent and still haven’t given an official statement regarding on this issue. Like Babymetal’s dark and mysterious vibe, it seems like they also like Yui-Metal’s disappearance to remain a mystery. And because of being mum with Yui’s case, fans had made their own theories with this matter.
THEORIES ON YUI-METAL'S DISAPPEARANCE
● YUI IS SICK
One possible reason why Yui-Metal does not appear on their recent performances is due to sickness. Yui first missed performing at their Legend - S - Baptism XX performance at Hiroshima, Japan last December. Babymetal Official announced this sad news on their Facebook account as well. They said that Yui-metal insisted for the show to pursue without her because fans had been looking forward to see their show. As you can see on the photo above, only Su-Metal and Moa-Metal were present at the show.
Fans were hoping to see her back and well on stage at their World Tour because it’s already been 5 months since the announcement of her sickness. But alas! (Error 404: Yui Not Found.) Yui wasn’t there. Fans who believes she is sick were very much worried that if sickness was the reason of her absence, then it must be something serious to be still not be able to perform.
● YUI IS NOT PART OF THE "DARK SIDE"
Other fans were being more positive and assumes that Yui-Metal is just not part of the Dark Side. During Babymetal’s announcement about the Chosen 7, they stated that these Chosen 7 will appear on different dimension.
However, these seven metal spirits do not necessarily exist in the same dimension. No one will know who, when, where, or how THE CHOSEN SEVEN will be presented... Only the FOX GOD knows.
Babymetal Official’s recent posts on Facebook also includes the hash tag (#DARKSIDE) which already gives a hint on what’s going to happen next. Some fans assume that Yui-Metal will appear next on the Light Side. For now, it’s Moa-Metal on the Dark Side. Fans just hope their guess is right. They believe that Yui missing is just part of their management’s strategy or should I say, “gimmick” for the group and Metal Resistance. Anyhow, they are definitely not happy about this strategy.
● YUI IS NO LONGER A MEMBER
The worst speculation of fans that turned most them enraged was assuming Yui-Metal has been discreetly removed from the group. Some say Yui-Metal no longer fit to the group’s new theme. Babymetal seemed to be aiming to let go of their “baby” and “cutesy” vibe and become more mature musicians. And to be able to shift to their goal, they remove the girl who had given the most cutesy energy on the group, Yui-Metal. So to make it less hurtful for the fans, they made used of Yui's sickness as an scapegoat to terminate her. This rumor had really sparked anger on Yui-Metal biased fans.
● YUI IS PREGNANT
Aside from the serious speculations, there were also a few who were quite creative in giving their 2 cents on this matter. First, Yui might be pregnant. This is possible since she’s already at the legal age but fans immediately threw off this speculation because they know by heart that this is not the reason, instead, it’s one of those three I’ve mentioned above.
Second hilarious speculation I read from fans is that Yui had given up being a member of Babymetal and went back to her hometown for she had decided to have her farm and grow tomatoes. Yui loves tomatoes that’s why fans would often associate her with tomatoes.
YUI MIGHT STILL BE A MEMBER OF BABYMETAL
On a positive note, Yui-Metal might still be among the three remaining unrevealed metal spirits. Right now, only four members are performing on the tour. That's why there's a big chance that the other three could be Yui-metal and two other backup dancers. In my opinion, I think the concept of adding backup dancers to make the change evident is okay but I don’t think it is necessary to add more members because the three girls with the Kami band are already more than enough to raise Babymetal’s name to the world. But if this is a part of covering up for Yui-Metal’s absence, then it’s a good diversion. Moa-Metal can’t be the only one dancing while Su-Metal sings. The group’s formation will appear imbalanced like a broken seesaw. So it's best to add more dancers on the stage. If they are just part of the gimmick, then what can we do? Maybe they’ll go back to their usual trio on the next episode.
Regarding Yui-Metal’s absence, I think I would believe more on the second theory which is the Dark and Light Side. I wouldn’t want to assume she has a serious illness or worst, out of Babymetal. Maybe Yui will be present on their Europe Tour this June while Moa-Metal goes missing next after performing on their America Tour. Or maybe we should all wait for the Light Side to see Yui again. Is switching members the strategy their management is trying to make? I would certainly prefer seeing the girls complete and together on one stage!
See how all of us are just guessing right now? Unless the management gives an official statement, the issue about Yui will remain vague and mysterious. For now, I believe that Yui will be back after the Dark Side. She is definitely not removed from the group because I don't see any reason for her to deserve that. I choose to hold onto the second theory until the management speaks the truth behind it. But how long are we going to wait? Only the Fox God knows.
Babymetal is currently doing their World Tour in America and Europe. They have just finished their tour in America this month and will proceed to Europe this coming June. World Tour...but where is Asia? Anyway, they also performed at Rock On The Range last May 20 and will be performing too at Rock am Ring on June 1st and Rock im Park on June 2nd. For updates, visit Babymetal's official accounts: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, and official website. Listen to their songs on Spotify and iTunes. Shop official Babymetal merchandise at the Babymetal official store.
Thanks for reading!