TWICE has already gotten off to a monstrously huge start in Japan, with their first Japanese-language videos amassing millions of views in a hurry. Beyond that, their debut Japanese album sold more than 100,000 copies in its first week, proving that their popularity translated into a tangible metric. This is made extra impressive when weighed against recent Korean sales figures in the Japanese market, as is their debut on 'Music Station,' a program that at one point banned Korean acts from appearing. TWICE has essentially reignited Hallyu in Japan, and that's just with Japanese-language remakes - imagine what they can do with original material!
2. Black Pink
Although Black Pink has released a mere five songs to date in Korea, they're already making the crossover to Japan. They're one of the biggest Korean girl groups in recent memory, so the move makes sense. Plus, when your latest single racks up fifty million views in such a short amount of time, why limit yourself to succeeding in one country? Black Pink has made a splash with their Japanese debut showcase at the legendary Budokan venue, and their faces have already begun to plaster the streets and screens of Tokyo. It's now only a matter of time until the girls are selling out tours and appearing on major TV shows, just like 2NE1 before them.
Perhaps this is an obvious statement, but BTS is a big deal no matter where they go. The group is a perfect fit for Japan, with a mix of enchanting visuals and epic songs and concepts. Their tours in the country have already proven that the group has a ton of potential there, and with Japanese attitudes toward Korean music once again lightening up, it's shaping up like BTS could add yet another country to the list of places they've conquered. With enough "Blood, Sweat and Tears," anything is possible.
4. Monsta X
This group has intense music, committed concepts, and powerful stage performances. On the other hand, they've also proven time and time again that they have what it takes to deliver a convincing performance when they slow it down and do softer music. With this in mind, the group seems like a great fit for the Japanese market, and it's very well possible that they could occupy a SHINee-like spot in the future. Their debut performance in Japan drew the attention of many, which definitely bodes well for any potential releases in the country.
5. Cosmic Girls
This group is a unique case on this list, because frankly, they haven't fully taken off in their home country of Korea yet. Making the choice to promote in Japan has worked out in all sorts of different ways for acts in their position - sometimes, Japan can be a welcoming place to incubate and expand a career, while other times it becomes an expensive death-trap for already-floundering groups. Cosmic Girls absolutely stand a chance though; their music is the perfect mix of bubblegum and cutting edge for the Japanese market, and they're a talented bunch that can handle high profile performances. By taking some calculated risks, the group could pull an *NSYNC: get super massive in foreign countries, then use the success to relaunch in the home market anew.
There's a unique charm about Lovelyz that isn't found in a whole ton of other Korean groups. They definitely operate on the cuter side of the spectrum, with their music and visuals both stirring memories of groups like Kara. Whether they stick to the script or challenge expectations, a Japanese debut could be just the thing the group needs to spread their wings on the world stage. By working alongside the powerful and vibrant Japanese idol group scene, Lovelyz could stand to gain quite a bit.
If there was ever an act with the charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent necessary to take over Japan, it's Seventeen. They put on powerful performances, with their high member count making for an impressive stage show (and saving some backup dancers trouble). The group treads the line between sweet and sassy that seems to make fans all over the world swoon, and a Japanese debut could provide them with the clout necessary to transcend into the top tier of Korean acts.