When three “Harajuku honey” type of girls end up on stage performing a cute choreography, wearing double pigtails with bows, making faces and singing with little, sweet Japanese girly voices, you would imagine a Kawai J-idol girls band, but nope, we are talking here about a pseudo Metal “band”.

It is an odd combination, a bit like pepper over your vanilla ice cream, and the final result is even stranger when you understand that they have instruments played on stage by reasonably competent musicians. Still, they are not exactly a band, or are they?
They are an act put together, catering to the male audience as an attempt to score in every way: Heavy music and girls, girls, girls.  Each one of them has an alluring “personality”: The bitchy one, the cute one and the lustful one. They picked this fixation on child-like women (in my opinion, one of the lowest aspects of Japanese culture) and transformed it into a sort of band, taking advantage of Millennials and older Gen Z’s fascination with Animé and Manga.

Of course, no one really takes them seriously as a proper Metal band, not even themselves. Still, the whole thing is so unusual, to say the least, and this association with older competent musicians somehow managed to get them accepted.
We all know that anything similar coming from one of the leading Metal countries would have been booed by Metalheads for many reasons. Instead, they were relatively well accepted and became a sort of Kawai pet band in the Metal scene.
Famous artists were probably enticed by the original side and youth appeal, participating in songs that were ultimately somewhat disappointing.
Photos were taken with old-school bands that apparently adopted the lollipop Metal as this sort of “pet band,” and it was enough to seal the “acceptance” of the “baby girlies” by a relatively large number of Metalheads.
Another point: people don’t give “Babymetal” any importance or second thoughts; they are there, and it just is. Japanese ood kinks and cringe wrapped in bows pass so much better, even when the whole thing looks and sounds off for many of us.

I wondered if I was the only one who found that cringe to the point it hurts to watch and also a tad inappropriate. Don’t get me wrong, I am no prude, and if I say my favourite Black Metal album is ATTERA TOTUS SANCTUS, Atrum Regina is my favourite track, and the ones who know me know I like the spicy side of Metal in all its glory. However, the Babymetal thing managed to trigger me from this angle not only because of the “child-like teen woman” element in a sort of Lolita fetish, which was obviously calculated to please, but also because of the literal caricature of Japanese women.

When they started, the girls were very young, ranging from 15 to 18 years old, but the oldest is now 26, and they still wear pigtails and bows.

Now get ready to experience watching Babymetal whether you want it or not because they are everywhere, opening for many larger bands and festivals. I imagine they may actually be considered the perfect opening act: surprising, original, and not good enough to take the attention away, for a single second, from the main act.

Lyrics are absolutely idiotic, or an attempt to show the dark side of cuteness and the fact that most people in other parts of the world other than Japan don’t understand what is said is totally irrelevant since the real darkness about them involves their very “persona” in this rather sad display of women objectification and very young women at that.

We, Metal folks, accept all sorts of crazy stuff, don’t we? Dead cutting himself on stage with Mayhem, Manson in drag or singing as a pale semi-naked corpse, Satanic ritual performances, Ozzy literally biting a bat, and all this is okay with us (apart for that poor bat). Yet, Babymetal, for me, doesn’t pass very well since I can’t stand this exploitation of very young girls and their image or the infantilisation of grown women and the sort of men who find all this sexy.

Bring on a real dominatrix, a real lustful woman on stage to do whatever they feel like spontaneously or not, and I will be in my element, but pigtails with bows and the most irritating child-like voices? I have to pass.
One of them calls herself Momoko, which means “Child, flower or peach” in Japanese. 

Daniela P.