[kpop/review] and this is my diatribe. SHINee’s Japanese Replay MV.

SHINee’s Japanese debut MV, Replay, was released on 26 May 2011. If you haven’t seen it yet, or want to refresh your mind, take a gander:

I have waited six days to write this, and I still do not think it is safe for me to post this. Please (t)read cautiously. If there was only one thing I was allowed to say about the Replay Japanese MV, it would be this:

Taemin was pushed to the front, and shoved up our faces.

Initially, Replay was supposed to be rewritten to take into account SHINee’s improved singing, which I thought was code for “Let’s have Minho and Taemin sing a few solo lines!” which really meant, “Let’s just have Taemin sing Onew’s and Jonghyun’s parts! Minho can just stew in the back with his chesty shirt!” Not only did the S.M. neglect Minho, they also gave Taemin two of the most iconic parts in Replay. In the Japanese version, Taemin sings the beginning, originally sung by Jonghyun, and Taemin sings the middle part in verse two with the high note (around 1:33sec), originally sung by Onew. I am most irritated by Taemin singing the beginning, because in an interview,* Jonghyun once said that Replay is the song with which he has the deepest emotional connection, and whenever he hears the beginning, his feelings are indescribable–a mixture of anticipation, pride, happiness, gratitude, humbleness. As Jonghyun-biased, I am deeply annoyed that S.M. would take that away from Jonghyun.

Speaking of which, the first time I watched the MV, I paused the video after the first verse. After the initial head shots of the five members (classic S.M. style), I did not see an individual shot of Jonghyun at all, and I was beginning to seriously doubt Jonghyun had even sung in the first verse. I went back and listened to the music and then found Jonghyun singing the measly four-second lead-in to the chorus in a fleeting shot that gives prominence to the group, not Jonghyun. In fact, the scene before Jonghyun’s part? Taemin‘s super-long Matrix-style-camera-shot (also irritatingly, classic S.M.). Guess who was given the first full frontal head shot? Taemin! Who is stuck in the center for group dance every single time? Taemin! And guess who had five individual head shots in the first two minutes compared to Jonghyun’s lonely single head shot?! Taemin!

Of course, Taemin is SHINee’s “dancer” and is usually in the center for the choruses, but if you look at the original video, at around the 1:57sec mark, guess what you see?! Jonghyun in the center and singing his part! In Japanese Replay, we see Taemin in the center and Jonghyun singing his mercifully unchanged part.. but now, unfortunately, in the back..

Before. After.

So not only musically we are assaulted, we are pummelled by Taemin visually as well. I would be less sore about Taemin singing the parts of Onew and Jonghyun if Minho had sung something substantial as well. However, Minho got ignored, and so all this put together can only mean one thing: Taemin got pushed to the front.

Now that we sorted that there is some sort of favoritism going on, the next question to ask is why? Why Taemin? Well, if we look at Google Insights, Taemin ( テミン) is the most Googled member in Japan, followed by Key. In an interview with Y Generation Magazine:

SHINee: We think Taemin has the highest popularity in Japan because when we had activities in Japan many fans will scream the loudest when he appears on the big screen!

Oho. So someone’s doing their market research at S.M.! Wow! Instead of working hard to make all of the members liked, let’s just pile everything on Taemin! The visual and the aural! Even if it disrupts the group dynamic of SHINee, this is swell! We will just capitalize on status quo! Terrific! Best marketing plan evarr!! Fame is not transitory!! Not at all!!

Other complaints:

  • Why Yoona? I do not have anything against her, but I thought it would be a nice gesture if the featured female was Japanese. DBSK succeeded in Japan because they had an authentic J-pop style, while SHINee just seems like a glossy import by just sticking to Koreans.
  • Four members acted terribly. Onew: creepy, Taemin: flo-mo killed it, Minho: too much lovelorn-doe googly eyes, and Jonghyun: I’m-watching-you-as-I-wash-windows-even-though-the-windows-are-already-clean-and-I-have-no-idea-how-to-clean-windows-in-the-first-place-creepy. Key was the only one who rocked it, because he fits naturally in his designer concept.
  • The style was just a reblurb of past SHINee trends. Also, the sets, though detailed, are not memorable.
  • Jonghyun is always cut off in the framing of his shots, unlike say, Taemin. This might seem trivial, but honestly, why aren’t we ever granted a view of the top of Jonghyun’s head as well?! He’s not going bald, is he?!

