Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Touch of K-Pop: November '13

Thanksgiving month is passed. And so with it, I realize how fast time flies! Looking just at the span of Kpop world events, wow! I started these Kpop posts back in March of this year, back when I barely concerned myself with Infinite, Teen Top was a baby obsession, and Winner hadn't even happened yet! 

To only have heard him sing...

Regrets so far: That I didn't get to see Infinite on their U.S. tour, that I didn't win autograph sessions with Teen Top at KCON, and that I watched Win: Who Is Next in the first place. The heartache.. and now the pains of a new fandom. I had a nightmare this week where Winner never became big, where one member died, and the group disintegrated into anonymity. Wtf.. I'm appalled at the level of torture my brain conceives up in my sleep.

Read on for what I occupy myself with when I'm not asleep, what I do when groups don't promote, ship wars, ships, Kpop awards, and more.

Keeping the Flame Alight

This is most definitely a phase, but I feel like November has seen me on a Kpop hiatus - I follow the news, but with a halfway indifferent eye. And despite some comebacks that I genuinely looked forward too, Taeyang and TOP, with the departure of my favorite promoting groups, my fandoms have all gone into WAIT mode. Which is where Tumblr comes in handy, because there's nothing like public lack of exposure to send the gif makers, photo editors, and virtual stalkers into hyperdrive. Case in point: Weeks after WIN aired its last episode, Winner were shipped off to Japan and the baby fandom got its first peak at the beloved airport fashion. I laugh at the hilarity of this custom, but have to admit - there's something cute about the sudden and international spazzing that took place on that day.

Plus, early proof of an upcoming Winner show! Double the spaz.

Stans and Ship Wars

So what do fans do between comebacks and promotion cycles? You stan and you ship, and you do your damnedest to keep the momentum alive. Honestly, I'm having a hard time doing that right now, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy watching other people try. Once again, Tumblr is the best, but it's got an evil downside to that as well - so many opinions, and rumors spouted as hearsay, and misinterpreted fun and hurt feelings. I like to think that the international fans are a one great community of Kpop peddlers, but in fact - it's more like high school, with a billion more tweeny girls. Ick. I keep my head down.

Every now and then I'll get asked, "Who do you ship?" referring to members in a certain group. My serious answer is that I don't. Especially real life idols. I reserve this sort of emotional devotion to fictional characters, because to me that's a safe and respectable enough pastime. If I'm going to get all weepy and crazy about presumed love, I'd rather not waste my time conjuring up the private interactions of my favorite male celebs. Fanservice is one thing, and strange public encounters may be fun to notice, but beyond the humor I get at passing idol encounters, I am appalled at the amount of energy some fans spend shipping their idols to the exclusion of all else. Even worse, the fans who get pissy at others' ships, and must make their declarations known.

Which is why I can't help but love this response by Tumblr user King-Mino upon the subject of ship wars:

(Permalink here)

Solid enough reason to ship. More then enough solid reason to not make it a huge deal. In light of that - here are some of the more humorous ships I share a passing giggle over, and don't expect me to dig up the proof (because I ain't got time for that):

  • Zikyung:  Zico + Kyung (Block B) - For being awesome rappers, who go on dates, take selcas, and generally harrass the other at every given opportunity
  • Taepyo: Taeil + P.O. (Block B) - Because maknae adores his littlest hyung
  • Zicap: Zico (Block B) + Cap (Teen Top) - Because Zico just had to comment on Cap's bubble bath teaser pic
  • Chunjoe:  Chunji + LJoe (Teen Top) - Because fans dig up so much evidence.. it's impossible to refute this 
  • G-ri: Gdragon + Seungri (Big Bang) - For the fanboy feels alone
  • Henber: Henry (Super Junior M) + Amber (f(x) - Because I heard Amber's sister Jackie actually approve this at a panel at Kcon, rejecting Krisber in the process
  • Penjae: Peniel + Sungjae (BTOB) - For the high amounts of skinship, general awkwardness and accompanying hilarity
  • Minwoo:  Mino + Jinwoo (Winner) - Because I've been infected by tumblr
  • Taoris: Tao + Kris (Exo-M) - Honestly, because I like the name, and because Kris probably cares less about ships than I do.
  • Sunggyu + Himself (Infinite) - because he's a little snot to every girl he meets on a show, and thinks he's too awesome for words, and I find it truth *
*Note: everything I said above is a lie, and you never read it here ;)

Hang on to your trophies boys.
You've still got a thousand obstacles ahead. <3 Rosie

Awards Season

Everything is just to be expected about this year's closing awards.  It's idiotic how fans fight and argue about the importance of these wins when half the time they are just popularity awards, driven in by fan votes, and industry connections.  I'm not belittling the award winning or nominated groups at all, because everyone starts from the bottom and/or has to work ridiculously hard against a zillion different kinds of obstacles. I just like to acknowledge that what we most recognize as "Kpop" are mainstream groups with huge fandoms, and whether or not you like them is subjective. The winners are going to be the most popular groups, and I. don't. care. I like who I like, I'm happy for those who get awards, and I'm not crying in a corner because Teen Top didn't win and I ever thought they had a chance.

