When I opened my eyes I was a Superstar – Chapter 80: Run towards the future (1)

The day of KK’s 2nd full album and sound file ‘Howl’ release.

The music video was pre-released first at midnight. There were two versions of the music video: a Korean version and a Chinese version.

The release of the Chinese version was also a declaration that they were going to attack the Chinese market.

< Countdown to KK’s expansion into China! >

< Appearing with a new style, KK looks upgraded! >

< KK music video announced! Two versions released. >

When the music video was announced, the articles started being posted at lightning speed.

The fans couldn’t contain their admiration over the announced music video.

The concept for this album had a clear difference from the concept of the last album ‘LAST DANCE’.

Unlike ‘LAST DANCE’, which expressed freedom, they all wore matching school uniform cardigans with gray T-shirts, emphasizing unity.

Concept-wise it was closer to ‘Very Sorry’, but emphasized masculinity much more than that time.

The members all put in frantic effort to build their bodies, and they shined in the music video that had little editing.

Furthermore, in the music video that was produced in one take with no cuts, KK demonstrated a vivid performance as if they were having fun with the rhythm.

A rhythm that made you subconsciously shake your shoulders and an addictive sound.

The sound file that was released the next day effortlessly claimed first place, showing off KK’s power.

Thanks to the capital they got from Tae Hwa Group’s investment, they boasted a fuller sound than ever before. It was evident that they paid close attention to every little bit of the album. Experts were surprised by KK’s musical growth.

There was also a series of articles published about producer Do Wook’s skills, saying he was an idol and artist that they were looking forward to seeing even greater things from in the future.

-Kang Do Wook is too good to be true…shudder

-I thought he was a new actor because he was good at acting. I can’t believe he’s an idol group member…

-Who is that showing their abs at 2m 18s. I’m about to start liking KK

-It’s Kim Won!!! Hehehe Please continue to give KK lots of love~!

-Fighting, Min Ki’s group!!!

-Listening to the Chinese version gives it a whole new feel~!

-Are they not gonna go to the army*?
(TL Note: Males in South Korea have to go to mandatory army service.)

-They all probably worked very hard to build their bodies, I want to wash laundry on their abs!

-Is Ahn Hyung Seo the type where he can’t build muscle easily? Hahaha

-They’re much younger than me but make my heart flutter☆

-They’re real men~

While current idols emphasized their youth during activities, KK’s strategy to go with a tough guy image was enough to capture the public’s interest.

As they had already differentiated themselves from other groups, KK started to get a style that was unique to just them.

“Huff…huff, hyung, can I have some water please?”

“Yeah, here!”

When Ahn Hyung Seo asked for water while panting, Gu Chul Min quickly handed him water.
The KK members, who had just finished a performance on ‘Life Song’, were completely drained. The choreography for ‘Howl’ was a fierce, continuous choreography without a second to rest.

“How does it get harder each time?”

Ahn Hyung Seo grumbled amiably.

“I know…”

Even Park Tae Hyung, who didn’t find most dancing difficult, felt his stamina lacking while doing this choreography.

They had a very hectic schedule since their comeback, including music broadcasts, fan signing, radio appearances, and even a idol-specialized cable tv variety show, so their physical fatigue was severe.

As KK’s popularity increased, there were more places looking for KK, and unlike the previous activities that focused on music broadcasts, the company’s strategy for activities this time and onwards was to do a lot of TV exposure in earnest.

“Take good care of your bodies. You can’t get sick.”

“That’s not something we can control.”

Jung Yoon Ki replied curtly to what Manager Oh Baek Ho said.

He spoke like that because the physical exhaustion was significant, but the members were all thankful for the situation. As they went on music broadcasts, they saw many groups who debuted the same year as them but still hadn’t made a name for themselves.

The members tried not to forget that they were able to gain their popularity because they were lucky.

“Quickly wipe off your sweat and get up. They’ll announce first place soon.”

