Sulli (설리) – Goblin (고블린): Special MV Review

In memory of Choi Jinri (March 29, 1994 – October 14, 2019)

This MV Review is dedicated to Sulli, her fans, and her family.

For our special MV review, we will backtrack a bit to cover Sulli, with her song Goblin. Honestly, I just only knew her due to her different approach on wardrobes, and on her being hated by Korean netizens.

Let me start and end this MV Review with Biblical verse, before we review her work:

그들의 눈에서 모든 눈물을 씻어 주실 것이니 다시는 죽음도 없고 슬픔도 없고 우는 것도, 아픔도 없을 것이다. 이것은 전에 있던 것들이 사라져 버렸기 때문이다.

– 요한계시록 21:4 (KLB)


The MV clearly tells a story “about a person with a dissociative disorder. She is with herself and with three other personalities.” Apparently, the three other personalities are none other than herself. The three personalities (as defined by a reviewer) are (1) introvert, (2) colorful, and (3) aggressive. (Being introverted is highlighted at 1:52 – 2:04, where the girl is hiding instead of interacting with three girls.)

I only find something beneficial with Sulli holding a cup of tea, where viewers might find time to do it while relaxing. Meanwhile, Sulli’s reactions at 2:56 – 2:59 are very funny. This refers to her being surprised by the girls’ dance steps.

Review by others

TheBiasList was astonished by SM’s difficulty of managing groups like f(x). The performance speaks of their previous acts rather than the usual modern tracks we hear. Goblin tells of a “twisted fairytale” through its hollow chimes and mood. The blogger liked the contrast between sing-song and the instrumentals, even if it appears troubling. It also liked her voice being so natural.

KPopReviewed did not expect that Sulli’s concept will be released. Goblin has its own way of being nice like nursery rhymes, albeit given a creepy concept. It defined some elements that differentiate it from the usual, pleasing-to-hear songs. First is on context, second is on instrumentals, and finally, on her vocals.

Review as whole

The interview at the intro and outro of the MV apparently became an unconscious premonition of her death. For instance, she told that the “end” (and when it will happen) is quite relative, meaning it depends on us. She further asks, “Did I do something wrong?”

The air of fear is being felt through her swaying, hollow voice, and the clanging instrumentals. Added to that air was of three persons always following her. Nevertheless, while it speaks of horror, this features less horror characters.

Let’s delve more on the music. Sulli managed to combine her hollow voice and turn it into a swinging one. The instrumentals used some sparks, as if trying to hit a small bell. The sparkle is more pronounced as she does adlibs before final chorus.

The railing where she goes states her possible entanglement or confinement in her own “jail.” Seeing herself in a pool tells of her self-reflection. Finally, Sulli blowing candles at end represents her being thankful for the life she has.

Final goodbye

She was born several months earlier than I. As such, I felt the pain of her being gone at a very young age. This demonstrates how fleeting life is.

As the music video comes to an end, I didn’t stop crying. (This reminds me of SHINee’s Jonghyun who suffered the same fate, with Shining as his last work. As a fitting tribute to Jonghyun, I included his work in my misheard lyrics vid.)

As what I emphasized earlier, depression is a thing that should not be taken lightly. Expect the worst on other talents if agencies and other Koreans don’t take it seriously.

This site will be inactive for several days, out of respect for the young girl. No postings for meantime till end of October, except on CPA board exam results.

It saddens me that this will be my first and last review of her work. Rest in peace, Choi Jinri.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

– Revelation 21:4 (KJV)

TweetNewscaster’s Overall Rating: 89.41%
Grade: B+
Assessment: Good


Aspect   Criterion Points
Storyline 1 Storyline 5
Storyline 2 Consistent theme 5
Appearance 3 Colorful/color fits emotions 5
Appearance 4 Good taste 5
Appearance 5 No Halloween, Easter, etc. 5
Appearance 6 No astrology featured 5
Appearance 7 Less horror featured 5
Appearance 8 Not too revealing outfits 5
Music 9 Exciting/Expresses emotions 4
Music 10 Not too deafening 5
Dance 11 Learned easily even by beginners  
Dance 12 Not too sensual  
Lessons 13 Moral lesson clearly stated 5
Lessons 14 Impart something beneficial for viewers 5
Other Matters 15 Sense of humor/expresses emotions 7
Other Matters 16 Make it to mainstream media 1
Other Matters 17 Review by other sites 4
Other Matters 18 Review of MV as a whole 5
Other Matters 19    

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