Korean girl groups, SNSD and Kara who have debuted in Japan this year launched the so-called “new Korean wave” into the Japanese market. They have many male fans in Korea and in Japan, they are stealing the limelight with their beauty and personalities, thus making Japanese idols such as AKB48 feel somewhat threatened.
According to SM Entertainment’s CEO, Kim Youngmin, the demand for the image of girl groups in Korea and Japan are different. Japan’s Morning Musume and AKB48 possess the girl-next-door and lovely-princess image and their dance choreography mainly focus on hand gestures. Although this sort of image is being favored by Japanese otaku fans, the same cannot be said for female fans. Korean girl groups such as SNSD and Kara on the other hand, focus on neat and synchronized dance moves which appeal to female fans who are usually more inclined to boy groups such as Big Bang and TVXQ. Also, Korean girl groups have received 3-6 years rigorous and intensive training before their debut while Japanese girl groups generally debut after 6 months of training. With their vast experience in dancing, singing and variety skills, Korean girl groups basically have what it takes to conquer the Japanese market. Thus, it is normal for Japanese girl groups to feel threatened in this sense.
SNSD debuted in Japan on September 8th with their debut single “Genie” which saw 45,000 copies sold in the first week. On Oricon chart, the girls have managed to debut at no. 5 and have since stayed within the top 5 on the Daily Singles Chart. According to Japan’s music industry expert, response from Japanese male fans have been quite encouraging so far. However, to have a long-term success in Japan, the girls will have to make some changes to their concept and impress the fans even more.
Credits: Apple Daily