On January 11th, South Korean idol group TWICE released a new music video for their second Japanese single “Candy Pop.” The video itself features common Japanese pop trends — bright colors, cute fashion, a ridiculously catchy tune… and then you get to the dimension-crossing idols.

Multimedia idol anime franchises like iDOLM@STER and LOVE LIVE feature anime idols onscreen and their voice actresses onstage. In “Candy Pop,” TWICE takes this one step further by literally becoming anime idols. The line between 2D and 3D is as thin as ever, to the point where they outright cross it in the video!

More like Candy BOP

twice group pic
“Nation’s girl group” TWICE | Image: Koreaboo

TWICE is a nine-member girl group that debuted in South Korea back in October 2015. Since then, they’ve skyrocketed in popularity, setting numerous records, and winning various awards within the industry. Although based in South Korea, the group has three Japanese members and one Taiwanese member. This diversity earned them praise and attention from around the world, eventually leading to their Japanese debut in June 2017.

Their first Japanese music video features the girls playing different sports and having a good time against an upbeat track. This one, on the other hand, is a little more cutsey and a lot more story-based.

“Candy Pop” begins in the real world, with a lonely little girl turning on the television to, naturally, watch some anime. Over in candy-themed anime land, TWICE, in their own unique cartoon forms, see this girl and resolve to comfort her. The only thing is, crossing over to the human world is a lot easier said than done.

As the song and story progress, TWICE transforms into their real-life versions, dodge the dimension police, meet up with their company’s CEO (also in anime form), and eventually crash through the fabric of space-time to meet the girl in her room and dance with her. Yeah, it’s pretty wild, but at least the song is cute.

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The LOVE LIVE Connection

The best part is that Takahiko Kyogoku, the director of LOVE LIVE, helped produce this visual blend of anime and real life. According to Kstyle News, he oversaw the animation in the first half of the video.

This collaboration pleased many fans of both LOVE LIVE and TWICE, as several comparisons have been drawn between the two. Probably because both involve nine-member girl groups, and a whole lot of catchy songs and impressive music videos. Interestingly, it seems at least one member of TWICE is well aware of this comparison.

Momo Hirai, one of the three Japanese of the group, is often seen making the trademark pose of LOVE LIVE character Nico Yazawa.

twice nico nico nii
Nico Nico Nii~ | Image: Twitter (left), YouTube (right)

Not only did she show it off in the music video itself…

But she even said Nico’s catchphrase with it in a variety show back in 2016!

This fanship isn’t a one-sided affair, either. Over on the LOVE LIVE side of things, at least one of the voice actresses is known to be a big TWICE fan. Kanako Takatsuki, voice of Hanamaru Kunikida from LOVE LIVE! SUNSHINE, often tweets her excitement for the K-pop group.

One can only imagine her reaction to seeing them in anime form.

Anime for the World!

All this just goes to show how international anime has truly become! The Japanese Warner Bros. Twitter notes that the collaboration helps lead Japan’s anime industry to the rest of the world. In general, it’s also a remarkably effective way for Korean pop to penetrate and appeal to the Japanese market. Ah, the versatility of anime.

As the world becomes more globalized, cultures start to blend and anything becomes possible. So who knows? Maybe next it’ll be American pop singers dancing around in anime form. I’d definitely be down to see that.

The “Candy Pop” single released digitally on January 12th. Its physical album will come out on February 7th.

Featured image screenshotted from YouTube.

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