A Case for Super Junior’s Continued Relevancy – From 120730

July 31, 2012 at 7:47 am | Posted in News/Rumors, Pictures/Videos, Wonderboys | 75 Comments

A couple of weeks ago, Super Junior made an appearance on SNL Korea that was fantastic. Sticking to the typical 19+ rating, the idol group, already creeping into the adult-dol category–that is, if they’re not already there–really went for those topics that idols are seemingly “forbidden” from discussing without some sort of backlash.

I was wary of their appearance on a comedy show. While Super Junior members are no slackers at bringing their A-game to the variety field, they’re still idols. Though they agreed to go with the 19+ concept, I remained skeptical. I mean, come on — though Super Junior has simply thrown their image out the window over the years, one would think they’d still want to keep a shred of that there considering their massive adolescent fanbase.

Wrong. They went for it. And it was glorious. From the various implications of sex and pornographic materials to vague touches upon homosexuality and transgenders to brutal academies (SME, anyone?), the group’s skits were worth the watch, not only for the content, but for the acting and the ease with which all the members handled each scene.

In hindsight, when considering that the Western ages of Super Junior members range from 24 to 29, this shouldn’t be something so surprising. They are all more than old enough to publicly joke about such issues. But in the charged idol scene of South Korea, where every group is held to high standards regarding their actions and what they admit to or don’t, where even relationships are kept hidden because of fan backlash that could result in poorer sales, it isn’t easy for any idol group to just come out and do comedy skits of this caliber and material. What makes Super Junior different, and how does that relate to their potential decline, or maintenance, in K-pop?

For one, though this topic has been ruthlessly used as excuses among the very determinedEverLasting Friends (ELF), Super Junior wasn’t supposed to make it. From the beginning, their mindset has been that of survival, even much more than that of a normal rookie group. For example, when a group debuts, even in the hectic scene of 2012, they aren’t expected to immediately have popularity. Of course it’s mighty helpful if they do, but if they don’t, they have a year and more to keep returning with material until they’re considered a dud. But in 2005, with Super Junior ’05, that wasn’t the case. The group had one year to make the best impression they could, not just as group, but individually since they were expected to use the group as a jumping platform to other areas of entertainment. And it didn’t help that their large numbers created hoards of anti-fans before debut, something that doesn’t happen in more recent days. Because of that survival mentality that has essentially dogged them throughout their now seven year run, the group isn’t going to rest. Once they made it past Super Junior ’05 into Super Junior, it was really time to work towards the top. Once they made it to the top, it’s become all about staying at the top amongst the younger, more musically talented groups. They’re going to continue working hard to stay noticed in order to remain an influential part of South Korea’s entertainment industry.

In addition, since Super Junior was made to be a hodgepodge of different talents rather than a cohesive group that fills in each others’ weaknesses, they’re made for staying power within South Korea. This is arguably the best type of idol group to create for longevity of individual members which could, but doesn’t always, lead to the continued existence of the group itself. Every member has something that they are good at or has contributed something to their family that will probably continue to bring them prosperity. There’s a strong variety line with LeeteukShindong, and Eunhyuk, though all members are also very capable of holding their own in a variety show. There are the main vocalists–YesungRyeowook, andKyuhyun–, actors–SiwonDonghaeKibum (though he’s been aloof for a while)–, and musicals–Sungmin (along with others). Heechul is the powerful personality, and Kangin was a strong variety personality prior to his comeback. As Kangin eases back in, his voice, both musically and opinion-wise, will surely return as well. Even Super Junior M membersZhou Mi and Henry have been involved in their own Chinese drama and Thai movie, respectively. And all members can easily take on other roles or fall into more than one category, i.e., Kyuhyun the vocalist and Radio Star MC. The argument could even be made that Super Junior is following in Shinhwa‘s footsteps in terms of longevity and continued relevancy. Both groups have members that regularly take on roles outside of music. They still put out music as a group. They both do well in variety.

