“These are not empty words, to me, Super Junior is family” – Kibum
You were nothing eight years ago. You were just some boys having just passed through your teen phase, dreaming to be recognized by the public for your efforts and abilities. You were too many and you were desperate. How could you not? You had stayed in a seemingly never ending struggle for 4 years in average in which you had sacrificed many things, you were torn between holding onto the hope that you would shine one day or quickly getting a job to gain money and make your parents happy. And that one day came when they confirmed your debut day. Your ecstatic expression hid the fact that you were immersed in a much deeper worry. “Will we be able to make it?” was the question that constantly popped up in your mind.
The company said you were a project group. The group was only your gateway to stardom, that is, if you succeeded to shine. You were named “Super Junior 05” as your group was meant to be a rotational group that would change its members every year. You were the very first generation of the group yet you didn’t know whether to be proud or insecure.
You did your best in everything for you knew anything could be the end of your new and not-yet-established career. You broke bones. You got up. You shed tears. You left everything behind. You had not been that close to each other at the start but you gradually started to rely on each other as you were forced to be part of each other’s life, of each other’s dream, and of each other’s, hopefully, future.
As you were putting your greatest effort out there, the company decided to audition the new generation of Super Junior. “To keep the group young and fresh,” they nonchalantly said. Your fans were only few but you knew that they loved you as much as you needed them. They were trying so hard to make you popular and get you established as a fixed group, not just a project group with rotational members. You gained a small success and the company cancelled the initial plan, took the ‘05’ off your group name but added a new person to your group instead.
The new person was younger than most of you were. He just finished high school and had trained for only three months before debuting. There was a thick air of jealousy between all of you. Most of you had spent your teenage years training yet all the new boy had needed was only three months before he was considered to be at your level. Most of you didn’t like him. As well as most of your fans. As much as your pride didn’t let you show it, you were insecure because you did recognize the boy’s talents. He was a better singer than the most of you would ever be. Each of you started wondering if the boy would replace your position in the group.
The boy was still innocent but he was not clueless of what was going on. He noticed every single glare you threw at him and he totally understood why you disliked him. He was a new member of an already big scale group for God’s sake! You hadn’t had many chances to prove yourself to begin with and an additional member was just another obstacle to hinder you from getting a name in the highly competitive entertainment industry.
You started to vent out your frustration toward the boy. You treated him coldly. You made him do a lot of tasks that you could easily do yourselves only to make the boy get a taste of your pre-debut pain. The boy got drunk and cried every night because he thought he would be spending the rest of his career with people that hated him. The boy still tried to be cheerful on television programs and tried not to be even a tad bit of annoyance in front of you. You started to think over what you had done and whether the boy deserved it and you felt something gnawing inside your heart. For the first time since the boy had joined the group, you felt guilt.
Your first single as Super Junior, ‘U’, did surprisingly well. You still didn’t want to acknowledge that the new boy had contributed to the success. Your group got a lot busier compared to how it was the year before. It all happened too fast before it then came to you that Super Junior had just won for the very first time in a music program. You were crying while thanking your fans for their love profusely. You had been waiting for this, for a recognition of years of hard work. You were indulging in the wonderful feeling of getting recognized when you got backstage and realized that the new boy just stood timidly in the corner, trying to contain his emotions. You could easily tell that he was trying so hard not to cry, you felt guilty again because you knew that he felt he didn’t deserve to cry and it’s all because of how you had not accepted him to the group in the first place.
You didn’t even hesitate to come to his side, hugged him, and told him “Kyuhyun-ah, welcome to the group. We won this award together. You can cry.” before witnessing him burst into tears in your embrace. “No” and “Thank you” were all that you could hear him saying. For the very first time after you debut, or even after you started training, you felt content.
“It’s really hard to find brothers like us. I hope all of us stay together forever.” - Siwon
Two big car accidents during the span of less than one year. It involved half of your group members and almost took away one of them, the one that was still under a rather unpleasant scrutiny of your fans and whose dream to be a singer was still opposed by his parents. He nearly lost his life and his voice, that one asset of his he had always taken pride in. It had felt like years before he finally opened his eyes and recovered. And it had felt even longer until he stood up with all of you on the stage once more and this time, gained the full support of the fans
You became a lot closer with each other after that, and when you had just started considering each other as family, your company leaked another news that might bring both pain and joy within your group. You had already been used to forming of the sub-groups, you understood clearly the company’s strategy to make Super Junior’s name soar even higher. Super Junior KRY, Super Junior-H, Super Junior-T. You thought that this was a very brilliant strategy. And yes, the forming of the sub-groups did unimaginably great thing to your ego for that actually helped you to show off each of your talents and abilities. Inside you were glad that Super Junior started to gain more support and fans, that Super Junior was finally able to prove wrong those who had thought they were just a bunch of pretty boys with zero talents.
