Article about Super Junior in a finnish magazineFebruary 15, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Posted in Donghae, Eunhyuk, Heechul, Kyuhyun, Leeteuk, Magazine, News/Rumors, Pictures/Videos, Ryeowook, Shindong, Shiwon, Sungmin, Wonderboys, Yesung | 2 Comments
Super Junior was introduced to finnish reader’s in a magazine called JapanPop. The magazine mainly concentrate on japanese fandom but sometimes they write articles about korean and chinese music industry.
I tried my best to translate the article,(I apologize for the quality of the pictures, I don’t have a scanner, they are taken by a digital camera), it was quite hard because some expressions or sayings that are in finnish language can’t be found in english language. I hope you enjoy reading, Super Junior has slowly gaining popularity in here too~
World’s biggest boy band – literally
Korean popculture has been expanding through Asia within several years already. The world is changing smaller through internet and social media and because of it, has the ”korean wave” a.k.a Hallyu been changing into more global. With Hallyu wave rides k-pop phenomenom Super Junior who celebrated their fifth anniversary last November.
In the year 2005, South-Korean entertainment giant SM Entertainment launched a new boy group into the country’s k-pop industry. The new group contained 12 members and was huge in size. Like their japanese role-model Morning Musume, their purpose was to have different generations and graduate members from the group when new members would come and replace the old ones. Super Junior 05 was chosen as the first generation’s name.
The group’s members emphasized right at the start that they were not only talented in singing and dancing but acting and MCing as well. However, the industry’s acceptance of the group was unenthusiastic because there were simply too many members to be remembered and their music was not well received amongst the critics.
Despite the critic, the group’s debute album Super Junior 05 was published in the end of 2005 and members of the group began to make themselves known in tv variety shows. In the year 2006, SM Entertainment began preparations for the next Super Junior’s generation debut but changed their decision at the last minute. No-one from the original group ”graduated”, instead they took 13th member to the group. At the same time they decided to give up the ”project” -status. Starting then the group is simply known as Super Junior. In May 2006 the thirteen membered SuJu published a single named U which became their first hit and was one of the most played songs in that year.The group was meant to publish their next studio album in the end of the same year but they had to give up the original plans when Heechul got hurt in a car accident. The turn of the year 2006-07 brought Super Junior’s first two sub-groups. First, the most talented members in singing formed a group called Super Junior-K.R.Y. which is named after the group’s members Kyuhyun, Ryeowook and Yesung. This three membered group concentrated on ballad genre – emotional and acoustic style of k-pop. For the balance of K.R.Y, the second sub-group Super Junior-T was formed and to everyone’s surprise, it concentrated on old fashioned genre called trot. The group’s debut single, absurd Rokkugo, topped the charts soon after it was published and was the most selling single in 2007.
2007, the year of difficulties
In April 2007 Super Junior’s activities got a dramatic interrupt when four members got into a car accident. Two members survived with only scratches while group’s leader Leeteuk‘s face and back suffered injuries. But the most seriously hurt was the group’s youngest member Kyuhyun who went into a coma because of serious internal injuries. For a week Super Junior and their fans had to hold breath on waiting news about Kyuhyun’s condition. Against the doctors pessimistic evaluations, Kyuhyun finally woke up from the coma and started a slow process of healing.
While Leeteuk and Kyuhyun were still recovering in the hospital, the rest 11 members began to film their movie which is so far the only movie seen from them. The movie premiered in July 2007, it was a teen comedy which told hilariously the story of a high school boys who were ready to do anything in order to achieve celebrity status. Despite the critics being kind to this movie, the ticket incomes were still a disappointment. Finally in September, all 13 members made a comeback to the music industry with a long-waited second studio album Don’t Don.
Don’t Don introduced a new, darker and aggressive SuJu. Gone was the boy next door -look, smiles and happy dances. The album’s dramatic rock title song introduced postapocalyptic world which the MV and the visual look only highlights. Neither Don’t Don nor the album’s second conservative single Marry U weren’t able to repeat a success like U. Despite this SuJu was one of the most biggest winners in the year end music galas.
In the end of the year 2007, SuJu’s producer SM Entertainment revealed it’s plans to form a third sub-group, this time the sub-group would concentrate on China’s music industry. The situation between SM Entertainment and fans was tense after SM Entertainment revealed that they would add two chinese persons into the group. Regardless fans aggressive campaigns the company kept their head and in spring 2008 Super Junior-M (M meaning mandarin) was launched to chinese market with much success. In the meantime in Korea the fourth SuJu’s sub-group Super Junior-H (H like Happy) published their own single of light and happy k-pop. In the end of the year SuJu-T promoted their Rokkugo single in Japan.
Sorry Sorry explodes the bank
In spring 2009 Super Junior gathered in Korea to publish their third studio album Sorry Sorry. Again with the new album Super Junior introduced a new image of themselves to the audience. Album’s title song Sorry Sorry is electronic music influenced with funk style. The single and it’s black and white stylish MV proved to be a huge jackpot. In the music video we saw Nick Bass‘s coreoghraphy who has been working with Justin Timberlake. Besides in Korea, the coreography became a phenomenom in all around Asia. The song Sorry Sorry and the album proved to be the group’s final breakout not only in Korea and China but in Southeast Asia too.
The extreme success was followed by extreme pressures. Working in actors already before joining the group, Heechul and Kibum felt that their original dreams were left behind the group’s mega success. Because of other schedules their involvement in SuJu’s third album was minimal. Kibum’s last participations in SuJu’s activities were mainly a couple cameos in SuJu’s Sorry Sorry album’s MV’s. The third album was also supposed to be Heechul’s last album but he changed his decision and did his best to participate in the album’s promotions.
