Monday, December 6, 2010

Kpop in a world of Jpop


I'm sure a lot of people reading this blog don't know this about me, because there's never really a time to mention it, but I am a Kpop fan. Now, I'm not a huge, OMG Kpop is the best ever, kind of Kpop fan. But I do enjoy a decent amount of Kpop. The only reason I don't listen to Kpop more is because I can't pronounce Korean. And believe it or not, not being able to sing along to a song or pronounce a singer's name does hinder my love for it a lot. But maybe that's just me. (Also, please don't say, "Just learn to pronounce Korean, seriously it's no big deal," because I have been trying to and it is extremely difficult. I long for the days when I was learning to pronounce Japanese because it's a cake walk in comparison.)

The reason I'm brining this subject up at all, is because, as many of you know, this last year we have an influx of Kpop idols debuting in Japan. Big Bang, CN BLUE, FT Island, KARA, 4MINUTE, T-ara, Supernova, and SNSD. And I actually might be missing some. Now since they're idols in Japan now, and this is an idol blog, I was thinking of maybe covering the Kpop groups' activities in Japan. But I've been stopping myself. And do you want to know the reason for this? It's simple really.

The reason is, the fans themselves. I'm sure most of the Jpop and Kpop fans reading this will instantly know what I'm talking about. And to those that don't might find my reasoning silly. But for some reason there's this tremendous fan war going on between Kpop and Jpop fans. And honestly, I've seen most of the hate on the Kpop side. When I'm bored I like to go on youtube to watch Kpop vs Jpop videos. And 8/10 times the videos are extremely biased for the Kpop side. In one video the actual vs was Morning Musume's Love Machine vs some Kpop girl group's song from 2010. But the worst part of these videos are reading the fan comments.

Over the months of reading fan comments the general consensus among Kpop fans is: that Kpop is superior in every way because they are sexier, not cutesy or cookie cutter like Jpop, can actually sing, are better dancers, and the overall music is better. I even read someone say that Jpop idol groups are for pedophiles who do nothing but watch anime.
And the general consensus among Jpop fan is: Kpop is unoriginal, at least Jpop has it's own style, Jpop lyrics have more meaning, and Kpop copies from America too much.

I think the funniest part to all of this is the so called negatives for each side is why I like Kpop and Jpop. I love Kpop because it's so similar to the kind of American music that I like. And it stands to reason that if I like it sung in English, I'm gonna like it sung in Korean. And I love Jpop because it is a nice escape from the overly sexiness of American music. It's just cute, innocent, and upbeat.

Another thing that I dislike about Korean fans is just how biased they are. Anytime a Korean artist debuts in Japan Korean fans/blogs basically say how this will be the greatest thing to happen to Japanese music ever. Of course this group will totally dominate Japan, obviously because they are Korean. It won't be long before they are beating established artists. Korean fans also basically cried that they are absent from this year's Kohaku. They really think that they should get everything handed to them because of what they did already in Korea. Some artists have only been in Japan for 1 year-a couple months. This is AAA's first time in Kohaku. It took them 5 years to get there. And honestly if Big Bang was there instead of AAA, I would be beyond angry.

In a way, it's outrageous fans like this that make me want to support Jpop more. And sometimes I even hope Kpop artists fail. Which is pretty insane. I'm basically being dragged into a feud that's so shallow and opinionated, that it shouldn't even exist. And since I doubt Kpop fans are going to chill anytime soon, I most likely won't be covering Kpop acts. No matter how much I do like CN BLUE, FT Island, SNSD, and 4MINUTE.

Here's Kpop Vs Jpop female idol version



Here's Kpop Vs Jpop male idol version

15 comments:

etchi said...

great article there :-) I enjoy reading about what people love, i personnally am a huge fan of k pop but i still have a great love for j pop and hello project in perticular, although k pop seems to be a little more street, anyway enjoyerd reading, hope you ramble some more x

Yanki☆Mina said...

I know what you mean. I blogged about this issue too from a while back. I always feel like I shouldn't say anything nice about K-Pop because of how mean K-Pop fans are towards J-Pop. People need to understand the difference between opinion and fact. I hate when people state things as a fact when it is their opinion, like how AKB48 can't sing or has no talent. I wonder why the haters are coming more from the K-Pop side than the J-Pop side. My friends who are K-pop fans don't seem that way, but they are more into boy bands. . . okay no I've heard it in person too (just not as harsh as AKB48 sucks). They like J-pop too though.

dreamtiny said...

