Another day, another debut. This time, we have six-member boy band VIXX making their first foray into the land of K-pop. Of course, each new band coming out has its own special concept, a selling point that is meant to make that group stand out from the rest of the crowd–and VIXX is no different: they are the final product of MNet‘s reality show Mydol, wherein the top six finalists on the show were grouped together to form what is now VIXX. The six finalists and the band name (which stands for “Value in Excelsis,” naturally) were all selected by audience vote, so you could say that this is a band of the people, for the people and by the people (with deepest apologies to Mr. Lincoln).

Debuting under Jellyfish Entertainment (home to fellow reality singing contest winner Seo In-guk) the group aims to become “of great heroic value to the industry,” and they run with this idea for their debut song, “Super Hero,” with a typical idols-in-a-box MV.

I personally think Nu’est had the whole boy-band-in-pink thing covered, but props to VIXX for making an effort regardless. Most of the sets used had some shade of pink in the design, one of them entirely in the fairy floss colour. As for the sets themselves, they were cute–and that was exactly the problem: they didn’t match with the song, which had a smooth, slick sound to it, and the sets didn’t match that sound and feel. This mismatch was only further highlighted when seeing the only set that had any concurrence with the song, the black room with blue lights. Some of the sets were reminiscent of comic book illustrations, which ties in with the lyrical content of the song, but they could have been designed differently to match the mood of the music as well; overall, the sets were hit and miss.

Compared to the sets though, the costumes were pretty black and white–literally. I appreciated the little unique details on each member’s outfits that allowed for easy identification and differentiation of the members: for example, Hong-bin is always in sleeveless or short-sleeved tops, Leo wears meshed shirts under his jackets and Ravi (?!) has that fringe skirt (though his uncanny resemblance to B1A4‘s Baro means he stands out well enough on his own). The members also have the VIXX logo on their jackets or shirts, making for some nice brand-building for the group.

The cinematography was also enjoyable, for the most part–it was dynamic, especially with the parts where the members interacted with the camera while dancing, but the constant rotating in the solo shots of the members in the pink tunnel were headache-inducing after a while. The angles those shots were taken at also slightly ruined the spinning effect; differing the angles may have been an attempt to make a shot that is pretty conventional seem new and innovative, but it ended up taking away from the original effect rather than add anything of value to it.

The choreography matched the feel of the song nicely, with fluid movements; the chest popping during the bridge was a highlight as was the dance during the chorus–that is a good hook move. The members also keep with the chill nature of the song and don’t play up or over-act too much… or at least five of them don’t. Baro Ravi, in contrast to the others, jumps around like crazy and makes exaggerated gestures during his raps, though he’s perfectly normal otherwise. This, of course, could be due to how the rap itself is presented in the song, and how rapping in general is viewed and used in K-pop–of how it “should” be aggressive and fast. The change in pace does serve the song well, but it could be a little less… obnoxious?

While the choreography isn’t highlighted much in the MV itself, VIXX’s debut stage allowed for a better display of the fluidity of the dance, with the added bonus of some great live singing without backtrack. Hearing rookies sing live is something very much appreciated.

As a pop song, I’m not really expecting any deep and profound meaning from “Super Hero.” In this song, VIXX is the super hero of the viewer, offering them their (super) services. And what does this entail, you may wonder? Saving you from danger? Defeating bad guys in your name? Swearing to protect you (and the rest of civilisation, of course) from the forces of evil?

“Face the Morning in the Alps

And then fly to London

(Anything is possible)”

So VIXX, you’re telling me that your superpower is that you are actually European billionaires? I was thinking more along the lines of crime-eliminating vigilantes, but hey, tourist locations are hotspots for criminals too, I guess.

All in all, “Super hero” is really nothing more than a vehicle for VIXX to gain attention in the K-pop scene and establish their identity and brand. The members can be identified with minimal effort, and they perform well live — they’ve gotten my attention at least, and I’m curious to see what kind of music they will put out in the future.

While I didn’t think much of the sets or lyrics, I like VIXX’s energy and the tune itself, so I’m giving “Super Hero” a score of 2.9 out of 5

What are your thoughts on VIXX and “Super Hero?”

(Jellyfish Entertainment, KBS, Nate[1][2])