Do Wook was reading most of the feedback about yesterday’s autograph session that was posted on FaceNote, KK’s fan cafe, etc.
It had been their first autograph session, not to mention an open event, so there had been a really large number of interested fans. As such, there were just as many reviews posted about it, mostly people saying that they had enjoyed it very much.
There were other comments as well, such as ‘I couldn’t see them because they were too far.’ ‘It seemed to be unorganized’, etc., but it wasn’t a problem with KK as a whole.
In general, there were comments like ‘It’s the first time I’ve seen idols treat their fans this well.’ ‘They were all awesome.’ ‘They answered all the questions and even held fans’ hands.’ ‘I absolutely have to go to the next one too, it’s totally worth the money.’
There were also a lot of detailed reviews of what they had talked about with the members, descriptions of what each of the members were like, compliments about their appearance and personality, etc.
It seemed that the fan-friendly marketing they were going for, including the friendly vibe at the autograph session, went exactly as planned.
That vibe was not confined to only the KK fan page. Even the idol category in the large communities were plastered with KK-related stories and reviews.
There were quite a lot of responses too. Many comments mentioned that it seemed worth the money to go to the fan autograph session since people had such good things to say about it.
People who had only been slightly interested in KK also cried out that they were ‘sold’ after seeing the reviews, pictures, videos, etc. that were posted.
Since it was a large community, of course other idols’ fans made up a large portion of the members. Therefore, as the KK-related posts kept popping up and the attention was focused on them, there were people who posted dismissive comments about KK.
They attracted attention with comments like ‘Isn’t KK still a rookie?’ or kept putting them down with comments like ‘I can’t really tell if KK is good.’
However, those types of posts and comments were quickly buried.
The problem was the stories regarding Suk Ji Hoon that popped up here and there.
The type of posts in the communities had a different vibe than the posts in the fan cafe. In the fan cafe, most of the comments were praising Suk Ji Hoon just as much as the other members.
Older female fans were looking forward to what Suk Ji Hoon would accomplish when he turned 20. Fans that were around Suk Ji Hoon’s age were adorning an image of him as a boyfriend who is blunt yet only nice to them.
The negative comments were only to the extent of ‘Ji Hoon seemed to be shy’. Even those comments had replies from Suk Ji Hoon’s super fans that he seemed cuter due to being shy.
Suk Ji Hoon walked towards Do Wook while rubbing his eyes.
“Oh…It looks like these types of comments keep being posted.”
Do Wook said as he looked at the monitor. Suk Ji Hoon sat down next to Do Wook.
He searched Suk Ji Hoon’s name in the community search bar and articles regarding him came up one after another.
[Title: By the way, regarding Suk Ji Hoon]
[Title: About that Suk Ji Hoon]
[Title: Is KK’s Suk Ji Hoon that child actor?]
About one in five were these types of titles. If you clicked on it, it would, without fail, be a negative article about Suk Ji Hoon.
[Title: Is KK’s Suk Ji Hoon that child actor?
I was looking at pictures of the autograph event and felt I’d seen him before somewhere.
Did his agency force him to be an idol when he wanted to be an actor?
His expression is always sour.]
-He probably wants to do more acting
-Quit if you don’t want to be a singer lol
-What are you talking about when their group just became active?
-He’s smiling just fine in the photos?
-I’m friends with Suk Ji Hoon’s relative, and they told me there are problems between him and his agency because he said he doesn’t want to be an idol.
-Hurr maybe he’ll end up dropping out later.
[Title: About that Suk Ji Hoon
I’m saying this because it’s been circulating that he doesn’t want to be an idol.
Didn’t he have an issue with a fan a while back?]
-I heard he goes around brushing off fans lol;;;
-Did he fight with a fan? He’s so childish…
-Seems like he’s still young and immature
-18 lol Back in the day you would have been married by that age
-There’s a story of a stan slapping him when he was a trainee. Spreading rumors when you don’t even know, tsk tsk.
[Title: By the way, regarding Suk Ji Hoon
I’m a fan of KK, but when it comes to Suk Ji Hoon
I honestly feel uneasy sometimes. =_=
Like, he puts up a wall even with fans? It was true at yesterday’s autograph session too.
