The popular cutesy and energetic girl group Crayon Pop, which took the concept of bobbing around in athletic gear and helmets to a whole new level, is once again finding themselves under netizen fire as a new photo has emerged online raising the question of whether or not Crayon Pop copied its concept from a J-pop girl group.
Earlier this August a number of netizens brought to light the strikingly similar stage costuming concept of Crayon Pop and Japanese girl group Momoiro Clover Z.
Side-by-side comparison photos of the two groups show the five-member Japanese girl group wearing sportswear similar to that worn by the Crayon Pop girls, big name tags on their shirts and even showing dance choreography with the members dancing around in Power Rangers' helmets.
However, just as the buzz over those accusations began to die down, another photo made public by a netizen brought back public attention.
Last week Crayon Pop's management agency Chrome Entertainment released an official teaser image of the group to promote the ladies' upcoming Christmas single.
The image shows the girls dressed up as Christmas trees wearing headbands with a giant stars on top. Shortly after the new image was unveiled, another photo, which was taken last year, surfaced of Momoiro Clover Z member Momoka Ariyasu wearing a strikingly similar Christmas tree outfit topped off with a giant star headband.
After netizens began circulating these images online, representatives of Chrome Entertainment released an official statement on Sunday claiming that they in no way plagiarised Momoiro Clover Z and that these sorts of Christmas costumes are ubiquitous.
"A Christmas tree is a symbolic image. So because of this, we have no choice but to select these holiday- representing Christmas tree costumes," stated an official at Chrome Entertainment.
"Green pine needles, snow, ornaments of all kinds, a Christmas tree and a star are all things that are associated with Christmas no matter who you are. The Crayon Pop images with the Christmas tree costumes are merely trying to capture this essence."
Although some have commented that the two costumes are inarguably similar and that it is entirely too coincidental that the image is of a member of the same girl group that Crayon Pop was accused of copying in the past, a number of netizens have also defended Crayon Pop.
They argue that Santa costumes have been used by countless artists throughout the world yet no one has accused these people of copying.
"Although Crayon Pop has had its fair share of struggles, the group is now receiving a lot of love and attention," said a Chrome official. "However, we feel that there is no reason for these defamatory comments regarding Crayon Pop's image."
Crayon Pop’s first Christmas single titled Ccoohristmas was written by the same composer who wrote the group's hit track Bar Bar Bar and is slated to be released on Tuesday.