Before Shawols trample me, I will highlight a few good things about the MV:

  • EMI Japan uploaded the MV in 1070HD. Bless them.
  • Taemin’s new hairstyle makes him look more manly. Or it makes him look more butch. It could go either way.
  • Jonghyun’s individual-shot hairstyle actually does draw from Japanese influences (manga! anime!).
  • Dork Jonghyun is adorbs!

So I bet you are itching to tell me I am wrong and that the MV is perfect and you hope I grow a pig snout the next morning. If you are seriously contemplating on cursing me, listen to this audio guide first. If you have further concerns, please leave a comment or ask anonymously on formspring!

——

*It was a spoken interview from around 2009, so I am having trouble finding it. If I do find it, I will update accordingly.

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43 thoughts on “[kpop/review] and this is my diatribe. SHINee’s Japanese Replay MV.

  1. BRILLIANT!
    I could barely even watch the official japanese MV. could only watch a parody in which the fake subtitles took up half the screem. it was no better than the official korean mv in which all their faces were f***ing glowing D:
    i think aside from the taemin being most popular, it might have been japanese-speaking abilities. key speaks the most japanese, but his vocal range is not the same as jonghyun’s whereas taemin is supposedly closer? but maybe jjong doesnt have good japanese. idk about onew and minho cause ive barely heard them speak japanese… except the couple times onew completely screwed up.
    still pissed off taemin stole jjong’s opening line tho.
    watch the parody, its genius: http://vimeo.com/24372557
    i plan on making a literal parody myself.

    • heh. thanks. I hope I didn’t come across too rantys.

      “When Jjong didn’t have to wash windows.” LOL

      I tend to lean away from the Taemin-is-better-at-Japanese rationalization because kpop recording style is sing it over and over until you get it right, so Jonghyun, though he might pan his pronunciation in live performances, would have been able to get a perfect Japanese recording. As opposed to American recording style, which records vocals once or twice.

      I think it was more of a range issue as well like you said, there’s only so many parts Taemin could hijack. It wasn’t a question of Taemin v. Jonghyun or Taemin v. Onew, it was a question of what Taemin can sing best, and also, how that will fit into their debut image, and thus, Taemin ended up with those two parts. Stick Jonghyun or Onew with any part, and they can sing everything just fine, but Taemin is bit of an issue, especially on the live stage, so whatever Taemin could kind of sing, Taemin got the part. I’m a little pissy about it, too, because I really do want SHINee to dominate the Japanese market, but this clearly is such a weak move on EMI/SM’s part. But I’m sort of resigned to it by now (SM: the arbiter of bad decisions like Taemin’s nose job, the company which gives SHINee all the leftovers from SuJu&TVXQ demos), and I’m sort of interested what EMI/SM will do if they decide to make a “Hello” (which already has Taemin/Minho parts!) video.

      Link me when you do upload the parody ^^
      Michelle

  2. “Taemin was pushed to the front, and shoved up our faces.” YES! When I watched the video I felt exactly the same way but was too afraid of fangirls to admit anything. Thank you for saying it straight up! I kept seeing his face over and over, and over, and over… it’s not like I don’t like Taemin, but he was clearly favored by the producers of the video. And though Jonghyun isn’t my bias, his vocals and sheer emotion made “Replay” special (at least to me).

    So, um, yeah – I agree with everything you’ve stated in this terrific post. I myself couldn’t find too many things I liked about it so I just fanboyed Key, heh.

    Looking forward to your next one!