Do Wook, who was sitting in the waiting room chair and catching his breath, also got up at Manager Oh Baek Ho’s words.

KK had already gotten first place the week of their comeback. If they get first place today too, it’d be two consecutive weeks of first place.

Since there were no big singers making a comeback for the time being, fans were getting hyped up over how many consecutive weeks they could get first place.


“I heard you got first place again yesterday? Congratulations!”

The Fan Marketing Team Conference Room.

When Do Ra Hee congratulated them, the members thanked her with a triumphant expression on their face. The number of KK first place trophies on the company trophy display was already getting so big that it was difficult to count how many there were.

“I heard you became assistant manager. Congratulations on your promotion.”

At Do Wook’s words, Do Ra Hee laughed awkwardly.

“Oh ho, Assistant Manager Do!”

“Assistant Manager Do!”

When Ahn Hyung Seo started to clap, the other members went even more overboard and clapped.

It was true that when they said ‘Assistant Manager Do’, it sounded like they were saying ‘flounder’*. That was a very small part of the reason the members were laughing.
(Translator note: They’re saying do dae ri, a flounder is do da ri.)


Kim Won whistled and made a big fuss. Do Ra Hee, who was initially embarrassed, put on a serious face and settled everyone down when the applause went on for too long.

“Then, shall we discuss business now?”


When Ahn Hyung Seo replied, a little embarrassed and expression hardened, Jung Yoon Ki, who was next to him, looked at him and quietly giggled.

“Let’s talk about the album first~!”

Do Ra Hee said brightly, almost as if she had never put on a serious face. “Hahaha,” the members answered, laughing for no particular reason.

“The current album had 110,000 initial sales.”




The members, who had been too busy with their hectic schedule to check the album sales, were surprised and couldn’t help but drop their jaws.

Do Wook already knew because he had already checked it, but it still felt good to hear it again from someone else.

Do Ra Hee had a proud smile on her face.

“This is something really remarkable. Since the music market started, really only Sa Bang Shin Hwa was able to get over 100,000 in initial sales.”

M2M, who was called the powerhouse of Ara Entertainment, had success with their last album, but the initial sales were 90,000, and 140,000 in total sales. If the pattern kept up, KK’s ‘Howl’ album would definitely hit a higher number of sales than that.

‘The gap is definitely getting wider,’

Do Wook thought. He planned to diligently continue getting ahead of Seo Kang Jun.

Of course SBSH and, eventually, Ara Entertainment Director Seo Joong Won were included in that.

“The results from releasing a Chinese album are good! They said there were over 10,000 sales from China.”

“That’s overseas for you!”

Ahn Hyung Seo yelled, excited.

“It’s a relief that the effort you put into learning the Chinese lyrics paid off, huh?”

“Haha, I guess so.”

Jung Yoon Ki agreed the most because he was the one who worked the hardest whenever they recorded an album in a foreign language. It was also the case when they recorded the Japanese album.

“We reported it to Tae Hwa group and they connected us to a Chinese variety show, so it looks like we’ll be able to perform there…”

“Is that true?”

Manager Oh Baek Ho, who had been silently listening, asked. It was because he thought it was an incredibly good opportunity.

“Yes, it’s a song in their own language, it’s definitely possible to appear on TV. Response to KK these days are good too.”

“That’s good.”

“The problem is that it takes a while to prepare for traveling to and from China, so we’ll have to pick from one of the Korean variety shows that we got offers from. However, they’re all good programs, so….”

In other words, it was a happy dilemma.

“For now, the Fan Marketing Team had an internal meeting and narrowed it down to a few. The first candidate is Life Together, a talk show.”

“Life Together, I really like that show!”

Suk Ji Hoon, who was the youngest, must genuinely like the show because he became really excited, unlike his usual self.

“The second one is Run Man.”

The program Do Ra Hee mentioned was a famous satellite variety show. Jung Yoon Ki said,

“It really feels like we’re superstars. Life Together and even Run Man…”

“What do you mean? We were even on Limitless Challenge.”

