NiziU is the gift that keeps giving. With the release of their very successful mini-album, they have also released a Korean version for their main track “Make You Happy“. So naturally, I have to compare it to the Japanese version and determine which is better. So let’s take a look at NiziU’s Make You Happy: Japanese vs Korean version!
Minor Key Changes Make a Big Difference
Let me start by saying, I love the Japanese version of Make You Happy, but there is one thing, in particular, I didn’t like, but eventually learned to love: the main chorus.
I’m happy to say the Korean version changes the tone of this part. Instead of having a peppy tone, it sounds flatter, and the ending note drags out longer compared to the Japanese version. It’s surprising how a slight change in a note can give a different feeling to a song. Another small change is the use of English.
Instead of saying “You Tell Me” that you hear at the end of the chorus, it’s now replaced with Korean. You could say the reason for these changes is due to linguistic differences, but considering it doesn’t change the flow of the song, I’m assuming it’s meant to separate itself from the Japanese version.
NiziU’s Korean Language Skills
And speaking of linguistic differences, we must talk about the elephant in the room. The pronunciation of their Korean. I don’t speak Korean, but when listening to this, it’s clear their Korean isn’t perfect. Of course, this is to be expected, considering most of the girls in the group couldn’t speak Korean up until this point.
And I’m not saying their Korean is bad, especially considering their Korean is better than mine. For example, when Korean groups make their debut in Japan, plenty of the members’ pronunciation is a little off, but that doesn’t deter from the music listening experience.
If anything, it can have a special charm that native speakers can’t bring to the table. Groups such as TWICE. Although I am a little concerned about Momo’s Japanese. When I heard her speak I thought it was her 2nd language until I found out she was from Osaka.
But, I have listened to enough Korean to have an ear for pronunciation. Unfortunately, one of my favorite girls, Ayaka seems to be the weakest with her Korean. And while I don’t consider her to be a strong singer compared to the other girls, her charm is so adorable that it easily makes up for her shortcomings. Maya also seems to struggle with her Korean as well. But I’m not too worried about their Korean, considering they have time to improve during their musical careers.
NiziU’s Rap In Korean
As for the rapping, my feelings are a little difficult to convey. First, I will say the rap sounds great in Korean and has a beautiful flow. But, I think Mayuka’s part sounds better in Japanese. She sounds more confident compared to the Korean version where it sounds like she’s just memorized the lyrics and trying to regurgitate what she memorized.
Rima, on the other hand, sounds amazing in the Korean version. Dare I say, I like her rap in Korean more than Japanese. She still retains the confidence from the Japanese version, plus her unique rapping voice translates well in Korean.
Which Version is Better: Japanese or Korean?
So we’ve come to the moment of truth, which is the better version?
The Winner is:
Make You Happy – Japanese version!
At the end of the day, the Japanese version won because of the cuter tone, and the singing for the Korean version wasn’t quite up to snuff.
I know some will argue that I’m being unfair since Korean isn’t their native language, but I disagree. I can think of several songs that I enjoyed more in the singer’s secondary language rather than the native:
Wondergirls– Nobody (English version)
Kara’s – Mister(Japanese version),
TWICE’s – Likey (Japanese version)
If the vocals are strong, in many cases it can outshine the weakness in pronunciation. So who knows, maybe when NiziU releases their full album, the Korean version could be the superior version. Only time will tell.
Your Thoughts on NiziU?
Do you agree or disagree? I especially want to hear the reasons why you disagree. But let’s try to keep the comment section civil. I know the k-pop fans can be hardcore with the fandom. So be nice to the j-pop fandom. After all, we are all on the same team.
Also be Sure to check out the Youtube version of this article to get more insight about our thoughts on NiziU plus other artist!
As always, Enjoy Life, Enjoy Music!