Oh man these videos, they NEVER END. I see them all the time >.> I once got into an argument with someone over AKB48's Ponytail to Shushu PV (jfc bikinis are not slutty). In fact, I actually see that person has commented on these videos -_-; The videos are never good comparisons either... (skipping the ones that don't really matter)

For example:
French Kiss and Miss A. really? they don't even have a similar image.

Vanilla Beans and Davichi? THERE IS NO COMPETITION THERE because Vanilla Beans sounds like they can't sing when they do Def & Def (even though they totally can sing) and Davichi's members are powerhouse singers.

Momoclo and T-ara: why would you even attempt to compare those two songs

...Idoling!!! and 4minute. Really? come on. MAX would have been better instead of Idoling!!!

Watarirouka and Kara. that's not a terrible comparison (good thing they didn't use a performance of Lupin)

Using Perfume in any of these videos =automatic accusation of lipsynching/lack of ability to sing from Perfume. why put them in?

WTF WHY WOULD YOU EVER COMPARE SKE48 TO 2NE1. NO. JUST NO.

and that's just one video. I can't be bothered to comment on the comparisons in the other one.

The thing about these comparison things is that most J-pop fans don't care, and the K-pop fans care way too much. That's why they get so upset when things don't go their way.

(on a somewhat related note, I'm irritated that NYC got into Kohaku and NEWS/KAT-TUN/HSJ didn't. booo. then again Ryo wouldn't go with NEWS because he has stuff with KJ8...)

Migure said...

I could just see a new war flaring up this year when those announcements about Korean artists debuting in Japan started flowing in. I listen to Kpop, although I hardly blog about it, I love the catchy tunes and what not, because frankly, you don't get much of that style in Jpop. (Come on. Muzik clocks really well on my iTune player)But what I don't like about Kpop is that their fandom takes the Jpop/Kpop "competition" to a whole new level.

I hate it when the fans are comparing two entirely different artists. You just don't compare Momoclo with 4Minute, they have a completely different style so there's no way a legitimate result can be reached. The same goes for the guy groups. Personally, I'd say they were a little more evenly matched, but I still don't like the obvious bias rolling around in those comparison videos.

And don't get me started on those "Hello!Project girls, etc can't sing for shit" comments. It's true that the majority can't do so all that well, but occasionally, you do get the fairly impressive vocals. Now I wonder why the Kpop fans don't say the same kind of criticism regarding their idol groups? Please don't tell me every single member in SNSD is a singing goddess. It's not true.

And as much as I love Perfume, there is no way that they can be compared to any other idol group. Seriously, they are a TECHNOPOP IDOL UNIT. That means that all their vocals are going to be autotuned/vocodered ANYWAY because it's their style of music.

But there's just one think that really irritates me the most. It's that a vast majority of Kpop fans don't consider other notable artists in the Jpop scene. They bash Jpop under the false belief that Jpop = idol groups. Which it isn't, thank god.And let me point out that i am NOT by any means, speaking about all Kpop fans. I'm just talking about the select few who shamelessly bash Jpop without any decent grounds.

And finally, I also find Korean so much harder to pronounce. I'm Chinese and Japanese comes like a breeze to me. For some reason, Korean doesn't co-operate with my mouth.

AimxAim said...

@etchi: Thanks, I'm glad you liked the article. I love both Kpop and Jpop too. But a lot of fans think it's a great sin to love both. I know what you mean that Kpop is more street. Kpop does seem to draw a lot of inspiration from R&B and hip hop.

@YankiMina: I had no idea you blogged about this. I'm gonna have to go read your article now. XD
Exactly! I always seem to play down my love of Kpop because of the intense fans.
I know what you mean, I hate opinionated fans. It seems like Kpop the Kpop side says more things because Kpop groups train for year before debuting, and Jpop acts don't. Which to a lot of Kpop fans means they are automatically better at everything.
I've never heard it personally either. But that's mostly because my friends who like Kpop liked Jpop first. If it was the other way around, we'd probably have some problems. XD

AimxAim said...

@dreamtiny: Yeah it seems like there is a new video every couple of months. But for some reason about half the videos have been taken down, which is always good. XD I don't understand who anyone could argue over the Ponytail to Shushu PV. Kpop has way more sexual videos, outfits, and dances then Jpop. The comparisons are always horrible! And purpose too to make Kpop seem more cutting edge.

I hate how the comparisons are cute Jpop idol group vs sexy or hip hop Kpop idol group. Where are the comparisons to SNSD or Orange Caramel? Those groups are mad cutesy. It's obvious that these fans either don't like Jpop or think Kpop is superior.

Exactly. Kpop fans make it a war when it doesn't have to be. And they basically egg Jpop fans on in the comments. So now Jpop fans are angry, and they are getting their fan war that they for some reason want.

