Love Advice No. 119

From Papa Jack Advice Facebook page:

Good eve po, Papa Jack. Gusto ko lang po sanang humingi ng advice.

May live-in partner ako for four years now. May 2 kids kami. Maraming beses na kaming nagkaroon ng problema. Buong buhay ko, ginawa ko ang lahat. Pinagsilbihan ko siya. May time po nung mga baguhan kaming nagsasama, sinasakal niya ako. Pero wala lang sa akin. Lalayas ako, tapos babalik din.

Hanggang sa mabuntis po ako sa panganay ko. Four months po yung baby ko sa loob ng tiyan ko. Nilalaglag ko, dahil gusto ko nang hiwalayan siya at sustento na lang sa bata. Pero wala rin po akong nagawa dahil kawawa naman ang bata. Lalaking walang tatay. At ayaw ko pong mangyari iyon. Hanggang sa nagsama kami ulit. Sa biyenan ko po doon kami nakatira. Always mag-away kami, nakapagitna sila. Iyon din po ang hindi ko matagalan. Hanggang sa inalok ko siyang bumukod pero di niya nagawa.

…Nabuntis na naman po ako sa sumunod. Ang aking bunso. Problema na naman dahil sa barkada. Puro siya barkada. Umiinom, umuuwi umaga na. Okay lang sa mga magulang niya. Mama’s boy po kasi siya. Sa tuwing uutusan ko siya, kailangan pang pukpukin para sundin ka. Utos ng nanay niya, sobrang bilis niya, nanginginig pa! At iyon nga po, puro barkada.

Nag-decide ako na umuwi sa amin… at hindi ako umuwi sa partner ko. Kinabukasan, kukunin ko yung panganay ko sa bahay nila. Pagdating ko, ayaw na ibigay yung bata. Dumating sa point na inapi na ako ng lola niya. Sinabunutan ako at pinagsisipa ako. Pinagtulungan ako ng tatay niya, lola, at kapatid niya. Nanonood lang siya! Wala siyang ginawa. Siyempre po, nanay ako. Masakit sa akin na ganoon.

Kaya nagpa-DSWD po ako dahil gusto kong mabawi ang anak ko. Kinausap ko sila nang matino, pero tinago pa rin nila ang bata. Hanggang sa nagkita na nga po kami sa DSWD office. Hindi nila dala ang bata. Pinaninindigan na ayaw ibigay sa akin. Subalit ako pa rin po ang nanalo sa labas na iyon. Hanggang sa nagsama po ulit kami. Binigyan ko ng maraming chance si guy kasi mahal ko naman po at siya ang ama ng mga anak ko. Hanggang ngayon, ganoon pa rin po siya. Isip-bata siya.

Hanggang ngayon po, sa tuwing mag-aaway kami, parang wala lang sa kanya. Hindi ko siya makausap nang matino. Gusto ko nang makipaghiwalay, pero hindi ko magawa dahil kawawa ang mga anak ko. ayaw kong hindi buo ang pamilya nila. Ano po ang dapat kong gawin: Makipaghiwalay na ba o mag-stay at magsakripisyo para sa mga anak ko? Itago niyo na lang po ako sa pangalang Kim. Salamat po.

My Advice:

Makipaghiwalay ka na.

Bakit? Hindi niya kayang gampanan nang lubos ang pagiging padre de pamilya.

Hindi siya humingi ng tawad sa lahat ng nangyari sa iyo. At kung hindi pa rin siya magbabago, mag-isip ka na. Mas lalong kawawa ang mga anak mo kung hindi pa rin niya kayang panindigan ang pagiging ama.

Prepare mentally

Sa puntong ito, tapos na ang mga araw ng pagiging binata. Wala sanang problema kung wala pa kayong anak. Bahala na siyang magwalwal kasama ang barkada. Pero ibang usapan na dahil iba na ang sitwasyon.

Sa umpisa pa lang ng pagsasama ninyo, hindi na siya dapat nakaasa sa kanyang ina. Kailangan na niyang magpaka-magulang. Kung tutuusin, kahiya-hiya rin ang lagay ng pamilya mo kung laging alak at barkada ang inaatupag niya.

Sa ugali pa lang kitang-kita na hindi siya deserving na balikan. Malaking pagkakamali na kung ganoon pa ang gagawin mo. Uulitin lang ng biyenan mo ang ginawa sa iyo.

Break-up

Pero kung pinproblema mo ang pagkakaroon ng isang “buong” pamilya, at kung lalaki silang walang tatay, mas mabuting maghanap na ng lalaki na mas responsable.

Mas pabor ito sa iyo kaysa balikan siya. Kung titingnang maigi, nasa posisyon ka na para makipaghiwalay sa kanya. Madali na iyan.

Custody

Kung nag-decide ka na tuluyang hiwalayan siya, mauulit din ang nangyari sa iyo sa DSWD. At iyan ay hindi natin maiiwasan.

Sakaling magmatigas pa sila, pumunta ka na sa Public Attorney’s Office para sa mga legal na hakbang. Bakit? Korte na ang pupuwersa sa kanila na ibigay ang kustodiya sa iyo.

