Interview with Kobametal, Hedoban Vol. 10 (Part 1) 2016 April

Hedoban Vol. 10


Hedoban interview with Kobametal 2016 March

Kobametal appears!

‘Metal Resistance’

An interview analyzing all 12 songs

I felt that this album would be based around the two songs of ‘Road of Resistance’ and ‘The One’.


You have once again created a Metal album of incredible high quality. It is amazing that you have advanced this far! This is on the same level as the first album.


Do you really think so?


Yes, really this has gone to an exceptional level. To start off, around what time did you consider making and then actually begin working to create the 2nd album?


Rather than say we tried to make a new album, in the case of Babymetal it is more that they perform new songs at live shows and then go on to make changes to them here and there. Before we are aware of it consciously new songs have been created.


That said, it seems the pace of these songs building up has gotten faster than before.


That is true. With this new album there were many songs contained in it that we had laid out the framework for from before. From a subjective perspective I would say there were many songs where it was like, ‘Wow, we finally have given birth to this song’. There are some songs where we think, ‘My, how many years have we been carrying this over for?’. (Laughs)


It is kind of surprising to hear that there is such a stock of songs on hand. (Laughs) Did you have a concept album in mind?


We did not have such a clear cut concept in mind. However, ‘Road of Resistance’ was there from the earliest point and then there was ‘The One’ that was performed at last year’s Yokohama Arena. I felt that this album would be based around the two songs of ‘Road of Resistance’ and ‘The One’.

Q: These songs are placed as the head and then the last song on the album, right?


I was somewhat intent on staring the album with ‘Road of Resistance’.


Also, wouldn’t you say that the Metal-ness of the songs has gone up in scale?


Do you think so?!

I think that is just a happenstance. There are other songs as well that didn’t make it into this album. And some of those songs are more Pop in nature. Well, I guess you could say that when we were considering many factors it was these 12 songs that formed themselves into the album. For example, it is fair to question if a song like ‘No Rain, No Rainbow’ can be considered a Metal song or not (Laughs). In terms of the balance of things it may be true that it lies more on the Metal side of things but I feel there are various types of songs on the ablum.

Q: From my own personal image I think it has a X Japan ‘Blue Blood’ feel to it. That refers to the way the songs are laid out as well as the positioning of the Ballards. There is no doubt about it being Metal and yet it is incredibly rich in variety.


I hope that is how it is (Laughs). The theme at all times is that of ‘taking trip through the sub-genres of Metal’. It is like asking ‘Where have we not explored yet?’. In other words, there are many different components involved.

Road of Resistance


I would like to now ask you about each of the 12 songs on ‘METAL RESISTANCE’ one by one.

In our mail interview in Vol. 6 you explained ‘Road of Resistance’. When we interviewed the 3 girls of Babymetal recently they said that emphatically that it has become a song that represents Babymetal as it is now. Is that how you, Kobametal, feel about it as well?


‘Road of Resistance’ is a song that was created as we traveled around for the World Tour after the 1st album as released and because of that I feel it is packed heavily with the feelings Babymetal had in the situations they were placed in at that time and concerning where they were headed. I am sure the members feel a strong sense of emotional connection with this song as well.


When this song was coming into completion did you already have a feeling that it would go on to become a song that symbolizes Babymetal?


We created it as an ensemble type of song in mind and worked on it as that kind of song including the lyrical parts as well.


The three members have all said that they really like the lyrics.


I place myself in the vicinity of the members and try to get a grasp on what kind of situation they find themselves in and want to come up with lyrics that reflect a vision of the destination that they should be proceeded towards and so it could be that they feel that this song is one that they feel is kind of their own song.


The first time Babymetal performed this song was at London’s Brixton Academy, correct? I myself was also present at that show and what stays with me as a strong impression is that the fans really sang along with the song in spite of it being performed for the first time. From your perspective as Kobametal was this not an ideal happening thinking about just how enthusiastically the fans responded to this unveiling?


Yes, it was indeed! It is not exactly a gambling move but until you actually do it you don’t know how things will unfold. But even saying that, I mean, suddenly presenting a song that no one knows, well….(laughs). But I did have the feeling and expectation that the English fans would come through and so decided to unveil it there. I feel that the end result was very good. In fact, we suddenly change the arrangement of the song during the rehearsal session (laughs). The Brixton venue is a kind of old style opera house and so the sound reverberation is quite something. When the instruments come in there is actually too much reverberation. So, during rehearsal we realized that the melody would be drown out. The girls understood that even if they asked the fans to, ‘Sing it!’ that they would not be able to understand that ‘Wow wow’ nor the melody of the song. And so we decided on the spot to cut the instruments in the middle of the song and go with an A cappella approach.


Wow, so that is what lies behind the reason for that big chorus part!


There were a lot of factors at play. In the end that incredible scene came into being so I am certain that the girls came away very happy and with a strong sense of having pulled off a truly successful song.



Next I would like to move on to ‘Karate’. What was it that propelled you to release this song as the pre-release track ahead of the album?

P. 48


The overall balance of the song, I would say. For promoting the album I felt that ‘Karate’ had the best balance to it. That includes Su-metal’s vocals as well as the ‘Ai-no-Te’ of Yuimetal and Moametal. The song has a Heavy feel to it and yet is catchy and yet has sections that strike your emotions as well. So it was that aspect of having a good overall balance and because it is a type of song that has not been in Babymetal’s repertoire before I felt it might be interesting to take a new approach.


This song has a feel to that I feel is similar to the Groove Metal bands spanning from Pantera to acts like Lamb of God in the first decade of the 21st century.


Yes, that sounds right. The first time I heard the demo tape I had the feeling that the introductory refrain had a nice catchy and cool sound to it. I had assigned the creators with the task of ‘coming up with a song was not in Babymetal’s repertoire’. It has a refrain that can be sung in a Metal manner, don’t you think? Kind of in line with Metallica’s ‘Enter Sandman’ or Pantera’s ‘Mouth for War’.


Yes, yes, I see!


Those kinds of songs are ones that if you are a guitarist of the Metal bent when you go to a musical instrument shop and are trying out a guitar you will certainly start out playing one of those refrains, right?


They are simple and ones you don’t easily make mistakes with (laughs).


(laughs) Right, and that is why there are so many people who play Metallica’s ‘Enter Sandman’. I was looking for that kind of refrain that was simple and catchy at the same time. Those were in fact the refrains I was requesting of the songwriters. In other words, a guitar refrain that is easy to sing along with. Those good refrains that are also catchy also have a Western music feel to them.


It is true that they are refrains that one would hear being played by the mainstream overseas Metal bands.


You can imagine a macho Metalhead grinding away with these songs (laughs).


Yes, one can easily imagine Hatebreed or All that remains playing them.


It does have that kind of feel to it. There are in fact a large number of people in the overseas media saying that the refrain of ‘Karate’ has a heavy and cool feel to it.

I thought that it would be a good idea to have a Babymetal song where we could sing along with the guitar phrase.


Do you like songs like Metallica’s ‘Enter Sandman’ that have a refrain that you can sing along with and is easy to understand?


All said and done, what I garnered from our appearances at the overseas Festivals was that there are an abundance of fans that like to sing along with the guitar phrases. You could say that they like to sing the refrains rather than the song’s melody (laughs). So, I came to think that it would be a good idea to have a song like that in the Babymetal lineup. We make the Babymetal songs by repeated testing out in sessions and with ‘Karate’ we had the refrain from the outset and at the beginning there was only one chorus section. We were at a loss considering should we make the song emphasizing the refrain or should we go with a bit different approach. The refrain is really cool but we decided to add a different aspect in the later half of the song. It was here that we added an emotional part that would make it possible for every to sing along together with the girls. I wanted the latter half, the end part to be dramatic. In the studio we referred to it as ‘Maria’ (Laughs).




The final fake part I asked Su-metal to sing with an image in mind that was in a manner that was in line with a Maria Carey or a Celine Dion.


Ah, the Maria comes from Maria Carey (laughs)?


That’s right (laughs). So, we tried out several patterns and finally ended up making the ending as it is now. It starts out with a catchy but heavy refrain in the beginning, but changes as it moves into the latter half and takes on more of what you could say is a Babymetal-ish feel. We are always making songs with a kind of Mash-up feel to them so in that sense as well this song has a real Babymetal feel to it. The refrain only comes up two times. It is a bit ‘Mottainai <a bit of a waste> because it is such a good refrain (laughs).


When Su-metal sings the bridge or chorus part the song instantly takes on even more of a Babymetal feel.


As she goes along stocking up experiences she naturally develops more and more a style that is all her own. In order to take her style up one more notch and build up a Babymetal feel we put in the ‘Maria’ effect in the latter half of the song (laughs). That part is sung with a high key and recently the songs are including more high keys than in the past and so Su-metal is taking it upon herself to be able to sing these higher keys.

P. 49


The topic of Babymetal’s appearance at overseas Festivals came up a bit ago. As Babymetal performs at more and more overseas Festivals do these experiences have an inspirational influence on the songs and other aspects of the band?


It would not be true to say that they don’t. The power of these Festivals to bring together so many people in such large numbers from so many different countries to hear so many various artists and songs is a truly amazing. It takes quite an astonishing power to unify tens of thousands of people together as these Festivals do.


When you see Metallica performing on a scale of tens of thousands of people at these overseas Festivals it changes the way you think, in a good way.


That is definitely true (Laughs). You often hear the wording that something is ‘a something or other of the people’ and I feel that there is a this kind of ‘thing of the people’ in the Metal world as well. This is something that we can’t readily imagine happening in Japan however. In places like America or Europe there are these events where tens of thousands of people come to watch and enjoy Metal bands. And Metallica is a band that is kind of representative of that phenomena.

Awadama Fever


Next, lets look at ‘Awadama Fever’. The song was composed by AA=’s Takeshi-san, and it seems that his style of composition comes through with even more explosiveness than was the case with ‘Gimme Choco!!’.


Yes, that is so. I had requested Takeshi-san before he composed the song that I wanted him to do such and such with this part of the song and to make this part into a sing-along section and so on. We had several exchanges about these kinds of things in the making of this song.


I very well could be that this is the most popish of all the Babymetal songs.


Yes, it runs right along the borderline spilling into popular music.


For Kobametal-san, at what point does a song cross over this pop music borderline?


I draw that line with the songs, ‘Gimme Choco!!” and ‘Doki Doki Morning’. Takeshi is a composer who can create really wild and aggressive songs while at the same time he has a good sense in making very popish pop music as well. I personally interpret what he does with us as kind of him trying out things with Babymetal that he can’t readily do with AA=. Because of this we are getting ever more catchy songs coming from him.


Did you have in mind the idea of making a more ‘popish and catchy’ song?


More than saying I was aiming at making a popish and catchy song it is more accurate to say that when girls sing in a major chord it usually turns into a song that sounds like it does when a girls band performs. The important thing how to create a Babymetal-ish sound that does not take us into that realm. That can be things like changing the phrasing or introducing a reggae rhythm into the first verse or something similar, or adding in an homage to the songs that Takeshi has created for us up to this point. I tried to convey to him that, ‘I want a like this or that song’.



Now, let us talk about ‘Yava!’. This song has some Ska in it, doesn’t it?


Babymetal includes a bit wider range of genre than Metal with Loud Rock like in ‘iine!’. This wider framework itself is an aspect of Babymetal. In fact this song was in our repertoire from quite a while back. We even performed it at live shows.


As you continually perform songs at live shows does the image of the song go through a process of change?


This song changed, I can tell you. There are many fine nuances and details that underwent change including everything from the dance moves to the song arrangement and the drum phrasings. The song recorded on the CD is the final product of that and has a different arrangement from how it was we it was performed at the Yokohama Arena (laughs).


(laughs) Is that because you get a succession of desires to change the arrangement as you continue to present it at the live shows?


When I am observing the shows there are times when I will feel that the balance is not right at this point, or the dance movements are not quite there, or we don’t need that sound at this point in the song. Those kinds of things come up. For instance, there was a time when we had a death voice in the song while the chorus part was sung and we decided to shave that off as they overlaid each other making it so neither had good effect. Those kinds of realizations and judgements come up as I watch over the live shows. Like at the beginning the ska part was performed with the guitar sound deliberately distorted but as I wanted to get an even more pronounced ska sounding rhythm I had them make use of a clean tone cutting technique (??).

P. 50



Next up is ‘Amore’. This is an extreme Melodic Speed Metal song that I was not expecting.


(laughs) This song as well was already around from about 3 or 4 years ago. Originally it was an 8-beat feel song and was not a Melodic Speed Metal type.


It was in existence from that far back?!


All that remains from its early format is the chorus however (laughs). We took a song that had already been around and broke it apart until all that remained was the chorus with the added verse and bridge sections. The original intent was to make a song that would be a counterpart to ‘Akatsuki’.


While ‘Road of Resistance’ is certainly a high speed Melodic Speed Metal song, don’t you think this song is even faster?


It really is fast, isn’t it? (laughs) This is probably going to be really difficult to perform.


I would say that is definitely understating it (laughs). I am saying this is a good sense of the words, but it seems in listening to it that ‘Amore’ – (Aoboshi) has a sense of excessiveness about it. One is left speechless wondering to oneself, ‘How far are they going to push this?!’.


Is that really how it feels? (laughs)


Oh, no mistake in that (laughs). Also, what I thought when listening to ‘Amore’ – (Aoboshi) was I wondered if you envisioned in your head the Kami band performing this as you were making it?


I think of the song and the live performance of that song as separate things. I am often asked by people living overseas, ‘Does the Kami band also perform in the recordings when you are making CDs?’. To which I answer that the Kami band members are gods who only descend into their respective roles when we are playing live shows and so they are not part of the recording of the songs. <Translator note: I am not sure if he means they are NOT part of the recordings, or that they are not part of the recordings AS kami gods> The songs are the songs on their own and so we do our utmost to pursue every aspect as thoroughly as possible when recording them. It is not until we have put the song in the can that I can start thinking about the live performances (laughs).


(laughs) The guitar part seemed really tough to perform.


I am sure it does (laughs)


I know that you, Kobametal-san also play the quitar. I wonder if you also attempt to play songs like this.


Eh?! No way. These songs are……! (laughs).


At what point did this song change from an 8-beat feel to a Melodic Speed Metal song?


I had a good feel for it from about a year or more ago. So for us on the production side we felt, ‘OK, at last we have reached this point!’. I think from Su-metal’s point of view as well she felt that it time for this old song to get its due.


Do you personally listen often to Melodic Speed Metal songs?


There are trends in the music I listen to. There are times when I will listen to it full out and times when I don’t listen to it at all. That said, I do not dislike it. The up tempo songs blow around with a rhythm that I like.

Meta! Meta Tarou


Now we move on to ‘Meta! Meta Tarou’. This song is one of the highlights of this album. It feels like we have come to the point where Viking Metal has been added to the repertoire (laughs).




So, I have already let my thoughts out of the bag. But, I would like to verify my thoughts. (laughs)

This is Viking Metal, right?


If you break it down as a type of Metal then it would be called Viking Metal. When I unraveled my world map of Metal and looked for genres therein that I had not yet visited I came across Viking Metal and Forest Metal. I thought to myself that it would be wonderful if someday we could take these on. There are a lot of factors involved in ‘Meta! Meta Tarou’, aren’t there? Some of it sounds very Japanese like and some has a kind of song used for cheering on sports’ teams. I feel like ‘Meta! Meta Tarou’ is kind of a conglomeration of all types of elements (laughs).


Are the ideas of Kobametal-san also reflected in the lyrics of the song?


My ideas are included but remember we work with some really excellent music creators. This was made by the team that came up with ‘Onedari Daisakusen’. We worked together on it and banged around ideas over and over like, ‘Let’s make this part take on a ‘Mito Koumon’ feel’, or, ‘Let’s put in a real Viking sound in the chorus’, and “’M! E! T! A!’ would be good here” and things like that. This is peppered with sub-sets like the rhythm of ‘Meta! Tarou!, Meta! Tarou!’ being sung in a rhythm that lines up with the rhythm of ‘Mito Koumon’.

Boh’s impressions of London and New York

Boh: “My impressions with Babymetal in New York and London” 

We finished our two additional concerts on the World Tour of New York and London without incident.

Things were really full out exciting this time as well.

First about the 11/4 New York show.

Not only this show with Babymetal but for myself as well this was the first time to play at Hammerstein Ballroom.

I arrived at the concert hall amidst a full blown case of jet lag. First we started with a sound check followed by rehearsal.

Due perhaps to the way the hall is constructed sound really reverberates. The sound here is just a slightly different taste from the way things sound in Japan. Maybe because the voltage is higher here than in Japan, or maybe because I am in high spirits, the sounds come out powerfully and with a rich feeling of expression. For myself personally, at this show I have changed from a Shure ear monitor to a Fitear one and this makes it possible to hear more minute and fine details in all aspects of performance. Following rehearsal I went outside and found that some fans had already started waiting in line… I thought, “No one will recognize me if I am not all made up”…but I was found out.  People called out to me and I stopped to take pictures with them. 

I try to approach these kinds of situations with an attitude of gratefulness and appreciation (Seeing as these will become good memories for both parties) Some people that I always see in Japan are here as well. Thank you for coming from so far away.

If we get too many people taking pictures together it actually become a nuisance for others so I hurried back as fast as possible and changed in to my stealth disguise of being the Kami of Bass. From this moment on, no matter how itchy my face gets I can not scratch. (And the entire head in my case) No matter how tired I am from traveling, just before the actual performance I mysteriously get charged with energy. Almost time for the Babymetal show to start.

The feeling of nervousness that exists from the calls from the audience the moment we step on stage to time we start playing contains an indescribable feeling of comfort and stability. And then when the performance begins I can truly feel my life energy burning. “This is my dream”. I murmured this unconsciously as I was playing.

I get the impression that rather than just going wild and thrashing around, the New York fans seem to really listen carefully to the performance and give themselves over to the sounds as they take them in to their respective perspectives. 

I was also surprised by the large number of people who were taking videos. Since in Japan it is a matter of course that filming is not allowed it was quite an interesting experience to brush up against such a difference in culture. I saw some people carrying flags that said, “BOH” on them as well as some people dressed up like me. I am grateful for this. We in the Kami band are really happy to have attention paid to us and to have fans call out in support. Su-metal, Yuimetal and Moametal are members and we are the back band, you see.  We could not be paid so much attention as a back band in any other country or setting and so I am 

filled with gratitude.

Next, the 11/8 London, O2 Academy show.

The tickets were Sold Out! It started raining before the show began and I got worried about the health of the fans getting soaked waiting in line outside. I hope they don’t catch colds.

Perhaps due to England being the birthplace of Rock the excitement and energy given off made it feel like the hall would collapse.

There was a lot of power behind the Mosshushu what with there being so many largely structured Europeans. I beg of you don’t get injured or cause injury to others, OK?

This theatre type of historical hall has transformed into a Metal Live house. I feel so fortunate that while performing I am able to take in the view of so many different types of people from young children to older metallers all enjoying the show together. We are all humans, all the same. We can all have a great time together going beyond differences in race, religion and the environments we were brought up in. That is one of the charms of music. I am proud of the fact that we can do this with Babymetal.

OK, now about the contents of this tour… I am sure that the fans from Japan as well as the fans living overseas have verified this through videos uploaded to Youtube….but Su-metal, Yuimetal and Moametal are all continuing to grow. Giving my own impression I would say that it goes without saying that Su-metal’s vocal range as well as her power have both increased but it is her “ability to convey her feelings to the audience” that has dramatically gone up. However, it is not that she is particularly trying to sing more skillfully it is that she has a wonderful aura (presence) as a vocalist and frontman (frontwoman?).

The same goes for Yuimetal and Moametal. They are not simply dancing in unison with the songs, one can feel the the passion they bring to the stage, and the unshakable intent they have in exciting and entertaining the audience coming from the bottom of their hearts. 

Being able to sing while dancing such wild and aggressive dances is something in itself that is no small feat.

Babymetal plays without MC…This does not simply signify that they perform “without a break time”, it means there is no place to slack mentally and there is no leeway to kind of zone out and no way to do things over… If one is lacking in even one of the features of concentration, mental power, Kiai, stamina, guts, or passion one could not carry these performances out and yet the 3 members do it everytime. I have an unlimited amount of respect for these 3 girls.

When I was a Jr. High/High school student I would not have been able to carry on and do my best the way they do… really this is not a trifling matter. I respect the 3 members of Babymetal as artists. There are also skills that we have acquired through these performances together with the girls. We are not treated simply as a back band and are given emphasis as the Kami band, an important part of the Babymetal show.  And without mistake it is Su-metal, Yuimetal and Moametal that pull up and give significance to the existence of us, the Kami band. It is a matter of course that our performing abilities and techniques are professional in caliber but we also perform with high quality not only loud, showy performances but also back up music and sound effects.  It is because of the incredible combination of members who can perform with these skills that we are able to play music as Babymetal that seems to surpass the human range of ability. Not just playing as a back band but changing us into being an existence with value is the existence of the 3 members.


And also, this goes for the fans who are always supporting us.

Without your existence there would not be the Kami band that we are now.  Especially in Japan it is very rare that session musicians like us ever get a great deal of attention paid to them.  There seem to be a lot of people who do not understand the difference between a bass and a guitar.

Amidst this background it is because of you all that come to be recognized and regarded by larger population of people as being “BOH, the man who plays the 6 stringed Japanese bass”.

The house I live in, the car I drive and the beer I drink are all because of you, the fans. I am playing the bass just because I like to do so.  This occupation comes into being because there is and artist and the fans who support and cheer on that artist.

My talk has gotten off track a bit. Doing these two shows and I may be repeating things, of particularly deep impression was the increase in “the power to reach and affect the hearts of the audience” of the 3 members.


At the end of the London show we performed a new song that had not previously been performed.

In spite of the fact that this was the first time to perform the song and it was done in a country away from home, the song created a chorus call and response feature, the fans kept cheering after the song had ended like they didn’t want to leave, and so many fans were crying holding up their hands in the sing of Kitsune-sama moved by a song whose lyrics they could not understand. Seeing all of this I was convinced that we will see “these girls get ever, evermore great”.

I do not care a hoot about these opinions one sees such as “Babymetal is not Metal.” Or, “Well, real Metal is….” These kinds of disputes are just ridiculous and there is no room or reason for debating about them. These girls have gone to a place that is way beyond any of these trifling matters. I personally have never considered what genre Babymetal should be classified as.

What I have interest in as a Kami band member (Bass no Kami) is “continuing to create Babymetal shows that are one and only, original and unique in existence together with the 3 girls of Babymetal and the world wide fans of Babymetal.” And that is all.

Further, I hope to continue to polish my playing skills and promulgate the Japanese 6 stringed bass to as many people as possible. If I can do these things nothing could make me happier. The things I have acquired from working with Babymetal I hope to utilize elsewhere, and the things I get from other performances I hope to bring to Babymetal and the things I have gained through many experiences I hope to make use of in my own life. That is the 6 string bass path of the bassist BOH.

Gratitude and thanks to all, feel the connection of all, provide dreams while chasing them.

That is my life. And as you can see, my blog from today has become officialized.

I think this will make it possible for more people to be able to read my blog and that is something fun to look forward to.


By the way, my previous blog was translated by someone overseas, so I hope that will happen again (translator note: that appears to be the case) I do not have the skill to translate such a long blog. To all the fans throughout the world-let’s continue to excite and build up Babymetal together.  I look forward to seeing you all again at a stage filled with Love, Peace and Kawaii.



I have written earnestly so I would like to add one more comment…

I am not bald due to sickness. Do not consult with a doctor if you start getting thin on top when in your 30’s!

If you start to lose hair, just shave it off yourself. Do it openly. You will understand this if you do it. 


Minewaki Shachou talks about Moametal

Ikuo Minewaki about Moa Kikuchi on Entament

The President of Tower Records, Minewaki Ikuo-san speaks passionately about Sakura Gakuin’s Kikuchi Moa-chan once again! (Complete article/First section- calling a storm) 

An article that we ran on this site in the early days of 2014 created quite a stir amongst not only ordinary viewers but also ardent fans, “Tower Records president, Minewaki Ikuo-san speaks about Kikuchi Moa-chan for 90 minutes!”. This theme comes back and it is powered up.

