20101116_seoulbeats_nohminwoo3Hello everyone, and welcome back to another Week in Review. This week saw some much awaited comebacks announced; but we were also witness to a number of shocking events and revelations. These are detailed below, but before that I want to say that if you, or anyone you know, is feeling distressed, please make sure to reach out and seek help, whether it be with a trusted friend of family member, a professional or a local hotline.

Serious news (warning for distressing content)

  • On Wednesday May 13th, a soldier carrying out his military service opened fire at a training camp in Seoul; three people were injured and two died, including the shooter. Later reports revealed that the shooter, identified as Choi, had sent up to 10 text messages to a friend alluding to his plan.
  • Gwangju High Court, on Tuesday May 12, upheld the charges of manslaughter and embezzlement levelled at Kim Han-sik, the CEO of Sewol ferry operator Chonghaejin Marine Co. However, the initial jail term of 10 years has been decreased to seven.
  • Amid a flurry of articles against both Kim Hyun-joong and Miss Choi, Kim began his military service this week, entering training on the 12th. Yes, there were fans and other supporters (like actor and labelmate Bae Yong-joon) to see him off, but I’d rather not think about that.
  • SM has picked up another lawsuit, with former TRAX member and now actor No Min-woo choosing to sue the company. Current agency MJ Dreamsys (which is run by No’s mother) relayed a tale of neglect while at the company, and antagonism after No had left. So, all in all, the same as everyone else; quelle surprise.
  • More suing news, with a number of hair salons taking an unnamed entertainment agency to court over unpaid services rendered to its idols.
  • Red Velvet‘s manager has come under fire for verbally abusing fans at an airport, leading to SM releasing an official apology.

20150513_seoulbeats_hyosung_fantasia1Comebacks and Debuts

  • Beast member Jang Hyunseung has made his solo debut, and I sincerely thank the K-pop gods for giving me the only Beast solo I’ve ever wanted. As Laverne says, it’s not extraordinary; but gosh darn it’s nice to see Hyunseung having fun!
  • BoA returned with self-composed album Kiss My Lips, with title track of the same name. It’s a 180 to the “Who Are You” MV, but quite sumptuous.
  • Secret leader Hyosung is also back on the scene with a new mini album Fantasia, and single “Into You.” It’s been cute to see her  paired up with Hyunseung for radio show appearances! However, she’s also been hit with claims of sajaegi.
  • Sunggyu of Infinite has really impressed Willis with his solo comeback this week; what do you think of 27?
  • Starship‘s survivors of No Mercy have officially debuted as Monsta X. The MV for “Trespass” is not my cup of tea, but it’s good to see the group officially out on the scene.
  • Funny girl trio Pungdeng-e released new single “Reversal” on the 12th.
  • Meanwhile in Japan, FT Island released its 5th Japanese studio album 5 … Go
  • Myname comeback with “Just Tell Me”
  • David Oh, who appeared on Birth of a Singer alongside the late Rise of Ladies’ Code, has debuted with single “I Know I Know,” featuring A Pink member Bomi.
  • After all that fuss, outcry and CD smashing (I kid you not — and these aren’t teenage girls either), ZE:A‘s Kwanghee finally made his debut on Infinite Challenge… And bowled the viewers over. I’m not involved in any way, but even I can feel the deep satisfaction that comes from challengiing prejudiced views and finding acceptance from others.

20150515_seoulbeats_kara_inlovealbumcoverTeasers and Announcements

  • NO I AM NOT CALM but I’ll try my best to pretend. Ahem:
  • The group announced its 4th studio album Odd on Monday, to drop on the 18th. Title track “View” features lyrics penned by Jonghyun, while the teaser images and videos feature a lot of (mostly?) white girls. You can see my favourite teaser image at top, but you can also check out the rest of them here.
  • Kara announced a comeback earlier this week, and just released the cover for their 7th mini-album, In Love. Well, I know I am. The ladies look like a floral dream, and after enjoying “Mamma Mia” I can’t wait for the group’s new song! Look out for it on the 26th.
  • On the 12th, vocal group 4Men announced its comeback; but fans will have to wait a while, as the forthcoming mini is only expected to drop in June.
  • After getting into a dispute with Dexter Lab‘s Han Sa-min, JYP Entertainment has now switched over to Naive Creative Production for 2PM‘s comeback; said comeback is also likely to be delayed.
  • Loen boy band History will be having a comeback on the 21st with a new mini album. Check out their individual MV teasers here.
  • N.Flying will be debuting in Korea on the 20th, with teasers being released all this week.
  • Variety show Crime Scene 2 will be bringing back season 1 members NS Yoonji and Minhyuk of CN Blue. This isn’t some last ditch attempt, though, as CS2 has been pretty popular with viewers.

20140823_seoulbeats_seoingukmarieclaireOther news

  • Bae Yong-joon and Park Soo-jin have announced their marriage after 100 days of dating; this is the first time the public is hearing about this couple, so much shock has been seen in the netizen reactions.
  • May 11th was Single Mothers’ Day in South Korea. You can read more about the occasion, and its role in fighting the stigma against single mothers, at NPR.
  • Sunny and Seo In-guk were revealed to be dating by Sports Seoul, but both singers’ agencies soon denied the news, thus putting a dampener on celebrations of yet another public GG couple.
  • And on the other side, actress Hwang Jung-eum and SG Wannabe member Kim Yong-joon have split after nine years together.

(ABC OnlineCNN, Donga Ilbo, Facebook, Mwave[1][2],Nate[1][2][3][4], Naver[1][2][3][4][5], Newsen, NPR, Sports Seoul[1][2], TV Report. Images via: SM Entertainment, KBS, TS Entertainment, DSP Media, Marie Claire)