    • heh. :D … yes.. this whole post screamed of Jonghyun-bias, even though I tried to get rid of it //hides under pillow

      I noticed.. you seem to fanboy Key quite a lot.. anyone who reads this blog probably thinks I’m a diehard for Taemin.. T____T

      thanks for reading again! I’m glad that we shared the same viewpoint, so my rant is somewhat not as rantys!
      Michelle

  3. You mentioned everything i thought of when i saw the mv! i think this mv is a huge disappointment, especially for jjong fans. i loved the korean replay because it was basically all jonghyun and was looking forward to this mv. i knew they would give taemin a few more solo lines because he has improved, but i didnt think they would give him half the song. i think his singing still lacks a little and doesnt have the same power to sing the high notes like onew, jonghyun or key. half the video consists of taemin’s headshots plus he took jjong and onew’s lines, gets to dance in the middle and has a solo dance part.

    i felt a bit sorry for minho as well, i think he can sing just as well as taemin, but SM never seems to give him any lines.

    i agree the video was pretty ugly as well, the bright and weird outfits and the overly cheesy, stereotypical scenes. AHHAHA “and Jonghyun: I’m-watching-you-as-I-wash-windows-even-though-the-windows-are-already-clean-and-I-have-no-idea-how-to-clean-windows-in-the-first-place-creepy”.

    • yup yup yup I totes agree with Taemin’s “singing still lacks a little” = autotune to the rescue! I think they used it especially with the low trills when Taemin sings Onew’s original part. Minho’s voice, though pretty, is sort of unnatural sounding nowadays T___T (is that just me?!).

      thanks for readings ^^ I’m happy you agreed.. so many other Shawols are like: “Yay! Woopee! Bright colors! Minho-chesty-shirt!” -____-”
      Michelle

      • haha, yeah, definitely autotune! oh yes, minho’s chesty shirt. hes so bony, the shirt made him look even skinnier. i also think jonghyun seems to lack enthusiasm, his dance moves arent as exaggerated, he doesnt smile a lot and it just doesnt look like hes trying. maybe its just me? your welcome :)

        • I think Jonghyun felt as though, I’m having a hard time wording this, maybe angered? By the fact that Taemin has taken over? I’m sure he’s proud of his maknae becoming better, but overshadowing is another ball game, I liked Hello and Lucifer quite a lot more because They all got focused on a lot more equally, Even Minho got singing parts, and Taemin got some more singing lines too! I didn’t think they would fall back on “Favoritism-equals-more-popularity” game. That is only going to appeal to certain people who are “Taemints”, and irritate others. Im sure the other band members are just as irritated. they have all expressed feelings in Interviews of “Jealousy” when others got more than them, but said it was “just what that person was talented in” -(Minho) So im sure this pissed them off.

          • I agree.. but I think that angry is maybe too strong of a word.. maybe sullen would be a little better.. they’re angry but they know better than to be openly pissed off.. :( rumors are abound that they’re filming a new Japanese MV (Juliette!) :D hopefully SM will learn from mistakes and not deviate from original.

            thanks for reading and commenting! :)
            Michelle

      • zzzomg. I totally agree, Minho looked more like a gangly boy than man >.< now that you mention it, you could be right about Jonghyun's apathy, maybe unconsciously/consciously unhappy about part-stealer-Taemin?! He probably did have some kind of WTF moment when he learned he wouldn't be singing first. XD or, equally likely, maybe the smiley/happy Jjong moments were edited out.. in favor of.. another member..

        I think we will be able to judge more once we see some live performances on Japanese music shows..

        :D Michelle

  4. i am also jjong biased so i couldn’t tell anyone that i feel jonghyun has been pushed aside. i told this to my friend who is taemin biased and so she is totally fine with the replay mv. I AM SO MAD! what you said was so RIGHT! if taemin is the most popular in japan then they should’ve done something to make the other members get noticed too!

    “why aren’t we ever granted a view of the top of Jonghyun’s head as well?! He’s not going bald, is he?!” <—– HAHAHA i laughed so much when i saw this because IT'S SO TRUE!!! i don't dislike taemin but the truth is he kind of pissed me off when i saw the mv even though it wasn't his fault. also jonghyun having to clean the windows… if key is a DESIGNER then what is his JOB??! AGH i just can't explain my feelings but i know things are going unfair for jonghyun! and also minho! i know minho isn't the best singer in shinee but what SM is doing is proving the rumours that minho's carreer is only because of his looks!

    the truth is even though i am jonghyun biased.. i feel that only some people like jonghyun. i feel that he is the most unpopular in shinee… am i right?? it's just a feeling though. so i just want him to have a chance of being liked by japanese people. I WANT PEOPLE TO LIKE HIM!! hahahhaha

    jonghyun dancing is so cute!!!! i think that's his signature dance.. whenever he dances idly, that's his dance!! hahahaha

    • I feel exactly the same way about Minho! In fact, as an introduction to Japanese audience, I think it’s even worse for Minho than for Jonghyun in this MV. (haha, if I was Minho-biased, this post would have been mostly about Minho!)

