Super Junior: “Super Men”

From left to right: Siwon, Donghae, Heechul, Sungmin, Eunhyuk, Yesung, Shindong, Leeteuk, Kyuhyun, Ryeowook

When I was asked to write this article on Super Junior, I was thrilled but immediately got nervous which was strange since I’ve written and published two books before….but I wanted to be sure that I could present Super Junior in a loving and respectful manner. Due to the enormous size of the group, I will try to keep this article as brief as possible.
I have to admit that SHINee has been and always will be my #1 favorite group of any genre, of all time, mainly for their superior vocal abilities, endearing personalities, beautiful bodies, and gorgeous faces. Whereas SHINee has been known for wearing brightly colored , skin-tight clothing….Super Junior has become known for their exquisite and mature sense of style. Whether they are headed to a fan meeting, an interview, a press conference, or singing a classic ballad on stage…the men of Super Junior dress as professional, charismatic gentlemen…often times in suits, button-down oxford shirts, and ties.

They first debuted in 2005 with 12 members and then added a 13th member in 2006. Due to different career paths, lawsuits, & mandatory military service….as of this moment there are now 10 active members. Some can be intimidated by the size of the group but to me it makes it easier to just focus on the four members of the group with talents that stand out: Lee Donghae (rapping & dancing), Kim Ryeowook (singing), Choi Siwon (fantastic acting abilities), and my personal favorite ….the y0ung man with the hauntingly powerful but velvety smooth voice, the “maknae” Cho Kyuhyun.

Cho Kyuhyun

Super Junior has four sub-groups but the main one to focus on is their Mandarin-speaking group, Super Junior-M, which is made up of 6 members from Super Junior, plus two additional Mandarin-speaking Chinese members.
Super Junior has released five studio albums, three Korean single albums, and one Japanese album. Their megahits include “Sorry, Sorry”, “Bonamana”, Why I Like You”, and their recent #1 hit just released three weeks ago, “Mr. Simple”. I guess my main reason for writing this article is to highlight two reasons that make Super Junior so special to me.

First reason as mentioned earlier, is their classy sense of style which likely is a result of them being among the elder statesmen of this recent “Korean Wave”. Secondly, what sets Super Junior apart from other groups are the life events, some tragic, that some of the members have experienced that would ordinarily cause a group to break up.
In 2006, Lee Donghae lost his father to cancer and to this day it is difficult for him to speak on it since it was actually his father’s dream, not Donghae’s, to become a singer and Donghae and his father were very close.

Lee Donghae

In 2009, one of Super Junior’s original members and leader of its sub-group Super Junior-M, Han Geng, filed a lawsuit against Super Junior’s management company SM Entertainment for unlawfully locking him into a 13-year ‘slave contract’, misappropriating his earnings, and for refusals to give him a day off in over two years…which is believed to have contributed to his developing gastritis and kidney disease.
But in April of 2007, the tragedy that nearly broke the group up forever was when members Leeteuk, Shindong, Eunhyuk, Kyuhyun, & two of their managers were involved in a horrific car accident which nearly killed Kyuhyun and left Leeteuk critically injured. I tried to attach a YouTube video link of Kyuhyun speaking on the accident but it seems somehow YouTube has blocked it. ??? The most beautiful part of the video was the fact that Kyuhyun’s father, who was very much against him becoming a singer in the first place, was actually the one who ended up fighting the doctors by preventing them from performing a tracheotomy on Kyuhyun….which would’ve ended his career as a singer.
Please view the video at: YouTube.com …key word search: “Kyhyun Living a Second Life”
Lastly, I get enraged over the hurtful negativity, whether on TV or in print form, directed towards K-Pop music or trivializing its emerging popularity worldwide as being overrated. Sure, some of K-Pop music is cheesy and absolutely ridiculous and unfortunately there are some shady and underhanded things going on behind the scenes as with any industry but, which genre of music features artists that can actually sing in several different languages and still have #1 records? Just last week, mostly native Korean-speaking Super Junior-M released a Japanese version of their 2011 Mandarin-language album, “Perfection”. No, K-pop has not exploded here in the U.S. and probably won’t ever but we’ve already discussed on this blog how the U.S. in general can be prejudicial against accepting foreign artists….particularly non-English speaking ones.
Despite the ‘bumps and bruises’ and detours that Super Junior as a group has endured, one thing that has remained constant is their obvious love and support for one another through the bad times which has enabled them to savor the good times together such as having their fourth album “Bonamana” stay at #1 on the Taiwanese charts for 63 weeks straight! Beginning September 1st, member Heechul will report for his 23 months of mandatory military service and leader Leeteuk will also report in May of 2012. Member Kim Kibum is still on a self-imposed hiatus from the group in order to focus on his acting career. Regardless of these absences, in the end, the remaining active members of Super Junior will continue to take the lead in this “the Korean Wave” not just because they are super talented, but because they are “Super Men”.