Ito na ang pinakahuling hakbang na puwede mong gawin. Iyan ay para sa ikabubuti mo at ng mga anak mo.

K-Pop Write-ups: 1theK

As promised, we will discuss what’s in 1theK.

Positives

Some positive aspects are noted. The channel has become instrumental in streamlining content of various groups to a wider audience. In some instances, it helped few debut and underrated groups to obtain popularity (which might not be done if promoted individually).

Unfavorable changes

At any rate, they failed to sustain what they have attained for 2018. 1theK once reached the point where they promoted groups for every comeback uploaded. Last year, their considerable improvement was on providing descriptions of songs in their MVs. This helped viewers understand what’s inside it.

But with promotions of another channel called “1theK Originals,” these things were gradually stopped. It also changed the logo – for worse. Their previous logo was easily recognizable and is full of colors. Now it was less colorful. Plus, while the logo was prevalent in the past, it featured less and less later on.

Major changes

The author is sensing that its status as a leading K-Pop channel is shaking. It’s apparent that some agencies pulled out distribution rights to 1theK. This is the case with Pledis. In other cases, agencies made also their separate MVs, as is the case with Starship, Woolim, FNC, and Cube. This is not to mention fans’ suspicions over 1theK’s profit sharing (and deletion of MVs if the contract ends). How will 1theK respond?

In our previous reviews, we give incentives to every comeback that’s being uploaded to 1theK. These incentives are intended as reward for improvement, and to support the advocacy of being a “one-stop K-Pop channel”. But with unfavorable changes, and if GFRIEND decided not to upload it to 1theK in their next comeback, we have to remove these incentives. These will be reflected on our subsequent reviews.

K-Pop Write-Ups: Emphasis on Celebrities’ Attitudes

While the author may be enchanted by visuals and talents, it looks more on attitude. And you may have noticed that it is of prime importance, especially in rating groups and members. This is because attitudes from the stars can contribute to their success or failure. (Take note, even J.Y. Park himself recognizes this fact.)

We’ll repeat this again and again. This will be our guide as we discuss and review K-Pop this 2020.

Proper behavior

As K-Pop fans, we are used to them being prim and proper, avoid scandals, and so on to maintain it. However, this must be of less concern nowadays. At a minimum, (1) groups and members must correctly respond to issues, (2) be present on various engagements, especially overseas, (3) speak up immediately if untoward incidents happen; and (4) have regard for fellow members.

TWICE members complied with first point on Mina’s hiatus. Second point is being done by them also, plus BTS and BLACKPINK. CLC’s Sorn did this third point by apologizing on social media. On the last point, Red Velvet gave updates on Wendy’s condition.

Blast from the past

Let me give you an idea why I do have to reinforce this starting this year.

Thirteen years ago, K-Pop was not so popular. The author only followed an underrated non-Korean co-ed group, and picked a leader and lead vocalist as ultimate bias. Issues with a member surfaced, which the agency and the group haven’t resolved.

It led to that member being on hiatus. During her absence, fans engaged in wars, and more speculations emerged. It later came to a point where the group disbanded. Still, the agency and the group did not issue apologies or clarifications on this issue.

Apparently, incorrect responses over her attitude led to the group’s demise. And up to this writing, few people knew that this group existed.

Final Words

As this unfortunate incident is also happening on K-Pop, we have to be very strict on it.

Attitudes will be another important aspect we have to look upon, as we deal with the groups in reviews and year-end ratings. More changes are being implemented in this site to reflect it. Hope these things serve as strong reminder for K-Pop to take its issues very seriously.

K-Pop Resolutions: What Do I Want For K-Pop In 2020?

Even if a little bit late, hope K-Pop considers these points for improvement.

We all know that 2019 has been full of scandals and incidents, which the author also mentioned several times in this site. And as the year closed, netizens are expecting better things for this year. But these will be worthless if we don’t remind K-Pop to improve further. Hence, this article.

TheBiasList provided some resolutions agencies should follow for this year. We will rewrite it, but we will add some points that should not be neglected. These will help a lot for K-Pop to be on the right track. It will be our guide as we journey to K-Pop in 2020 and in the coming years:

  1. Stronger focus on mental health.

To some extent, agencies are responding now to this lingering issue. While the blogger focused on renewal of mental health, we need to emphasize this strongly. With Sulli and Goo Hara’s deaths, much improvement needs to be done.

Improvements include giving talents breaks, turning down malicious comments, personality development sessions, provision of psychological help, and having leeway over talents’ engagements outside like normal citizens. For benchmarking, K-Pop has to learn more on how BigHit Entertainment is managing this issue.

  1. Safety and health of talents

Wendy’s bad fall in Gayo Daejeon and Minari’s hiatus clearly stressed how important they are. Even if you ask international companies, they’ll tell you that safety and health is their utmost priority. Hopefully, we see more and more agencies responding to it for this year.

  1. Responsive agencies

Agencies being unresponsive contribute to list of sad events in K-Pop for 2019.

At a minimum, agencies need to provide immediate updates or clarifications everytime an issue pops out (dating, health, hiatus, or departure). Plus, correct responses need to be done on these incidents. RBW and BigHit are best examples.

