Update: Yuimetal remains a member of the band, but she is not on this current U.S. tour. (via Alt Press)

Babymetal fans are freaking out over the continued absence of Yuimetal, one the the group’s original members. On the first stop of Babymetal’s 2018 U.S. tour, the group performed with a new lineup including Su-metal, Moametal and two backup dancers.

In December 2017, Yuimetal was absent from the group’s two shows at the Green Arena in Hiroshima, Japan due to illness. "As an entire team, we considered canceling this performance. However, it was Yuimetal's strong desire to not cancel this performance for the fans who were waiting and looking forward to these performances,” Babymetal management said. “After long discussions and careful consideration, both Su-Metal and Moametal, as well as the entire Babymetal staff team, came to a final conclusion to continue these performances for the dedicated fans who have been waiting for this special event as well as for team Babymetal.”

Five months later, Babymetal fans in Kansas City were shocked when Yuimetal was not onstage at the May 8 gig. Her absence was never announced and still has not been addressed by Babymetal management. Instead, a new four-piece lineup of girls performed an abbreviated set of just 10 songs. Along with performing “Distortion” for the first time, Babymetal debuted two additional tracks, the names of which have not yet been revealed. Watch fan-shot footage of the new songs below.

Despite the new music, Babymetal’s extremely passionate fan base has been flooding the internet with questions about Yuimetal’s disappearance. According to Nikkan Sports, “Yuimetal” and “Yui chan” even started trending on Twitter in Japan.

Fans have also started dozens of discussions on Babymetal’s subreddit theorizing what happened to Yui, bringing up subjects like her health, the absence of band members in the “Distortion” video, Babymetal’s new website design no longer featuring the original trio and more.

We’ve reached out to Babymetal management asking for a statement on Yuimetal, but we’ve received no response as of this posting.

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