By Choi Min Jung a.k.a Jessica Jackson http://twitter.com/#!/JacksonThePoet

List of Super Junior & Super Junior-M songs I personally recommend:
“Dead At Heart” – Super Junior
“In My Arms” – Super Junior-M
“My Love, My Kiss, My Heart” – Super Junior
“Super Girl” – Super Junior-M
“Perfection” – Super Junior-M
“Shake it Up” – Super Junior
“Marry U” – Super Junior
“Mr. Simple” – Super Junior
“Bonamana” – Super Junior
“The Whisper of the West Wind” – Super Junior-M
“You’re My Endless Love” – Super Junior
“A Man in Love “– (Remix version) – Super Junior

40 thoughts on “Super Junior: “Super Men”

  1. All of that hotness. Their parents probably had to keep a close eye on them because of all of those girls that may have followed them.

    Seriously, the person who gave you that article to write about Super Junior wanted you to do it because they know what you have on here, that you have experience( when you mentioned about the books) and what you write is,informative, unbiased, and is a lot of fun. That person knew that about you and that is why they chose you to write it. I can’t blame them for that.

  2. I hope this group stays together for a long time.

    Like I said before, at first, I thought there were too many of them and I would have a hard time trying to figure out who was who, but they grew on me. 🙂

  3. love this group. Leeteuk was crying this week I. Due to Heechuls leaving for the army on the 1st it was sad, but it shows tbeir strong friendship. As a ELF I’m proud lol

  4. @ATLSis I’m so glad you enjoyed the article. I thought it would take me forever to write it since the group is so large but I cranked it out in a couple of days…..I guess I love them so much and love talking about them. I wanted to make sure it was unbiased but still showed my respect for them and the hard work they put in. I hated that I couldn’t attach the YouTube video but I hope you watch it at a later time.

    @dramaddicted I understand if you can’t get into Super Junior but I couldn’t get into female K-Pop groups until I listened to T-ara and SNSD and now I love them. Give Super Junior and Super Junior-M a shot. Listen their songs and then decide…. 🙂

    @Kristine I’m proud to be an ELF too. If you follow Lee Donghae on Twitter like I do, he says very sweet things about us ELF’s.

    @Nicole I agree, I don’t know what’s going to happen to the group for the next 23 months because once Leetuek and Heechul get out of the army, it will be time for Donghae and Siwon to enlists. (sigh) Who knows, maybe Korea will be reunified by then and mandatory military service will become a thing of the past.. 🙂

    • LOL! Im already following you!! 😀

      The only girl groups I have been able to deal with are Miss A and BEG. 2NE1 hasn’t caught me yet and I don’t do the whole cutesie thing.

      • @Seli: 2NE1 is my fave girl group because I think they at least sing with more feeling than the rest of the chick groups. I’m already hard on girl groups because I can’t help but compare them to the girl groups I grew up with (En Vogue, TLC, Destiny’s Child). So yeah, they gotta really be talented for me to even look at them. Miss A have attitude but they all sound alike!!!! Where is their singing with feeling?? We’ve already discussed this on your blog Seli. They sound so similar to each other and they don’t sing with feeling. Don’t get me wrong, they are not as bad as SNSD or T-ara, ughhhh!! Oi. Well, each one to his own I guess. Anyway, I need to check out BEG….

