Why so serious K-poppers? Long before Crayon Pop were strapping on their bike helmets of cutesy weirdness there was Orange Caramel. A sub-unit of After School who all joined around 2010, the sweet threesome are Nana, Lizzy and Raina, and their MO is lighthearted, cutesy pop.
Their debut song and first mini-album in 2010, Magic Girl, was parodied by many celebrities making the tune an instant playful hit in Korea. Shanghai Romance was released in 2012, and the girls were nominated for – and won – best comic video for their song Lipstick in 2012’s SBS MTV Best of the Best awards.
But the girls aren’t just cutesy faces and long legs. Nana is a licensed makeup artist and the main rapper in After School. Raina has written lyrics for both Orange Caramel and After School songs, and Lizzy, the maknae of the group has appeared in several MBC dramas and a been a model for the makeup brand Kiss Me.
Their latest MV Catallena could be a strong contender for the next round of comic and visual awards, as it pops off the screen with bright cheeky humour, placing the girls as human sushi for sale at a conveyor belt restaurant. It’s a simple visual setting but the fun detail – the girls dipping their feet in soy sauce and flailing in giant cling film trays – demands repeat viewings, and the song riff as usual is catchy and fun. Interestingly the original video has been banned by KBS, as the suits reckon it may infringe upon human rights to show women available for consumption. Come on suits, take a look at their past MVs – these girls are simply the experts at tongue in cheek pop, and we all need some of that as a side dish.
Catallena – The girls transform into human sushi and swim for your plate. Tasty!
Lipstick – Teamwork that can ping-pong even a woman in a wedding dress off the table. Score!
Shanghai Romance – if you can’t win that guy’s heart with drinks or leg flashes, just tie him up. Sorted!
Bangkok City – These wondrously fluffy poodle perms wouldn’t last two minutes in Thai humidity. Who cares?!
A~ing – A world of fairy stories comes to life in short ruffled skirts. Of course!