Our media coverage team visited the head office of Tower Records to cover the “The Idol Award 2014-Minewaki-Shachou determines the best of Kikuchi Moa award” which is reported in our 2015, February edition of “Monthly Entertainment”. The one we were waiting patiently for was the response from Minewaki-shachou who was waiting for us prepared to the teeth to deal with our coverage.

This year as well, the president’s passionate talk exceeded the time allotted for our media coverage. But, that is OK, We will present the whole version of his talk. So, Mr. President please talk to your heart’s content.

Q: Before we get into the main topic and looking back over last year, how do you feel Kikuchi Moa-chan has grown over the year?

Minewaki- “After becoming the student council president she kind of stepped back a bit. Before she took on that position she was the type that liked to go to the front and lead everyone. But, this year, Moa-chan held herself in reserve in live performances and in SG classroom’s as well, and she often lead other members into the more visible positions. The current 3rd year team is very kind and they allow the younger members to perform freely as they want. This is due to the techniques employed by Moa-chan that creates such an atmosphere and that creates an environment that allows them to all carry out activities that they wish to perform. She has taken on a sense of responsibility and has grown immensely.”

Q: She is still only 15 though. (laughs)

Minewaki- “I think that Moa-chan is at her end as the student council president as she did the most she could do going to the places she needed to go to, but with her overseas excursions with Babymetal she could not carry out completely every task she had been assigned with. Also she could not be present for the Fan club limited performance. She missed about 1 out of every 2 public performances. I was unable to watch the Haiku public class as regrettably I had to attend the Oosaka T-Palette thanksgiving festival that day. At the public classes Moa-chan also did not try to stand out and helped others to carry out their performances.”

Q: That ability to create such an atmosphere is also a great thing.

Minewaki- “And now in 2015 the real “The Road to Graduation” begins.”

Q: Are you ready mentally?

Minewaki- “I wonder how 2015 will progress…. I still don’t have a firm grasp on how this year is going, but this spring Berryz Koubou will take an indefinite break and Moa-chan will graduate. With these “2 big things that I love” dropping away I feel a bit empty. Of course even after she graduates Moa-chan will continue to support Sakura Gakuin. And Babymetal is scheduled to perform at the Rock festival “Rock on the the Range 2015” in Ohio in May.”

Q: In 2014 Babymetal performed on March 1st and 2nd at the Nippon BudouKan.

Minewaki- “I went to both day’s performances. I was really surprised on the first day when Yui-chan (Mizuno) fell off the stage. And then in “IDZ” Moa-chan fell down. “Live performances are the best!” but I get so worried about those two. After the first day’s performance I went to eat with my wife, and we were talking excitedly saying, “Will Yui-chan be able to perform tomorrow?” and “Do you think she injured her leg?”. I am so happy that she was not seriously injured.”

Q: Let’s get in to the main topic. Let’s start with the 5th place entry.

Minewaki- “I was thinking about this until 2 O’clock yesterday.”

Q: Thank you for staying up so late for us.

Minewaki- “5th place is Moa-chan’s February 15th diary.”

Minewaki- “On this day there was a Sakura Gakuin live performance at EX Theater Roppongi, and it was the date of Moa-chan’s 100th diary entry. In it she wrote 100 items about herself and it being February and the fans are cold waiting in line to buy merchandise so she wrote this diary entry so the fans would not have too much free time on their hands. And so the title was, “Please read this as you wait”. This is truly an exceptional demonstration of caring for her fans. In the first column where her name is introduced she puts a circle around “Chi--land” so it will not be mistaken for “Ike--pond” in the Kikuchi part of her name. In the 3rd column she has a picture showing her height with it written as 157 cm. In column 4 she says, “when I entered SG my weight was equal to 2 koalas but now it is that of 4. In other areas of the diary she says she is an only child, that she wants to become “Super Moa-chan” and that she love anime. I think writing 100 items was quite a chore.”


Q: Just thinking about writing so many items is quite an exhausting chore.

Minewaki- “As I said last year, you can really see that she thinks about her readers when she writes her diary. And moreover, this was written specifically for fans who were waiting. The contents are quite detailed so reading it is quite a task as well. This really shows us Moa-chan’s character, she really has her stuff together. Hey! Look here! She has two less bottom teeth than ordinary people!”

Q: Shachou, please settle down (laughs)

Minewaki- “Sorry. But, when you read this you can understand that she has a small jaw because she is short 2 lower teeth. It is because she writes things that you would ordinarily not be able to understand at all that her fans are so pleased with her diaries. And following this diary entry we had planned with “Monthly Entertaiment” to do a “100 questions for Moa-chan (2014 August), right? When you read this together with that it is fantastic!”

Q: Those questions were thought up by several adult writers and they apparently had quite a hard time coming up with 100 questions.

Minewaki- “If you read both of these even if you are just getting interested in Moametal, you will be able to understand Moa-chan very well.”

Q: Thank you for slipping in a bit of advertising for us.

Q: So what is 4th?

Minewaki- “Moa-chan and Yui-chan were not present at the 2014 TIF, right?”

Q: Yes, they couldn’t attend because they were touring as Babymetal with Lady Gaga on her live tour.

Minewaki- “However, they appeared on the screen for “Yume ni Mukatte”. And so, Yui/Moa who were not expected to be in attendance seemed to be singing together with the other members.”

Q: Their sense of presence increased even though they were not there.

Minewaki- “True, their sense of presence stood out due to not actually being there. It was that sort of stage. I felt like I was standing in the presence of a truly great people. (laughs)”

Q: What great people do you mean (laughs).

Minewaki- “The Moa-chan in my brain was supremely cute when they synchronized with the other members! I thought how can she be so cute even though it is 2-dimensional. I burned the 2-dimension Moa-chan into my brain, and in front of all of us were the 8 actual members plus the 2 graduates of Iida Raura-chan and Horiuchi Marina-chan acting as assistants performing “Yume ni Mukatte”. And without doubt Yui/Moa were there as well.” 

Q: In the July 30th diary entry of Moa-chan, she wrote that she was “not present at TIF”.

Minewaki- “This was where Moa-chan debuted so the TIF events are of great importance to her. Every year, the members of TIF get into fights amongst themselves and then they reform into new units. For Sakura Gakuin it is kind of like a ritual that the members must pass through. It is interesting to think that they could not attend because they were opening for Lady Gaga.”

Q: And a 15 year old girl feels bad about that (laughs)

Minewaki- “Speaking of Lady Gaga, you know she is a global pop icon (laughs). In this diary entry she writes passionately about her feelings for TIF, and there are pair photographs with everyone in the end of it. I think this is one of her great entries. Any Fukei who reads this and then gets angry that “Yui/Moa are not present at TIF” is not a real Fukei!”

Q: Yes, like, “Don’t say such an absurd thing” (laughs)

Minewaki- “Even though they are not there you can see them (laughs). And remember, more than anything else, the student council president is saying, “Even if we are apart our hearts are one”. Of course since we have to support them the same as the previous year, the 2014 TIF was a Sakura composition. The performances by Sakura Gakuin were a bit less than usual but I was able to able to watch each stage that the members performed on.”

Q: But of all those “Yume ni Mukatte” was the best.

Minewaki- “Yes, I was so excited. It goes without saying that Idols are cute, that is a given, but in my thinking the songs also have to be good. This song was a trigger to change that way of thinking for me. “Kawaii” can at times surpass the song.”

Q: So, you were reverted back to the basics of liking Idols, right?

Minewaki- “Composers can be broken easily! For a long time I also used to say, “I can’t like a performance if the song is no good”. Sorry for thinking like that. There is no need for me to make excuses!”

HEDOBAN Magazine Volume 6 interview with Kobametal

HEDOBAN Magazine Volume 6 interview with Kobametal

The producer of Babymetal who should more properly be called the “Metal command tower” appears in “Hedoban” for the first time in about 1 year!

-“Road of Resistance”!

-“Live at Budoukan ~ Red night”!

-Overseas warrior training journey!

-This can not be reduced simply to the genre of “Melodic Speed Metal”.

-“Road of Resistance” which should be referred to as the greatest Metal Anthem coming of out Japan in recent years.

-The clear and blaring sound of the “Red Night Edition” is knocking people over right and left.

-The multitude of Miracles shown during the overseas warrior training journey that followed on the heels of the “Live at Budoukan,  Red Night”.

Due to the fervent love call of “Hedoban” Kobametal answered our requests with a mail based interview about hints as to where Babymetal is headed following their “Legend 2015, New Year Kitsune Festival” performance.

Regarding “Road Of Resistance”


When did you begin to start creating “Road of Resistance”? I remember you saying before when we talked with you when you were working on the Babymetal album that “you had a song in the works that had an even higher BPM”. Were you referring to the “Road of Resistance”?

Kobametal: “The basic form of the song was ready quite a ways back, but it took on the structure of a song in 2013, I think.”


With Babymetal songs made up to this point you have incorporated things from a variety of Metal sub-genres. “Road of Resistance” has a 100% degree of pure so-called “Melodic Speed Metal” to it. Were you, Kobametal, personally pondering doing a “Melodic Speed Metal with Babymetal”?

Kobametal: “With the songs of “IDZ” and “Akatsuki” that we have released in the past we already had incorporated Melodic Speed Metal aspects so I was not particularly making an attempt to do so anew with this song.”


Is the Metal sub-genre of Melodic Speed Metal one of the types of Metal that you personally like? Also, what facets of Melodic Speed Metal attract you?

Kobametal: “Personally, Melodic Speed Metal is a type of music that I have been listening to from a long time ago. With its high speed guitar work and drumming laid over with a melody I am attracted by, and I mean this as a compliment to this type of music, to its various components that are often called somewhat “uncool”.”


The first time I heard “Road of Resistance” in London I was truly surprised, but when I heard the finished studio song with all the various sounds packed into it I was once again and further surprised. Were there certain things you were focusing on or any difficulties you may have encountered when working on it?

Kobametal: “The point I was really trying to pay attention to was just how “Babymetal” could we make it sound. The difficult part was the high tempo of the song I guess you could say.”


In Vol. 1 of “Hedoban”, “Kobametal-san’s selections <29 Loud/Metal albums (+1) >,” you selected Dragon Force and so I would assume that they are a band that you like and so I would like to ask you what you find appealing about them from your point of view?

Kobametal: “It would be the fact that they do not let you down in your expectations of them and so speaking kind of metaphorically, it is like when you order a dish at a restaurant hoping to get the exact same taste that you got when you ordered and tasted it before. I feel that they have an originality that could be called the “Dragon Force beat” that they provide at just the right place in a song with just the right sound and melody.”


In having the guitarists Sam Totman and Herman Li of Dragon Force collaborate with you on this song was there anything in particular you requested of them? Also, was that excessive “Baka Tech” (term for someone who is possessed with a unique and highly skilled musical technique) high speed guitar play born out of the instructions of a Kobametal who likes that kind of guitar technique perhaps? (laughs)

Kobametal: “Since we were envisioning the incorporation of Dragon Force playing from the demo making stage I feel there was not much of a wide ranging change from the initial image. They worked very cooperatively with the requests made to them from the Babymetal side of things. Thanks to this positive attitude we were able to add in this wonderful guitar performance and I feel create music that is even more powerful.”


Putting the lyrics of “Road of Resistance” into a massive song progression that could be considered a rather stereotypical has led fans to sometimes referring to this song as an “Anthem”. Were you deliberately trying to make this song into an anthem-like piece?

Kobametal: “Regarding the sound of the song, when we were creating the theme of song we wanted it to start off with a lead in that had a strong sense of making an appearance like Judas Priest’s “Hellion/Electric Eye” followed by the appearance of a high speed Melodic Speed Metal sound like that of Dragon Force with a sing along where the audience can cry together with the band. Since we were attempting to make a song with this kind of image I think it was destined to come out as an anthem-like song.”


The chorus with “Woa Woa” makes a deep impression on one. At the Saitama Super Arena performance this turned into a huge group chorus with 20,000 members. Said in a favorable meaning, it seems to me that you created this with deliberately with Arena Metal in mind.

Kobametal: “Up to now we have intentionally incorporated parts of the songs known as “Ai no Te” and the Death Voices into Babymetal songs so the fans could sing along together with the girls, but in the 2014 overseas tour I realized that “there were many foreign fans who wanted to sing along together from the beginning to the end of the show”. Especially in the overseas performances since the girls sing in Japanese and there is no MC this sing along part symbolically became a trigger for bringing Babymetal together with their fans into a unified, “The One””.


The lyrics of the “Road of Resistance” are of a type that has not been seen in Babymetal songs previously. Simply put, what is the theme of this song?

Kobametal: “The theme of the lyrics is the image of the road that Babymetal has traversed so far and the road that they will continue to walk here on out and I feel that this is not limited just to Babymetal but to all who participate in the Metal Resistance with the message to them being one of encouraging them to “Believe in oneself and charge ahead”. This is a song that has an important meaning and serves as a thematic song in the Babymetal Metal Resistance.”


Road of Resistance” has a very strong feel of stately British Metal to it. Did this have anything to do with it being debuted in England?

Kobametal: “Since the Live performance at the O2 Academy in London on November 8th last year was the final show in the WORLD TOUR 2014 and was done under the theme of it being both the ???? of Chapter 2 of the Metal Resistance and the introduction of Chapter 3, presenting it at this venue at this time for the first time had significance as being the theme song for the 3rd Chapter. Further, Yuimetal ardently expressed her wish that it performed saying, “It must be so!”. (laughs)”

Live at Budoukan, Red Night”


I feel that the number of artists who can put out Live performance editions is rather limited. Do you, Kobametal-san, personally have any special thoughts regarding Live performance albums?

Kobametal: “I think that Live Performance albums are interesting in that they offer a way to express differences in the way a guitar solo can be phrased or in the way the song arrangements can be presented. I may be possible to enjoy music even more by discovering the slight differences that occur in each performance.”

Q: “Live at Budoukan, Red Night” is being highly praised by the fans and because of many people have come to be fans or have come to look upon Babymetal in a more favorable light. With this Live album were you aiming to “draw out the core musical essence of Babymetal”?

Kobametal: “I was not in particular deliberately attempting to do so, but in that it contains all of the songs on the 1st album, “Babymetal” performed live without break, it could be said that it attempts to be a sort of “Best Live” album.”


Idols often release DVDs but one doesn’t often hear of them putting out Live performance editions. Including the opinions of the 3 Babymetal members did you have?

Kobametal: “With Babymetal I feel we have already come to the point where they can not be contained in the bracket of being an Idol band, and since in some cases I feel they are putting on Live shows that are richer and heavier than other rock bands I have absolutely no worries regarding this matter”.


One of the jewels of this Live album is the involvement of Ted Jensen. Why did you think of asking Ted Jensen to work with you on this Live performance album?

Kobametal: “This is also the workings of Fate, or rather the divine instructions of Kitsune-Sama, I feel.”


Incidentally, could you tell us how Ted Jensen thinks about Babymetal?

Kobametal: “He said he feels they are an extremely unique entity.”


I felt there were some differences in the way the sound was handled such as the way the sound was recorded and the way some sections were emphasized between “Red Night” and “Black Night”. If that is so, could you tell us why? And were these due to the ideas of Ted Jensen?

Kobametal: “We did not deliberately set out to create a difference in the sound and I feel the sound on the day of the recording plays a big part in this.”

Following the overseas warrior training journey


And then following upon the heels of the BudouKan shows the band suddenly embarked upon an overseas tour. Did you feel from before that this would develop into an overseas tour based on what came before?

Kobametal: “I did think that eventually we would develop into performing overseas, but I thought it would take a bit more time to do so. The speed of things following the release of the album was very fast.”


The staff at “Hedoban”’s sense of the outlook regarding Metal changed after experiencing the Metal Festival of Sonisphere with its gathering of everyone from small children to the elderly. Did you, Kobametal-San feel a change in your outlook toward Metal after experiencing Sonisphere from the inside realm of that world?

Kobametal: “I discovered many things by experiencing this authentic English Rock festival known as Sonisphere. I actually experienced the fact that the Headlining act, Iron Maiden is a people’s band. I felt the wide range as well as the history and scope of Metal on seeing everyone from grandchildren to elderly grandfathers and grandmothers participating in the festival wearing Iron Maiden T-shirts.”


There is an image that more than America that Europe has an enthusiastic fan base regarding Babymetal. How did you yourself feel about this?

Kobametal: “Since each country has its own way of reacting to and enjoying Babymetal, it is difficult for me to say which country is the most enthusiastic about Babymetal, but I do have the impression that within even Europe it is especially Germany and England in which there seems to be a bigger ratio of fans excited about Rock and Heavy Metal. Through the tour I heard from various people from many different countries that when Japanese artists perform in Europe it is usually the Asians living in Europe or people who are interested in Japanese culture that come to these shows, but that with Babymetal the fan base is different.”


Is there anything that you feel is interesting in the difference between the Japanese fans and the European fans?

Kobametal: “That would be that they really “sing a lot”.”


In England long time standing Metal media sources such as “Hammer” or “Kerrang” have been out and upfront in covering Babymetal. Please let us know your straight, unadulterated feelings regarding this.

Kobametal: “I feel it is a great honor.”


I am certain that you have received a great deal of foreign media coverage up to this point, and I would like to know if this differs from the Japanese media in any way?

Kobametal: “There does not seem to be too much different in the way both the Japanese media and the foreign media cover Babymetal as being a unique presence, but I feel that since the overseas cultures do not have the concept of Idol that the foreign press tends to treat Babymetal more as an artist in their own right or as Metal band. And I feel that the overseas media seems to be more enthusiastic in their coverage.”

Q: Along with Sonisphere of course, I feel that Babymetal acting as the opening band for Lady Gaga was an extremely precious experience for the girls. How do you, Kobametal-san yourself feel about this?

Kobametal: “Even if they differ in genres I feel it was an extremely important experience for Babymetal to be able to travel on a tour with an artist that is performing on the world stage.”

Q: In Japan the number of Metal fans who come to Babymetal shows dressed in Metal T-shirts has increased and because of Babymetal there are many former Metal fans who are returning to the fold so it seems that Babymetal has touched the hearts and minds of many Metal fans. What do you think about this situation?

Kobametal: “I feel that this is a sign that the Metal Resistance is moving steadily ahead.”

Q: Are you still responsible for the BGM that is played as fans file into Live performances? And if this is so is there something that you are paying attention to in selecting the songs played following the overseas warrior training journey? There are cases of Iron Maiden songs being prevalent and with the recent SSA there were many Judas Priest songs played…

Kobametal: “I am pretty sure that the songs selected are according to the whims of Kitsune-Sama on that day.”

Q: On January 10th at the Saitama Super Arena (SSA) there were about 20,000 fans in attendance. This is something in the Metal world in Japan that has not happened recently for Live performances. What do you, Kobametal-san think of this excitement?

Kobametal: “Since I have the impression that we were allowed to appear in the Loud Park event known as the “Big show” I was a bit worried whether we could fill out the arena with just Babymetal fans. And so when we were actually able to fill the entire arena with a sold out show I was filled with excitement.”

Q: I am sure that you are looking forward anxiously to the new overseas developments from May. And we here at “Hedoban” are looking forward both mentally and “financially” to this development (laughs). Is there a possibility of Babymetal venturing into unknown foreign countries?

Kobametal: “Only the Fox God knows.”


BudouKan 2 days Monster Hedoban Vol 4 article (old article)

BABYMETAL live at Nippon Budokan by HEDOBAN Magazine 

Hedoban Vol. 4 


Listen up! …. The “Red night-Black night” are truly Japan’s cutting edge Metal — Babymetal!!

The first chapter of the Metal resistance is compiled right here.

Our report chock full of emotions spanning 10,000 characters (referring to the number of Kanji).

Are you holding on tightly to the Neck Brace that was handed out to you at the opening day at the Budoukan venue?

Are you daily watching the “Live at Budokan” trailer?

The Metallers, no, all of the fans who witnessed the “Red Night/Black Night” are certainly proud of what they saw and are filled with excitement everyt ime they remember every detail they experienced that night that has become etched into their minds. I would like to talk about the “Red Night/Black Night”. Over and over and endlessly I would like to talk about it. I dedicate this 10,000 character report to all those fans who shared these nights with me and with all those true Babymetal fans who have been so fascinated with Babymetal. It is the hope of us at “Hedoban” that this report will serve as a source of reference for “talking about the Red Night/Black Night experience. Our true feeling is that this can not be captured even with 10,000 characters. So, we have entrusted out intent with the 3 girls of Babymetal, with Kobametal and as well with the entire staff that supports Babymetal!

We hope we will be able to see unapologetically and in all its glory the “True Metal” of Babymetal at the Mecca of Metal as was shown to us at the “Red Night/Black Night”.

On February 25th BABYMETAL’s first album went on sale. The night before this albums were first released for sale at Shinjuku’s Tower Records. Toy Factory twitted on its official twitter site that a “Stupendous line of people” had formed outside Tower Records. I couldn’t take my eyes off my Smartphone screen. I became so concerned with each passing second of the current state of affairs of Babymetal that I was unable to concentrate on my work. In a fortunate turn of events “Hedoban” Vol. 3 was scheduled to go on sale this same day. I received a mail from the editor on the day it was to go on sale which said, “It is amazing! Everyone standing in line at the cash REGISTERS are holding their hands the Babymetal CD and “Hedoban!”.

So apparently he had gone to Tower Records to check on how things were going. I am quite certain that he wrote that mail with his eyes tearing up.

At the end of last year’s December 21st Babymetal solo concert, “Legend 1997 Su-metal’s Seitansai” held at Makuhari Messe it was announced by way of a video presentation that Babymetal would be performing 2 days at the Nippon Budoukan. For a large number of fans this meant they would have to wait patiently until March 1st until they would be able to experience once again (or for the first time) a Babymetal live performance. Of course some lucky fans would be able to see them before that at a joint show with Kinniku Shoujo Tai, or at their Singapore or Taiwan performances, but this is obviously only a very narrow segment of their fan base. Considering their rapidly expanding number of fans this scarcity of live performances is kind of weird.

Live Legeng 1997, Su-metal Seitansai.

For the ordinary fan the pace of Babymetal’s activities that they are aware of appear to be rather uneventful. It goes without saying that this pace is not anything like the 8-year intervals between albums that we saw with AC/DC but it does feel to one that the metal resistance that has been carried out up to now has been slow and kind of inching steadily along. That is why it is very interesting that in spite of this there has been this sudden increase in the number of fans.

There is very little information about Babymetal. They have no blog and even the official Twitter account only announces the bare minimum of information deemed necessary. It does seem kind of weird. However, that said, one can also be of the point of view that having a smaller amount of information makes things easier to organize and handle in your head. Having too much information can in some cases bring on fatigue or cause you to lose interest. It also may make it easier for new fans to get on the boat so to speak. It is not a simple of case of more is better when it comes to information. Fans who are starving for information tend to listen to the music and watch available video material over and over. That goes for the writer as well and I find myself repeatedly viewing “LIVE ~ LEGEND I, D, Z APOCALYPSE”. I don’t think that it was a purposeful intent to create a state of starvation in their fans, but I would say that most certainly the lack of information has served as a side effect playing around in the background of this rapid increase in the fan base..

And now we come to the long awaited date of March 1st. Due to the large number of fans perched on the edge of starvation the tickets sold out almost immediatelyThe fate of these 3 girls will be decided one the first day of this 2-day event, the “Red Night Legend, Giant Neck Brace festival, the Tenka metal Budoukan Final”.

I was planning to get to the venue early to stand in line to buy goods, but since I was unable to sleep well the night before I ended up arriving after 3 O’clock. I really wanted to buy the legendary Budoukan version of the “Corset Festival” T-shirt but one look at the monstrous line of people made me give up on that idea. I decided to wait for a while outside the venue.

When I looked over the line of people waiting to buy goods I was delighted to see that there were people holding copies of “Hedoban” and even some reading it as they stood in line – a favorable scene to see. It appears that the publication side of the metal resistance is gradually making inroads as well. I had heard all this through mails from my editor before but seeing it with my own eyes actually caused them to well up with tears of happiness.

Had the octogonal center stage really been changed on purpose to make the “most superior metal stage on earth-the Budoukan” into a fighting arena, or colosseum?