It definitely looks like he wants out of the idol fandom soon, lol.]
-Fan cosplay X
-Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill
-No, I haven’t been a fan that long but I’ve felt that too
-Honestly me 333333
‘He’s not satisfied being part of the KK group because he wants to be an actor, maybe that’s why he won’t actively interact with fans unlike the other members’, etc. Stories like that were spreading like crazy among the public.
Suk Ji Hoon, who had been quietly reading the articles, scowled slightly. However, he immediately returned to his indifferent expression.
Do Wook debated whether it was okay to show him negative comments about himself so bluntly. Still, Suk Ji Hoon probably monitored them anyways, and you had to face the situation head on if you wanted to find a way to resolve it.
Suk Ji Hoon moved the mouse and went to a different community site. It was a slightly smaller site than the major community they were just on, where idol fans tended to gather and exchange comments without reservation.
After going to the site, Suk Ji Hoon entered a query in the search box.
“You have to search it like this to find it properly.”
What he entered into the search was ‘Stone Ji Hoon’. It was the demeaning nickname they used for him.
When they searched Stone Ji Hoon, the amount of negative comments they found was incomparable to the previous site. There were lots of posts cussing him out, or saying that it’d be better if he left KK.
‘As I figured. He already knew about it.’
Do Wook looked at the articles and hardened his expression even more.
Suk Ji Hoon was barely 18, but there were so many cruel comments made towards him. Furthermore, KK debuted 3 months ago. He hadn’t made any particular mistake since then.
Of course it was true that as a trainee he didn’t completely open up his heart to fans because of the huge trauma he’d suffered. However, it wasn’t as if fans made him back off, scared. It was just that he was on edge, anxious of fans who suddenly tried to touch him.
Do Wook didn’t think he deserved this much criticism, and felt unfair as if it were happening to himself.
“You don’t feel wronged?”
It was true that there were some people who chose the slightly easier idol route because they wanted to become actors. However, it wasn’t that Suk Ji Hoon was begrudgingly being an idol when he actually wanted to act.
If he wanted to act, he could immediately do it in his present state.
Suk Ji Hoon enjoyed acting, but he wanted to be a singer who sings and dances, losing themselves to the moment when on stage. When he auditioned to become a singer, he entered HIT Entertainment by choice. He even risked going against his mother who would warn him that he could get stuck with the idol image and not be able to become an actor in the future.
After he entered HIT Entertainment, he polished and perfected his singing and dancing skills in preparation for his debut. It was hard, but it was the path he had chosen, so he thought it was worthwhile.
But Do Wook knew Suk Ji Hoon too. They had prepared for the debut together, they rehearsed together, and they lived together. He had stayed quiet and worked hard. He had done everything he had to do as the youngest member.
“That’s just how it is. It must be my fault for acting in a way that brought about these comments.”
“Even if I try to explain that it’s not true, it’ll just make it a bigger issue. They won’t believe me anyways. Manager Oh probably agrees that it’d be better to just leave this alone.”
His calm tone made Do Wook feel even more sorry for him.
Suk Ji Hoon definitely had a good understanding of the dark side of the entertainment world. Everything he said was true. That had been how Do Wook approached things too when he had worked in the agency PR department.
The first course of action when there were malicious comments and rumors about an agency celebrity was to monitor it without addressing it at all. If the celebrity addressed the related rumor, they risked unaware people finding out about it too.
They would be incredibly lucky if it calmed down or there was concrete evidence to prove their innocence, and it would disappear after some time. Having to live with anonymous rumors they couldn’t do anything about was part of the idol life.
Only if the rumors got worse, and they became the target of thousands and thousands of abusive comments, could the agency file a suit against the malicious comments. Until then, there really were no good options.
“But we can’t just do nothing.”
Do Wook noticed distinctive peculiarities as he continued to look through the site.
There were a few usernames that caught his eye, and the posts those usernames wrote were generally the same: ‘Suk Ji Hoon has bad habits and treats fans like bugs.’
‘It was probably one of the students who were waiting in front of the dormitory before or…no. Regardless of who wrote the post, it’s still malicious. If we don’t do anything, Ji Hoon’s image with other fans will start to suffer too.’
Suk Ji Hook shook his head skeptically at Do Wook’s resolute tone.
“There must be a way…”
Suk Ji Hoon was talking in a calm tone, but he wasn’t completely fine with the fact that rumors about him were spreading regardless whether they were true or not. However, he didn’t think there was a solution, so he was trying to make his peace with it.
“There’s nothing I can do but to work harder so people won’t say these things. Although, I’ll have to put in a lot more effort..”
Do Wook patted his shoulder.
“Yeah. That sincerity. We have to at least try to convey that sincerity.”
It was expected to some extent, but the title song ‘Very Sorry’ from KK’s first full album Sensation became incredibly popular. Even Do Wook couldn’t believe it.
Cable broadcasts were a given, but they got the first place trophies from all the music stations’ programs, including all the satellite broadcasts. On the music chart, they went back and forth for first and second place with Kim Woo Yeon’s song.
In every alleyway and every store you could hear ‘Very Sorry’ playing.
They were more than a particularly good rookie group acknowledged only by the broadcast industry. The public was very fanatical about KK’s ‘Very Sorry’ as well.
Thanks to that, KK earned the nickname “Nation’s Sagwadol*”.
(TL note: The word for “apple” and “idol” put together.)
Apology scenes for all sorts of variety shows and dramas had ‘Very Sorry’ playing. With the addictive sound and choreography of the chorus, people couldn’t help but have it stuck in their heads.
Since the hook song they released became popular in less than a month, people were starting to consider KK’s song as the beginning of the hook song era.
On top of that, as the music video for ‘Very Sorry’ became popular overseas through MyTube, there were even foreigners who were doing covers of ‘Very Sorry’.
They had become the group following closely behind the leaders of the KPOP craze which had started at some point.
Due to the language barrier, foreigners preferred performance-centered groups. KK not only fell into that category, but the easy English word ‘Sorry’ was also constantly repeated within the song, which made it a good selling point as something easy for English and non-English speakers alike to sing along to.
As their popularity expanded outside of the country to all over the world, the KK members were booked for their first overseas event
They had been invited to the < Korean-Japanese Cultural Exchange Festival > held in Osaka.
“Man, I’m nervous. Do Wook, I’m telling this only to you. This is my first time flying.”
Gimpo International Airport boarding area.
To look cool in front of the fans who were taking pictures, the members purposely pretended to look at their cell phones or pretended to be talking to each other as they headed to get their passports screened. Oh Baek Ho, who was leading the way, kept the crowding fans at a distance.
Jung Yoon Ki, who was standing next to Do Wook, flashed a nice smile to the fans as he whispered to Do Wook. Do Wook chuckled.
“Dude, you know?”
“You recently went to the district office to be issued a passport.”
“Ah…Baek Ho told you.”
Jung Yoon Ki moaned, upset with Oh Baek Ho.
The members wondered what it could be when Jung Yoon Ki said he had to go take care of some personal business. If Oh Baek Ho hadn’t said ‘I’m taking Yoon Ki to the district office to get his passport made, so rehearse while I’m gone’, they really would have thought that he had a private event like Student Rapper.
Either way, the other members were nervous about their first overseas event as well, even the ones who had been on a plane before.
After going through the screening with their issued tickets, the members got to their seats on time.
On either side of Do Wook were Jung Yoon Ki and Suk Ji Hoon. Suk Ji Hoon was sitting to Do Wook’s left with his headphones plugged into his cell phone, probably listening to music. Do Wook asked him.
“Did you rehearse a lot?”
“Yes. I did rehearse but…I don’t know if it’ll be ok.”
“I’m sure it’ll be ok. Let’s record in the hotel room later tonight.”
Suk Ji Hoon nodded his head.
Do Wook and Suk Ji Hoon had rehearsed for about 2 weeks to record their own song together. Do Wook planned on not only helping Suk Ji Hoon, but also to create a good opportunity out of this for himself as well.