(I am angry that NYC is there over JUMP, but NYC went last year. And it seems like Johnny is saying NYC goes too or no Johnny's group goes. Which is A LOT of pimping for NYC. NEWS being added would be the most amazing thing ever! And since Kohaku is such an honor Ryo would probably just be absent from the Kanjani8 8uppers tour.)

@Migure: See when I heard announce about the Kpop groups debuting in Japan, because I'm such a fool, all I honestly thought was "OMG SNSD and 4MINUTE in Japanese! Yes, I can finally sing a long, I can't wait!" But obviously this announcement was way more intense then I was expecting.
That's exactly why I love Kpop, because it's so difference from Kpop. But fans think it's impossible to have more then one fandom. I constantly hear Jrock fans say I'm leaving this fandom for the Kpop. Which makes no sense, you can like both! I hate that there's a competition to begin with.

Kpop fans always compare the wrong artist just to prove that Kpop is better. Truthfully their aren't that many artists that are similar that you could compare evenly. But that's what makes each style unique and likeable on their own.

I hate comparisons that H!P girls can't sing. But it's because Kpop does years of intense training that Jpop groups can't do. Kpop fans would never think to criticize their own idols. (Actually they might. I heard that the Kpop fans argue with other Kpop fans just as much, if not more, as Jpop fans. But I honestly have no idea. XD) No absolutely not every SNSD member can sing, only like 2 or 3 are actually amazing. And let's not forget Sohee from the Wonder Girls. She's like the Michishige Sayumi of Kpop. XD

Exactly. Perfume is always a horrible example. And the Kpop side never has a decent opponent for them. Hardly any idol group does full on techno music. I can't even think of another Jpop idol group to compare them too!

I forgot that reason all together. Kpop fan really do think Japanese is defined by idol music, but it's not. They only think that way because Kpop is. There's like 10 times more Kpop idols, then there are Jpop idols. And I don't see any Kpop fans mention Crystal Kay or Nami Tamaki or Angela Aki. Those 3 artists basically show the whole spectrum of Jpop.

That's exactly how I feel. No matter how hard I try Korean is just super difficult. Chinese and German are easier to pronounce for me. XD

dreamtiny said...

Either AKB48 or Perfume's management will probably claim copyright first... they tend to be the ones that go after any video that's not uploaded by them. EXACTLY. which is why I found it so ridiculous the person was claiming AKB48 was slutty. and the comparisons are always a fail... grab a bunch of idol groups and compare them whoo! except idol groups aren't really the big thing in Japan.

Well I think SNSD was there. lately SNSD has been doing sexy a lot more than cutesy. K-pop artists try to be edgy and sexy/dark images are all the rage, it seems. But Orange Caramel is completely different, and they should be included, seeing as Korea apparently likes them. And as for the "obvious" bit, well, K-pop fans tend to be the ones that actively seek these videos out...

Because they like trying to prove their artists are better... even though no one else really cares.

(yeah, NYC is getting promoted a ton. I wish NEWS could go. oh, not the 8Uppers tour, they have their own countdown in Osaka while the other JE groups have their countdown)

AimxAim said...

@dreamtiny: That's exactly what they do. It doesn't even seem like they take the time to see which idol artists makes similar music. They seem to just compare their most recent single. Which doesn't work, idol groups are constantly changing the overall sound of their music.

Yeah SNSD has been doing sexier themed songs, but Oh! was really cutesy. They could compare that song. Aside from Genie, Hoot, and Run Devil Run all of their previous singles were cutesy. So collectively SNSD counts as cutesy, at least to me they do. XD
I read some comments on Orange Caramel's A~ing video, and they people were like it's too similar to Jpop, but I love it anyway. And how can anyone hate this, it's so adorable. It makes no sense! Isn't cuteness the reason they hate Jpop? Obvious Kpop bias is obvious! XD
I actively seek out the videos too. But only because they are like 12 minutes long. And it's a Kpop & Jpop music mix I listen to when I'm bored. I've seen like every Kpop VS Jpop video for that reason. Lol.

I don't really care who's better. It's an opinion anyway, it will never be fact. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

(NYC isn't even that great to be pimped so much. I did love their last single though. XD I wish NEWS could go too. But for some reason they are one of the least popular Johnny's groups. It makes me sad because they are my favorite. :/ Duh, that's right! I forgot all about the Johnny's new years coutdown. XD Yeah, but Arashi was on Kohaku last year and still went to the countdown. They could find a way for Kanjani8 to do both. If they had to they could prerecord their Kohaku performance or something.

uche said...

