This article is about the Japanese band. For the band's debut album of the same name, see Babymetal (album).

Babymetal performing in London, November 2014. From left to right; Moametal, Su-metal and Yuimetal.
Background information
Origin Japan
Years active 2010–present
Labels Jūonbu Records[4]
BMD Fox Records[5]
Toy's Factory[6]
Associated acts Sakura Gakuin

Babymetal (stylized as BABYMETAL) is a Japanese metal idol band.[7][8][9] Their line-up consists of Suzuka Nakamoto as "Su-metal", Yui Mizuno as "Yuimetal", and Moa Kikuchi as "Moametal". The concept of the group is a fusion of the heavy metal and Japanese idol genres.[10] The three teenage girls and their band are managed by the Amuse talent agency. Their vocals are backed by heavy metal instrumentation played by the Kami Band. Babymetal released their eponymous debut album in February 2014. Their second album Metal Resistance was released worldwide on April 1, 2016.[11]


2010-2012: Beginnings

The group was initially formed in 2010 as a subunit of the female idol group Sakura Gakuin, aiming to realize a "fusion of metal and idol [music]".[12][13][14][15][16] None of the three members knew what metal music was before the inception of the band.[17]

Babymetal's first live appearance was on 28 November 2010, at Sakura Gakuin's first solo concert.[18][19][20] Their first song, "Doki Doki Morning", was originally released in April 2011 on the Sakura Gakuin album Sakura Gakuin 2010 Nendo: Message. The band shot a music video for the song and in October 2011 released it as a DVD single intended for limited (live-venues-only) distribution. Having been uploaded to YouTube that same month, by the end of 2012 the video totaled over 1 million views.[12][14][18][21][22] In July 2011, Babymetal premiered the song, "Ijime, Dame, Zettai" ("No More Bullying"), at a Sakura Gakuin concert, but it would only be performed during live concerts at the time.[13] The first music video, "Doki Doki Morning" was released from the Toy's Factory channel on YouTube at 12 October 2011.[23]

Babymetal's first CD single was a collaboration with the band Kiba of Akiba, titled "Babymetal × Kiba of Akiba". Released on a sublabel of Toy's Factory (Jūonbu Records, same sublabel as "Doki Doki Morning" and later "Headbanger") in March 2012,[4] it ranked 3rd on the Oricon weekly indie chart and number one in the Tower Records Shibuya weekly indie ranking.[24] In July 2012, Babymetal released a single titled "Headbanger".[24] The music video for the title track was directed by Hidenobu Tanabe.[25][26] In August 2012, Babymetal debuted at Japan's Summer Sonic Festival.[18][27] With the average age of 12, the band became the youngest act ever to perform there.[21] 2012 also marks Babymetal first Asian tour outside of Japan for the very first time at AFA 2012 Singapore[28]

2013–2015: Major label debut

In January 2013, the band debuted on a major record label with "Ijime, Dame, Zettai". It sold 19,000 copies in its first week and debuted at number 6 in the Oricon Weekly Singles Chart.[10] In the spring of 2013, Nakamoto graduated from junior high school and therefore had to "graduate" from Sakura Gakuin (a group of elementary and junior high school girls). However, their management decided that Babymetal would not dissolve and would continue its activities as a band.[15] The group released its next single, "Megitsune", on June 19,[29] followed in November by the live video release Live: Legend I, D, Z Apocalypse, which debuted at seventh place in the weekly Oricon Blu-ray Disc charts, and at the second place among music Blu-rays.[30]

On 10 and 11 August 2013, Babymetal again took part in the Summer Sonic Festival, performing both in Tokyo and Osaka.[31] Later, in October 2013, Babymetal also became the youngest act ever to perform at the heavy metal music festival Loud Park.[21] In November 2013, Babymetal released a promo video for the Japanese premiere of Metallica's movie Through the Never.[32] And near at the end of 2013 Babymetal did another Asian tour in Indonesia at AFAID 2013[33] and second time for SIngapore after their first overseas Asian tour in 2012.

