K-Pop versus J-pop: Hybridity or Mimicry

The video titled 2013 K-Pop Vs J-Pop by the youtuber AnimeLovers Chu is a video with clips of the female Japanese pop groups and Korean Pop Girls Generation and E-Girls groups mirrored one after another, starting with Girls Generation and alternating back and forth with  a single awkwardly placed clip of F(x). These are two vastly different groups with different style in terms of presentation, musical style and image that represent the differences in the two genres of music.

As I said earlier, this video features the female Asian pop groups SNSD also known as Girls Generation, E-Girls, and one randomly place excerpt of F(x) mirrored one after another in small clips of their respective music videos. This video has no commentary throughout, leaving the take on the video entirely up to the viewer on a number of issues, such as: Who’s better, How are they similar, what makes them different among many other things which started an all-out fan war in the comments section of the video page. As far as quality goes the video does a good job of keeping things clean and organized in comparison to some f the other videos of its kind and gives a fair amount of screen time that allows you to get a good feel for both groups style.

That being said, right away the first thing that differentiates them is the styles they adorn during their music videos. For the E-Girls, they are presented as youthful, sweet and innocent through the use of pink and white, and their youthful style appropriate for ladies around the ages of 10-13. As for SNSD, they are presented as more serious and mature in their style by exposing more of their bodies, wearing short shorts, tighter cloths and snap-backs that seems more appropriate for ladies around the ages of 16-23.

Girls Generation attire for the music video "The Boys" in 2011

Girls Generation attire for the music video “The Boys” in 2011

Attire of F(x) during their Electric Shock music video

Attire of F(x) during their Electric Shock music video


The E-Girls during their "Follow Me" Music video in 2012

The E-Girls during their “Follow Me” Music video in 2012






As for presentation, E-Girls seem quite different from SNSD. E-Girls do Dance moves that for the most part are doable for anyone of any age and can be picked up simply by watching whether they have dance experience or not; they also have less complicated formations and transitions comparably speaking. On the other hand SNSD and F(x) have more complicated dance moves, a ton more transitions throughout and more complex formations besides the line formation. This may be attributed to one be the size of a full choir, giving them less space to move around and the other being kind of the opposite.

Their musical styles are totally different as well. The E-Girls present a style that is more bubble gum pop that is fun and girly, whereas SNSD puts out a more modern pop and mature sound; even though I don’t know what their saying I’m sure their lyrics attest to this as well.  As a fun side note, I’m not sure if it’s the fan in me but all J-Pop seems to be attributed to anime in my mind whether it is or isn’t and that is one of things I appreciate about K-pop; it stands on its own as a genre of music.

This video brings the great divide between these two genres of music to light by placing the perfect pair of groups from both sides together. Let it be known: K-Pop and J-pop are not the same thing.



AnimeLovers Chu.”2013 K-Pop Vs J-Pop [2013]”.Online video clip. Youtube. Youtube, 15 Jan. 2013. Web. 1. Mar. 2013

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K-Pop versus J-pop: Hybridity or Mimicry by Rasheed Cheek is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Licens