OK, here we go-entrance time! My spirit of excitement has been building up to incredible heights. 

As I approach the entrance I am handed a corset and told, “Please put this on as you enter the arena”. It is an obligation possessed by all who enter to wear their corset. When I entered the Budoukan with the corset wrapped around my neck I let out a expression of surprise as I had done when I saw Babymetal at Makuhari Messe.

There was a great octogonal stage positioned right in the center of the Budoukan, and there was a monitor hanging down from the ceiling. Surrounding the octogonal stage there were 4 circular stages in place which connected to the main stage by with aisles. The stage which was all done out beautifully in red and black was embellished with magic squares (Mahoujin). This is truly a work of excellence.

A center stage, and what is more, at a standing only style of concert, at an arena of the class of the Budoukan is an extremely rare occurrence. A long time ago ARB set up a boxing ring in the Korakuen hall upon which they performed and in more recent times Brahman put on a standing only performance at Makuhari Messe. However this may in fact be the first time that a concert has been put on with a stage set-up like this at the Budoukan.

The octogonal center stage deliberately draws out the elite status of the “most superior metal stage” and further helps to portray it as a fighting arena, or colosseum. When I reflected that this Budoukan performance would be a part of a story that began with last spring’s “Babymetal Death Match” and continuing through 2013 Summer Sonic a wave of emotions rose up in my chest.

The stage set-up was a true spectacle and then when I looked around the entirety of the arena an even more mysterious scene met my eyes. The periphery of the stage seemed to my perception like a scene that had been recorded and shown to me in black and white. This was due to everyone in the audience wearing a black T-shirt or a black jacket thrown over their shoulders which were in contrast to the white corsets they were wearing. While I do not know how many people were in attendance, the vast majority were all dressed more or less the same. This also I can only express as being truly spectacular. This type of scenery is also one of the factors that goes into to constructing the world of Babymetal. By the way, if you were to come into the arena without a corset around your neck, one of the “Bonesman” patrolling the areana would point and gesture to you to quickly put it on.

These “Bonesmen” really carried out good work in the arena. Before the concert began they were walking around the arena carrying flags bearing the logo mark of Babymetal on them raised high in the air. They would lead people who had entered the arena to their seats and help them out. At times they would call out “Oi, Oi!” in a loud voice. From time to time their actions would appear on the monitor hanging from the central ceiling. This being seen by the fans in the stands helped greatly in building up their excitement and involvement with the event unravelling before them. This great attention paid to the fine details of putting a first class show is truly a wonderful thing. The result of all this attention to details helps to create a world that separate and removed from ordinary reality.

Somewhere along the way the arena has morphed from a concert venue into a sort of underworld theme park.

The concert has yet to start. I wonder what will things be like when it has finished. 

The arena goes dark. A “Boneman” appears on the monitor and in a deep voice he says, “Kobametal Death” (I am Kobametal) Kobametal is a figure well known to our readers and who is best known as the porducer of Babymetal. However, Kobametal appearing on a large screen monitor at a performance is indeed a rare event. I do not know if he is someone who likes to be the center of attention or not but the fact that he has chosen to appear in form of a character is itself a really interesting idea. He goes on to announce that the “Neck Brace festival” that was in the past held at the Meguro Rockmaykan would now have its venue changed to the Budoukan where it would be called the “Giant Neck Brace festival”.

Next, we are informed through an oracle from Kitsune-Sama that, “When the pitch black darkness transforms into a crimson red color, Babymetal is challenged with a further test conveyed by Kitsune-Sama”. The Fox god continues, “There will be no stories or commentaries between songs, no encore and that from the time one puts the corset on your neck the battle will begin. Indeed we are already headed toward destruction…”. When I heard the word destruction I felt myself shake. The countdown to destruction…Wait a minute sometime in the past I bought a CD that had that as its title.

Have you made preparations for your neck?” Is the switch about to pressed?

I will ask you once again, have you made preparations for your neck?”

The audience growls back loudly, “Guoooooooo!”

The Giant Corset festival begins now!”

With that the excitement building visual presentation of Kobametal came to a close and the countdown switch was pressed. Here the breakdown part of THAT song was played over and over in a loop. Ki—Tsu—Ne—Ki—Tsu—Ne—Ki—Tsu—Ne…….. That’s right, “Megitsune”. No mistake about it, the most fitting song to be performed as the opening piece is none other than “Megitsune”. The circular stages rise up in a mysterious red light with the three girls posed theatrically. When the “Soiya, Soiya”, “Sore, Sore, Sore” begins the audience is in a festive frenzy.

For many of the fans here this is the first time to meet the girls since the Seitansai held at the end of last year. And there must be many for whom this is their first time to encounter Babymetal-their, “At last I am able to see them in person” moment. So how is it?! Just how incredibly cool is this?! Just how cute are they?! Look! Look at the way they move! All of it including of course the performance of the Kami band is of the highest quality found in Japan at the present time, isn’t it!

During the performance of “Doki Doki Morning” and following through “Gimme Choco” a vortex is formed in the Mosshu Pit. Since the arena is separated into differing blocks each block has formed it’s own respective Mosshu circle all of which are spinning around with incredible momentum. Babymetal fans refer to each other as Mosshu mates. And so Mosshing with this kind of intense energy is just a matter of course. “Zukyun!” “Dokyun!”

The cuteness of Yuimetal and Moametal has in an instant pierced the hearts of 10,000 fans. And this number shall most surely increase as time goes on. In “Iine!” a laser beam was used which added a further feeling of theatre to the arena and immediately following “Kitsune Da O” one saw the incredible sight of 10,000 fans all together doing a Dogeza Hedoban. A true masterpiece of performance.

The girls got to take a brief break before diving into “Catch Me If You Can”. The long version intro provided the 4 members of the Kami band each ample opportunity to show their mind boggling musical skills. The sounds they were drawing out from their vast pool of abilities resonated deeply in the hearts of the audience propelling on the excitement the show. The 3 girls made their reappearance as the entire arena was thoroughly grooved into the heavy sound of the Kami band which served to further heat up the excitement. One could almost feel the Mosshu pit heating up tangibly on one’s skin.

After “Uki Uki * Midnight” it was time to unveil Su-metal’s solo, “Akumu no Rondo”. Once again I have to ask myself, “Just what is this aura, or presence that this teenage girl possesses”? As usual her standing posture is the embodiment of cool strength, but at this moment I felt she was attempting to reach an even higher level. She is truly in possession of a deep well of talent and at this point in time we yet unable to see how far she will go. This chaotic song rolls along with a viciously modulating tempo which she masters perfectly even while engaging and fixating the entire arena. She performed this very difficult piece with smooth ease. I have listened to this song since then repeatedly on CD but it is certainly quite a different animal from the one I heard performed with the blasting sounds of the live performance. 

Black Babymetal composed of Yuimetal and Moametal then performed “Onedari Daisakusen” followed by the incredibly lighthearted and fun yet extremely wild “Yon no Uta” which was unveiled at this venue on this day. Ever since I heard this song for the first time“Yon Yon Yoyoyoyon” has been playing in my head virtually non-stop. And I truly appreciate the Metal reggae section that reminds one of the way the Scorpions did this many years ago. This too is metal. I once again recognized the fact that metal is a genre of music that is able to swallow up any type of music it encounters.

The split second that Su-metal screamed out, “Now, Akatsuki!”, fire flared up from locations around the stage. “Akatsuki”. When Su-metal’s voice rides on the Speed, on the Metal everything heats up to a fervent pitch. I feel that I will fly up infinitely high riding on this accelerated vocal myself. Akatsuki has totally recharged me with vitality and I even have a heightened sense of courage surging through my chest. “Babymetal Death”. A low bass sound that seems to lead one into the very depths of hell resounds eerily throughout the entire arena as the audience responds with chants of, “Death!, Death!”.

Headbanga!” We must be coming close to the end of the show. I was already filled to the brim by this time. Just as Kobametal had declared, this show had proceeded as a non-stop, no MC heavy metal onslaught. In the interval before “Headbanga!” Yuimetal and Moametal were running around the periphery of the stage calling out “Hedoban, Hedoban!” stirring up the audience. 

Babymetal – Concert – Schedule.

It was at this time that a problem occurred. There were only two girls on the stage. I didn’t at first realize that Yuimetal had disappeared from the stage. Some of the people around me were also starting sense something was wrong tilting their heads in confusion. “Where did Yuimetal go?”

The performance went on unheeded but there was some kind of commotion going on amongst the fans located near the stage. At this time I was still unable to get a grasp on what was happening. What I heard later was that during the pre “Headbanga!” interval Yuimetal had slipped and fallen off the stage. I was unable however to verify what had happened at that time from where I was sitting.

Su-metal and Moametal performed “Headbanga!” to the end without Yuimetal. The lights in the arena went out and stayed out for some time. I was thinking there is probably one more song to go.

From my perspective I knew there was some sort of accident but it was still unclear to me. My mind went blank-was the show just going to end with things the way they were? Throughout the audience people were yelling out, “Yuimetal!” here and there. These individual calls gathered up naturally into one big Yuimetal call that enveloped the entire arena.

After a few minutes had gone by the lead in for “Ijime, Dame, Zettai” started up. Even with this the audience was still all worked up. On the other side of the darkness appeared the three figures of the girls. The whole erupted in an unbelievable roar of, “Guooooooooooo!!!!” As I stood there overwhelmed and in a state of stunned amazement right in front of me the preparations for IDZ were moving ahead without fail. Yuimetal and Moametal were crouched down in runner’s starting positions. Wall of Death followed by the “Dame” jump-this all feels like a dream. This whole flow of confusion pressed upon me. I was all confused and upset with the excitement of Yuimetal’s accident and I felt for some reason like Moametal had also fell down with all of this seemingly impressed on my memory in a lump sum of detail.

The narration from the Metal master went on to state that the “3 girls had conquered the Tenka Ichi Budoukan” had achieved the status of “Real Metal” bringing this narration to a conclusion.

I was unable to believe all the events that had occurred right before my eyes. I remember thinking this is what is meant by having one’s mind go completely blank almost like being in a trance. I think there must have been a large number of others fans who felt the same way as I did. With that the countdown to the “final chapter of the metal resistance” had begun. I was unable in my state of mind to follow what the narration went on to say however.

While the length of the concert was just about exactly 1-hour, in consideration of all that had happened it certainly didn’t feel like just 1-hour. I have read what has happened with this accident as being part of the great power that has become part of the Babymetal legend when I reflect upon it now.

Even when the lights went on in the arena, I was unable to return to ordinary reality.


1. Megitsune

2. Doki Doki Morning

3. Gimee Choco

4. Iine!

5. Catch me if you can

6. Uki Uki Midnight

7. Rondo no Akumu

8. Onedari Daisakusen

9. 4 no Uta

10. Akatsuki


12. Hedobangya!

13. Ijime, Dame, Zettai

A conclusive ceremony that spreads out to the final and a thorough homage to X Japan. The first chapter in Metal resistance opens the door to a new form of metal beauty.

Black night

Legend “Doomsday”

Justice of summation

March 2, 2014

Nihon Budoukan

Every seat in the arena is filled. Everyone here is hoping to become a witness to history.

The night before March 2nd I was filled with an incomprehensible excitement and ended up drinking too much. There was no way I could get through this night without drinking.

As you can imagine I was completely concerned with the situation surrounding Yuimetal every since my encounter with it at the first performance. However, I had received a twitter saying, “yesterday we are sure you were really surprised but Yuimetal is now completely fine and healthy” which even included a picture verifying this claim. Twitter is certainly useful in these situations. With my feelings of uncertainty being wiped away from my mind I went drinking with a friend. With that and a feeling of being one of the chosen ones I made my way to the arena. I was once again unable to buy a T-shirt.

In the same manner as yesterday, the stage was a center stage layout. But there was one part that was different. A barrier had been set up alongside the runway leading up to the stage. All of the fans felt a feeling of relief knowing that safety measures had been taken. All that is left is to wait for the start of the show.

This is the second day of the Budoukan performances so I am wondering what will be the ceremony prepared for this “Black Night Legend “Doomsday Justice Of Summation” show. Every seat is filled. Every fan here is here with the intention of becoming a witness to Babymetal history.

While waiting for the show to begin I was pondering on the hidden meaning of “Doomsday” that had been inserted into the subtitle. From before I had been concerned about the homage to X Japan that had been repeatedly introduced into the Babymetal world. “Crimson Night” and “Black Night” were certainly created based on the “Blue Night” and “White Night” concerts held on December 30 and 31, 1994 and the roots for the Neck Brace definitely came from Yoshiki. And I certainly can not be without remembering Toshi’s scream when considering “Akatsuki”. However, I keep getting the feeling that there is something more hidden and contained in this term Doomsday. And I am sure this will be revealed in tonight’s performance. I may in fact have missed something from yesterday’s show.

I knew from reading an interview in a magazine that Kobametal is a big fan of X Japan. Even before become a producer I got the feeling that he had the quality of being a big fan of X Japan. He expresses his love of music very openly without playing down his deep appreciation of heavy metal. This is actually a very big point. This gives him a very unobtrusive almost air like quality in his approach to producing Babymetal that is not just one of producing them as a product. Metallers are extremely sensitive to this air like quality of producing. The Metal music market when looked upon world wide is a very big market and yet each band that has succeeded has done so with a production quality similar to the one possessed by Kobametal. The atmosphere surrounding big bands such as Iron Maiden or Metallica all very much feature this quality. The reason we Babymetal fans are able to trust the entertainment provided by Babymetal is perhaps found in this quality.

One performance is already finished and from today this vast Babymetal story will begin once again. And that is absolutely the way things must be. “Doomsday-From the gigantic magic circle the sound of gong emanates out announcing the final stage of the Metal Resistance”

The lights go out in the arena and the narration begins. Yesterday’s “Crimson Night” performance, excepting for the accident that happened, was a simple and straightforward stage without excessive dramatic touches. Today’s performance looks like it will develop into theatrical one flavored with movies.

The Metal soul burning in the dark of the night turns into the crimson flames and all is consumed in flames”.

The picture story theatre begins. Today is one period in time. One story ends and from today once again a vast story begins. It must be this way. “The time remaining has become very scarce…”

From before I had a thorough premonition that today something would be coming to an end, but when I actually heard it coming through the narration my chest was hit with emotion.

The first song was “Babymetal Death!”. The arena immediately turned into “Hell”. My mind and body shook with the fact that today’s setlist differed from the day before. In the next song, “Iine” Su-metal nonchalantly threw out the ominous word of, “Doomsday”. By the way, yesterday the word was “Budoukan!”. This is one of my favorite moments, when one can peer into the extremely scarce moments of “essential” Su-metal.

Not appearing in the set list yesterday, “Answer For Animation With You”, was performed today with the 3 girls flying all over the gigantic stage in every direction. While I would love to be able to more closely observe each girl’s expressions and movements, the speediness with which they move makes this impossible. There is just so much information that enters into one’s field of vision at a Babymetal performance. Even though there are just the 3 girls on stage it feels like an unlimited space spreads out before one on the stage. So, I often feel like I may perhaps be missing something that I should have seen. I think this is one of the reasons all of us tend to repeat over and over some scenes when watching a recorded video format. The number of view counts on Youtube for “Gimme Choco!” is an amazing phenomena but much of that is probably due to this natural desire to re-watch parts of the performance. The picture story theatre portrays the pair of Yuimetal and Moametal extremely excited watching the most recent version of their favorite Anime, “The happy grape man” in the Cyber city of A-Ki-Ba.

Grapeman challenges the girls to show him real reggae and he will reward them by teaching them the real way to arrange the number 4. With this, the two transform into Black Babymetal and go on to perform “Onedari Daisakusen” and then “4 no Uta”. Happy 4! The cuteness of Yuimetal and Moametal was so outstanding that even today I felt a rush of infatuation. The picture story theatre begins again. Both screens show a story of a young girl carrying a cross of despair with a soft yet strong ballad playing in the background. It would appear that this is a new song.

Su-metal’s voice completely blends her heart with the song. The emotions that bubble up from within her build up to their limit and expresses this song straight and honestly as a 16-year old girl would. While it still might not yet be a 100% perfect performance, her emotional posture strikes right to the core of the hearts of all who hear it. When she was singing “Akatsuki” I could swear that there were huge streams of fire shooting up behind her. I promise I am not lying.

As we enter the second half, they fly right through “Catch Me If You Can” and into “IDZ”. This rich and dense stage show leaves one bored for not one single second. This style of performance reminded me of Yoshiki’s famous quote of, “the aesthetics of a moment”.

In this completed stage we find a rich and dense style of beauty that has been fostered over nearly 40 years of Heavy Metal history. When I first saw Babymetal exactly 1 year ago they were already in possession of the ability to transmit a very powerful and attractive charm. Babymetal has progressed this far due to a strong belief in themselves. The result of that is that they are able to fire up and entrance 10,000 fans in a live show. Now the scale of their stage shows are 10 times or more greater than they were then. We believed for a long time that this would be the case.

We are ! …Babymetal!”

When I came to my senses I realized that we are almost at the end of the show. I seems I always feel this way. The girls pleasantly sing out, “See you!” and make their lightfooted exit from the stage. I was happy beyond measure. I want to express my appreciation for having met Babymetal. Kitsune-sama, thank you!

One of the factors of attractiveness of Babymetal is their “style of beauty”. This is not a “Style of beauty Metal”. That is to say it contains the essence of Metallica’s theme of the destruction of the goddess and X JAPAN’s Speed Metal sound and many of the other great parts of the Metal movement that have so excited the world. This so magnificently completed stage is built on the foundation of a style of beauty that has been fostered over almost 40 years of Heavy Metal history. It can be said that the world of Babymetal is a form of entertainment that is built based deeply on the past history of Heavy Metal. And that is why they are able to engross and entrance us to this degree.

And further, today is a special day. Everyone in attendance today knows that this is not the end of things. The narration begins again. “The crimson flame burns up everything, and when this land is completely engulfed in a pitch black darkness at last the moment of fate shall come to us…we are heading to the final chapter of the Metal Resistance”. As soon as the narration began, the entire arena became completely silent. “Kitsune-Sama said, ” With that the Gong is rung making a divine oracle like statement that the curtains have risen on a new legend.”

This brought on an uproar from the audience. This eruption of cheers from the fans came at the moment when it was announced that the Legend would be starting up again. On both of the screens a new character was seen and this is the mother of Kitsune-sama-”Godmother”. “You are the one who banged the Gong”. With this the crowd erupted into laughter and a very pleasant mood spread throughout the arena. Amidst this aura of new hope that filled the arena the audience began the calls for an Encore.

Doki Doki Morningt” started. Isn’t it a heart warming gesture that the song that commemorates the start of Babymetal is selected for the initial Encore song? And now we know that the group will continue to exist. I felt like I would cry. They continued with one more song. The last song of the first chapter of Babymetal and their first major debut song, “Headbangya!”. That’s right, the 3 girls sent out a wolf smoke signal of the metal resistance with this song.

Hedoban, Hedoban, Banbanbaban!”

The performances of the first period of Babymetal continued to this point. The audience had their eyes riveted on the form of this performance. The shows have now completed transformed into a ritual. Every single fan was watching quietly over this pattern of events in an atmosphere of dignified seriousness. Even with the conclusion of the 2nd song of the Encore the lights in the arena stayed off. “Shall we now talk about the totality of the Metal Resistance?” After a short span of time began the “History of the fierce fighting of the Metal Resistance”, or, a history of the activities of Babymetal. “The media, politics, economy and indeed everything in this land was under the control an enormous entity known as “Idol” and its dark and overwhelming power. Everything other than Idol songs were considered to be harmful and Metal was no exception.”

I read this over and over and could recite this narration from memory even now. “The prayer of the messenger requesting the reinstatement of the rights of Metal reached the ears of the god residing over all Metal matters, Kitsune-sama, who went on to give the name of Babymetal to Su-metal, Yuimetal and Moametal a unit given birth on the theme of fusing together Idol and Metal and brought them in to this land. Kitsune-sama provided Babymetal with numerous trials to make it possible for them to take possession of true Metal”.

10,000 fans were gazing at the monitor in the center of the stage in silence. The narration goes on passionately as scene after scene of momentous episodes in Babymetal history reeled by on the screen. “Traveling down this pathless path, the girls changed ever single challenge they faced into Legends and the sight of actions struck deeply into the hearts of all witnessed them”.

Oh, that’s right, this is reality. This all really happened. This was not a work of fiction. “Kitsune-Sama spoke divinely to Babymetal. The first chapter of Babymetal in this land has come to a conclusion” and with that 3 coffins began to descend slowly from the ceiling of the BudouKan. It appears that the girls are being summoned to a new land. “Doomsday-time has come”, it seems the time has arrived. For whatever reason, the narration now continues in English.

Screaming and Dance-Moametal”

Screaming and Dance-Yuimetal”

Vocal and Dance-Su-metal”

Dressed in new costumes each member is introduced. When the 3 girls have entered into the coffins they are raised up high. This is now nothing other than a ritual. In the background orchestral music is playing. Every fan, every single one of them was watching this in solemn silence. In conclusion the narration goes on to say, “Babymetal, say Goodbye”. The crowd moaned in awe, “Eh..!”

to Japan, Japan, Japan…..”What is this?! What in the world is happening!? This seemed to be the mood in the arena and my head was thrown into confusion. On both of the screens appeared the words, “Babymetal Japan”. Next the words of “Legend “Y” Yuimetal Seitansai (Birthday festival) and “Legend “M” Moametal Seitansai”. Next on the screen appeared a world map moving away from Japan and on to…Europe. While my mind was in a state of confusion to the end and I don’t remember clearly what took place, it seems that the Seitansai were going to be held in the countries of Europe. Babymetal’s Metal Resistance on this land has come to a conclusion and it is now time for them to continue their warrior training in foreign lands.


When I looked up I saw the the Hi no Maru flag of Japan. Alright this is not bad, Europe is great idea! With this the curtain came down on 2 days of performances in the BudouKan. Even though a few months have passed since then the incredibleness of the event stays with me. I have no idea how I am going to be able to convey this in writing. Anyway, we have once again been witnesses to the creation of a Legend. Of that I have no doubt. “Japan, Japan, Japan…” for quite some time this “Japan” echoed in my head. I am sure that those of you who are familiar with X JAPAN will understand this. That is this reverberation of “Japan”. Their live performances begin with a narration. The orchestra that was playing in the background was an homage to “Amethyst”!

At the 2 days concerts “Blue Night” and “White Night” held at the end of December 1994 at the Tokyo Dome, X JAPAN used this “Amethyst” as their opening song. This song was released in 1993 and was included in YOSHIKI’s solo album and was also released as a single. While this song was playing each member of the band was introduced with a female voice narration as they made their entrance onto the stage. And then the narration went on to echo, “X JAPAN, Japan, Japan…” followed by the performance of their first song in the Set List. And then, one more thing. In yesterday’s narration the phrase, “heading toward destruction” was used. In January of 1992 at their 3 days of concerts at the Tokyo Dome and when X JAPAN was still going by the name of X they used exactly this phrase as the title of the concerts. Not Mega Death. Babymetal’s final concert in this chapter can also be considered to be one performed under the name of X and of “heading toward destruction”.


Now, I see, all is connected. The lights in the arena went on and if one looks up one can see the Japanese flag, the Hi no Maru. Not bad. Not bad. Europe, sure Europe is an excellent choice. Show the entire world this new type of Metal that was born in Japan! Show them this incredible entertainment packed full of Heavy Metal history! Babymetal is a group with whom it is possible to draw a straight line right into the history of Metal. As a form of Metal renaissance this will become a movement that totally envelops the entire world. There is no doubt about this and it is coming soon. The age of Babymetal will come into existence without fail.




1. Babymetal Death

2. Iine!

3. Answer For Animation With You

4. Onedari Daisakusen

5. 4 no Uta

6. New song (No Rain, No Rainbow)

7. Akatsuki

8. Catch Me If You Can

9. Uki Uki Midnight

10. Gimme Choco!

11. Akumu No Rondo

12. Megistsune

13. Ijime, Dame, Zettai


14. Doki Doki Morning

15. Headbangya!

The summoning ritual

rockin’ on Japan Interview with Yuimetal and Moametal 2016 May

We are not twins, but most likely from the time we first met the two of us have been as one.