      Yes, in Korea, I would have to say Onew/Minho/Taemin are the most popular. I think one of the biggest reasons Jonghyun isn’t more popular is that he doesn’t appear on variety shows or other widely public happenings as often as the other members. (Haha, maybe he’s out with SSK!) So, Jonghyun’s popularity more rests on how good of a singer he is, and not so much his personality. So docking his lines in Japanese “Replay” really deprived him his primary mode of expressing himself. Sigh. I want Japan to love him too! Ugh, I was so PO’ed after watching the MV too. Cutting off the top of his head in frames just aggravated me further, because I couldn’t get rid of the feeling they were unconsciously squishing in Jonghyun and giving Taemin more space T___T

      I’m sort of curious to see them perform on Japanese music shows, and whether the cameras will actually spend more time on Taemin.. if they do, I might claw my eyes out..

      LOL. It’s really funny watching SHINee dance, because they’re all like “Lucifer” and “Ring Ding Dong” and overall very textbook, but then when they dance spontaneously.. they really are dorks.. cutie pie dorks..

      thanks for reading! ♥♥
      Michelle

    • you WIN.
      i actually think either key or minho is least popular cause people generally like jjong for his voice (and muscles). minho cause he barely does anything (not his fault) and key cause hes plain and average.
      actually in the rest of the video, jonghyun’s head top(?) is seen, just not as significantly as taemin’s. and what you said is true- everyone else as higher up actions(?) during the video (sculptor, fashion designer, dancer, athlete) whereas jjong is washing windows… what???

      and jonghyun-biased people should notice that onew fades even more into the background- his physical appearance is completely lacking, his “sculptor” scenes are there at the beginning when theres not a lot of singing and *poof* thats all he gets and the lighting is kind of softened too so that hes not as noticeable. and the one almost solo clip he gets when they’re all in the big room- hes turned away and quickly cut off. even during his solo singing shots he looks really boring. at least everyone else’s scenes are more dynamic (even jonghyun’s).

      • don’t tell anyone, but I’ve been spending time watching a lot of SHINee variety shows XD the camera focus always goes to Minho, Onew, or Taemin. Once I was watching Minho/Jonghyun show, and they were doing aegyo together, and the camera just completely ignored Jonghyun -____-” I think it’s also a problem of looks: Jonghyun and Key don’t really fit into categories and aren’t very mainstream, ‘desired’, ‘ideal’ faces in Korea.

        hmm.. you are right about Onew.. (sigh.. what am I going to do about my Jonghyun bias?!!!!!) =_____= though Onew really never gets major focus in their MVs, because frankly, that kid is awkward XD https://theinnocentlam.wordpress.com/2010/09/22/onew-sangtae-one-of-the-awkward-things-onew-always-does-in-his-music-videos/

        Michelle

        • LOL at the dont tell anyone part. (im guilty too. thats why im a bit scared of your blog)
          hmm i never noticed. altho i did notice the fbg ep with the pole dancing, jjong completely failed.
          key does this weird thing where he points at his head in all the mvs. you should make a compiled pic of that too :D (and then theres jjong and his mouth wipes)

  5. Hello there.
    I came across this interview..and it did catch my attention.
    I am a Taemin bias all the way…and I actually agree with most of the things you noted down here. o.o
    I feel as if the companies are pushing Taemin to the spotlight…and as much as Taemin fans would love that…I myself am actually worried.. I do not want him in the spotlight that much. He is the lead dancer…and as much as he deserves more singing lines from time to time..they shouldn’t remove Jonghyun’s parts to give them to Taemin. ( Atleast in my opinion)
    And once again, i’ve read all comments…I agree with the whole Japan “popularity” thing.
    As much as I want SHINee to expand in the market there..a lot of things have been somewhat ruined ;~;
    i miss the old days haha. but i’ll still support them no matter what :)

    -sorry, 14 years old here :) ♥
    anyways thanks for the review.

