Friday, October 18, 2013

How many people are in your group?

Instead of a drama related post today, we are going to have a K-pop history lesson in light of the things that are happening to the group U-kiss. Bring a box of tissues because this post might bring up painful memories, prepare yourselves. 

K-pop is a lot more complicated than most people think. Simple questions like "how many people are in this group" can cause hour long conversations and passionate fan wars because it is not as simple as it should be. It makes me think of Pirates of the Caribbean and the "part of the crew, part of the ship" mantra that Davy Jones's crew would say. You can run away, but you will always be known for the group that you started out in.

This has been more on my mind lately with Dongho's departure from the group U-Kiss, like U-Kiss needs any more problems with the amount of members that they have in their group. U-Kiss is definitely not the first group to go through an issue with their line up and unfortunately they will probably not be the last either. 


U-Kiss debuted in 2008 with six members: Kibum, Kevin, Alexander, Eli, Dongho, and Soohyun.

Oh debut hair, it is always interesting
Then in 2009, they added Kiseop. My favorite song comes from this era too, "Man Man Ha Ni". I'm not sure why I like it so much, but I do.

Fast forward two years and Alexander and Kibum are out and AJ and Hoon are in. Alexander left for reasons that are still unknown (I think, my amount of U-Kiss knowledge is small) Kibum was basically let go because NH thought he wasn't good enough to be in the group. Nice.....

I think that KissMe's everywhere were hoping that they would never have to go through heartbreak again, but unfortunately Dongho has decided that the idol life is not for him. I respect this decision though because I think that it is very brave for him to say that right out and I respect NH Media even more for letting him out of his contract three years early. 

Super Junior

Where does one even begin with Super Junior? They have such a complicated story, made even more so with members leaving for army services. Every time you listen to one of their songs it's like a test of your Super Junior knowledge, "Okay, this song is off of this album which means that these people are missing. I think."

Super Junior debuted in 2005 as a 12 members group: Leeteuk, Heechul, Hankyung, Kangin, Shindong, Sungmin, Eunhyuk, Donghae, Siwon, Ryeowook, and Kibum. So many people! Then, six months later they added Kyuhyun and that is where they stopped. If you haven't seen their debut song, you should because it's so bad that it's good.

Three years later SM had the wonderful idea to ninja into the Chinese market and created Super Junior M which consisted of five members of Super Junior: Hankyung, Donghae, Siwon, Ryeowook, and Kyuhyun, plus the addition of two new Chinese members, Zhou Mi and Henry. Maybe we are not all aware of the crap storm this caused but that is a whole other crazy story that could have its own post, so we'll leave it at that. 

About this time is when stuff really started to go down and there was some major shuffling done within the group. Kibum left to pursue acting, Hangkyung told SM to suck it, and everything Kangin was doing was put on hold because he did dumb things which prompted his early enlistment into the army. Since Hankyung left, Zhou Mi was promoted to leader of Super Junior M and Sungmin and Eunhyuk were brought in. 

Since all that went down, Super Junior has seen Kangin come back, Heechul come and go, and currently Leeteuk and Yesung are away at the army. While the chances of all 15 members being on the stage at the same time is slim to none, one can always hope right? 


These guys have the shortest story even though they definitely are the biggest issue in this post. They debuted in 2003 with five members: U-Know, Jaejoong, Junsu, Yoochun, and Changmin. 

Let's take a moment of silence for the animal that gave its life to sit on Jaejoong's head.

TVXQ was, and still is, huge and loved by people everywhere. They were some of the first idols of the new generation and were signed under a huge name that groups like HOT and Shinhwa came from, what could go wrong? Apparently a lot. 

A few months before Hankyung filed his lawsuit, Jaejoong, Junsu, and Yoochun filed one of their own for basically the same reasons. They have since formed their own group and besides the fact that every one is pretty sure that SM is out to get them, they have been doing very well for themselves. U-Know and Changmin have continued under the TVXQ name and have done very well too as a duo.

Another notable group break up is that of 2PM and Jay Park back in 2009. It seems like 2009 was a very traumatic year in the K-pop industry. I'm kind of glad that I wasn't into K-pop back then so now I just receive second hand trauma instead of being in the thick of it. 

Girls aren't exempt from internal issues either. We saw everything that has been going on with T-ARA in the last year and now the sudden issues that KARA is facing. I guess it just goes to show that even thought these people look sparkly and perfect, their lives are far from it.  

So, how many people are in your group?

~ Alora

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