Herein we will reveal the knowledge of ‘these two girls’

The divinely commissioned 8,000 character interview


rockin’ on Japan 2016 May 

Please purchase the magazine in which this interview is contained at the link above.


P. 36

Just having her beside me I feel confident and feel that I can depend on her. She is a very important existence to me. (Moametal)

Following upon the Su-metal interview we now bring you a joint interview with Yuimetal and Moametal.


Watching these two at their live shows one gets the feeling that they really understand each other to what must be a very deep degree, or you could even say that there are things that make one think that it is more than that and that they ‘know’ each other and just kind of totally bypass the necessity to ‘understand’ one another. They seem, I can only say, to be in perfect synchronization with each other, that they seem to think with a single mind shared between the two of them. And I feel the most incredible thing about these two is that they both share the same stance of not questioning or fiddling around with the way Babymetal was formed or its concepts but rather totally devoted themselves to Babymetal right from its inception. I feel that it is correct to state things in that way.

In this interview we will go into the nature of this fate filled mission that they have shouldered themselves with.


To start off with, what kinds of things did you think about regarding the creation of this new album?


2 years have elapsed since we released the first album. And I felt that the fans must be waiting fervently for the next album. We worked to put our feelings and thoughts into each and every song and while some of them are totally new songs I was thinking how can we deliver these new songs to the fans and equal to that was the concern and pressure of how will we equal these songs that the fans have already heard and have even made it into the charts, and so there was a great sense of pressure. So there was a sense of unease but this was more than overbalanced by the feeling of feeling of fun knowing that everyone will love these new songs.


Since we have put out the first album and that has with each and every song been filled with the thoughts and memories of not only ourselves but also the fans there was a sense of uneasiness about whether the new album would be able to exceed the first album. However, when we would record each song I felt that there was so much fun and playfulness reflected in them that this flavor and depth of each song will be drawn out if at least in part by the Ai no Te parts of myself and Moametal. I think this new album is something that we can be confident in that it will be enjoyed by everyone.


We recorded many patterns for each song during the recording sessions, you see. And because of this we did not know which version would be included on the album and so when we listened to it it was like, ‘Ah, this is how it came together’, and ‘this is so interesting.’.


It has been two years since you made your first album, right? Since that time the environment around you and all of the circumstances have changed, what do think, in light of your own feelings, has changed the most since then?


Our first album we often referred to as a type of replacement for business cards. We did our best to put our own style into that album and so in light of the fact that we had since then traveled around the world doing tours we really needed to show how much we have grown and developed in that period. You could say that it was a process where we tried our hand at some of the many varieties of genres that we came across at Festivals and other locations leading to this album having a wide span of differing songs on it. We approached it will the desire to fill up the album with the things we have challenged ourselves with in the past and to show how we have grown.


Making the 1st album we performed the songs that we were requested to play but with this album we would approach the songs with thoughts like, ‘What will the fans think when they listen to this song’, or, ‘This song will probably come out like this or that when we perform it at a show’, and I think our imaginative involvement with the album attests to our growth.


Do you mean you can envision the faces of the fans?


It has gotten easier to imagine how things will be. Also, I think there are a lot of songs that have a strong message aspect to them on this album but we have learned how to even in light of that to sing and perform without putting our feelings into the songs. Instead we have chosen to sing the songs with a flaring up, or passionate feel them.


The two of you do many of your performances as one and not separately as two. Listening to this album I thought to ask you how do you each think of the other?


Up to now we have always done our ‘Ai no Te’ parts together but with this new album we sing parts separate from each other at times. In ‘Tales of The Destinies’ there is a part where we perform in three separate parts. Since we have always up to now performed our joint parts together in harmony I felt that with this trio we have grown and devoloped.


That is true that with this album it is the first time for us to perform our parts singularly.


Right? Since that had never happened before we were a bit happy about it.


I would imagine that when you perform so many live shows that you come to see how each of you have changed. How do you feel about that?


When you meet your aunt after a long time you can see how she has changed, right? But with your own family since you are together all the time you don’t notice how they have changed, right? It is like that. Since we are together almost everyday and we are both growing and changing we don’t know how the other has changed. But, when it comes to the live performances I can depend on her without doubt. I feel at ease just with her next to me. I truly feel that she is a huge presence for me.


For myself as well, since we are always meeting each other there are very few occasions when I feel that she has changed. But as far as sensing, ‘Ah, this is not the usual Moametal’, or, ‘She is not so happy right now’, or, ‘I think this is how she is feeling now’, for those things I feel I know her better than anyone else (laughs).




You are able to sense those kinds of things?


Yes, we know those things. Because we are always together.

P. 38


Right, and I think that you two are doing something that is truly difficult. What I mean when I say difficult is that it will not do to have either of you stand out excessively. You have to do things to the maximum level for each of you respectively while maintaining the overall balance between you. You can’t have ‘Just Yuimetal’, or ‘Just Moametal’ taking the spotlight, you have to standout equally as a two person set. And on the other side of things, at certain times you both have to slip into the background at the same time. I think that the moment that balance goes off kilter is the moment that your magic would fall apart. I would guess that the two of you achieve that balance without paying particular attention to it but if what I have said drums up any thoughts, please let us hear them.


No, not really.




Hahaha…..Is that right?


I have never been consciously aware of anything like that. So, when I was listening to you it was like, ‘Wow!’. It is most likely just that while we are not twins, we have just always been two people that function as one and that was from when we first met.




To us that is just a natural matter of course. We have never given any thought to one or the other of us has to be this way or that. However, if that means that it is something that we are doing on an subconscious level then that would make me very happy.



(Laughs) Thank you very much.


But, it must be with the sense of trust you have for each other that when Yuimetal feels a certain way, for example, she must feel that Moametal certainly feels things like so and so, right? I get the sense that the two of you have developed your own way of communicating between yourselves that is only for you.


I do feel that. Like when we are listening to Kobametal speak I think to myself, ‘Ah, Yuimetal is surely thinking such and such as well’ and when I glance secretly at her I find that she is grinning making me think that we are thinking the same thing.


I see. That is something that happens to you?


Yes, things like that happen sometimes.


(Laughs) Yes, they do.


Yeah, and sometimes our opinions are different from other people, right? When that happens I think, ‘Ah, it is most likely that Moametal is thinking of me right now’ and when I look over at her she is looking back at me and we make eye contact like that.




How is it during live performances? For example, if one of you is really hyped up and really going at it, but knowing that things will fall apart if you alone charge on like that, do you check on the other’s state of affairs and try to line things up?


Really in live shows for the vast majority of the time we are totally engrossed in a mindless performance oriented absorption. There are very few points in time when we come bck to our senses. On the rare occasions when I feel we must calm things down a bit and I look at Yuimetal’s face I see that she is thinking, I feel, the same thing.


Yes. There are times in the live shows when our eye contact timing matches up absolutely perfectly. On those occasions I always get the sense that, ‘Oh, today’s show is going to be a doozy’. This is a way we can verify our team work and so if I am feeling things are getting a bit too much for me in the middle of a live performance I can just look at their eyes and get power from them. At that time they pick up on the fact that I am having a tough time, so if one of us is not in the best of spirits the other two will help to restore her to a powerful state by making eye contact like that. The existence of these two girls is an extremely big thing to me.


What there some kind of factor that served as a trigger for this type of communication between you in this manner?


Probably because we have been together for so much and for so long that this type of communication just naturally developed, I would say. For example, at times one of us will screw up on something. The ability to cover for the one who made a mistake is a kind of power that came out of that way of communicating, I feel.


You must feel very mentally confident now that you have obtained that kind of power.


Yes, we feel very strong and confident.


So, Babymetal now has that strong confidence and a sense of unity that goes beyond words, right? I feel that that is the most important thing for you. I would really like to hear you speak about what kinds of experiences you went through that created this kind of relationship amongst yourselves.


I think there were mountains that we had to climb over. I feel there were many mountains that could only be traversed by the three of us, by this team. Some examples of those would be the BudouKan shows, and places like Mexico and Italy on last year’s World tour-all of these were very difficult experiences for us to overcome. We could do it with this team work and because of these hardships this team work grew in size by order of magnitude, I feel.


Instead of isolating one instance I would say that it is because we have overcome so many difficulties in so many shows and because the time time we share colored with the same kinds of emotions that we have been able to create such a strong sense of unity and trust between us.


The live performances of Babymetal are truly amazing, aren’t they? They have a feeling of, ‘We are going to carry this show with this energy right up to the end’. I believe there are things that each of you for yourself have that you feel are the obstacles that you need to make it over. And with each and every show you manage to clear those difficulties. There is something that you draw out of yourselves to make it through to the end of each of these shows. I feel that that something has some kind of deep connection to your mutual relationship with one another. Like you must say to yourself that things are tough for Moametal, and things are tough for Yuimetal.

P. 40

I don’t want to leave the stage.

I believe that there is something waiting for us up ahead on the road and so all that is left for me to do is to do my best, to enjoy what we are doing. (Moametal)


I think that this is something that doesn’t happen by chance but is a quality that is only born out by the relationship that the two of you have.


At the present time the group known as Babymetal is becoming a really big thing, right? Involved in this I feel the that there is an increase in what is demanded of us and a heightening of our sense of responsibility. But that load is not something that I carry alone and when I realize that it is also shared equally by Moametal and Su-metal, I feel that the three of us together can plow ahead even farther. If something happened and we did not have this two person relationship I feel that I would not be able to do anything.


I feel the same. If this relationship of us as two people working together were to go away I wouldn’t know what to do after that. We can’t envision what the end of Babymetal would be like, right? I think that if we could know how Babymetal will eventually end it would not be very interesting. I personally really like this Babymetal that just flies on ahead without giving consideration for how it will all end. I like this Babymetal that believes it can we can do so much because of the team we are. And so I want to keep plowing ahead into the future with the team we have.


What do the two of you think about during the live performances? Or, is it that you don’t think anything?


Basically, I just dance without thinking about anything. However, there are moments when I suddenly come back to myself. When that happens I suddenly can’t remember how to choreography goes for a part even though I have danced it for what seems like forever of the past five years (laughs). Because I have had experiences like that I try to not think in my head and just try to enjoy things through my body.


I don’t think about hardly anything on stage as well. I have no memory of what happens during a live show and I think that is because I am under the influence of ‘having the Fox God descend and merge with me’. When I am my usual, day to day self I tend to draw back into myself and lose confidence so easily and quickly, but when I am on stage as Yuimetal I get the sense that I can do anything. Those times when I am totally free from a sense of a personal self and absorbed totally in the performance and I am just performing without sense of deliberately being conscious of anything- those times I truly love.


Incidentally, Su-metal was saying the same things as you. There is a separate entity known as Su-metal and this Su-metal is able to do things that her ordinary self can not do on her own. Do the two of you have that kind of sense as well?


I think almost all of what I do I could not do not being Yuimetal. My ordinary self could not do that, you know, the things we do (laughs). When I look at video images of our live shows there are times when I think, ‘Wow, that is what we were doing!’. I am so happy to be able to see this kind of a new me every time we do a live show.


I really think that Babymetal is place where I can find a new ‘me’ as every time we do a live performance there are moments in the show where I think to myself, ‘Wow, I didn’t know there was this kind of ‘me!’.

There are times where I am surprised that there is a me who can dance in this or that way, or a me who can bring excitement to the audience in this kind of fashion. At the Yokohama Arena shows I was doing a kind of movement that I usually don’t do in ‘Catch me if you can’ and found a new and interesting way to hide. I was really surprised when I watched a video of it later.


One thing that Su-metal said that amazed me was she said that she has a sense when things are going really well where she can she what she will be doing 1 or 2 seconds before she does them.


Oh, wow!


She said that she usually has a feeing of being led by something. And she knows that this will be well received by the fans as well.


I see.


There is a way of seeing the world that is uniquely Babymetal and when the way she thinks about how to act out that world view and her own sense of being get blended in a perfect balance she says that something explosive happens. At least that is how think she meant her words to say when talking about this. Do the two of you have something like this?


Speaking honestly, Moametal doesn’t have so much a sense of being led by something. How should I put it? That is why I think what Su-metal is saying is so incredible. More than being led by someone, the sense of walking with my own two legs is a stronger sense for Moametal. Babymetal is a group that doesn’t look back at the past-it is a group that doesn’t get attached to what has happened before, I think. Babymetal is a group that thinks more about the future than the past and I feel that it is really cool that it is plowing ahead into the future rapidly and surely by its own power. And so I want to also advance ahead by my own two legs. I don’t think about what will be well received by the world but because of the members that make up Babymetal I quite sure that we will continue to get more and more interesting. There many, many times when I am able to think that we can move ahead like that with the members that we are now.


How about Yuimetal?:


I feel the same way. The three of us talk amongst ourselves and we are well aware that we must do our utmost best as the three of us when we are performing. Because once we take our places on the stage it is only the three of us and so we have the feeling that we have to make things work through the efforts of the three of us. But as we travel around on tours the distance between us and the staff and the Kami band keeps getting closer and closer and so through this process I have come to realize deeply that it is all of the people who are involved with Babymetal and ourselves who are creating these shows. Now when we do live shows we have the Kami band standing behind us and if I look back sometimes our eyes meet. And that kind of team work gets stronger and stronger the more we perform together. I would hate to think of not being a member of this band. The desire to spread Babymetal as far as possible as it is with the members we have now gets stronger everyday.


You really fly around wildly in the live performances, don’t you? Why do go at it so hard?


I wonder why myself.


That is true when to step back and think about it. I would certainly not be able to do that as my ordinary self.


Yeah, that would not be possible. But, there is the fact that we are enjoying it. The live shows seem so much shorter than the rehearsals, you know. They are over in a flash. Since it is so interesting creating Babymetal during the roughly 1 and 1/2 hours and that must be why we are able to fly around like that.


You mean you know just what a great feeling it is so you are able to move around like that?


Yes, it an incredibly good feeling. Whether we play in a small venue or a big one our feelings for the live shows doesn’t change. We treat each show with great importance and because we have had so much fun in the past, this sense of fun piles up higher and higher and develops rapidly into new versions of our shows. Because of that it feels like a split second of time.


How about Yuimetal?


I think it is because I am not alone. If it was just myself on stage I could never perform like that, but because everyone is there with me it is possible. When we have flown around on stage like that and make it to the end without losing that energy, that moment is the greatest feeling. It is a feeling of achievement for performing successfully you could say, of a sense of satisfaction for how the show went. So, even when I feel things are getting a bit difficult in a live show I remind myself that that moment will soon be upon me and I am able to carry on.


What Su-metal was saying a bit ago is that during your first solo performance and things were getting rather tough….there is the scene in ‘Ijime, Dame, Zettai’ where the two of you fight, right? When she saw the two of you giving it your utmost best she thought to herself, ‘I really have to up my game!’.


Whoa, I am happy to hear that (laughs).


I believe that the two of you have that kind of power. It is like you believe in something without a hint of doubt, or you could say that you do not allow yourselves to admit that you are tired out and just focus intently on ‘making it through to the end no matter what’. You have a power like that.


Yes, and I am was so happy to hear that Su-metal said that she got energized by watching Yuimetal and Moametal’s fight scene and also, I think the same holds for myself as well. When I am feeling a bit overwhelmed in live show and look over and see Moametal and see that, ‘Oh, Moametal is giving it her best!’, I am motivated to put myself into the same kind of state. And when are off stage when Su-metal is doing her solo songs I think to myself that now Su-metal is on stage doing her best. I also get power by realizing when I hear the sounds of the band through my ear monitor that they are also giving it their all. Because all of the people around me are moving on ahead taking care of things I know that it will not do if I stand still. I don’t want to be left behind and I want to catch up with everyone.


It could be a sense of having a mission to do. Also, I don’t want to leave the stage, you see. Leaving the stage is not a possibility for me so I have to keep going. Also, no matter how tough things get, I love Su-metal’s singing voice, you know. And so, when we exit the stage and and Su-metal starts singing a solo song like ‘Akatsuki’ I get hit with a burst of fatigue but that tiredness is also a part of a time where I feel happy. It is because of things like that that I can lose myself totally into the performances and keep doing my best.


You said ‘I don’t want to leave the stage’ with a very fervent feel to your voice. That must be a source of power and that when all is said and done becomes the belief and strength possessed by the group known as Babymetal. People who do not allow themselves to choose not to do their best in these tough situations are the kind of people who are able to think to themselves from the outset, ‘I will never lose my way. I will give it my all’.


I think that is absolutely right. The choice to retreat back is not there for us, or, at any rate not there for me. I believe that there is something waiting for us up ahead on the road and so all that is left for me to do is to do my best, to enjoy what we are doing. So I think that is how it is.


You know what it is that is waiting for you, right?


Fun and enjoyment is waiting for us.


The altitude in Mexico is way too high so the amount of energy and stamina we had to use in the show was ridiculously huge when compared with our usual shows. I was really apprehensive about whether we could actually do a live show there and I was very uneasy about it, but the thought of giving up never crossed my mind. I only ever have the single choice of doing my best. And it is that kind of Babymetal that I love. When I am Yuimetal I am able to always think in a positive manner. I want things to continue like that. I feels like when I am Yuimetal I can be strong and dignified. It is truly a mysterious thing.


It is like you are casting a magic spell on yourself and moving ahead. I think that all three of you have that kind of sense about you. How do you feel about that?


I feel like I am wide awake you could say. There are times when I feel I am not myself.


And that is a good feeling, right?


Yes, it is a good feeling (laughs). No matter how tired I may get and now matter how else you look at it, I know once we have completed a show there will be a fun, happy feeling waiting there. And that always surprises me. I will continue to do my best.

Rockin’ on interview with Su-metal 2016 May

rockin’ on magazine

There was a monster inside of me. When I snapped that monster out of me it flew off and bounded freely away.”


Where did she come from?

The following is a 15,000 character interview pursuing the truth about Su-metal.



P. 24

When I am in good condition everything goes smoothly as if someone has taken me by the hand and is leading me on. Everything proceeds exactly as I wish it to, almost as if I am seeing reality 1 or 2 seconds ahead of time.

We shall start out with a super long interview with Su-metal.

No matter how gigantic the stage or venue may be her vocal ability is so incredible that her voice spreads out equally to the farthest possible reaches. Her voice has a galant power to it that makes us the listener sit up with our backs straight at attention. There is a perception of some kind of centripetal force emanating from the stage the instant she makes her appearance. These are all aspects of of this girl who brings this very rare entity known as Babymetal into being and to whom alone these incredible powers belong. Earlier in the introduction for this publication I wrote that it is the existence of all three members that is absolutely essential but to add or expand on that I feel that it is Su-metal’s overwhelming power and abilities that must be placed first and foremost.

This article’s aim is to dive deeply and thoroughly into this girl in her role as a singer and to unravel truth behind Su-metal’s almost Miko-like <Miko-a mystical shrine maiden> way of performing and how it all fits together. Where did this greatest of all symbols of Babymetal- Su-metal, come from? As I was listening to her tell her story I was moved emotionally from beginning to end.


Shall we start things out by talking about the album? Now that you have completed this second album, what is your state of mind at the moment?


The first album was used as kind of a business card for all of us. And since I felt that we had created an album that represented us to that level when I heard that we would be putting out a second album, speaking honestly, I felt a great deal of pressure. And so we started recording with this kind of pressure as a backdrop but I feel that this recording had even more of an unique and individualistic feel to it and the lyrics and melodies were more mature in nature and I felt that there were more aspects that approached closer to our current state of affairs. And so I felt that there were so many songs on this album that I could feel were part of my own outlook on life.


When you speak of pressure what exactly is the feeling of it on your side?


I loved the first album and there was a feeling that we are also creating new songs as we traveled around on tours for 2 years while performing these songs. In the midst of that I felt that we are creating new songs was something I felt and so I thought that each and every new song was of great importance and that they all stand for what Babymetal is all about. And so I was unsure about whether they could truly reflect the state of this new form of Babymetal and how can we show this was a bit of a source of worry. But as we went on to perform these new songs this all changed into a sense of fun and so it was only the early stages that were worrisome.


I see. The comparison between the the new album and the first one and whether you can make a great new album was a source of stress. Wasn’t this a source of great stress for you?


Hmm…let me think about this. Just taking upon the challenge of making new songs was in and of itself a source of stress. Just by performing songs over this 2 year period and fostering new songs these new songs must have a have greater quality is what is expected in the world and that pressure is there. And so I felt that in accordance with those expectations we must raise the levels of the songs.


Every time I see you perform I think the same thing, it is much more like you do not think, ‘We must perform properly as is written in some curriculum, but rather we must go beyond what we did before and how shall we do that?’ And that is how I see you doing your live performances.


When we first started Babymetal that is how we worked as hard as we could to do our shows. But now it is more a feeling of wanting to enjoy our songs as they are. It is more like we are now more able to respond to the reactions of the audience and what is more is that live shows can be really difficult (laughs). They are really tough, but since we have already overcome the difficulties of previous shows, even if we think, ‘what is this song now?’ we can now say to ourselves we have already been through all this and are now full of confidence and this confidence that comes from doing so many shows is of great importance, I think.


I will ask this simply. You do shows that make me think how in the world do you hold yourselves together through the whole show. What is it that gets you through all of this?


(laughs) We started our shows without know much about other music or other live performances in our Babymetal performances and that is how we approached our live performances for the most part.


You were not aware of the other ways of performing but were told that your performances were incredible. Is that how it has been for you?


Yes, that is how it has been.


But what is important must be that when you realized that Babymetal has been doing the same thing as other surrounding acts, I would think.


No actually, contrary to that, when we were told that and that it was great we realized that what we do with Babymetal is something that only we can do which led to us having a great deal of confidence. And so we want to put a great deal of emphasis on this. And so, of course since we want to not lose to what we did at a live performance yesterday and do not want to be beaten by our selves of yesterday, we get stronger and stronger in our determination to keep getting better day by day.


You are a type of people who are only able to live doing your best that kind of environment.


That may just be true (laughs).


Your default button is different from other people. We could even say that you are slightly broken (laughs).


(laughs) We performed a the BudouKan and at the RokumeiKan and those two performances were really tough for the three of us. Conversely, I would like to see how things would play out if we did the same set list as we did then now. That could be a sign that I want to feel how much I myself have grown perhaps.


Are you talking about physical stamina?

P. 25


I think the strongest thing is the physical side of things. We really were totally fatigued with those shows. I think the ability to have some physical power remaining is a pre-requisite to being able to being able to enjoy things.


But, of course you must get tired out. Su-metal is human after all.


That is true (laughs)


It is generally thought that it is rather rather rock-ish for a band to end a concert because they have gotten all tired out. But, Babymetal differs from that way of thinking. You feel that it is more in line with your world view to show your bodily reactions as they are to the audience. It seems that you are ready to deal with those situations and feel responsible for them strongly. How is that for you?


I really feel this way. And that is that I feel like I am a totally different personality on the stage. When I exit the stage I immediately feel like something has gone away from me. And so I think that there is a separate personality that is assisting me. When I am in good condition for a live show, it feels like there is a someone or something taking me by the hand and leading me along so that all goes well. So, I feel a high sense of pride when on stage. It is as if I must carry out a mission to mysteriously be really cool on stage.


I see. Could you speak in more detail about the feeling of someone leading you when you are on stage? What kind of feeling is it?


What kind of feeling is it…..? From the middle of a show toward the end…it is like how they say that sometimes when you are running a marathon and you are really tired out but for some reason you get into a kind of high and make it through to the end faster than even the first half. It is a feeling like that I think. It may be that toward the end of a show I get into a higher state of consciousness and actually enjoy it more that usual perhaps. It is like we have made it this far so the rest will be all OK. It is like when I am singing and I think I will sing in a certain way and the voice that I thought would come out comes out exactly as I hoped. And when I am dancing I think this is how I want to dance in a cool manner and as I think that I am able to pull it off exactly as I had hoped. It is as if I am 1 or 2 seconds ahead in time watching myself making it possible for everything to go just as I want. Especially it was when we were playing at the Saitama Super Arena and when we were performing ‘Road of Resistance’ it felt like the ‘Whoa, whoa’ of the fans was totally supporting me making me feel like, ”Alright, everyone follow along with us’-that kind of feeling. I get into a place where I have a very strong feeling and from time to time there is a ‘me’ that gets enveloped in that sensation and that seems to be happening more and more recently.


