I could not have been more explicit when I said that Amuse doesn’t care about you other than your ability to have a transactional relationship with Babymetal, but no, I was the bad guy. Or very likely the person that you agreed with, judging by the comments! I just felt like a little rueful back-patting upon finding out that MY LITERAL BABYMETAL SUB-OSHI YUIMETAL, Patron Saint of Try-hards Everywhere, did not appear at the Kansas City show last night. Let’s have a taste!
— Austin @BMTW2018 (@AustinBarnette7) May 9, 2018
— Q (Displacer Squirrel) (@displacerq) May 9, 2018
People lost their freaking minds; as a person who enjoys a good disaster just for the sake of it, I have to give credit to all parties for playing their parts perfectly.
The Babymetal subreddit, since recovered to mere Code Yellow levels of mania, was in full-on meltdown last night; this is but a taste:
Dear @BABYMETAL_JAPAN management:
This handling of Yuimetal's apparent departure from #BABYMETAL could not have been worse. If you want to succeed in the West, be more transparent. The legends and all are fun, but this was a very bad move.
Announce Yui's situation. NOW. pic.twitter.com/QdVwjlyVs5
— BrianNLS (@Brian__NLS) May 9, 2018
Not wrong at all! Though people are doing everything short of pulling a gun on Babymetal on Twitter in their demand for answers (and very literally killing the long-touted Amuse stock price), I have a feeling that we may not ever get a clear, clean one; once you commit to a path (like highly ambiguous Legend content!), you stick it out unless you want egg on your face, and we likely needn’t re-hash the Japanese dislike of that.
This is absolutely brutal in retrospect:
— arif ouranio PRIBUMI (@theFOXgod444) May 9, 2018
— Goldberg Weinstein (@GoldbergSalem) May 9, 2018
But you know what? Maybe it doesn’t matter. I mean, yes, it matters. People are mad and sad and for good reasons at that. But look:
BABYMETAL WAS SO AMAZING OH MY GOOOOOODDDDDDDD pic.twitter.com/KRQf9bve0H
— Ashley (@KJ94YT) May 9, 2018
For the actual vast majority of the Babymetal fan base, the ones who don’t know what Sakura Gakuin is and who think idols are stupid, what matters is the show, and the music, and the sheer What The Fuck of it all. As long as those things are in place (and probably also Su-Metal, let’s be honest), Babymetal will still be a thing for them, and they’ll still be fans, and they’ll still do what fans do. Like record new music that makes its way into the tour’s set list!
I do think that Yuimetal isn’t completely out of the group yet. I do think that she was legitimately ill at the time of the Su-Metal Honors in Hiroshima last year, and I think that there’s something keeping her away from this tour, possibly illness or injury or even an academic project. I think that the deliberate ambiguity of the Chosen Seven thing is a quick CYA effort to add dynamism to what was otherwise going to be a complete shock and a poor performance, by Babymetal standards.* Presuming that her absence so far — and possibly for the entire tour — is a deliberate move, I think that she may make her return here:
— BABYMETAL (@BABYMETAL_JAPAN) May 9, 2018
If not, well … Let’s burn that bridge when we get to it.
*By all accounts, the weird duo shows were fine, but off-puttingly different; I think that was probably the biggest motivator for adding bodies to the stage here