It has been about a month since Ideal of Idol — better known as I.O.I. — finished up their promotions for their last song “Downpour,” performed their last concert titled “Time Slip — I.O.I.,” and officially disbanded. Since then, many of the former members returned to their respective entertainment labels and agencies either to start where they left off before Produce 101 and I.O.I. or to embark on new career endeavors.
As for examples of said post-disbandment endeavors, Kim So Hye returned to RedLine Entertainment to continue pursuing her acting career. She will join SBS Power FM as a fixed cast member and make her acting debut in virtual reality drama First Love. Also, Jeon So Mi has signed a formal contract with her label and agency JYP Entertainment to start solo activities. She is currently a cast member on the second season of Unnie’s Slam Dunk which is also known as Sister’s Slam Dunk.
Unfortunately, not all K-pop fans are satisfied with the post-disbandment endeavors of certain I.O.I. members. In this case, many K-netizens are angry that Kim Se Jung is currently a member of Gugudan in which they think they are a “flopped” K-pop girl group.
Jellyfish Entertainment’s Gugudan — also known as gugudan and gu9udan — is a nine-member K-pop girl group consisting of Mimi, Hana, Haebin, Nayoung, Sejung, Sally, Soyee, Mina, and Hyeyeon. They officially made their debut last year with their first extended play (EP) or mini-album Act. 1: The Little Mermaid featuring “Wonderland.” It did more than decent for a debut album reaching No. 2 on the Korean Gaon Chart for albums and No. 8 on the Taiwanese Chart. More than 22,217 copies were sold along with more than 100,000 digital downloads of “Wonderland.”
Just recently, Gugudan made their first K-pop comeback for 2017 with their second EP or mini-album titled Act 2: Narcissus. The title track song “A Girl Like Me” (music video attached above) is making its rounds on the internet and social media. Gugudan is currently in the midst of post-release promotions for it.
In general, this is good news for Gugudan fans, but there are those in the hardcore following for its member Kim Se Jung who think otherwise. According to AllKpop, Gugudan’s comeback is not doing so well. On the other hand, Kim Se Jung managed to peak at No. 1 on the music charts for her solo track song “Flower Road” (music video below).
When comparing Gugudan’s success to Kim Se Jung’s success as a soloist, there are K-netizens claiming the girl group and their second K-pop comeback are “a total flop.” Instead, many believed that Se Jung should have either went solo or formed a new girl group with Gugudan members Kim Na Young and Kang Mi Na since all three of them participated in Produce 101, with Mi Na making it into I.O.I. alongside Se Jung. As a last resort, they believe Kim Se Jung should have at least been made the center of Gugudan.
Of course, the K-netizens had to express their disdain for how they think Jellyfish Entertainment is treating Kim Se Jung poorly. In fan groups, cafes, and throughout social media, especially on the official social media pages for Gugudan, they are flooding it with negative comments. Some examples are shown below to show the severity of the situation.
Commenter #1: “The label sucks at their job. It’s so unfortunate. I was looking forward to the Kim Na Young, Kang Mina, and Kim Se Jung trio.”
Commenter #2: “What I don’t understand is that Jellyfish made Se Jung promote in Gugudan but she doesn’t really stand out in the group right now. They would’ve seen better outcomes if they made Se Jung stand out more. You know many tuned into Gugudan to see Se Jung.”
Commenter #3: “The label did a terrible job. They should’ve expanded Se Jung’s solo fandom and then made her debut in a group.”
Gugudan fans are striking back as they are claiming the song is indeed good. Either it is good or not dependents on preference. We will just have to wait and see just how good Act 2: Narcissus and title track song “A Girl Like Me” does. Within a week or two, initial sales numbers will be tallied up. If albums sold is more than 22,000 copies and digital download sales of the title track song are more than 100,000, that is a sign that Gugudan is becoming more popular.
[Featured Image by Jellyfish Entertainment/Gugudan Official Daum Cafe]