J-Pop vs K-Pop

I will not say that I am a huge fan of K-Pop, nor am I a huge fan of J-Pop, but I am more familiar with J-Pop than K-Pop.  But I find myself very impressed with the K-Pop groups I have seen.  The other day I saw a “Girls’ Generation” cover of “Dancing Queen” – they did it in English, and without a discernable accent.  It was extremely high quality.  Frankly, it was much higher quality than I would expect out of a J-Pop group.  More frankly, any J-Pop group save, perhaps, Babymetal.

There seems to be a cultural difference between Korean and Japanese pop, and I have remarked on it before.  The Japanese seem to value cuteness and approachability, and talent doesn’t seem to matter.  The Koreans seem to deliberately cultivate unapproachability and perfection.  Their idols truly seem to be meant to be idols, meaning, objects of worship.  But the Japanese groups don’t really need talent – hardly at all – as long as they can gain a following of people who will buy their albums and “support” them (meaning, voting in senbatsu competitions and buying their products).

Now I’ll admit I don’t know a whole lot about K-Pop, but I know what I saw the other night, and that was quality.  Some groups are a little more fun than others, like Crayon Pop seems to have more of a J-Pop sensibility to it.  The Japanese seem to think “ganbatte”, or “try my best”.  They’ll prepare as much as necessary and get it done.  The Koreans seem to think “If I have to try, I’m not good enough.  I’m going to nail this.”  And holy cow, do they.

Which do I like better?  I don’t know.  If I’m looking for cute and poppy, J-Pop pretty much fits the bill.  If I’m looking for actual quality, it’s K-Pop all the way.  The poor J-Pop groups – particularly the really popular ones like AKB48 – really don’t stand a chance.  They’re cute, they’re funny, they’re silly, they’re adorable, and Korean singers and dancers wipe the floor with them.

But then, they know this.  They know exactly what they are, what they do, and why they’re there.  Maybe it will translate to success in the future for them – I know aces like Takahashi Minami and Sashihara Rino have gone on to decent careers.  But not all.  I don’t think that would be tolerated in Korea.  The standards are far, far, far, more exacting.*

* There are exceptions, on both sides.  So stop typing.  🙂

15 thoughts on “J-Pop vs K-Pop

      1. Actually, it was half sarcastic. There’s an inside joke there. One of the YouTube channels I watch always foresees arguments, pre-emptively rebuts them, then says “so stop typing”. I meant it in much the same way. It’s a bit sarcastic, but more of a “I know what you’re going to say, so just don’t, please? heh.

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      2. That doesn’t surprise me as I’ve been told that before, on Facebook specifically. I’m really not sure why that is, as I don’t mind comments at all. I just don’t like *rude* comments. I don’t define rude as “people who disagree with me”, I define rude as “people who make the argument personal”. I may fail at that, but I try not to do that, and it’s all I expect from commenters. Perhaps what comes through is my general disdain for the quality of comments on the Internet in general… I don’t know. I’m not exacty sure what about me gives off that air. Perhaps it’s the same thing that makes people in person think I’m some kind of big, tough biker dude. My experiences in life have allowed me, unfortunately, to perfect a “stay away from me or it’s at your own peril” vibe, and I’m also really good at pretending other people don’t exist. But how that comes through in my writing is a mystery to me. I’m genuinely confused. I just outline my thoughts and ask people not to be rude. But perhaps it’s not taken in the same way its meant. I guess I have more introspection to do.

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      3. Haha that comes with your personality. It shines through your writing as well. The way you write and appear to people is somewhat cold and rational. I also assume you are assertive, so you write down your thoughts and that’s your personal status quo then. That’s how it feels, even if it’s not your intention. I noticed it’s very common with xNTJ types, they have this icy vibe of “stay away, I’m gonna do it my way anyway” lol.

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      4. Hmm, like for example your “general disdain for the quality of comments on the Internet in general”. You could try to not take it too seriously and to not always expect the worst of people. I mean, yes, high-quality stuff is hard to find, but what can you do about it? Not very much, at least not right away. So you might as well just embrace it. If you don’t enjoy it very much, you don’t have to be part of it, but you can at least not let it shut you off, you know what I mean? Opening up to everything you would call “stupid” lol. In this post, for example, did you assume some crazy K-pop or J-pop fans might attack you or something? lol. Because I didn’t really think anything like that, but then again, I’m not a crazy deluded K/J-pop fan, so who knows.

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      5. Well, I do believe that if you write a certain way about a certain content, you will attract certain people. In your case, you often seem to write about things you don’t like, so maybe that’s why there are also more people reading your blog who like to fight and are more likely to bash you.

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