K-Pop needs to seriously take lessons from utter mistakes made by MLD and FNC. It can be remembered that the two haven’t issued statements on Momoland and Cherry Bullet’s status for several months. This is despite their fandoms’ pleadings to do so.

And even if some of members departed, the two agencies still did not clarify what happened or issue apologies for delays they made. This costs less, but would’ve been a big help to maintain goodwill to customers.

As these incidents amount to unprofessional attitude, Japanese “zero-tolerance” approach will be used on this aspect. Even a slightest ignorance of this simple task will cast a permanent effect in dealings with most agencies*. This will be reflected as we rate groups’ performance in MV Reviews.

  1. Experiment on new concepts

This aspect is explained in detail by the blogger, but to cut it short, K-Pop should experiment further, or look back on tunes used ten years ago. Take the cases of tunes like Sorry Sorry, Fire, and I Got A Boy. Otherwise, they can borrow tunes from the 80s or 90s. 

To put it bluntly, international audiences like K-Pop due to its different take on music, and it being dynamic. But now that the genre is slowly succumbing to usual mainstream trends, K-Pop has to catch up.

  1. Bit leeway on dating scandals

As a love adviser for five years, the author recommends that no-dating policy be retained, but for a definite time (say, 3 – 5 years). The rationale is that no sensible guy will take risks during that time, if he is not serious in a relationship.

But if we see a repeat of Hyuna and Dawn, the agencies have to provide leeway. Sanctions may be enforced, but not too harsh. Cube made a terrible mistake on it, and MLD Ent did the same to Daisy. K-Pop should learn from the Big 3 + YG how they handle issues like this.

  1. No more Produce series

While Produce series helped some struggling groups like NU’EST and VICTON, the vote-rigging scandals substantially erased the trust over the series. We explained these in our previous article, and hope this continues till 2020 and beyond.

The scandals somehow stopped more heartbreaks for prospective fans, unlike that of I.O.I and Wanna One. And as of this writing, X1 disbanded. Again, creating temporary groups must be done by other shows, not by Produce.

  1. Another Queendom-style show

News circulated that another Queendom-style show for boy groups will be laid out. As Queendom helped underrated groups like Oh My Girl, AOA, and Lovelyz, it must be carried out on a continuous basis.

The show helped the groups to experiment on new concepts, shine further, develop potentials, and make new collaborations with other groups.

If you think additional resolutions need to be done, you may comment here below. We’ll consider including it next time.


* Due to outstanding attitude and/or attendance, some groups are exempt from this approach, namely BTS, BLACKPINK, TWICE, GFRIEND, and AOA.


Featured Image Credit: BTS concert in Seoul.

Rating K-Pop Agencies 2019: Part Three (MLD, Jellyfish, MBK, Play M, TS, Star Empire, Brave)

(Side Note: In rating agencies, primary objective is to evaluate agencies’ responses to various issues. Responses are a crucial ingredient for agencies’ and groups’ survival, fame, and profitability.

To a lesser extent, financial aspects might be tackled, but will not be a major factor in rating them.)


MLD Entertainment

What. A. Disappointment.

This is what best describes the agency for the year 2019. Let’s be frank about this.

Overview

The problem is only on how they respond. And MLD Ent did it unprofessionally, backfiring on the group’s popularity. Worse, it’s not helping that their complaints list is piling up one by one this year. The agency is not learning any lesson, and results later speak for itself.

This year, they made wrong move advising Daisy to rest due to dating scandal. They also let Dabin go somewhere else, without reminding her of priorities and commitments with fans. It made a statement against anyone assaulting the group, but lacked direct response on incident with Mexico. The group attends in various events incomplete, from PH media interviews…to KCON in Los Angeles this year. Not to mention Taeha and Dabin’s departure.

Playing deaf

MLD Ent is still playing deaf to Merries. In fact, Daisy’s mom emphasized the lack of response on these issues. Repeated statements is a signal that the problem is very serious. To add, they are giving stress to Merries.

Its dealing with a PH TV network just confirmed the major effects of wrong decision-making. We can now sense the group’s future direction with respect to standing in K-Pop.

In essence, they are not taking matters seriously, especially on dealing with Merries. Aside from this, they are wasting time and opportunities through these wrong decisions. These things are virtually absent in other small and big agencies.

To put it bluntly, speculations on the members can’t be avoided. If the agency does not clarify and solve issues, the burden falls on them.

Positives?

If MLD Entertainment reacted positively, they should’ve done these: (1) Remind Dabin of commitments with the group, (2) Do solo debuts or create subgroups first, while three members are absent, (3) issue frequent updates on Daisy and Taeha’s status to assure Merries, and (4) Dismiss dating scandals, considering that Momoland hasn’t established their status as a famous Korean group.

How far MLD Entertainment will go? With incorrect reactions going on, it’s not surprising if Momoland will still have a difficult time recovering on the year 2020.

Group(s) Rated: Momoland

Rating: 52.00%
Grade: F
Assessment: Failed

Scoreboard

  Criterion Points
1 Promotion of groups 5
2 Rolling of comebacks 3
3 Handling boy groups
4 Handling girl groups 1
5 Assessment as whole 1
6 Longevity of groups 10
7 Handling issues and responding 1
8 Uploads videos to 1theK 5

Jellyfish Entertainment

Still, VIXX is rarely felt in promotions, with virtually no proper comeback for remaining members. In their recent Parallel track, they did not give a complete comeback package like the other groups. In the meantime, Ravi and Hongbin got busy on their separate collaborations with Pepsi, plus Leo and Hyuk having their solo tracks.

Similar case goes with Gugudan, which I don’t sense any activities from them as of this writing.

Good point meanwhile was on updating Hyuk’s health status and prioritizing it. Plus, they are promoting its rookie group VERIVERY by providing them two lead tracks.

Rating: 80.00%
Grade: C-
Assessment: Needs Improvement

Scoreboard

  Criterion Points
1 Promotion of groups 3
2 Rolling of comebacks 3
3 Handling boy groups 4
4 Handling girl groups 4
5 Assessment as whole 8
6 Longevity of groups 10
7 Handling issues and responding 7
8 Other factors

MBK Entertainment

Being a punching bag of critics for several years, MBK faces fatal blows again this 2019.

Still, MBK is not yet improving. Might as well revamp the agency if it doesn’t improve for a long time. Talk about lack of promotions, want of activities for DIA, Jenny’s exit from the group, their lack of concern for Somyi, and Shannon’s departure after long period of neglect. These inactions did not help in putting their groups to fame. In fact, only T-ARA was tagged as one of the most famous, albeit lagging.

Exception is accorded to debut group 1THE9, where it debuted though with moderate fanfare. Still, with four months remaining before 1the9’s contract expires, the agency only managed to have limited tracks. MBK has to use the limited time wisely.

Its financial performance reflects the agency’s gross negligence in the past years till now. How do we know this? As revealed by Produce 101 trainees from MBK, the agency is struggling financially. (This ironically steers MBK away from bribe issues with Produce series.)

Rating: 52.73%
Grade: F
Assessment: Failed

Scoreboard

  Criterion Points
1 Promotion of groups 1
2 Rolling of comebacks 1
3 Handling boy groups 3
4 Handling girl groups 2
5 Assessment as whole 5
6 Longevity of groups 7
7 Handling issues and responding 5
8 Uploads videos to 1theK 5

Play M Entertainment

With the name change from Plan A to Play M following merger with Fave Entertainment last February, we could expect newer approaches to promotion and activities. But still, they are not ready for this.

How we wish that the agency could provide Apink additional comebacks. While Eung Eung was quite enough, better if they add even one to keep them afloat. On a positive note, they provided solo debut for Hayoung, and pursued a malicious commenter against Naeun.

As to its boy group Victon, at least they provided a single comeback, and got first win on it. How much more if the agency would provide enough of these?

While no major issue so far that would cripple them, promotions and planning of events are their major weak spots. This year, they fall short from being one of outstanding agencies, and they should resolve it the soonest.

Rating: 83.64%
Grade: C+
Assessment: Improving

Scoreboard

  Criterion Points
1 Promotion of groups 3
2 Rolling of comebacks 5
3 Handling boy groups 4
4 Handling girl groups 5
5 Assessment as whole 6
6 Longevity of groups 10
7 Handling issues and responding 8
8 Uploads videos to 1theK 5

TS Entertainment

Still, TS Entertainment’s status is not yet improving. We see this with some of artists leaving, not counting lack of activities. The agency gets worse in handling its groups.

Less promotions

Even in the past year (and this year), we haven’t heard of any activities from their groups. Despite hitting with Makestar, TS delayed SONAMOO’s album. To add, B.A.P’s Youngjae left the agency and later transferred to Dmost Ent., and previously most members did the same. B.A.P “disbanded”. Talk about wasting potentials and profits.

If not for Nahyun and Sumin, would TS give SONAMOO soft comeback this year? Most likely not.

Legal Battles

It seems that legal battles are forever, namely that of Sleepy’s recent case and Nahyun and Sumin. Gleaning from lawsuits against its groups B.A.P and SECRET (Hyosung and Jieun), breach of contract is apparently the reason.

But the prime reason was on underpaying its employees, and its talents being broke. Talents are complaining of arrears, from Sleepy rapping about it, to B.A.P’s Yongguk explaining the story through a book. It reached the point that TS will be prosecuted by the government itself.

Secondary reason was on abuse, assault, and extortion, as explained by TRCNG’s Wooyeop and Taeseon in their lawsuit against TS.

Fire back

Wrong responses are fired back to Sonamoo and TRCNG. And you guess it, its director is pressing charges against the two TRCNG members. It made up statements to appear that the remaining members’ parents are still supportive of the agency.

And, you won’t believe it: They are still holding auditions for new talents! That’s another wrong move.

Wrong responses bring disastrous results up to financial level. In fact, TRCNG revealed that TS is in deep financial crisis. This resulted in them being on hiatus for more than a year.

If the artists themselves are filing lawsuits, then TS Entertainment is in a deep trouble. And if it wants to be more relevant, better respond next year.

Rating: 50.91%
Grade: F
Assessment: Failed

Scoreboard

  Criterion Points
1 Promotion of groups 1
2 Rolling of comebacks 1
3 Handling boy groups 2
4 Handling girl groups 2
5 Assessment as whole 5
6 Longevity of groups 10
7 Handling issues and responding 5
8 Uploads videos to 1theK 2

Star Empire and Brave Entertainment

The author decided to make a review for both agencies, as they share same responses.

For the most part of the year, no news of the agencies’ status, till this came up. Star (through its sublabel) debuted ARIAZ, a new girl group; and Brave plans to debut another boy group. And judging from the way Star handled ZE:A, IMFACT, and 9Muses and Brave as to Bigstar and Bravegirls, surely these debuts will also turn out to be another failure.

It’s costlier to debut a new group rather than to promote existing groups, something which the agencies did not consider. Also, they did not seize various chances available for their groups to stand out.

Added negative point for Brave was on its utter disregard for a talent’s life, as Brave Girls’ Yejin explained. If Brave still does not learn its lesson, might as well putting its existing talents at risk too.

On a serious note, it does not make sense debuting new groups, if they cannot handle existing ones. They have to prove this statement wrong by catching up the soonest.

Star Empire:
Rating: 54.00%
Grade: F
Assessment: Failed

Brave:
Rating: 41.82%
Grade: F
Assessment: Failed

Scoreboard

  Criterion Star Empire Brave
1 Promotion of groups 1 1
2 Rolling of comebacks 1 0
3 Handling boy groups 2 2
4 Handling girl groups 2 2
5 Assessment as whole 6 5
6 Longevity of groups 10 7
7 Handling issues and responding 5 5
8 Agency does not exhibit gross negligence 1

Rating K-Pop Agencies 2019: Part Two (RBW, Starship, PNation, Fantagio, Off the Record, Polaris, OSR)

(Side Note: In rating agencies, primary objective is to evaluate agencies’ responses to various issues. Responses are a crucial ingredient for agencies’ and groups’ survival, fame, and profitability.

To a lesser extent, financial aspects might be tackled, but will not be a major factor in rating them.)


RBW Entertainment

RBW did not fail in providing proper comebacks for MAMAMOO. To wit, Hwasa and Wheein are given solo tracks, and the group has its two title tracks for 2019. It helped also that they let the group be involved in Queendom, which resulted in them being the winner.

The way they handled Wheein, especially during MAMAMOO’s visits was admirable, aside from the fact that they keep fans posted on her status. Upon return they also updated Moomoos on her status. Later on, despite being in pain, she even managed to have solo debut. Regular updates to fans are very important to assure them.

These efforts bring results, with Wheein and Hwasa being one of the most famous female K-Pop stars for 2019, and the latter being the face of the group.

When it comes to ONEUS, they are also being generous enough, giving them comebacks three times. In addition, they also prepared the group’s promotion in the US. If we will have the feel on the group, their fame might rise steadily in the future.

RBW is also beginning to open its doors for non-Koreans. Let’s see what they can offer in the coming years if they are going to push this throughout.

Group(s) Rated: MAMAMOO

Rating: 94.55%
Grade: A+
Assessment: Excellent

Scoreboard

  Criterion Points
1 Promotion of groups 4
2 Rolling of comebacks 5
3 Handling boy groups 5
4 Handling girl groups 5
5 Assessment as whole 9
6 Longevity of groups 10
7 Handling issues and responding 9
8 Uploads videos to 1theK 5

Starship Entertainment

So far, I am satisfied of promotions with various groups, especially that of Monsta X and Cosmic Girls. For Monsta X, they made collab with French Montana and will.i.am, thereby making it to the US charts. Cosmic Girls as of present sees its popularity increased, thanks to various engagements. To add, the group’s three members are doing promotions in China.

Its weak point lies on handling boy groups, particularly Boyfriend and Monsta X. Boyfriend disbanded this year without any engagements, again wasting their talents.

Worst of all, their weakest point is on handling issues with Monsta X, particularly on Wonho. Starship should’ve put him first in hiatus till this issue is fixed. To add, this happened prior to his debut, which renders case a useless one.

More positive responses have to be noted. First, Starship did not remove Wonho’s voice in their newest track. This is out of consideration to international Monbebes, which Starship listened well. Second is on its statement committing to health and recovery of Cosmic GirlsDawon.

Nothing can be done to put Wonho back unless Monbebes take drastic actions. As of this writing, Starship is taking legal actions to protect the group. But if Starship would pursue another legal action against Han Seo Hee, additional ten points will be added to its rating next year.

Rating: 80.00%
Grade: C-
Assessment: Needs Improvement

Scoreboard

  Criterion Points
1 Promotion of groups 5
2 Rolling of comebacks 5
3 Handling boy groups 3
4 Handling girl groups 5
5 Assessment as whole 7
6 Longevity of groups 8
7 Handling issues and responding 6
8 Uploads videos to 1theK 5

PNATION

This agency recently established by PSY houses at present Dawn, Hyuna, Jessi, and Crush. As for boy groups/girl groups, they haven’t installed any.

Positives include its immediate response on Hyuna by issuing statements. It can be remembered that Hyuna sparked an issue by lifting her skirt in a school party.

PNation also started to produce tracks little by little for all of the mentioned stars, which we understand. But as for Dawn and Hyuna, it’s time for more comebacks, just to tell us that they are moving on with the dating scandals they faced. To add, the only comeback lacking is that of PSY himself.

It is quite understandable if its talents rarely do several activities, as they might struggle in first years of being an indie agency. But in this day where multiple comebacks give advantage, they have to catch up.

Rating: 88.89%
Grade: B+
Assessment: Good

Scoreboard

  Criterion Points
1 Promotion of groups 4
2 Rolling of comebacks 5
3 Handling boy groups
4 Handling girl groups
5 Assessment as whole 7
6 Longevity of groups 10
7 Handling issues and responding 9
8 Other factors

Fantagio Entertainment

This year, we have to see some improvements on Fantagio promoting its various groups. But as events turned out, they are still struggling to reach this goal.

The longtime group Hello Venus proved to be a hopeless case, being given rare engagements as the group’s life comes to near-end. Holding groups on indefinite hiatus poses problems for both parties: opportunity costs for agency, and lost time for members to show further their talents.

Prospects of ASTRO being in long term are quite doubtful. However, Eunwoo was their way to promote the group, thanks to him being involved in projects like Gangnam Beauty and Rookie Historian.

To a lesser extent MJ and Sanha appeared in a variety show, with the latter embarking in upcoming web drama. Still, these things are okay. With enough comebacks and drama engagements, the main challenge would be on strategizing promotions to make ASTRO more relevant in K-Pop scene.

Still not satisfied with lack of response over embezzlement case against former staff, which would help in deterring this kind of fraud. This would’ve also benefitted them, as they are securing profit that is really theirs.

On a positive note, it cared well for its sole female group Weki Meki, giving it two lead tracks and monitoring the health of members, as shown also with health of Yoojung.

Rating: 80.00%
Grade: C-
Assessment: Needs Improvement

Scoreboard

  Criterion Points
1 Promotion of groups 3
2 Rolling of comebacks 5
3 Handling boy groups 4
4 Handling girl groups 4
5 Assessment as whole 8
6 Longevity of groups 8
7 Handling issues and responding 8
8 Other factors

Off The Record Entertainment

Off The Record was established last year to handle two groups: fromis_9 and IZ*ONE. The way they manage these two groups reflects on their results, with several wins and promotions. So far, no major issues with OTR handling them. Except with that of IZ*ONE. Why?

The group has their talents and looks. Results of Korean and Japanese acts were generally positive. Some reporters always notice near-perfect looks of members. The future of the group is still promising. But will they last?

As of now, long-term prospects of IZ*ONE are still unclear, especially that the group halted promotions amidst Produce scandals. One year and six months to go, and still unsure if the agency will turn tables around and make them a regular, permanent group. The burden of IZ*ONE’s survival is now in their hands.

Furthermore, with IZ*ONE on unofficial hiatus, they should’ve focused first on fromis_9, considering that the latter group is still underrated as of this writing.

Rating: 82.22%
Grade: C-
Assessment: Needs Improvement

Scoreboard

  Criterion Points
1 Promotion of groups 4
2 Rolling of comebacks 5
3 Handling boy groups
4 Handling girl groups 5
5 Assessment as whole 8
6 Longevity of groups 5
7 Handling issues and responding 10
8 Other factors

Polaris Entertainment

This small agency handles LOONA and Ladies’ Code.

Gleaning from lawsuit against them, Polaris failed to fulfill one simple contractual term: LOONA’s appearance on a show. And no follow-up or apology whatsoever from Polaris that would save them from this problem. It shows how disastrous it would be for an agency if it ignores simple issues like these. If not for Orbits streaming and topping LOONA’s music as sign of concern, they’ll lose bigtime.

On a very good note, the agency made it up for Ladies’ Code by giving them two comebacks this year. It eventually resulted in the group being at the top 50 groups in Korea.

Rating: 80.00%
Grade: C-
Assessment: Needs Improvement

Scoreboard

  Criterion Points
1 Promotion of groups 4
2 Rolling of comebacks 5
3 Handling boy groups
4 Handling girl groups 3
5 Assessment as whole 7
6 Longevity of groups 10
7 Handling issues and responding 7
8 Other factors

OSR Entertainment

Prior to its immediate name change, the former name was AlSeulBit. This agency was unknown, till it decided to adopt and re-debut four Pristin members. Even prior to their debut as Hinapia, the agency’s response is indeed very amusing.

Take the case when their teaser picture and brandings were not good. Immediately the agency deleted it, apologized, and issued statement that:

We will strive to become a better agency.

The agency and Hinapia might also be famous for a reason, given present scenarios: (1) Fans are shocked and dismayed over Pristin’s loss, (2) Four members who did not give up showcasing their talents, (3) relative popularity of Pristin, and (4) OSR ready to adopt them and own up to its mistakes.