I see. That is similar to this occurrence in the sports world.


Yes, that could be the same thing.


It is reported that when Ichiro was asked why he went out of his way to hit a pitch that didn’t make it to home plate and he had to hit it after it bounced one time, he said that his body had just responded to it without his thinking about it. That seems similar to your situation. It is as if he (you) are just following through with something that has already been decided.


That’s true. And so when things have not gone well there are times I think to myself that ‘I want to get off the stage’. That seldom ever happens though. There are times when things are really tough and in the early days I had a sense of resistance against the shows we performed away from our home ground. But, even if I felt that way there I was, for some reason, back up on the stage. So, I think that there must be a ‘me’ that is like that and as I was listening to your story just now I remembered all that. It is a feeling that whatever I want to do will go off just as I want it to. When that happens it is an extremely good feeling.


When did you first ever feel that way?


In last year’s Zepp tour. Up to that time there were instances where I would get into a good state mind and everything would go exceedingly well as if being lead by someone but it was around this time that I was able to truly understand this phenomena inside my own mind.


When you were able to understand it, how did you feel?


I felt relieved and at ease. Since up to that point in time I could not understand why I could think things would be alright and once I was able to truly figure it out in my head I was able to say to myself, ‘Don’t forget, you are totally ready for anything’. I gained an unshakable confidence that most likely in the future there will be many occasions where everything will work out perfectly without my trying, if I can put it like that.


In the project known as Babymetal this aspect of Su-metal being led in the way you feel it is something that I feel is of great importance. Stating this simply it is as if the project itself becomes a trifling thing at the instant that you want to ‘express yourself as a you are in your individual human character’. Do you understand this point of view?


Yes, I do.


Regarding this the way you are as yourself, as ‘you’ is something that you have developed on your own. I would feel that this is exactly equivalent to having a separate personality.


That is so. There is a scene in the song ‘Doki Doki Morning’ which we were performing from the very early stages of Babymetal where we have a dance move where we lie down, right? When we first performed that song the audience got all excited when we did that, right? At that time I remember a ‘me’ that felt like, ‘OK, we did that!’. Up to that point in time I would have felt that having the audience laugh at what we did would be rather embarrassing, but that time there was a ‘me’ who was able to think it was a happy incident. At that time, I realized that there is a ‘me’ who is different from the normal, day to day, ‘me’. From that point on I started to look upon a Babymetal ‘me’ that is different from my everyday self. That feeling has not changed from that point to now, and now there is a ‘me’ that enjoys performing as that separate personality. At times I am able to view myself from a 3rd person perspective and my usual self is kind of able to design my other self you could say to do things in a more interesting manner. Doing things like this I am able to enjoy things from my side of things. Since I am now of the understanding that there are things that ‘this me’ can do there are things that most likely only this created version of myself can do. I would not go so far as to say it is a manga like character but I do at times feel that this version of myself will be completely fine with whatever she does. And so I feel that there is nothing I can not do in a live performance.


The level of trust you put in your other self is truly amazing. She is totally fine, or something like that must be the way you feel.


Yes, that is right (laughs). I think that is how I feel. I totally trust her.


P. 27


You trust her and you have opened your heart and mind totally to this existence known as Su-metal and you must really like this Su-metal figure. You must also have the sense on your end of wanting to make this character into the strongest Su-metal possible. Why is it do you think that you have become a person who enjoy this situation?


I wonder why that is myself. But, recently I think to myself that perhaps that Metal is that kind of thing.


That is very perceptive. I think you are spot on with that.


When you listen to Metal it is not a listening that takes place with your ears, but is rather something that enters your heart and mind and strikes you emotionally. I think that when you listen to music with your usual approach you do so with your ears, but when you go to a live show it hits you with a stab to the heart and it flips your normal common sense on its head. And so I feels to me that this existence known as Su-metal is a totally different type of personality that completely out of the ordinary, you see. So when I attempt to deal with this character as just another human being because she is so far removed from myself we get into fights with each other. So, rather than deal with Su-metal in that manner if I let her have some space away from me I am able to look upon her from an objective position and even cheer her on – I am able to give her advice and support you could say. If we were one and the same person I think I would be afraid to make mistakes.


Listening to you talk right now I get the feeling that by you attempting to get this other you some space and distance from you that she must have been with you from the very first live performance, right?


Yes, I think so. It is often said that people have two faces or something to that effect, right? So, speaking in the sense of that meaning I think in my case that this other personality is my other face and I first thought that at that time.


An ordinary person would get into an internal duel in that situation. It would be like where can I go to satisfy my own desires and impulses, or something like that. But that is not the case with Su-metal. You have a sound, healthy kind of pressure on you with a sense of responsibility. How do you think this was fostered in Su-metal?


The instant I discovered this other face of mine, and this goes for the music that drew this out of me as well, I was thought that more than anything it was truly interesting that I have been able to see this other face. It is as if there is a monster existing in my heart and mind. I thought to myself what would happen if I were to let that monster go free. And when I let snapped it away from myself it flew off and away freely. Ever since that time she only makes her appearance in live performances. Now in her freedom she continues to grow bigger and bigger as she moves around wildly in her natural state. When I came to realize what was happening her existence came to be extremely important to me. And that is how I feel about this other entity.


I see. You have a clear sense that this existence known as Su-metal is an entity that was born out of you, correct?


Yes, that is the sense I have.


So you could say that it is not like you are acting out something that is totally unknown to you but is rather perhaps better to say that it is like a monster seed that was in you has grown to what it is now.


It is kind of like this, that this girl grows bigger bigger and stronger when she ventures to a new place, then returns to where she was and this cycle keeps repeating itself. It is a feeling kind of like that.


I would like to take this talk a step further. I think that this feeling of having a monster within you from before makes Su-metal grow in dimension. What is it that connects you to this existence known as Su-metal that was inside you from the outset?


I too wonder about that. This is something that I don’t really understand all that well myself. Part of it is I am able to enjoy pressure, and when there is some kind of emergency or out of the ordinary happening that occurs there is something there that I had never felt with my ordinary day to day self before. So, this feeling of being able to have fun even when playing away from Japan and being able to enjoy traveling overseas is something that I feel that I had never experienced with my usual self.


You learned that this is something to get really excited about. This must be a feeling that you could most definitely not come to just by merely singing songs as a girl on your own and that now without this you could not go on living, or that you would fall into a state where something vital is missing from your life.


Honestly the more we do live shows the more I want to keep performing. I am extremely grateful for being able to perform as Babymetal and to be able to thus meet up with this side of myself and yet every time we do a show I wonder to myself if this is OK. Meaning I worry have gotten to a place where I am not able to stop doing this. Su-metal allows me to expel from myself the things that I don’t like that are hidden deep inside of myself along with any stress I may have – all of the things like that. So, if this girl were to hide away, and I had to return to my old self, I think it would be a really difficult thing to do.


How different are you comparing yourself before a live performance starts with how you are after it ends?


I wonder how much myself. Again my way of explaining this might sound a bit strange, but it is like if I had a clump of chocolate, a clump that was inside of me that is. That clump of chocolate would melt from the heat of the live performance and become this light, soft thing. It is a feeling kind of like that. It is like it all becomes liquified, like my heart and mind totally open up, and even though my body is totally tired out, or rather perhaps in proportion to that, my mind, heart and spirit and all that are all set totally free. Because of that I am pretty sure that the live shows get rid of my stress. Also, I feel like I have gotten stronger…when we have completed a show that is. There is a feeling of having gotten stronger by playing a fighting style of game, right? It is like that but just one rank higher. I feel that I have gotten stronger to point that if some subtitles appeared on the screen saying so, I don’t think that would be out of place (laughs).


Hahaha…I follow what you mean.


Especially since we started touring overseas the environment changes with each and every new venue. The way the fans get into and enjoy the songs differ and the aspects of the shows that the fans of each location find interesting also differ. I made new discoveries that some fans would find ‘this’ or ‘that’ interesting and that whole experience is a kind of a sense of a new kind of study for me. With the conclusion of each and every live performance I get a really strong feeling of having accomplished something and that is especially so for the overseas shows.


In this thing called Babymetal I feel that it would be appropriate to say that it has been your role regarding Su-metal to stoically eliminate your own desires and wants for the overall picture. And while that is a correct interpretation of things now that Su-metal has gotten an understanding of the underlying good feeling of her existence there must be an even furthered motivation in this direction.

P. 28

The existence known as Su-metal is something that lies so outside of normal common sense that she became a separate personality on her own.

If I attempt to deal with this character as just another human being because she is so far removed from myself we get into fights with each other and I fear I will make mistakes.

And so no matter how heavy or tough of a situation you find yourself in, because you know that you will feel great after overcoming it you come to crave that feeling. I feel that that style works better as a way of explaining this perhaps.


I personally do not think I am particularly stoic. I just simply and honestly enjoy doing the live shows and they have become kind of an addiction. They may be hard and tough but because I know how incredibly wonderful is the sense of accomplishment when I have overcome those difficulties is what makes me keep going.


I think that is right. You are undertaking a strong training and so your desire to move on ahead must also be equally outrageously strong. It could be perhaps considered to be like a black hole in its level of desire.


That just might be correct (laughs). I think that that desire and craving is really big in nature.


In most cases this is referred to as talent, right? It is like even if you eat and eat you are never satisfied.


Probably it is because I have met up with the existence of music, or songs that I have been able to realize my own existence and that may be the reason that because I seen this as my life work that I have been able to come this far with it.


It is wonderful that there is this thing called singing. It is wonderful that we have songs. What do kind of person do you think you would be now if we didn’t?


I am so glad that they exist (laughs). I am sometimes told that I am, ‘an either 0 or 100 type of person’. And I think this is exactly right. I didn’t continue on in my studies with extra-curricular classes at all and the only one I continued on with was singing. When I realized that I truly only enjoy studying singing I thought that this is the path for me. Once I realized that I totally dived into it. Recently I have really come to understand that I am a type of person who really digs into what she loves to do when she comes across it. I see only that and everything else falls by the wayside, out of sight. I think that just by nature that is the type of person that I am.


Up to this point we have focused on the mental side of things, but from now I want to hear about the songs. In the truest sense the most awesome thing for you is singing, I feel. This discovery of this style of singing is the greatest weapon for Su-metal and it has gone on to be the most interesting side of Babymetal. Were the songs of Su-metal like they are now from the very beginning?


I think from the outset, from the beginning, that they were like this. I don’t have a graspable sense of it but since I was told that I have a good vocal quality from people I feel that that may be the case. But that said, for me I am just singing in an ordinary manner from my way of thinking.


Is that said as Su-metal? Or are you singing as you yourself?


Let me think about that. When the songs veer into the realm of hot, passionate types of songs I think feeling-wise I transform into Su-metal but the vocal qualities are obviously my own from the outset. I feel that the singing ‘me’ is the real me.


In a manner of speaking that may be that you are giving permission to your own emotions or something like that.


Yes, that sounds right. And so, said in the best sense of that meaning this existence known as Su-metal and myself may be creating songs out of a mixed combination between the two of us.


The singing and the songs go on to become more incredible step by step. Many varied songwriters have written songs for this new album and it seems that the span of the songs has really widened when compared with the first album. Along with thinking that this is due partly because of the increased skill on the side of the persons creating the album it seems that you the singers and performers of Babymetal have rapidly changed and because of this your growth is an element that leads to the changes in the songs. The thing more than anything else that has drawn out the wonderfulness of this album is none other than the three of you. How do you feel when you have been told this?


The way I sing now compared with the say I sang when we were making the first album is different. When we were first starting out it was all I could do to just meet the demands of the Babymetal songs and doing the Babymetal live shows and I was just doing my utmost to successfully deal with the work that we had been given but now I have been able to get to a place beyond all that and now have a leeway to be able to enjoy these things. I think it is a big change to now be able to make the choreography and the way of singing more fun and enjoyable, to be able pay attention to how the fans are working with the shows and to include them to sing with us – in other words there is more a sense of play in everything now. The songs on this album have a sense of playfulness about them. I want to expand the world of Babymetal more widely. A rebirth after 2 years is what this album reflects, I think.


Putting it briefly, I feel that this album is an expression of who the three of you are. Writing music or writing songs and these kinds of things are of course important but they are not the essential core thing. It is because it is Su-metal who is singing that these songs all come together. It is because of your singing and all that goes with it that this wonderful work of expression has been brought into existence here and now, I feel. The more the three of you grow in greatness the more the works of music that you create will advance in greatness and I feel that the three of are aware of this cycle.


The appreciation and understanding that it is an interesting process to see the music change as we continue to carry on doing live shows is something that has begun to come to fruition lately. And that is because as we travel around doing tours together with the Kami band members, the music of the bands as well as our way of singing all changes as we move from show to show. While I don’t think there is a right way or a wrong way to perform music, I do feel that the music that we are playing now is a wonderful thing. The music on the 1st album has changed since we put it out as an album and since the music that we put out as the 2nd album will also go on to change I am of the feeling that I want to be able to enjoy that process.

P. 29


Do have a sense of confidence about and an awareness of the fact that you are able to envelop the people around through your own efforts and you own performances?


Yes, I guess so. I do have a strong desire to bring people along through the power of song. This is because being at the center position when we do live performances I have the feeling that it is my role to lead on the two girls at my side, the band members, the staff and all of the fans as well. I hope that that sense of responsibility will come together with my singing and I will be able to lead all of this along as we move ahead.


Babymetal is a project that is composed of the ideas and love of a variety of people, right? But I get the feeling that somewhere inside of you you have the feeling that in the end equation that if I, Su-metal, am stable and have my stuff together that Babymetal will be just fine. You must have a determined mindset something like that I would assume.


I do have that mindset. There is a sense of pride that goes along with taking up the center position. I surely have the sense of being supported by everyone but also I most definitely have the feeling that am in a position where I must lead everyone on as well. And also, because I have the tangible realization that I am growing and developing through the help of everyone’s power with each show that we do I also know that I must continue to grow in light of the meaning behind this.


Around when was it that you first felt this feeling that you must lead people on?


As you can probably guess it was when we did our first solo show I think. In that show we had to sing 5 songs in succession and following that in the shows in the early stages of Babymetal we would gradually get tired out during the shows and that was something that we felt quite often. On top of that the final song at that time was ‘Ijime, Dame, Zettai’ and Moametal and Yuimetal were so incredibly serious performing the fight scene at the end. When they would get to the point of being so into what they were doing that it was a question of whether they could even stand up or not that I felt I had to be strong and steadfast on my side of things. In that period before the Kami band had joined us it was just the three of us doing all the singing and dancing and it was in that period that I was of the mindset that it was up to me to lead the other two along. Following that as the number of staff members increased and the number of fans increased and as I began to realize that I was being supported by everyone, the scale of the whole thing gradually grew bigger and bigger.


When you would get tired out and you felt things were getting tough you would see these two girls who you have to pull along giving it all they have right in front of you. And so seeing them doing their utmost best you felt you had to make even stronger efforts, right?


Yes, that is right. The year before last when we were performing at a lot of Festivals in Japan, there were many really tough situations performing under the glaring sun where they would be dancing so wild and aggressively that their shoes would fall apart or other things like that would happen. The staff would be watching over the situation from the stage wings with a look of apprehension and worry and I would be feeling the same watching them dancing in front of me on the stage, and it was at those times that even though I would feel overwhelmed or feel like giving up, seeing those two going at it at 100% that I realized that I just can not slacken up and give in to the pressure. It was from around that time that I started to get stronger.


So, do you mean to say that you began to think that you should be singing songs for other people and not for your own self?


Yes, that is right. Yes, when singing ‘Ijime, Dame, Zettai’ there were times when the strength of ‘Ijime! Dame!’ would overlay exactly with how I was feeling.


The reason I am asking you about this in such detail is because the way Su-metal resolves her mind to the task at hand or you could say how she carries the burden of this mission on her back runs on a parallel line with the story of Babymetal itself and is kind of a ledger of its growth and development, you see. In the world view of Babymetal the tale of the Metal Resistance is advancing along but at the same time there is also running alongside it the story of the growth and development of Su-metal herself and this a kind of thing that if either of these stories drop in precision the whole thing will fall apart.


Since this is a made up world there are times when I want to place myself inside this world that differs from ordinary reality and I sometimes want to run and play around inside it. I feel that after all there is someone, and I feel it is Kitsune-sama, who is pulling and leading this whole thing along. And it is all I can do just to keep up with it and not fall behind. Even at this point in time I have that kind of feeling. Since there is always some challenge at hand, even if I think I have overcome one of the tasks there is always a new one that pops up. I think that it is kind of a rule that we must live by and that is that we must keep running ahead.


Speaking from my perspective I would say that it is not that you have become who you are because there is rule like that, but rather it is because you are the kind of person you are that has brought this rule into existence. (laughs)


Moving on, for you what is the newest thing in the ‘Metal Resistance’?


I would say, ‘Road of Resistance’. Ever since encountering this song my sense of responsibility has gotten larger, and I think I have become more of an adult by singing this song. I am of the feeling that this song mirrors exactly what kind of situation I find myself in at the present. Last year we carried out our activities centering on the theme of traveling down this pathless road, the ‘Road of Resistance’ as we pioneered a new path for us. You know, I listen to ‘Road of Resistance’ in my daily life as it is a piece of music that really encourages me. I think it is a song that is extremely symbolic of Babymetal at the moment. Also, since it is a song that is able to grant me a mysterious sense of confidence that makes me feel if we jump on the sense of speed of this song that we will be able to go anywhere we like. When I listen to the lyrics of ‘Road of Resistance’ they seem be a bit of an exaggeration but actually that is not so because here I am in a place and situation that is not an exaggeration. I feel like it expresses who I am. I think that the world view of this song is one that is a theme of a time similar to that of the era of the warring states in Japan. But differing from that time, this is not about a anguishing type of battle but rather a battle that we fight so that all of us can become as One, you could say. A sense of accomplishment comes into being when we overcome some kind of difficulty and because we have overcome obstacles together we can all become a unified One. Thinking along those lines that is probably why I always think that performing live shows is kind of like fighting a battle.

P. 30

These live performances are a battle with the aim of all us coming together as One.

So, in that sense I am always fighting this battle.

Since I feel the destination of where this battle ends is place that feels good where one has been lead by someone as I stated earlier, it feels to me that when one listens to this song you can see that it expresses who we are. And so, when I am singing in a live show it feels so wonderful. It is like, ‘Ah, it is happening now!’.


I see, it is like you feel that you can enter that state of being.


Yes, there is a good feeling when we elongate that final ‘Resistance’ in the song. Sometimes I stretch it out a bit too long and it seems like in ends up with Moametal and Yuimetal being in a rather uncomfortable body position for quite some time (laughs). At times the calls from the fans of ‘Whaaaa’ feels so good that I stretch it out a bit too long. There are times when that happens. I am so happy that we are able to share a song together like this. That is because I think that parts of songs like this really express how I feel.


I see. The other song on this album that I felt was really great is ‘No Rain, No Rainbow’. What I think is especially good about it is that I feel the meaning of the song really comes to life through the fact that Su-metal is singing it.


(laughs) I get what you mean.


This might be a strange way of expressing what I mean, but for example, the lyrics of, ‘Even desperation changes into light’ <Zetsubou sae mo, Hikari ni naru> is rather difficult to understand. But when one hears it sung as a song, the feeling conveyed by the words, ‘Even desperation changes into light’ are made easy to understand. I feel there is some like of magic at work there. I think that what it is that is casting that magic spell is that Su-metal is singing it.


This song was already completed just before we released the first album and would have not been out of place to have been included on it. But, it was the first time for me to sing a ballad and moreover speaking honestly, I had a hard time understanding what it meant and would approach it as for the time being all I needed to do was to get a good grasp on the melody of the song and try not to make mistakes with the lyrics when I performed it at live shows. I have the impression to myself that if we had included it on the first album it would not have had the effect that it deserves. After doing many shows over two years I think that it is a song that I can only now sing as it should be sung. Seeing people come to tears listening to this song in the live shows I now have the first hand realization that some songs can move people emotionally on a deep level. And so now inside of me I have the conviction that it was a correct decision to include it on this album.


It is difficult to understand the meaning of ‘Even desperation changes into light’ just by reading the lyrics, but when Su-metal sings this phrase I listen to her voice and think to myself, ‘Yes, even desperation has changed into light’ (laughs). This is a kind of magic possessed by pop music. Speaking of things from the perspective of a gigantic world view I feel that whether a singer can stir people’s hearts and minds emotionally in a real tangible way or not depends upon the degree of power possessed by the singer and his or her ability to properly interpret the lyrics and the intent of the music. I think that Su-metal has gone deeply into this on a variety of songs. And so, I would love to hear what you are thinking when you are singing.


There is a world view inside of myself created for each separate song. For example, I have called up various colors and scenery for the songs and in each song I will decide on one particular lyrical part that I especially like and will attempt to sing those lyrics with stupendous importance. That will, of course, change from show to show however. That is something that I deliberately try to do. For songs where it is the three of us dancing together we like to get together and envision ‘where we are at a certain point in the song’. Just by bringing the scenery that we see together in unison really helps to put our dance moves into harmony with each other.


Is that something different from determining what character you will act for each separate song?


In the early days such as for songs like, ‘Doki Doki Morning’ and the like I would make distinctions in acting out characters for the songs. For instance, I would distinguish them separately part by part where in one case I would act in a cute manner, in another I would act cooly and in still others I would perform in more of a robot-like manner. And those parts I would separate by facial expressions and dance moves but recently I feel that I can do all this without separating them like that and so now don’t do that.


So what do you consider to be the part of being a singer that has changed the most?


I have come to try to convey as properly as possible the meaning of the lyrics and that is the case with ‘No Rain, No Rainbow’ as well. Up until recently I would be focusing on singing in the right pitch, or whether to stretch my voice out here or there, or to try not to make mistakes with the lyrics and so I placed the majority of my awareness on making sure I was doing the fundamental aspects of performing correctly. However, I have come to realize that there is something more important than all of that. I now try in particular to convey the meaning of the lyrics and try to enjoy the music and you could say there is now more emphasis on performing with my own feelings being given more priority. By doing so I am better able to see the reactions of the fans. Up until recently I had the feeling thatI had to kind of hole up in my own world and just make sure that I sang correctly, but now I am able to open up my heart and mind a bit more and sing taking into consideration the thoughts of the fans as well. I have come to realize that that is what a live performance is really all about. That incorporation of the thoughts of the fans may come from a totally outrageous direction and yet I have to be able to deal effectively with that and even have come to be able to enjoy those kinds of situations.


You have come to see what it is that you need to do and you have a strong sense that you are being led on by something at a rapid pace, it seems. So even if something occurs that just totally knocks you off course you are able to get to where you need to go to – you have a feeling that everything will always work out just fine. Is that how it is for you?


It could be that I have reached a point where I can feel that since I already know what the end outcome will be it doesn’t really matter what happens along the way. My confidence has grown much stronger.


I want to ask you one more thing in conclusion. Several years have elapsed since Babymetal started and now you have arrived at this new album. Inclusive of all that and regarding what you yourself can do for Babymetal and what you yourself can do for Su-metal, what is it that has changed the most?

P. 31


What I think regarding the existence known as Su-metal at the moment is that up until now I have kind of said to her, ‘Please, go out and have fun’ and have let her fly around and do as she wants in freedom, but now perhaps I could say that I am able to tell her to ‘come back’ as is proper for her to do. I think that because my mind has opened up that much to try and accept her existence. Up to now it has been as if she was just running around at her own heart’s desire and the tale of Babymetal was also moving on and being created in and of its own accord and it felt like for some reason that I was just watching that objectively. Even now I think it is like that to some extent, but recently I get the sense that I myself am also now a part of all that. And so, my own growth and development and the growth and development of Su-metal are proceeding ahead at the same time and pace and in addition to that the growth and development of Babymetal is also proceeding along simultaneous with these two. I feel that perhaps the opportunities for me to enter into the tale of Su-metal have increased. I have the sense that I have been able to allow the existence known as Su-metal to enter more into myself and we have become closer in distance to each other.


You have really come to understand Su-metal, right?