    • :) yesterday I was panicking, “what if a Taemin bias read this?!!!” I am so relieved you felt the same way, and us bunch of Jonghyun biases aren’t just seeing things =___= I miss the old days too, where the group seems more cohesive, hopefully when they do promote for real, it’ll be more equal.

      ahaha, don’t worry about your age! ^^ I’m still honored that you took the time to comment, no matter who you are, whether you disagree or agree!
      ♥Michelle

  6. I read through the comments, and was glad that some people felt the same way as I did :D I’m really disappointed about the Japanese MV. Like seriously? Taemin almost took like half the song. He definitely improved, but I don’t think taking a huge chunk of Jonghyun’s line and taking some of Onew’s lines was necessary. Maybe some lines for Taemin.

    There was this part when Jonghyun sang before the first chorus, but the editors just had to show Taemin doing his cool matrix stuff and a scene between him and Yoona. It was at the 0:53/0:54 second of the Japanese MV. *Taemin fans don’t bash on me please LOL ><*.

    I personally liked the Korean MV better because Jonghyun sang more, and he was in the middle when the 2nd chorus started with the point up finger move. As a Jonghyun fan, I'm kinda pissed really. And I heard rumors that they were switching places, Taemin becoming the lead singer, and Jongyhun becoming what? nothing? lol. I hope its false though.

    I hope in future MV's they'll give Jonghyun as much screentime like they used to, but also not neglecting both Taemin and Minho. I think it would've been better to stay with the parts they have, until they release a new song and give the parts out equally and balanced.

    *Once again, Taemin fans don't bash on me please LOL. This is just my opinion. I'm not hating on him, just sad that Jonghyun kinda ignored, or maybe I'm overreacting. Either way, I hope for the best for Shinee. Shinee fighting! :D *

    • don’t worry about Taemin fan bashing, there hasn’t been a single negative comment yet (which is weird, since my most popular posts are on Taemin! they know to stay away because I will beat their reasoning down XD)

      I totally agree! The Taemin dance part was so long compared to the other “parts” that the other members acted T___T S.M. is so obvious sometimes. If Jonghyun officially got demoted from lead vocalist, I’d probably send a petition for Jonghyun to privately sue S.M. ugh. I dislike S.M. and their tightly closed contracts. I wish Korean artists would be a little more selfish in their contracts, rather than signing on at a naive early age :(

      Again, I agree. SHINee is a group, and should shine as a group, highlighting their special abilities each. :)

      thanks for reading & commenting
      ^^ Michelle

      • well..i’m sad actually seeing Taemin got bashed because of this…but i’m not saying its not true what you guys said…its just,for me as Taemin bias,i feel great for him as he finally got more lines than usual..maybe they are trying to give Taemin chances as he work hard improving his vocal…But Jonghyun still got more line than Taemin though…just imagine,us Taemin fans cant get enough of him before this so..do u understand what i’m trying to say?

        • hmm I’m not bashing him, it’s not Taemin’s fault. Well.. I think it was actually quite equal before, it’s like Eunhyuk in SuJu, he gets all the dance breaks even though he may not sing a lot.. I felt it was more equal this way :/

  7. Yes!! XD I’m sorry if this is too long. Thank you, your post is epic. But then again, I am a Blinger as well. XD

    Jonghyun not being in the first half of the mv was the /first/ thing I noticed, but it took me too long (aka until now OTL) to notice that someone else had taken his opening line. It was weird, because I knew Taemin sang the first line, but it never occurred to me to link it with the fact that Jonghyun originally sang it. Probably because I’m always too conflicted about whether I should like any non-DBSK Japanese remake, so I think I was worrying too much about that. But I also knew the Japanese version sounded kind of funny and off, so how I didn’t notice is beyond me. I guess I can attribute that to the fact that every non-DBSK Japanese remake never flows quite right. I was also too distracted watching their pretty faces. It was like SS501′s 2008 year all over again. XD

    I mean, I’m not hating on Taemin (too much >,> *nervous laugh*) because this is mostly a company decision, but the rest seriously got gypped out of this mv. I figure that being in the position of main dancer/visual or rapper comes with not getting a lot of lines (the biggest insult is Kiseop from U-Kiss in 0330, poor guy!), but Taemin gets both!? The eff!! At first I thought, oh, okay, Taemin gets other’s lines, but then when I compared the dance versions, I discovered that he not only takes the lines vocally but also visually, even Onew’s spot on the right. >_> I’m sorry, Taemin! I don’t mean to hate you! *huggles Jonghyun plush*

    • Did half my comment get cut out? Sorry for spamming? OTL

      And why put him in the middle of that one refrain that was clearly Jonghyun’s original spot when it’s not his line!?

