“Breakthrough” is Twice’s sixth Japanese single and their second Japanese single released in 2019, and was pre-released on June 12th, 2019, digitally. “Breakthrough” was also released as a maxi single with the same title. This maxi single includes three other tracks, such as the Japanese version of “Fancy” and two remix versions of “Breakthrough”. This maxi single was released on July 24th, 2019, in Japan, with Warner Music Japan as its distributor. The Korean version of this song was released by JYP Entertainment on September 23rd, 2019, in South Korea, as one of the seven tracks in their extended play (EP) titled Feel Special. There is only one version of the song in this EP album, which is the Korean version only. The initial version in Japanese was not included in this EP album. About two months later, specifically on November 19th, 2019, Twice released their third studio album titled &Twice and the song “Breakthrough” served as one of the lead singles and as the third track on the album. This studio album was released in Japan, also with Warner Music Japan as its distributor, and consists of 10 song tracks. There were many versions of the &Twice album that were released at that time, such as the standard edition, the limited edition, and the repackage edition. Those versions provided bonus tracks, especially in their physical albums, such as the remixes of this song and the “Happy Happy” song. Those versions also provided the music video, the making of the music video movie, the shooting of the music video movie, and one of their live concerts. The song was promoted with the release of the song teaser, song information video, their variety show, the music video, their live performances in various music television programs, and their concerts in Japan. You can see the music video, here.
The song teaser for “Breakthrough” can be seen below.
They also released the song information video. This information video was released to show the Breakthrough maxi album at a glance. However, it didn’t only show the Breakthrough maxi album, but also the Happy Happy maxi album, which was released seven days before the release of the Breakthrough maxi album. The information video can be seen, here.
Background of “Breakthrough”
Twice announced the release of their sixth Japanese single titled “Breakthrough” on April 6th, 2019. The next month, on May 23rd, 2019, Twice shared their individual posters and several album covers for the maxi single. They released all of the members’ individual posters on that day. Also, there were many versions of album covers shared on that day; they uploaded one cover for the normal edition, two covers for the limited edition, and one cover for their Japanese fans’ limited edition album. This is their normal edition album cover. After the posters and the album covers were released, they revealed the video teaser on June 10th, 2019. The song was pre-released as a digital single on June 12th, 2019; it was two days after the video teaser was revealed. In order to promote the maxi single that was released on July 24th, they shared the information video for this Breakthrough maxi single and the Happy Happy maxi single. This information video was revealed on July 1st. This 3-minute-long video contained information about those two maxi singles’ tracklists. Another thing Twice did to promote the maxi single was star in a variety show, aired on one of the Japanese television stations, AbemaTV. This was their original variety show that aired on a Japanese station, and this episode aired on July 19th. In that variety show, Twice members fulfilled their Once’s request (their fans) to meet the members as a gift for the maxi single promotion. These fans have been recruited in advance through SNS (social networking service) in Hawaii, United States of America (USA). This fan meeting started on July 12th, and during this event, the ten types of #AbemaTV×Twice hashtags were gaining attention from the public. These hashtags were trending the whole one week, and several special campaigns/promotions also trended for three consecutive nights. Finally, the “Breakthrough” single was released on July 24th, physically by Warner Music Japan. On the same day, Twice announced that they would appear in a cosmetic commercial from Aube Cosmetics. This commercial featured the song as the commercial song.
Story of “Breakthrough”
This song was composed by Jan Baars, Rajan Muse, and Ronnie Icon. Jan Baars also arranged this song. The lyrics were made by Shimoji Yu, with the lyrics for the Korean version being made by Olivia Choi. This song is about how to not care too much about what people say to us, while keeping our best work to move forward for a better future. This song was described as a dramatic tune, with a brassier electro-pop sound. A Billboard music critic, Tamar Herman, said that this song was meant to evoke the feelings of a cool summer night.
MV of “Breakthrough”
The music video of “Breakthrough” was released one day before the pre-release, which was on June 11th. The music video was made by Naïve Production, the company that had been working with Twice for making their music videos since Twice debuted. The music video emphasized a darker side to this song. There are a lot of neon signs that declare the title of the single, with many spill-colored sets and the members dressed up in black in the music video. The concept of this music video is similar to the “Fancy” music video, with the majority of the colors of the members’ outfits being black and imposing power suits. As of September 2020, the music video has been watched more than 80 million times on YouTube. Until July 25th, 2021, the music video has more than 100 million views on YouTube.
On July 5th, 2019, Twice performed this song for the first time on a television program called Hour Special. They performed this song in one of the program’s episodes. This program aired on a Japanese television station called Music Station 2. On September 29th, they performed this song on another Japanese program, the NHK Shibuya Note. This was a spin-off project of the Shibuya Note music program, and Twice performed in a special episode titled “NHK Shibuya Note Presents Twice Request Live”. You can check out their performance by clicking the video uploaded by fans, here.
They also performed this song in one of their Twicelights, The Twice World Tour in 2019 – 2020. They performed this song on the first day of the Twicelights concert in Japan, starting on October 23rd, 2019, in Sapporo, Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan. The Korean version of the song was also promoted, in the same promotion period as the Feel Special promotion, but its period was shorter than the Feel Special one. The girls promoted the Korean version at the KBS Song Festival and K-Choreo on KBS World TV. They also performed this song at the M2 × Genie Music Awards (MGMA) in 2019, alongside their live performance of “Fancy” and “Dance the Night Away”. You can see their performance by clicking these videos below.
This song has been certified once by the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ). This song was certified Platinum with 250.000 certified units/sales. This song has also charted so many times, especially on Japanese and South Korean music charts. You can see the table below for the song’s peak position in every chart.