It would be difficult to point out an idol group that is still together right now that has anywhere close to this amount of expansion and success, not just musically around the world, but domestically, in such a manner that Super Junior is a household name. In particular, Super Junior’s variety image is influential in keeping the group’s name in the mind of others. This lets the group not just continue creating albums, but maintain their stable presence within South Korea, especially as K-pop isn’t what the majority of the population listens to. It’s easy to forget that South Korea also produces a wide variety of music outside of K-pop, just like any other country, as shown by the music conquests on charts of solo artists like Kim Bum-soo and Nell. K-pop is the most visible internationally because of its changing focus, but that’s a whole other topic for discussion.

So despite their music that perhaps receives more accolades than it merits, Super Junior can remain if not on top, then at least near the top. And it’s because their music doesn’t have to stand on its own. It has the full force of talent in multiple areas behind it. I’m sure many saw EXO‘s large group size and felt that a replacement for Super Junior had arrived. Many speculated that Super Junior was now going to slowly decline, especially as members enter the army. But I’d like to propose this thought: even if Leeteuk is going to the army at the end of the year, Kangin came back. Next year, someone else is most likely going, but they’re getting Heechul back. Whenever members leave from this point on, there is always someone coming back in the same year. And while some members have more fans than others, you can still bet that fans will be willing to give them all a warm welcome, despite the development of K-pop in that time period. The group will still be able to put out albums because of their large number. Roles held by members that leave for military can be filled by other members, like Kyuhyun taking Heechul’s spot on Radio Star and Sungmin and Ryeowook keepingKiss the Radio a Super Junior production. And EXO? They really only promote as units of six due to their design. It can be argued that they do perform on stage together as twelve, but their choreography and the part distribution are made for six and expanded or duplicated for twelve. They can’t achieve the intricacies of choreography or allow every member their vocal spotlight as a naturally large group can. They are a separate entity from Super Junior that should be viewed as a new group bringing a new image, not a new group rehashing an old one.

And let’s talk appearance, since it’s such a large factor of K-pop. Rookie groups are young. They generally have a boyish air and pretty features. It takes time for them to develop that air of maturity that Super Junior members have, that immediate appearance of an adult rather than an impressive adolescent. For that reason, the groups have fans that are looking for different aspects in appearance or can appreciate both spectra that the groups provide. Because let’s be honest; if we put side-by-side EXO’s KrisChanyeol, and Kai with Super Junior’s Siwon, Kyuhyun, and Donghae, there are very different impressions. While all have their strengths physically, if I had to choose, I’d spring for Super Junior any day. And though that changes per person, the fact that there is such a strong difference felt between the presence and aspect of these idols speaks volumes about how younger idols still have to grow to compete with more-established ones.

Perhaps the real key here is that Super Junior is famous for being famous. On any show, ahjussis can bust out an imitation of “Sorry Sorry” because, like it or not, that song really did start to bring international attention to K-pop, and everyone knew it. Because of that, Super Junior is well-known by all ages, even appreciated to an extent because of that first move by the group. Though they don’t necessarily produce the best music, you just have to look at their physical album sales to know that there is a dedicated fandom willing to support their continued existence as Super Junior. And though ELFs can get out of control, just like any other fandom, the fact that Super Junior has managed to amass such numbers around the world that have such dedication to the group speaks to their personalities and hard work.

Though Super Junior’s music isn’t anything spectacular–though “Sexy, Free & Single” was a long-awaited improvement– the group isn’t on the decline. They’ll continue to remain relevant as long as all the members continue to do what they’re doing: everything. And as their recent Strong Heart appearance showed, they still have stories to share, people to please, and the determination to do it.

Source: AMBIKA for
Shared at by supergirlRain



RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

  1. OMG this one is exactly what’s on my mind :’) we will never separated!!! Let’s continue until the sapphire blue balloons covering the whole earth!!!!

  2. such a great article, its not as easy as thought to just decline a group like super junior^^ we’ll always support them to be the best or at least best for their fans~

  3. and international fans are growing in numbers…. and others i think just starting to go crazy over Super Junior..

    • True..they are still gaining a lot of international fans, at least that’s what I see here..until the world is covered with sapphire blue;)

      • true and i have started my work in india….i make my frens and collegues listen suju songs and they love it…hahaha i ll spread suju wave here….

