Posted in Kpop by nanshi on July 7, 2008


LOL. I <333 these pictures. I really wanted group pictures to show ‘leadership,’ but then I was already in their individual galleries over at AF and didn’t feel like bothering to go any further. It took me ages to find a non-smiley pictures of Eeteuk (LOL)… but Yunho’s are just… great. The first one… hahaha, omo. !diva! Yunho! It’s priceless (and look where his left hand is!!!!). And the second one: I dunno, I just really really like that outfit on him. Blame my “I grew up in the suburbs of America so I <333 preppie boys” nature, but I think it’s adorable and just sosoososoosososooooo cute. Plus, his eager little smile and hair! *dies of ze cuteness*. It wasn’t until Yunho dressed like that that I realized that none of the DongBangs really ever dress like that. They’re always super super so0o0o0per trendy and never really just… dress so casually professional. It’s always black or white or bright bold colors and skinny jeans and beanies or fitted suits or … black leather and gold lame (that’s pronounced lah-mae)….

Again, I’ve been feeling guilty about not blogging and totally feeling VERY unoriginal (or just really really shallowly prideful cause I love anything I write), so I’ve decided just to copy/post with some additions one of my posts from AF. Which group’s leadership do you prefer? SuJu Leeteuk or DBSK Yunho?

Now, I know know know know know that this is a controversial topic, so hear me out. I’m always quite fair — or try to be. With SNSD, it’s like a bad compulsion, so forgive me there — so don’t start jumping down my throat and read my qualifications first. Without further ado…

* * *

Hmm… this is a tough call. Mostly because Suju and DBSK give off such different vibes and have such different feels that it is really difficult to pick a better leader, especially since personal biases come into play as well.

I think they’re both great leaders of their respective groups. DBSK is a smaller group, and they feel more mature to me. The majority of Suju are actually really good and cooperative, but DBSK has travelled overseas and I feel that that matured them a great deal.

I have actively seen Yunho being a great leader to DBSK. He’s the one that will request new shoes for Junsu because he complains about his shoes being too big and how he can’t dance in them; he feels personal responsibility and guilt when his members act up and/or misbehave. He has a very dominating aura and people innately gravitate towards him. He also seems like he is friendly and cares about the members, but is also extremely professional which is very good for reigning the group in when they begin to get sneaky (Yoosu…). Yunho has sacrficed a great deal being DBSK’s leader and will put the other group’s welfare before his own, including in terms of singing and dancing, performing and appearances. There has been a lot of pressure on Yunho from the start of DBSK and you can see that in how he deals with the members. He isn’t harsh, per se, but he has a certain degree of authoritative demeanor to him. It often clashes with Jaejoong because Jaejoong is quite demanding in his own way too (and despite the fact that Jaejoong has ‘officially’ deferred to Yunho being leader, he’s still the oldest and Koreans tend to value birth order very very highly). An account of a staff member at the TVXQ concert in Thailand said that Yunho didn’t seem to interact with the members very much while they were rehearsing. He seemed to be talking to the staff and the dancers a lot; the responsibility for DBSK’s failures and successes lie (practically) solely on Yunho’s shoulders… he’s the one that has the majority of the responsibilties when they’re up on stage (and he’s usually the one that gets blamed if the member’s mess up). I heard once that in one of the first interviews that DBSK held in Taiwan (or was it China?) one of the interviewers asked Jaejoong something, and Jaejoong responded very very carefully and kept on looking at Yunho down the table to make sure that he was proper and “in line” (cause we know how Jaejoong can get when he starts talking). For being one of the most “loved” couples in DBSK, JaeHo is actually also one of the most hotheaded couples that are most prone to arguments (like REAL ones… not whiny ones).

Eeteuk seems to be more complacent and “one of the boys.” Despite his age gap, he’s never very extroverted or seems to be demanding or commanding. He’s very gentle in his approach to Suju, but at the same time, he also seems to be very concerned for Suju’s welfare. In an interview in China, where they MC was primarily talking to Hangeng, the rest of the Suju boys that were present were looking really bored and dazed as they talked in Chinese. Only Eeteuk seemed to be concentrating very very hard on what the MC was saying and trying to understand as best he could. Honestly, that speaks leadership to me right there. His responsibility as leader is to help the entire group overcome all obstacles, not just be bossy and demanding… Personally, Super Junior has not been together as long as DBSK has, and all of the members are very much independent assets. You hardly see DBSK do things without one another, but SuJu is usually scattered separately all over the place. That doesn’t allow room for much “unity” as a whole. I can’t help but feel that Eeteuk is a lot more playful and doesn’t demand as much as Yunho does. I’m not saying Yunho demands a lot, but I just think a lot of pressure is exerted on him (or maybe he puts it upon himself?) to be the macho tough leader.

DBSK has “images” to uphold; Super Junior doesn’t… Super Junior is purely an idol group and each of their members seems perfectly willing to take responsibility for his own actions because they don’t interact together too often (not the way DBSK does) and therefore, Eeteuk can’t control all their actions and he isn’t really expected to. Super Junior is so scattered that there is no possible way he COULD. Not really.

DBSK has had these images carved out for them since their debut (they’ve all talked about their images countless of times, but usually only referring to Junsu and Changmin’s “reversal” in images). But from time eternal (it seems), DBSK has been structured to be:

  • Yunho – the macho, strong, and tough leader. The glue that holds the group together and directs them, no questions asked. He might not be their best singer, but it’s his direction that keeps them going.
  • Jaejoong – the cool, mysterious, and aloof character with devastatingly bishounen looks and a mystical “badboy” aura to him. He !FAILS! miserably at this now… but that’s how they started.
  • Yoochun – the cool, suave, and pretty-boy one from America who has that “cool foreigner” quality to him along with his husky voice and smooth English to soften out the raps that they’re given.
  • Junsu – the charismatic Korean “boy next door” type. With a cool and calm demeanor that is just bubbling with his inner charisma and charm and an angelic voice to match.
  • Changmin – the cute youngest member with the most “ageyo” personality and a gentle touch and adorable smile to match.
    (( notice how Junsu and Changmin’s images have TOTALLY reversed? Jaejoong and Micky’s are still there at times, but we know now… but Yunho is still quite the macho leader despite aegyo moments at times.))

In a way, it’s almost like DBSK is a real family. Not to say Super Junior isn’t like FAMILY, but just hear my analogy out.

DBSK is REAL cohesive family who has been thrown out into the entertainment world with basically only each other to help the other members out. They do EVERYTHING together, and even when they are not ALL there, they return to the same dorms and the same bedroom at the end of the day and spend the night under the same roof. They were thrown into Japan just a year after their initial debut with no one else but a handful of managers and some stylists. They had no one to depend on at that time but themselves and as their leader (which Yunho really grew into), Yunho took up the responsibility and you could clearly see his leadership.

Super Junior is more like a school sports team. During the day, the teammates have things to do. They’re going to different classes, doing different clubs, different interests… etc. Some might be on the drama team; others might be in the choir; still others might be tutoring or working part-time jobs. But for practices and events, they still get together, work their butts off and show off great unity and strength. But for all intents and purposes, they are going their separate ways until those practices and events. That’s the impression SuJu gives me: a lot of the members all do separate activities. Eeteuk and Kangin and Heechul are MCs; Eunyuk, Kangin, Eeteuk, and Sungmin are radio DJs; Kibum and Shiwon act; Hangeng is the liasion between Korea and China so he’s just flitting back and forth between the two; KRY do their singing “things;” etc… But they STILL get together at the end of the day, but see how SEPARATE they are during the day? I feel that SuJu doesn’t really need a leader, but they have and tolerate one because “everyone needs a team captain.”

Not the way DBSK needs a leader because they are seriously so busy and so overworked and overcrazed that someone needs to keep track of the members and the logistics. It’s just the way the groups were set up and designed; no one group (or leader) is better or worse because of it, they’re just diferent.

/end tangent

But I think they’re all great and brilliant, but Yunho and Eeteuk just have [very] different leadership styles for their very different groups =D . I couldn’t see Eeteuk lead DBSK with the same style that he handles Super Junior, and I couldn’t see Yunho lead Super Junior with the same style that he leads DBSK. It’s their adaptability and persistent and consistent nature that makes these two leaders, well, leaders. They were picked to be leaders — and I don’t care what the member’s tell you, I will still insist that the leaders were picked by SM Entertainment — because that was what their company saw that the group needed the most, true?


5 Responses to 'Leadersshi’s…'

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  1. mochiicecream said,

    I’ll start off by complimenting your writing skills–you’re a great writer. But not without fault ^_^ one being you put “I couldn’t see Eeteuk lead DBSK with the same style that he leads DBSK.”

    Anyways, everyone on AF should read what you wrote here. I’ve been in that thread numerous times, and I think this is the only thing I’ve read that completely gets the point. The differences between these two groups have never been painted as clearly as you have so brilliantly done. How you made the analogy of DBSK as a family–compounding on how their (rarely) separate activities during the day always concludes with them back under the same roof–while Super Junior is a sports team. And you did it with such great clarity and skill…I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re an English major.

    Analytical posts/essays/blogs like yours always remind me why I go on forums. If the topic is interesting enough, I always hope that someone will have written a response that’s well-written, informative and with only a little bias, if any.

    I love this post. You should do another post that’s also a well-debated topic in AF–Junsu or Jaejoong.

    I say both. But being a Jae fan (the rest of the boys are just 0.0001% behind…but at one point, Junsu was dubbed “2nd Favorite” to help my friend identify them), I can’t help but get irritated at how people sometimes underestimate Jae’s singing skills. He’s grown as a singer tremendously since “Hug,” and his live can be just as good at Junsu’s. But it’s frustrating when people seem to overlook his talent because they can’t get past his pretty face. And as much as I love Junsu, I can’t help but get annoyed when people shower him with adulation, and say he’s the best singer in DBSK without regards to the rest of boys (namely Jaejoong).

