Thu, Jan 13, 2011
The Korea Herald/Asia News Network
KARA makes debut in Japanese drama

CJ Media said Wednesday it has invested in the production of a Japanese drama in which five-member Korean girl group KARA is featured as the main cast.

The operator of local cable and satellite TV channels such as Mnet and tvN said it has invested in the production of the 12-episode drama "URAKARA" (Inner side of KARA), which will be aired on major Japanese broadcaster TV Tokyo every Friday from Jan. 14.

The drama, produced by Japan's TV Man Union, is also to be aired in Korea in late January through tvN under the Korean title "KARA's Double Life," as CJ Media has built a partnership with Japanese distributor SPO, the Korean company said.

It is rare for a Korean media company to invest in a Japanese drama produced and distributed by Japanese companies, it said.

The company declined to disclose the amount of the investment.

In the drama, each KARA member is given quasi-real dating missions to attract guys who hold various jobs including politicians, sports stars and chefs.

As "URAKARA" mixes reality and fiction, the audience will be able to see live performances and honest chats from the Korean girl group, the company said.

The 12 episodes, each running to 30 minutes, will show the different personalities and roles of the five members.

While leader Park Gyu-ri will play an introverted and cautious character, Nicole will be depicted as a romantic full of fantasies of love. Han Seung-yeon, Gu Ha-ra and Kang Ji-young will (respectively) show opportunistic, passionate and cool-headed attitudes toward relationships.

"Basically, KARA acted in the Korean language. But when they had to converse with Japanese actors, they used Japanese," said Woo Hyeon-seob, an official at the media marketing team of CJ Media.

KARA debuted in Korea in March 2007 and in Japan in August 2010 with their single "Mister."

The soaring popularity of KARA in the neighbouring country pushed the group to reach No. 2 in Japan's weekly Oricon album charts in October. In November, KARA released another single, "Jumping," in Japan.

Armed with strong performing talent and model-like looks, Korean girl groups such as Girls' Generation have penetrated the Japanese media and music markets since last year.

On Jan. 3, the nine-member girl group made a short appearance on the latest episode of the Japanese drama "Sazae-san 3" on Fuji TV. The drama is more than 40 years old and it was the first time that a foreign act appeared in a cameo in the drama.

-- The Korea Herald/Asia News Network

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