Category Archives: fan service

Annoying but not significant

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So Jaehyo got irritated by some remarkably stupid hate he was getting on his new YouTube channel.

But thank God, they did focus on an issue that is very important to me: The treatment of Sand People.

Being “made [into] a girlfriend,” while utterly disrespectful, is one of the more benign things Sand People have to deal with–more often it’s having their castles destroyed by small children and/or waves. And don’t get me started on the treatment of Snow People. I mean, get an eyeful of this horror, posted by an animal activist no less!

Anyway, one thing that people have noticed is that the sentiment, “Yeah, Seven Seasons–sue these clowns!” has suddenly turned into a bunch of Korean Tweets asking for “feedback”–which should ring a bell for anyone who witnessed the whole Let’s Boycott Block B stage. I would not be surprised if the people doing the “feedback” requests this time around weren’t the same people doing the “feedback” requests last time–attacking the members under the guise of “defending” them from their label is not a new tactic here.

I also would not be shocked if these people were also the same people who got upset about Block B doing activities abroad, P.O having a hot lady in his video, Zico joking about Nicki Minaj’s ass, U-Kwon posting pictures of his dogs, and now Jaehyo’s sand girlfriend. The common theme of these campaigns always seems to be punishing the members for their “infidelity”–whether it be with non-Korean fans, actual girlfriends, random celebrities, models in videos, or you know, big piles of damp beach sand. It’s no secret that some of these people used to run fan Web sites and Twitter accounts. Obviously, it’s great when people are willing to help out, but it’s a lot less great when they’re helping out with the expectation that they will get paid back, especially when that repayment is expected to come in the form of marriage and eternal devotion.

(You might wonder what kind of people would expect that from Block B, given how open they are about dating. And think we now know the answer: extremely crazy people.)

In any case, we’ve been through this many (many many many) times before. These hate and harassment campaigns tend to be organized by a relatively small number of people who make use of sock-puppet accounts and the like; as a result they don’t tend to have much of an impact unless some actual gatekeeper, like a label, freaks out.

Speaking of labels, will Seven Seasons take these people to court? The thing is, they’ve done it before, and I can tell you from experience that lawyers are very expensive and whatever satisfaction you get out of using them tends to evaporate after you get the bill. Jaehyo may be annoyed, but the money would be coming out of his pocket as well, so he and his label may simply not think it’s worth it to force a bunch of people (who are likely either very young or suffering from significant mental problems) to undertake community service. Or they may think it is. The thing is, fans won’t be picking up the cost, so their input isn’t really meaningful here. No matter how often they request “feedback.”

Question: Is “feedback” the new “Notice Me, Senpai”?

ETA: Jaehyo has started following the hate accounts! Oh, I love that man….

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Just a reminder

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I know I’ve said this before, but I often see people trying to divvy up the various English language K-Pop sites into good sites and bad sites, and I want to emphasize again: They are all bad.

This is why I don’t get all up in arms over Netizenbuzz–yeah, it’s not a reliable news source. It doesn’t pretend to be. PannChoa isn’t either. Neither is K-Pop, K-Fans. Neither is any other site that translates on-line comments. Think about what you see in comment sections in English–do you honestly think Koreans are so different?

I think maybe as a Block B fan you get more of a look at the dark side of these things, because the people who are very, very into fangirling and hang out on sites like Pann all the time (and generally have no lives) don’t like the fact that the group doesn’t take fan service seriously. If your only actual goal in life is to marry some idol, and you have gone so far down that rabbit hole that you pretty much interact only with other people who think the exact same way, then when a bunch of other idols (idols, even!) come along and continuously mock that notion, you are not going to respond well.

So I for one have never gotten the impression that many other people seem to have that PannChoa is all! about! positivity! and not just because of their recent coverage of U-Kwon. Just one example off the top of my head: Netizenbuzz was one English-language source of the false claim that Zico’s label denied he was in a relationship with Seolhyun, but K-Pop, K-Fans published that too, and PannChoa was the English-language source of the false claim that Zico never picked her up in his car.

That’s the problem with translations: It’s garbage in, garbage out. If the Korean source material is crap (and it often is, even when it’s written by Korean “journalists” and not just Korean on-line randos), then the English-language result will be just as shitty.

* * *

Anyway, I feel like the upside to all this is that this crazy person flamed out quickly, as opposed to when Zico’s dating became public, and it was this slow cancer of “fan”-organized boycott after “fan”-organized boycott.

Follow for dogs, dogs, attractive people, and more dogs

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As happens periodically, some crazy people freaked the hell out about U-Kwon’s long-time girlfriend, Jun Sun Hye. Who he’s been in a public relationship with since fucking 2012 (and has been dating since his trainee days).

I just assume these same people also get all upset every single morning when the sun fails to rise in the West.

Anyway, the specific trigger is funny to me because it’s something I noticed earlier–U-Kwon and Sun Hye have stopped pretending that their dogs do not belong to the both of them (because they are most likely living together, something I suspect–disclaimer! I have no special knowledge!–has been going on since mid-to-late 2012). This once again qualifies as Too Much Honesty for the crazy people. (And what if Kang Daniel gets the same idea?!?!? DIE U-KWON, DIEEEE!!!!!!)

But the really fun twist is how the non-crazy people are reacting. In the past, this “issue” has been presented as U-Kwon Is Mean to Fans, which is bullshit, but it at least looks credible to people who don’t know much about the situation.

This time, the “issue” is being presented as U-Kwon Posts Too Many Photos of Adorable Little Doggies, and that just does not fly.


Thanks to these stories, lots of people now seem to be interested in following U-Kwon on Instagram in hopes of more cute dog pictures. This trend is maybe being helped along because the crazy upset people are putting up stuff like this:

Um, that’s supposed to discourage people from following U-Kwon and Sun Hye on Instagram? Because in addition to owning many extremely cute dogs that they photograph all the time, he’s an idol and she’s a model, and they’re both pretty hot?

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I mean, I just look this stuff up for science….

So: If you want many cute dogs + occasional beefcake, U-Kwon’s Instagram is here.

If you want many cute dogs + occasional cheesecake, Sun Hye’s Instagram is here.

If you just want dogs, DOGS, AND MORE DOGS WHY DO YOU BOTHER WITH HUMANS? their dogs’ Instagram is here.

You’re welcome!

ETA: I will note that this blog now has tags for “dogs” and “fish.” Block B!

EATA: Just because.

Fandom in-jokes: The shields

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I saw this on OneHallyu, and I believe this marks the first time I actually have been tempted to start an account over there (I won’t, don’t worry).

Why? Because someone had a question about a very old (as in, I can’t remember or find where I read the explanation for it, and that happened a few years ago, so we’re going to have to rely on my creaky memory here) K-BBC in-joke:

What’s with the parentheses? They represent shields.

You’ve heard of fans “shielding” idols, right? Well, K-BBCs tended to tease the members of Block B pretty ruthlessly on the fan cafe, and it turned out that this actually bothered some of the members. So the joke began that you had to “shield” a member from humor that was possibly a bit mean. And you did this by writing their name with little shields around it. For example, if memory serves, B-Bomb was a bit sensitive, so you’d write his name (((((B-Bomb)))) to indicate that you were shielding him from pain.

At one point, though, Zico (again, if memory serves) told fans that they should “turn the shields around!” and start ragging on B-Bomb again. So then fans started to write his name ))))B-Bomb((((. If you were only half-shielding him, you’d do it ((((B-Bomb(((( or ))))B-Bomb)))).

So ((((BBC)))) ))))Block B(((( basically means: Be nice to the fans, but feel free to drag the members!

A look at both sides of the duck

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No, not that duck!

In the United States, we sometimes use the analogy of a duck to describe a situation where someone appears to be moving along effortlessly (like the part of the duck you easily see above the water), but in truth they are “paddling like hell” (like the feet of the duck below the water, which you don’t see).

Obviously, the entertainment industry is always very much like a duck: What you see is the glamorous stars stepping out of their limousines; what you don’t see is all the work that got them there.

Last night P.O appeared on The Show dressed as a vampire, and I wanted to examine one fun, yet duck-like, thing that came from that–namely, the roughly 10,000 fan photos of P.O looking alternately handsome and adorkable.

That’s the top part of the duck–such fun!

Now let’s go beneath the waves.

ㅅ ㅅ ㅅ ㅅ ㅅ ㅅ ㅅ

Obviously a lot of work went into getting P.O all gussied up, not to mention getting him on the show in the first place. But I want to look at just one small piece of the picture: How did P.O and the fan cammers wind up in the same place at the same time?

As you can see by watching the above video, this was no chance meeting. There are a group of fans, clearly following set rules (stay seated, don’t approach him), who are in a particular place and time where they know P.O is going to show up, and where he knows the fans will be.

How do the fans know where to go? They follow this Twitter account (there is usually information on the fan cafe site as well), which is filled with photographs of near-abandoned cityscapes that can, at times, be oddly haunting and beautiful.

These are the places the fans are supposed to wait. Sometimes the waiting is just something you have to do to, say, be part of the audience for a music show, but often it’s what you do because one or more members of Block B is going to come out to say hello, pose for pictures, and maybe even answer questions (more or less seriously depending on their mood, of course).

This is a very common practice in K-Pop–at least with idol groups. And it’s part of why sometimes you get complaints that seem really odd. For example, Zico might be on the docket for a hip-hop show. The night of the show, he arrives in time for his scheduled appearance on stage, he does a good job performing the setlist he was expected to perform, and then he leaves.

And the fans complain bitterly.

That might seem really unreasonable–and, to a certain extent, it is. But it’s not quite as outrageous as, say, the fan of a Western artist getting mad about the same thing, because in some situations Zico absolutely is expected to come out and greet the fans in addition to performing.

But it also gives you an idea of why the notion that fans in Korea “don’t get anything” from Block B is such a risible one. What is considered minimal fan service in Korean K-Pop circles is well beyond what is expected almost anywhere else. There were a lot of photos this time around because of the costume, but P.O does this kind of mini-meeting with fans (which are, of course, set up by the Seven Seasons staff) pretty much every time he appears on The Show–and he’s a regular!

An introduction to Block B’s fansign culture/Block B fansign greatest hits LOL!

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Netizen Buzz translated a piece about U-Kwon writing rude things at fansigns, and then of course other craptacular English-language media outlets decided to treat this as though it were actual news, which it really, really is not.

Like the vast majority of Block B fans, I believe that the people “upset” about this issue are super-obviously full of shit. But it occurred to me that there might be people who legitimately don’t understand 1. why Block B would act this way, and 2. why Block B fans would react so negatively to criticism of what, on the surface, certainly looks like very rude behavior.

Hm, I thought, Maybe I should do a serious educational post about Block B’s fansign culture for non-fans.

Then I thought, Why am I letting the killjoys set the agenda?! I should write a fun post about Block B’s fansigns for the fans, who would enjoy it!

Then I realized: I could do both!

So, in this post:

If the text is blue, it is aimed at people unfamiliar with Block B.

If the text is maroon, it is aimed at Block B fans.

If it’s black, it’s for everyone.

Here we go!

If you don’t know much about Block B, a very important concept to understand is that the group is, in many ways, a parody of a normal K-Pop idol group. They take music seriously, but they often do the more fan-servicey elements “wrong” in order to be funny.

This extends to fansigns, where the members often do things “wrong” in order to amuse fans. One of the “wrong” things they do is reply quite rudely to fans–something that is actually much beloved by fans.

This has been true since the group’s debut, and fans who ask questions like “What do you think I look like?” or “Will we be together some day?” know full well the kind of answer that they’re going to get.

Remember these, guys? Ah, I’m dying!!!

Have some pervy B-Bomb!

The “abuse” Block B gives fans is such a tradition that fans used to routinely ask the members of Block B to curse at them.

Remember how they used to cuss at the fans?

In this classic video, Zico awesomely says shibal (a VERY VERY bad word in Korean) to a fan who asked him to curse at her–witness Jaehyo’s hilarious reaction.

That video is from the year Block B debuted. This is from three days ago.

Look at Zico drag everyone!

This is why no Block B fan actually believes it when someone says, “I used to be a fan but they were just too rude at that fansign!” That’s a bit like someone saying that they used to be a fan of Block B but then they figured out that the lead vocalist was short–maybe they’re telling the truth, but they obviously weren’t much of a fan, because they didn’t know the first thing about the group.

The other issue is that U-Kwon gets targeted by haters because he has a girlfriend–the idea that he is “mean” to fans stems from the fact that he’s open about being in a serious relationship. In truth, as you can see, he’s no “meaner” than anyone else in the group; 99% of the time this criticism is coming from people who are trying to make an example out of U-Kwon so that their favorite idol doesn’t get any ideas about dating.

There are certain things U-Kwon won’t do as fan service, though, because he feels they’re disrespectful to his girlfriend. One of these things is drawing hearts. This, of course, has become its own joke.

This woman cracks me up (she’s not a crazy person, don’t worry).