In the live performances and other similar circumstances I occasionally get the sense that I am standing right behind her watching what unfolds in an objective manner. So, it is like I will be saying to myself while ‘I’ am singing, ‘the audience is really amazing today’, or, ‘the two girls are really doing their best’ or things like that (laughs) Occasionally there are times when I see things from an intensely 3rd party perspective. I could be perhaps that those times are the instances when I have unexpectedly come back to my own self.


What do you think or feel when those kinds of experiences happen?


It feels like that feeling you get when you catch yourself nodding off to sleep on a train. That happens and then I come gently back and the show kind of begins again. For a split second everything moves in slow motion, you see. And so, when a live performance ends more than anything else it is those instances that I remember more than anything else. What I feel in those split seconds is really amazing. There are times recently where I feel I am wandering around half dazed and not able to know if I am in the world of reality or in an unreal world (laughs).


The main theme for today’s interview was ‘Who is Su-metal?’. I had my own hypothesis set up in my head but now I feel I understand this question much better. From one point of view you could say you are a very stoic singer, and from another perspective you could say you are a person who has a very strong, intense desire and who handles that desire well. Thinking about it once again, how do you yourself think about this question?


I think I am really full of desires. When I perform in a show, and this is especially true with Babymetal as they truly are amazing…the Babymetal shows, right? Once you experience that you can’t dismiss the desire to do it again. Naturally I want more of that experience and I know very well that in order to be able to continue with this I have grow and develop myself. With every show we do the pressure gets bigger and the pressure I put on myself as goes up. However, I have really come to know that there is a truly splendid world that I can experience and enjoy that is much bigger than all of that. So the give and take between those two goes on repeating. Even as we are speaking I want to be performing like nothing else (laughs). I get really impatient waiting to perform. We are doing rehearsals at the moment and even just rehearsing I can get a good sense of achievement (laughs).

Natali report on the 2016 Nendo Transfer student ceremony

Sakura Gakuin 2016 Nendo starts things out with the addition of 3 new Transfer students bringing the membership to a 12 member one with Kurashima Sara leading the way as Student Council President

2016 May 7

Natalie report


Kurashima Sara

On May 6th, Sakura Gakuin put on its ‘Sakura Gakuin 2016 Nendo ~ Transfer student entrance ceremony ~’ at Tokyo’s Nakano Sun Plaza Hall.

In March at the Graduation ceremony the three 3rd year Jr. High school students of Isono Rinon, Ooga Saki and Shirai Saki graduated from Jr. High which of course means they also graduate from Sakura Gakuin bringing the membership rooster of Sakura Gakuin into a 9 member unit. At the ‘ Transfer student entrance ceremony’ held today the 2016 Nendo raised the curtain with the introduction of 3 new Transfer students, Jr. High school 1st student, Shintani Yutzumi and the Elementary school 6th grade students, Aritomo Tsugumi and Mori Momoe.

To start things off the current nine members of, Kurashima Sara, Kurosawa Mirena, Yamaide Aiko, Okada Megumi, Okasaki Momoko, Aso Maaya, Hidaka Marin, Fujihira Kano and Yoshida Soyoka made their appearance on the stage and started the event with a performance of ‘Verishuvi’. They continued on with performances of ‘Chime’ and ‘Otome Gokoro’ and then did self introductions making use of the theme of their favorite color. In these introductions Yoshida and Yamaide said they like red, Kurosawa said she likes blue, Aso stated orange, Kurashima favors yellow, Fujihira said she likes light blue, Okasaki said she likes the pastel color of purple while Okada said she likes pink which ‘matches perfectly with Megu’ and Hidaka said she likes olive green the best.

After performing with high levels of energy and fun, the charming song ‘Hana Hana’ with its cute choreography, ‘Song for smiling’ which highlighted the proficient English abilities of Hida and the Sakura colored flag waving song of ‘Hello! IVY’, the nine girls temporarily exited the stage. This was followed by Yoshida giving it her all to introduce Sakura Gakuin merchandise as her responsibility as the now solo member of the Koubaibu <Purchasing club> due to the graduation last Nendo of her previous partner, Shirai Saki. The event then moved on to a presentation of the new uniforms in the form of a fashion show. This fashion show introduced the charm points of the new uniforms set to a backdrop of a cool dance track.

Mori Hayashi also made his appearance in the home room section of the event. The comical skit routine where Yoshida would point out the main features of the new uniforms while Hidaka would totally over-react in the manner of a late night TV commercial sales show was met with huge laughter from the Fukei. After this, the event built up in excitement as Mori-sensei and the students talked about the new Transfer students. Amidst the backdrop of all kinds of speculation about the new Transfer students, Mori Hayashi announced that there would be three new members and went on to introduce them through a quiz show like format based on information about the new girls. Following this, the Transfer students of Shintani, Aritomo and More appeared on the stage and went on to break the Fukei into laughter by performing impersonations and other special talents that were revealed in the contents of the quiz show. The now 12 member Sakura Gakuin unit then performed ‘Friends’ and exited the stage.

A Student Council meeting was held as part of the encore which featured announcements about the members of the Student Council and their positions by the Principal, Kuramoto Mitsuru. These announcements revealed that Kurashima is to be the 6th generation Student Council President, the Vice President is to be Yamaide and Kurosawa was appointed to the newly established position of MC committee chief. Being appointed to the position of Vice President while still in the 2nd grade Yamaide stated that, ‘I am totally full of unease about this, but I hope that I can suport Sara and Mirena to go on to create a Sakura Gakuin that will develop as Sara and Mirena envision it to be’. Kurosawa peppered her statement with hope saying, ‘I don’t really yet know what is entailed by the position of MC committee chief but I will do everything I can and not hold back to become a MC that is able to draw out all of the individuality of each member’. The newly appointed Student Council President, Kurashima stated, in a powerful manner, ‘I am not like the other Student Council Presidents who proceeded me in that I was not a member of Sakura Gakuin from the beginning like they all were. I am shy and uncomfortable around people I am not familiar with and so am not of the kind of personality that fits this position and so I am sure there are some Fukei-san thinking to themselves, “Is it alright to have Sara as the President?”, but I want to present to the members and the Fukei-san a Sakura Gakuin that falls in line with all I have been taught by the Senpai that came before me. I don’t want to break the tradition that proceeds from the initial generation of Sakura Gakuin and so I will have confidence in myself and do my best with the 12 members in this year! Please look favorably upon this 2016 Nendo of Sakura Gakuin!’

Following the completion of the Student Council meeting the 12 girls performed ‘School days’ led by Kurashima and the debut song of Sakura Gakuin, ‘Yume ni Mukatte’. In conclusion the girls announced the upcoming event which will focus on the new Transfer Students-‘Sakura Gakuin 2016 ~ Transfer student orientation ~’ which will be held at Kanagawa’s Hamagin Hall Viamare on June 19th and brought the event to a close.


View of the ‘Sakura Gakuin 2016 Nendo ~ Transfer student entrance ceremony ~’


The new uniform Fashion show


The new Transfer Students. From the left, Mori Momoe, Aritomo Tsugumi, Shintani Yutzumi

Sakiyama reporter goes nuts on Babymetal





TBS radio. Sakiyama reporter brings the TBS studio to silence when he speaks so passionately about his love for Babymetal-‘Sakiyama-metal desu’.

On the ‘Arakawa Kyoukei Day Catch!’ show aired on the 13th of April, the TBS radio reporter, Sakiyama Toshiya spoke so passionately about his love for the three girl unit, Babymetal, that that it has become a subject of interest on the Internet.

In the topics of interest section of the show they introduced the news about Babymetal reaching the 39th position on America’s Billboard charts with the release of their new album, ‘Metal Reistance’ which was released on April 1st.

Arakawa who knows nothing about Babymetal states that, ‘The combination of Idol with Heavy Metal with the girls singing and dancing to the music would be like, for people of our generation, Candies singing and dancing in front of the Heavy Metal band, Kiss’.

As soon as he said this Sakiyama broke out with, ‘I am Sakiyama-metal!’. Arakawa interrupted with, ‘Hey wait a minute ‘laughing’, to which Sakiyama responded with, a comment that is unclear in meaning, ‘Idols can fuse with anyone! That is what Idols are!’. Arakawa responded with, ‘Uhmm….we introduce you as our reporter, Sakiyama who is our walking encyclopedia who covers everything from serious issues like the nuclear plant problems all the way to Idols’.

We got a phone call from the upper floor telling us to talk about, ‘Caramel Ribbon’ (an Oosaka Idol group) to which Sakiyama replied that that is of no importance and we should talk about Babymetal!. Wrapped up in the excitement of this exchange Arakawa and the female assistant, Katagiri Chiaki, who were totally at a loss as to what was going on, asked Sakiyama just who is this Babymetal? He responded saying, ‘The song you are now listening to is what turns out to be their debut song of, ‘Doki Doki Morning’. I am a huge Yuimetal supporter and this is a scene where Yuimetal falls to sleep during a live performance! This is shown on the screen. This sent the English audience off into screams of ‘Wow! Look at that!’. It was like, ‘Hey, Yuimetal is sleeping!’ (laughs) all said in a state of extreme excitement.

Arakawa, who is totally unable to follow what Sakiyama is talking about asks, ‘Uhmm…who is this Yuimetal you speak of?’. To which Sakiyama replies, ‘Do you know of Sakura Gakuin? Sakura Gakuin the ‘limited to the period of growth’ Idol unit? From amongst them 3 were chosen as a part of the ‘Sakura Juuonbu’ unit and that is this Metal dance unit, and they ‘fuse together Idol with Metal but as a general rule they do not speak like Idols do at their live performances.’ He goes on to say that, they are instructed by the gods and, ‘are singing to bring back the restoration of Heavy Metal!’

Arakawa who is left with no opening to approach a question to Sakiyama listens in silence. Once he is able to he asks, ‘….what is so appealing about them?’ to which Sakiyama says, ‘look at how cool they look, and I think you can see this from the image, in their Red and Black uniforms’. Sakiyama goes on as if saying, ‘what do you think about this? Do you dislike this? OK, even if you do I don’t care’.

Continuing he says, ‘This is all based in Metal music. The back band is filled with extremely high level musicians! They are sing “Atatatatatata Zukkyun to Metal music!’ I am a bit disappointed that they do not put on handshake events. 3 days before the release of their new album, ‘Metal Resistance’ I was shaking hands with many girls at the Negicco event for their new single.’ Sakiyama went on speaking like this totally unconcerned that the people around him were shocked into silence.

Out of the blue, Arakawa asks, ‘I want to ask you…with all of your coverage of the nuclear problem, court cases and so on, when do you get time to know all of this?’ Answering this Sakiyama says, ‘Idols fuse with my clock in a smooth way and we all come together nicely!’, keeping up his Idol rant.

This broadcast has become the subject of much interest on the Net under such titles as, ‘Sakiyama reporter is a maniac about Idols and blogging’, ‘He is totally into Idols’, ‘Arakawa retreats in silence’, ‘Sakiyama-sanwwwww’ and ‘It was a broadcast that was like a broadcast accident’.


Sakiyama speaks happily about Babymetal.


Nikkei Entertainment interview April 2016





The genius vocalist who has bent the world out of shape



She of the powerful vocals and who leads the group-Su-metal.

She recollects that the ‘Sonisphere Festival UK’ held in July of 2014 was a turning point for Babymetal. This event where such big names as Metallica, Iron Maiden and the Prodigy all gather together served as the first overseas Rock Festival stage for the girls.


At first we had I had no idea just what kind of Festival this ‘Sonisphere’ was. When we showed up we realized for the first time that we would be performing in front of 50 thousand people which of course really surprised me (laughs). My honest impression was that this could not be happening in reality.

Furthermore, when we peaked out to look at the crowd from the side of the stage we couldn’t see the people in the back and so we started talking amongst ourselves, ‘Wow, there are not so many people here. What shall we do?’. Once the show started we were met with a mood coming from the crowd of, ‘What is this?! Who are these girls?’ which was a bit frightening to us. But once we started singing and as we progressed along with the show we could feel the excitement flowing gradually from the people in the front towards those in the back.

Since the response of the overseas crowds is straightforward you could say that it is easy to read their feelings and we directly felt that they were taking an interest in us. Even though we sing in Japanese there was a moment when we realized that we had jumped over that language wall and that moment on that stage became a huge confidence that directly ties into our live shows that we do overseas now as well.


Babymetal often spend long periods of time overseas as they carry out their World Tours. So, apparently they take even greater care to maintain their health and physical condition than they do in Japan because of the big differences in environment existing from country to country and stage to stage.

The actual experience of the Fox God descending into her


When performing overseas Babymetal does about 1 show every 2 days, and of course the temperature and environment drastically change depending on the locale. It was really difficult to deal with these changes. But I never got homesick even once and personally enjoyed these varying situations (laughs).

In fact because we the members ourselves and the staff all spent a great deal of time together, our bonds actually deepened I feel and I was able to enjoy countless experiences that I would not have been able to do if I had been living in Japan. The country that remains the most deeply imprinted in my memory is Mexico, I feel. The hot and bright feeling of the atmosphere of the towns was really interesting and the way the fans really got into and responded to the music was different than other countries. They were so into their own way of enjoying the show that I wondered at times if they were even watching our performance (laughs).


The attractiveness of Babymetal is that alongside the heavy and aggressive sound of the back band known as the ‘Kami band’ made up of first class musicians there is a comical side to them that children like to mimic that breaks into a total wholehearted song and dance performance that makes one feel the whole band is possessed by some other power. These totally opposing forms of Babymetal serve to constantly surprise the audience.


There is a point in the song, ‘Doki Doki Morning’ that has a choreography where we lie down on the floor. In most situations it is not very enjoyable and is rather embarrassing to be laughed at, but in Babymetal’s case when we were working out the choreography for this song we said to each other, ‘Doing this would be interesting, wouldn’t it?’ and so when the fans respond with surprise and enjoyment to this we think to ourselves, ‘Yes, we did it!’. And then talking about becoming this person called, Su-metal, I feel I have changed. For example, when I raise my hand and the fans increase the volume of their cheers I feel happy and since I have come to enjoy that experience I feel my way of thinking and of experiencing doing live performances has changed.


The impression of Su-metal in her daily life of being soft and mellow completely changes when she steps on stage where she transforms into a the singer Su-metal who emits an image of power, strength and overflowing with charisma. How does she control her own self knowing that Su-metal can most certainly not be a person who is bouncing around laughing all the time?


I do have the wish to be seen more as being cool than as being cute. But speaking honestly, during the live performances I do not deliberately think about things like that. Particularly in recent shows I have come to be aware of the moment when the Fox God descends into me. There are more and more instances where I feel as if someone inside of me is taking me by the hand and leading me making it so I can sing and express myself just exactly as I wish to do. So, more than saying I am making use of self control it is more like there is someone inside of me doing it for me (laughs).

Su-metal as seen by Mikiko-metal

She is so full of natural, in born performance related talent that it is as if the word genius was created just for this girl. She undergoes a transformation on the stage that you could not imagine based on who she is in daily life. It is not to say that she is particularly good at dancing a particular dance movement exactly as set up, but rather she makes the movements her own to the point that her expressive abilities overpower the song. And so if she is required to simply extend her arms out in from of her she will do it in a way that emotionally moves those watching it. I think it is the non-sense concerned passion that she has within her that makes this possible. Up until recently I felt that whatever she sang had a uniform, ‘Su-metal’ feel to it, but recently she has become able to lay on a wide variety of emotions in her performances and is able to control or regulate herself song by song. Her English pronunciation has also dramatically improved.


Passionate dancing that mesmerizes any and all



Yuimetal who at live performances charms all with her wild, dynamic style of dancing. Balancing out and opposing her unabashed and dignified form that she presents on stage is an off-stage girl who projects a calm atmosphere of one who, ‘isn’t comfortable with standing out in a crowd’.


Before a live performance I am extremely nervous, but once I go out onto the stage the Fox God descends into me or or something happens, but anyway I become filled with confidence. As things are now I feel that when I am Yuimetal there is nothing I can’t do. But when I am my usual self I have a personality that makes it difficult for me be upfront and express myself and I lose my confidence easily. And that is very mysterious to me.


When I asked Su-metal about heretofore activities that had made a particularly big impression on her she answered with the 2014 ‘Sonisphere Festival UK’. She said that the success of that show had given her a big dose of confidence.


With 50 thousand fans in attendance we could barely even see the people way in the back and so I was really nervous, but as we progressed through the songs the number of people doing the Fox Sign (The girl’s iconic pose made with the fingers in kind of shadow figure fox) and responding with call backs continued to increase. I was able to perform while at the same time actually feeling the moment when we grasped the hearts and minds of the crowd where I didn’t really even feel the obstacle of our differing languages.

After our set finished the audience was calling out an encore of, ‘We want more!’, you know. I was really surprised by this. Since there was so much pressure before performing and because we were able to perform successfully knocking aside all that, ‘Sonisphere’ proved to be a live show that remains firmly impressed on my mind for the feeling of success that we achieved through a tightly knit cohesion between us, the Kami band and all the staff members. Following that, it is like since we were able to overcome the pressures of that day everything is no problem and it led to me having a great deal of confidence.


Following that show the number of overseas performances has increased even beyond your domestic shows and there is no doubt that it in part in responsible for Babymetal earning the reputation overseas for putting on spirited and lively performances.

Knocking pressure aside


Simultaneous with having being granted a large number of awards during last year’s World Tour and coming to realize first hand that Babymetal has really come to be reaching people all around the globe, I strongly get the feeling that ‘I will have to take on more and more a sense of responsibility’. I have started to feel uneasy about and pressure regarding whether I can properly respond to the expectations people have for us.

Although that pressure is increasing even now I feel at the same time that mysteriously with Babymetal there is perhaps nothing that we can’t do and I get a kind of hard to pin down confidence. I feel that with the members as we are now that we can overcome anything that comes our way and that we can go on to create evermore legends.

Before when I would go on stage I felt strongly that I myself personally had to do my very best, but as we traveled through so many countries that feeling changed to one of knowing that it is actually Su-metal, Moametal and myself, the three of us performing together as one. During the shows we sometimes communicate through eye contact with one another and we have grown so close together that we don’t need words to know what each other are thinking.

What is more is that with last year’s World Tour I really came to understand that Babymetal is truly loved by those around us, that we are supported by so many different people who all make it possible for us to perform. I am now able to make eye contact communication with the Kami band and as our time together as we travel overseas has increased and we are able to talk with each other so much I feel that we have all grown very close to one another. More and more I feel so grateful that we are made up of these members. And so, when I feel like the pressure is going to crush me, I look around at the staff, the Kami band and the other members and am able to put myself into a positive frame of mind knowing, ‘everyone is here with me, I can do my best’. That power that comes from being united with the group has really made me become strong mentally I feel.


I am quite certain that Babymetal will go on to create some new legends this year as well. Yuimetal expresses that regarding the future of the group that, ‘I can not see an end goal in sight’.


There certainly are goals such as wanting to successfully putting on this or that live performances but I really directly feel that Babymetal just keeps getting bigger and bigger at a very fast pace and I don’t know how big it will get or how far I myself can keep up with it. I don’t know if this is what you would call a legend or if it is better said it is something I want to do, and that is since I am so happy that through Babymetal we are able to expand this ring that connects Japanese with overseas people I hope we can continue to travel to countries all over the world expanding this ring more and more until it one day bring the whole world together as one!

Yuimetal as seen by Mikiko-metal

Yuimetal is a reserved and modest girl. She thinks deeply and really digs in deep to each and every thing she takes on. And deep inside that modesty resides someone with more fervent passion than anyone else and that is why she is able to so powerfully charm fans at the live performances the way she does. In and above her already high level of dance ability she always takes it upon herself to master the details in every task. Also, she is very rich in imaginative powers. For example, in doing something as simple as a sidestep she is able to completely change the way the surrounding scenery looks just by changing how she shows her facial expressions. Recently she has become so much more mature and has become so beautiful. Her way of showing such a child-like cuteness that she is so good at has come to begin to take on a more adult expression adding to her repertoire of charms. I look forward to how she will continue to grow.


Moametal the member who somehow or other gives on the impression of a slightly devilish elf. At the time the creation of Babymetal was announced she didn’t have any idea what Metal meant at all.


Initially Babymetal carried out our activities under the name of, ‘Juuonnbu’. Around that time the anime, ‘K-On!’ was really popular and I felt that Juuon <Heavy sound> was seen as the opposite to Keion <Light sound> and so pondered to myself that this must mean, ‘we are going to be asked to carry heavy things when we sing?’ (laughs). When we were told that we would carry out activities as a Metal Dance Unit I naively thought that, ‘Metal is some kind of thing you dance’. But, once I had watched a few various Metal band videos I was surprised that none of them showed musicians dancing at all (laughs).


The event that triggered this girl with this kind of background to reconsider Babymetal was the Nihon BudouKan 2 DAYS shows held in March of 2014. These were two performances held over 2 days with differing set lists for each day and were performed on a round disk-like stage set in the center of the arena-all of this being first time challenges for Babymetal.


Performing such big shows over two days was a first for us and the pressure I felt upon myself personally was really big. There were a lot of performance effects to be used in the shows and thinking about the stage rising up here and going down at this time and all the numerous effects like that were very difficult for me to sort out in my head. There was so much to learn making it a truly difficult task.

While there were not so many songs in our set lists making up for that the choreography for each song is really complex and difficult to master so just changing the song order alone can make things rather difficult. And to make things more difficult we had a several happenings occur to us but I feel it was our ability to get through those shows that made it possible for us to successfully put on last year’s Yokohama arena 2 DAYS. Considering all that, I would like to someday once again perform the set lists we used at those BudouKan shows.

The changes that go along with growing and developing


Along with growing as a performer by overcoming a wide variety of obstacles, Moametal is also continuing to grow as a person day by day.


Looking at things from the perspective of dancing, there are certain dance moves that become more difficult than before to perform as my body grows and matures. Taking that into consideration we think things out and implement changes and techniques into our dance that match with our current bodies to make the movements seem crisp and sharp. I feel that compared with before we ourselves are now more able to take part in creating this thing called Babymetal.

In the early days we were do our absolute best to protect the image of Babymetal that existed from the time it was brought into existence. I think it is a big step to have made that we now think about what Babymetal-ish Metal should be and we talk together about how that can be conveyed more and more effectively.

At the same time I have come to feel the pressure ever more strongly. When I was smaller I just did my best without an over amount of concern for various matters. Now that I have gotten bigger I have come to think that if I don’t do my all out best I will not be able to come back to where I am now. But, because I truly love the moment in live performances when the three of us come together emotionally, I feel that I have perhaps equipped myself with the ability to stomp down this kind of pressure.


The choreography of Babymetal live shows at times demands that you just run back and forth on the stage. However, I understand that you, Moametal, have come up with the simple method of, ‘just eating as much as you can’ to overcome this problem.


I love to eat. And so by just eating what you like to eat when you like to eat leads to giving one physical power which, I feel, we can use to be able to dance energetically on the stages we play on, perhaps.

Since you can understand the culture of cuisine for that country by eating their food, I feel one should eat as much of that country’s cuisine…..or at least I have translated things that way for myself and eat a lot (laughs). Especially the food of Germany is really delicious. I love potatoes and the fluffy potatoes of Germany and their meat dishes and of course their sausages are the best (laughs).

When we perform at overseas Festivals I love meeting with the overseas Metal bands and then taking pictures with the members of these bands. I, personally, have more and more tried to study Metal music and so am making it a point to listen to Bring me the Horizon and Metallica. In an attempt to know more about various types of music I am listening more to Metal.

There are things now that I don’t understand but even though we do not play the kind of Metal that others play we as Babymetal want to play as well as we can our version of Babymetal-ish Metal.

Moametal as seen by Mikiko-metal

At first glance she may seem to be a light and playful girl, she is actually a girl who is extremely aware of the feelings of others and does her utmost to make them feel at ease. From way before she has always earnestly made extreme efforts, but that attitude has actually grown stronger. While her attitude of having great fun with Babymetal, I get the feeling that she has become even more professional in the way she discusses things at rehearsals and in the way she chooses the words she uses. In the past there may have been instances when she would get a bit too loose when things got really fun or when one could sense a lethargy in her movements, now that has completely disappeared and she works to polish each and every movement to perfection. Due in part to the fact that she has become more physically powerful her dance movements have become even more powerfully defined. She has also become skillful at backing up her outward expressions. She is able to respond as an artist to sounds and I feel a strength and kindness in her way of dealing with music. She is a one we can count on as a true artist.

