Kara (often stylized as KARA - Korean: 카라, Japanese: カラ) was a popular girl group in Korea & Japan that formed in 2007 and disbanded in 2016.
There had several lineup changes throughout the years. The original lineup of the group was Sunghee, Nicole, Seungyeon and Gyuri. In early 2008, Sunghee had to quit and two new members Jiyoung and Hara joined. Then in 2014 both Nicole and Jiyoung left in January and April respectively. Soon afterward, DSP launched the "KARA Project" competition for new potential members to be judged by the three remaining members - this is how Youngji came to join the group◊. The group came to an end in early 2016 when Hara, Seungyeon and Gyuri's contracts all expired and they left the group, and their official disbandment was announced on January 14, 2016.
They had a very solid career, with their 5-member lineup in particular being the most successful; with this lineup they first gained nationwide acclaim through their single Pretty Girl, and their popularity grew drastically from there, with hit songs like Lupin and Mister. They were especially popular in Japan, becoming one of if not the most successful kpop girl group there.
Not to be confused with the tech demo by Quantic Dream.
- The First Blooming (2007)
- Rock U EP (2008)
- Pretty Girl EP (2008)
- Honey EP (2009)
- Revolution (2009)
- Wanna EP (2009)
- Mister EP (2009)
- Lupin EP (2010)
- Girl's Talk EP (2010) *
- Step (2011)
- Super Girl (2011) *
- Pandora (2012)
- Girls Forever (2012)
- Bye Bye Happy Days! (2013) *
- Thank You Summer Love (2013) *
- Fantastic Girls! (2013) *
- Full Bloom (2013)
- Day and Night EP (2014)
- In Love EP (2015)
Note - albums with an asterisk denotes a Japanese release.
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.
- Darker and Edgier: Their single Lupin had a darker concept compared to previous singles.
- Department of Redundancy Department: Almost every one of KARA's title songs.
- "Lalalalalala" for both Mister and Step
- Jumpin, jumpin, jumpin now
- Honey, honey, honey
- Rock your body I say, rock your body I say.
- Disproportionate Retribution: The 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.
- Erotic Eating: Pretty mild, but the main part of their dance for Honey involved mimicking the action of wiping honey off of their mouths.
- The Insomniac: Leader Gyuri, who is perhaps the busiest one in the group, has mentioned having insomnia at times. Sometimes comes with a side of Creepy Shadowed Undereyes, only without the creepy.
- Girl Group: One of the most popular Korean girl groups.
- 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 started going back to a Darker and Edgier style eventually, 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.
- She's Got Legs: Naturally as a girl group, their outfits show off their legs a lot. Particularly prevalent in "Pandora".
- Shout-Out: The concept of their song Lupin is Arsène Lupin.
- Surprisingly Good English:
- Nicole was raised in the United States; more specifically, Glendale, California.
- Seungyeon has decent English and was the one who taught Nicole Korean when Nicole first joined the company.
- Surprisingly Good Foreign Language: Most all of KARA with Japanese, which contributes to their popularity in Japan. Seungyeon seems to be the most fluent in Japanese, though that's probably from all her late nights watching anime.
- Translated Cover Version: A few Korean songs of theirs have been translated in Japanese such as "Mister".
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Jiyoung rocks some blue hair in the Pandora MV, and the subsequent promotions.