SECRET's Song Ji Eun made a surprisingly successful solo debut back in 2011 with Bang Yongguk-assisted "Going Crazy." The brooding "Love The Way You Lie" knock-off was just supposed to serve as some reassurance to the fans that SECRET hadn't completely abandoned their edgier style following the success of the sugary "Shy Boy," but it unexpectedly topped the singles chart and TS Entertainment ended up extending Ji Eun's solo promotions to keep up with its popularity.
Considering how well "Going Crazy" did, it was odd that TS didn't actively continue Ji Eun's solo career like Cube does with HyunA, but I guess between SECRET's local activities and their ill-fated attempt to crack Japan, there was simply no time. After more than two years, Ji Eun finally returned as a soloist earlier this week with the release of a 3-track single album, Hope Torture (or "False Hope").
There's been a few debut Japanese K-pop singles over the past three years that are memorable for all the right reasons. KARA's "Mister" is a classic and clearly the best of the bunch, but T-ara's "Bo Peep Bo Peep" also sounded better in Japanese than it did in Korean, and 2PM's cheesily amazing "Take Off" is also worth mentioning, despite being an original song.
Although the Hallyu wave in Japan has definitely died down, the serially-overworked B.A.P recently inked a Japanese record deal with King Records (home of MEG and Momoiro Clover Z) to release a local version of "Warrior". My expectations for their J-debut were low considering how tacky a lot of K-pop in Japan's been, but B.A.P's actually delivered one of the best Japanese K-pop releases I've ever seen.