South Korea has been invaded, not by it’s neighbor from the North, but from troops of long-legged girls in the guise of carefully manufactured Kpop groups. The small peninsula of around 50 million people has seen an explosion of Kpop girl groups in the past year who all pretty much look and sound alike (arguably) but somehow manage to maintain popularity among a shared fan base. While it might be easy to dismiss this as eye-candy for teenage boys (of which there is some truth) they appear to have considerable staying power among a diverse demographic of both men and women –

“In the past, one or two similar bands won fans and massive popularity, while the rest disappeared quietly after a month or two. What we are experiencing is a brand new phenomenon in which several girl bands are sharing fans and popularity among themselves” – Kim Hong-in

What differentiates this new generation of starlets is their ability to cross multiple mediums such as TV dramas, movies and talk shows in addition to their musical endeavors, possibly accounting for their increased longevity and ability to dominate online as well as offline. Digital downloads have brought in a new era of affordability for casual and fanatical fans alike.

Of course behind all the glamor are entertainment conglomerates with money to burn and who work tirelessly to tweak and perfect each groups image (including the copious use of cosmetic surgery). Most groups spend as much as 2-4 years preparing for their debut and with such demanding schedules nearly all have suffered casualties from fatigue and ill health. Whilst their compexions may be perfect accusations of plagiarism are rife within the industry with lawsuits regularly being filed and many questioning the originality of locally produced content (mostly bubblegum pop).

Whatever the reasons for this uprising it’ll be interesting to see if such a large number of groups can be sustained in a relatively small market and if this trend spreads elsewhere.

To see what it’s all about for yourself videos are provided after the break in HD (apologies to Chinese readers – YouTube is blocked so you wont be able to see them directly). You can also find more info on allkpop.com.

Wonder Girls

Wonder Girls (원더걸스) is a band with five members (Min Sun Ye, Park Ye Eun, Kim Yoo Bin, Sun Mi and Ahn So Hee), formed under the guidance of male R&B singer Rain. They are signed to South Korean label JYP Entertainment and debuted in the beginning of 2007 on M! Countdown, singing Irony, the title song of their debut album, “The Wonder Begins”.

Girls’ Generation

Girls’ Generation (소녀시대), also known as SNSD, the acronym of So Nyeo Shi Dae is a large nine member girl group formed in 2007 by SM Entertainment. The group debuted on SBS Inkigayo in 2007, performing their first single, “Into the New World”. The members are Yoon A, Tiffany, Yu Ri, Hyo Yeon, Soo Young, Seo Hyun, Tae Yeon, Jessica, and Sunny. Some members speak multiple languages as they were raised outside Korea.

2NE1

2NE1 (투애니원; pronounced “to anyone” or “twenty-one”) was created by YG Entertainment. First appearing in a Cyon commercial campaign with Big Bang for LG Telecom, their debut single “Fire” was released on May 6, 2009. The group’s name stands for “New Evolution of the 21st Century”. The group consists of Lee Chae Rin (CL), Park Bom (Bom), Sandara Park (Dara) and Gong Min-ji (Minzi).

4minute

Consisting of Ji Hyun, Ga Yoon, Ji Yoon, Hyun A, and So Hyun 4minute (포미닛) was created by Cube Entertainment. Their debut song, “Hot Issue”, was released on June 15. Their style is called “The Candy Funky Style” which apparently mean their music, fashion, and performance will “show sides of sweetness and funk while being rebellious and carefree at the same time” (try saying that out loud with a straight face).

KARA

Kara (카라) debuted in March 2007 under Daesung Entertainment (DSP). Kara comes from the Greek word “chara” (χαρά, lit. “joy”), which the group interpreted to mean “sweet melody”. After losing a member in 2008, Kara regrouped to become a 5-member band and eventually achieved their first #1 song with “Honey”.

After School

After School (애프터스쿨) is managed by Pledis Entertainment and debuted on January 17, 2009 with their first dance song, “Ah”. They were also recently featured in a digitally released single titled “AMOLED” for a new Anycall Phone (Amoled Haptic) with Son Dam Bi whom is part of the same entertainment company.

For even more check out f(x), and Brown Eyed Girls.

Comments

  1. yangbum says:

    i reallyyyyyyyy like kpop groups . more than my belongings. they r awesome.i hope there will be more kpop groups in the future.

  2. ishan02 says:

    i love 2ne1 and also the 4 minute girl group generation..
    i love now the korean pop girl group generation..
    they’re all great.. love it!!

  3. nova jean c. paerez says:

    GO 2NE1 ESPECIALLY U SANDARA PARK WE LOVE U VERY MUCH!

