I remember when I was 18, my then-boyfriend introduced me to Winter Sonata. And it was safe to say that I got hooked after the first few episodes. I even bought the DVD set, watched the entire thing, and weeped my eyes out. It felt good to let it out and cry.
Little did I know that that would be the start of my Hallyu addiction.
To be honest, after Winter Sonata, I had turned to the Jpop scene, and took an interest to Arashi; Matsujun (or Matsumoto Jun, his full name) in particular. I watched the full season of Gokusen and shipped Shin & Yankumi to death. Also adding to my glee, I had also found out that Isaka Tatsuya (Ichigo from the Bleach Rock Musical series, which I also happened to be addicted to) had a role in about 2 episodes.
It wasn’t until about a year or so after the Winter Sonata incident that I actually came to get addicted to Kpop, and the group that got me addicted was in fact 동방신기, aka DBSK, aka TVXQ. And I was torn in between my love for Yoochun and Yunho. 😂😁
From there, I started getting to know more Kpop bands, and started becoming a (hardcore) fan of Super Junior (seeing as DBSK & Super Junior regularly starred in tv shows together), and then 2PM (Taecyeon my bby ❤️), whom I liked the longest. (I was even fortunate enough to go to their concert 5 years ago!)
Back then when I started getting into Kpop, it was not very recognised in Malaysia yet. Paraphenilia were very hard to come by. So understandably, whenever I came across someone who liked it as well, I got excited.
I admit I was a hardcore Kpop fan; I even taught myself basic Korean so I could understand them better and, possibly, be able to carry a conversation in Korean if I ever came across one. My family couldn’t understand my love for them, but they never got in the way.
And then the Hallyu wave/Kpop fever started creeping into Malaysia. It became more recognised, and CDs and such became more easily accessible.
It was also then, within about 2 years, that I started to drift away from Kpop completely.
As the Kpop/Hallyu sensation blew up, I realised that more and more young girls were starting to act cute even more ( trying to follow the aegyo trend), and all the screamings of “OMO!“, “eotteoke?!” and “OPPAAAAA SARANGHAE!!” got a bit too much for me.
Saying it like that is putting it lightly, in fact. Rather, it got on my nerves. Every single time, at every single concert/fanmeet, those few words will be what the fans would scream. The same damn words over and over and over again, to the point where they even used those words in their daily conversations. Now, if they had used some other words in their mix, that would be fine. But it’s always that three. Always. An ‘omo’ here and an ‘eottoke’ there. It was getting like those chinese girls changing the word ‘cute’ to ‘kawaii’ every fucking time. (Sorry, but a major of them are in fact, young chinese girls.)
One of the reasons I liked Kpop was also for their powerful dances. I realised I never much liked the (in girl groups’ cases) cutesy, trying-to-act-cute groups, rather, I would go for groups like 2NE1 & Brown Eyed Girls, who, although have some ‘sexy’ elements in their dances (they ALL do), are more about their high-energy, powerful dances. Those, I admire.
Now, everywhere I go, I see young teenaged girls getting googly eyed at Kpop stars and spouting those common korean exclamations in their conversations. It’s irritating to the point where all Kpop fans are stereotyped as that.
And then there’s the chinese guys that want to be as ‘cool’ as the koreans, some even attempting to follow their style (and failing horribly, might I add), and feminity. Only it makes them look more like ah bengs and lalas more than anything.
Do I miss Kpop? Of course I do. I miss fangirling over Taecyeon and 2PM, and feeling proud whenever I get their puns or play of words. But I don’t call myself a ‘fan’ per se. Because whenever I say I am, people immediately categorize me into the screaming, sexy/cutesy-wannabe.
I still love my boys, and probably always will. Maybe one day I’ll start listening to Kpop again. Who knows? But at the moment I can’t listen to them without feeling like I’m part of those wannabes, and to be very honest, that makes me feel disgusted of myself.
If ever 2PM were to come to Malaysia again, I definitely wouldn’t rule out going though. Just for a chance to maybe get to see them up close or take a picture with them.
Just for my babies. 😅