Make of this what you will.

Anybody who’s ever spent much time online delving into the greater scene of things around Babymetal has undoubtedly crossed paths with Deathrabbits (Desurabbitsu — clever). Three girls singing death pop songs while their producer guy, Bucho, done up like a cyberpunk version of a stormtrooper, provides growls and screams and sometimes even cleans.

Make no mistake, though; Deathrabbits are a completely different animal than Babymetal.

I don’t think I’d be so on the nose as to say that they’re as deliberate a Babymetal knock-off as their death pop comrades Ladybaby, but Deathrabbits just so happened to form right as the Kitsune Warriors were starting to go from curiosity to legitimate conversation piece in Japan. The fall of 2013 must have been pretty interesting.

Now, the music: It’s death pop. For the uninitiated, just listen to Deathrabbits (seriously). Or Kiba of Akiba. Or Ladybaby. It’s not the most widespread style, but it does have its own adherents and accompanying scene. If you like the combination, knock yourself out.

So what’s the deal with Deathrabbits? Well, as mentioned, it’s three girls (younger even than Babymetal at a comparable career point) and Bucho. Emi sings lead, with Karin and Yuzu doing backups and smaller parts, and then Bucho screams a little and growls some and, honestly, his presence kind of ruins some of their could-have-been-better songs. It’s that kawaii-meets-brutal thing that takes Deathrabbits from just being a somewhat off-kilter pop group to full-on death pop.

Now, if you happen to like death pop (or at least the idea of it) already, Deathrabbits is probably right in your wheelhouse. If you listen to them and like them, you’ll probably like the other artists that fall under the death pop umbrella (it’s not a diverse genre), and vice versa.

But it is the Official Position of that death pop is … eh. The smashing together of pop and more extreme music isn’t a guaranteed success, and the ground is already littered with idols who tried to make it work, and failed. Death pop, writ large, while quite often capable of a perfectly nice hook or riff, just tends to be one of the less good combinations. Emi has developed into a pretty decent singer, for instance, and here’s a good example of her making it work:

And then Bucho comes along and kind of craps on it, and the song stops working.

And no offense to Bucho! At least not for the music (the Waffen SS thing can piss right the hell off); he makes most of the music go, anyway, and is doing what he’s there to do. It’s what I mean about the combination not quite working — for every BiS, there’s a Gekidol (still holding out hope there, though).

I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that the actually, genuinely bad thing about Deathrabbits, though, is the very deliberate conflation of the three tween singers with hyper-sexualized manga-like characters in the album and promo art. Kawaii is a thing that this site acknowledges, tolerates and occasionally celebrates when appropriate (hell, there’s a kawaiicore category on here), but this stuff goes way beyond kawaii and all the way to the really ugly, exploitative side of gravure. (You can look on your own time; not promoting that.)

None of which is really up to the girls, or at least not in a way that they can influence, and it’s also Official Policy of to keep the focus on the performers and their music first and foremost, so it’d be pointless to wag a finger at Emi and Yuzu and Karin rather than evaluate them for their music.

So, in general, Deathrabbits is (musically) pretty inoffensive; if you’re into death pop, you probably do or will love them. If not, they’re worth at least a try. Plenty of people have dipped their toe into the Deathrabbits waters and come out happy.

What they sound like

Does “death pop” not describe it well enough? Fine. Consider a pre-nudity Miley Cyrus being spliced together with a bad deathcore band.

You’ll like them if

For death pop in general, you either need to have some point of contact to Japanese music, or a very curious mind. That being acknowledged, if you dig on J-pop and/or extreme metal, you’ll have that contact point with Deathrabbits. Otherwise, because it’s death pop, you’ll like them if you also like Ladybaby. Or if you think that Babymetal peaked with “Doki Doki Morning.”


Emi, center of Japanese death pop idol group Deathrabbits
Karin of Japanese death pop idol group Deathrabbits
Yuzu of Japanese death pop idol group Deathrabbits
Bucho, the producer and additional vocalist of Japanese death pop idol group Deathrabbits


“Idol Star Wars” (single)
“Koisuru Kisetsu” (single)
“Omatsuri Japan!! Kokuhaku Night” (single)
Dai Ichiji Usagi Taisen (EP)
“Usagi no Kimochi / Chuuni no Natsu. Ojisan no Natsu” (single)
“Nande?” (single)

12 thoughts on “Deathrabbits

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  3. You are so WRONG about Deathrabbits! You say “this stuff goes way beyond kawaii and all the way to the really ugly, exploitative side of gravure”. I totally disagree with this statement. I have seen real gravure and Deathrabbits is nothing like that at all and I do not believe they are being exploited in any way. Also they are not “tweens” they are in their mid-teens. The album cover artwork is not “hyper-sexualized” just stylized to be manga-like visual representations of characters. When I see their artwork it doesn’t make me think its anything sexual at all and neither does the costumes that Emi, Yuzu and Karin wear. About Bucho’s vocals, I only agree with you on their song Idol Star Wars, other than that I like what he does. I think Deathrabbits is a very entertaining and original group with a great sense of humour. I think Emi Mochizuki is great singer that could someday be on the same level of singing talent as Suzuka Nakamoto.

    • Ah, I love it. You’re at least the third person to give me a “You are a wrong person when it comes to Deathrabbits, sir” speech. Fantastic. That’s what makes this all great.

      But do you know what I want? This comment is good, but I’ll pay good money (that is, the kind that’s actually chocolate) to the person who sends me a “Why Maniac Is Wrong about Deathrabbits” rebuttal article. Not only would I run it, I’d keep it right there on their profile page for all the world to see. Neither you nor I should be afraid of our opinions. This is a place to have them.

      But tbh, I do have a little soft spot for Deathrabbits. They’re working hard, Emi is quite good, they’re definitely unique and they have really passionate fans. Ain’t a damn thing wrong with any of that.

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  10. I’m pretty new to this scene, & your site & youtube playlist has been a great help. However, after listening to most of the artists you recommend, I personally found Deathrabbits to one of my favorites. I’m not crazy about Bucho either, but the humorous way they use him makes him a bit more endearing. Emi’s voice is also quite impressive for her age.

    • My friend, thank you for the kind words, and let me say that your observations are good ones. Even I have come around on Deathrabbits lately; the death pop thing probably won’t ever win me over, but fan club members of theirs and some other fans have been big advocates, and I appreciate that. I even gave their most recent album a pretty thumbs-up review.

      This profile, though. All of these profiles … I gotta update these profiles. 🙂

      Stick around and share your thoughts. Ask questions. There are some really cool and knowledgeable folks who hang around these parts, and they’re invaluable as we try to bring more Westerners over to the Dark Side.

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