In the fall 2009, member of the group Kangin got into a trouble with the police twice in the same month. First because of a bar fight and later because of drunk driving. SM Entertainment immediately froze his activities with SuJu but the worst was just ahead. In December the group’s chinese member Hangeng demanded his contract to be terminated and he returned to his home country – a surprise and shock to his fans as his group’s members. After leaving, Hangeng has talked about SM Entertainment’s strict rules and contract terms which were the cause of his physical and mental health to drop down. Afterwards Hangeng has made a successful solo debut in China.
Super Junior’s comeback
The year 2010 started with a hesitant atmosphere. With Hangeng gone, Super Junior-M’s activities were frozen in China and Kangin who had heard his sentence in spring decided to leave to the army. In May the 10 membered Super Junior published their fourth studio album Bonamana. It continued the same style as Sorry Sorry but the group aimed to be more charming and sexy. In August SuJu started their third Super Show tour which extended all around Asia.
In the end of the year the member’s concentrated mainly on solo projects. Super Junior K.R.Y. was the only sub-group which continued it’s activities helding concerts in Taiwan and Japan. Over half of Super Junior’s members concentrated on either acting in dramas or in musicals while others concentrated more on variety shows and MCing. Besides this the members either alone or with other artists published about dozen songs outside Super Junior group.
The year 2010 marked the group’s popularity expanding imperceptibly to outside Asia. Youtube’s official viewer numbers can be counted in tens of millions and the MV’s have been extremily popular especially in North-America, Peru and even in Saudi-Arabia. South-Korea has only recently been warming up to twitter but in that too Super Junior’s members are being forerunners after it proved itself to be an excellent communication tool between foreign fans and the members.
In December 2010 South-Korean court gave their decision about Hangeng’s and SM Entertainment’s case accepting Hangeng’s petition and terminating the contract between these two. Super Junior has recently announced preparing Super Junior-M’s comeback to China’s music industry. Besides China, SM Entertainment’s japanese part has announced that Super Junior is going to make their official debut into japanese music industry this year. Also, the group’s fifth studio album is in process and they are planning their fourth Super Show.
The biggest challenge in this year will be the mandatory military service. Like November’s conflict pointed out, the country is still in a war with it’s north neighbour. Every male citizen in South-Korea has to fulfill two year military service and they make no exceptions even if they are idols. Among SuJu’s ten members, leader Leeteuk has already announced that he will start his service in this year. The group’s members leaving the spotlight one after another for two years will surely test SuJu’s stardom and fans loyalty.
Super Junior’s ten active members
Super Junior’s oldest member and the group’s justified leader. Works as the group’s speaker and conflict negotiator as well as practically holds part of responsibility from the member’s public incidents. Has a role being a pop-idol, group’s promoter and group’s ”mother”. Besides SuJu’s activities he works in tv-shows and is a radio host.
The group’s eccentric. Narcissistic nature combined with hot temperament as well as his tendency to kiss other males on stage caused condemning headlines especially in his debut times. Works as an actor and also as tv-and radio host. Heechul’s ninth rank in world’s twitter trends in the year 2010 in category ”Persons” tells about his international popularity. He was the only asian that made into the list.
He’s praised to be the most talented in singing amongst the members but is also the group’s nutcase. A set of weird habits with strange sense of humour combined with constant need to have attention leads constantly to situations where the audience either struggle with awkwardness or laugh their head off when Yesung is speaking – mostly both at the same time. Maybe it’s describing that in fall 2010 Yesung got a role in Monthy Python’s Spamalot -musical’s korean version.
Multi-talented Sungmin is bringing out SuJu’s versatile entertainer side. Besides strong singing and dancing talents, he has been host in many tv- and radio shows and has also acted in musicals and dramas. At the same time Sungmin carries out the negative sides – he don’t appear as strong outside SuJu as some other members do.
Clearly overweight and lacking talent in singing, he is speciality among idols. Is SuJu’s one of the main dancers and in tv his speciality is comedy. What tells also about his special idol role is that he’s the first idol ever to officially announce his relationship. Pop-idols relationships are still a tabu in korean idol culture.
SuJu’s main dancer and -rapper. Together with Shingdong he works as the group’s choreographer in concert tours. For many years he has been Leeteuk’s co-host in tv and radio but at the year 2010 he has been trying to launch his own career in tv’s entertainment.
Babyface Donghae has always been girls favorite. When he made a contract with SM Entertainment, he was only 15 years old when he left his hometown in order to achieve pop-idol status. Five years later when he debuted as a part of SuJu, the debut was bittersweet because his father who had always strongly cheered for his son, died in cancer before Donghae got to bring his first pay to home. Besides SuJu’s activities, Donghae has appeared in various CF’s and recently made his drama debut.
Tall and handsome Siwon is the group’s main character: comes from a rich family, is extremely well mannered and polite and is also a devoted christian. Besides modeling he is best known as an actor. He’s the member from SuJu who usually sings the first part of the song – phenomenom which isn’t just a coincidence. In December’s CNN interview he revieled that he dreams to be a missionary.
Forever looking like a little boy, shy Ryeowook don’t usually catch so much attention as other members does. He’s the musical foundation of SuJu: he sings a lot of parts in SuJu’s songs either being solo or in the the background and always in the correct note. He’s the member from SuJu who has had the most training in classical music. He dreams to be singer-producer.
He was added lastly to the group and the year 2007’s car accident he was the mostly hurt. He was not able to participate full-time in the activities until SuJu’s third studio album. With the fourth album, his popularity rised. Many solo songs and SM Entertainment’s own project group SM The Ballad has only highlighted his popularity as one of the most talented singers in the whole k-pop industry.
Original text by Sonia Junttila@JapanPop
Translation by Kio@SJ-World.net