I totally meant to post this yesterday but I ended up spending the night watching episodes of old shows from my childhood (XIAOLIN SHOWDOWN ANYONE???) and napping lol.
So first things first, you guys probably know already that I’m a fan of K-pop. But only those people who REALLY know me, know that my love for J-pop runs just as deep. Actually, to be totally honest, I liked J-pop before I was introduced to K-pop back in 2008. I was a huge anime junkie back in the day (I still am lol) and I would download and listen to anime openings, endings, insert songs, you name it. My favorite back then was Legend of Mermaid from Mermaid Melody. I legit was obsessed. Knew every single word to that song and still do to this day haha.
My J-pop love continued alongside my K-pop love but it was mostly kept underground. I expanded my horizons and started listening to Hello! Project groups like C-ute, Berryz Koubou, Morning Musume, and Buono!. Well, after most of the Morning Musume members I knew and loved all graduated from the group, I stopped listening to Hello! Project and J-pop in general.
Until about 2 years ago around this time.I was aimlessly wondering through YouTube and found one of those “which is better: KPOP vs JPOP” kinda video. I started watching it without much thought and then BAM! E-GIRLS comes stomping their way into my life. I have no regrets man. They opened up the flood gates to the wonderful world of LDH and all the EXILE TRIBE groups. I was sold.
I’m not gonna go into the nitty gritty of the company LDH and how they do things (that’s a whole other post) but to briefly explain things in the context of E-girls, they’re comprised of all the girl groups currently active in the company. This includes Flower, Happiness, Dream, and a dance group called EDG which is made up of female dancers from LDH’s dance school. The group may look a bit strange in how they do things, but I promise, it’s amazing once you wrap your head around the concept they’re going for. Cause it’s basically like this for almost every LDH group.
Anyways, this song, Follow Me, was one of the ones in that “which one is better” video I stumbled upon like 2 winter breaks ago. And it’s addicting as all heck. The beats, the repetition of the lyrics, the catchiness of it all completely took me in. I was so hooked and on board with it all that the fact that there were so many girls dancing on the screen didn’t even bother me. The choreography is top notch and clearly the performers (that’s what they call the people who only dance in the groups) knew how to move their bodies in a way that I’ve never really seen before. The actual vocalists all had incredible breath support and endurance to be able to pull off even half of the choreo and still be able to sing PERFECTLY live.
This is only a shorten version of the music video so please go find the full version on JPopsuki and watch it. Or even just listen to it. The songs they put out and the level of performance skill and vocal abilities these ladies have is unlike anything I’ve ever seen from the J-pop world. Before, it was all girls wearing oversized bows, big poofy skirts, singing in nasally, high pitched, cutesy sort of voices, and dancing the simplest choreography. But after being introduced to E-girls through this song, J-pop has taken on a whole new form. The choreo is intricate and the voices have power and substance behind them. People often compare them to K-pop groups, saying that E-girls or any LDH group for that matter “copied”, “imitated”, or “stole” that concept from them.
Honey, I’m sorry.
That’s like the furthest thing from the truth.
I’m a fan of both and from my standpoint, the concept of having people in the group (they’re actually like fixed, regular members of the group) who only dance and don’t sing is only something I’ve never seen before in K-pop. Yes, their music is a bit different and more western sounding than what you would think J-pop usually sounds like. But that doesn’t mean they’re copying anybody.
E-girls is apart of this “movement” in J-pop. They’re different and they know it. They embrace it and most definitely stand out in the sea of girl groups in the industry.