Super (Kawaii) Troupers

Suzuka Nakamoto as 'Su-metal' in "Babymetal: Live at Budokan"Last month got off to a rather miserable start, with Mercury retrograde (it’s an astrology thing… don’t ask), and cold/wet weather wearing away my post-Xmas buzz, leaving me with a sniffly nose, sore throat, and bunged-up ears. Meh! To cheer myself and cure my ills, I decided to order Babymetal‘s Live at Budokan: Red Night & Black Night Apocalypse (2015) DVD… but sadly this self-medication only proved to be partially successful…

Don’t get me wrong, it’s incredibly exhilarating to watch Yui and Moa perform their tightly-choreographed and hyper-active dance manoeuvres live (on video), while Sui sings her heart-and-soul out, with the band shredding their instruments in the background, and the home-crowd singing/chanting along and waggling their glow-sticks in the darkness… but I couldn’t help worrying for the young girls’ safety as they careened around the raised stage and scurried past open spouts of flame, without anything to protect their bare limbs (and fluttery outfits) but the goodwill of the Fox God they frequently invoke in their act! Thankfully, they managed to stay out of harm’s way for the majority of the first (Red) night… but then, during the song “Headbangeeeeerrrrr!!!!!”, I noticed that their dance-formation had become distinctly asymmetrical, as one of their number was mysteriously missing. According to various reports, this is because Yui slipped/fell from the stage (off-camera) and had to take a little injury break, before valiantly returning for the finale. Bless her. I hope she got “hazard pay” for that, poor thing!

The terrifying stage used for "Babymetal: Live at Budokan"The second (Black) night’s show seemed far more subdued than its predecessor… though I’m not sure if that’s just me projecting my own concerns onto the screen, or if the girls were genuinely in lower spirits for that performance, because of Yui’s accident… or because all the higher-energy songs/dances were scheduled for the end of the set (in contrast to Red Night’s running order), so they were just pacing themselves for the final push? Either way, I didn’t really enjoy this show as much as the first one… though I was glad to see that the belatedly-installed safety barriers ensured that all three members survived to climb into their ill-fitting coffin-rockets, which then carried them off into the sky, towards the welcoming ears and eyeballs of Europe. Hurrah! Still, I can’t help but worry about the girls… I mean, clearly they’re putting their all into these performances, and slips/sprains/injuries are an occupational hazard for dancers of any age, in any genre… but these Metal-Babies are so insanely adorable that seeing them get hurt would be extra-specially heart-breaking, dammit!

Yui Mizuno as 'Yuimetal', and Moa Kikuchi as 'Moametal' in "Babymetal: Live at Budokan"On the upside, Yui’s predicament did prompt me to make more of an effort to identify which of the “screamers” was which… I mean, I could already tell them apart as individuals, I just wasn’t sure which name went with which face. To short-hand it: Yui has wavier hair and rounder cheeks, while Moa has dimples and a little beauty mark on her left cheek. They’ve also started wearing a single glove on opposing hands, but that won’t help you very much if the photo you’re looking at has been flipped!

Oh, I should also mention how well-filmed and edited these shows are… they really capture/cover the concert as completely as you could hope for… though I should just warn any potential purchasers that the bit on the back of the case that states “Language: English” simply refers to the fact that you can select an English-language menu to access the show and individual chapters… there aren’t any subtitles to help you understand any of the prologue/epilogue videos, which is a real shame, imho.

In case anyone’s curious, my fave song (so far) is “Doki Doki – Morning“, and my fave dance move is, er, pretty much everything they do during that song… though I’m also a fan of the sideways hop during “Megitsune”.

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About deecrowseer

A comic book writer with an interest in feminism, philosophy, and affirmative action.
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