“#KEP1ERISNINE” trends on X as Wake One Entertainment confirms plans to continue promotions as a 7-member group

Seven Kep1er members extend contract with Wake One Entertainment (Images Via Instagram/@official.kep1er)
Seven Kep1er members extend contract with Wake One Entertainment (Image Via Instagram/@official.kep1er)

Fourth-generation girl group Kep1er will soon continue group promotions without Mashiro and Kang Yeseo. On May 30, 2024, Wake One Entertainment released an official statement regarding the group's future activities, which was formed through the K-pop survival program Girls Planet 999.

The group was originally supposed to continue for 2 years and 6 months as a temporary group under Wake One Entertainment. However, due to the group's soaring popularity, the agency has extended the contracts with seven members.

Meanwhile, Mashiro and Yeseo have been confirmed to depart the group while Kepler will promote as a 7 member group. The statement included:

“We are pleased to announce that the company and members of Mnet's project group 'Kepler'-YUJIN, XIAOTING, CHAEHYUN, DAYEON, HIKARU, HUENING BAHIYYIH and YOUNGEUN-have agreed to renew the contract to extend group promotions.”

However, “#KEP1ERISNINE” quickly started to trend on social media platform X(formerly Twitter), as fans expressed their sadness at the news of two members of the K-pop group leaving.

Mashiro and Yeseo’s departure from Kep1er disheartens fans

Kep1er debuted as a nine-member girl group with their song WADADA on January 3, 2022. The members who made it to the final line-up of the Mnet reality show Girls Planet 999 were from South Korea, China, and Japan.

The line-up included Kim Chae-hyun, Huening Bahiyyih, Choi Yu-jin, Kim Da-yeon, Seo Young-eun, Kang Ye-seo, Ezaki Hikaru, Sakamoto Mashiro, and Shen Xiaoting.

In their statement, Wake One Entertainment expressed gratitude for Mashiro and Yeseo who have decided not to extend their contract with the agency. They stated:

“We are sincerely grateful to MASHIRO and YESEO for their dedication and hard work over the past two and a half years as Kepler, and we promise to support their future endeavors invariably.”

Mashiro played the role of the co-leader alongside Yujin who is the main leader of the group. Meanwhile, Yeseo was the youngest member of the group, referred to as the maknae in the Korean industry. Their exit from the group has surprised many fans and they took to X to share their thoughts on this.

“Never separate them, KEP1ER IS NINE!” — a user said.
“Mashiro and Yeseo, you will ALWAYS be part of this family, I hope your future is incredible and happy,” another fan added.
“I hope we can make this last ot9 comeback extra special for them,” a user referring to their upcoming album.

It is reportedly said that Mashiri and Yeseo will be joining the 143 Entertainment girl group LIMELIGHT. Fans have also showcased their support for the two members in their future endeavors.

“Here’s to supporting you both as Limelight members in the future,” one fan said.
“Kep1er won't be the same without you both,” another fan said.
“I'm so heartbroken by this, but I'm happy to see you embark on a new journey,” another person added.
“You can't just take the co leader and the maknae away,” one person commented.

According to the statement, the group will conclude their activities with all nine members following the upcoming performances, including a concert in Japan in July 2024.

Mashiro and Yeseo will also be participating in the upcoming studio album and local promotional activities. The upcoming activities of the group are expected to gain momentum since it will be some of the last appearances with the original line-up.

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