It’s time to bid farewell to South Korean-Japanese girl group IZ*ONE (아이즈원) (アイズワン). MNET has announced that the female idol group will be disbanding this April while also halting promotions after their contract expires.
IZ*ONE originated from MNET’s idol survival series “Produce 48” (프로듀스 포티 에잇). The show involved girls from both South Korea and Japan competing for the 12-member spot to form the next big girl group. After selecting all 12 talented idols, the group debuted in October 2018 but only as a temporary one, similar to previous project groups like I.O.I (아이오아이) and Wanna One (워너원).
CJ ENM had reached out to the IZ*ONE members’ agencies Swing Entertainment and Off The Record Entertainment, to decide on a possible contract extension earlier this year. The girls’ agencies also discussed with the members whether they wanted to extend their contract with CJ ENM.
Unfortunately on Wednesday (10th March), MNET’s announcement has solidified that the contract will not have an extension.
The company also released a statement that reads:
“Hello. This is Mnet.
Ahead of the conclusion of the “IZ*ONE” project, Mnet, Swing Entertainment, and Off The Record have held discussions and listened to the opinions of each agency for the best activities the 12 members can carry out.
The activities of project group IZ*ONE, which debuted in 2018 with the album “COLOR*IZ” and grew into a girl group that represents Asia and is loved not only in Korea but also around the world, will come to a close in April as planned.
A two-day online concert “ONE, THE STORY” will be held on March 13 and 14 with the fans who love IZ*ONE.
Mnet, Swing Entertainment, and Off The Record express our gratitude to the 12 members of IZ*ONE who showed their best, and we will continue to support them as artists so that the fantastical story they created together can continue on.
Please anticipate and support the new sides they will show from now on”.
The IZ*ONE idols have not yet responded nor reacted to their disbandment. However, WIZ*ONEs have shared theirs all across social media. While some of them are sad, some are outright hilarious as well.
Here are some of the reactions to IZ*ONE’s disbandment on Twitter:
Some WIZ*ONEs comparing the group’s disbandment to Super Junior (슈퍼주니어), who are still active as a group since 2005.
Unfortunately, for newcomers of IZ*ONE, they’re too late.
There are also fans who cannot seem to accept their disbandment.
IZ*ONE is well-known for its diversity of members combining both Korean and Japanese idols together. Hopefully, the girls will find other opportunities in the future.
Update (Friday, 11th March):
Reports stated that the former HKT48 member Miyawaki Sakura (宮脇 咲良) will continue her activities at Big Hit Entertainment after IZ*ONE’s disbandment. The Japanese idol might be signing an exclusive artist contract after the group’s disbandment. According to Big Hit Entertainment, the decision hasn’t been confirmed yet.
Earlier on, industry insiders reported that people close to Sakura knew about this news and that she will likely join Big Hit Entertainment. Insiders also stated that she is a strong candidate for the company’s upcoming new girl group.