Entertainment agency Metaverse Entertainment is receiving a majority of negative responses for their upcoming rookie girl group MAVE (stylized as MAVE:). The four-member group has attracted many eyeballs since it was revealed that it was the first girl group to debut in 2023.
K-pop girl groups reached their peak in 2022, dominating not only local but also international charts and social media. However, when it was revealed that Metaverse Entertainment's group was an AI group, the K-pop fan community's excitement level plummeted.
Twitter was filled with comments asking why it was needed, mentioning the many trainees that the industry already has, questioning the functionality of the group, and much more. There were even allegations that the group’s concept (colors, design, and font) was similar to SM Entertainment’s aespa.
Moreover, many wondered about the hundreds of trainees who don't get to debut despite training day-in-and-out honing their talent. They commented on how it seemed unjust for agencies to create virtual members that fit the industry's needs but not help the many kids who dream of becoming a K-pop idol.
2023’s first K-pop girl group MAVE catches attention for all the wrong reasons
The first K-pop girl group to debut in 2023 is catching attention online, but not for positive reasons. MAVE is a Metaverse Entertainment group composed of four members - who are all AIs. While they are not the first agency to debut a non-human K-pop group, conversations surrounding the feasibility, idol culture, and other things have once again popped up online.
The group introduced its members on January 10 and released concept art for the first album, PANDORA’s BOX, on January 11. The member reveal became the talk of the town as netizens criticized the agency for debuting AIs. The four AI members are named MARTY, ZENA, TYRA, and SIU, each with a colon at the end of their names.
The major sentiment was understanding how the idol culture would work. Live performances, encore performances, an in-person meet-and-greet, fansite photos, the excitement of watching idols spoil comebacks, fancalls, and much more are a part of K-pop idol culture. Netizens found it tough to stan MAVE, who they can never see in flesh and blood.
Netizens also called out the agency for allegedly copying SM Entertainment’s girl group, aespa’s concept. The Next Level girl group was also introduced with four AI members alongside Karina, Winter, Giselle, and Ningning. Apart from the concept, they believe the Metaverse Entertainment group also created the color palette, design, and album artwork inspired by aespa.
Additionally, many people on the internet also claimed that MAVE’s members looked like a blend of BLACKPINK and aespa’s members. Some even commented that they all looked the same and only had different hairstyles to distinguish them.
Meanwhile, MAVE will debut on January 25, 2023, with its debut album PANDORA’s BOX. It remains to be seen how the conventional way of releasing an album, i.e., with a press and comeback showcase, will work as the group nears its debut.
The K-pop industry has seen a gradual rise in the inclusion of AI members. While groups like MAVE and ETERN!TY are entirely made up of virtual members, some groups like aespa and SUPERKIND have a mix of AI and real people.