  4. rubilisa says:

    i love girls generation esp. seu hyun .shes beautiful among them all. i love also 2ne1.

  5. Michael da konvict says:

    Yo 4MiiNUtE 2NE1 Nd 4ToMOrROW r Da BeST DEy RUnN Da K-PoP MUZiiK GaME

  6. Michael da konvict says:

    Nd AfTa SKooL Wish dey sold dey cd in da USA. if ANY oF dis groups Do a song wit any one on Konvict i b da first 2 hear it

  7. leah says:

    oh kpop is so cool especially girls generation …those sexy song .hehe really loved it

  8. marianne says:

    …i love 2ne1
    …becuase
    …this group
    … a special 2 me
    …. y?
    ….specialy
    …sandara park
    …i like it
    … sow much
    ….and this group
    …responsible
    ….hard
    …and strong
    ,,,,tahe care 2ne1
    …wee love you sow much
    …and more blessing
    …to your group

  9. danielle says:

    if im not mistaken 2ne1 is compared in one of the legendary girl group in korea which earn many awards and honors .. so koreans have great expectations to 2ne1 because they believe 2ne1 is the reincarnation of this legendary group.. think of this topic .. 2NE1 IS COMPARED TO A LEGENDARY GROUP ..!! and even JUSTIN BIEBER is a big fan of 2ne1 .. oohh and 2ne1’s songs like fire and i don’t care is the very most popular songs to dance in some disco places here in london.. so what can you say about the POPULARITY OF 2ne1 and their DOMINATION just like THE PUSSYCAT DOLLS ..?? im proud to be a 2ne1 fan because their songs spread in the whole world

  10. danielle says:

    DON’T STOP FOLKS! GO GO GO 2NE1 FIGHT!

    YG LUVERS! KEEP WATCHING!? KEEP SPREADING!

    BIG BANG IS HERE!

    OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    KEEP SUPPORTING 2NE1 PEOPLE!

    certified 2ne1 ADDICT! LALALALOVE? :)

  11. weewee says:

    i think girl’s generation is the best loh..
    in the girl group.. i love kim taeyeon the most although is the oldest, but looks the youngest… I love you… Beast is the most suitable

  12. K!m ji bum says:

    S4ranGun 4ftEr sChoOl and 2ne1. . ,
    you’r !s the b3ast Of tae’han min Guk. . .,
    kLAu 4fter sChoOl and 2ne1 duet br3ng m4 BigB4ng. . ,
    beuh. .’d4hsy4t pSti’ny. . . . . . . . .
    Tr3zna km knp siCH. . .
    100% s4rang Han guk. . .

  13. Jake says:

    I don’t like many Kpop girl groups but I think 2ne1 has the best chance of really doing well outside of Asia. I know they are preparing to debute in US this year.
    Kpop girls are hot, very sexy unlike Jpop girl groups which are almost all infantile.

  14. Asian_Girl_US says:

    i think 2ne1 is a versatile korean pop grp…. they have different unique talents…thus i think they will make it big here in US and Canada,,, every kpop grp has distinct talents just in my opinion 2ne1 has best songs, mv, style, etc. i like dara park enthusiam and wit,….hope they will have a concert here in LA…

  15. mae says:

    SNSD!! no doubt they are korea’s best girl group.. not just in korea but all over ASIA! snsd are also popular in europe.. they have big fanbase here in the US as well. this group is versatile. they’re all talented..

  16. rajni suyal says:

    i love girl generation and all girl my favtmostly yoon she is too good n i also like her drama whose name you are my destiny.i like yoona i love song tell me your wish i m indian bt i like korean drama

  17. rajni suyal says:

    i like girl generation n i love all girl mostly yoon she is too good n i also like drama you are my destiny yoon is my fav i m indian bt i like korean drama n song dance.
    i love song which name tell me your wish, gee, an every thing.love u

  18. molina says:

    I realy3Xlike kpop ihope someday i can see them in personal……….. but the most i like is the girls generation beacase they are verry2x cute girls……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I LOVE U GIRLS GENERATION………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. arely says:

    las girls generation sin duda son las mejores ya que tienen un loock unico , pero no podemos decir lo mismo de la wonder girls ya que son pesimas en su loock

      • ed says:

        no it’s not music.

        music is something made by white jewish dudes like bob dylan or black guys like Jay-z. anything outside your own comfort zone isn’t music.

        coz music isn’t about expression of different viewpoints and cultures. it’s about judging others.

        thanks for bringing up a very important point. this blog (and we all) are better for your cogent input.

  20. connie says:

    snsd is the prettiest of all of them the others look mean but snsd looks bright and cheerful i’m not just saying this because i knew them for a while and always personally liked them because they are talented im just saying but i hope they are true christian….

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