Kawaii metal

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Kawaii metal (also known as idol metal, [1] cute metal, or kawaiicore) [2] is a musical genre that blends elements of heavy metal and J-pop that was pioneered in Japan in the early 2010s. A typical kawaii metal composition involves combining the instrumentation found in various types of heavy metal music with J-pop melodies and a Japanese idol aesthetic. Kawaii metal's lyrical topics are often less hostile than those of other heavy metal genres.

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

J-pop, natively also known simply as pops, is a musical genre that entered the musical mainstream of Japan in the 1990s. Modern J-pop has its roots in traditional Japanese music, but significantly in 1960s pop and rock music, such as The Beatles and The Beach Boys, which led to Japanese rock bands such as Happy End fusing rock with Japanese music in the early 1970s. J-pop was further defined by new wave groups in the late 1970s, particularly electronic synth-pop band Yellow Magic Orchestra and pop rock band Southern All Stars.

Melody linear succession of musical tones in the foreground of a work of music

A melody, also tune, voice, or line, is a linear succession of musical tones that the listener perceives as a single entity. In its most literal sense, a melody is a combination of pitch and rhythm, while more figuratively, the term can include successions of other musical elements such as tonal color. It may be considered the foreground to the background accompaniment. A line or part need not be a foreground melody.


The Japanese girl group Babymetal is often credited with the creation and success of kawaii metal. In addition to Babymetal, kawaii metal acts such as Ladybaby have also garnered media attention, as well as minor commercial attention, for performing songs of this genre.

Babymetal Japanese all-female metal group

Babymetal are a Japanese kawaii metal band. The band consists of Suzuka Nakamoto as "Su-metal" and Moa Kikuchi as "Moametal". The band is produced by Kobametal from the Amuse talent agency. Their vocals are backed by heavy metal instrumentation, performed by a group of session musicians known as the "Kami Band" at performances.

Ladybaby is a Japanese kawaii metal musical group, which originally consisted of aspiring photographic models Rie Kaneko and Rei Kuromiya, as well as Ladybeard, the bearded crossdressing persona of Australian male professional wrestler Richard Magarey. On August 1, 2016, the group rebranded itself after Ladybeard's withdrawal from the group, going by "The Idol Formerly Known as Ladybaby", until they returned to the original Ladybaby moniker in 2018.

History and characteristics

Kawaii metal pioneers Babymetal, performing in The O2 Arena London in 2016. BABYMETAL, O2 Arena, London (31480784365).jpg
Kawaii metal pioneers Babymetal, performing in The O2 Arena London in 2016.

Japanese heavy metal idol group Babymetal are considered the inventors of the kawaii metal genre. [3] [4] Angelica Wallingford of City Times opined that Babymetal's eponymous debut album had pioneered the kawaii metal musical genre. Wallingford also defined the genre, and album, as a "mixture of varying genres including pop, rock, heavy metal, electronic dance music, industrial and symphonic death metal". [5] A guest contributor at The Independent believed that the genre was a derivative of J-pop and various extreme metal genres, namely "speed metal, power metal, black metal, and industrial metal". [6] While discussing Babymetal, The Sydney Morning Herald's Rob Nash opined that the genre consisted of "sugary pop melodies over thrash metal": Nash also believed that the group's song, "Awadama Fever" exemplified the genre, saying the song contained "slabs of angry guitar and undanceably fast breakbeats, while the girls [Babymetal] squeak about 'bubble ball fever' and chewing gum". [7]

Japanese idol young starlet manufactured and marketed for image, attractiveness, and personality in Japanese pop culture

An idol is a young entertainer manufactured and marketed for image, attractiveness, and personality in Japanese pop culture. Idols are primarily singers, but they are also trained in a wide range of roles, such as acting, modeling, and appearing in variety shows.

<i>Babymetal</i> (album) 2014 studio album by Babymetal

Babymetal is the debut studio album by Japanese heavy metal band Babymetal. It was first released on February 26, 2014, in Japan through BMD Fox Records, and was re-released on May 29, 2015, in Europe through earMusic, and June 16, 2015, in the United States through RED Associated Labels (RAL) and Sony Music Entertainment. Music from the album dates back to the origins of the band in 2010, and incorporates tracks from their earliest released singles, back when the band was a sub-unit of the Japanese idol group Sakura Gakuin.

Pop music is a genre of popular music that originated in its modern form in the United States and United Kingdom during the mid-1950s. The terms "popular music" and "pop music" are often used interchangeably, although the former describes all music that is popular and includes many diverse styles. "Pop" and "rock" were roughly synonymous terms until the late 1960s, when they became increasingly differentiated from each other.

Kawaii metal band Deadlift Lolita in 2017. Deadlift Lolita's signing event, Comic Exhibition 20170813.jpg
Kawaii metal band Deadlift Lolita in 2017.

Discussing Ladybeard, and Ladybaby, Jake Cleland of The Sydney Morning Herald defined the genre as "saccharine pop with his heavy metal growling". [8] Alex Weiss of Paper defined the genre as "hard rock with sugary sweet pop hooks". Weiss also used Babymetal's songs "Karate" and "Road of Resistance" as examples to explain the differing lyrical perspective between the kawaii metal and other metal genres, stating that kawaii metal songs "offer a perspective often missing from the hyper-masculine, aggressive lyrics usually present in most of the [metal] genre's hits". [9] Felix Clay of Cracked.com also believed that the genre had less aggressive lyricism, citing the genre had lyrics about "pop music topics like kittens, chocolate, and fun". [1]

Death growl voice type

A death growl is a vocal style usually employed by death metal singers but also used in other heavy metal styles, such as metalcore. Death growls are sometimes criticized for their "ugliness". However, the harshness of death growls is in keeping with death metal's abrasive music style and often dark and obscene subject matter. The progressively more forceful enunciation of metal vocals has been noted from heavy metal to thrash metal to death metal.

<i>Paper</i> (magazine) fashion magazine

Paper is a New York City-based independent magazine focusing on fashion, popular culture, nightlife, music, art and film.

Hard rock is a loosely defined subgenre of rock music that began in the mid-1960s, with the garage, psychedelic and blues rock movements. It is typified by a heavy use of aggressive vocals, distorted electric guitars, bass guitar, drums, and often accompanied with keyboards.

List of bands

Aldious Japan2008 [10]
Babymetal Japan2010 [11]
Band-Maid Japan2013 [12]
Dazzle Vision Japan2003 [13]
Deadlift Lolita Japan2017 [14]
Doll$Boxx Japan2012 [11]
FruitPochette Japan2012 [15]
Ironbunny Japan2019 [16]
Kamen Joshi Japan2013 [17]
Ladybaby Japan2013 [11]
Necronomidol Japan2014 [18]

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Suzuka Nakamoto Japanese female singer

Suzuka Nakamoto, known by her stage names Suzuka and Su-metal, is a Japanese musician, singer and model. She is best known as the lead vocalist of kawaii metal band Babymetal. She is represented by the talent agency Amuse, Inc. and has been a member of three musical groups formed by the company: Karen Girl's, Sakura Gakuin, and Babymetal.

Moa Kikuchi Japanese female singer

Moa Kikuchi is a Japanese musician, singer, model, and actress. She is represented by the talent agency Amuse, Inc. She is a member of the kawaii metal group Babymetal and a former member of the idol group Sakura Gakuin.

Yui Mizuno Japanese singer

Yui Mizuno is a Japanese musician, singer, model, and actress. She is a former member of the kawaii metal group Babymetal and the idol group Sakura Gakuin. In October 2018, she left Babymetal due to an undisclosed illness, and will be possibly returning to the stage as a solo artist. She is managed by the Amuse, Inc. talent agency.

Megitsune single by Babymetal

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Babymetal / Kiba of Akiba split single by Babymetal and Kiba of Akiba

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Gimme Chocolate!! digital single by Babymetal

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<i>Metal Resistance</i> 2016 studio album by Babymetal

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Key Kobayashi, better known by his pseudonym Kobametal, is a Japanese music producer under the talent agency Amuse, Inc. He is best known as the producer of the kawaii metal group Babymetal.

Necronomidol is a Japanese idol heavy metal group, formed in 2014. They have been on more than two international tours, and are regarded as a prominent force in the anti-idol and kawaii metal movements. The group is also known as Necroma amongst fans. Necronomidol is based in Tokyo.

Desurabbits, is a Japanese idol group based in Tokyo. Alongside contemporary idol groups such as Babymetal, they are notable for being one of the early pioneers of the death metal/J-pop cross-over music style known as "japanese death pop". Their second album debuted at number 291 in the weekly Oricon album sales charts and their tenth single debuted at number 48 in the weekly Oricon single sales charts, making it their most commercially successful single to date.

Pa Pa Ya!! 2019 song by Babymetal

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