K-pop fans are loving the new boy group PLAVE, and their success comes with a surprising twist...

PLAVE is entirely virtual.

That's right, K-pop's hottest new group is an animated boy band consisting of five members: Yejun, Noah, Bamby, Eunho and Hamin.

They made their official debut on March 12, 2023, with their single album Asterum, which now has over 10 million streams on Spotify.

Their second EP, Asterum: The Shape of Things to Come, reached one million streams in less than 13 hours and broke records on the South Korean streaming service Melon.

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Their efforts even got them nominated for Rookie of the Year at the Melon Music Awards in South Korea.

Many K-pop fans have expressed disbelief over the virtual group's meteoric rise.

"G--damn koreans are actually IN LOVE with plave what the hell this is crazy. good for them, good for them i love that bambi guy," one fan tweeted.

The post included a screenshot of the Melon music chart showing PLAVE occupying nearly the entire top ten over other popular new groups like RIIZE and ILLIT.

"The music goes so hard & they're funny af," one fan tweeted.

"Plave has such good music and a very dedicated fandom," another fan tweeted.

One fan made a post in the Reddit forum K-pop Thoughts to explain why they believe PLAVE are becoming so successful as a virtual boy group.

"A lot of kpop fans don't really understand why they're doing so well, especially since they're virtual, however there's 3 reasons as to why they are doing so well, and why they will continue to succeed," the fan wrote.

The first reason was their unique musical sound.

They said that PLAVE's music is "relaxed" and "refreshing" in comparison to the infamous "noise music" of some newer K-pop groups.

Plus, despite being virtual personas, the fan noted that the members produce and write their own music offscreen, which gives them authenticity.

The fan also attributed the group's success to their ability to appeal to a variety of audiences.

"Obviously, Plave is virtual. But with the rise of Vtubers, especially post COVID, they're able to bring together not only kpop fans, but fans of anime and Vtubers as well. We've all know[n] the cliques of anime fans, kpop fans, etc, but Plave are able to bring those groups together, thus naturally increasing the size of [their] fanbase," they wrote.

Forbes even noted, "While fans don’t know the public identities behind the avatars of Yejun, Noah, Bamby, Eunho and Hamin, what fans have been able to connect with is not just each of their musical abilities but their personalities—a critical difference that’s making PLAVE such a standout success."

PLAVE does everything a real-life music group can do, such as sold-out live performances, twice-weekly livestreams on their YouTube channel to interact with fans, exclusive merchandise and more.

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