The members, from left to right: YuiMetal (scream and dance) note , Su-Metal (vocal and dance) note and MoaMetal (scream and dance) note .
Originally a sub-unit of the idol group Sakura Gakuin, BabyMetal (also stylized as BABYMETAL) was formed by the members of the Heavy Music Club of Sakura Gakuin, under the concept of a fusion of "heavy metal and idol music". BabyMetal released their first single "BABYMETAL × Kiba of Akiba" in March 2012, reaching the 3rd place in the Oricon indie charts and number one in the Tower Records Shibuya weekly indie ranking. However, it wasn't until they released their second single, "Headbanger!!"
, that they became popular outside of Japan. The video went viral quickly and the sub-unit managed to become a stand-alone group. In 2014 they did a 2-day Budoukan concert and released their first album.
Compare and contrast to Kyary Pamyu Pamyu
for a similar Internet phenomenon, although on a smaller scale in BabyMetal's case.
- BABYMETAL x Kiba of Akiba (2012)
- Headbanger!! (2012)
- Ijime, Dame, Zettai (2013, the group's first major release)
- Megitsune (2013)
Tropes that apply to BabyMetal
- Ascended Extra: They're even more popular than their parent group, Sakura Gakuin.
- Audience Participation Song: Judging by YouTube videos, most songs during concerts have audience participation segments. Oh, and festival performances of Ijime, Dame, Zettai encourage a Wall of Death...
- Bilingual Bonus: Many songs contain the occasional English word or phrase, but the most notable example is their concert opener, Babymetal Death - a deliberate bilingual pun, since what they're actually shouting is Babymetal Desu (I am Babymetal), but the pronunciation of "Desu" is similar to the English "Death" - a fact not lost on the promoters.
- But Now I Must Go: Averted. Sakura Gakuin only accepts members under 15 years old, and when the current members reach this age, they must graduate. When Suzuka became 15, she left the main group, but the management made BabyMetal a separate unit, and they'll still be active.
- Child Prodigy: Yui and Moa were talented enough to join Sakura Gakuin at the age of 11 (and produce Doki Doki☆Morning one year later). And before Sakura Gakuin, Suzuka was in a group called Karen Girl's doing the opening theme of Zettai Karen Children. And that's not counting the other stuff they've done...
- Creepy Cool Crosses: They use it a lot. Special mention goes to Suzuka's 16th birthday, when she was crucified.
- Darker and Edgier: Compared to other idol groups.
- Early-Installment Weirdness: Their first song, Doki Doki☆Morning, had a more distinct "idol-like" sound than their following songs.
- Excited Song Title!: Their song Ii ne!.
- Four Is Death: The Black Babymetal song "4 no Uta" ("Song 4" or "Song of 4", a song that uses a lot of wordplay surrounding 4's readings in Japanese) seems to refute this with a line in the chorus stating that 4 is not synonymous with death.
- Girlish Pigtails: Moa and Yui's usual hairstyle. Suzuka started out having these too.
- He Who Must Not Be Seen: The musicians during their early years wore skeleton costumes in the music videos and while appearing in public. Except in Megitsune... where they wear long black wigs and masks. In reality, they were just faking playing to a backing track.
- He Who Must Not Be Heard: When the musicians themselves (including the producer) get interviews, all they do on-screen is mumble and subtitles of what they're actually trying to say are shown.
- Averted in concerts from 2013 onwards - they now have a live band wearing white robes and facepaint, composed of members of former Japanese rock / metal groups. There's a semi-regular lineup, although members will get swapped out if they have availability issues.
- Hime Cut: When they let down their hair. Suzuka plays it the straightest (literally too), and she's actually done so in certain music videos such as Megitsune.
- "I Am" Song: "Babymetal Death" is an extreme example, since pretty much the only lyrics are the group introducing themselves.
- Iconic Outfit: Their outfits from Headbanger!!, featured in the picture to the right. Now used in most live concerts.
- Also the early era musicians' skeleton costumes / loose white robes of the current musicians.
- Idol Singer
- Kawaiiko: Moa and Yui.
- Kitsune: The main theme of Megitsune.
- The theme of the group itself, with its fox sign. They're always seen doing it, such as in the image above.
- The Leader: Suzuka. Also the Face of the Band.
- Loudness War: Their music is all brickwalled and almost pure clipping from start to finish. This may be an intended effect though...
- Lucky Charms Title: Doki Doki☆Morning, Uki Uki ★ Midnight.
- Mind Screw: What this idol group is to metal purists. Though many of them somehow like the group...
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: On average, a hard 6 to a soft 7, though "Megitsune" is a borderline 8.
- "Babymetal DEATH" seem to go as far as a 9, with most of the vocals being death growls and metal screams and having nearly none of the super-happy cuteness factor a lot of their other songs have
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Combines the hardness and energy of heavy metal with the catchiness and appeal of J-pop and a Visual Kei-influenced sensibility.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Ijime, Dame, Zettai (No, More, Bullying) is a strange example.
- Song Style Shift: "Iine!" has a Trap break near the middle, complete with hoodies, Gratuitous English, and Kanye West sunglasses.◊ We are completely serious. Apparently it's done as a Take That to Swag Rap.
- Spell My Name with an S: Ii ne! faces the same problem as Ievan Polkka. Three guesses on what that problem is and the first two don't count.
- Title Scream/Metal Scream: HEADBANGEEEEEEEEER!!!
- Tomboyish Ponytail: Suzuka's usual hairstyle.
- Widget Musicians: Three Idol Singers mix pop music with Heavy Metal. It works and it's... it's totally awesome. Oh, Japan...
- Zettai Ryouiki