The interest in K-POP has been noticed early on, as HMV Japan as actively introduced them. At HMV Shibuya there is one floor dedicated to imported CDs and one booth is for K-POP and is a great feature. To put together our K-POP Promotion Team, we have focused on bringing together those in the different departments of HMV who like K-POP. It started in 2007 when HMV advertised in a free paper (Note: This is a paper with a lot of advertisements), they started a corner in the shop and the K-POP imported CDs were done in a large-scale and were a great appeal.
The member who managed this alone from the start Watanabe Shouhei said, 「In 2007~2008, Powerful girl groups like Wonder Girls, SNSD, KARA and others, are rapidly appearing. Their dances and songs could be compared favorably to western music and they're wonderful. All of them are charming.」
This time, the K-POP fans are checking the girl group movement as expected. The amount of new fans is increasing so much that, while K-POP used to be located in the World Music corner, it is now its own section, and in November 2009, HMV Shibuya created a dedicated booth on the first floor for it.
Nomiyama Saneuji of the merchandise HQ international department says this about K-POP fans, 「Of course there are more females. They』ve gotten into K-POP through boy groups, and also listen to girl groups.」 EC HQ international department Kadosawa Hideyoshi adds, 「Because of that core class of fans who think "they're from the same label so I'll give them a listen", having done that, that artist's visibility increases, and they can reach people who haven't heard of them before without seeming out of place. So, just like that they're popularity is spreading little by little. Most people have heard of both the boy groups and girl groups.」
K-POP Girl Group imported CD Ranking HMV ONLINE
First Place- 2nd Album: Run Devil Run- Repackage
Release Date: March 27, 2010
Second Place- 1st Mini Album
Release Date: July 11, 2009
Third Place- 2 Different Tears
Release Date: May 21, 2010
Fourth Place- Best Hits
Release date: March 5, 2010
Fifth Place- 1st Album- Repackage: Baby Baby
Release Date: April 5, 2008
Sixth Place- 2nd Album: Oh
Release Date: February 2, 2010
Seventh Place- Mini Album: For Muzik
Release Date: August 24, 2009
Eigth Place- Mini Album: For Muzik – Asia Deluxe Commemorative Disc
Release Date: May 8, 2010
Ninth Place- Mini Album: Gee
Release Date: January 20, 2009
Tenth Place- 2nd Single Album
Release Date: December 15, 2009
*Note*: Totalisation term (June 14, 2010 ~ June 20, 2010)
The top 3 who are expected to have a big break in Japan, 2NE1, SNSD, KARA
In the middle of 2010, girl groups are coming one by one to have their major Japan debut. KARA had an interview in May about their debut, 4Minute has had their first Japanese concert, and they've been big in the media. Since 2007 the girl groups in Japan have been waning. From now on, groups are continuing to debut in Japan, and who will have their big break this year?
kadosawa-shi believes about the girls' performances, "In these three years, they've gone through a spirited evolution. with their strategies, and are filling a niche that J-POP and western music can't catch up with. So, now in the light of the imported CD movement, if you were wondering who we think will have a big break in Japan out of the girl groups, 「The top 3 are: 2NE1, SNSD and KARA. Next is f(x), T-ara, AFTER SCHOOL whom also have a good expectation.」
Also, there's a topic of if the girls will immediately make it big in Japan or not. On the internet, lots of chatter about KARA and 4Minute having to compete has shown up, but in reality the market is quiet. Watabe's analysis is, 「The possibility that this is a temporary boom cannot be denied, so continuous exposure is very important.」 Oikawa Jou of Content department of EC HQ says, 「The vital thing to watch out for are the coming debuts of KARA and SNSD. If these two groups are successful, it should cause quite a commotion. Moreover, it will be good if they can appear more on TV to viewers.
It certainly feels like a movement is forming. More and more girl groups are debuting this year and creating a foundation that seems like it will be a key to success. The 4-person K-POP Promotion team all agree, 「K-POP as a genre is huge, make no mistake. We all want the 「wave」 to come. (Note: Wave being the hallyu/Korean wave) We want to cause a big boom!」 Through continuous communication with fans, they say they will proactively continue to distribute information.