Japanese metal idol unit, BABYMETAL, kicked off their 2018 World Tour today in Kansas City, USA. Photos and videos from the first tour night have already surfaced, and have gotten both attendees and netizens in a furor.

Yui-Metal (Yui Mizuno) was reportedly absent from the Kansas tour, and was instead replaced by two backup dancers. Rumors have also swirled that Yui-Metal might be absent for the rest of the US tour. This is not the first time Yui-Metal has skipped a live performance. She was also reportedly absent during their concert at the Hiroshima Green Arena last December 2017, citing health concerns by the management. However, any other news about Yui-Metal’s condition has not been revealed to the public ever since.


(Distortion, performed in Kansas)

Fans have taken to Twitter to express their concern for the missing BABYMETAL member, and have repeatedly sought the official Twitter accounts of the management and staff for answers regarding her whereabouts. The hashtags #whereisyui and #whereisyuimetal have been seeing quite the spike in activity for the past few hours, especially after the Kansas concert ended. Unfortunately, the management has yet to release an official statement regarding the matter.

This has led to further speculation that Yui-Metal may have already left the group since her absence last December, but the management has opted to keep mum about the matter. The reason for management to withhold such information might be attributed to their already-planned out World Tour this 2018 and the possible loss of ticket sales. It is also possible that Yui-Metal may still be recuperating, and might probably fly in from Japan at a later part of the World Tour.

If rumors are true, then this is another painful blow for BABYMETAL fans to bear after the passing of lead guitarist, Mikio Fujioka, just before 2017 ended. Fans have also begun to question why the Kansas concert held no tribute for the iconic guitarist. Others have noticed and complained that the setlist was shorter than usual, and the idols’ fan interaction on-stage was kept to a minimum, adding fuel to the fire.

To make matters worse, Amuse Inc., BABYMETAL’s management, has experienced a sheer drop in stock ever since reports of Yui-Metal’s absence in the Kansas concert spread (as pointed out by a keen Japanese Twitter user)

For all we know, this might just be part of BABYMETAL’s story building related to their albums, or part of a marketing ploy to garner more exposure for the idol unit. Either way, people are missing Yui-Metal’s presence on-stage.