clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Japanese girl band Babymetal sang about chocolate on The Late Show. It was weird and awesome.

Give us chocolate!

Aja Romano writes about pop culture, media, and ethics. Before joining Vox in 2016, they were a staff reporter at the Daily Dot. A 2019 fellow of the National Critics Institute, they’re considered an authority on fandom, the internet, and the culture wars.

Last night on The Late Show, Stephen Colbert summed up the general public's reaction to J-metal/J-pop band Babymetal about as well as anyone could: "I don't know what I'm about to see, but I'm pretty excited about it!"

If you missed Babymetal's rise to overnight internet fame two years ago, the band's Colbert appearance offers a great opportunity to play catch-up. An offshoot of J-pop girl group Sakura Gakuin, Babymetal went massively viral out of nowhere in 2014 after YouTube fell in love with their single "Gimme Chocolate," which they performed on The Late Show.

Babymetal's appeal rests in the uncanny valley of three cute Japanese girls — their names are Su-Metal, Moa-Metal, and Yui-Metal — performing in a typical pop style while also rocking out to a hardcore metal band and singing happy, inane, nonmetal lyrics. "Gimme Chocolate," for example, is all about how great it is to eat chocolate. It's like Megadeth adopted Hello Kitty.

The results are hypnotic, as you can see in the video above.

What's the best part? That would be the girls' complete, unfazed polish as they deliver lines like, "Can I have chocolate? I've been worried about my weight!" Or is it the "Samurai warrior in a tutu" street fashion? Is it the Mad Max War Boy playing the neon pink guitar next to Sadako from The Ring and the ghost from The Grudge? The happy metal drummer singing along? All the waving at the audience in between verses?

Whatever it is, you'll have your chance to see it all again live if you live near any of the cities Babymetal is gracing on their first US tour. The fun kicks off in New York May 4. In the meantime you can enjoy their latest single, in which our heroines use peppy J-pop and metal to defeat a trio of corpse-bride sorcerers.

Thanks, Japan.

Sign up for the newsletter Today, Explained

Understand the world with a daily explainer plus the most compelling stories of the day.