On 26 February 2014, Babymetal released its first, self-titled album. It contained thirteen tracks and was also available in a limited edition that included a DVD with music videos and live footage.[34][35] The album was very well received by music critics[36] as well as the public, selling over 37,000 copies in Japan its first week, debuting at number four in Oricon[37] and number 2 in Billboard Japan.[38] It also topped iTunes Metal charts in Germany, UK and US, and reached number 187 on the US Billboard 200 chart on March 22; few Japanese artists have ever entered the chart.[39][40] Their album also made it into the Heatseekers chart at number four.[41] On March 1 and 2, 2014, the band gave two concerts at Budokan. With the average age of 14.7, they became youngest-ever female act to give a show there. The two concerts were attended by 20,000 people.[42][43] On 3 April 2014, the reaction video by YouTubers with shock was released from the Fine Brothers channel on YouTube about the Music Videos of "Doki Doki Morning", "line!",[44] and "Gimme Chocolate!!".[45][46] On 30 April 2016, the video of Babymetal's reaction to their reaction was released on YouTube.[47]

In 2014, Babymetal performed in Paris, Cologne, and in the UK at the Sonisphere Festival 2014.[48] They made their debut appearance in the US on July 27 with a headlining show at The Fonda Theatre in Hollywood.[49] They played Heavy MONTRÉAL 2014 in Canada on August 9 alongside Metallica, Slayer, and teenage metal band Unlocking the Truth, and also performed at Summer Sonic 2014 in Japan on the Mountain Stage with bands such as Avenged Sevenfold and Megadeth.[50][51] Babymetal was also the opening act to five of Lady Gaga's concerts in her "ArtRave: The Artpop Ball" 2014 tour in August along the western United States.[52][53]

In August 2014, it was announced that the band would be returning to England to play another show at London's O2 Academy Brixton on November 8,[54] their final European show of the year as part of the group's "Babymetal Apocalypse" phase. It was later announced that the band would also be returning to New York City, which they had visited earlier in the year without giving an actual performance, performing in the Hammerstein Ballroom on November 4.[55] In September the band announced their second live album titled Live: Legend 1999 & 1997 Apocalypse, released on October 19 on Blu-ray and DVD, featuring their live performances at both the NHK Hall and at Makuhari Messe Event Hall.[56]

At their Brixton performance, the band debuted a new song titled "Road of Resistance."[57] It was later revealed to be a collaboration with Sam Totman and Herman Li of prominent power metal band DragonForce.[57][58] The song, featuring Li and Totman on guitars, was subsequently released as a bonus track available with the "Red Night" edition of their "Live at Budokan" album on January 7, 2015, and as part of the exclusive Fan Club "The One" edition.[59][60] Li later revealed via Twitter and Facebook posts that he and Totman had been working on the song's guitar parts since 2013. Shortly after the joint release with Live at Budokan: Red Night, it was released as a single on the iTunes store. In April 2015, the band announced the re-release of their self-titled album via earMUSIC in the UK on June 1.[61] Ahead of their performance at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards on June 15, the trio made a surprise appearance during DragonForce's set at Download Festival, performing "Gimme Chocolate!!", despite event organizer Andy Copping stating that he would never book the band.[62]

2016–present: Touring and Metal Resistance

Babymetal at GQ Men of the Year 2015 ceremony in Tokyo due to winning Special Prize "Discovery of the year".

