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"Kawaikute Gomen" (Japanese: 可愛くてごめん, lit. "Sorry for Being So Cute") is an image song for Chizuru Nakamura (中村千鶴), or Chū-tan (ちゅーたん), from the multimedia project Kokuhaku Jikkou Iinkai (告白実行委員会) by Japanese musical collective HoneyWorks. This song made a phenomenal hit and has received many fanworks, singing covers, and parodies since a simple dance challenge became popular among Japanese/East Asian female TikTok users in late 2022. Also, its popularity spread worldwide thanks in large part to its usage as in AI Manga Filter videos after December.
On August 13th, 2022, HoneyWorks included this song sung by the doujin singer Capi (かぴ) in their album, "Kokuhaku Jikkō Iinkai – FLYING SONGS – Koi shiteru" (告白実行委員会 – FLYING SONGS – 恋してる), released at Comiket 100. Later, they released this album on subscription music streaming services and published a video for this song on YouTube on the 28th (shown below left). The music group added music videos for both the doujin singer's version and another version sung by Saori Hayami, the voice actor for Chū-tan in the 2022 TV anime Heroines Run the Show, on November 18th (below right). Takane no Nadeshiko (高値のなでしこ), a Japanese idol group receiving HoneyWorks' sound production, also published the official singing cover on YouTube the same day.
According to The Magazine by the digital music distributor TuneCore Japan, which analyzed this song's commercial success in February 2023, Capi's version started becoming popular on TikTok after user @iraru_amaou (あちゃん) posted her original choreography on September 7th (shown below). In the middle of the following month, this song began to rank in TikTok Weekly Top 20 charts by Billboard Japan.
Chu! Kawaikute Gomen
Chu! Sorry for being so cute
Umarete Kityatte Gomen
Sorry that I was born
Chu! Azatokute Gomen
Chu! Sorry that I’m calculatingly cute
Ki ni Nattyau yo ne Gomen
Sorry that you can’t ignore me
In late October, many female TikTok users started doing this dance in their make-up videos, which heavily boosted the trend of this song on the video platform. Idols, celebrities, and media personalities also joined this make-up & dance challenge (shown below) and made headlines in the news media. Following this trend on TikTok, this song began receiving many singing covers, dancing covers, and sometime MAD video parodies on YouTube and Niconico after November.
Left: Kasumi Mori | Right: Tsubasa Masuwaka
Under the circumstances, this song topped the Billboard chart for six weeks in a row between November and December and ranked 5th in the entire year ranking. At the end of that year, a questionnaire survey by the Japanese online media Non De Plume ranked this song 2nd in "The Top 10 Popular Songs among Gen-Z in The Latter Half of 2022". Also, the song resulted in the 5th, the 2nd, and the 10th in the most-played, most-liked, and most-shared sections, respectively, on Japanese TikTok the entire year, according to the official announcement of the local headquarters on December 26th. Also, those YouTube videos of the Capi and Hayami had earned over 10 million and 45 million views in their first three months, respectively, and the official cover by the idol group had played over 5 million times in the same period, as well.
On November 6th, Local Campione (ローカルカンピオーネ), a famous influencer group in Japan, jumped onto this bandwagon with their original dance while crediting the song as their original. Their dance didn't go viral. But its audio track became popular background music for the AI-Manga filter videos worldwide around the following month. Indonesian user @adilajaaaaa (below, left) and South Korean user @sisteryell (below, right) did the very earliest posts of using this clipped version by Local Campione or the original in AI-Mange filters on the 2nd, garnering over 30 million and 24 million views in its first two months, respectively. As of February 2023, this version played over 13 million times, four times as many as the original, on TikTok.
This song became famous also on the South Korean internet via the make-up & dance challenge by female users and AI-Manga Filter videos after around November. In addition, K-Pop stars doing this dance after December (shown below) increased the song's popularity among South Korean users while receiving media reports. As of February 2023, TikTok posts tagged under the Korean hashtag for this song, "#귀여워서미안해", had played over 171 million times in total.
