Really, it all started with a man named Rain. In June of last year I finally decided to watch the movie Ninja Assassin. I love martial arts movies and movies with great special effects and gore and this one promised to have it all, AND it was done by the Wachowski brothers. What more could I ask for? I’d missed it in the movie theater and had kind of forgotten about it. I had no idea who this guy Rain was and, actually, I’d been kind of scoffing at the fact that he used the word “rain” as his name. Anyway, I proceeded to watch. It was bloody, gory and had tons of martial arts… then this Rain guy showed up:
Needless to say my mouth dropped open and I was like, “Umm... who IS this?!?!” I mean, look at him. Go on… look again.
His screen presence is amazing and he did 99% of his own stunts in this incredibly graceful way. He pretty much held me in his thrall for the rest of the movie. When the movie was done, I had to Google him. Boy was I surprised when I found out he was a pop star in South Korea and was considered the Asian King of Pop. I kind of scoffed at that too, but I clicked on one of the hundreds of video links and found out why.
Here’s one of the links:
I was up pretty late into the night looking at some of the ridiculous amount of videos there are on YouTube that feature him. In the next few days, I found a subculture on the net that I never knew existed. I watched him perform in front of thousands of screaming fans. I found out he had starred in a few dramas (kind of like a Korean version of a soap opera/hour long series that usually only run for about 18 episodes) and started watching one of those called Full House (no relation to the American sitcom by the same name), I found a myriad of fan sites and realized you could almost track this guy’s daily move, I listened to his music and liked quite a bit of it. I just found everything about Rain and the South Korean culture that I was coming across to be totally interesting, and I was not the only one. I was captivated. This guy has had hundreds of pictures and videos and articles written about him over the 10 years that he’s been an entertainer and you can find most of it on the net.
To tell you the truth, at first I was wondering why I was so enthralled by this dude. I was wondering wtf was up with me. I hadn’t fangirled over someone like this since I was 16 (and I’m definitely not even close to 16 anymore). I stumbled upon a site that let me know that I was not alone. This site was CloudUSA and there I found people like me. People from all walks of life, of all age ranges and from all countries that were as interested in this Rain person as I was. As I learned more about Rain, I went from thinking he was hot to liking him because of his humility, silly sense of humor and his rags-to-riches story.
I bonded with some of the women on CloudUSA and became good friends with one of the women that often posted on the site. In the fall of last year she started talking about other Kpop groups, a group called Shinee in particular, and finally one day I was like :grumble: “Fine! Let me listen to this Shinee.”
First she played me “Replay”:
My reaction was meh. I’m not into cute 15 yr. old boys singing sweet songs.
So she played me “Lucifer”:
I was pretty into “Lucifer”. I really like electronica, house and techno and this song spoke to me. Plus I'm a sucker for great choreography. A few days later I spoke to her again and had to let her know that I had reconsidered and decided I liked “Replay”. She was pretty smug.
I went on from there. I discovered GD & T.O.P.:
Then just GD aka G Dragon:
From there I segued into BIGBANG, the group GD, T.O.P and Taeyang are from, and the list goes on… This is just a small sampling of the many Kpop groups out there, really. There's something for everyone.
I’ve watched many other kdramas and movies and variety shows (with English subs of course) and laughed and cried. I find something new about the Korean culture or entertainment industry to interest me daily.
As a teen I used to pride myself on being different and trying new things, musically and otherwise, and I’d gotten away from that as I grew older. I’m very glad I ventured out of the norm and tried something new and you should too. Try some Kpop or Jpop or Korean or Japanese indie music. Step out of the box. You never know… you might like it.