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Baby metal explodes on the world stage

If you haven’t seen this wonderful piece of Internet goodness, enjoy. That’s the Japanese Hip-Hop death-metal-fusion group called Baby Metal. With 17 year-old Suzuka Nakamoto on lead vocals, Moa Kikuchi and Yui Mizuno screaming, rapping, and dancing on each side. That video, titled give me chocolate, is tearing the toobz apart right now, probably because, in the words of Elton John, “They’re weird and they’re wonderful.” Have a great weekend!

Comments

  1. says

    I’m conflicted. I love metal and I find J-pop enjoyable. The combination seems weird. Like, I could take away the instrumentals and it would sound like pure J-pop vocals and I could take away the vocals and have pure metal instrumentals. It’s like when people take pop songs and just put them to metal music for the lulz.

  2. blondeintokyo says

    No……just NO.

    After being in Japan for over twenty years, the novelty of “weird Japan” has worn very thin to become annoyance, irritation, and occasionally, depending on what it’s about, outright hatred.

    AKB47 is bad enough. This is worse. These are not young women who at least have some cognizance of the outcome of the choice they make, these are LITTLE GIRLS.

    I’m not sure if you guys know much about how promotion companies here use and promote young women and girls to middle aged men. They are turned from kids into playgirls, complete with bikini photos, sexy magazine foldouts, sexy action figure dolls, and more bikini photo books.

    It’s one of the things I virulently hate about Japan. Sexualizing young girls and promoting them to middle aged male perverts who see nothing wrong with keeping a photo of a 13 year old girl in a bikni on the wall of their living room.

  3. says

    I don’t have the cultural experience of living in Japan. But I can remember jamming to I Sit on Acid by The Lords of Acid, in which the first line was Darling come near, Fuck me up to Here. That kind of stuff scared the piss out of my parents. Which has been going on since at least Chuck Berry right through Marilyn Manson. This seems less overtly sexual and drug laced, less scary, by leaps and bounds, than a lot of the stuff I liked as a kid.

  4. MadHatter says

    You don’t really need the experience of living in Japan. I spent a good deal of time in my early 20′s with a group of young men who really love anime and “all things Japanese”. It becomes apparent very quickly that young girls are fetishized heavily and it’s encouraged.

    It’s terribly obvious in this video too. They’re dressed up like little girls (pig tails and floofy skirts) that are just a little “bad” and then they sing breathy pop songs to sound even younger. If they were the ones playing the instruments then maybe…but no.

    Oh, and that experience of “otaku” was over 15 years ago. Those young men are now middle aged and the fetish is so deeply ingrained (they themselves are not Japanese) that they see nothing wrong with sexualized 13 year olds. It’s creepy and wrong.

  5. says

    That music completely lacks identifiable riffs; it’s like a synth click-track with a few canned special effects thrown atop. Gah! “Whatever floats your boat” rules my world – whoever likes this is welcome to my share.

  6. DonDueed says

    That was… that was… I don’t know what that was.

    Except… was that a giant Jesus behind the stage?

  7. says

    Yeah, this is all canned, pre-fab stuff, with some heavy metal trappings thrown in over the usual pre-fab boy band/girl band product. A lot of pop music in Japan is in the Menudo mode: get a bunch of tween/teen kids, polish them up good, and establish a brand name. When the kids get too old they get dropped, or their management tries to establish an adult career for them, and new members are recruited.

  8. Holms says

    That was… strange. Once the novelty wore off though, I didn’t see much to enjoy. I love heavy metal, tolerate pop, and find J pop to be incredibly bland. That act was very much a J pop act, complete with heavily choreographed cutesy dancing, overlying some fairly generic guitar thrashing.

    For a palate cleanser, I think I’ll go with Brave New World by Iron Maiden.

  9. Excluded Layman says

    Blondeintokyo already brought up the casual racism that contributes most of the viral spread of these things, and the sexualization of young girls in Japan, so I won’t belabour the issue. However, I would like to contribute a counterpoint–at least, I think it’s a counterpoint, I don’t understand Japanese so I can’t say for sure–from a group that does pop/punk/metal fusion, Maximum the Hormone.

