Korean girl group Secret held their final concert of their Japanese mini-tour on the 8th at ZEPP Tokyo. The group started the tour on the 5th, performing in Osaka, Tokyo and Nagoya.
The 4-member group first debuted in Korea in 2009, with hits like "Shy Boy." They advanced into the Japanese market last year, debuting with "Madonna" which ranked at #9 on the Oricon chart, and their second single hit #14. Their success has been lackluster compared to Shojo Jidai or KARA, but nevertheless, they have continued on in Japan with their concert tour. One has to ask, why?
One K-Pop magazine editor said, "It's all about the 'Japan Brand.' Secret has not reached their peak in Korea, they still have some potential there. But if they had any real popularity they'd be able to do a solo concert there. Simply, by releasing and performing in Japan, they can go back to Korea and boast, 'We're extremely popular in Japan!' in order to gain more international recognition."
The girls' performances in Japan have gotten press through the media stating that the concert venues were overcrowded and fans were going wild. However, with performance like that on the Oricon charts, these reports come with a huge question mark.
"ZEPP Tokyo is a pretty mediocre venue. Being overcrowded is not difficult in a place designed to hold 2,700 people, and even those reports of overcrowding are pretty doubtful. And while it may not go extinct, there is a shadow over the alleged popularity of K-Pop in Japan that people are starting to see. This is trouble for our business," said the K-Pop magazine editor.
If one thinks about it, growing a fanbase in Japan and Asia, then debuting in Japan and having their debut CD rank high on Oricon is quite natural. But if compared to the likes of Shojo Jidai, whose strategy in Japan has been very delicate, it's obvious that Secret's tactics are rough and hasty.
"In Korea, it seems that the Japanese marketplace is being made fun of. You can debut just about anything in Japan now and it will sell. But like with these girl groups who are popping up one after the other, Japanese fans are going to get tired for it. And the lies about their popularity are going to come to light."
The seems that with the saturation of K-Pop, the Hallyu boom will be collapsing soon.