      • Yeah we have LOL! I mainly like Miss A because of Min and Fei (sp?) Min can dance her ass off. She brings it. But JYP never gives her free reign. The rest of them they can keep ;P

      • @Seli: oh for sure they can dance! I won’t take that away from them…but somewhere in the vocals they are lacking….sheesh….
        When I first heard “Apa” by 2NE1 I was blown away, in that, well, to be honest, it wasn’t extraordinary, but for them it was! They were singing with attitude and feeling! I was sooo delighted! I looked up more of their music, but I wasn’t as satisfied hearing their other stuff. “Lonely” is good…but I’m hoping they evolve more toward the “Apa” style…they’ve got great potential…

  5. I enjoyed reading this article on Super Junior M. It’s amazing that how this band over come so many drama in their lives and are still together. I wish them all the best in their careers and their personal lives. P.S not all american’s are naive about Asian music. I love all asian music and I enjoy listen to Super Junior, Bi Rain, An Cafe and many more. I was taught not to care about people color or what country the person is from. We are all God’s children and we should love each other no matter what! So please remember there are a lot of anericans that do like asian music and other foreign music. That’s all I wanted to say! Thank you!

    • @Michelle Rodriguez Hey Michelle…I’m glad you enjoyed the article. Yes, I wanted to highlight the trials and tribulations that Super Junior has been through but are still together. I just found out on Twitter last night that there were some other hardships that Kyuhyun experienced but I can save that for another article at another time.

      I’m glad to know that you are one of those that appreciates Asian music and not let skin color or national origin get in the way. But unfortunately, there’s only a few us who feel this way. As much as I’d love for K-Pop to explode in this country, I’d be shocked if it did. Do you think K-Pop would receive the same amount of acceptance in this country as country music or Pop? Let’s wait and see….

      @bitofabelly81 Hey, I understand how you feel about the girl K-Pop groups…I pay more attention to the guys obviously… but those songs “Roly Poly” & “Bo Peep” from T-ara are great! …..I mean, if you like to dance. I think the only song I ever liked from SNSD was “Genie”.

      @Seli Thanks for the follow! I’m following you too. Yeah, I also like Miss A 🙂

      • @IChoi Min Jung and Michelle “i’m glad to know that you are one of those that appreciates Asian music and not let skin color or national origin get in the way. But unfortunately, there’s only a few us who feel this way”

        Well, there are people “here” who love everything about the Asian culture, not just the skin color which is superficial. Everyone is welcome to enjoy various things on this blog. So don’t let the previous antics fool you. And please do not feel isolated, you can chime in your thoughts anytime, anywhere. No one is above the other here

  6. Very nicely written and a great read!

    I’m not an ELF, but I’ve always admired SuJu and had a fondness for Leeteuk, Heechul, and Siwon in particular. I love KPop in general and so I’ll always have their back regardless of who I’m a fan of. They are talented and of good character, and deserve all the support they can get.

    Looking forward to more Super Junior articles to come down the pike! Again, thanks for sharing this here! 😀

  7. I just did one of those trial Rhapsody Player things and Super Junior is in my playlist. Haven’t started yet, I will let you know what I think. it is their 1st Asian Tour, so I will hear them live.
    I am a little upset they don’t have Rain or Shinee. They do have SNSD and Wondergirls. I am a sucker for “Gee”. Want to listen to Wondergirls to get to know them for the concert in Oct. I love 2NE1, they remind me of TLC. They are about the only girl group that I can listen to all of their songs.

  8. I like some K-pop girl groups, not all. I like 2NE1, f(x), Wonder Girls, After School and T-ara. I prefer girl groups that have something different. That’s what I loved about TLC and the Spice Girls.

  9. I hope one day k-pop or any kind of asian music well get the recognition in the United State. Like you said, let’s see!

  10. Choi,

    Yes, I definitely enjoyed that article with a capital E. Don’t worry about the YT clip of Super Junior. Eventually, I’ll be able to see it when it comes out.

  11. OK LADIES, here I am surfing the net with no particular place to go and BOAB81, I know we don’t have an open thread here, otherwise I would place this link there. I am still kinda Blown Away by what I just read. I don’t want to bring down the Mood of this thread, but I wonder if anyone here has seen this (I hate to say blog), but that’s what she calls it. If not, please take a look and tell me how you ladies feel about how someone views the women on THIS blog. This is an older post, but I had never seen it before now. WTF??!!!!

    http://cocobananashake.wordpress.com/2011/07/07/ambw-post-1-5-black-women-who-obsess-over-bi-rain-and-how-they-are-the-bane-of-my-k-pop-love-as-a-black-female/

      • Well forgive me for saying blog. 😦 I didn’t know it was a bad association.

        For the record, BOAB81, I love it here. And I’m sure the other ladies will gladly have their say very soon. So don’t sweat it @ Coco.

        We are grown women who have a grip on reality!!! We have lives of our own and enjoy it. We are not eat, sleep, mental break down, restraining order type of (how she says “clique” ) fangirls.

        Geese, I think this person is jealous because all she has are her rants. We have a little bit of everything for everyone and share good-hearted camaraderie.

        I bet this was the one who called Black Woman Love Bi “desperate.”

      • Coco, stop it. I don’t think anyone here is delusional. I for one know that the average man doesn’t go around looking like Bi. Just like the average man, doesn’t look like your favorite celeb. Gimme a break. It seems like everyone on this site is a grown woman or man. Please don’t reduce us down to delusional fangirls who have no life nor a grip on reality. Please stop the madness.

    • @BiAlamode: ha!! Just read it…hilarious! My thoughts:
      1) What’s funny to me is she thinks she’s a “different” kind of black woman kpop fan who’s stuff don’t stink and that she is better and stands apart from us just because we choose to voice our absolute love for our favourite Asian male star. NEWSFLASH sweetie: you ain’t special! I get the feeling that she’s constipated alot. I get the feeling that she doesn’t let go and let flow. This is a fun blog, not meant to be the written word! Never claimed to be! So sweetie: I suggest lots of grains, veggies, 8 glasses of water a day, and just a less something’s stuck up my butt attitude. It’ll help you be more regular 😉
      2) What else cracks me up is that she thinks we just like Asian guys that act black. Where did she ever get that idea?? Yea, we like Bi because of his swagger, but where did we ever say we hated Black men or any other kind of men for that matter?? I do believe it is all in her head.
      3) She complains that we only like Asian guys that are hot. Uh well ,yeah, I ain’t gonna lie! Gets me more hits on my blog (afterall, I see she didn’t get one dern comment on her waste of a post!) So sweetie, maybe you should start blogging about hot Asian guys and maybe you’ll get a few readers and/or comments. Just sayin’
      4) She also complained that I only write articles about the superficial. Ok, CLEARLY she’s never read my posts! I guess she just saw one post on the whole blog and thought she had us well-rounded, intellgent, but hot Asian-guy lovin’ ladies at BWLB all figured out!
      5) She calls us crazy and/or insane in so many words: GUILTY!! Bi makes me crazy 😉 You should go there sometime chica: it’s quite liberating!

      I also read somewhere else where some girl who I’m sure also has an irregularity problem call us “desperate”. Constipated loser!

      • BOAB81,

        HAHAAAA!!!!!………..and the church said AMEN!!
        Girlfriend was….”serious.” Yeah, she has definitely reached the “OUTER LIMITS.”

        Just like you BOAB81, I believe she should definitely let Bi take her THERE or SOMEBODY SHOULD. I think that’s what she might REALLY be in need of. (*Just Saying*) Oh and a apple a day will do the trick too! (SMILES)

    • wow…where to start?…first off, i love guys…all kinds…and what’s wrong with looking at hot guys? Would there be an issue if the site was about hot black guys? American guys? Guys in kilts? Just because i see the beauty in asian men does not men i am putting down anyone else…because denzel, lamman, johnny depp, and a host of other guys get their fair share of oogling from me…and i’m also aware that most regular guys are average…i’m trying to chat up the cute guy where i bought my phone…he’s almost eye-to-eye with me, which is 5’5″…he’s the total opposite of rain, which does not make him any less cute and/or desirable…i love this site and chatting with the ladies…but i live in the real world…i,m not camped outside anybody’s house or hiding in bushes trying to stalk them…

      And second, a range of asian guys have been featured here…celebs and regular guys alike, of various looks and talents…it is mainly a rain blog, so of course he’s the main topic…but love and appreciation has been expressed for several different guys and different types of music…obviously she has not looked at the whole blog…and sad that she’s hating on the good thing we got going on here…

  12. Great article. After reading, it makes me want to know more about SuJu. I’ve seen them on some shows and I like sorry, sorry. I just couldn’t wrap my head around all the members. But this article definitely has me wanting to know more about them. I’m fairly new to k pop but I can’t get into the girl groups either. I like some songs, but I like Miss A. Any suggestion… Great article.