      Also, here’s an interesting piece of trivia that I found out. I should have known this, being a crazy SHINee (*cough*Jjong*cough*) fan, but I’ve only been into Kpop for a little over a year, and they were my fourth group, so I’m behind on watching all their shows and stuff as I try to catch up with watching DBSK, Super Junior, and SS501 (who all have enormous prestige). I actually don’t know much about them by comparison. (And now I’m rambling… *smacks self*)

      Anyway!! In an interview, it was made known that those lines Taemin ‘stole’ were actually originally his. Right before SHINee debuted, Taemin’s voice hit puberty and he couldn’t sing his lines as well, and so they were given to other members. Looking at the original song, Taemin gets the same one line, otherwise having his parts merged with other members’ during the refrain (but that was what made it cool!), but again, I attributed this to being the position of dancer/rapper.

      In spite of finding this out, I can hardly say I care. Why couldn’t they just keep their lines? I suppose it was unfair to take Taemin’s lines away from him before he debuted, but in my opinion, it was the best decision. However, now that Replay’s been out for a couple of years, it throws the balance of voices off to give Taemin his lines back, even if it’s ‘fair’ now that he’s matured. I guess I can’t help but hold a bit of animosity towards Taemin, even if it’s not really his fault. And his cute/innocent/baby/whatever face doesn’t work on me. Any idol might be pretty or handsome, but if they’re not my bias, I start liking them a little less… I’m sorry, Taemin! I don’t mean to hate you! *huggles Jonghyun plush*

      • if I could, I would “like” these pair of comments a bajillion times XD

        I love the fan name “Taemint”.. because I think of minty chocolates… there’s something weird about saying “Blinger”.. I think about stars and Saturn … lol. but what can you do when you’re a hopeless Jjong bias?! T____T

    • o.0 really?! they were Taemin’s original parts?! <– shows how behind I am on SHINee news.. I've been sort of ignoring SHINee for the past week, not only because I'm sort of sick of looking at it all the time but mostly because their Japanese debut is so uninteresting and it's a Taemin-and-party show T___T

      about that news, I'm sort of skeptical it is true, I'd give it a 70% true rating (30% false); for example, I was watching this show where Heechul was discussing dating, and he said before he and this girl dated, he made sure they had a 'story' to give to the press if they publicly broke up, so there would more blame on him instead of the girl (how nice! I guess..). S.M. knows a lot of fans are irritated at the switch-ups in Taemin's favor; they've always been devious and sly at managing press (except for the disaster that was Jonghyun and SSK).. Sigh, I really hate how kpop is such a forest of mirrors and smoke.

      If it is true, then I agree with you, it was for the better that Jonghyun & Onew took the parts, because Taemin at that time wasn't a good singer at all (see his bridge part in Love Like Oxygen, EVERY performance, was horrendous), whether he was hitting puberty or not. I also find the 'hitting puberty' excuse to be very bogus. Justin Bieber. When he was going through 'puberty' (he may still be), he sang just fine live. So, I don't appreciate this cover-up or lame excuse. Singers are singers all the way through, puberty or no puberty.

      Also, Taemin's recent 'blossoming' doesn't entitle him to domination of SHINee. Definitely more responsibility, but … the other members have matured as well, and SHINee is a group..

      ;___; I agree, putting Taemin in the front is one of the most idiotic decisions on S.M.'s part. I think they thought it would be very 'subtle'.. but er..