    • true true! I’m actually still shocked at how many people got into SJ from Mr.Simple which is only like a year ago (I’m actually one of them), they’re indeed getting ALOT of new fans each year (Album sales speak for itself)


  5. Such good read. “…And as their recent Strong Heart appearance showed, they still have stories to share, people to please, and the determination to do it.” and gaining new fans from somewhere around the world…for example me and my friends…we are new ELF….. Let spread the sapphire blue love, everyone

  6. no comment,… why something like that (SNL) has to be a problem?? Oppa-deul Enjoy it, so it’s okay,… if anyone who doesnt love them talking bad about it, its their matter, not us. They have to be a smart person. Not short minded person like that,… kkk *i’m talking like a fool but i’m a genious xd,… ahh,.. forget about this*

    • I wonder if you understand what this article is all about …….

  7. Super Junior forever, elfs will be there for them forever.. even if I get married & have kids, I’ll always support this group that has brought me immense fun & great music (p.s. I love their music, but I really don’t get why reviewers say their music are not musically well)..& the impact of SNL, I’m truly impressed by their acting & their cou.rage

  8. That was a long due and very well articulated analysis of SJ. It was fair and spot on. The only thing I don’t like is the comparison with EXO. Why? because I feel EXO gets promoted (in my opinion any kind of publicity is good publicity, even negative comparisons) at the expenses of SJ. Again.

    • yea, don’t compare suju only with exo.. exo just 3months debut.. don’t blame them… gives some space & times to exo to prove their talent.. Love SM Town~~

  9. I agree with this article… super junior is not just another boy band, there popularity around the world just says so much to why they are loved throughout the world… thanks for the person who took time to write this

  10. oh my god!! this is a really great article!!
    it’s wonderful!! i love everyword of it!!
    is this originally from korea??

    • It’s from It’s a site with lots of articles on k-pop, k-drama, social issues, etc. My fave sight actually.

      • and this site usually disses SJ, so an article like that coming from them says a lot, I was shocked and pleased.

  11. I am a new international fan too!! Just started like 2 months ago and I can’t stop now!

    • Me too! And I constantly see “I’m a new ELF, please tell me who’s who” all over Youtube every day! 🙂

      • welcome then to your new family 🙂 ELF 🙂
        its not difficult to know who is who in super junior. because they have differences face and unique personality 🙂 what u need just often see them in video and reality show, and you will know them, but need to know you will far so deep by their pesona 🙂

        • yup.. just like me about 4 years ago *i become elf since 2008*.. i keep asking who’s who but since they have their own unique personality.. i got no problem to recognize them..once you fall for them, you will never let them go.. XD

        • Yeah so do I. I become an elf in the end of 2010 and always ask my friend who’s who. But now, I could recognize them even from their back side. Wkwkwk

  12. very well done article.

  13. Waahhhh I’m so happy to read this. ELF, lets continue to love and support our oppas until the hairs on Kyu and Henry’s heads become white!! Fighting ^^

  14. someone tip this to allkpop!

    • YES! I WANT THIS ON AKP! Although since this is from Seoulbeats, I’m not sure if it is possible..

      I have similar thoughts.. I have been really worried on how long can SJ last as a group that is still actively promoting. Personally, I did not become a fan because of the music. I have a totally different taste in music contrary to what KPop has to offer. I became an ELF because of SJ’s sense of entertainment–something I wouldn’t find elsewhere. But of course as you get to know them more, you get to appreciate their music as well.. and it grows into you.. Super Junior produces good music, IMHO. But as the article says, ‘they’re famous for being famous’.. thus, their title tracks since Sorry, Sorry (but before SFS) have been something that must scream ‘mainstream’. I feel so bad for them.. I was thinking that maybe they should really take a hiatus like what they did in 2008 when they started with SJ-M activities. Maybe if they take a break, they can reconstruct the music (that has been slowly on a decline) and come back with a bang as they did with Sorry, Sorry.. but when SFS was released, I felt relieved.. These boys are improving themselves and their music.. It’s a good step. It’s not the best song there is, but you can feel the maturity.. that hey, they aren’t the flower boys they once were but are adult men who are confident and strong enough to be on top..