Left: Jeonghann from Seventeen | Right: Rei from IVE
On February 6th, 2023, Facebook user Erlangga Ferdiansyah uploaded a piano version of song, mixing it with "Genit" by Indonesian band Tipe X. The video received more than 1,100 reactions and 1,600 shares in two weeks (shown below, left). On February 17th, 2023, Facebook user Dimas Atalla uploaded a mashup inspired by Erlangga's video that received more than 1,500 reactions and 3,200 shares in one week (shown below, right).
On February 20th, 2023, Indonesian content creator Oscar Bamboo uploaded a humorous cover of the song to both his Facebook page and YouTube channel. The video received more than 2,400 reactions and 1,800 shares, and 11,000 views in one day, respectively (shown below).
 Wikipedia – Image song
 Wikipedia – Kokuhaku Jikkō Iinkai: Ren'ai Series
 Wikipedia – HoneyWorks
 YouTube – 可愛くてごめん (feat. かぴ)／HoneyWorks / 11-18-2022
 Wikipedia – Saori Hayami
 Wikipedia – Heroines Run the Show
 YouTube – 【MV】可愛くてごめん（cover）／高嶺のなでしこ【HoneyWorks】 / 11-18-2022
 The Magazine – なぜ HoneyWorks「可愛くてごめん」はこれほどまでにバズっているのか、楽曲の独自性から浮かび上がってくる “あざとさ” / 02-10-2023 (Japanese)
 Billboard JAPAN – TikTok Weekly Top 20 /10-17-2022 (Japanese)
 Model Press – テレ東・森香澄アナ、メイク全公開TikTokが話題沸騰「すっぴんから優勝」「参考になる」 / 11-15-2022 (Japanese)
 Abema Times – 益若つばさ、可愛すぎるメイクアップ動画を披露し「見ててHappyな気分」「女神様」とファン悶絶 / 12-01-2022 (Japanese)
 Model Press – 吉高由里子・広瀬すず・NiziU・LDHも…「可愛くてごめん」ブームが止まらない / 01-23-2023 (Japanese)
 Wikipedia – 森香澄 (Japanese)
 Wikipedia – Tsubasa Masuwaka
 Billboard JAPAN – 【TikTok Weekly Top 20】HoneyWorks「可愛くてごめん (feat. かぴ)」6週連続1位、YOASOBI「たぶん」が初登場2位に / 12-07-2022 (Japanese)
 PR Times – 2022年年間チャート発表！総合ソング・チャート1位は、Aimer「残響散歌」 / 12-09-2022 (Japanese)
 PR Times – 『Z世代が選ぶ2022年下半期トレンドランキング』をZ総研が発表！｜株式会社N.D.Promotionのプレスリリース / 12-15-2022 (Japanese)
 TikTok Newsroom – TikTok、2022年の年間Musicチャート「音楽で振り返る！2022 TikTok トレンド」を公開！ /12-26-2022 (Japanese)
 Wikipedia – ローカルカンピオーネ (Japanese)
 TikTok – @localcampione / 11-06-2022
 TikTok – ローカルカンピオーネ🗾👑 – オリジナル楽曲
 Model Press – SEVENTEENジョンハン・NCTショウタロウ・IVEレイ＆ユジン…K-POP界で「可愛くてごめん」ダンス流行中 / 12-19-2022 (Japanese)
 Kstyle – SEVENTEEN ジョンハンからIVE レイまで、日本で話題の「可愛くてごめん」チャレンジがK-POPアイドルの間で流行中！ / 12-31-2022 (Japanese)
 Facebook – Kawaikute Gomen – Honeyworks
 Facebook – Honeywork – Kawaikute x Genit – Tipe X
 Facebook – HoneyWorks – 可愛くてごめん feat. ちゅーたん（CV：早見沙織） – Clone Cover Ft. GeorgiaVanessaa （IG）
 YouTube – HoneyWorks – 可愛くてごめん feat. ちゅーたん（CV：早見沙織） Clone Cover Ft. Georgia Vanessa
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