Actually, no 2NE1. You guys can stay. But stay in Korea. Forever. Please throw all future plans of Japanese expansion out the window. Because I can not handle this. I can not handle you guys trying to ‘sneak thieve’ a number one on Oricon with average album sales with ‘Nolza, I can not handle watching your first Japanese album release completely flop. I can not handle watching you guys frolicking in the bloody rainbow.

Yes, people. 2NE1 has released the PV for ‘Go Away‘.

2NE1 has always been somewhat the ‘black sheep’ of the girl group family. Where Wonder Girls are like the independent, chic, college-going older sister, SNSD is the preppy popular freshman cheerleader sister who gets all the guys, and 2NE1 is the rebellious middle sister who knees the guys in the balls if they ever decide to screw with her. And 4Minute would be that neglected problem-child youngest sister who goes out with fifty guys a month and gets scolded by the parents everyday– when really, all they actually want is affection and love.

If K-Pop was ‘Ten Things I Hate About You‘, SNSD would be Bianca, and 2NE1 would be Kat. You know, Kat– the one who has the tough girl exterior and rams into other people’s cars. But you know what, most people tended to like Kat better, because Kat was cool, Kat was different. And I could only imagine how disgruntled the audience would be if the movie ended with Kat doing a 180 and kissing puppies and moving into a fluorescent pink house. Just to make Patrick fall in love with her or something. Well, this is exactly what’s happening to 2NE1. Japan is Patrick. And I am the disgruntled audience.

There has not been a descent into Japan sadder to watch than 2NE1’s. From the beginning people have raised their eyebrows and scoffed at how 2NE1’s bad girl image would be received in Japan. The country which people perceive as being of kawaii, school girl uniforms, and a lot of questionable fan service and fetishes. Nabeela wrote an article earlier about how relevant 2NE1 actually is in Japan, and it did get me thinking about whether or not 2NE1 were desperate enough to splash into the cute pool in order to garner attention. But I shook the thought off. Because doing so would ultimately compromise everything that is 2NE1.


A week or so before SNSD’s release of ‘The Boys‘, I recall saying that 2NE1 had the relative freedom to explore whatever concept they want and no one would blink an eye. Well, I’m going to have to reevaluate my stance, because here they are trying out a new concept. And I think I’m having a seizure. The funny thing is, the MV isn’t even that cute. It’s relatively tame compared to other girl groups. But it’s 2NE1 doing it, and that’s what’s making all the difference. And dare I say it, the whole thing is coming off as kind of… contrived. Except it only just teeters on the line, because it’s 2NE1. And they can do anything. They can pull off anything. They can wear the most ridiculous things ever, and I’d be immune to it. They can even smile forcefully and pull aegyotic expressions at the camera, and the Earth would only slightly tilt on it’s axis. But I won’t lie– when Minzy popped out from behind that couch with that puppy in her arms, I was anticipating the impending splitting of the sun.

Granted, Bom, Dara, and even Minzy, are all pretty cute. But CL— oh god. CL. What happened to the ‘baddest female’ everyone was so keen on bragging about? I see no bad-ass female here. To be honest, it is rather sad that CL is so type-casted into the crazy rogue image YG has her sport. She can’t even act remotely girly without it coming off as only a bit try hard. And I know people argue that everything CL tries is try hard, but I disagree. Bom is my bias, but when it comes down to performance and vocals, there is only CL to me. Because she works the stage, and I know people are probably sick of how much I praise her, but to me it’s like she was born for the stage. As contrived as she may come across in her clothes, or the MVs. On the stage everything she does just seems so natural. So it hurts to use the word ‘try’ and ‘hard’ to describe her. It really does.

Honestly, if someone had told me 2NE1 would try and be cute for one of their Japanese releases. I wouldn’t have guessed it would be Go Away. I’d guess they were going to rerelease ‘Lollipop‘ for the Japanese audience or something. The thing with all of 2NE1’s Japanese releases so far is that the concept and MV/PVs used for them have all been similar, and in most cases, actually identical to that of their Korean counterparts. So why– no– how, did they manage to suck all the bad-ass in the original ‘Go Away’ music video out?

CL be exploding bitches in the original music video. And they thought a acceptable alternative to this would be to have her chuck a glass of water in their faces? No. CL was a race car driver in the original music video. Now she’s a un-badass twenty year old who drowns her sorrows by playing with bubbles and shopping for clothes with her equally un-badass girlfriends. When before they would be rocking it out in someone’s basement.

As for the PV itself without any comparison to the original, or forgetting that it’s a PV from 2NE1… Well, it’s not fantastic still, but it’s slightly better. I can see what angle YG was trying to go with this, especially with the colourful fluorescent theme. The editing wasn’t bad at all– but the fact remains, I get a headache just looking at the setting. It becomes almost obnoxious to be honest. And who the heck does Dara think she is with those blue additions to her pigtails?! Miku? I’m just waiting for the day YG realises Miss Sandara Park looks the best when she looks her age.

It's okay, Dara. Don't cry. You're still cute.

I was wrong about 2NE1 not being boxed into one particular image. They’re just as boxed in as SNSD, or Wonder Girls, or KARA. They just do such a good job disguising it. Because they’ve never really needed to come out of the box. What’s even sadder is that 2NE1 look unnatural doing the one thing that should be second nature to all girl groups– acting like girls. God knows what will happen when the time comes for them to pull out the blatantly sexy. Dara in a pilot’s costume? I’m not ready for that yet.

Nonetheless, I am still a fan of the girls. They’re talented. They have good stuff out. And ‘Go Away‘ really, isn’t actually all that much of a cute-fest in the grand scheme of things. They could have done, much, much worse. Let us end on a positive note. Bom is my favourite. And she is in a bathtub.

(soh0712, 2NE1, computerisms)