Being a Babymetal Fan Is Basically an Insult at This Point

By which, I don’t mean that “you’re a Babymetal fan” is an insult, but that living life as a Babymetal fan means constantly being insulted by Babymetal’s management.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, the Fox Day countdown was an announcement about the next phase of the Metal Resistance (going on quite a few years now, gang):

And something about seven new (dark!) spirits:

The smart money so far seems to be on the seven spirits being the band (fair enough), though some people are speculating about new members, new units, and so on. This is the stock in trade of Babymetal fans, in fact — if we ain’t speculatin’, we ain’t happy.

Case in point: The snarkier among us spent the whole wind-up period talking about the fact that the big announcement was probably going to be another DVD, and … well, it was:

And of course there’s a limited edition

But also a graphic novel:

There’s obviously more to come, but this is what we got right now.

Look. It’s been established that we are all incredibly easy marks. Idol fans will part with all of their money if it means receiving a book of photos — and as the owner of several photobooks, I say with all honesty that I can’t think of a single less useful or interesting thing to have. I’d rather look over my decade-old Rammstein tour album than an overpriced book of photos of idols. But did I buy a photobook recently? I did! Did I also buy a special edition of a CD that I already owned, a DVD that I’ll probably never watch and a shirt that I’m afraid to wear very often for fear of it wearing out? Of course!

Babymetal fans, though (and I say this as one), are the easiest marks of all. We joke around about the fact that like every other idol act in existence has released more original content in the past literally pick an interval than Babymetal, now at two years and counting since Metal Resistance, but how many DVDs have come out in that time? Yeah, there’s an argument to be made that the spectacle of the big live shows is worth getting the disks for. At what cost, though? They’re expensive. And if you’re a collector, that’s fine, but maybe ask yourself why you’re collecting mounds of the same stuff, or shelling out big bucks for the rare genuinely interesting item, especially considering that not one member of Babymetal or the Kami Band is reaping the rewards near as much as Amuse itself.

And yet we (yes, we) line up for this stuff. We do it even though that anime never happened, even though the Internet is littered with well-developed fanfic* that’s probably better than the graphic novel will be, even though the Unikitty thing was ultimately pretty lame, even though there hasn’t been a single real new song in two years.

And because we do that, Amuse has a free hand to continue to do effectively nothing but crank out special editions of this and that, and sell live DVDs and dated products. And so that’s what Amuse will do. We aren’t people to them; we’re profit engines.

To take this line of thought to its logical conclusion becomes a dismissal not just of the entire idol industry, but just about all of entertainment, and so I’ll drag these thoughts to an arbitrary — but reasonable, I think — boundary: At least other performers release new material to keep up with their additional stuff. I can be critical of WACK for doing all of these dumb things that are nothing more than elaborate emotional and financial manipulation of the fans, but at least WACK acts put out lots of (mostly good) material. Amuse, not so much. No, neither they nor the members nor the band owe us anything, but nor do we owe them. Quid pro quo.

The only way to stop it, of course, is to stop participating. “But I love Babymetal!” you cry out. Hey, friend, so do I. I also like to recognize when I’m just being played, and I do not like insults, so the easy next step is to say, hey, Amuse, enough already — until something else new and good comes along, you’re not getting any more of my money. Maybe that’s what’s about to happen! Maybe really truly genuinely interesting and quality things will start to come out of Babymetal HQ, and then won’t the egg be on my face**! Nonetheless, the point holds.

I’m not one to tell other people what to do or think, so feel free to knock yourself out when it comes to whatever, but I’d encourage you, if you’re as frustrated and annoyed with this never-ending merch cycle as I am, to back the hell off. Go to live shows (those are crucial), but hold off on the other random stuff. Not only will you have more cash (to spend on other idol stuff, even!), but you can send a message to Amuse that enough is enough.

*I swear to bob, if this novel follows anything like the plot of the screenplay that I wrote a few years back, I’m going to be very upset
**It won’t; new developments don’t retroactively invalidate things that were originally correct. See: The career of Bautista, Jose

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17 thoughts on “Being a Babymetal Fan Is Basically an Insult at This Point

  1. “Yeah, Amuse, make BABYMETAL rush out sub-mediocre-at-best albums every 10 months or so like other idol groups! Enough is enough! We want crap!”

          • By only releasing live DVDs, but still ginning up the hype machine every few months so that people are ready to buy. To re: your other comment, it’s been almost two years of “big announcements” and cryptic messages and THE ONE and concerted PR efforts … to release DVDs and toys. It’s very cynical, and people who aren’t already fans are seeing right through it.

