Track: Wonder Boy | Artist: After School Blue | Album: The 4th Single Album—Blue

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Track: Into The Night Sky | Artist: After School Red | Album: The 4th Single Album—Red

After School Red and After School Blue were two short-lived and ill-fated experimental sub-groups of After School. The idea was to divide the group into two units on the opposite sides of the cute-sexy spectrum and have them promote at the same time to drum up some friendly competition.

This idea crashed and burned for a few reasons.

First, having two songs to promote meant they needed twice the onstage time at crucial music shows, which they simply weren’t willing to provide to a group of After School’s stature. This meant that they wrapped up their stage promotions much earlier than they would’ve had they simply stuck to a normal release.

Second, After School’s fandom was nowhere near enough to support what was basically two full comebacks. The agency’s hope, I assume, was that each fan would essentially double-dip to purchase both albums. This didn’t pan out to their expectations.

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Third, and most crucially, the songs themselves were... just okay. Wonder Boy is classic saccharine K-Pop, reminiscent of old S.E.S or F.I.N.K.L tracks, while Into The Night Sky was supposed to be their “sexy” and “strong” release but ended up being a muddled song that was neither here nor there.

In the end, this brief experiment into AKB48's senbatsu-inspired promotions faded away into obsolescence, followed a few years later by After School themselves.

[Hey! We’ll be on the ground at KCON New York this weekend, covering the festival and the fandom surrounding K-Pop. Say hi if you see us!]