3 Thanks Friendster
When I was in first year college, Facebook was not yet the trend but Friendster. In Friendster there’s a corner where you can put anything about yourself, the “About Me” part. At that time putting pictures of your celebrity crush was also a trend. I went to my sister’s friend’s page because she added me. I was looking through her profile when I suddenly noticed one of the picture that was posted on her About Me corner. I was really interested because he really looked cute. There was no name written and it didn’t have a hyperlink. I thought I spent a day or two searching for him. I don’t remember exactly how I did it but I found him–it turned out to be Kim Kibum of Super Junior. I didn’t really know much about idols at that time. I knew a few Korean drama but back then I really loved Taiwanese drama because of Mike He. But because of Kim Ki Bum I became really interested about Korean idols. At first, I ignored the fact about him being a Super Junior member. I started watching shows he was in. I think the first one I saw was when he was in a sitcom with Heechul. I watched a few more videos before I found out about Super Junior’s “Full House.” I enjoyed the whole show and that’s when I started liking the other members of Super Junior like Siwon, Heechul, Hankyung, Kangin, Eunhyuk and Donghae. Then through that program I knew about their songs. The first song that got me into K-Pop was Super Junior’s ‘U.’ Then I saw them cry together, be happy together, face hardships together, and sing together on different shows. I also loved ‘Miracle’ and ‘Happiness.’ And then ‘Sorry Sorry’ was released and people from all over the country got to know them. I was so happy for them. There might have been so much struggle and obstacles as a group and as an individual after that but they remained The Last Man Standing. It will always be a 13 member group. Actually, until now, ten years since I fell in love with Super Junior, they still are the reason why I am still into K-Pop.
4 J-Pop and K-Pop, Unite!
I was an avid J-Pop/J-Rock fan at first because I loved anime and J-drama and basically everything about Japan. I joined contests and went to other conventions related to it. When I was in high school, I guess around 2011, I first heard about K-Pop. Everyone was so wild looking at their photos and playing their upbeat songs. Back then, I never liked K-Pop before. As a matter of fact I used to bash them because other fans were comparing the K-Pop fandom to J-Pop fandom.
When I was in college I met a K-Pop fan. She was my blockmate. I was a loner before because not all understood my life as an otaku (someone addicted to anime and others related to it) until i met this ultimate K-Pp fangirl. She used to hangout with her K-Pop friend but I didn’t know what happened, she seemed to be attached with me and she totally dissolved her friendship with the other one. We started hanging out, despite knowing that I was a J-Pop fan and she was a K-Pop fan. Few weeks passed and we became totally the best of friends, sharing all crazy antics. I shared J-Pop/J-Rock stuff to her and she influenced me into K-Pop.
I am proud to say that aside from her being the main reason why I got into K-Pop, the Cassiopeia/Bigeast fandom embraced me so tight and now I don’t know how to escape it. I just found out that Tohoshinki/TVXQ/DBSK were the names of only one group. I’ve been playing Tohoshinki songs for years and I didn’t figure out that they were Korean singers. My friend was also a TVXQ fan that was why we get along so well, and she also loved J-Pop because she watched anime and J-Dramas. Now I am a proud Cassiopeia and a newbie ARMY.
I guess what really turned me into a K-Pop fan was not just how amazing K-Pop groups were. For me it was about how the environment introduced it to you and how well the fans are doing its job to protect the whole fandom. NO FANWARS, JUST FANGIRL/BOY THINGS.