Last year when the rest of the world was riding on invisible horses and rocking out to the international hit "Gangnam Style," the Japanese appeared almost untouched by the magically infectious tune. The Japanese, who generally are very big consumers of Korean pop music, were not taking the bait.
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Throughout the rest of the world "Gangnam Style" was hitting the tops of the music charts and people everywhere were glued to their computer screens to watch the music video over and over again on YouTube. But not the Japanese.
For some bizarre reason, Psy's popular 2012 single was not nearly as successful in Japan as it was everywhere else in the world. It was almost as if the Japanese were immune to its satirical lyrics and silly dance moves. In fact, they were generally pretty darn negative about it.
When Psy appeared on a popular Japanese talk show to talk about the song last year, the viewer and netizen response was all around not very favorable at all.
"Gentleman," however, seems to be a (slightly) different story. Instead of being booed and ignored as with "Gangnam Style," the dance-pop club track has polarized the country into those who love it and those who absolutely hate it. While it may be shimmying its way up the Japanese iTunes list, the single is far from being a break-out hit.
It has the benefit of being a superb song to dance to, and borrowing the Brown Eyed Girls' "Abracadabra" dance has certainly helped its numbers. "Gentleman" is also not as Korea-centric as its predecessor, which also helps to increase appeal in Japan. But many Japanese are still not biting. In fact, the single's release has stirred up a lot of responses like "I don't understand why Psy is popular" or "I don't see much creativity in it."
Why do you think the Japanese aren't jumping on the Psy bandwagon?