Like the genre-blasting “kawaii metal” band itself, the new English manga detailing Babymetal’s origin story defies easy classification. “Apocrypha: The Legend of Babymetal,” illustrated by G.M.B. Chomichuk and copublished by Sridhar Reddy, is not a typical manga narrative. The text offers a philosophical contemplation on humanity’s struggle between good and evil by elaborating on the fox mythology that frequently surfaces in the group’s sold-out heavy metal concerts.

Three reincarnating young women battle the Vulture God on a mission from the Fox God, traveling through time to settings where evil has flourished such as during the French Revolution and the 1862 smallpox decimation of the First Nations people. There is also a mind-bending trip through virtual reality when the trio reincarnate in 1972 and are forced to stop a rogue code from replicating in the world’s first cyberspace.

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