Normally, I don't comment on people's blog but you need a serious thumbs up for this. I myself started getting interested in KPOP because of Kdrama but I'm recently beginning to despise anything KPOP in Japan because of KPOP fans and the Korean media. Because of the recent success of korean groups in Japan who are currently riding the hallyu wave, KPOP fans and the Korean media already think they are superior to Japanese artists who have established themselves in the music industry. The most ludicrous thing I've ever heard is that KPOP is more popular than JPOP worldwide. JPOP artists hold concerts in Asia, Europe, North and South America with massive success. No KPOP artist, maybe except DBSK, has achieved that. One thing for sure, KPOP is becoming popular but is still far behind. If not for JPOP I'd never ever know KPOP. For me, liking Japan made me become interested in KPOP and Kdramas. I think with this influx of KPOP artists to Japan (most of who have only average talent) will have a negative effect because it will appear to the Japanese music lovers that KPOP artists are in Japan solely to make profit. I have nothing against KPOP artists coming to Japan but I think they are becoming overly ambitious and proud and fueling unnecessary hatred among KPOP and JPOP fans.

AimxAim said...

Wow, thanks. I'm so glad you liked the article. :]

The same thing is making me despise Kpop as well. And Kpop fans don't even really want Jpop anywhere near Korea. A few months ago SKE48 performed in Korea and Kpop fans went nuts. Saying that they can't sing and need to go back to Japan. And I don't recall the Japanese media saying SKE48 was going to take over Korea.

Exactly. Kpop is fare from established worldwide. Granted Kpop has been featured in some articles in the US and SM did have that concert in LA, but that's really it. Jpop mostly performs overseas because of the popularity of anime.

I wouldn't know about Kpop without Jpop either. I don't think that Japanese fans wil think they are only in it for money. But if more and more Kpop artists come to Japan, I bet the Japanese will get annoyed that their is hardly any Jpop idol groups anymore. I honestly see that becoming an issue in the future.

Kpop in Japan does fuel feuding and hatred among fans. But they would feud with or without Kpop in Japan. Which is really petty.

Anonymous said...

Yeah but doesn't but i feel like if anything gets popular, it'll get its annoying fans. Thats why avoid stuff like "jpop vs kpop" videos and comments on certain sites.

If i like the music then i like the music. The fans don't affect my feelings for it.

AimxAim said...

That is true. Everything gets annoying fans eventually. But annoying fans do annoy me a lot and to an extent ruin the fun for me a bit. :/
I hardly ever let comments both me. But I do like watching Kpop vs Jpop videos, but really onyl because it's basically like a 10 minute Jpop and Kpop medley. Which is fun to listen to. XD

I always try to not let the fans annoy me but I can't help at times, no matter how much I try to avoid it, getting caught up in the middle of it sometimes. Most of it is completely subconscious. I'll find for no reason at all I'm rooting for one side more than another. I guess I'm flawed that way. XD

AmandaBear said...

I totally understand what you're saying. For me, I enjoy both of them and listen to both genres all the time, although with j-pop it's mostly the boy groups and with k-pop it's mostly the girl groups. But though I am a big fan of k-pop, I do get absolutely SICK of all the cruel, bitchy fans. They don't just bash k-pop, they also bash other k-pop groups they happen to dislike for one stupid reason or another (anti-fans are INSANE). And though fan wars do exist in j-pop, they don't seem to be as common.

I don't know, I like it all (c-pop included). It's ridiculous to compare the two because they're both very different and they both have their awesomeness. That's why I think it's best for both kpop and jpop fans to expand their horizons and try listening to all types of music before spewing more any more bullshit.

AimxAim said...

Aww just the boybands with Jpop. But there are so many good female idol groups! But I totally get why you only listen to female Kpop singers. I usually only listen to the females too. The male groups music just isn't as good. I pretty much only listen to CN Blue, Super Junior, and BEAST on the male side. XD
I know, that's so stupid! I haven't been a fan (and I'm not that huge a fan now) to really know about or deal with antis, but they seem really petty. It's not really so much wars per say, as it is mean and hurtful comments when ever they get the chance.

I like it all as well. (C-pop only a tiny bit. Because I have to learn more about Kpop first. XD) Exactly it's like apples and oranges. If people realized that you can like both at the same time, and don't have to stan Kpop so much. They'd probably like Jpop.

Anonymous said...

Hi AimxAim, not only are Korean's faces and bodies fake (plastic surgeries), even Korean culture and language are imitations of Japanese. When I started learning the Korean language, I discovered more than 50% of Korean vocabularies were imported from the Japanese language. Kpop and kdramas that we see are not the true Korea. They are a means devised by the Korean government and people to deceive ignorant young people around the world. They are politically and racially motivated. This is the true face behind the Korean wave.