      I also agree with SHINee's Japanese remake sounding awkward. I am also really disappointed they can't speak conversational Japanese, or at least, S.M. won't let them on TV (if anything, bumbling SHINee speaking in Japanese would be really endearing to fans). S.M. is doing a lot of idiotic things nowadays, this is such a half-baked debut!!! When I saw the article comparing SHINee to Beatles, I think I blew a gasket!! (I will shut my mouth now.)

      thanks for reading ^^
      your comment was quite epics too ^^
      (and don't worry about your rambling, I think I did it 100x worse)
      Michelle

      (you mentioned being behind on SHINee shows, if you join the forum http://www.shineee.net/ and reach 30 posts, you can access their quite extensive gallery of SHINee hardsubbed videos!)

  8. XD I’m not the best at keeping up, either, though I try. Too busy trying to follow too many groups at one time. OTL

    I mostly ignore (or ‘hate on’) Japanese debuts. It’s really difficult for me to like any of them. I used to be into Jpop and anime (considerably less so now that I’m into Kpop XD), so I know how the language should naturally flow both in speech and in song, and none of the non-DBSK groups are doing it justice. (Hold that thought, I still have to check out SS501. XD) I thought I could enjoy Japanese remakes because I’d be able to sing them better, being used to reading romaji and all, but I can’t follow the rhythm for crap. T_T Also, the idea of sticking random Korean in there is cool, but at the same time, I admire DBSK for being able to get their raps down in Japanese. FTW!! So I was surprised to hear Minho rap in Japanese for Hello.

    XD I saw that Heechul interview thing. I think it’s weird to actually have to do that, but SM knows what they want. *sigh* But in a sense, we can’t blame them, either. They’re a company. It’s what they [have to] do. A big example is that a lot of people I meet don’t like SM because of all the controversies associated with them, but who’s to say YG or JYP don’t have the same problems? Just because they’re not public doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

    To be honest, I never liked Taemin as a singer. I sort of recognized SHINee through Ring Ding Dong, but I got into SHINee after Lucifer and before Hello. I actually didn’t like them at all at first. XD XD XD How do people usually decide biases? One of those ‘at first sight’ things? Well, I decided I liked Jjong because he was the most normal-looking guy out of the Lucifer bunch (and I actually liked Onew’s voice at first, but then I ditched him, because I fall really hard for main vocalists >,>). So then Hello came out, and I knew at once that I really disliked Taemin’s voice. I almost died when he covered Jonghyun’s parts in Lucifer. XP Aaagh…

    Singers are definitely singers, true that. DBSK’s Junsu was going through puberty as well, and he was having a difficult time adjusting his voice. His doctor even told him he should probably give up as a singer! But Junsu preservered, and now look where he ranks on the charts. ^__^ And yeah! People bag on me for liking Jonghyun (and not SHINee), but my response is that Jonghyun can’t be SHINee all by himself. I just happen to like his role in SHINee and what he does best. Besides, that’s what a bias is. It’s not that I dislike the other members, just that I like them less. :P

    There’s just too much competition happening in Kpop nowadays, and I believe they’re trying to branch out using Japan. But now the competition is too fierce even in Japan (which makes me glad that Super Junior never debuted in Japan and hoping they never will), and there’s no time to nurture these groups properly like the second generation. Just give them a rope and hope they hang on for the ride. :(

    Oh, goodness. Wow. XD Thank you, but I’m not a huge forum/network user. My friend just pointed me to your post when she saw my rant on Facebook. XD You were spot-on with me (my favorite part of the post was when I realized we both commented on the fact that Taemin took over both vocally and visually). And anyway, I have a huge list of videos on a YouTube playlist that I have yet to watch, SHINee making up a fair number of them. XD Since I’m a bit more geared towards SHINee than my other three interests right now, I’m also trying to hold back so I can finish up before I start losing interest. It’s already happening with DBSK since they’re split and with SS501 since they’ve gone separate ways.

    • I never really liked Onew’s voice.. or Jonghyun’s voice, for that matter T___T I think a lot people usually cement biases after they watch them in variety shows.. so they sort of become addicted to their personalities as people rather than just idols.. because otherwise, I never thought any of them were great-looking (though I did like Jonghyun’s hair in Ring Ding Dong and Taemin’s in Love Like Oxygen.. lol). Yes, it’s sort of irrational how we decide these things.. sometimes I question why exactly I’m Jonghyun’s fan when I don’t adore his voice, think he’s good-looking.. sigh..

      happy watching ^^
      I know most Shawols would shoot me for saying this, but I always have a feeling some of SHINee will end up suing SM (especially Minho)..

      watching Korean artists go into the Japanese market is troubling, because sometimes in the bubble we think that Korean agencies are so powerful, especially S.M., Y.G., yet the truth of it is that Korea is a fraction of the size of the Japanese economy, and even S.M. may not have the resources to guarantee explosive success.. such as BoA in America.. S.M. was so powerless and lacked the correct relationships for BoA to really make a dent. That’s one of the reasons I dread Japanese debut so much, like you… because I feel like S.M. is still like a Nemo, looking for dad. Sometimes it succeeds, and sometimes Nemo goes to the sharks :(

      :) have a good weekend & 4th of July if you celebrate it!
      Michelle

      • XD Well, I guess I’m a bit shallow this way when it comes to cementing who I like. I tend to pick someone on first sight, then find out about their personalities, which I usually end up simply accepting. I think another unfortunate(?) thing about idols is that any flaws they may have is often never seen negatively. Onew’s sangtae is just ‘oh, that’s cute! :3′ or something, for example. But I do pick up other biases along the way, and that’s where I start to notice that I definitely do like (most) singers. ^__^

        Well, it wouldn’t be a surprise if SHINee did end up suing them. When did these ‘slave contracts’ come about, anyway? I remember finding out Brian Joo used to be with Fly to the Sky under SM, and my first thought was ‘how the freak did you escape?’ XD And now some of the older SM generations are making comebacks, too, so they must not quite hate SM if they’re trickling back into the industry.

        BoA and DBSK were really the experimental guinea pigs for the second generation wave. :/ And they did well in their own right, but I feel like for other countries, it might have been more of something new and exotic to see. (Speaking of which, concerning the popularity among big Kpop girl groups in Japan, 2NE1<SNSD<Kara, and I feel like it all has to do with how close the groups' styles are compared to Japanese pop culture.)

        Hey, I know this might be a little weird since we've only spoken a couple of times, but would you like to help vote for my Kpop dance covers so I might have a chance to go to Korea? :3

        • sure! link me!

          XD I think SM is a very powerful company.. it has some drawbacks and it has some very good points, idols need to pick and choose, sadly :P

          Michelle

  9. I agree! I mean I love Taemin and Jonghyun equally, but I really missed Jonghyun’s singing. I mean, yeah, I know SM wants to show off Taemin’s “new and improved” vocal skills, but Jonghyun needs more singing parts. Heck, he’s THE MAIN VOCALIST. I really liked SHINee because I thought that each member did pretty much get an equal amount of attention compared to other groups. This did diasappoint me. Plus Taemin’s babbyish voice isn’t really the same as Jonghyun’s.

    • good thing they didn’t change anything in Japanese ‘Lucifer’ ^^; I agree.. SHINee talents are pretty evenly distributed amongst members, there’s no one who is amazingly great at everything. They support each other. C:

      thank you for commenting and reading!
      Michelle

      • i agree with you…they support each other…awh..just please stop this jonghyun-taemin stealing lines things…What if Taemin hear this?gosh(i’m a total Taemint’s)Taemin will lose his confident to improve more..its enough when i heard people said something bad about him on other site(they just told Taemin to stop improving and be the cute maknae only and stop stealing others line,they are so rude!)

        • haha. well, of course, I wouldn’t be like that. Taemin getting better is a good thing for everyone, but I don’t support his becoming the dominant face of SHINee. Okay, Taemin got a few more lines, but then he got a lot more screen time, even if he wasn’t singing. That was what I had the most problem with, but o.0 I was just really surprised he got the opening line because … that’s classic Jonghyun territory … if nothing else …

          thanks for stopping by!! I appreciate your nice and gracious tone! :)
          Michelle

  10. Pingback: [kpop/SHINee] Tohoshinki’s TONE. I’m worried about 7 December 2011 « the innocent lam

  11. Pingback: [review/kpop] The First, SHINee « the innocent lam

  12. This ain’t a review, it’s a personal rant. You didn’t even mention how their vocals were or anything. Oh right, that’s because Taemin was shoved in our faces according to your conclusion after six days. I like your blog but not this post.

  13. Pingback: [review] SHINee’s Dazzling Girl. | the innocent lam

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