  13. I jusr finished reading that link that BiAlamode posted and that girl must be a lonely, sad person. We love guys other than Rain.

  14. @surkura Hey….there’s only a couple of girl K-pop groups I like too but not nearly as much as the guy groups. Miss A is good and I also like T-ara. I can’t get their song “Roly Poly” out of my head.
    I’m glad you’ve become interested in SuJu now. I think if you checkout some of those songs I listed, you won’t be disappointed.

    @bitofabelly81 lolol Good, let me know any things you find out about SuJu that you like. Donghae is a little guy but I think he’s cute too. I actually have a picture saved of him when he was a little boy…..awwww, the cutest thing on two legs. I’ll have to save that for a future article focusing on him. 🙂

  15. Wow just read that girls blog, she does seem a little lonely to me. How many posts have she actually read here. As far as the type of Asian guys we like, I am sure that goes for every kind of guy. We don’t a feminine guy of any nationality or at leas I don’t. As far as Bi’s swagger, you can’t ignore it when it is right in your face. Not all of they guys we talk about have that swagger. I think she is just jealous she doesn’ thave many other girls to talk to. I feel like she wasted 5min of my time reading that “colorful language” infested mess.

    I absolutely adore this blog, because we can be serious and silly at the same time. Most of us are in our 30’s or late 20’s have jobs, careers and family to take care of and coming here is a vacation from our busy lives. She needs to get one, it seems and stop taking everything so seriously. Sheesh doesn she overanalyze other musicians as well.

  16. Thanks Choi for the article. Looking forward to reading more of your work. I will definitely check out SuJu.

    Since we’re discussing music-n-things 🙂 Anyone listen to Far East Movement? They are our home grown Asian Hip-Hop/Pop group.

    http://www.fareastmovement.com/Default.aspx#!news

    Having an eclectic taste in music, I am more drawn into the melody of the song, rather than the words. To me, some music sound better just as instrumentals. I love the music in anime movies, especially by composer Naoki Sato.

      • While watching, I thought he was building something for her and was going to surprise her in Tokyo. Instead he flew into fading skyline. Cute Video!!!

    • @LadyOrchid,

      Yes, I have heard a couple of their songs. The “G6” song I must say drove me nuts for a while (I think that’s their song)….but yes, I like them. Bi has mentioned them in on at least one occasion, especially when “G6” was being played a lot. So he is definitely aware of the music “scene” in the U.S., as well.

      • Yes, G6 and O-M-G is theirs. G6 was on constant rotation on everyone’s station. But it helped get me through traffic. Some people make you have serious road rage.

        “So he is definitely aware of the music “scene” in the U.S., as well.” Mmm, yep. I don’t know who they were trying to fool. That’s why I wanted to spank him when the plagiarism/Raphael Sadiqq fiasco occurred. He knows better.

        “Bad boy, Bad boy”… Bi
        “Whatcha going to do; Whatcha going do when “WE” come for you……”
        my version

      • @LadyOrchid,

        HA! Exactly I was highly perturbed as well and he does know better than to let himself be caught up in foolishness. Heck, Raphael produced at least two songs on Ledisi’s 2008 grammy nominated (Best New Artist) album. It’s in my car now. So yeah, like I said Somebody knew the deal. However, I am inclined to believe BOAB81’s thoughts on what Probably happened and that’s in his Haste to leave his fans with something special, he didn’t do everything he needed to do to make sure things were in the right and Proper order.

        BUT, I don’t stay mad long and I SO hear that “Bad Boys” theme in my head while I type this! (*Kekekekeke*) Hey, he might Like it if we “come for him” actually! (SMILES)

  17. Your right! This video is nice. I like how this fine asian guy willing to build a skyline to be with his black woman. Lucky Girl! And I also love the Far East Movement. I like their music and style.

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