Go to contents

T-ara′s Cat Concept in Japan Goes Too Far?

Rating Rating more One Star

2011.08.26 17:29 Mwave Lee, KyungNam

The girl group T-ara revealed its new concept poster for its Japan promo activities, and the poster has sparked debate among netizens.

T-ara will be making its debut in Japan on September 2, and the group recently revealed its new concept for ′Bo Peep Bo Pee′, the group′s debut Japanese album. The poster, released on August 26, showed the members dressed up like cats, complete with feline makeup, done with the help of the makeup team for the musical ′Cats′.

T-ara′s Cat Concept in Japan Goes Too Far?

However, netizens have said that the poster goes overboard with its cuteness, crossing the line into the realm of shocking. They especially believed that the heavy makeup and whiskers drawn on the members′ faces made them look ridiculous.

T-ara′s Japan debut album will be released on September 28, and the members will be leaving the country for Japan on September 2nd.


Comedians from all three main channels came together in tvN’s Comedy Big League to fight in a fierce 10 week comedy battle. Yoo Se Yoon, Jang Dong Min and Yoo Sang Moo, the Small Spring team, came out victorious as the winners, validating their self-made title, ‘Comedians to the Marrow’.

T-ara′s Cat Concept in Japan Goes Too Far?

More modest than you think

You could tell the members of Small Spring were exhausted when they came out to receive the award. It was probably because they had been squeezing out ideas for 10 weeks and also because they poured everything into their last stage.

Yoo Se Yoon said, “It was hard for us until the end. The people around us said ‘if you don’t win first place, that would be so embarrassing’ a lot. Once you’re pressured to win, it becomes harder for you to make others laugh, but we succeeded in barely holding up our first place title. I’m embarrassed that I worried about what would happen if we didn’t win.”

We could feel how sorry Yoo Se Yoon felt about failing to keep himself in order after hearing things from the people around him - and how much pressure the Small Spring members got from how their colleagues viewed them.

“When we won, our colleagues wouldn’t clap for us, but when we came in third they would clap loudly," said Yoo Se Yoon. "At first I thought it was a joke, but later on I felt like we weren’t getting along with the others very well, and I was sad when I thought the audience would be looking at us in the same way.”

“Because Se Yoon is soft-hearted he worried about things like that, but actually it was better for me," chimed in Jang Dong Min. "I liked being in the center of attention and being the object of jealousy.”

T-ara′s Cat Concept in Japan Goes Too Far?

Prize money: 100 million won

Comedy Big League awarded 100 million won to the winning team, and Small Spring snagged that not-small prize with a total of 52 points. After going on the record that they weren′t in it for the money, many were curious - so how would they spend their money, now that it wasn′t just an abstract prize?

Yoo Se Yoon answered, “We’ve never donated in the name of Small Spring, so I want to donate it. Or we could buy a designer brand bag and give it to a beggar, or buy a crocodile skin bag and give it to a crocodile in the zoo; anyway we’ll use it the Small Spring way.”

Yoo Sang Moo added, “Everyone has a different opinion. Donating it is great, but I want to do something more in the Small Spring way like Se Yoon said.”

Jang Dong Min chipped in, adding frankly, “If we donate it, it could pressure the winners of the next season. We’ll tell you where we used the money when we use it. We’re thinking about it a lot.”

Smelken is our favorite

For their 10 performances, Small Spring appeared as a different character every performance. With normal animals like bald eagles, maggots and baboons to fantasy animals like Dogbird (Dog + Bird), Smelken (Smelt + Chicken), Cheezilla (Cheeta + Godzilla) and Archowl (Archaeopteryx + Owl), the members set up their own animal wonderland onstage.

In their last performance, the ladybug (Yoo Se Yoon) and the Dogsmelken (Dog + Smelt + Chicken, Jang Dong Min) fought their last battle. Why did they choose to revive the Smelken, when it had already appeared in a previous performance? Had they run out of ideas?

Jang Dong Min said, “Just as Young Mi kept pushing the Ghandi character, we wanted to push the Smelken. We thought it was the funniest out of all the other characters, and we wanted to bring it back.”

“We couldn’t help it, too, because in Comedy Big League, you have to come up with a winning move quickly," said Yoo Sang Moo. "If this was Gag Concert, we could have done 10 episodes with the Smelken.”

Yoo Se Yoon, however, said, “Because we ended it when people thought it was the most funny, I think that’s actually a good thing.”

Jang Dong Min gathered more popularity with the Dogbird (gaesae) and Archowl (shiboouhngsae), whose names in Korean actually sound like curse words (we′ll let you figure those out), Jang Dong Min managed to stay in the public’s good graces even after cursing and acting arrogant in his comedy.

“Even in Gag Concert, even if I said things like ‘this little thing’ or ‘what stupid nonsense’, or kicked Shin Bong Sun, I wasn’t hated for it," remarked Jang Dong Min. "Director Kim Suk Hyun said it was okay for me to do it. I’m thankful that people laughed a lot even at my cussing gags.”

T-ara′s Cat Concept in Japan Goes Too Far?

Ahn Young Mi is the strongest

Americano, with members Ahn Young Mi, Kim Mi Ryo and Jung Juri, proved hard to defeat in the last few episodes. In the beginning, Small Spring was the only one in the lead, but Americano’s final sprint toward the winning trophy shook them up. How did Small Spring feel after seeing Americano?

Yoo Sang Moo said, “Because Ahn Young Mi’s character was so strong, I thought we wouldn’t ever be able to win if we didn’t win this season. If we go against Young Mi next season, I think she’ll be a strong contender.”

Yoo Se Yoon added “When we plan our comedy, we fight a lot. Someone needs to stand back and act as support, but the three [in the Americano team] are all top comedians from the main channels, and they’re all strong women, so I was curious on who would be the supporting role. Of course, they hired someone to do it for them. Someone called Yang Se Hyung and Kim Ki Wook. As for us, Sang Moo is holding us up. (laughs.”

“A lot of people say that Sang Moo isn’t funny. The three of us went to Thailand, and even the Thai said Sang Moo isn’t funny (laughs)," joked Jang Dong Min. "Yang Se Hyung and Kim Ki Wook aren’t people who can’t make people laugh. I just hope you know that in comedy, you need someone to play that role.”

But while new fans may think that Small Spring is happiest now, after winning such a big prize, the biggest joy for the members comes from something altogether different.

"We′re happiest when we′re doing comedy together," said the group proudly.

Photo credit: tvN
Translation credit: Erika Kim

Any copying, republication or redistribution of Mwave's content other than for personal uses is expressly prohibited Without prior permission from Mwave. Copyright infringement is subject to criminal and civill penalties.


search news