By the way, did I mention that Rain is coming back? If there's anything cool about awards shows, it's for opportunities like this - proving after all this time, that Rain's still got it. 

The Queens Are Back

[The Kpop girl group definition of queens is of course subject to which fandom you belong to -] but I can't let this go unnoticed, that 2NE1 (whom I don't stan, but tolerate well enough) finally came back this year with ONE decent song. Phew! I was starting to get worried. I really try hard to follow girl groups, just so I don't feel as biased against the ladies.  Having two  mediocre songs this year by one of Kpop's baddest female groups around seriously depressed me. Now if YG will get off his troll-fest of 2013 and let them release an album next, maybe I'll be happier. 

December looms! Christmas in Kpop? I'm scared...


  1. The award shows, lol. Fans think they mean something but they don't, they never do. As you said, whoever has a big fan base will win an award. I enjoy watching MAMA because it always has great performances and it's fun to chat about it on Twitter, but the winners are always so silly. Like GD winning for Best Dance, or Seung Gi winning for Best Vocal. And Seung Gi comes out and sings before he accepts his award, and it's clear he shouldn't be winning any awards for Best Vocals! ha ha. He's like, my favourite person on the planet but there are much better singers out there!

    This - "I am appalled at the amount of energy some fans spend shipping their idols to the exclusion of all else". I read a post on Tumblr once (it was so long it took me over half an hour to read it!) that was all to do with the little moments between Luhan and Sehun, lol. I was fascinated by the amount of time this person had spent on watching BTS videos and fancams and making gifs and taking screen shots so that they had all of this 'evidence' for their belief. It was actually written really well, and they made all of it quite believable, lol.

    I love shipping because it's lots of fun, but when people start believing that these ships are true is when it becomes a problem. I ship Penjae because without Sungjae, Peniel is boring and uninteresting. But when he's with Sungjae, he's a bit more fun and adorable. You know what ship i didn't know existed? Minwoo. I never think of them together; they don't seem that close.

    Also, I love that 2NE1 song. My favourite song of theirs this year.

    1. GD's my ultimate still, but good grief - best dance performance? Even he's probably laughing hysterically about it.

      'Fascinating' is just what I think of those long ship proofs. Honestly, I've read a few similar to that too - they're hilarious. Fans like that will probably do well in college when they have to put together a master's dissertation. Lol

      Penjae is fun! Especially the times Sungjae features on Peniel's vlog. So much second hand embarrassment though haha. Minwoo is that tumblr user king-mino's ship. It's awesome because there really isn't much to go on - hence the extra excitement when someone just looks at the other from across the room. The best example ever of how silly ships can be, and that irony is ever noted in her ship posts.

  2. "I had a nightmare this week where Winner never became big, where one member died, and the group disintegrated into anonymity. Wtf.. I'm appalled at the level of torture my brain conceives up in my sleep."

    \\\be right back, died laughing.

    (clears throat) Definitely your best A Touch of KPop yet. So much win!!! (puns...) ;)

    1. I wish I had made up that story ^ Dreams are scary as hell sometimes. Am I worried about the economy, my job, or my family? Nope - I'm freaked out about 5 Korean boys not becoming popular.. *shameshame*

      Thank you! And I hope there will always be enough Win to include!

  3. I forsee some green elfs with an ahjumma perm for next month's A Touch of Kpop kekeke

    1. Noooooo omigod nooooo... but. I think you're right. *pouts* *starts compiling pictures* :p

    2. haha
      Hey,think about it this way: At least, it'd fit in a Christmas/December theme kekeke

  4. Those ship proofs are so entertaining to read, but I agree that when people start believing they're true it becomes an issue. I'm totally with you in shipping Sunggyu with himself though lol.

    1. As long as we keep them within the reins of 'fiction' I think they can be highly entertaining- and not too much dif from fan fic (which I don't read, but .. ehh.. I admit the genre itself is intriguing).
      Sunggyu is the reason I love Infinite so much. I'm not technically a fan of the group (I just like them a lot). But I adore that boy :p

    2. *Hence why I can't ship Sunggyu with anyone else hehehe