On YouTube, Korean pop group Crayon Pop racks up millions of views. Their videos feature members wearing colorful and interesting outfits. And some are calling them rip-offs.

On 2ch, Japan's largest forum, people are accusing Crayon Pop of stealing outfits from million-selling Japanese group Momoiro Clover Z. The allegations have also appeared in the group's native Korea.


Crayon Pop debuted last year, and when it did, the group's look was slightly different:

It wasn't exactly striking. Then this year, Crayon Pop exploded, thanks to catchy tunes, memorable dance numbers, and matching uniforms.


For those who follow pop music in Asia, the problem was that Crayon Pop's new matching outfits didn't exactly seem new—they reminded people of outfits Momoiro Clover Z outfits.

Momoiro Clover Z is one of the biggest groups in Japan. They sell millions of CDs and has sung the Pokemon anime theme song. The group has been around since 2008, and the group is famous in Japan for its color-coordinated and matching uniforms, which are inspired by everything from Power Rangers outfits, pirate clothing, school clothes, and more. Part of Momoiro Clover Z's appeal is their outfits.

So this year, while Crayon Pop (below) was wearing helmets, colorful uniforms, and posing like Power Rangers...

Momoiro Clover Z (below) was doing it a few years earlier.

While Crayon Pop was (sometimes!) using Power Ranger style color-coordination for its members...

Momoiro Clover Z had been doing it for years.

While Crayon Pop had worn their names on their shirts like you do for physical education uniforms in some Asian countries...

Momoiro Clover Z had already done it.

While Crayon Pop was dancing in red track suits...

Momoiro Clover Z had already done it.

These kwinky-dinks have happened several times, and there's even a meme image to mark them:

This week, the latest accusation is that Crayon Pop's newly revealed Christmas tree outfits look like, well, an outfit a Momoiro Clover Z member wore this past January.

Here's the new Crayon Pop get-ups for this holiday season.

And here's Momoiro Clover Z's Momoka Ariyasu in January of this year.

In South Korea, this similarity didn't go unnoticed online. According to NicoNico News, the group's management even had to come out and comment on the Christmas tree threads, pretty much explaining that if you make a Christmas tree-inspired outfit, it's going to look like this. And that, it seems, looks like a Momoiro Clover Z outfit?

But the J-pop supergroup isn't free of their own copying allegations: Earlier this year, Momoiro Clover Z was accused of stealing the work of American fashion brand IIMUAHII.

The brand, however, later said the group had permission to use the designs and now collaborates with the group.


韓国のアイドルグループが、また「ももクロ」のパクリ疑惑=韓国 [NicoNico News]

Photos: Guide Me!, ももクロ考, Gamme, 2ch, MusicBox, 有安杏果

To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.


Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.