CD&DL De-ta interview 2016 March



The coming release of ‘Metal Resistance’

CD&DL De-ta interview

We are of the mind of making the world one

Coming about two years following its debut album, Babymetal’s new album, ‘Metal Resistance’, richly and colorfully expresses the world of ‘Babymetal’ that has now been enhanced with the experiences gained from their World Tours.

Evermore freely expressing a Metal sound that is uniquely Babymetal

–I was truly surprised upon listening to this new album that the degree of ‘Metal-ness’ has increased even more than the first album. It is an absolutely wonderful album!


I think with this album that we have been able to express more freely our unique Babymetal form of Metal. I feel the range of our music has expanded on this album with cool songs as well as some cute ones.


The album has a really rich feel to it. There are songs that even make me laugh when listen to them. The song, ‘META! MetaTarou’ is especially very comfortable to ears with a music that seems familiar to the listener.

–How about Yuimetal? What are your thoughts?


Each song on the album has its own world view impressed into it and I feel that is very interesting. Also, I think when compared with the first album this one has more songs with lyrics that convey a message. Yuimetal tends to put emphasis on the lyrics when she listens to music so I hope that the meaning contained in the lyrics gets conveyed to the listener.

— I see.


The lyrics to ‘Sis. Anger’ are pretty scary (laughs). There are many factors in the album that really get me motivated when I listen to it. The songs, ‘Road of Resistance’ and ‘The One’ really tie in to our current state of affairs and I hope that the listener will also be able to make it have relevance to their lives.

–What do you mean when you say it ties in with your situation?


The feelings of pioneering a pathless road as in ‘Road of Resistance’ and of everyone coming together as a unified One in ‘The One’. Because we also have desire to make the world into one.

–Following your previous album you have carried out numerous overseas tours, right? How was last year’s World Tour that you kicked off with a performance in Mexico? I myself also made my way to the Mexico, Canda, Germany, France, Switzerland and Italy shows.



It was quite tough because of the drastic differences in temperature from country to country but we somehow had enough leeway to enjoy ourselves.


The World tour was quite a task but we are glad we did it-Death! Last year I was able to gain physical strength and stamina and I was so happy I was able to eat some many delicious foods.

— How about Yuimetal?


I did have feelings of apprehension about last year’s World tour but fact that it is the three of us gave me the mental support I needed to be able to overcome any obstacles.

— Speaking personally, the Bologna, Italy show really stands out in my mind. The Live house atmosphere of the venue was different that your other shows.


That show was particularly a tough one for us but it was just that difficulty that propelled us to do our absolute best.


Yes, that is so. When we are invited to a challenge it is at that time that we really get motivated. It was really hot in Italy but that really brought out a flow of adrenaline. We really had a gigantic sense of accomplishment after the conclusion of that show.

–Finishing up these tours has there been a change in how you approach your shows?


Alright! The battle is about to begin. Everyone come along with us!” This is what I always say to myself to build myself up for a performance and that started with this World tour. Even ourselves have no idea what things will be like a year from now and so all we can do is continue to plow ahead. I really love the lyrics in ‘Amore-Aoihoshi’ of ‘this fate that continues to run on’ as it seems to hit home about the state of affairs we find ourselves in. To myself personally, Live shows are very close to the feeling of going into battle.

— I see. By the way, do you get a chance to do any sightseeing during the tours?


We saw some pyramids in Mexico. They were at a high elevation but it was really fun for us!


That really exhausted us (Laughs).


Hahaha….yes but that increased the value of our experience.


Switzerland really sticks in my memory. Because I love cheese and milk. The scenery that reminds one of Heidi of the Alps was really splendid.


I personally really love the stars. From our hotel window in Switzerland we could had a very good view of the stars and I would spend a lot of time gazing at them. They were truly beautiful.

–Also, last June at England’s biggest Metal Festival, ‘Download Fes’ you performed jointly with Dragon Force on ‘Gimme Choco!’.


We were unable to rehearse for that, you know.


We were amazed at just how much ‘Gimme Choco!’ could change. We were looking at each other with surprise in our eyes.


I was amazed that just by changing who plays the instruments that it could change that much.

— I follow you. I would like to touch upon your present work. ‘Karate’ is a song that you performed for the first time last December at Yokohama Arena. The song, along with the choreography, is one that makes a big impact.


‘Karate’ is my favorite song. They say that Karate ‘Begins with a bow and ends with a bow’ <as in bows of mutual respect>, right? That is something that I feel is essential for all of us in our lives. I also love the sense of the 3 of us fighting.


When we played ‘Road of Resistance’ and ‘Yaba!’ with the Kami band there were instances when the sound and the dance would link up perfectly. Those times feel so wonderful that I feel I could totally give myself up to them and everything would go totally smoothly. These two songs really grant one power.


While we haven’t performed at a show yet, my favorite is ‘META! MetaTarou’. It is a song we can all sing together and the choreography is such that it makes one want to mimic the movements. I really look forward to seeing everyone’s reaction to this one. And then there is ‘No Rain, No Rainbow’ a ballad that was quite a task for me to sing 2 years ago but which I am now able to take on, I feel.

— And there is the progressive metal song, ‘Tales of the Destinies’ which really blows things out of the water.


That was really difficult to record. I have no confidence to perform it live. (Laughs) Most likely this one will continue to cause me hardships from here on out.


It is scary thinking of working on the choreography for that song.

— The final song, ‘The One’ you performed for the first time suspended from a gondola at last December’s Yokohama Arena.


I am surprisingly not afraid of heights so I was not scared at all. Also, I was really moved by the fact that the fans began to sing along with us even though it was the first time to perform it. I thought if I looked down I would cry so I kept my eyes directed upward.


I am sure that during the World Tour the fans will want to sing along and I am happy that since it is mostly in English this song fills that need.


I want to foster and develop this song in a manner similar with ‘Road of Resistance’. I hope that by the time we perform it at the Tokyo Dome that ‘The One’ will come across almost as a different song from the time we performed it at Yokohama Arena.

— So this year you have the 2016 World Tour and it concludes with a performance at the Tokyo Dome.


The idea of playing at the Tokyo Dome has still not kicked in. I want to eat lots of delicious food again this year during the ‘World Tour 2016’ (Laughs).


I hope we can show the results of our overseas training when we perform at the Tokyo Dome.


During the ‘World Tour 2016’ I hope we will grow and develop into a Babymetal that is matches with the stature of the Tokyo Dome.

Natalie report ‘Rakugo’


Whoa! Hey! Ooga breaks out in Ooga fashion in the Sakura Gakuin ‘Lesson on Rakugo’.

Natalie report

2016 January 22


Ooga Saki breaks up the crowd with her unique ‘Ariyo! Ariyo!’

Sakura Gakuin put on a ‘Lesson on Rakugo’ open class event at the Hamagin hall Bimare on January 17th.

    The ‘Lesson on Rakugo’ began with the entrance of the Rakugo artist Tatekawa Shirano who is a Rakugo performer who was awarded with the National performers outstanding performance award for 2015 and who is a 2nd removed student of the renowned Rakugo master, Tatekawa Danshi. After watching the performance by Tatekawa Shirano the students were asked to perform a short version of ancient Rakugo that had been prepared by him.


    In the first hour the Sakura Gakuin students of Ooga Saki, Yamaide Aiko, Hidaka Marin and Yoshida Soyoka were featured. As soon as Tatekawa Shirano made his way on to the stage he said to the homeroom teacher Mori Hayashi who had appeared in the previous day’s open class event, ‘Rhythmic gymnastics lesson’ and who had spoken only about women university students, ‘I am so sorry that I am not a woman university student’! Mori answered, ‘OK, so I will go and change into leotards!’ which caused the audience to erupt into laughter. Following this little episode, Tatekawa Shirano performed an ancient Rakugo story known as ‘Tsuru’ to serve as a sample representative of what Rakugo is. Yamaide was amazed saying, ‘even though there are no visual props it was like the scenery of the story appeared in front of my eyes’. Replying to this Shirano said, ‘That is not the work of the Rakugo storyteller but rather the result of the imaginations of those listening’. The fact that you responded like this to the story shows that all of you have rich imaginative powers.


    After this the 4 girls put on pink or red Haori jackets and tried their hand at performing Rakugo. The 2 elementary school girls, Hidaka and Yoshida performed ‘Tsuru’ which was met with a warm round of applause from the Fukei who were impressed with their earnest attempts. The Jr. High members, Ooga and Yamaide performed the story, ‘Hantaiguruma’ <The Rickshaw>. Ooga put on a performance filled with originality including her unique and original call back verse of ‘Ariyo’, ‘Ariyo!’ to which Shirano proclaimed, ‘That was outstandingly interesting. It is very rare to get so much laughter out of this story! From here on out this story is all yours!’.



   In the second hour which was attended by Isono Rinon, Okada Megumi, Kurosawa Mirena and Aso Maaya the two stories of ‘Tsuru’ and ‘Oyako Zake’ <Parent/child sake> were used. In her performance of ‘Tsuru’ Okada counted the cranes <Tsuru> as ‘1, 2, …’ using the counting words usually used only for people and interjected her own comic phrase of ‘Megu knows, Megu knows’ that is so familiar to the Fukei causing them to laugh in a soft and knowing manner. Aso who also performed ‘Tsuru’ replaced the main character with herself and did her story with a cute smile on her face. It was assumed that the story ‘Oyako Zake’ <Parent/child sake> would be a very difficult topic for Isono and Kurosawa since they obviously have never experienced being drunk. However, they both skillfully acted as if they were actually drunk astounding both the Fukei and Shirano. Apparently Shirano researched about Sakura Gakuin and he said that he particularly liked the graduate student Horiuchi and even used her name in ”Oyako Zake’ <Parent/child sake> when he performed it as a sample. Picking up on this, Isono included a imitation of Horiuchi in her storytelling performance much to the delight of the Fukei.



    The third hour was attended by the 3 members of Kurashima Sara, Okazaki Momoko and Fujihira Kano. First the 3 girls watched a performance of ‘Tsubozan’ by Shirano. Following this they each did performance of the same story, ‘Tsuru’. Finishing her performance, Kurashima said with a smiling face, ‘It was surprisingly enjoyable. The Zabuton <cushion> is God, isn’t it? That feeling of sinking into it gives on a feeling of security and relief’. Okazaki agreed saying, ‘It is God. The words just kind of descend into one’. As with the first hour, the third hour members also performed the story ‘Hantaiguruma’. With a look of absolute confidence on her face Fujihira proceeded with her performance while spreading an air of confusion throughout the hall with her addition of a mysterious ‘Zaaaa’ vocalization. When she was asked what the strange that she was making was all about after she finished, Fujihira gave an totally out of the ballpark answer of ‘I was moving over the ocean!’ sending the Fukei into laughter. In conclusion Kurashima skillfully gave a performance of ‘Hantaiguruma’ that faithfully reproduced the sample performance of Shirano. The Fukei awarded Kurashima with a hearty round of applause for her performance that was so fitting for the girl who will be in her final year at Sakura Gakuin from this April. This however turned out not to be the final act as on the urging of Shirano it was decided that Mori-sensei would also perform ‘Hantaiguruma’. He brought the show to a conclusion borrowing heavily from Ooga’s performance and sweating a bit under the pressure as he did. Following the conclusion of the third hour Mori and Shirano held a after show talk which kept the Fukei laughing right up until the final curtain came down on the day’s open lesson.





Entame Next Interview 2015 December 29

Entame Next


2015 December 29

    We have asked these four Sakura Gakuin members, you do know that ‘your first performance in the new year is an open class performance’, right?

    With just a slight amount of time remaining in the year, you know that you have only 3 months left being in Sakura Gakuin. Of the remaining events in this Nendo the events you will perform will have increased in power until you graduate and none of them can we afford to miss! Taking a turn in direction from the last interview ‘ we have asked, the Jr. High 3rd grader, Ooga Saki, the 2nd grader Kurashima Sara, the 1st grader Okazaki Momoko and the elementary school 5th grader, Fujihira Kano to talk with us. In our approach of not getting to much into the brass tacks of things we at Entame NEXT want to continue on in a soft and non-obtrusive manner to approach the next topic of ‘The first performance in the new is an Open Class show’. …Please look forward to what is covered!

*This media coverage was on December 7th.

— To begin with, thank you all for your work on the 2-day Debut 5th anniversary performance!

Kurashima Sara – (Hereafter referred to as Kurashima) Since this 5th year anniversary is so important for not only Sakura Gakuin but also the Fukei-san, we worked hard to exceed our normal practice sessions. In the real performance we were greeted with a surprise from the initial SG members and we got so excited that Fujihira Kano fell down and (there was an occurrence where when I set Fujihira down from a shoulder ride in ‘Wonderful Journey’ and she missed her landing point) that happened, but I felt that we all enjoyed all of that anyway!

— That double microphone was really wonderful! (On the second day in the middle of ‘Kimi ni Todoke’ the microphone slipped out of the hands of Hidaka Marin but Kurashima immediately picked it up. And she went on to perform the song with the microphone held in two hands) It was truly amazing that you were able to perform so cooly in that situation.

Kurashima – (With a wry smile) I am sorry. Somehow or other… I was wondering at first ‘what should I do?’.

Ooga Saki – (Hereafter referred to as Ooga) Hey,…it was just by chance that the choreography called for making a fist and was just at the perfect timing.

Kurashima – (With an expression of ‘That’s so right!’) Yes, yes, yes!

— With that kind of occurrence of a somewhat concerning kind of fine play like that it seemed that Fujihira-san landed on her face. Didn’t that hurt?

Fujihira Kano – (Hereafter referred to as Fujihira) Eh!? NOT AT ALL! I was totally fine. And, you must know I landed with my hands softening the fall!

Okazaki Momoko – (Hereafter referred to as Okazaki) Yes, she moved in a fashion like a frog (Laughs)

Fujihira – I may have moved like a frog but I did properly protect my head. More important than all that I was able to appear in the 5th anniversary live show and that made me so ha….(with a bit of a gap) ppy!

Everyone – (Laugh in unison)

— Fujihira-san are there scenes that particularly made a big impression on you or ‘I am so glad I could sing this song’ that stayed with you from the 5th anniversary live performance?

Fujihira – I was so happy that I was able to sing ‘Mikansei Silhouette’, ‘Jump Up ~ Chiisana Yuuki ~ ‘, and the new song, ”Kirameki no Kakera’.

— It was amazing that you being the smallest in the group were able to perform all with the others on this most difficult dance songs, ‘Let’s Dance’.

Fujihira – (Spilling over with energy) Yes!

— (Pulled in by her super energy) OK, thank you!!

Everyone – (Laugh in unison)


Ooga Saki

Jr. High school 3 grader

Education committee Chairperson/Kitaku club ‘Sleepiece’/Tennis club ‘Pastel wind’

— Looking at things from your perspective as a 3rd grader wouldn’t you say it was quite a difficult task to get all 12 members to perform ‘Let’s Dance’ in unison especially with some members doing so for the very first time?

Ooga – Yes, I guess so. The dance movements to this song differ in style from the dances we usually do in Sakura Gakuin so the way to move our bodies differed as well so some members were really good at it and some were dancing that way for the first time so….

Kurashima – That is right.

Ooga – And so we practiced over and over! And maybe exactly because of that we got into the choreography of it rather quickly. Everyone practiced at home, right? (Said staring at the other 3 members with an expression of ‘Hey, you practiced enough, right?!’).

Everyone – (Laugh in unison)

Kurashima – Saki-chan was a bit scary just now! (Bursts out in laughter)

Okazaki – Yes, she was a bit scary at the end!

Fujihira – A bit….(gives a wry smile)

— Looks like you put the pressure on (Laughs). Watching you all perform ‘Let’s Dance’ I got the feeling that Kurashima-san was really good at locking (A type of dance. It is characterized by suddenly freezing up the movements of parts of the body into a pose). Is that so?

Kurashima – Eh, really? The style of dance I learned early on was Hip Hop so while you can’t say I am good at it at least it is something I have practiced.

— I see. That makes sense. For Okazaki-san and Fujihira-san it was your first anniversary live performance. How was it for you?

Okazaki – Yes, well, at the end Matsui Airi-san and Miyoshi Ayaka-san made a surprise appearance and there were many troubling happenings so it was all very memorable. And to be able to perform ‘Let’s Dance’ and a new song….(Sinks into deep thought)…it was truly fun (said with an explosive smile).

Everyone – (Burst into laughter)

Okazaki – Yes, it was really so fun! (Laughs)

— And additionally on the first day in the theatre part of the show KYG (referring to the Wacha Wacha group- ‘frightening Yeah army’ composed of Okazaki, Aso and Fujihira) made an appearance. Wow, that totally free feeling that was strangely stable and reassuring was truly interesting! And even when you all disappeared from the stage in a manner like R.Y.U.S.E.I. At the end you all exited clapping out the rhythm.

Everyone – (Laugh in unison)

Okazaki – That is true. We made it through OK!

— Also, on the first day the music suddenly stopped in the middle of ‘Planet Episode 008’ and yet somehow you continued on by clapping out the rhythm and singing a capella! Is that kind of what it felt like?

Everyone – Ah, yes that sounds right!

— In the end you had to reorganize everything after that. Did the teachers teach about what to do in the case that the an incident like, ‘the music stopping in the middle of a song’, should occur?

Ooga – There are two patterns-one where we ‘keep performing as is’ and one where we ‘stop and reorganize.

Kurashima – The both occurred at the same time.

Ooga – That’s right! The 12 members were divided into those who thought we should continue and those that thought we should reorganize. However, Rinon stopped so we recognised we should ‘stop and reorganize’.


Kurashima Sara

Jr. High school 2nd grader

Science club ‘Science research team Logica? Ver. 1.2’/

Baton club ‘Twinklestars’

— At that time, were there some members who seemed to be indicating that ‘we should continue as is!’?

Ooga – The music stopped right during the Kinsei part and so those three (Kurosawa Mirena, Okazaki Momoko, Aso Maaya) seemed pretty firm on continuing on. (Laughs)

Kurashima – They were doing that! It was right when they were trying to be cool, right? (Wry laugh)

Ooga – And then they got tapped on the shoulder by Rinon. (Laughs)

Kurashima – With a nuance of ‘Hey, hey slow down!’.

Everyone – (Laughs)

Ooga – But I feel it was a good experience for us.

Okazaki – (Said with force) Yes, it was!

Fujihira – Yes!

Ooga – Even though it is called a 5th year anniversary with the members changing each year I would say that most of the members of Sakura Gakuin this year do not know the original initial year members. And so I think that amongst the transfer students some of them may not have really understood what it was all about. I think some may not have gotten a real grasp on what went on for 5 years until we came to appear on that stage. But, when the graduates Ayaka-chan and Airi-chan said that, ‘the Sakura Gakuin that we have now is proof of the hard work and growth of the Kouhai’, I feel the transfer students grew one step deeper in their feelings toward Sakura Gakuin. I myself had never before appeared on the stage with those 2 girls but I felt a revived feeling that ‘Sakura Gakuin is a long running connection’ and so I hope that served as a good motivation for them.

— That is a thoughtful and lucid statement that sounds fitting of the Education committee Chairperson. Thank you!

Okazaki – Trying to unrealistically sum up the event with a comment like, ‘It was fun’, makes me feel a bit embarrassed.

Everyone – (Bursts in laughter.

P. 2

— Really, Senpai Ooga-san really said a wonderful comment. And more than that I am really fascinated in the way Kurashima-san who is sitting next to her is looking upon Ooga-san!

Ooga – She was looking at me the whole time. (Laughs)

— She had her gaze fixed firmly upon you sitting just about 30 cm to one side. What was up with that? Was she trying to absorb the good parts of the Education committee Chairperson?

Ooga – Ah, wonderful <or, ‘Ah, I am great’-hard to tell>

— Or, perhaps she was not happy with Ooga-san and was glaring at you.

Ooga – Eh?

Okazaki – Ah, she was really looking at you with a serious look on her face!

Kurashima – (Trying her best) No, no that is not it! (Laughs) I was simply thinking that we are sitting way too close to each other!

— It seems that Kurashima-san is still trying at present to separate from Ooga-san. (Laughs) OK, we have had a fun time talking about the 5th year anniversary show, but we also asked you 4 members here to talk about the open class shows as well. Have all of you been informed about the contents of the upcoming open class shows?

Everyone – Yes!

— On the 16th of January there will be a ‘Rhythmic Gymnastics class’ taught by a teacher from the Tokyo Women’s College of Physical Education’s Gymnastic’s club and on the next day, the 17th there will be ‘Rakugo <Japanese ‘sit down’ comedy> class’ taught by Tatekawa Shirano-sensei. By the way, have any of you ever seen a Rakugo perfomance?

Kurashima – No.

Fujihira – Yes. <or, saying no as in agreement with Kurashima-san, hard to tell>

Ooga – It is not…so familiar for us…

Okazaki – I have seen one.

Ooga – Never..(after a short gap) Desu!

Everyone – (Big laughter)

— I am unclear on why you paused there, but anyway this means that it will be a first time experience for all of you. Alright, so who here has experience doing rhythmic gymnastics?

Fujihira – Ah! Yeah….

— Oh, really you have practiced rhythmic gymnastics before?

Fujihira – I did it at a house of a friend who is studying it and I went for a sample lesson at a rhythmic gymnastics classroom. But, I have never actually studied it.

Ooga – Chiyahahaha (Laughs)

— That was quite an unusual way for you to laugh, Ooga-san. But, Fujihira-san you do have some degree of interest in it, correct?

Fujihira – Just a little interest!

Everyone – Oh!

Okazaki – But you are soft and flexible…in your face!


Okazaki Momoko

Jr. High school 1st grader

Cooking club ‘Mini Pati’

— Face?

Okazaki – No, no, I didn’t mean your face, I meant your body!

Fujihira – (Poking her cheeks with her finger) My face is soft too.

Everyone – (Laughs)

Ooga – The other day in school we did apparatus gymnastics and I felt that maybe this is connected into rhythmic gymnastics. And so I am looking forward to see how Saki who is good at apparatus gymnastics will do (looking down on everyone with a smug look).

Fujihira – Eh, that is called apparatus gymnastics.

Ooga – (With an air of superiority) Yes, and it is also called mat gymnastics. I have a bit of confidence with this!

— But, when Ooga-san challenges something with an air of confidence like this, for example on LoGiRL or at open classes usually it ends up wihtout you doing anything of greatness, I feel.

Ooga – In the end…in the end, yes (wry smile). Yes, that is right, I can’t do it, you know. Really.

Everyone – (Laughs)

— Hmm..well, even if you ability at something there are times when you can’t execute something properly. But, really I wonder what you will be doing.

Ooga – Yes, that’s right! We don’t know what we will be doing.

Fujihira – But if they have a horizontal bar I want to try it.

Okazaki – No way. I don’t like the horizontal bar !

— I didn’t press the issue just a bit ago but that is a true apparatus gymnastics style. (with a bitter smile) Rhythmic Gymnastics makes use of ribbons and balls and things like that.

Ooga – Ah, that is right!

Kurashima – That is so true!

Okazaki – (Pretends to be spinning a ball around) Like this, right?

Fujihira – Is that right? I didn’t know that! (Astonished)


Fujihira Kano

Elementary school 5th grader

— Plus you wear leotards in a manner like that of the anime ‘Tacchi”s Nan-chan.

Fujihira – Ah, that one? I was a bit confused. (Wry laugh)

Kurashima – If it wasn’t that kind of gymnastics it would turn out to be quite a tough open class (Laughs).

— If you were suddenly told to ‘do a giant swing’ on the horizontal bar I am sure the Fukei-san would get all nervous and worried as well. (Laughs) I think Ooga-san must be good at Rakugo, don’t you think? One of the main characteristics of Rakugo is the ability to act the part of multiple characters as they appear in the story.

Ooga – Is that right?! (With a not so displeased face) I guess it seems I will be good at it! (Said with finality)

Kurashima – There she goes again!