But this time it was different. You were about to form a subgroup with some additional members and promote in China. Additional members. You weren’t given time to think and digest everything and all of a sudden you were faced with two new faces, new environment, new language and a lot of mad fans that had been with you since the very beginning. You were once again slapped by the forgotten insecurity, now that everything was finally going okay, some other members could just be a hindrance to long desired group stability.
The new members were foreigners. One was a Canadian and younger than your youngest member and one was
a Chinese whose smile was so blinding that you couldn’t help but smile back at him. You decided it was not that bad to have a new subgroup and new members. While you had already learned to accept the fact and love the new members, the fans hadn’t. It was terribly painful to see your own friends, your family, get constantly picked on for something they didn’t have control of. Thankfully many of your new fans and some of the old ones did not see this as a serious problem and continued to support you, together with the new two members.
“Our members convene to play games, fight, cry, encourage, strive, and cherish each other. We protect Super Junior. No one can replace Super Junior in our hearts.” - Heechul
Sorry sorry sorry sorry. It didn’t take long for this song to make you rise to stardom. In a matter of months it seemed like all people around you used the song to apologize, the song was parodied in so many TV shows, the dance covers were all over YouTube and even prisoners on the other part of the world were asked to dance together to this song. The song was so popular that dozens of awards came and passed just like that, without you even noticing where and when they were awarded to your group. You were all attacked by the sudden big demand of your appearance as group or individuals. There was hardly any gap in your schedule. Every day you went to shows, promoting your new album, making jokes and getting laughed at. Now that you had the chance, you were all too immersed in establishing SJ position in the industry that you didn’t have time to simply talk with each other and enjoy each other’s company. Some of you were tired and stressed out and tried to find an escape in constantly getting drunk, some didn’t have heart to tell their problems because they didn’t want to make things complicated. You were all so devastatingly busy it might only take a little push before you explode.
All your hard work to balance shows, movies, commercials, concerts was finally rewarded highly at the most prestigious year-end award for all musicians in South Korea. For the very first time, Super Junior, that very group that once had only earned jeers and critics, whose possibility of success had always been doubted, won the grand prize. You sold the most physical albums in 2009 and the fact still left you amazed. All the pains of having a member disappear from group activities and another involved in a scandal during that year were forgotten for a while. You won this. This was the result of nearly no sleep and being emotionally and physically pressured everyday. You were always known for weeping so easily and that night was not an exception, but this time around, you really think you deserved to cry.
All was going so smoothly and nothing could ruin the moment that the news of one of your members’ lawsuit against the company, asking for his contract to be terminated, hit you like a high-speed train. You were all confused and lost. You really loved him and cared for him yet he had never shared any of his burdens. You wanted to believe that he was greedy for fame that’s why he decided to leave and betray you. But then it just crushed you even harder to realize how he had been mistreated, and the mistreatment had intensified when you were all too caught up in other things. He won the lawsuit. You were forcefully asked to move on and reflect on your past mistakes.
“There is a friend of mine
Although his Korean is poor but his Chinese is very good His singing is not so good but his dancing is excellent I like cats while that friend likes dogs I cant cook while that friend cooks very well Although I curse everyday but that friend just laughs
But.. Time has passed and I have never been nice to him ㅋㅋ
I’m really sorry.. That I have never been nice to him when he’s still beside meㅋㅋ
I’m not a sentimental person in particular I just got drunk while watching the tears fall out ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ
It’s a very happy and precious thing when you have someone beside you But me who is old and already grown-up still havent realized that
But It’s late…I know it now..really..ㅋㅋㅋㅋ
It seems that beautiful words dont exist for nothing^-^
I miss you.. it seems that i’m going to write these words at times like this(-┏)
Me who didnt even cry when filming the sad scene is now shedding the very hot tears”
-Heechul about Hangeng leaving the group
2010 was a good year. The stardom continued and you won even more awards from every country imaginable. At the start of the year, you were already well-liked in many parts of Asia. The company realized this and made you able to meet many of your fans in even more countries than before. The members that hadn’t had the chance to appear on shows appeared more, those who needed to prove their ability as singers were invited to singing programs. You were able to explore more of your talents during this year. Despite a member leaving for the army, love from the fans kept you strong and going. Your fourth album, Bonamana was released and it was yet another hit. Although it had been released the year before, Sorry Sorry kept serving as the driving force behind your popularity in other parts of the world. It was as if the song was magic that kept people hypnotized. You continued attracting attention of both girls and boys in Asia, Europe, and America. All the new fans were so enthusiastic that they voted for you in any available occasions to the point where you even won dozens of trivial awards. You were chosen as the representative of Hallyu Wave; the one that introduced the pop culture of Korea to the world. You had learned your lessons and this time, you would strengthen your friendship bond and never take any of your members for granted. Many teenagers looked up to you, many people of your age acknowledged your achievements and many young people admired your friendship and your humility.
