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Music / KARA

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L-R: Hara, Seungyeon, Gyuri, Youngji

Kara (often stylized as KARA; Korean: 카라, Japanese: カラ) is a Korean Synth-Pop group formed in 2007 by the company DSP Media, disbanded in 2016 and reunited in 2022.

The group first gained national acclaim in 2008 with the single "Pretty Girl" off of their EP of the same name. Their popularity grew drastically from there with hit songs like "Mister", "Lupin" and "Step". They were especially popular in Japan and made several Japanese-language albums, becoming one of if not the most successful K-pop groups there.

The group went through a couple of lineup changes over the years. The original Kara was comprised of Sunghee, Nicole, Seungyeon and Gyuri. In 2008, Sunghee left to focus on her education, and Jiyoung & Hara were added in. This five-member lineup was the most well-known and long-lived in Kara's history. In 2014, Nicole and Jiyoung left the group to pursue solo careers. DSP then held a contest TV show called Kara Project to find a new member; this was won by Youngji. Kara disbanded in 2016 when Hara, Seungyeon and Gyuri left DSP upon contract expiry.

In 2022, Kara reunited for the group's 15th anniversary with the EP Move Again through the company RBW. This time around, they consist of Gyuri, Seungyeon, Nicole, Jiyoung and Youngji; by the time of the reunion, Sunghee had retired from performing, and Hara had tragically committed suicide in 2019.

The group also gained a bit of fame amongst Rhythm Game players when their songs were licensed out for DJMAX Technika 3 and DJMAX Technika Tune, as well as DJMAX's sibling game Tapsonic.

Not to be confused with the tech demo by Quantic Dream.

    Discography & Members 

Korean Releases

  • The First Blooming (album, 2007)
  • Rock U (EP, 2008)
  • Pretty Girl (EP, 2008)
    • Honey (reissue of above, 2009)
  • Revolution (album, 2009)
  • Lupin (EP, 2010)
  • Jumping (EP, 2010)
  • Step (album, 2011)
  • Pandora (EP, 2012)
  • Full Bloom (album, 2013)
  • Day and Night EP (2014)
  • In Love (EP, 2015)
  • Move Again (EP, 2022)

Japanese Releases

  • Girl's Talk (album, 2010)
  • Super Girl (album, 2011)
  • ''Girls Forever (album, 2012)
  • Fantastic Girls! (album, 2013)
  • Girl's Story (album, 2015)


  • Gyuri (Park Gyu-ri) — leader, vocalist (2007-2016, 2022-present)
  • Seungyeon (Han Seung-yeon) — vocalist (2007-2016, 2022-present)
  • Nicole (Nicole Yongju Jung) — rapper, dancer (2007-2014, 2022-present)
  • Jiyoung (Kang Ji-young) — rapper, vocalist, visual (2008-2014, 2022-present)
  • Youngji (Heo Young-ji) — dancer, rapper (2014-2016, 2022-present)
  • Sunghee (Kim Sung-hee) — former leader, vocalist (2007-2008)
  • Hara (Goo Ha-ra) — dancer, vocalist, visual (2008-2016, died 2019)

Tropes in their work:

  • Aerith and Bob: With the old line-up - Gyuri, Seungyeon, Hara, Jiyoung... and Nicole. Justified as Nicole was born and raised in California.
  • The Band Minus the Face: The group reunited about two and a half years after the death of main dancer and visual Hara.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The music video for 'Wanna'. Their "prank" results in the undeserving victim getting his room ransacked and then a broken leg.
  • Distracted by My Own Sexy: Gyuri isn't called the "mirror princess" for nothing.
  • Empty Chair Memorial: At the beginning of the music video for 'When I Move', where the group members are shown celebrating their 15th anniversary with cake and champagne, there is a sixth table setting as a memorial for Hara, who died in 2019. At the end, six microphone stands are shown on an empty stage.
  • Erotic Eating: Pretty mild, but the main part of their dance for 'Honey' involved mimicking the action of wiping honey off of their mouths.
  • Gratuitous Greek: Their name is derived from the Greek word chara (χαρά), meaning "joy".
  • The Insomniac: Leader Gyuri, who is perhaps the busiest one in the group, has mentioned having insomnia at times. Sometimes featuring Creepy Shadowed Undereyes, though the creepiness is debatable.
  • Girl Group: One of the most popular girl groups during the "second generation" of Korean pop.
  • The Leader: Initially it was Sunghee, but after she left Gyuri took over the position.
  • Lighter and Softer: Their comeback after Sunghee left and Hara and Jiyoung joined was lighter than previous songs. They went back to a Darker and Edgier style eventually with releases like 'Lupin', then their song 'Winter Magic' was also a considerably softer and brighter song.
  • Male Gaze: Their "butt dance" for 'Mister' was pretty much made for the male gaze.
  • Pep-Talk Song: 'Step'. "Tomorrow is going to be new, have high expectations / That’s the fun of living, throw your worries away..."
  • Petal Power: In the 'Cupid' music video, a hapless man is pinned against the wall, Knife-Throwing Act style, by projectile roses. Later, he gets killed by one (through the heart, naturally). This illustrates the song lyrics which speak of love as a dangerous thing.
  • Shout-Out: The concept of their song 'Lupin' is Arsène Lupin. The lyrics and music video are themed around Phantom Thief costumes and metaphors.
  • Sixth Ranger: Youngji, who joined the group in 2014 following the departures of Nicole and Jiyoung, and has since gained recognition by the group and their fans, to the extent that she was also involved in their 2022 reunion when both Nicole and Jiyoung returned.
  • Translated Cover Version: A few Korean songs of theirs have been translated into Japanese, such as 'Mister'.