  10. leni says

    It was kinda cute. Not really a metal aficionado, but they don’t sound any worse than the several thousand older, male canned metal bands I’ve heard. And maybe kind of better, but maybe that’s just because I hate the monster voice to sensitive guy vocal transition thing that probably has a name I don’t know.

    What bothered me about it is that there is no way in hell those girls wrote the music. They didn’t even have instruments. That bothered me. Maybe it shouldn’t because the same thing happens in pop from everywhere. It certainly doesn’t mean that they don’t have talent. But they never play any instruments. And three of them? With metal? And tutus?That kind of just irritates me.

  11. Holms says

    Well, I take some of the negativity back. It’s still too manufactured to be metal (choreographed dances, eww), and the various criticisms against Japan’s heavily controlling music labels are another matter, but it strikes me as a kind of Metal Lite, and may well end up making the heavier stuff newly popular to the more pop oriented audience.

  12. Reginald Selkirk says

    I noticed that the video avoided long shots of the girls “singing” in order not to make the lip-syncing too obvious.

  13. Great American Satan says

    Hey, you wanna see a real band of rocking-ass Japanese adult women? Sadly, I think the band is in sem-permanent hiatus. They were a thrash metal/punk deal and collaborated with Anthrax once upon a time. Anyhoo, I give you Yellow Machinegun:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQUtA5_IldM

    Notice these ladies play instruments and don’t look like child models? So cool.
    -

  14. leni says

    It’s still too manufactured to be metal (choreographed dances, eww),

    True metal is *never* needlessly and embarrassingly theatrical!

    True story ;)

  15. a miasma of incandescent plasma says

    Yeah, as others stated above, it feels like a gimmick.

    I’ll just be over here waiting for the Tool album that’ll come out in 2014. Er, at least, it’s gotta come out in 2014, right? Right?!?!

  16. says

    To me, there is absolutely nothing good about this. If I were an otaku guy or a fan of Japanese pop, I’m sure I’d be all OMG THEM R BAD ASS, but I’m not. To have three teenaged fashion models tell me they will see me in the pit makes me want to weep for modern culture.

  17. Chris Scott says

    You know I have to laugh at some of these comments. As usual your taking your own cultural contexts and putting them onto the Japanese. BabyMetal is Kawaii metal and I don’t expect idiots who have never lived in Japan to get the reference. It’s part of their culture and what might seem creepy and weird to you is actually quite normal there. Yes I am well aware of certain Otaku aspects of that culture which in Japan has very negative references.

    Don’t openly admit that your an Otaku in Japan if you don’t want to get labeled a social deviant. Or someone who lives in the shadows that never leaves their apartment. Otaku in Japan doesn’t have the same meaning really as it does in the west. This aspect of society is very dark and one which contributes to Japan’s 33,000 suicides every year. By all means if you want to dive down this rabbit hole do so at your own risk. However BabyMetal has nothing to do with that and in fact has a very positive message to young girls.

    Babymetal’s music focuses on real-world issues that other teenagers thier age face each day. Encouraging everyone to stand up for themselves. To boldly accept who they are and simply, to love life. They sing about having good feelings & the effects of bullying. Going to school and coping with peer pressure among other things. This all resonates very true in Japan especially given the darker aspects of Japanese culture. Gimme Chocolate!!, for instance is basically about body image & worries that many Japanese women face today and their love of chocolate & getting fat of all things. Metal music has about as negative an image of any genre of music out there.

    It is criticized in the media, targeted by hate groups and put into an overall negative light. . The lyrics of many songs, such as Highway to Hell, Die Young – Die Pretty, Destroy Yourself, and The Suicide Solution, are explicit invitations to commit suicide, to give oneself over to the service of Satan. Small wonder then, that among people listening to such music the thought of suicide becomes an obsession. BabyMetal is Metal with a encouraging message to an otherwise negative demographic. So frankly I am all for this. Furthermore they are pretty darn good for their age considering.

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