2018 groups are 3rd gen *long text*

  • 2018 should be considered 3rd gen based on the groups that debuted that year. The biggest 2018 rookies were Stray Kids, Ateez, Fromis_9, Gidle, Loona and Izone. All of them except maybe Gidle have much more in common with other 3rd gen groups than 4th gen groups.


    Starting with the girl groups, 3rd gen girl groups were known for their cute concepts, large number of members, fun and catchy choreographies and mainly targeting Asian countries like Japan. While 3rd gen ggs were more dance focused than 2nd gen they still had powerful main vocals and high note compilations were standard. Fromis9, Loona and Izone all share the majority of these traits with groups like Twice, ioi, WJSN, Gfriend etc.. Fromis9 and Izone also debuted from Mnet idol survival shows which dominated a large part of the 3rd gen. On the other hand 4th gen groups like Itzy, Everglow and Aespa have girl crush concepts, are dance and performance focused, target an international audience and have a smaller number of members.


    Fromis9 debuted with To Heart, a song innocent and cute enough to rival early Gfriend. They also debuted from an Mnet survival show that aired in 2017. Their main focus is Korea, not the international market.


    Loona started to drop solos all the way back in 2016 and would have debuted in 2017 if their debut hadn’t been pushed back. While they’ve later swapped to a girl crush concept (like many other 3rd gen groups) they debuted with Hi High, an energetic and cute song. Most of their predebut promotion also leaned more towards the cute side, especially their sub units. Plus 12 members are close to unheard of among 4th gen girl groups.


    Izone is a Produce group with 12 members targeting Japan. If that doesn’t say 3rd gen what does? Their concept is elegant but again much closer to being labelled as cute than girl crush.


    Now for boy groups. Boy groups have been floundering the last few years not really finding anything that sticks and the difference between generations is less obvious. Still both SKZ and Ateez seem to have been created with 2015 BTS as a mold. Powerful dancers and performers with a strong rap-line and a hiphop concept. New 4th boy groups like Txt, Treasure and Enhypen all have much softer concepts. Txt and Treasure have fresh, youthful and even cute concepts. Enhypen also has a less aggressive concept compared to Atz and Skz and have a more pronounced sweet boyish side. Rap is also less of a focus point. Txt and Enhypen don’t really rap and even Treasure, a Yg group, is more vocal focused.


    My point is that most 2018 groups share more traits with 3rd gen groups than 4th gen.

  • I see your point actually, this was well thought out. Honestly, generations are really vague, and can depend more so on peak than on debut, however I think 4th is still way too early to make definitive answers on what counts.

    Yep calling 2018 4th gen has always bothered me and was finally able to formulate one of my main reasons why. But you’re right, the generations are vague at best and think all this will be easier to figure out in a couple of years. Hindsight is 20/20

  • I actually agree with you on this. I never understood why groups debuting in 2018 were called 4th Gen. 3rd Gen was and IS still very much alive and thriving. Imo the very START of 4th Gen happened when TXT and ITZY debuted on the scene in 2019. I think 4th Gen will really kick off once YGNGG, SMNBG and BHNGG debuts within the next year or so. I have a feeling this year or next year will be the defining year for 4th Gen just like 2016 was for 3rd Gen.

  • Koreans themselves define 2018 as a new generation, concept has nothing to do with it

    Then what do they base on the new generation? Because what op said totally makes sense and I agree with it. 🤔 I’m just wondering how they decide which group is which generation. There are tons of groups forming each year. How did they decided that out of all years 2018 will be the cut off year for gen 3?

  • I actually agree with you on this. I never understood why groups debuting in 2018 were called 4th Gen. 3rd Gen was and IS still very much alive and thriving. Imo the very START of 4th Gen happened when TXT and ITZY debuted on the scene in 2019. I think 4th Gen will really kick off once YGNGG, SMNBG and BHNGG debuts within the next year or so. I have a feeling this year or next year will be the defining year for 4th Gen just like 2016 was for 3rd Gen.

    Itzy, Txt and other 2019 groups actually feels like the beginning off something new, while 2018 everything was just the same.

  • So what about 3rd gen boy groups that debuted with soft/bright concepts? Seventeen, Astro, NCT Dream, Golden Child, The Boyz... If mimicking 2015 BTS makes Stray Kids and Ateez 3rd gen, then shouldn't mimicking 2015 Seventeen make TXT and the others 3rd gen?

    Fair. There’ll always be groups doing different stuff and these generations aren’t exactly something clean cut. And as I said it’s way harder to see any difference between boy groups because there haven’t been any popular trends among them the same way it’s been among girl groups. But as I remember 3rd gen boy groups were way more rap focused with more powerful/aggressive concepts compared to new boy groups. Also a lot of focus on self producing which is also less of a thing among new boy groups. TXT might have a similar concept to SVT but they aren’t self producing, they don’t have a rap unit, they have less than half the number of members.

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