Scathing comments from Japanese and Korean netizens spark heated debate between the two pop cultures.

Japanese idol group AKB48’s popularity is so phenomenal that it even has politicians lobbying for concerts in their country. The mega group isn’t so hot in South Korea though, where their own idol group brands have gained international acclaim.

The two distinct pop culture styles came to a head during the recent Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) held in South Korea, when AKB48 teamed up with five Korean idol groups and delivered a less-than-stellar performance.

▼ AKB48’s Heavy Rotation and Koi Suru
Fortune Cookie
in a monster collaboration.

▼ Lots of dynamic and stylish dance moves from the South Koreans…

▼ …and much lukewarm fluttering around by AKB48.

AKB48 generally portrays a cute image, while Korean groups tend to lean towards mature sexiness. But what set them apart in that event was that the Korean side outshone AKB48 with energetic movements and superior choreography.

Some South Korean fans couldn’t help but notice the stark contrast and voiced their unbiased opinions:

“South Korean idols are prettier and have better dance moves.”

“I finally understand why Korean groups are so popular overseas.”

“Our South Korean idols have to pick up the slack in the performance. It doesn’t seem like there’s any decent Japanese idols out there.”

“AKB48’s costumes made it look like they’re going to a kid’s party.”

“Those were AKB48 songs, yet why is the choreography better on the Koreans’ side? Those AKB48 members were hardly dancing at all!”

Nevertheless AKB48 picked up their spirit and showed they could keep pace with their South Korean counterparts in the next collaboration song, Pick Me.

▼ Both sides made sure they were not to be outdone this time.

The harshest critiques came from Japanese netizens:

“There’s no comparison at all. AKB48’s level is just way too low.”
“We lost again. There’s no way we can beat big brother Korea.”
“All AKB48 is good for is handshaking events. Let’s not even talk about music and dance.”
“It’s common knowledge that AKB48 is garbage.”
“Some people just love to defend AKB48’s amateur choreography and terrible singing. It’s really disgusting.”

To be fair, the vast majority of the audience enjoyed the show, and that’s all that matters really. Such differences in performance could be attributed to culture and a bazillion other factors, none of which would change the mindset of fans willing to spend unimaginable sums of money to buy their favorite AKB48 CDs.

Source: YouTube/Mnet K-POP via My Game News Flash
Images: YouTube/Mnet K-POP