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Formed by SM Entertainment in Korea as a standard boy band of sorts, Tong Vfang Xien Qi (also known as Dong Bang Shin Ki and Tohoshinki, depending on which country one is from) quickly became a leading front in the "Hallyu" Korean wave of entertainment across Asia, akin to the Latin wave of the late '90s in the U.S. The group was assembled in a Menudo-esque manner, with the similar intent of rotating members out when they became less popular or photogenic. After massive backlash by fans, the group was left alone. Luckily for the record label, the band also became one of the biggest acts in Asia. The band's debut in Korea, Hug, proved to be just the type of bubblegum pop hungrily devoured by the fans. After a successful full-length debut in Tri-Angle and a strong follow-up with 2005's Rising Sun, the band embarked on an Asian touring and media blitz, picking up fans along the way, despite singing primarily in Korean and English. After a third Korean album and a series of scandals, the band focused on the Japanese market, releasing tracks in Japanese (learning the language as they went) and scoring hits with a full Japanese album (Five in the Black) and a series of concerts that included the massive Budokan. While developing beyond bubblegum into still mainstream but more mature pop and a cappella vocalists, the band released numerous albums across three countries throughout 2006 and 2007. Further touring throughout Asia (including a memorable concert during a typhoon in Taiwan) led to more Japanese success, culminating in the number two slot debut on the Oricon charts for the album T in 2008 (preceding singles also marked the first time non-Japanese artists grabbed the number one Oricon position).
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