During the band's 2-day concerts in Yokohama in December 2015, it was announced that they would be releasing a second studio album on April 1, 2016, as well as a new world tour starting in London at the Wembley Arena, and concluding in Japan with the band's debut performance in the Tokyo Dome.[63] On January 15, 2016, the second album's title was revealed to be Metal Resistance.[64] On April 2, one day after the release of Metal Resistance, Babymetal became the first Japanese act to headline Wembley Arena,[65] with the largest sale of merchandise for a single day event in the venue's history,[66] coinciding with the highest ever entry for an album in the UK charts for a Japanese act.[66] The Guardian gave their Wembley performance a rating of five out of five stars.[67] On April 5, Babymetal made their U.S. television debut, performing "Gimme Chocolate!!" on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.[68]

Babymetal were added as a character skin in the Wii U video game Super Mario Maker in 2016.[69]

On May 26, 2016, it was announced by WWE's Triple H on Twitter that their song "Karate", along with A Day to Remember's "Paranoia", would be used as one of the official theme songs of NXT TakeOver: The End.[70][71]

On July 18, the band made a special appearance at the Alternative Press Music Awards where they performed "Karate" before being joined onstage by Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford. Halford, along with Nakamoto and the Kami Band, performed an abridged version of "Painkiller", followed by a performance of "Breaking the Law" where they were rejoined by Mizuno and Kikuchi on guitars.[72][73]

On July 27, Metal Hammer readers voted Babymetal's debut album as the best album of the 21st century.[74]

In December 2016, Babymetal will appear in UK's performance in Red Hot Chili Peppers' The Getaway World Tour opening act.

In September 2016, Warner Bros. announce they are under development a hybrid live action-animation fantasy-adventure short form series featuring the members of the band. The series would be develop by Blue Ribbon Content in collaboration with Amuse USA (a Amuse Inc. subsidiary based in United States), the creator and producer of the band Key Kobayashi is also involved as producer.[75]

In January 2017, Babymetal will appear in Japan's performance in Guns N' Roses' Not in This Lifetime... Tour opening act.

Musical style and lyrics

The band defines its style as a new genre called "kawaii metal" ("kawaii" meaning "cute") and clarifies that it is "a mix of J-pop idol and heavy metal"[12][50][76] In the music press, the group is most commonly associated with the genres death metal, speed metal and J-pop.[13][77]

Tristan Peterson, of Metal Obsession, remarked in his review of the band's debut album "This band was created for the demographic of “Music that your Japanese Boyfriend/Girlfriend, who doesn’t really like Metal, would enjoy.” as well as "[Babymetal] has made metal cute without losing any of its edge." [78]

Patrick St. Michel from Japanese music and culture site MTV 81 praises the "pure, headbang-inducing energy" of the group's live performances and describes their style as a mixture of "...seemingly disparate sounds of heavy metal and idol pop, creating music anchored both by throat-mauling screeches and cuddly choruses."[79] The magazine Metal Hammer described their act using the formula "Short skirts, school girl charm and squeaky voices — just like in the manga comics. But they mix the whole thing with Metal.".[80]

Lyrical themes found in Babymetal's music focus on real-world issues and also typical idol-pop topics such as encouraging young teens to accept and stand up for themselves, the pressure put on teenage girls to remain thin and also bullying while they also sing about what it's like going to your first concert, the concept of an "ideal woman" and chocolate, subjects which critics say are a step away from typical lyrical styles used by most metal bands.[81][82][83]

Live performances

Besides dancing, the trio all perform vocals. Su-metal is the main vocalist, credited on Babymetal's official site with vocals and dancing, while Moametal and Yuimetal are credited with scream and dance.[22][50][84]

Babymetal's costumes take a variety of cues from the popular Japanese Gothic and Punk Lolita styles, with an emphasis on red and black.[14][85]

Instead of the sign of the horns, the band uses the hand gesture of the kitsune to symbolise the band's supposed divine inspiration.[22][86]

In their concerts, Babymetal are accompanied by a backing band. In their early stages, the backing band consisted of the "Babybones" - a group of nameless individuals dressed in skeleton costumes that would mimick live performances while pre-recorded studio tracks were being used.[87][88][89][90] In late 2012, Babymetal debuted a live band for their live performances which they referred to as "Full Metal Band" - a group of live musicians dressed in white robes and corpse paint. They have since been referred to by band members and fans as "Gods of Metal" and more recently "Kami Band". From late 2012 to early 2014, the two groups would alternate, with the Kami Band being used more for festival appearances and special events. As of early 2014, the Babybones band has been quietly retired, and the Kami Band has since been established as Babymetal's primary backing band.