“That was just a brief interview.”

“True. It’s really awesome.”

Ahn Hyung Seo gave a couple of short claps. Assistant Manager Do Ra Hee continued to talk,

“You probably know, but with something like Life Together, it’s a talk show so it’s a program that focuses on their guests. They could talk about the members, or explain their characteristics. However, if there’s no fun episodes…”

“it’s nojem*…”
(TL note: nojem is a slang for something that’s not fun or interesting.)

Kim Won, who learned a new word somewhere, muttered.

“That’s right. It can become ‘nojem’. Run Man is something you do with your body so a certain level of fun is guaranteed, but it’s not a guest-centered program so the spotlight may not be on the KK members. Although, that’d depend on how you do.”

Do Ra Hee finished explaining and asked for Manager Oh Baek Ho’s opinion. After thinking about it for a bit, Manager Oh Baek Ho replied,

“This is the first official variety show so I think Run Man would be good. The risk is low too.”

Manager Oh Baek Ho was thinking that if they went on a talk show, it’d be easy to say something wrong and get caught up in rumors. Furthermore, these days there were a lot of people who compared Do Wook and Seo Jun. There was bound to be a question regarding that.

‘A little later, Run Man officially airs in China and gains a lot of popularity. If we go on Run Man it will definitely help.’

As he thought it over, Do Wook agreed with Manager Oh Baek Ho’s opinion.

“I also think that Run Man would be good.”

“Is that so?”

Both programs were popular programs. The members, who hadn’t been in favor of one or the other, said there was nothing more to discuss if both Manager Oh Baek Ho and Do Wook were for Run Man.

“Run Man! Run Man!”

“Can I take my clothes off and run around? I worked so hard to get this six pack so I want to show it off more…”

“I think Won has gone crazy after eating only chicken breast!”

Ahn Hyung Seo laughed like crazy at what Kim Won said.

Anyways, KK decided to appear on ‘Run Man’ in unanimous agreement.


The day of the SVS ‘Run Man’ shoot.

Today’s Run Man was done on a campus as a special. At the Hyun Sae College campus, they had an opening speech welcoming the very popular singing group, then introduced KK to the stage.

Once the KK members came out, there was a flood of applause welcoming them. Wearing the Run Man uniform, the members shyly walked to the center.

Everyone looked excited even though they were nervous.

The filming had just started, but the Hyun Sae College students who saw the equipment and heard that Run Man was filming there gathered and were spectating the shoot.

Furthermore, after hearing that KK was the guest, KK fans were flocking to the Hyun Sae College campus too.

Because of that, the staff had to work very hard to keep the crowd under control. The filming had just started after getting the crowd under control to a certain degree.

Today’s Run Man was a campus special. On the campus of Hyun Sae University, an announcement was made saying that the school had invited KK, a popular band, and introduced KK.

“…then, since member introductions are over, today’s mission will be introduced! The real mission will be revealed later, please tell us the pre-mission first.”

At the MC’s words, the PD revealed the mission through the loudspeaker.

“This is today’s pre-mission. Find a Hyung Sae College physics student, spin in a circle 10 times, and clap your hands five times in a row.”

The Run Man members were buzzing once the mission was revealed. The KK members were fired up even though it was just a pre-mission.

“Ready, set, go!”

Without long winded instructions, the mission started immediately.

At the signal to go, everyone quickly started to run off. The cameras followed each cast member individually.

Do Wook first started running towards where the school directory was to find the building where a physics student might be.

Do Wook looked at the directory and was busily looking for the physics department.

A few of the female students, who hadn’t been able to approach him because the cameras were around, gathered up a lot of courage to start a conversation with Do Wook.

“Excuse me…are you looking for the physics department?”

“Yes! Are you a physics student by any chance?”

Delighted, Do Wook asked as he turned around.

And when Do Wook saw one of the female students among the group of students, he couldn’t take his eyes off her for a moment.

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