The bright Japanese electropop tune was released on Thursday (Jan. 11), and precedes the Korean girl group’s second Japanese single album; Candy Pop will be released on Feb. 7, and feature both the new single and the song “Brand New Girl.”
The twinkling pop song, TWICE’s second original Japanese single following last year’s “One More Time,” was released through a bright, anime-style music video. The short clip was directed by Kyōgoku Naohiko, who created Love Live!, an anime film and TV series that inspired one of TWICE’s many viral moments.
“Candy Pop” features the nonet as cartoon singers in a candy-coated realm, filming on set of a music video that a human girl is watching. After transforming into real girls, TWICE are helped by the animated character of JYP Entertainment’s founder, Park Jinyoung, and they make a sugary escape into the real world. It’s a more girlish, bubblegum image for TWICE, who most recently released the flirty “Heart Shaker” and Christmas carol “Merry & Happy” in December.
While infrequent, K-pop has seen many of its stars turned into animated characters in the past: 2NE1’s “Hate You” music video in 2011 turned that quartet into femme fatales living in a dark, sci-fi world and trying to capture a terrorist who blew up a nuclear power plant.
Their first single of 2018, “Candy Pop” comes after one of TWICE’s biggest years; 2017 saw the popular Korean girl group top charts with hit after hit, including “Likey,” “Signal,” and “Knock Knock.”
Watch the music video for “Candy Pop” here: