The many faces of DBSK

Posted in DBSK/TVXQ,Uncategorized by nanshi on December 26, 2008

Good morning! And happy anniversary to DBSK! Even though it happened something like 3 hours ago (if you count their official debut onstage). Anyways, here’s the long-awaited DBSK post. There’s no video clips, because I plead laziness, and as much as I love them… I haven’t really been good about writing this. Oops. It’ll probably be edited as I run along. I hope you guys aren’t too upset with it, because I’m not very happy with it either, but it’s really the best I can come up with without being too wordy or being too negative (trust me: I have a lot of negatives and I revised this a few times to make it seem more fair). After all, we don’t need more excuses to ponder how wonderful they all are.

If there’s anything that needs clarification, just have fun and comment! And it’s fine if you disagree with me; I’d love to read what you guys think.

edit…. so I felt a little bad. Y’know… no pictures. Or videos. Even though it’s DBSK’s ANNIVERSARY*cringes pathetically*. So I’ve raided my photobucket account and decided to give you guys every single DBSK picture I have uploaded on there. Aside from the cute icons that I already have posted. Full size too, cause I’m lazy.

YES! COLOR! Let the picspam begin…

okay so not EVERY picture I have. And NO, I’m not that biased. I just did a Micky-tribute post for his birthday last year, so that’s why I have 10000 pictures of him. And I clearly play favorites.

Anyways, as a bonus, at the end of this post — one of my closest friend’s father goes to Taiwan/China/Hong Kong a lot for business trips, and she always asks him to bring back as many idol magazines as he can every time he goes overseas. So she’s amassed a rather large collection of idol magazines, and she knows I love DBSK. So last year, for my birthday, she ripped out every single magazine article/picture that featured DBSK (as long as it didn’t have one of HER idols — and a few SuJu and one Lee JunKi one too, lol. I love her) and gave them to me in a huge envelope. I scanned a few of the better ones onto the Internet, so the thumbnails are at the end of this post. There, happy? Color. lol

– leaderly – Some people just shine with a leader-like quality. When you’re young and less diplomatic, it embodies itself as bossiness, but as you get older, you begin to realize ways that you can use this to your advantage. I think Yunho has it in spades. When he talks, people listen. When he’s in a group, he’s the one people turn to for advice (even if he doesn’t want the attention, but he’ll still take charge if that’s what people expect of him; he is a giver, after all)
– not that smart/bright, but fiercely loyal and devoted. Don’t expect him to be able to debate religion, philosophy and explore the sociological background and plight of the African nation (not state, but nation, hahah!) and its ongoing violent national conflict… but he will tuck a blanket around you when you’re cold and if you’re his girlfriend, will show up if you call.
– kind, but easily frustrated with all the responsibilities that he’s been entrusted with. Still he persists, because he’s never been one to shy away from what has to be done.
– I think if he were a teacher, he’s probably be the gym teacher. He kinda fits that image/stereotype.
– Leadership with the DongBangs has forced him to grow up a lot faster and he takes his responsbilities very seriously and with a single-minded determination. Also because I think he’s a bit “simple,” I don’t think he’d handle multitasking very well. And no, not like “singing & dancing” multi-tasking, I’m talking about actual scheduling and balancing. Yunho seems like the kind of guy that wants to get one thing done at one time. No sense in worrying about the future or thinking too far.
* If anything, I think that Yunho is the closest to what he is in real-life and onstage/screen. Yunho has still maintained a strong sense of innocence despite the working out and the moob reduction and his “long-hair” stage. I never get the sense that the Yunho we see onstage is different from how he is in real life. Although I do think in real life, he’d probably get angry a bit more often and not be quite so selfless (he has the image of the selfless leader to uphold), but I think his easy likability and his penchance to smile is probably pretty true to life. Now I wish he’d cut his nails short — urgh, so unnattractive.

– hot-tempered — There’s a video clip floating around of him looking genuinely pissed and Junsu’s trying to calm him down. I think if Jaejoong knows it’s his fault, he won’t get mad (other than some superficial posturing), but if it’s something he thinks someone is unnecessarily mad at him at (like he went out for drinks and stayed out until 3am…I mean, it’s my right to stay out however late I want as long as I don’t let it affect my work, right?) or he thinks/knows it wasn’t his fault, he’ll blow his top. He won’t just be like “…whatever.” Jaejoong was the one (in DBSK) to have the most rumors surrounding him about getting hit/beat by SM management, so …
– stubborn — The boy really wants to get his way, true?
– sneaky — I’m pretty sure SM has a fairly tight leash on them… so why is it that JaeChun has so much time to go out for drinks and meet up with friends? hmmmm.
– moody – He doesn’t take much seriously and this isn’t to imply that he’s the type to brood, but rather, his emotions change. a lot.
– geeky; if he weren’t an idol or so attractive (so that girls find his quirks “mysterious” and “cute” rather than creepy)… he’d be one of those guys in Internet cafes that spend all day talking about WoW or Starcraft/CS
– sarcastic & witty (maybe as a defense mechanism?)
– not really very feminine, despite what he looks like; the kinda man that can get down and get his hands dirty, but “no reason to look bad while doing it, right?”
– very very odd. If you’ve ever seen “It Started with a Kiss,” Jaejoong reminds me of those creepy guys that followed Xiang Qin around and even wrote a tennis manga about her. lol. He has strange interests and strange hobbies. Weiiiiird.

– very innocent and naive (he probably wouldn’t understand, “That’s what she said” references)
– moodmaker is an exaggeration, but I can see why his smile & laugh would make people cheer up
– a bit on the moody side — but not the type to brood, just the type to be unhappy (or disappointed) for awhile. But I don’t see him as the easygoing type (I think all of the DongBangs are too high-strung to be truly easygoing), but he’ll be unhappy, and he’ll rage, but you can tell he won’t hold a grudge over it. He’ll just be upset for a little bit. I could see Jaejoong or Yoochun holding a grudge. Not a very substantial one, but like just being very icy for the next few days.
– a perfectionist, so I could see him getting mad at someone getting in the way of something he was trying to perfect (like interrupting a composing session or when he’s practicing a song)
– A lot more intelligent than people really give him credit for.
– Privileged (ach, the backgrounds of DBSK deserve a lot more post than just inserting a few comments in here, so I won’t bother. If you need clarification, comment.) and a whole lot more lucky than most people ever realize (even if he did have to go through 8 years of training to debut).
– Optimistic. I don’t think he really likes to think the worst of people, but rather he likes to think that everyone is on the same wavelength as he is. Even if they’re not. ie: in some recent Korean variety show, did Junsu text someone who didn’t text him back? He looked really disappointed — because I think he took it a bit personally. I mean, granted, it is super embarassing to not have someone next you back on national(?) telvision, but I mean, there are a plethora of reasons (none of which are, in any sense, personal) why he didn’t text him back, but Junsu looked like he really took it personally. I think Junsu was thinking, If I’d gotten the text message, I would’ve text him back immediately. Even if I didn’t like him that much. I’d at least give him a response… I mean, what if he was on television too…? Never mind that he could’ve been in the shower (assuming they don’t bring their phones into the shower, lol), his phone could’ve been off & charing, his phone could’ve been in the other room, phone on silent because he was in a meeting, etc.

– moody & tempermental.
– very street-smart. I don’t think he’s as wise as his lyrics make him out to be or whatever (it IS very easy to write about heartache), but I don’t think he’s really booksmart either. He gives off the aura of having seen a lot and been through a lot to get to where he is today. And he’s not really proud of that, but it’s a fact of life. He definitely doesn’t like to talk about his family, I can tell. It’s like.. picking at a raw wound, for him. I love my sister and I talk about her to everyone and anyone. Yoochun loves his brother, but enough of his life is made public that he wants to keep something to himself and private.
– he doesn’t give me an excessive bad-boy aura, but I don’t think he’d run squealing from a fight. Probably just run, lol. Just kidding.
– definitely rebellious. He’s the one I can most see sneaking out to hit the nightclubs and smoking his cigarettes even after the manager forbade him to do both. Not the, “He told me I can’t have dog-fights, so I’m going to have dog-fights!” kind of rebellion, but just a very stubborn nature in which, “I need my Lagavulin tonight, so I’m gonna go get my Lagavulin tonight, managers’ orders be damned.” (Yes, cuss word included). [fyi: Lagavulin is a brand of Scotch]
– If Jaejoong is the talker, than Yoochun is clearly the listener. And I think the reason those two click so well is because of their interests and similar nature. Yoochun also willingly gave up America to go to Korea to pursue his goal of becoming a singer/idol. I really think he just wanted an “out” to Korea though — because he felt he would really be accepted back home and he was sick of all the baggage and the bad trauma that happened in his life that was associated with America. Even after all these years, I still feel like he’s a fish out of water, though. Yoochun did spend his prime “developing” years in America (just like how I feel Kibum is kinda fish out of water too), so it does explain why I don’t think his mind or his drive or his demeanor is very “Korean Korean” to me.
– If Jaejoong is hotheaded, than Yoochun is coldheaded. In a way, I think the JaeChun dynamic is much more interesting than any other. Yoochun is equally as moody as Jae, but whereas Jae is the type that will start mouthing off at you as he gets more alcohol in him, Yoochun is the kind that broods over 2 fingers of Scotch for a few hours while Jae just sucks back the Bacardi shots (and keeps ’em coming) and starts rambling.
– Very loyal but very distrustful. Any kid that has gone through a divorce (let alone in an alien country) is going to have a lot of acceptance problems. Especially if you’re as attractive as he is and could really have any girl you wanted — but I think he really just craves the company and doesn’t really want to be alone. Wants to feel like someone is always there for him. Which is kind of why I think he’s very close to Junsu. Mostly because of age, but also because Junsu is very easy to acclimate yourself too. He’s not as serious as Yunho, as pensive as Changmin, or as temperamental as Jaejoong. Junsu is just an easy person to hang around. He doesn’t really have any ulterior motives and he’s just… there. You chill with him because there isn’t a lot more bubbling beneath the surface, because you want to hang around someone LESS complicated than you are and with LESS baggage… so you chill with Junsu.

– Sometimes, just sometimes, I feel like Changmin didn’t really realize what he got himsef into, and he really wants to back out. He doesn’t fit the idol persona mold very well, and I think he’s also come to realize that someone as intelligent as he is doesn’t need to peddle on physical wares, as it is. But then again, other times, he really looks like he enjoys himself up there. But out of all the members, I think upon retirement, Changmin would probably be the only one who could and would want to just quietly retreat back into the mainstream and become a teacher or perhaps an author.
– I think he spends a lot of his time pondering, and every now and then, he gets frustrated that there really isn’t anyone that he can talk to about what he’s thinking. Whether it’s his feelings, his future, or the state of the economy. It’s sad that he’s the youngest in the group, because basically, he has to absorb all their anger, but he can’t really say anything back.
– I was really touched to hear that Yunho and Changmin were getting along so well. Mostly because I think Yunho needs that kind of balance that none of the other members will provide to him. I think only Changmin is truly able to really stand on a very objective perspective and offer his opinions to someone else.
– Extremely mature; I really admire the way he handles his anger.
– Changmin is so quiet and softspoken that it’s hard to get a gauge of who I really think he is (or might be), but I think that he’s pretty acquiescent and fairly non-confrontational. It’s a complex that I’ve discovered a lot of youngest-brothers generally tend to have. Basically, in a group of brothers, even if the younger one wants to speak up, the older brothers will all be, “Shut up! You’re the youngest, you have no say. This is a decision between us [elders].” And in Asian societies that uphold hierarchy so much, it’s clear that Changmin just learned to keep his mouth shut. But if he’s mad at you, beware.
– All the DongBangs give me a sense of loyalty — I don’t think they’d ever betray one another — but Changmin strikes me as the type who’s anger you’d really want to fear. Not because he’s psycho and will set fire to your house and try to kill you, but because he’d look at you in such a horrible and scary way and simultaneously manage to make you feel so guilty, that you’d be scared of ever getting him mad at you.
– Changmin’s always struck me as a type of a loner. Unlike Jaejoong and Yoochun — who kinda crave the attention and affirmation — or Junsu and Yunho — who genuinely attract people, even if on a fairly superficial level — Changmin seems like the type of person who only has a few people he would really call friends, and unlike people who call ever Tom, Jane, and Mary they’ve met “friends,” he only calls people “friends” when they genuinely are his friends and confidantes. But the important thing is, Changmin’s okay with this kind of lifestyle.

* * *

Final Analysis: Maybe I think too much into it or maybe I’m too realistic, but I don’t really like to give DBSK the benefit of the doubt, I think. When it comes to rumours, yeah, but I won’t patronize them or us (fans) by thinking that they’re perfect, when on countless occasions they have clearly revealed themselves not to be. I think Yunho is kind, selfless, charismatic and naturally attracts people with that certain ex-quality that certain people possess. I’ve read up on personality-analysis, and Yunho has the type of quality that people commonly see in elected-politicians. courtroom attorneys, and that kind of charm that really is generally found in celebrities (especially socialites). There’s something undeniable about how he attracts people. Similarly, I think Junsu is composed of the same stuff. Some people are just born with that type of star quality. One way, or the other, I think Junsu and Yunho would’ve made it onto the stage. There’s a lot more to becoming a star than just talent or looks or connections. In order to be a successful idol, you have to possess that x-factor. I think a really great embodiment of this x-factor is BoA. Not super talented, not well-connected, not very attractive.. and yet when she stands on a stage, she owns it.

Jaejoong & Yoochun are more similar in ways that I think people notice (the popular couples of DBSK being YunJae/Jaeho and YooSu), but I think that they’re both… I dunno. Spacey, I guess. With some people (like Changmin), when they go silent, you get the impression that they’re brooding or contemplating something deep and mysterious. With JaeChun, they go silent, it’s clearly because they’re not thinking about much. What are we going to have for lunch today? Why hasn’t he texted me back yet? Maybe I should practice some new Japanese verbs… oh crap, where’s my script? Should I call my mother… But she’ll but me again and I haven’t called her for 3 days…, etc. But they’re both inherently rebellious and stubborn. I’ve seen predebut pics of both and they’re soo laughable. They are the embodiment of what I call rebellious teenage boy. And I have a younger brother. I know firsthand (unfortunately) about what goes through a teenage boy’s head and his antics. Frankly, I think Jaejoong and Yoochun came to a quick conclusion that they didn’t like their current lifestyle. Jaejoong was the youngest of eight sisters, a loner because he was adopted (by a neighbor, I think?), and the only son among all the girls. I believe that neither of them (YunJaeChunSu actually ALL got pretty bad grades) got good grades and they wanted to change their life. It’s a pretty similar spot to my brother, actually. In fact, my brother tells my mom at least a few times a month that he wants to run off to become an idol/actor/model (etc). I believe that’s what JaeChun saw in their future; they weren’t going to get very far academically and couldn’t see themselves sustaining through another 4 years of college (I think because of Yoochun’s residency in America that things were a bit different for him and he was able to persist a bit longer than Jae), so they decided that the fastest way to riches & fame … and therefore, happiness … would be to become an idol. So hence the persistence and the auditions and the bad lifestyle conditions until they finally were able to make a change. Maybe there was a deep-seated desire and love for singing, but moreso, I think that in some subconscious manner, they just saw singing (or dancing or acting or etc) as a means to an end. And end out of their lifestyle. I could be wrong, but that’s the impression I’ve always gotten from what I’ve heard about their background to their behavior now. After all, they haven’t given up on that rebellious and obstinate lifestyle, have they?

Changmin is… my most intriguing endeavor. The other four are modestly simplistic because they’re so… easy to read. Well, not excessively easy, but fairly interesting to ponder. Changmin is… on the one hand, I think he did the idol-thing because he loved to sing. I mean, from what I’ve garnered, his lifestyle was fairly simple. After all, his parents were teachers. Which isn’t at rich lifestyle, but it affords a certain level of comfort. It’s not like he has 8 siblings, either. But then, sometimes, I look at him and I feel that even though the boy loves to sing, he really doesn’t like to perform. I think it’s a deep-seated insecurity that came from the early days of debut where Changmin was easily one of the more-shunned members. Or not. I’m not too sure. But I’ve always felt that he was the least-comfortable up there on stage because he was kinda… least-happy with the facade of idol culture. And I definitely feel like he’s the most intelligent. He’s probably the only one that’s actually read literature and not mangas or novellas, etc. I think he realized early on that he wasn’t just going to get to sing. He would have an image to uphold and a mask to put on everytime he came onstage. Yoochun and Jaejoong spent a good part of their formative years (as a trainee and as a pre-trainee) masking themselves, Yunho sacrificed, so he was determined that this was what he would become and, like Junsu, was born with that x-factor that I believe SM tried to shape in their idols (so Yunho & Junsu had no need to front, because they simply already had the charisma and the charming image that SM wanted to fit them to). Changmin, on the other hand, truly just wanted to sing. But at such a young age, what opportunities are there for a boy to sing? Choir? Unreliable and too connected to his parents/community (I believe that he snuck to his first audition because his parents strongly forbade him from becoming a performer; being a rebellious boy, though… and yes, all boys are rebellious). Church? He was raised Buddhist. Local competitions? Again, too connected to his community (so his parents would undoubtedly find out about it). But as he became absorbed into the world, I think the stubborn part of him refused to back out, and the other part of him wanted this... wanted to prove to his parents, Look at me. You said I couldn’t, but I could. I could and and I did and I can and I will. And his parents accepted it (as well as they could). They wanted a more stable lifestyle for their son, because goodness knows, Changmin was DEFINITELY a lucky one, but he did emerge okay and relatively unscathed and now that he’s successful they can safely say he ventured down the right path. Had he went to SM, suffered through 9 years of training with no dawn of debut in sight, I’m pretty sure his parents would’ve gone through a lot of heartaches and there would definitely be no small level of estrangement there.

As a side note: I wouldn’t find it hard to believe that that is what Junsu and his mother (and family?) feared the most. That he would never debut, because training (no matter the length) is never a guarantee for debut. They say that it was because he was frustrated because his voice wasn’t breaking for a loong time (something like 3-4 years?) and they were scared that he would never get his singing voice back, but I think that was the line SM was feeding them. After all, it wouldn’t look good to potential auditioners that you could be stuffed on the backburner for close to a decade without any sign of debut.

But yeah. I really like Changmin because sometimes, in his eyes, I can see that he knows what’s going on. That he actually comprehends the manipulative culture of idol-dom and he hates it, but he can’t dare speak out against it. Which is really respectable to me.

