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Babymetal are a Japanese band fusing metal with Japanese Idol pop. The band features three singers of high school age, Suzuka Nakamoto ("Su-metal"), Yui Mizuno ("Yuimetal"), and Moa Kikuchi ("Moametal"), and are backed by heavy metal instrumentation played by the Kami Band. After growing extremely popular in Japan, the group began growing popular in the West, and has been the subject of many popular reaction videos in which a certain group of people react to their performances, usually with confusion.
Babymetal was formed in 2010 and are managed by the Amuse talent agency. They were originally a subunit of Japanese Idol group Sakura Gakuin, and played their first show on November 28th, 2010 when they were between the ages of 10 and 11. Their first song, "Doki Doki Morning," was originally released in April of 2011 as part of the Sakura Gakuin album Sakura Gakuin 2010 Nendo: Message. The band shot a music video for Doki Doki Morning and uploaded it to YouTube in October of 2011. The video was reuploaded to YouTube on November 8th, 2012, where it has since gained over 20 million YouTube views (shown below).
On November 26th, 2012, the band uploaded a music video for "Ijime, Dame, Zettai," which has gained over 20 million views (shown below, left). The song debuted on a major label in January of 2013 and sold 19,000 copies in its first week. In the spring of that year, "Su-metal" graduated from junior high school, and thus was forced to "graduate" from Sakura Gakuin, as the group must be composed of elementary and junior high school girls. However, Babymetal management elected to keep Babymetal going. On June 4th, 2013, the group released their next single, "Megitsune," on YouTube, where it has gained over 43 million views (shown below, right).
The group released their first full-length, self-titled album on February 26th, 2014. The album sold over 37,000 copies in its first week, debuting at number 2 on Billboard Japan. On that album is one of Babymetal's biggest singles, "Gimme Chocolate." The video was uploaded to YouTube on February 25th, and has since gained over 74 million views (shown below, left). The band then started touring and playing in front of massive crowds, which they would continue to do consistently for the next two years. During this time, they debuted "Road of Resistance," a song which was co-written by Herman Li and Sam Totman of DragonForce. A performance of the song uploaded to YouTube on May 6th, 2015, has gained over 14 million views (shown below, right). In December of 2015, they announced they would release their second studio album, later announced to be called Metal Resistance, on April 1st, 2016.
With the release of Metal Resistance, Babymetal began to make strides of popularity in the West. On March 17th, 2016, the group released the music video for their single "Karate," which has gained over 32 million views (shown below, left). On April 5th, 2016, the band made their American television debut when they appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and performed "Gimme Chocolate" (shown below, right). On May 26th, 2016, WWE announced that "Karate" would be the official song of the NXT pay-per-view NXT Takeover: The End.
The group has since performed with Rob Halford of Judas Priest and toured with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Metallica. In September of 2016, Warner Bros. announced that a hybrid live-action animated short film featuring Babymetal was under development.
The group has been well-received by critics. Rolling Stone Japan gave their self-titled debut 4.5 stars. Metalhammer readers named their debut "The Best Debut of the 21st Century." The Guardian gave a concert of theirs at Wembley five stars. Meanwhile, the group has been met with confusion by celebrities and YouTubers on YouTube, and several popular videos feature various people reacting to Babymetal. On April 3rd, 2014, The Fine Brothers channel uploaded a video of YouTube celebrities reacting to Babymetal, which has gained over 18 million views (shown below, left). Two years later, the channel uploaded the members of Babymetal reacting to that video (shown below, right). The channel has also uploaded a video of celebrities reacting to Babymetal.
Babymetal has a large fandom both in and outside of Japan. Their Facebook page has over 897,000 likes, their Twitter over 306,000 followers, their official Instagram over 245,000 followers, and their subreddit over 10,000 readers. Hundreds of works of fan art have been uploaded to DeviantArt.
 The Guardian – Babymetal review – J-pop teen metallers come of age