The Kami Band has consisted of a rotating line-up of different musicians since its debut in late 2012. As of late 2013, however, the line-up has been relatively stable, consisting of guitarists Takayoshi Ohmura, Leda, Mikio Fujioka, and Isao, bassist Boh, and drummers Hideki Aoyama and Yuya Maeta with members occasionally substituting for one another if needed. Some Kami Band members have contributed to Babymetal's music, most notably on their album Metal Resistance.

Public image

According to Kei "Kobametal" Kobayashi, the band's executive producer, the band was formed under the idea of a new type of metal, and the members of the band receive "divine messages" from the Fox God, though Nakamoto explained that the messages received were indirect, as they would be sent to Kobametal first.[91] He stated that it was up to the people's decision to accept or reject the idea. Additionally, he rejected the notion of the band being a "metal" or "pop" act, preferring "the one and only Babymetal."[92] Kikuchi joked that the three members did not decide to join the band, as it was a destiny chosen by the Fox God, whose goal is said to have the band perform and spread their music all over the world.[93]

The band has received varied reception by the public. Some critics praised the band for being "creative" and "rule-breaking" in the metal genre,[94][95] while others called the band a "novelty group" and a "silly balancing act".[96][97] When asked about people who do not consider the band's pop-infused music "metal", Nakamoto acknowledged the claims and praised such accusations, warranting how metal "purists" have their own preferences for metal being a certain way, and taking them into consideration for the band's progress. Additionally, the band members believe in staying true to themselves and enjoying what they do, as she agrees is enough for them.[93]

The fanbase, collectively referred to as "The One",[91] has been noted by Mizuno to be a mixed demographic of varying age. Noting the fans of metal and pop, she described the "metalheads" who look like themselves, and the pop fans who dress and cosplay as them. She hopes to be able to continue to reach out to all different types of people. When asked about being role models for their fans and young girls, considered it an honor. She further emphasized the importance of being able to reach out to the youth, especially for younger music fans branching out to the metal genre via Babymetal, noting her own lack of experience of metal before joining the band.[93]


The Kami Band performing at Danforth Music Hall in 2015. From left to right; Boh, Mikio Fujioka, Hideki Aoyama, Takayoshi Ohmura

Kami Band


Studio albums

Title Album details Peak chart positions Sales Certifications


UK Rock
Hard Rock


Babymetal 4 2 95 90 103 7 187 12 1
Metal Resistance
  • Released: 29 March 2016
  • Label: BMD Fox Records, Toy's Factory
  • Formats: CD, CD+DVD, CD+Blu-ray, digital, LP
2 2 7 36 71 15 2 39 2 1
  • JPN: 153,198
  • US: 12,240[113]

Live albums

Title Album details Charts


UK Indie Break


Live at Budokan: Red Night
  • Released: 7 January 2015
  • Label: BMD Fox Records
  • Formats: CD, digital
3 3 18 21 3
Live at Budokan: Black Night
  • Limited edition album
  • Released: 7 January 2015
  • Label: BMD Fox Records
  • Format: CD

Extended plays

Title Album details
Introducing Babymetal
  • Released: 16 September 2015[121]
  • Label: BMD Fox Records
  • Format: CD+DVD (rental exclusive)

Video albums

Title Album details Charts
Live: Legend I, D, Z Apocalypse
Live: Legend 1999 & 1997 Apocalypse[122]
  • Released: 29 October 2014
  • Label: BMD Fox Records
  • Formats: DVD, Blu-ray
Live at Budokan: Red Night & Black Night Apocalypse
  • Release: 7 January 2015
  • Label: BMD Fox Records
  • Formats: DVD, Blu-ray
Live in London: Babymetal World Tour 2014
  • Release: 20 May 2015
  • Label: BMD Fox Records
  • Formats: DVD, Blu-ray