    Don’t get me wrong. I think Junsu is an outstanding singer. I don’t think it’s untrue when people say he was born to sing. Even from his audition tapes, his talent was evident.

    I guess when it comes down to it, it all depends on preference. A majority of people are going to pick one over the other based purely on which voice or style of singing they prefer. But there are those who, as they say, have an ear for these kinds of things. I’m not saying I’m well-versed in music, but I think I know more than your average Joe.

    Junsu and Jaejoong are both excellent singers. When they sing duets, it’s just downright heavenly because the weakness of one’s voice is overshadowed by the strength of the other.

    Junsu has the stage presence, the passion, and the charisma. When he sings, you know it because his voice is unique. And his ad-libs are always a pleasure to listen to. I would love to witness him sing live, because even from my lame computer screen, I can tell that his heart is in every note he sings. This is what I think Jae needs to work on. He’s improved leaps and bounds from the days he’d look so dead while singing a sad love song, but he lacks the intensity that Junsu brings. The emotional intensity he sings with is something he’s always had from day one. This guy seriously knows how to tell a story with his voice, and at the end of the day, isn’t that what singers are supposed to do? Jaejoong has the tone (as generally agreed upon) and technique (to which some may argue) to back him up. His area of needed improvement WAS breathing, but from what I can tell from their T Tour, he seems to have somewhat mastered that. While Junsu has a voice that some may have to adjust their ear to, Jae’s is pleasing to the general public. It’s smooth, soothing, and has an angelic quality. He also mastered singing from his normal voice, to half-falsetto, and to falsetto. Junsu needs to work on the last two. I haven’t really heard his falsetto, but I do know he tends to use his chest-voice a lot. He tends to belt out his notes, and while it makes it more passionate, it also makes him sound strained. In the long-run, his voice might wear out. I think Jae also has the more versatile voice. Initially, I thought Junsu was a more versatile singer…but after listening to DBSK sing such diverse songs this past year, I can confidently say that Jae is the more versatile singer. He can go from songs like “Unforgettable,” to “Darkness Eyes,” to “Maze”, to trot and then “Box in the Ship.” I think Box in the Ship can attest to my point the most. Jae’s voice suited that song perfectly. If you compare his chorus to Junsu’s, the latter definitely pales in comparison. But Junsu does extremely well in the songs suited to his voice. His voice is definitely edgier, by the way. So I guess what I’m trying to say is that the only genre Jae can’t do is rap…he’s not horrific, but Tupac he is not…Heck, he’s not even Soldier Boy. Jae can also manipulate (?) his voice to compliment anyone he’s singing with. When he sang with CSJH, he blended his voice really well. And when he sang “Towani”, it was as if his voice was always supposed to be part of The Gospellers. I can’t articulate it very well, but Jae just seems to know how to adjust his voice to fit…Maybe this can go under “versatile”, too.

    Well, this is long. I’ll be surprised if you read this. I seemed to have gone off on a little rant. But I just wish people would give Jaejoong more credit as a singer, and come to realize that both he and Junsu are fantastic vocalists.

  2. mochiicecream said,

    I made typos…please forgive me -_-; And I hope I don’t sound like I’m biased.

  3. candychu said,

    Ooooh I really liked your analogy 🙂

    I think it’s unfair that fans out there are forever comparing the two. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I find it very interesting to read essays on it, but you know how there are some fans who like one group and are out to bring the other down?

    Anyways, I’ve always thought that SUJU and DBSK are very different. I often get myself thinking why I love both groups so much because they contrast in many ways but I guess at the end of the day they’re performers and I’m a fan sitting here with nothing better to do but FANGIRL them 😀

    Lol, IDEK what my point is *flails*

  4. nanshi said,

    mochiicecream: thanks! I’m actually not an English major; I’m a political science major… which actually comes really close. We’re required to read just as much (although usually not classical literature) and required to write just as much (we gets loads of papers and then there’s exams to write), so yeah… I do my fair share of writing. LOL. If it helps, my school has a really intense (and renowned) first-year writing program (one of the best in the US, I think it is?) that we all have to go through that really drills into our heads grammar and… writing.

    I’ve been in the Jaejoong vs. Junsu thread, but that was over a year (or two?) ago and Jae has improved beyond comprehension in that time, so it probably deserves another dedicated post, sooner or later… but yeah, I have qualms with Jae vs. Junsu too in terms of singing. But like I said, that deserves a post (probably within in the next few days). And I still owe Playmeagain a post about what I think DBSK’s “true” personalities are (which will require some thinking on my part, no doubt… and not just shallow analysis)… but hehe… the summer of essays, commence!

    Candychu! Thanks!! I actually wrote this a looong time ago, and it wasn’t until I decided to transpose it over here that I read it again, and then I was like, “Wow… I’m really really really smart.” And yes, fangirling is awesome and there is no shame in it, at all!!!

  5. DA said,

    oh am really like you

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