          • Yeah they have only announced Live DVDs in the last 2 years, they definitely haven’t announced and played Tokyo Dome, toured with lots of big bands, held their first own arena tour, their biggest US show ever…

    • To look at it a different way, I don’t think anyone wants them to rush out crap, they haven’t been asked to rush anything, it has been two years since the last album. So fans would like new material to purchase as well as new songs to see performed on the tour.

      • But it’s only just barely been 2 years and they have given lots of hints and indications that things are in the works.

  2. Not following Babymetal. But an interesting discussion starter for general idol topics. Thanks Homicidols!

    2 years and longer to wait for new content would have made me loose interest in the group already. I rather prefer releases every few months (singles) or an album each year. Better some mediocre stuff in-between than nothing new at all.

    I wonder why the announcement of a new Blu-Ray is considered a big news by Amuse as well. As I understand it, there have already been plenty?

    • Yes, there have been some releases, but only two of them being generally available – the rest is limited stuff, so you can’t really say there’s an abundance of disc releases. And to explain, why a pro-recording of one of their major shows is very newsworthy for fans, i can quote something said in the alternative idol podcast, where this blog author participates too.

      Talking about the show for the upcoming bluray release, they said something along the lines “Babymetal has more budget for the show, than all the other alt-idols together for the whole year”. Something like that, and no matter if this holds true or not for the real numbers, the point made is correct – these major shows of Babymetal are such a huge spectacle. And even if there were several disc releases for The One member, these shows are very different and each has their own feel. That’s what makes them worthy for Babymetal fans to buy.

      One thing this blogpost doesn’t handle well in my opinion, is the fact that Babymetal aren’t the typical idol anymore, with the emphasis on typical. Yes, they are still found in the idol section of Tower records etc. but the whole marketing of their performances, where they perform (on rock/heavy metal festivals besides having their own big shows) and the release cycle of their music makes them look more like a typical heavy metal band than the idol group they were in the beginning, even if the three girls of course still have their idol personas on stage. I can understand the disapointment about how Amuse manages Babymetal when you see it from a traditional idol point of view. But that’s exactly what they aren’t anymore. They aren’t even traditional when seen as alt-idols anymore.

    • also not a Babymetal fan. but i really dont mind waiting a long time for new content. i treat idol like any other genre i listen to, and those generally arn’t that active in putting out new content.
      actually i even fail to keep up if bands put out too much.. i got burned out on The Body cause they put out something new every fiew months, managed to almost keep up for 2 years, now i havn’t bought anything in over 2 years and missed like 8 releases that i wont ever catch up with again.

      one release every 2 years is already a lot to me. im following bands that havn’t put out anything in over a decade while still being active.
      but i know thats not how idol works. i do enjoy a new MV every now and then to spice things up. but honestly dont expect me to buy a new EP every fiew months. that just becomes a drag real fast.

  3. Hand jobs are great but at some point your gonna get sore waiting for that payoff. I’m pretty fucking chaffed at this point regarding BABYMETAL so I’m just gonna find something more interesting and satisfying until Koba is done jerking the rest of you off.

    I will absolutely buy whatever MUSIC comes next and will very likely go if they come back to California but I WON’T be buying a VIP pack like I did for The Palladium show and I WON’T be renewing my THE ONE membership.

    When free fan swag blows official merch out of the water AND is free, someone in the BM camp needs to re-evalute WTF they are going. Palladium VIP was $200 plus the entry ticket which was $40. I got a VIP lanyard, early entry (which was a cluster) and some half ass buttons that I gave away because another VIP got screwed when the crew was just giving away the buttons to anyone in front of the stage. I am SUPER salty about that abortion of a VIP package.

    I did hold hem in the highest regard at one point but not anymore. When for less than half the price I can actually meet idols I like with a VIP pack, there is no decision to be made.

  4. They should just disband honestly, the only cute girl in the group is now fat and always looks depressed af, the main singer is ugly but I think she will be a decent C-Grade singer-songwriter.

    • Gee, i wonder why some feel a need to distance themselves from the Idol world…
      It’s a mystery!

    • You’re kind of a deplorable human being. Your name should give it away but your comment definitely tells the story of a bad person. There is nothing wrong with how any of them look, none of them are ugly, and none of them are fat.

      Their looks shouldn’t matter, regardless, but they’re all cute. I know this is idol but they are people. They are human beings.

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