Oh, and as an aside: I’ve actually heard that despite being one of the more-loved couples of DBSK, Jaeho are actually really disagreeable in real life. I don’t think it’s just because of the age-thing, but because Yunho is a strident perfectionist. He really DOES want to get it right all the time. I think it’s a personal standard that he holds himself to, and that SM Entertainment holds himself too. Plus, I think he likes having the reigns; he’s a bit of a control-freak. It’s one thing for the assistant to run up to you and say, “Yeah, AtoZ is on the way and they said just to start running the music, and they’ll be onstage in time for their section,” and another thing to be like, “Yo. Jinwoo-hyung, where you at? … You on your way? … Yeah, Music Bank. It’s only rehearsal, but you know how it is… Hyori-noona’s doing her thing right now, we go on in 2 minutes… You’ll be here? You sure?… All right. Peace.” (I love vernancular, and I swear, if Yunho spoke English, that’s how he’d talk to AtoZ.). But Jaejoong’s a bit more chill. So he shows up late, he has a reason, y’know. I think all of them are a bit of a perfectionist, but Junsu and Yunho are the ones that HAVE to get it to a 10. The others are okay with being at a 8 or a 9 if they know they won’t get to a 10 in time. Vocals are different, because as exhausting as it is to practice vocals, it is a lot less tiring and there is this general vibe of, “I know I can do this,” when you’re practicing a song. Vocal exercises, trills, loosening of the muscles, etc. Because practice really does make perfect. But when it comes to dancing… sometimes you can practice for three hours, and it’ll click and come together. But sometimes… you can practice for six hours, and you’ll still be like, Why can’t I get this right?. You can be trained to dance well, and it will come together in practice, but I think it’s more of a credit to SM’s choreography and Junsu & Yunho’s tight synchronization skills that make up for the weaker dancing in the other three than much else. I’m a huuuge fan of KOne from Taiwan (they’re a boyband who’s primary “show-off” skill is their excellent and tight dancing) and all five members of KOne are INCREDIBLE solo dancers, so when they come together it’s gorgeous and synched up. But there’s a few other bands (like Energy or Eastyle) in Taiwan that boast dancers who either: (a) aren’t as good as the others (like they’re in the band as the vocalist or the instrumentalist, but not really the dancer. but the dancers can’t really sing…) OR (b) “specialize” in a dancing genre (breaking, liquid, raving, etc) so when they come together, you see 5 (or less) good dancers, but not that great of a dancing group. If that makes sense. I think the JabbaWockeeZ could own DBSK though. But that’s okay, because DBSK isn’t a dancing group. But SM’s strict practicing regiment and slick choreography gives them the leeway to make up for the gaps that might be apparent. And if you practice (and HAVE to practice) hard enough, you will eventually start to synch up (a good example that proves the converse of this — therefore proving that my theory is corrent– is Farenheit)… and in dancing, it’s really the small things that a choreographer who is working intensely with a group can point out. “Okay, see this angle right here? Junsu, you have to be a little lower […] so we get this straight line coming up across, all right? It has to be JUST like that so when the audience sees you, they see what we want them to see and not the messiness that you’re doing right now,” etc. And practice long enough, it WILL click so you will look uniform. Some people (like the members of KOne I believe) can see the artistic form there and will naturally tune themselves with the rest of the group to present the most cohesive image. But most people generally need to be reminded of that “thread.”

I don’t know why I ranted about that for so long.

As a final final note: I love the DongBangs, really I do. They work hard, play hard, and crash hard. I hope that they never get burned out and are able to continue doing whatever it is they love doing for as long as they want to. I wish for them to become respectable artists of their own choosing and that they are successful in their future endeavors. I’m glad that they have one another and the support that only fellow members in the entertainment industry can really give them. I hope they don’t fight as much as I think they do. But given their dispositions and what they do, I don’t think they’d be able to hold up a fight for very long. It’s hard to be mad when you’re told to smile — and smile genuinely! — as much and as often as they are. Optimistically, their fights dissipitate easily enough. One of the most devastating – BUT totally understandable — things to read would be for after DBSK disbanded a few decades (like… 20 years from now, I would say), that one of the members would release a “tell-all” memoir about his time in DBSK and reveal all the deep dark secrets. Like Jaejoong and Yunho actually secretly hated each other and Changmin really really hated Junsu, but they all acted like brothers and joked around onscreen and that during that one concert Jaejoong actually got really pissed when someone stuffed cake down his shirt, but he couldn’t do anything, and for the next three days, he wouldn’t talk to anyone and got crazy drunk every night for the week afterwards, etc. It would be totally understandable and in the hindsight, I would clearly be all, “Ah, yes, I think I could’ve seen that.” or “Yeah, I understand the sentiment there…” But still. People say that this kind of friendship can’t be fronted, but I also say, “We’re all people. We are all ALL susceptible to the same lies. Some more than others. But if you go around quacking long enough, people will probably start to think you’re a duck.” I think they’re more or less genuinely like brothers. We just see the happy side of them; the side where they get along and are all cheery and optimistic and sunny and are so close that people think they’re lovers. What we don’t see the side that happens when the door closes and the lockers slam shut. The ribbing, the abuse, the TRUE fights that brothers have — because they’re brothers and nothing really ruins sibling bonds — the rivalry, the intense jealousy (it’s one thing if your friend gets a new iPod for Christmas, it’s another thing if your parents give your sister a new iPod and all you got was a box of chocolates), etc.

So they’re not perfect. None of us are. And I don’t even pretend to think that they’re close. But they’re fun. And isn’t that what we like in our people?

So here’s to you, TVXQ. You made it through one more year. You made it through the fights and the frustration and the exhaustion and the pain. 7 years ago, you stepped out on that stage, scared, trembling, shivering, and completely terrified of what was going to happen.

Yunho, you were probably praying that you weren’t going to mess up and make a fool of yourself and that none of the members would either. And that the audience wouldn’t care too much about your teeth or your voice.

