HYBE is doing a survival show called R U Next? for their upcoming girl group under BELIFT LAB (the one ENHYPEN stans are saying is ruining their life or whatever), and they recently revealed profiles for all 22 contestants.
What ended up drawing a lot of the attention though was the fact that there was a 12-year-old Japanese contestant named Ena.
HYBE has been front-and-center in the underage debuts discussion thanks to NewJeans and Min Hee Jin (with YG Entertainment‘s BABYMONSTER also being included lately), and for this show 10 of the 22 contestants are 17 or younger, with six or seven (depending on birthday) being 15 or younger.
That makes it seem the ages of the debut lineup will inevitably be a topic of discussion going forward, certainly for international fans, but if Ena closes in on a spot I think that’d even raise eyebrows in Korea as well since that’s firmly in GP Basic territory.