The debut plan for the girl group under HYBE and Source Music is making fans worried about Sakura, the member who is considered the team’s trump card.
News about HYBE Labels collaborating with Source Music to launch a new girl group has been around for a long time. Sakura and Chaewon, who debuted in IZ*ONE and signed with this agency as soon as their contracts expired, are likely to be members of this girl group. Although the two former IZ*ONE members joined HYBE at the end of 2021, a recent article on Naver reported that it won’t be until the end of 2022 will this new girl group of HYBE and Source Music officially debut.
Although the article confirmed that Sakura and Chaewon would be in the lineup, the debut plan for BTS’s “sister” group still causes mixed opinions, especially from the fan community of the Japanese beauty Sakura. She is the second most popular member of IZ*ONE and is expected to become the “trump card” in the new girl group. However, for fans, it is too late for her to re-debut, especially when the female idol was born in 1998, which means she is 25 years old (Korean age), a pretty big number for Kpop idols.
Debuting late can result in Sakura losing the public’s attention, and her age makes it difficult for her to compete with young 4th gen idols like Kyujin (member of NMIXX, born in 2006) or Leeseo (the youngest member of IVE, born in 2007). Besides, 2022 is also the time when many groups in the girl group sector will debut. JYP‘s NMIXX has appeared as a formidable opponent, attracting all the public attention because of their youthful and fresh charms.
In addition, many 98-line idols have already debuted for a long time and have solid careers. For example, Dahyun (TWICE) debuted in 2015 and now has 7 years of professional career, Soyeon ((G)-DLE) is not only the same age as Sakura but also debuted in the same year as IZ*ONE (2018). They have been stable in their career for many years, while the Japanese beauty has undergone many group changes but has not officially settled anywhere, making fans extremely impatient.
However, some opinions agree with HYBE letting the new girl group debut at the end of this year. According to them, the race to win the “Rookie of the Year” award in 2022 will be extremely intense with the participation of strong candidates such as KEP1ER, IVE or NMIXX. If this girl group of HYBE and Source Music debuts late, there will be more time to accumulate points and a greater chance of winning trophies at the 2023 awards ceremonies. Not to mention, Sakura is the most famous member, but her skills are not really perfect so it takes time for her to have the most perfect debut.
However, as HYBE has not confirmed the information that it will debut this girl group at the end of 2022, fans still have the right to hope for a sooner reunion with the former IZ*ONE member than expected. Previously, HYBE had copyrighted the name LESSERAFIM, sparking rumors that this could be the name of the group. Besides Sakura, Chaewon, it is likely that LESSERAFIM will have the presence of Heo Yunjin (Produce 48’s contestant) and 3 new members Soobin (2001), Yijun (2004) and Chaemin (2006).