We didn’t then and we don’t now. I love what you’ve done with your voice and your teeth. And I love what you’ve done with your funny little team over there.

Junsu, you were probably hoping that those eight years were worth it and that you wouldn’t mess up. I could almost imagine the tears welling up in your eyes.

It was worth it. And you didn’t mess up. And you continue to not mess up — vocally — in the 7 years that you’ve been singing for us.

Jaejoong, you were probably freaking out about the little dancing that had to be done and a little more than just insecure about your voice.

Well, you made it Jae. You dancing was fine and your voice was a buttery smooth as it always has been. I love what you’ve done with your voice and your hair and I hope you do too.

Changmin, you were probably smirking a bit inside. You made it, right? To that hard-achieved goal known as debut.

Success, right? You showed them. You did it, and you continue to do it. Unlike other groups that die, I’m glad that you have the ability to say that you’re proud of the group that didn’t and you continue to be part of the group that won’t.

Yoochun, you were probably a bit excited, a bit scared, and a whole lot alone up there on that stage. Was any of your immediate family even there for your debut?

I’m glad you got your family, Yoochun. You left one brother back in Virginia, but then you got four more in Korea. And eventually, you were able to buy a house for your mom and your brother, and there’s nothing like owning a house to preen about. I think it was worth it. Coming to Korea all by yourself, leaving your brother and mom in America, with nothing but their good wishes and heartfelt sentiments. Do you think it was worth it? I hope so.

Happy belated Christmas everyone, and a fantastic New Year.

Your thoughts?



10 Responses to 'The many faces of DBSK'

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  1. youjuchan said,

    wow~ I’m really impressed of your analysis~
    I especially agree with your description of Changmin and I have to admit that I’ve never thought about most of the facts you’ve mentioned~
    at some point i most likely have to reread and think about the things you’ve written cause there are some points that i didn’t really understand ^^”

    ps.:what did you mean with Junsu being lucky/privileged?

  2. ROb said,

    oh my god, da jie, go outside

  3. nanshi said,

    I love you too, Rob.

  4. Bell said,

    Yay! I had been waiting for this post for a while and here it is! Thanks for writing it! Your analysis is very insightful indeed. The many faces of DBSK: a big philosophical issue that cannot be discussed with just anyone, huh? Ahh….whenever I watch them I think…which side of them is real and which isn’t…because they can’t be as perfect as they pretend to be, eh? I agree with you on that. After pondering a lot about this I think that they really can’t be THAT much different from what they show on screen because you can’t maintain a lie for so long without breaking. Certain attitudes definitely show no matter how trained you are to hide them and you have mentioned some of what I had in mind and others I hadn’t thought about ^_^.
    Let’s see, this is what I perceive:

    Yunho is my favorite so I’m bound to be a little biased about him. Sometimes he seems a bit too uptight, like he holds back in order to maintain his serious, leader-like image. Isn’t that tiring for him? I think he may be a lot more boyish and dorky in real life (sometimes he shows this), but most of the time he is too busy trying to make sure that everything turns out perfect. Very competitive, perfectionist (like you said), probably fiery when upset, quite loving and caring (seems like he likes hugs a lot), very confident and proud of what he does and his team, but his confidence plummets when he has to sing ballads. I do think he is intelligent though…I think it has something to do with the way he handles himself, the way he talks, the way he answers questions…it cannot all be rehearsed, it’s not math or physics but it definitely requires a sort of intelligence or skill…ahh it must be that x-factor you mentioned.

    Junsu, I do think the boy was born to sing and singing is the one true passion of his life. Just like you said, he is very perfectionist (his flawless performances say it all) and competitive. He doesn’t seem to get mad easily (given all the teasing he endures…and on national television XD) and I think he does enjoy his comedic role. I agree that he is not as dumb as he pretends to be; sometimes he can give very thoughtful answers. And I agree that he probably does get mad once in a while and things could get ugly. I also think he may be a lot quieter in real life.

    You seemed to have a lot to say about Jaejoong…uhmm, I think he is eccentric, he likes being different from the others with what he says, wears and such. I’m convinced the lad doesn’t think before speaking (the others call him a ticking bomb after all) and basically blurts out what he thinks or feels without thinking much about the consequences. Seems like the honest, direct type of person. And because he says and does what he feels, he has the troublemaker, rebellious aura around him. I think he gets along with everyone pretty well—perhaps the band’s “mother” role isn’t so far from the truth. Jaejoong also seems to be very emotionally involved with the team. Doesn’t it seem like he has a certain air of melancholy about him? Ahh, sometimes I think Jaejoong would like to try singing other genres, namely…you know…Rock. Every time he is asked about his favorite genre, he mentions it. >.> Bah, he should, he should!

    Yoochun…you can tell he has a very good humor and a certain playful, perhaps devilish personality (he laughs and snickers at the back every time the others begin to tell a story). It doesn’t seem like Yoochun takes things too seriously. Like Jaejoong, I believe he is really emotionally involved with the team. He didn’t have his family with him for a while and probably only counted on the others for emotional support; he cried so much before…he seemed to be very emotionally fragile for a while. I think he was driven and perhaps continues to be driven by the desire to provide a better future for his family. I think he may be a little frustrated by the fact that all their songs are given to them and that they don’t have that much creative control over their stuff. I think he would rather be composing than singing, but who knows!?

    Changmin…hah, he always seems like “WTF are my hyungs doing?”. I agree with some of the stuff you said, but lately he seems to be enjoying himself in those performances so who knows; perhaps he is getting accustomed to his idol persona. I think that due to his “youngest” status; he hasn’t been given the option to express himself hence he kept quiet for a long time. He seems a bit introverted and probably likes to be alone every chance he can (imagine always having to be with other 4 people, wouldn’t that be tiring?). Don’t you think it is scary that the others + their manager ended up raising him (he did start young in the business)? Changmin must have quite a strong personality…!

    About the couples…for the life of me, I don’t see any of them j/k. They are somewhat fabricated, but I think the affection and brotherhood among these 5 boys is genuine. Otherwise their teamwork wouldn’t work and it is obvious it does plus their chemistry is great. Yunjae is certainly the most popular…ahh, I do think they have a soft spot for each other, but romantic? Uhmm, it seems rather platonic to me, the kind of enthusiastic adoration you would have for your best friend whom you find very cool. But yeah, their fights are probably rather UGLY.

    And this comment is getting too long! SORRY! My conclusion: I AGREE WITH YOU! ^^
    Thanks for writing this. Please continue with your blog, eh? Don’t leave it too abandoned ^_^

  5. nanshi said,

    Hey Bell! Thanks for your reply!
    To address a few points:
    – I think Yunho is intelligent, just not brilliantly booksmart. He has the charisma and charm to be a performer, but like I said… ask him to debate philosophy or religion? Nah… I think that he was under a lot of pressure from SM to make sure that DBSK was successful. I mean, I know most management-types tend to put a LOT of pressure on captains/leaders of groups that they have put them in charge of. It’s not a common occurence in Western countries, but in Asian countries, if you’re class leader or school president, you take charge of your group and I think Yunho was initially held somewhat responsible for his group’s failures or successes. The other members carried some of it, but I think as a leader, you feel it’s your personal responsibility to make sure the group behaves, and Yunho embodies that rather well. I saw a clip once of him berating Jaejoong after one of their first “Hug” performances about messing up the dance (the little head-nod at the end? Jae wasn’t in total synch. It didn’t really look good, but I had the feeling that Yunho, himself, would’ve let it slide, but SM gave him so much pressure that he felt he had to say something otherwise Jae would’ve been reprimanded even more harshly. I think that’s why there were so many clashes between YunJae; Jae wanted to just say whatever he wanted and do whatever he wanted and didn’t see much harm in his actions, but Yunho would be extra paranoid about it, so he would scold Jaejoong a lot because of the mistakes. They’ve loosened up because they’re no longer as fragile as before, but yeah…)
    – I feel Junsu would only get mad about SMALL things; like.. not the big things. I mean, compared to the power grid failing or being interrupted during a practice session… I think Junsu would get more angry about the interruption rather than a blackout. He doesn’t seem to be prone to panic but rather this kind of ongoing neuroticism. I think all of them are perfectionists, and when you’re a perfectionist, it’s hard NOT to be neurotic. I can say that cause I am too.=D
    – That’s a pretty good way of phrasing Jaejoong. I would argue that I think Yoochun is more invested, but I can DEFINITELY see how Jae is as well. JaeChun just really relied on the group during a hard time in their life where they were really going through a rough patch. Jaejoong had to struggle a whole lot more too because I think he was trying to support vocal lessons while repeatedly going to auditions to finally get admitted. And I think Jaejoong was really trying to find his “niche,” and he finally found it with DBSK. I wish SM would let them both spread their wings a bit more.
    – I don’t think Yoochun can afford to take things too seriously. And yes, I don’t really think he does either. Defense mechanism? Maybe. Like I said, it is quite easy to write about lost love and to write about it eloquently even if you’ve never really experienced the emotion (or maybe it’s because I’m a girl?). I think Yoochun found a soft spot in his heart for music; he strikes me as the type that while he was lonely in America, music and playing the piano/guitar/singing really got him through a few rough patches because he felt it was… an outlet that he could master, I suppose.
    – Changmin, yeah. I know. That’s why I was a bit uncertain, because it seems like with “Mirotic,” (the album), he REALLY seemed to be enjoying himself up there. I think the album, as a whole, was MUCH more in favor of his vocals than most of their previous songs. Plus, he always seems to have a BLAST in Japan. And, I mean, as much as it feels like we’ve been following the DongBangs forEVER, they’ve really only been debuted for… 5/6 years, I think. And only 4 Korean albums (and 4 Japanese albums?) at that.
    – I agree totally about the couplings. But that SO deserves another post =D. lol. something new for me to blog about!
    * I don’t mind your long comments! It was nice to read your input! And I don’t mind people disagreeing with me this time around. As long as you don’t vehemently insist that, “NO, YOU’RE WRONG. THEY’RE PERFECT” it’s no big deal, lol. I was more negative than I think I intended because I think that we generally see the “good” bits of DBSK onscreen, it’s the negative or the more “realistic” bits that I think require a bit more explanation (not like I know much about them either). But yeah, I do agree with your general statement about how I don’t think they’re that fake. It’s one thing if SM entertainment wasn’t as invasive as it is. After all, if anything, your true personality comes through when you’re tired and we all know that the boys are pretty durn exhausted most of the time. I think their gratitude, cheeriness, and general camraderie is not faked. I just don’t think their camraderie is as perfect as some fans might be inclined to think it is, BUT I mean, when you’re forced into a show taping for x-hours and you’re forced to act like everything’s okay and happy and perky and cheerful or you’re smiling into a camera for three hours straight (photoshoots), your anger will probably melt away. Anger takes a LOT of energy, and I don’t see them having much energy to spare, lol.

