Currently on a mysterious hiatus, this legendary large group burst on the scene a few years ago with an intense, take-no-prisoners approach to their repertoire, delivery and choreography. They also experimented with a different personnel scheme than most groups. Each member would only have a five-year-contract, after which they would leave and someone younger (customarily, that is) would take their place. This system might be one of the reasons for their recent disappearance from the Seoul pop music scene, but they did survive, at least for a while, the loss of their charismatic and ridiculously talented leader, Kahi.
It was Kahi (Park Ji-Young, left), the original member of the group, who really set the tone for the group, who became known right from their start for their unapologetically sensual and often complex choreography along their unheard of willingness to continually incorporate new and different concepts to their performances, from drumlines (and they actually played the drums) to tapdancing. Their choreo for the song "First Love" involved a complex weave of "pole art" and took six months for the members to perfect. And they performed it on live television time and time again - flawlessly.
Afterschool is perhaps just as well known for discovering the breathtakingly stunning Nana (Im Jin-Ah - right) and spawning the subunit Orange Caramel, one of the most unique pop groups in KPop's short history. Nana, still considered one of the most beautiful women in the world, is currently working as supermodel in Korea and China and other East Asian locations. AS and Orange Caramel also spawned the solo careers of lead vocalist Raina (Oh Hi-Rin) and Lizzy (Park Soo-Young).
After a relatively lukewarm invasion of Japan (some of their best and most sophisticated work, actually), they seemed to disappear from the scene, leaving a gaping hole in the landscape, one that other larger "sexy" groups like 9Muses and AOA have certainly benefitted from.
We hope they make a comeback. KPop needs them, their refreshing originality and intensity.