Korean girl groups will be riding the neo-Hallyu wave into Japan through October and November.
Shojo Jidai, KARA and 4minute will continue their activities in Japan after gaining results that exceeded expectations with successive single and album releases throughout the month of October in what some are calling a second round of "air-raids on the Japanese islands."
Interest has been gaining in the releases that Korean girl groups will have at the end of the year. Many believe that the rapid releases will show to what degree Korean girl groups will have a hold on the market in Japan.
Shojo Jidai and KARA have already reached the top of the Japanese industry through their amazing debuts. They have exercised their current clout throughout this girl group boom to top even domestic groups in Japan. However, reaching the heights of the top Japanese stars is probably impossible. Idols Arashi, SMAP, AKB48 and others will certainly fill the year-end top 5 and top 10 charts. It is probably best to say that the girl groups' successes can be described as the "best of the newcomers," rather than the best of the best.
And the success of the releases in October and November will decide where Korean girl groups will be a fixture in the Japanese market. Rather than keeping their current success, expansion into the mainstream is paramount.
Beginning the onslaught will be Shojo Jidai, who will release the Japanese version of their their massive Korean hit, "Gee" on October 20. Shojo Jidai broke into the market with "Genie" last month, which shocked many by managing to stay in the Oricon Daily Singles Chart top 10 for four weeks. Their massive promotions have already caused many to predict "Gee" to be a huge hit in Japan as it was in their home country.
Following Shojo Jidai is 4minute, who will be releasing their 3rd single on October 27, entitled "First/DREAMS COME TRUE." 4minute ventured into Japan before Shojo Jidai and KARA, but comparing 4minute's results to those two, their success has been somewhat sluggish. However, "First/DREAMS COME TRUE" will be their first single since the Korean girl group boom hit Japan, so there is a feeling of high expectation for this single.
Girl group KARA will follow, with the release a single in November called, "Jumping," which will be the group's first original Japanese song. Their latest album, which was a best of, hit the Oricon charts at #2, with the highest debut album sales this year. KARA is planning on releasing a regular album shortly after that, which may fortify their success.
However, the truth of the matter is that currently, the success of these girl groups is due to fans of K-POP as a whole, not fans of the individual groups, in general. Rather than fans of the girl groups increasing, there is a general sense of an expansion of the number of K-POP fans. But the future of K-POP girl groups will be decided by their performance this fall.
source ~ Jo!ns
translation & reporting ~ its_matteo @ 4-minute.com
wow good luck to all