  6. Clesias said,

    Hi, I don’t know whether you remember me from AF. Anyway, I came across this post quite a long time ago and today my friend was asking for the link to this post cause I talked about it with her. I just want to say that your this post has made me consider my position as their fans. Sure I would like to pretend that they’re all really close and stuff like that but I don’t want to step outside this fabricated world…Well I will have to keep in mind that they’re just human beings and a lot does go on behind all the glamour…

    I shall stop blabbering now…

  7. Johnny Boy said,

    Wow. This analysis is the most in-depth dissection of our dong bang boys I’ve ever read. Big pat on the back! You must love them lots to have written this much on them.

    I agree with you on Yunho’s natural charisma, but I also think off-screen he’s very hyper and has a cute/more immature personality. Because he’s the group leader, I think he upholds a more stately impression onscreen, and then off screen, he acts just like a kid and wants attention (not unlike Jae).

    As for Junsu, I still have a bit of problem really loving him the same as the other members. He seems the most… I guess, fake to me? In the videos, there are many cute moments of Junsu, but then I see him being moody and serious when he’s not trying to look like his cute/happy persona. I understand it’s part of idolism to be a different persona, but I’ve never really liked this sort of sugary sweet fakeness that Junsu gives to the fans. Although I do admit there are moments where his innocence shines genuinely and I get bursts of Xiah love.

    Changmin, Changmin. Oh certainly I think he was excluded more than any other member in their early days. He’s not talkative, and his whole personality is like an old man (mature and care for his health), despite his character in DBSK, which is the cute one (in the beginning). I could totally see him as a miserable loner wolf who cannot understand how his 20 something hyungs can act so embarrassing.XD As much as he’s mature, though, Max still has a kid’s heart. He’ll laugh at the most silly things and will play with people(like fighting jae and being violent).

    Whew, I didn’t expect to rant this much! I was going to go into Jae and Yoochun too, but I’ve ran out of steam…^^; DBSK rants are too fun!X> Ultimately, I believe as DBSK matures and grows, their real personalities will truly shine through (not EVERY dirt and grime detail though, it’s still good to keep some mystery). And at that stage, we can truly love them for the wonderful, although imperfect, beings they are.

    *Goes back to normal biased fangirl mode*

  8. Maousama said,

    thnx for the pictures !

  9. anonywhat?? said,

    this is kinda a cool, but where are getting all this info??not to be mean but it seems like your talking about them as if you know them personally…and thats kind of creepy and cocky.

  10. nanshi said,

    @ anonywhat?? : Personal observation. And as much as I’m talking about how I know them personally, I think it’s also pretty clear that I don’t. I just wanted to point out some clear and obvious (at least to me) characteristics that I think need to be pointed out. I don’t like it when people consider idols to be flawless and I just wanted to highlight the fact that they’re not. Creepy, maybe? But I don’t think I’ve observed them any more than any other fan and certainly a great deal less than some of their REALLY big fans (for one, I would never even BEGIN to compare myself to a real Cassiopeian). Cocky? Maybe. Take it with a grain of salt. I’m not professing to know them on any personal level or that I’m completely right. For all I know — these are carefully constructed stage images that SM Entertainment has crafted and therefore this is just a shadow of their real selves — or nothing like their real selves at all. It’s all in fun and games.

    Perhaps the cockiness is just a reflection of my blogwriting [non] skills and the general anonymity of the Internets. I certainly don’t profess to be a world-renowned expert on psychology, body language, or DBSK. I [was] am simply a very intrigued fan who was put off my all these very glamorous accounts of DBSK and very perturbed that no one cared to delve a little deeper past their exterior. So that’s kind of what I tried to do here. It’s an examination of what I perceive them to me. A little bit more in-depth. Perhaps a little bit too close to gossiping or speculating, which is a vice of mine that I’m trying to rectify. Perhaps it was my failing when I didn’t disclaim that this was all my thoughts — but I believed that it was implied.

    And where am I getting all this info? News reports, variety shows (of the tell-all kind), a few crew-member-translations, personal observations…

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