  15. ❤ Goosebumps of Pride all over, through the whole long read!!!

    And THIS:

    "On any show, ahjussis can bust out an imitation of “Sorry Sorry” because, like it or not, that song really did start to bring international attention to K-pop, and everyone knew it. "

    Please, let no one forget this! Like it or not 😉

  16. And my heart constricted when I read: “but they’re getting Heechul back” OMG yes we are! Can’t wait 🙂

  17. You got this Fanboys love Super Junior and of course this WordPress too. Thank you so much for making us ELF so happy!! With Love! :-S Good Article! PROMISE TO BELIEVE.

  18. Great article, full of love for Super Junior, atleast that’s what I feel ^^
    Though I also don’t understand the comparison to EXO, I never felt that they can or could replace SuJu, this thought never came to my mind.

    (side note –> … brutal academies (SME, anyone?)….ehem, yeah kekeke)

    • yea.. i agree.. suju will note be replaced.. But Exo will make a new sensation in this kpop music industry.. so, lets love sm town!

    • I totally get the comparison to Exo. I hear over and over from Antis and Exotics is that Exo are replacing SuJu. This article basically shot that argument to hell by showing how SuJu excels in more than one area of entertainment thus making them hard to replace or even compare to.

      • I agree! And seeing EXO on variety shows (mostly EXO-M, because I’m Taiwanese), you can tell that the members don’t have that same feel for variety as Super Junior does. I know, EXO debuted not too long ago, and they’re shy, but the difference was that they didn’t have to fight for survival at the beginning like SuJu did. EXO is already making history in itself anyway, by being the first group to branch off into Mandarin and Korean, but what SuJu has done, gone through, and is still continuing to do, can’t be compared. EXO can never replace SuJu due to the millions of reasons that we ELFs can come up with in a heartbeat. Super Junior will continue to excel in multiple things, because as Leeteuk said, “It is not and ‘end’, but an ‘and.'” Super Junior Forever! I love you! Hwaiting!

  19. Nice article, I love it!!!! Super Junior Fighting!

  20. What a great article here… AWESOME!!!
    As an ELF I knew that SUJU always did all the best in everything!
    Support our boys FOREVER!
    Always be together as SUPER JUNIOR’s EverLasting Friends ^^

  21. definitely one of the best articles i’ve ever read! so specific and persuasive! if i weren’t an ELF, I would still have agreed with what the author wrote! no one can replace Super Junior! kudos to the author for being so objective and based the argument on facts

  22. Love this article…….
    at first i hate their plan for entering army one by one (coz it will be a long time to see them in complete team)

    but now…i realize the reason


  23. So well written…i enjoyed reading it. Thanks

  24. I am proud to be elfs and will be forever ….

  25. Well written, nuff said!
    these days, i feel so proud to see the not-so-popular members back then already well known. Wookie & Kyu have improve a lot on variety.
    They’re the ones that barely speak when sj went on variety shows. Look at them now.
    SJ gonna be relevant for the next ten or twenty years~
    wait & see~!!!

  26. Well written and said.. Super Junior is indeed a group that will not wither and cant be easily forgotten as they have been one of the reason why Kpop is popular globally.. As to them doing the SNL skits its only time that they express themselves to this reality as they are old enough and they are wise to know what is good for them. Thye really are indeed superstar whether in radio,tv,musicals,variety shows they truly shine and this prove that they are really well rounded/talented entertainers. I know for sure that they will last seeing that they have this close bond with each other and they truly love ELFs , One of these days the world will truly be covered with Sapphire blue

  27. I love everything about this article… speaks what’s on my mind… really proud of suju… And don’t worry, more and more and getting into suju these days especially SFS is just foreign’s taste….

  28. People, don’t compare Super Junior and Exo. They are both from same company. Suju are already 6-7years in this music industry. Suju was like Superior, and Exo just 3months debut. Gives some space to Exo to show their talent. I don’t know why people like to compare others group even they are from same company.. I one of ELF, & i’ll forever be an elf.. so, why can’t we support Exo also.. Please everyone.. Love SM Town~~~

    • Okay I get it you love EXO and I also have nothing against them but.. I don’t even think that the article is giving one side judgment or talking bad about EXO. I like EXO but I’m only an ELF. EXO is undeniably talented and we’re not even judging them. I don’t like it when I finally get a share of my Super Junior in the middle of EXO wave, there’s always someone ruining it by giving comments which are other groups-focused.

