You may have noticed yesterday that Babymetal — the literal reason for the season, the thing that brought me here, still capable of being the most powerful entity in the universe — dropped another video in the run-up to the impending release of the extremely-anticipated Metal Galaxy album next month. I thought about just tossing a post into the ether in response, but no, friends, the Official Policy of Homicidols Dot Com is that Babymetal is supreme for a reason, and when a thing is supreme and also one of the only reliable cornerstones of the Legends category that sorts our content, that thing deserves more than a hastily scribbled ZOMG reaction. Let’s do whole paragraphs instead!
So the song is “Shanti Shanti Shanti”, which by the title alone would give away a certain touchpoint with the subcontinent; if you’re still unfamiliar, though, and you’re either personally South Asian or as personally adjacent as yours truly, you may find yourself surprised at how few non-Babymetal tropes are actually employed.
Now, I’m personally not as impressed with this one as some — Daemon, for instance, has nothing but praise for it, my brother (who introduced me to Babymetal FIVE YEARS AGO holy shit) merely called it “neat” but then kept bringing it back up, so I get the sense that he was being understated at first — but it’s completely undeniable that this, like “PA PA YA!!” and “Elevator Girl” before it, are totally Babymetal moves, and it satisfies in precisely that way. Sort of regardless of how you feel about the heavy lean into South Asian music (and the attendant obvious play to the billion-odd people who might want to buy a Babymetal CD someday), that the hook for this song could almost kill a person is undeniable.
Now, video-wise, I am outright disappointed, but there are still a couple of weeks left before the album drops, so maybe some surprises await. And yes, it’s inarguable that Babymetal’s best look is in the totality of their live experience, with the choreography and music all meshing together to tell a story. That being said, I’m of that generation of fans who was blown away less by the live clips (which were great) than by the sheer overwhelming uniqueness of their music and the visuals in the early official MVs, and frankly that’s what I want more than anything else.
Oh, and for Kano to be officially named as the third member. I want that, too.
After all this time, after they helped to influence a generation of idols and non-idols alike, there still isn’t anybody on the planet who does what Babymetal does. Metal Galaxy is going to be a hell of a ride.