Okazaki – That side of Ooga-san has popped up again! (Laughs)

Fujihira – Even though she can’t do it as well as she says she can!

— Just now weren’t we saying ‘you can’t depend on Ooga-san confidence’?

Ooga – Nah. (Laughs) It is, you know, like that…you tell a story, right? And you do things

like eat soba.

— Oh, you know it well. That is a famous part of an act called, ‘Toki Soba’ <Time soba>.

Okazaki – I don’t understand this at all!

Ooga – I like the act of performing like that so …. I should be good at it. Perhaps (Laughs).

Everyone – (Burst into laughter)

Ooga – Even though I say that, I can never pull it off. Just letting you know my secret!

Okazaki – Hahaha… You have admitted it to yourself. (Laughs)

— How about you, Kurashima-san?

Kurashima – I have never seen Rakugo and don’t know much about it…. (Wry smile). More than that I am just worried about whether I will be able to talk well.

— That is the crux of the issue. You have to speak a great deal all by yourself. If you are not good at MC then it would be a bit worrisome.

Fujihira – Plus if we don’t know Rakugo I am afraid the teacher will get angry at us.

Okazaki – Yes, I have a feeling that we will definitely get angered at!

Ooga – We have to practice up.

— Since there will definitely be Rakugo shows on TV during the New Year so it might be a good idea to watch some. OK, since starting in 2011 there have been 33 Open Classes. Which ones made a deep impression on each of you?

Okazaki – Ah, it would have to be that one. The ‘Thing’ one….

Kurashima – The ‘Class on inventions’?

— The one with the unique foreign teacher (Joseph Tame-san) that was performed in August of last year, right?

Okazaki – Yes, that one made a big impression on me.

P. 3

— I am pretty sure that the Okazaki and Ooga team didn’t complete their invention within the allocated time, right?

Okazaki – We didn’t finish!

Ooga – Ah, I hate thinking about that! It all came back to me….

Okazaki – I had the vinegar ready to go.

Ooga – Hey, we really thought things out, you know! And because of our deep thinking on things we were really confident.

Okazaki – And then, the Sara-chan and Mirena-chan team was just too strong…right?

Ooga – The level of competition was too high! In the end the Jr. High 2nd grade teamwork was overwhelming!

Okazaki – (Looking at Ooga in a mysterious way) ….but you are a 3rd grader, right?

Fujihira – In spite of you being my Senpai!

Ooga – Eh! That 1st grader did that….

Everyone – (Big laughter)

— Do you mean that Okazaki-san pulled you down?

Ooga – (Looking towards a staring Okazaki) Eh? I may have said things like that. (Laughs)

Okazaki – Ahahaha..(Laughs) This is so fun.

Ooga – No, wait that comment was a bit too strange.

Fujihira – You said it yourself and already you are regretting it. (Laughs)

Ooga – You know we needed a bit more teamwork. Cause, you know at that time, Momoko had just transferred in and all.

— It was in August so at least 3 months had gone by. (Wry smile) Ooga-san, do you have an Open class that stands out in your mind?

Ooga – Yes, that one where we took pictures…

— That would be the 2013 September 1st ‘Portrait class ~ Lets take and have pictures taken’.

Okazaki – Oh, that was 2 years ago!

Ooga – We would pair up and take strange pictures of each other mutually and then present the best ones to the Fukei-san! But at that time Saki had never created an adult looking or kind of princess looking expression in her life and so this class was kind of a way for me to burst out of my shell and be able to show more mature kinds of expressions.

— So, you had the Fukei-san look at the pictures you took and had them pass judgement on them! And for the next part of this we will hand it over to Kurashima-san!

Kurashima – The ‘Image performance class’ with White A-sensei, right? At that time I did not know of White A-sensei. After that I was able to go to his live performances and he came to Sakura Gakuin shows. The thing I was most impressed by was that he would point out our bad points and give us advice.

Fujihira and Okazaki – Wow!

— So, a real authentic teacher. And finally how about Fujihira-san?

Fujihira – Sho, sho, sho, sho…..(calligraphy X4)

Ooga – You mean the ‘Calligraphy class’? Writing, writing, writing?

Fujihira – Writing? …Writing! The impression I got from that class was really strong!

— I see. You mean out of the things you experienced in this Nendo for your self? The ‘Language class’ with Furukawa Miyoko-sensei, right?

Fujihira – Hmmm… I am with Momoko-chan taking the ‘Invention class’. I made a pair of glasses that you could wear in class, go sleep and not be detected. That I … invented.

Ooga – Eh, did you actually use them?

Kurashima – How were they when you used them?

Fujihira – Now.. well, you know.. I am using them perhaps?!

Kurashima – Heee, no way you are using them!

Everyone – That is so obvious! (Burst into laughter)

Ooga – That is right, she is not using them. It is OK though as in most cases we don’t use what we make.

Okazaki – Yes, well, plus (With a smug look) in our case we have no need of them anyway!

— Well, anyway that definitely seems like a fabrication (Laughs). With that I hope this time’s Rhythmic Gymnastics and Rakugo will create great memories for both the students and for the Fukei-san. By the way, there are only 3 months left of the 2015 Nendo and soon we will come to ‘The Road to Graduation 2015’.

Okazaki – Yes, this year has already come to a close.

— And so we really hope that everyone will come to the Open Class where we can all meet for the first time in the new year.

Everyone – Yeah!


(From left)

Ooga Saki, Okazaki Momoko, Fujihira Kano, Kurashima Sara

Entatame Next 2015 December 25 Interview

Entatame Next

2015 December 25


     Sakura Gakuin is gaining in even added momentum following the conclusion of their ‘Sakura Gakuin 5th Anniversay LIVE ~ for you ~’ which is a live performance celebrating 5th anniversary held on December 5th and 6th. Commenting on this 2 day live performance which displayed among a variety of topics, a surprise appearance by graduate students and a new song are the 4 members of Jr. High 3rd grader, Shirai Saki, 1st graders, Yamaide Aiko and Okada Megumi as well as Elementary school 6th grader, Hidaka Marin. Without getting too heavy and overbearing and in the backdrop of our Entame NEXT unique soft and gentle mood the girls talk about ‘How the 5th anniversary live show’ really was occasionally saying some silly and fun comments. With that, we hope you will enjoy the talk!

*The interview was carried out on December 7th.

–Thank you all for your hard work on the 2-day 5th anniversary live performance. I totally enjoyed all the shows over the 2 days, but especially the skit that was performed early in the first day show following the opening ‘Chime’ was really excellent. I am sure that other than the seasoned seniors there must have been many Fukei-san who were unsure about what is the truth and what is not concerning this remake of the performances of first the 2011 Nendo graduates Horiuchi Marina-san and Satou Hinata-san and then Kikuchi Moa-san and Mizuno Yui-san.

Okada Megumi – (Hereafter referred to as Okada) We practiced pretending to fail a lot!

Yamaide Aiko – (Hereafter referred to as Yamaide) That looked really hard to perform.

— The Sakura-demy <Play on academy> award winning level of performance made the Fukei-san in attendance scream out with spontaneous calls of ‘Megu!’ and ‘Megu, Ganbare!’ (Laughs)

Okada – That is true. Somehow or other I feel I need to say sorry….

Yamaide – Yes, but actually it is more difficult to perform a mistaken skit that a real one, you know (Laughs)

— That is so. To perform a song like this that has been presented so many times and to do it in such a dramatic way and deliberately make mistakes is just about unheard of.

Okada – That is so but in the end I myself felt I couldn’t tell which was real and which was the mistaken version (gives a wry smile).

— Absolutely. That situation where you start off with a mistake and go on to further fall apart was amazing and it seemed so real including your facial expressions.

Shirai Saki – (Hereafter referred to as Shirai) Yes! That was so well done!


Shirai Saki

Jr. High 3rd grader

3rd Talk Chairperson/member of Purchasing club

— Of course your FRIENDS BARI friendship performance after that with Yamaide-san was really impressive. Have you perhaps polished your acting abilities since receiving the Sakura-demi award at the School Festival?

Yamaide – Really? No, not at all, you know.

Shirai – However, Aiko also did a lot of training.

Yamaide – I was practicing up until 10 minutes before opening curtain.

Okada and Yamaide – (Voices in perfect harmony) We were practicing together!

— You lined up perfectly there (Laughs)

All together – (Thunderous laughter)

— OK, lets get back on track. Could you tell us your impressions of the 2 days?

Hidaka Marin – (Hereafter referred to as Hidaka) On both of the 2 days we were able to present our new song, ‘Kirameki no Kakera’ <A sparkling shard> and I really felt like we ‘became unified as one’ with the Fukei-san who cheered us on at the concert hall and with the Fukei-san who were watching through live viewing. It all made me happy and I had a really fun time.

— Of course ‘Song for smiling’ which makes great use of your proficient English abilities was fantastic, but I personally was blown away by the scene where you sing after coming through the door when you are called ‘Wa ~tashi yo ~bu ~ koe ~’ <a voice that calls me>.

Hidaka – Thank you so much! (Said shyly)

Yamaide – I was able to perform with Megu (Okada Megumi) and there were many songs we performed for the first time in this show, but I was so very happy to be able to revitalize the song ‘Let’s Dance’ which is a particularly traditional song in the stock of Sakura Gakuin songs and was only performed once by the 2011 Nendo unit. Additionaly, the fact that this show was shown as an opportunity for people to watch in live viewing which is something we had not even imagined could be realized made us so happy to know that people all over Japan who wanted to see us live could watch the show!


Yamaide Aiko

Jr. High school 1st grader

Member of the cooking club, ‘Mini pati’ and the baton club ‘Twinklestars’

— I am sure that the Fukei-san living around the country and those in the Kantou area where you are not able to travel to so easily were very happy. By the way, of all the Sakura Gakuin songs the one that is perhaps the most difficult to dance to is ‘Let’s Dance’.

Yamaide – That is so. While there is also the song ‘Motte Ike! Sailor Fuku’ I am sure the coaches feel that this one is really difficult as well.

Okada – I also really practiced this at home. I am not so good at squating down and moving….on many occasions I asked my mother to watch my movements and give me advice. My grandmother would watch me and say, ‘You need to lower your hips more!’. (Laughs)

— You wrote about that in your diary as well, right? I find it hard to believe that someone like you who has studied how to lower your hips and move with your center of gravity lowered would find this too difficult. Regardless, I am sure that your mother and grandmother must have been able to watch this actual scene on the stage with ease.

Okada – Aiko also said the same worried whether I would be able to perform this part of the scene or not. But doing the performance… if at all possible I came to like Aiko even more.

— So, as we assumed you two are actually really fond of each other, right?

Everyone – (Loud laughter)

Yamaide – (Speaking shyly but with force) We are not so in love with each other’ (Laughs)

Shirai – But just this morning you were chopping at Megu, right?

Yamaide – Today she said ‘I am really busy so could you buy lunch for me?’. I bought what she wanted but in the end she forgot that she had asked me to do so and she went out and bought lunch on her own. That is why I hit her with a cross chop!

— I see. The chop is not like the ‘Bop on the head’ like you see in girl’s Manga but more like the graduate student Taguchi Hana’s chop ‘with both hands formed into one’. And recently I see so many pictures of the two of you together in your recent diaries.

Shirai – Recently they are in love once again.

Okada – Yes, recently we are in love, you know.

Shirai – (While smiling with a malicious looking smile) But, I am sure your period of tedium will come in the near future, don’t you think?

Everyone – (Laughter)

Yamaide – Meg getting all close to me…is ….you know a bit….yucky, you know (Said with a wry laugh)

Shirai – Ahh…that means that Aiko’s period of tedium has already arrived perhaps.

Okada – (Hugging Aiko sitting next to her with a look of surprise) Eh!

Yamaide – I am not good at her sticking next to me like this (wry laughter)

Okada – (separating from Aiko with a look of loneliness) I hear you.

Shirai – You both have to adjust to each other mutually.

Page 2

— Shirai-san, you really seem to be grown up. When we got into the sticking love flow of talk just before, Yamaide-san seemed to try to not make eye contact with Okada-san. (Laughs) Well, let us try to be a bit conscious of the spacial distance with our partners, Okada-san. And so, next, on to the Talk Chairperson, Shirai-san!

Shirai – This performance the new Nendo members had a number of new songs to perform including ‘Kirameki no Kakera’ and ‘Let’s Dance’ as part of a really content packed performance. And although we had less time to practice than we had with the School Festival leading us to be running against the clock, I was so happy that we were able to perform all the songs without mishap!

— The songwriter and lyricist for the the new song that we mentioned before, ‘Kirameki no Kakera’ is cAnON.-san. In the ‘OVERTURE vol. 005’ that goes on sale this month features a dialouge between Mori Yuriko-san and cAnON.-san in the Sakura Gakuin special. For that feature I asked a bit about this song and apparently this is ‘cAnON. Verse on full steam ahead and is created as a song perfect for the Sakura Gakuin 5th anniversary live show.

Shiari – It really is a great song.

Hidaka – It is a good song, you know.

Okada – It is truly a masterpiece.

Yamaide – Or better said, every song of Sakura Gakuin is a masterpiece!

— THAT is so true! By the way, when I asked them about this song in their dialouge they answered that it is a song that is a ‘summation of the 5 years of Sakura Gakuin’s history’. So, how about singing this song? When you actually sing it, is it a difficult song to sing?

Shirai – Hmm.. I wonder …. It is broken up minutely into parts with each grade singing a separate part and so I feel it is really interesting. Perhaps?

Yamaide – If you read each line one by one you realize that there is a lot of nuance included in the lyrics so you can read a lot of variation into it and so it is both difficult and at the same time, interesting.

— As we are now, we all hope you will plow ahead singing in the remaining live performances. We hope you will bring out your attractiveness to its full potential. Also, both day’s shows featured the surprise appearance of SG graduates. The 2013 graduates also seemed really happy and healthy in the video message they sent.

Shirai – Yes, they all looked so happy.

Yamaide – So incredibly happy! (Laughs)

— And especially it was so long since the last time that Sugisaki Nene-san showed herself to the Fukei-san, and it was so wonderful to see the initial Sakura Gakuin students of Miyoshi Ayaka-san and Matsui Airi-san come out and sing together with you.

Shirai – That is so true. But this time there were many graduates who are so busy that they could not come to the event. But that can not be helped.

Yamaide – True, but Nenedon came.

Okada – And, Raura-chan….

Hidaka – And (Honjo) Yunano-chan as well!


Okada Megumi

Jr. High 1st grader, Science club (Lojika?)

— And in the midst of their busy lives there are the Senpai who came to cheer us on at the concert hall and there are Senpai who are busy traveling along their own SuperLady paths who support us from the sidelines. I think the ‘Sakura Gakuin bond’ was conveyed firmly to the Fukei-san as well. Next, from your viewpoint of being a ‘presently active Fukei/Shirai Saki’, could you reflect on this 5th year anniversary live show?

Shirai – Wow, there are so many things to talk about. First of all, ‘Let’s Dance’. I think this was quite a highlight of this show. Since the average age of the members this time was so young, I frankly think that many people did not assume we could perform to this level. And so one stand out point was that we were able to show this gap between expectation and to what degree we were able to really sing and dance. Further, ‘Wonderful Journey’ which we sang as a medley is one of my favorite songs to dance and perform. It made me so happy to enjoy this song that I like so much as the Fukei-san waved their flags along with us. And so, next time I hope we can perform a full version of the song.

— I see. So in the end this ‘Raura problem’ was masterfully avoided and has not been resolved completely. By all means I hope that you will be able to perform in full someday (Looking somewhat towards the teacher’s room).

Shirai – Let’s do it!

Yamaide and Okada and Hidaka – Lets, lets do it!!

Teacher’s room – That is fine, IF you have a way to resolve the ‘Raura problem’.

Shirai – So, that is why I thought about this, right?!

Yamaide – Raura-chan could come and sing with us. Each time (Laughs).

— Just for 1 song?! Well, anyway, that could be the next graduate student appearance. Lets look forward to that perhaps happening next time (Laughs). But, she did come to teach you for ‘Let’s Dance’, right? Was she strict?

Shirai – Yes!

Okada – Yes, she was.

Hidaka – Bishibashi! (Doing a gesture like swinging a whip).

Yamaide – But, that is not actually true, don’t you think? I think she was really kind…


Hidaka Marin

Elementary school 6th grader, Cooking club ‘Mini pati’

— Does that mean that she was scary when she was an active member?

Yamaide – It is not really like that (smiles wryly). There is an image that Raura-chan = scary regarding new students but rather I would say she kind of, ‘puts one into high attention mode’.

Shirai – It is true that all the new transfer students say that but in actuality it is not so, I think.

Yamaide – In my case it may be because I had one full year to perform and study with her that I felt she was extremely friendly.

Okada – Yes, she would teach us each part piece by piece in detail.

— From the viewpoint of the transfer students this Nendo she would perhaps come across as being a bit of an older Senpai and have a bit of a strict image. How do you feel, Hidaka-san?

Hidaka – (in a soft tone) Yeeees.

— For you, Hidaka-san, how was this 5th anniversary live performance?

Hidaka – A 5th year anniversary….(drops into deep contemplation as she moves her hands in mysterious way as if pulling something out of the air)

Shirai – We were often paired up in the songs we performed this time. That goes for the dance in ‘Mikansei Silhouette’ and the new song, ‘Kirameki no Kakera’ as well.

Hidaka – There are so many times when I get paired up with C-chan, and when we make eye contact and sing, ‘I am about to be caught, I feel I am about to be swallowed up’, we grip each others hands firmly, ‘Gyuggyu’. (Laughs)

— Is that a secret type of play only for the two of you?

Shirai – You could say ‘play’ but it is more of a type of communication.

Okada – If we are going to talk about this, then I can say WE do it as well.

Yamaide – We do it ‘SOMETIMES’ only.

Okada – We do it ‘ALL THE TIME’!!

— What is this? Are you trying to make a plea for the ‘in love’ theme again?

Yamaide – No, I don’t want to draw attention to that (Wry smile)

Shirai – ‘Noroke’ <Showing off their love> (Laughs)

Yamaide – It is not something to draw attention to but the Sakura Gakuin members decide the things that they want to enjoy we each other all by themselves.

— You also face each other and make eye contact, don’t you.

Shirai – That’s right. In Sakura Gakuin we pair up and also often do choreography with the members all entwined together and these are things that I hope everyone will pay close attention to and enjoy in our shows.

Page 3

— Next time we will pay close attention! By the way, recently Yamaide-san is really quiet and reserved. Before I think you were more aggressive.

Yamaide – Eh, really?! Personally I have no intention of being like that.

Shirai – She is not aware of it herself.

Hidaka – Eh, Aiko-chan is always so bursting with excited energy, right?

— Hearing that I would love to play the recording of our last interview for Hidaka-san. Especially in the open class on physics….

Shirai – That is true. In the past she was really talkative! (Laughs)

Yamaide – (Quite seriously) Just knock it off! I was a bit strange at those times. I was just

full of nervous energy…(Laughs quietly)

Okada – Ah, ah at that time Aiko was really going off the wall. I remember that!

— Well, anyway that is one of the special characteristics of the period of growth.

Yamaide – I have grown up! I don’t know how to express it but…(Laughs)

— Alright, lets return to the subject of the 5th anniversary live show. How many songs did you perform for the first time again?

Shirai – There were many.

Everyone in unison – ‘Let’s Dance’, ‘Jump Up ~ Chiisana Yuuki ~’, Sleepwonder’, ‘Mikansei Silhouette’, Kirameki no Kakera’!

Yamaide – So, there were 5 songs we performed for the first time.

— Concerning one of those songs, ‘Sleepwonder’, last year Taguchi-san caused a stir by asking who would be in charge of playing the role of the ill mannered cat. Are you all OK with Maaya-san being chosen to do so?

Okada – ‘Nyannyan’ feeling (said like a car purring)

Hidaka – (With cat like gestures) Nyannyan.

— Why is it that Hidaka-san has jumped on the phrase that Maaya-san uses in her diaries so often? (Laughs)

Okada – This cat has a different kind of a Nyannyan feeling to it but it does resemble Maaya a bit.

Yamaide – Since Maaya can act out as an energetic cat as well as a silly cat she is really perfect for that role, I feel.

— Yamaide-san, didn’t you want to do that role?

Yamaide – If asked for directions this cat would not respond. It is kind of an ill natured cat, right? That kind of cat….

Shirai – What, do you mean your image would be tarnished if you did that kind of role?

Yamaide – That is not what I meant! (Laughs)

Everyone – (Big laugh)

Yamaide – Conversely I thought that image ‘would be suitable for me perhaps’ but cats have slanted eyes and that differs in looks from me.

Okada – You have droopy eyes. That is right.

— So that means that you are all convinced she was the right selection, right?

Everyone – (Again with voices in unison) Yes!!

— Speaking of first performances, we can not forget about the medley that came up a bit ago in Shirai-san’s comments. However, that was a totally new linkage. The editor of ‘OVERTURE’ was expecting to hear his/her favorites, ‘Otome Gokoro’ and ‘Kita!’ but the medley ended before they appeared. (Laughs)

Everyone – (Big laughter)

Shirai – Right, just he first part, ‘Uouuou’ (Laughs).

— When you practice for medleys do you practice each respective song in whole or do you practice with them lined up in connection?

Shirai – In a connected state. Since there are no gaps it is quite difficult to work out the breathing between each part.

Hidaka – Yes, you get out of breath…

Shirai – Also, you have to move into different formations one after the other.

Okada – But, it was a lot of fun.

Everyone – It was fun.

— As Shirai-san wrote in her diary it would be great if you can fulfill her desire to perform all of the songs in the good condition you are all in now.

Hidaka – I would love to make that happen!

Shirai – In a medley you do part by part including ‘Otome Gokoro’ (Laughs). It would be wonderful to at least put parts of each song in. That of course includes ‘Sakura Hyakunin Isshu’!

— If you do it in a ‘Otome Gokoro’ format bit by bit, it just might be possible.

Yamaide – Yeah, like just have the introduction play and not sing or something like that. (Laughs)

— Yes, just dance the first choreography and finish (Laughs). By the way, is there in existence a choreography for ‘Sakura Hyakunin Isshu’?

Shirai – Yes! It ‘seems’ there is one.

Yamaide – But, only Rinon-chan knows it.

Shirai – That is right. There are no video images of it.

— By all means please convey that to us by the time you graduate. I hope you will make part of your tradition from next year on!


(From left)

Yamaide Aiko, Okada Megumi, Shirai Saki, Hidaka Marin

Natalie Music 2015 December 13

Natalie Music

2015 December 13


Babymetal announces the release of a new album, a World Tour and a Tokyo Dome

concert at today’s Yokohama Arena show

It was announced that Babymetal will release a new album simultaneously world-wide next year, April 1st (Title yet to be determined)



Babymetal put on its ‘Babymetal World Tour 2015 ~ The Final Chapter of Trilogy ~’ today at Yokohama Arena, Kanagawa. Following the show they announced the release of their second album following 2 years after the release of their first one. There will be three versions of the album with a Regular edition, a First Limited Edition and a Premium Limited Edition for members of the official fan club, THE ONE. The First Limited Edition will include a DVD. The songs, their titles and the contents of the DVD to be contained in the album will be announced at a later date.

Further, the group will be shedding its skin at the SSE Arena Wembley in England on the day following the release of the album, April 2nd kicking off its ‘Babymetal World Tour 2016’ World Tour. The Finale for this World Tour will be held at the Tokyo Dome. Details surrounding the Dome show will be announced on April 1st keeping the fans waiting in anticipation.



Babymetal Comments


Since I feel that a large number of people are waiting eagerly for the new album I really want to put all my energy and attention into making it.

Also, it was like a dream to hear that it had been decided that we will play at the Tokyo Dome. I will do my best to grow and develop so we can successfully carry out our world tour and so that I will be able to perform with confidence in front of everyone.


It still has not hit me that we will actually be playing at the Tokyo Dome. I would like to burn up all available energy to perform my best and not forget this feeling of gratitude to everyone who has supported and cheered on Babymetal.


Even after hearing the divine instruction today I can not believe that some day in the future that day will come (Tokyo Dome). With the new album being released on April 1st- April Fool’s day I hope we an betray the expectations of everyone in a good way.