Have you noticed?
This DORADORA comeback has a different feeling than Neverland did… The boys aren’t as stressed, they aren’t taking to Twitter and asking or begging us to support them, no one is sick and injured (as far as I can tell, although they catch colds easily v_v), their promotions aren’t nearly as heavy… I don’t believe they’ve given up their dream for #1 (they’ve had that with them since debut, and nothing can put out that fire), but I do feel like they (both NHM and U-KISS) have come to an understanding and have reached a maturity level in which they realize that bigger things await them without the need of a #1. Winning #1 in Korea is a great opportunity for U-KISS to expand in Korea and finally have their solo concert, but it doesn’t guarantee future success, unfortunately. This is where Japan comes in.
I think this change of heart came once they promoted in Japan for an extended period of time. They worked from bottom to top in Japan and they’re seeing great results so far. Their popularity in Japan and abroad greatly outdoes their popularity in Korea, and they’re seeing and feeling the benefits from that. They’re finally in a place where what was impossible in Korea is possible in Japan. Avex is even talking about a Tokyo Dome concert, which is huge. And if Avex does push through with this plan, there will be many who criticize them, but I personally don’t give a flying fuck. If they can get U-KISS into Tokyo Dome, then a #1 in Korea is something so minor in comparison. This would most certainly be a turning point in U-KISS’ career, and I sincerely hope Avex will pull through. They’re doing a good job with the group so far, and I’m really expectant of future success.
In retrospect, the ones who will end up getting hurt are Korean fans. It’s not that U-KISS doesn’t love them or aren’t thankful for their support, but NHM sees a brighter future in Japan and so does Avex. Korean fans may see them less and less over time. There will most likely be tension between them and Japanese fans… in fact, there already is. We’re all working toward the goal of supporting U-KISS as best as we can, but there are feelings of favoritism and jealousy that can’t help but stir up through the fandom around the world. If U-KISS continues at this rate with their Japan promotions, we may see a huge change in the Korean fanbase.
I’m predicting a few things… Either the Korean fans will become tired of waiting and leave… we may even see the closing of many fansites because of this. Already some have closed down and others have taken a prolonged hiatus due to U-KISS’ non-activity in Korea. Very thankfully they’ve come back and are active right now. On the other hand, their popularity in Japan can spark a renewed interest in U-KISS in Korea and their Korean fanbase could potentially grow. These are the two extremes here… or maybe things will simply continue as they are and the Korean fanbase will remain stationary while the Japanese fanbase grows. I am of course not doubting the loyalty of Korean fans… they’ve proven over the years that their loyalty is unwavering towards U-KISS, and despite their small size, they are always in attendance for U-KISS’ events, always cheering and supporting them, always doing everything they can. But with this added threat of U-KISS promoting more heavily in Japan from now on, I do have to wonder what the reaction and outcome will be. U-KISS has even given up Dream Concert (one of the biggest concerts in Korea) for a chance to perform abroad in Colombia. NHM is setting them on a new path. Many will disagree with it, but it feels that a #1 in Korea isn’t nearly so urgent anymore.
And where do international fans come in? Well right now we can only catch glimpses of U-KISS in our own countries. The boys are stretched very thin when it comes to overseas promotion, often travelling to many countries, but only able to spend a short time there. There are certain regions that U-KISS may never visit, which is a disappointment to fans in that area. If you want to see U-KISS, going to Japan is seriously your best bet. I myself missed out on U-KISS in LA last year because of school, and I don’t know when they’ll come back. I’ve been considering just going to Japan and seeing them myself, but I don’t have the money to do so right now. I am going to be pro-active though. If U-KISS cannot come to me, I’m not going to sit and complain. I am going to go to them, once I have the means to do so.
Last year, I knew 2012 would be a big year for U-KISS, especially in Japan. And so far, I’ve been right. Their Japanese promotions have gone well, and their Korean comeback has gone smoothly so far. We may not reach #1, but I’m much happier knowing that the boys can feel comfortable knowing that they do in fact have a large fanbase all across the world who will pick them up whenever they fall. I’m so relieved that they’ve left that stress in the past.
I have a feeling 2013 is going to be something big for U-KISS as well. I know I’ll continue to support U-KISS through every single promotional cycle, in every country, every year.