      And people are not going to tell me who I’m going to love. I’m not an SMTOWN fan, I’m a Super Junior fan. I don’t hate other groups, but I only give my full support to SJ.

      • I agree with calieda and cutieHYUK not eveyone had to love SM Town or SM Family. I’m just ELF Super Junior Fan not fan for SM Town or SM Family

    • Please read the article thoroughly … you’re missing a whole lot point if you only see this as an article that compare between SJ – EXO

      and why are you asking ppl to love SM Town? People are bound to have their own preferences … if you love them all, that’s your rights, but it’s my prerogative also to say that I only love and support SJ (note: not hating other groups/soloist there)

      • agree :), people have their own think,
        i just love suju, not other group (although from smtown), lol

    • dear…nobody said he/she hate exo…can u please read the whole article and please understand it…but truly im not SM town fan…im only SJ fan..there are no requirement for fan to support the whole company when he/she like one of group frm that company…and this article only said about there many out there always said exo will replaced this article wanna to emphasize that SJ are SJ while EXO are EXO…that all

  29. Yeah ~ SJ is awesome

  30. Speechless. This is F.A.C.T.

  31. It’s nice that someone has taken the trouble to write this – although I have to admit that I’d rather see an article which sets out how SJ are perceived in the Korean media generally than a fandom manifesto on Seoulbeats .I’ve noticed that coverage and comments on kpop sites has been more positive lately but it’s really hard to know what status the boys have outside our fandom bubble. I’d really like to know what impact their SNL gig had in particular.

  32. THIS!!


    “…Though Super Junior’s music isn’t anything spectacular–though “Sexy, Free & Single” was a long-awaited improvement– the group isn’t on the decline. They’ll continue to remain relevant as long as all the members continue to do what they’re doing: everything. And as their recent Strong Heart appearance showed, they still have stories to share, people to please, and the determination to do it…..”


    • and I know we shouldn’t compare sj with exo…but seriously,sj and all groups that debut before 2009 and still on top today should got standing applause since they can hold their top positions despite all rookie storm that came along…and their path is rougher,,exo already established that they will be permanently a group,but our boys in the beginning not,that’s why we know and can see who works harder to reach their success…

      in normal situation I love smtown,,but when I remember that their hoobae artist don’t give any contribution to help sj while our boys always praise them I got bitchy mode….

  34. I feel like crying now elf and suju are great
    we will be a family forever right ?

  35. omg! this is so good! i’m crying while reading this.. i feel so proud as an elf!

  36. Oh Godness !
    This article is totally true!!!
    the writer really know what SJ and ELF think!
    the writer spoke up all we thought for a long time~
    and this is the fact.
    ELF are increasing day by days~ :’)

  37. oh my ! this is so great !
    yap yap ! SJ not only the king of k-pop , they even have varietyshow line , actors line , musical line , and even u can difference them than other just by their personalities :3
    great leader who can lead 12 ppl and 2 of them have AB-personality xD
    i mean if u compare with exo , exo still have 2leaders for 2group ! :3

    and i’ll stand for SJ’s appearance .
    no matter what , they still look like a childish idols :33

  38. You know what??
    You, my good man/woman/ELF, ARE A GENIUS!!!!
    Honestly, when EXO debuted I thought oh, they’re another band under SM.Cool!SuJu oppas can take care of new dongsengs. Then, I started thinkin….Ok….their concept looks oddly familiar…It’s cool their following their hyungs!!:)
    Then suddenly, ELFs all over started spreading rumours about EXO replacing SuJu.
    Like really??No offense ELFs,but I think we have more faith in our oppas then that right? As they say, if DBSK is the next HOT, well Super Junior is the next Shinhwa. Their gonna be here for a looooooooonnnnnnnngggggggg time!!:D
    (You got me thinkin positive too!!I dreaded to see the day that Leeteuk will go but now, I just want them all to go and get over and done!!)

