It’s time once again for Kpopalypse Nugu Alert! Let’s take a look at the final selection of nugus for 2018!
It’s nearly the end of 2018, so this extra-length version of Kpopalypse Nugu Alert is going to cover off some extreme nugu songs from 2018 that I just didn’t get around to taking a look at until now, and that I believe deserve highlighting in this series for various reasons. Also it’s a reminder for myself as well as others that these songs as well as anything else that appears in Kpopalypse Nugu Alert is eligible for best/worst list consideration. These videos don’t have any real connecting theme to them, but they are all of female soloists or groups, which is something that Kpopalypse readers historically enjoy, so hopefully this episode meets required standards!
Usual Kpopalypse Nugu Alert rules are in effect:
- Less than 20,000 views on official YouTube channels
- Nobody outside Korea cares who these people are, and possible few people inside Korea too
- Relevant to Kpoalypse
Let’s get started!
Prism – Chok
Prism’s “Chok” is a reasonable enough song I suppose, but it’s an extremely difficult music video to watch. The camera never stops moving, jittering around like the person holding it is trying to balance the onions on top of his Bunnings snag at the same time, and the result is eyestrain like when you spectate someone in an FPS and they wiggle their mouse around trying to trigger the right combination for the Milly Rock. It’s a pity because from what I can tell the girls look great and the set design isn’t too bad either, I mean it’s nothing by SM standards but any nugu agency that does a box video with the group’s logo in 5 foot tall letters is really trying hard and the camera should at least show their efforts a bit more. The camera is in fact so shaky that when the rapping happens it’s impossible to tell if the rapper girl is mouthing the words during her dance routine or not. Maybe that was the idea to cover up some bad lipsync, but more likely someone just thought this looked “cool”. At least the agency picked up a basement special from the designer of Jiyeon’s “Number Nine” clothes.
YouTube views at time of writing: 15531
Notable attribute: white power plugs at the base of the group logo stand out awkwardly, how hard could it have been to find some black ones
Nugu Alert rating: average
Cherryberry – Love Is Like That
“Love Is Like That” is a nice, cruisy, not-that-great-but-not-that-annoying-either mid-paced pop song by Cherryberry, someone who I’ve never heard of before hearing this but she’s quite cute and even thicc actually. Like many girls on the far nugu end of k-pop she’s obviously in her late 20s but the music video script demands her to gush like a naive teenager over the incredible excitement of being in love with some guy, which certainly throws the video deep in the uncanny valley that makes it just right for Nugu Alert purposes. Mind you, to be fair he is wearing a striped shirt so perhaps this incredible overreaction is justified, as a heterosexual male I can’t really tell so those of you who prefer guys feel free to tell me just how much she should be losing her shit. Anyway the best moment is right at the end of the video where the guy says something clearly stupid (probably “‘masturbating to k-pop idols is ‘alt-right’“) and she slaps him a couple of times. Incredibly, the slap actually connects and is not faked at all, I guess that’s what you get for accusing someone of being K-pop’s Milo Yiannopoulos just because they want to flip their bean to YouTube every once in a while.
YouTube views at time of writing: 7183
Notable attribute: Ladies Code-approved male flirting technique at 0:40
Nugu Alert rating: high
Flow Sister – Love Like A Flower
Flow Sister have a reasonable if slightly messy-sounding tango-trot fusion that’s certainly worth a quick listen if you prefer the “songs to play to your grandparents” niche of k-pop. The girls seem to struggle to keep up with the song however, flailing around haphazardly in the dirt missing half their cues like a Jennie stage or T-ara in 2015. There’s always a good reason when that happens though, I can’t imagine it’s much fun trying to do choreo on uneven ground in high heels. These girls have two separate stages to contend with, the “slightly boggy road that is soft at the edges due to recent rain” and the “same slightly boggy road shot from a different angle with pothole”, and neither of them seem very forgiving. It’s one thing for Gfriend to fall over on a wet shiny stage with moths on it and then just get back up again, but if you stack it in the mushy dirt on an MV shoot that’s a whole afternoon’s worth of styling, costuming and makeup work ruined. You can bet these girls were under stern instructions to be careful as fuck or they’d be footing the bill for the extra time out of their Tenpro salary. At least Prism got to wear flats and didn’t have to dance where it rained recently.
YouTube views at time of writing: 2726
Notable attribute: three girls wear pumps and one has chunky heels, now there’s a thinker
Nugu Alert rating: very high
ZZbae – YooHooHoo
When you’re in a more well-known nugu group and you go to Nugu Park to shoot your latest video, you get the royal treatment and you get to do your k-pop video by the big-ass merry-go-round, and sit on the horses and smile while you do your aegyo thing. ZZbae clearly weren’t permitted that kind of access because I guess the carousel was booked out by LaBoum or whoever that day, so they had to settle for the far corner with the McDonalds style OH&S compliant slippery slide for toddlers. They make the most of it, with some of the footage being there and the rest of it in a combination of indoor and white-room locations. It’s not too bad visually in the end, but the song is sadly pretty pathetic, winding through most of the usual “trendy in girl groups now” melodic phrases without really connecting anything together into an actual song that makes sense. The dancing is also similarly lazy and seemingly thrown together using the same kind of methods – “we’ve seen this work for other groups, let’s do it in our video too!” but the only thing that really fits here are those white uniforms. Let’s hope they get some quality material in the future.
YouTube views at time of writing: 4670
Notable attribute: rapper at 3:00 nearly twists her ankle on the slippery-slide
Nugu Alert rating: extreme
That’s all for Nugu Alert for 2018! Kpopalypse will return in 2019 with more nugus!