“When all the members gather, and we all laugh, joke around, when the members are happy, is when I’m happiest” – Ryeowook
2011 and 2012. Mr. Simple and Sexy, Free, and Single were just some other steps to bold your fame. They were successful, as expected from Super Junior. You still stayed at the top. You even used your fame to promote people you cared about. It was still hard when the other two members went to the army, but at the very least you had prepared yourselves for it and did nothing but wish them luck.
The company also tried your luck in Japan and it worked. You gathered two hundred thousands of fans in your concerts in Japan alone. You had gone through Super Show 3,4, and in 2013, Super Show 5; conquering over one million audiences all over the world. Even one of your sub-groups had had their own concerts. During these three years, some of you have made your dreams come true by buying your parents houses, opening businesses that would later be run by your family members and flocked by fans who hope to see even a glimpse of your true forms.
Even now you are still overwhelmed over these facts. You still cannot believe that you have exceeded your simple dream to make your parents happy by being somebody you want to be, a dream that you have kept since you started your training more than ten years ago. “How time flies so fast,” you sometimes ponder.
And now after countless sweats and tears and sometimes blood, after many heartbreaks and loses, after new found friendships and happy memories, several years after, you are still getting ready to fly to Mexico to entertain thousands of people, those whose lives, without you knowing, you’ve saved, those who are still struggling yet are deeply inspired by you, those who are still on the phase of fawning over your not-so-young faces, and those who might be your future biggest supporters. You honestly don’t have any idea about how they look, how their personalities are; you only know the approximate number of your fans yet you treasure each one of them, realizing how you wouldn’t be the way you are right now if it not were for them.
As for your other band members, you believe the bond that you share will never break so easily and you believe that one day, you will all stand on the same stage once again, singing the songs whose lyrics you have once forgotten but whose memories stay, surrounded by your favorite Everlasting Friends.
“Seeing the ‘we will grow old together’ expression on each other’s faces really makes me feel good.” – Shindong
“It is not an ‘END’ but an ‘AND’.” – Leeteuk
6 November 2005 Super Junior 05 Debut Day
2006 – Kyuhyun joining the group, ‘U’ release, Super Junior with ‘U’ winning their very first award from music program, Heechul getting into a car accident.
2007 – Forming of SJ’s subunits KRY, Happy, and T, Release of ‘Don’t Don’, Kyuhyun, Leeteuk, Eunhyuk, and Leeteuk getting into car accident.
2008 – Forming of Super Junior M with Zhoumi and Henry as new members.
2009 – Sorry Sorry release, Kibum’s disappearance from group activities, group crisis when Heechul nearly decided to drop out, Kangin getting into a hit-and-run and drinking scandal, Super Junior winning the GDA Daesang award for the first time, Hangeng filing lawsuit.
2010 – Bonamana release, Kangin enlisting to the army, Super Show 3, Bonamana topping KKBOX Taiwan Chart for 61 consecutive weeks.
2011 – Mr. Simple release, Heechul leaving for public service, Super Show 4.
2012 – First Super Show in Europe (Paris), Sexy, Free, and Single release, Kangin coming back from the army, Leeteuk enlisting.
2013 – First Super Show tour in four South American countries, Yesung leaving for public service, Heechul coming back.
6 November 2013 – Super Junior’s 8th Anniversary
PS : No grammar check. Sorry for the lack of the details, I wrote this just to give them something on their 8th Anniversary (I know they won’t read this, but still..) written under 4 hours while scrolling nonstop on Tumblr
Thank you for the wonderful 8 years Super Junior! Keep inspiring!