Title Year Charts Album

Hot 100

"Doki Doki Morning"[upper-alpha 1] 2011 N/A Babymetal
"Babymetal × Kiba of Akiba"
(with Kiba of Akiba)
2012 46 [upper-alpha 2]
"Headbanger" 20 [upper-alpha 3]
"Ijime, Dame, Zettai" 2013 6 14
"Megitsune" 7 16 14
"Road of Resistance" 2015 N/A 22 Metal Resistance
"Gimme Chocolate!!"[upper-alpha 4] N/A 54 5 Babymetal
"Karate" 2016 N/A 17 2 Metal Resistance
 N/A  denotes items ineligible for the Oricon Singles Chart, due to a lack of a CD release in Japan.

Music videos

Year Title Director
2011 "Doki Doki ☆ Morning" Shimon Tanaka[129]
2012 "Iine!" Daishinszk[130]
"Iine!" (Live in Tokyo 2012)
"Headbanger" Hidenobu Tanabe[25]
2013 "Ijime, Dame, Zettai" Kamimetal[upper-alpha 5][131]
"Megitsune" Takuya Tada[132]
2014 "Gimme Chocolate!!" Ryosuke Machida[133]
2015 "Road of Resistance" Ryosuke Machida
2016 "Karate" Daisuke Ninomiya[134]
"The One" [135]


As main act

Awards and nominations

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2014 Babymetal 2014 MTV Europe Music Awards — Wild Card for Best Japanese Act[137] Pre-nominated
NEO Awards 2014 — Best Musical Act[138] Won
2015 Babymetal (album) 7th CD Shop Awards — Grand Prix[139][140] Won
Babymetal Loudwire 4th Annual Music Awards — Best New Artist of the Year Award [141] Won
Kerrang! Awards 2015 — Spirit of Independence Award[142] Won
Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards 2015 — Breakthrough Award[143] Won
2015 MTV Europe Music Awards — Best Japanese Act[144] Nominated
2015 MTV Video Music Awards Japan — Best Metal Artist[145] Won
GQ Men of the Year 2015 Award, Special Prize "Discovery of the year"[146][147] Won
Vogue Japan Women of the Year 2015[148] Won
NEO Awards 2015 — Best Musical Act[149] Won
Loudwire 5th Annual Music Awards — Most Devoted Fans of 2015[150] Won
Loudwire 5th Annual Music Awards — Best Live Act of 2015[151] Won
"Road of Resistance" Loudwire 5th Annual Music Awards — Best Metal Song of 2015[152] Won
2016 Metal Resistance (album) Loudwire — Most Anticipated Release of April 2016[153] Won
2016 MTV Video Music Awards Japan — Best Album of the Year -Japan-[154][155] Won
"Karate" (music video) 2016 MTV Video Music Awards Japan — Best Metal Video -Japan-[155][156] Won
2016 MTV Video Music Awards Japan — Best Group Video -Japan-[157] Nominated
Babymetal Kerrang! Awards 2016 — Best Live Band[158] Won
Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards 2016 — Best International Band[159] Nominated
2016 Alternative Press Music Awards — Best International Band[160] Nominated
2016 AIM Independent Music Awards — Best Live Act[161] Won

See also


  1. Released as a DVD single.
  2. Charted at number 50 on the Billboard Japan Hot Singles Sales chart.[126]
  3. Charted at number 19 on the Billboard Japan Hot Singles Sales chart.[127]
  4. Released exclusively in the United Kingdom.[128]
  5. Also known as Kamiguchi (かみぐち). The music videos he directed include "Crazy Kanzen na Otona", "Kanashiki Amefuri" and "Adam to Even no Dilemma" by the girl group Cute.


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