These things somehow bear good results. In fact, its debut song Drip gained relative success as it earned a spot in Billboard charts.

Rating: 96.00%
Grade: A+
Assessment: Excellent

Scoreboard

  Criterion Points
1 Promotion of groups 5
2 Rolling of comebacks 5
3 Handling boy groups
4 Handling girl groups 5
5 Assessment as whole 8
6 Longevity of groups 10
7 Handling issues and responding 10
8 Uploads videos to 1theK 5

For our Part 3, stay tuned for our review of MLD, Jellyfish, MBK, Play M, TS, Star Empire, and Brave.

TweetNewscaster’s Most Popular K-Pop Groups 2019

Sometimes you might ask:

Which groups are most popular this year?

Even I got confused on the answers given. Some will tell that a group is famous, and others will tell otherwise.

This article was borne out of need to define which K-Pop groups are famous or underrated. By looking at the popularity index, one can have an idea how popular these groups are in Korea and overseas. This also assesses objectively how the groups perform for the whole of 2019.

See for yourself if your favorite group is on the top or is struggling to make it. Look at findings and mechanics below for more details.

Rank Group Score Rank Group Score
1 BTS 41.87 36 T-ara 15.68
2 TWICE 38.07 37 LOONA 15.26
3 BLACKPINK 37.88 38 EVERGLOW 15.22
4 SEVENTEEN 34.86 39 GWSN 15.20
5 EXO 32.96 40 TVXQ 14.48
6 NCT 31.09 41 HOTSHOT 14.20
7 NU’EST 29.37 42 BTOB 14.08
8 Red Velvet 29.31 43 Ladies’ Code 13.80
9 Super Junior 29.15 44 f(x) 13.65
10 MAMAMOO 28.15 45 Weki Meki 13.19
11 IZ*ONE 26.63 46 PENTAGON 12.96
12 WINNER 25.41 47 APRIL 12.88
13 Cosmic Girls 24.46 48 ONEUS 12.77
14 Girls’ Generation 24.40 49 CIX 12.50
15 TXT 24.05 50 CLC 12.13
16 ITZY 24.03 51 VERIVERY 11.59
17 Monsta X 23.56 52 2PM 10.75
18 THE BOYZ 23.40 53 SF9 10.75
19 GFRIEND 22.90 54 fromis_9 9.98
20 Stray Kids 22.89 55 FTISLAND 9.73
21 GOT7 22.85 56 LABOUM 9.48
22 (G)I-DLE 22.50 57 VICTON 8.50
23 Apink 22.43 58 Brown Eyed Girls 8.20
24 ASTRO 21.65 59 JBJ95 7.83
25 Oh My Girl 21.39 60 Highlight 7.05
26 SHINee 21.34 61 Berry Good 6.88
27 AOA 20.88 62 Golden Child 6.60
28 Lovelyz 20.78 63 Girl’s Day 6.33
29 AB6IX 19.85 64 Fiestar 6.13
30 Dreamcatcher 18.86 65 2AM 5.90
31 MOMOLAND 18.43 66 Shinhwa 5.28
32 ATEEZ 18.09 67 IN2IT 3.80
33 VIXX 16.48 68.5 D1CE 3.75
34 INFINITE 16.40 68.5 SATURDAY 3.75
35 BIGBANG 15.70 70 TRCNG 2.45
      71 GSA (Girl’s Alert) 1.38

Findings

From the rating, we can observe some predictable and surprising points:

  1. BTS is still leading all the way from sales to charts. It also takes the lead spot both in Korea and international music.
  2. SM Entertainment sees its groups like Super Junior, EXO, SHINee, and Girls Generation still part of the top, despite being in hiatus this year. Other groups like NCT and Red Velvet fared well.
  3. BLACKPINK is now overtaking BTS in terms of YouTube streams by around 40 million views.
  4. Facebook pages with most likes include Bigbang (10.7M), BTS (9.4M), EXO (8M), Super Junior (7.7M), and Girls’ Generation (7.1M).
  5. Album sales by SVT were at 1.4M copies, followed by TWICE (1M).
  6. The overall ranking necessarily follows the Queendom final rankings. While MAMAMOO is still leading, (G)I-DLE swapped second place with Oh My Girl.

This year also saw the rise of rookies. Out of 28 rookie groups to date, only 8 were the most popular (28.57%). First was TXT, then followed by ITZY, AB6IX, and EVERGLOW.

We wish to note also underrated girl groups, comprising 19 out of 71 most popular (26.76%). Cosmic Girls was the most popular underrated girl group, followed by Lovelyz, Dreamcatcher, LOONA, and EVERGLOW.

While IZ*ONE fared well in the popularity ranking, reverse happens to X1. This is due to them not being included in KRBI’s overall Brand Index for four months.

This also reflects possible results from agencies’ promotions this year:

  1. Cube Entertainment’s second most popular group was BTOB, followed by PENTAGON and CLC. Quite ironic that BTOB does not have any releases this year, while the two groups released two/three lead tracks.
  2. Fantagio managed to pull up ASTRO even with measly tracks, thanks to Eunwoo’s popularity. Weak spot is on Weki Meki, still lagging behind.
  3. FNC still has its major problem handling groups. Out of seven groups mapped, only three managed to be most popular (AOA, SF9, FTISLAND).
  4. MBK still hasn’t seen its existing groups rise. For TS, only its group TRCNG managed to be second-to-lowest to date.

Mechanics

In rating the top groups for 2019, greater emphasis is placed on objectivity. Ratings are based on rankings from different sources (Korean and SNS), and are given weighted score.

Some important points to know in this rating:

  1. Only groups rated by Korean Research Business Institute (August to November) will be ranked here. Other groups not mentioned here are considered highly underrated.
  2. All rankings from different sources are based on available data, and are verifiable.
  3. Different sources are as follows:
    1. Korean: KRBI and Gaon (50%)
    2. International: Tumblr, Spotify, Billboard, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter (50%)
  4. Criteria and weighted score is as follows: KRBI (25%, 4 months), Pages Liked (10%, December), Streaming (5%, December), Frequency of Lead Tracks (15%, November), Album Sales (10%), Tumblr (5%), Gaon (5% each, weekly and monthly), Spotify (7%), Billboard (3%), and Twitter (10%).

Featured Image Credit: Girl groups, photo from kmaniachannel.

I’m Not A Merry Anymore

Today, I’m not a Merry anymore.

Merries are still shocked upon learning of Taeha and Dabin’s departure. For one, Taeha opted to pursue new paths, and Dabin is still groping with schedule conflicts between acting and being a K-Pop artist.

What makes matters complicated is that MLD Entertainment still does not issue statements and apologies for delay for several months. This proves their unprofessional side. We will discuss further these things as we rate agencies and the group some time.

As Daisy is still “under negotiations”, I’m not surprised if she might be no longer part of it. This will surely have negative consequences if this happens. In fact, some international Merries told that Daisy was the reason they became part of the fandom.

With all these things, what’s the sense of being a “Merry”, if me and fellow fans are not happy with these?

Thank you

So, thanks to all Merries who genuinely care for the group. Thank you also for making me once part of this fandom for one and a half year. However, recent events pushed me to leave the fandom like everyone else.

Starting November 30 this year, TweetNewscaster is not following the group anymore, and is now leaving the fandom. The author is also withdrawing support for the group. Consequently, all members are no longer my biases, and Momoland is now out from my bias list forever.

Effects

Starting November 30, failing grade will be given in reviews of their future releases. No special incentives will be given to them anymore in future reviews (unlike BTS, (G)I-DLE, and TWICE).

Worse, if any member is absent on group’s TV appearances, extra pull-down factor will be added in future reviews. No considerations will be given to Momoland at all regardless of reasons, especially on absences.

These things would be better off than hating them outright. Hating the group will be a waste of time and energy.

It does not make sense following them with these kinds of attitude, and if they are still incomplete. And to put it bluntly, it’s senseless to follow them if the group and the agency aren’t learning any lessons at all.

Notes and Reflections on Goo Hara’s Death (Part 2)

Dedicated to Goo Hara and all K-Pop celebrities:


What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy

What if trials of this life…are Your mercies in disguise?

“Blessings”, Laura Story

K-Pop for this year is full of trials, the recent one with Kang Daniel suffering from depression. Mostly we see stars get depressed, commit suicides, or otherwise retiring and taking hiatus for various reasons.

The trials of K-Pop for this year proved that fame and material success can’t ultimately satisfy the spiritual and psychological hunger that K-Pop stars are experiencing for so many years. It does not really give inner peace and direction many stars wanted, to live a simple and happy life.

It proves that “Man does not live on bread alone,” as Jesus Christ quoted. In Korean:

‘사람이 빵으로만 살아서는 된다’ 라고 쓰여 있다.
누가복음 4:4b (KLB)       

These deaths not only proved the inevitable decline K-Pop is facing, but also that the celebrities are humans like you and me. They feel sad and happy. They cry and laugh. They get hurt and depressed, too. Ultimately, they have the innate right to love, be loved, and enjoy life.

Stars are trained at a very young age, at a critical time where their maturity is not yet fully developed. Without proper advice from elderly/wise people and psychologists, these stars find it difficult to handle pressure and manage emotions. Not to mention pressure from fans and agencies for them to look good, be prim and proper, avoid “scandals”, etc. etc…

Korean society as a whole is still not solving the problem on depression taboos. Stigma is still present for those who are mentally challenged. Worse, suicides tend to be the normal case for them. What would be the turning point for Korean society to realize that this is a very serious problem?

Please be reminded again of this message:

It’s hard for me to enjoy K-Pop sometimes, because in the back of my mind, I’m always remembering how stressed and sad some of them are behind the scenes. I’m happy enjoying them perform, but are THEY happy?

All that goes through my mind when I’m trying to enjoy K-Pop and I’m scared sometimes that I’m going to hear someone I love in K-Pop that has taken his/her own life.

With the inherent situation facing all of our favorites, they are materially happy. But the big question is: Are our K-Pop stars also spritually/mentally/socially happy?

Join us as we will offer our prayer again to all of our favorites in K-Pop.