Heechul’s departure from Super Junior this month has caused an uproar of unnecessary chatter. His leave for the army, confirmed by SM Entertainment, has left fans wondering, will this forever change the world of the Super Junior we know and love?
The super group of 13 fashionably dressed and polished young men was designed by SM Entertainment as the chameleon of K-Pop. The whole idea was to have a group that could fluctuate and evolve as naturally as a menstrual cycle. Band members would depart to possibly become solo artists, new bands would sprout from the original like mold on bread, and new members would replace the old. It’s a lot like Saturday Night Live actually, with a changing cast to keep things fresh.
We must remember the original tagline created for Super Junior: “The gate towards stardom in Asia.” Super Junior was never meant to be stagnant, but a place where young men could go to reach fame. And once they reached fame, they could go on with their celebrity and reach levels of greatness beyond the confines of being in a super band. Basically, Super Junior is like a K-Pop idol internship.
Many fans have misunderstood Super Junior since their inception in 2005. This misunderstanding was demonstrated during the great Super Junior protest of ’07, when SM first introduced new members and fans freaked out and started protesting that Super Junior should only have 13 dudes. 14?!? God forbid.
SM retaliated and explained the initial revolving band concept, but some fans still can’t accept the idea. Heechul’s leave has shown that many Super Junior fans are still struggling with change. Change is tough, but we have to deal with it. We have to deal with the fact that Heechul will no longer be strutting in fashionable camo, but you know, the real camo. The kind of camo you wear in war.
We shouldn’t think of Heechul’s departure as a crippling downfall for Super Junior, but instead a rebirth. A chance for Super Junior to bring on the next talent and K-Pop wonder boy. It’s like when Elvis left for the military, making room for emerging talents like The Beatles.
And if Super Junior falls to slump status (like many a season of SNL) due to the loss of a popular member such as Heechul, there’s always hope for a healthy relapse. See you in two years Heechul.