    I especially like the part that says “Tha fact that SJ could gain alot of dedicated fans speak alot about their personality” it’s true! I wasn’t an ELF from the beginning but let me tell you, it’s impossible to forget these boys! It’s the sense that you wont even get bored of’s just impossible to leave these boys behind like I did with my previous bias groups!! There’s just something about them that is hard not to love

  40. this article said all there was to say ^^
    i love it 🙂

  41. Bless the person who wrote the article, he/she took the words right out of my mouth!

  42. To the person who wrote this article, a million thanks. I agreed on everything. It’s as if my thoughts were taken and posted here! It gave me an intense feeling of pride and stood as a reminder of what it means to be an ELF. The author wrote this so flawlessly and hit each point perfectly. I think what I especially like is that the whole thing is put into such a realistic perspective. On top of that, it expresses the undying love and admiration of Super Junior that we share. Our unwavering support. Our hearts full of Sapphire Blue.
    I’m always proud to be an EverLasting Friend, but this article moved me to be even more so (if that’s possible hehe). And honestly, I appreciated the author bringing up the subject of EXO. They are a good band, but they are not Super Junior, nor will they ever be. Super Junior is a band that can never be replaced. And the author explained it so perfectly, while not being offensive to EXOtics. I’ve shared the same thoughts, but have never known how to express them in such a way. The topics of age and image are also ones that are familiar to me. I’m so pleased that the author could really appreciate all aspects of our boys, Super Junior, in a way that we can all relate to. Also, the comment “SME anyone?” when talking about brutal academies slayed me~~! Just too funny! xD
    Everyone should really take the time to read this article, ELF or not. It really gives you a clean, honest, and insanely accurate portrayal of Super Junior and their fandom.
    Thank you again to the author! You made my day! And thank you to for posting this!

    ~ PROM15E ~ BEL13VE ~

    Super Junior and ELF forever.
    Until the world is covered in Pearl Sapphire Blue.

  43. nice article 🙂

  44. Amazing article, it’s very well written! Although I think Sj’s music is great and touches me I can understand your point of view as to why the music isn’t that amazing.
    They do depend a lot on variety shows, radio and acting but for me their music is what saved me. I think it’s also a matter of what SME allows them to do… I would love it if SJ were allowed to make an album made purely of songs they wrote and or composed. But we know SME will never allow that…
    Anyway, once again wonderful article! It was a delight to read such a well written piece after all the mindnumbig things I have to read for school.

  45. thank you for this great article! Everything that was to say has been said here ^^

  46. I really love this article~ Very well written plus it brings out the points of SuJu’s success.

  47. can’t hide my smile whenever i read this article.this is so true and i am speechless. we’ll see them for many many years more ELFs, so happy…be proud! :’))

  48. I’ve been waiting this kind of articles to be written for so long.And now it’s creted by you!Thank you for amazing articles!

    Sorry Sorry makes me into an ELF till now!I’m so proud of it.We’ll never seperated!SUPER JUNIOR + ELF = EVERLASTING LOVE . Though the members are going to army , we’ll wait for them to comeback patiently.

  49. Super Junior = forever relevant… enough said! :p

  50. This is just an amazing article!!! Really, those pessimistic people who said SuJu werent popular in Korea, or that we are not gonna win, or that EXO was gonna replace our boys, just wake up already!! SUJU are at the top right now, and they are not going down any time soon!!~!~!

  51. Truthfully, the reason of super junior’s popularity is because of their members, personality and talents. Their just so interesting to watch that kept people going~! I like exo k kai’s face best, but I still prefer hyuk’s face more its all personal preference~ But I still think hyuk should be one of the top few in looks lol, he just have that kind of cute/handsome unique look ^__^

  52. OMG! can some PLZ PLZ give this to allkpop or something…. and tell them to make an article

    it said everything i wanted to say to the haters and antis….

    bless the person who wrote it…. let god be with you ~ lol im not even religious….

  53. nice article! i just want to support you till and & and ,let spreed our Sapphire Blue together

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: