My Latest K-Pop Obsession: KARA

I must admit I was initially drawn in by KARA’s motions that many have called the “butt-dance” but I see it really more of a hula style moment — but a couple of the songs I’ve seen performances for really are catchy and are totally whistle-able. And naturally, I have no earthly idea what they’re saying. Here’s the first video I ever saw of them, in rather stunning quality, “Mister”..

I had a tough time finding a good guide to match names with facial markers (narrow face, long hair, etc) so I needed to make my own, after a brief conversation with a fan who happened along my question about who my #1 is. I think I’ve got their names down pretty well, and naturally, a ranking must occur despite having only known of them for about 2 days ^_~ And FYI, when I refer to their pants color, I mean as from this performance. I honestly don’t have any criteria to offer much aside from just looks, stage command from the performances on YouTube, and the total relativity of charging of the kawaii-meter ^_^

#1 – Goo Hara

Total favorite by a loooong shot. That wink near the beginning of the video embedded above pretty much did me in. Can’t. Look. Away. When learning her name, I nicknamed her “the hot one.” Pink pants, born January 1991.

#2 – Park Gyuri

My nickname for her is “Sporty” because she has what I discern as a more athletic-looking face, if that’s even possible. If she ever wears eye-black (the wide black stripes on the cheekbones of some sports players to reduce glare) in an upcoming video, I think it would suit her. She’s the leader of the bunch. Blue pants, born May 1988.

#3 – Seung Yeon

Don’t ask me why I call her “The Korean” but she just seems to have what I’d consider (from my knowing approximate jack about Koreans) as a stereotypical Korean look, but I mean that in a really really good way. Purple pants, born July 1988.

#4 – Kang Ji Young

Born January 1994 (orange pants), Ji Young and Nicole are pretty much tied for last, as I don’t particular get anything of them being there just yet. However, I thought the same about Makoto and Niigaki from Morning Musume at first, so maybe there’s hope =P I won’t mention what I nicknamed her, as it’s a bit unflattering [*]– but we’ll just say “Youngster” although she doesn’t seem like it to me ^_~

#5 – Nicole Jung

Born October 1991, I’ve given Nicole the nickname “Bob” because of her short hairstyle, not for anything else! She’s really only last because I haven’t really been able to see a whole lot of her as she also hasn’t been given quite as many close-ups as the others. I’m not saying I’m in favor of less close-ups on #1, though! Most of the YouTube comments seem to highly favor Nicole for some reason that I’m clearly not picking up on. We’ll give it time, though.

The only other songs I’ve heard/seen them perform is “Wanna” (pretty good, although choreography is rather tame), “Rock U” (not really catchy, but cant complain about cheerleader uniforms), and a grimace-inducing tribute to Michael Jackson (where they were a few among a large group, though).. “Mister” is going to be on loop for a few days at least ^_^

As far as sites to check out, there seems to be a decent amount of raw video links posted at the Livejournal community KARAWORLD, a decent backstory to their history (in English, thank you) at their Jpop Stop profile, and an impressively assembled forum with plenty of picture galleries to sift through at

If you’ve got a favorite KARA-related link or music video to share, please post in the comments!

4 thoughts on “My Latest K-Pop Obsession: KARA

  1. While Goo Hana does have that can’t-look-away quality, I actually am rather more fond of Seung Yeon (lol @ “The Korean,” by the way). So, that’s my #1 and #2; followed by Park Gyuri at #3, and Kang Ji Young (in whom I fail to see anything unflattering) at a not-so-distant #4. Then there’s quite a gap before I can rank Nicole Jung at #5. I’m with you in how I just don’t see why she seems to be drooled over like she is.

    As for “Mister”: Best. Dance Move. Ever.


  2. i like:

    number 1:
    she’s really worth watching with all those
    dace steps (she can dance really well) and her
    VOICE (PS: she has the best vocals among all of them)
    and her CUTENESS (OMG!) but when goo hara (the hot one),
    her cuteness falls down to RANK 2 (but for me, she’s still 1)

    number 2:
    before, i dont like her coz i can’t see any potential (and she took away SEUNG YEON’S title as the cute one. LOL) but i started liking her during the MISTER song. :> and now, she’s my number 2.

    number 3:
    there’s no BIG GAP between hara and gyuri.
    i love gyuri as their leader and of course, i love her STRICT FACE! hahaha. for me, she’s the prettiest (definitely not the cutest) in their group. HER VOCIE RANKS NUMBER 2 IN THEIR GROUP.

    number 4:
    She’s my least favorite in the old kara as well. 🙂
    but before, when the new kara showed up.
    but when she gets all the attention of the crowd,
    i started disliking her. (I DON’T LIKE HOW THEY ARE MISTAKEN THAT SHE’S THE LEADER, which she’s definitely NOT!) and sometimes, i hateit when she has more parts than everyone (i mean, GYURI’s the leader so it would be more appropriate to give her more parts)

    but now, i dont dislike her. i like her but not as much as i love seung yeon.

    number 5:
    before, i define her as FAT. but then, i realized she’s not FAT (just a little bit healthy compared to the others)
    since she’s new to KARA (i mean she’s not one of the originals) I didn’t see much of her coz i can say too that she’s the LEAST FAVORITE OF THE CROWD and the camera rarely focus her (which sometimes, i hate coz i feel pity for her). but ican’t see anything to dislike about JI YOUNG.
    she always tries her best and that’s A THUMBS UP! I can see she’s improving in her skills (singing and dancing). I hope she’ll get more part next time for us to see (more) her skillful side. 🙂

  3. I must admit that after watching them more and more, I would still rank them in the same order, except that I would put Gyuri, Ji Young and Nicole all at a tie for #3, and be a close-but-not-quite tie for #2. I think I like them all almost equally now, but still within that tight cluster of liking.

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