Happy 10th Anniversary, SHINee!
I already wrote this on Amino, but I thought I’d bring it over to tumblr (where I can format it properly lol
10 SHINee Years
I can’t believe it’s been 10 whole years. I found SHINee probably just after their first year, in 2009 when Lucifer was gaining traction online. They were the first K-pop band I ever heard, and the only one I’ve ever loved. I haven’t found another band I’ve ever followed so passionately, and I don’t think I ever will. They’re so unique.
When I first heard Lucifer I was hooked on the spot. My friend was showing me the video and I could not believe how good the music was, and I was entranced by the flawless dance moves and a music video I wanted to repeat. I’ve heard the song a million times but I never get sick of it. Even listening right now. It reminds me of great times in middle school, where my friends and I tried to learn the dance. Though I still don’t know much anymore, I never gave up on learning it. Though we’re not all friends anymore, I see the memories of our happiness in each song you all sing.
Honestly I didn’t get super into SHINee until college when I became very depressed and found myself running across silly SHINee compilations on YouTube. They cheered me up and made me so happy. I learned all their names and how unique and incredible each one of them is, how important they are to k-pop as a whole and to each other. How pure they are, even when it comes to live shows that are always live (what kind of band so talented is BAD at lipsyncing? One with pure talent that doesn’t take shortcuts!). Honestly, I’m still learning how to be a Shawol every day. Even today, I never knew the exact day they debuted (and the day after my birthday no less, whoa!) ;;;
The sweet leader, Onew. Onew’s gone through a lot and stayed so strong the whole time. He puts all his love into SHINee and it shows. When he needed surgery for his voice and cried when he could finally return to stage, when he comforted every other emotional member on stage, when he might be stressed but always would give that big smile. How can someone be so cool, sexy, and adorable at the same time? You never fail to keep your fans on their feet. Many would be lucky to have such a kind yet strong leader.
My personal bias, Key. Key was actually the character who’s part I was assigned to dance to back in the old days. It must’ve been fate because when I got older and learned more about him, I realized how much I admired him. I’m someone with a god-awful memory and not a skilled dancer, so I’m in awe by Key’s incredible ability to memorize dances on the spot and expertly execute them. His ability inspires me to work harder at that alone, but that’s not all! A great singer and fashionista to the max, is there anything you’re bad at? All the while, learning to speak in Korean, Japanese, and English. This inspires me so much, as someone who’s been learning Japanese and hopes to teach Japanese abroad. You must have worked so hard to learn so much, and no doubt to help your fellow members reach their highest potential. And as a singer, student, and fan, you’re one of my biggest inspirations.
Taemin I’ll admit is a bit of a mystery to me sometimes. I feel like there’s a lot of times you never know what he’s thinking behind that ever-present smile. A little bit of mischief and playfulness, but also clearly someone who, when they want to achieve a goal, will make it happen. Like many others, I watched you grow. My first memories are of a scrawny little Taemini with the long blond hair, so seeing beefy TaeMAN years later was a (welcome) shock. Now you’re making your own albums and clearly pursuing something you’ve always wanted to do. Though the smallest, Taemin’s definitely been a core part of SHINee, and has clearly grown well with love aside his brothers.
Though Minho has a huge personality, he was someone I didn’t know much about for a long time. He’s fiery, competitive, playful, determined, and dorkly cool (riddle me that one). Clearly one of SHINee’s biggest fans who will prove them to be the best in any competition, no matter how small, and make up DIBIDIBIDI songs about his favorite people. And no different from the other members, just as talented as a budding drama actor and the group rapper. Though known as the group rapper, it’s no shock he’s just as talented in song. One of my favorite songs he’s sung is Kiseki, a Japanese song I heard before hearing him sing it, but only loved after. No matter what, Minho’s love for SHINee will never fade. There’s no extinguishing that flaming charisma.
And finally, Jonghyun. Forever in our hearts and our minds. The lead vocalist, and that is no title given lightly. Those notes in Lucifer, the long high notes, always gave me chills. It was your voice I wanted to hear the most in each song replay. What an incredible talent. The lyrics of each song he wrote packed with emotion and meaning. Every song has a purpose. You could say so much and so little in each line. You have the brightest smile of all of the members, and every time I’d watch a behind-the-scenes video, I’d always be instantly happy when I saw you break out in a huge smile and fits of laughter. Jonghyun worked so hard and did so many incredible things with his talents and immense effort. You did so, so, so well.
Jonghyun, last July I planned a trip to Japan. The winter before, I found “SHINee’s Fine Day”, a show where all of the boys took trips to wherever they wanted. I never finished the series, but when my friends and I decided to visit Japan, I remembered that you also loved Japan and chose to visit it. I began to slowly watch your videos the next months for inspiration. In December, inspiration turned to dedication. In March, I walked purposefully in some of your footsteps in Tokyo. I couldn’t do everything, but I chose 3 specific places that I bought meant a lot to you back them.
I decided to visit the records store you did, Tower Records jn Shibuya, and buy your last album, along with some from SHINee. When I arrived, the store looked different than when you visited, but just like you, I believe to the SHINee section. They had a beautiful set up dedicated to all 5 of you. I took a picture so someday, when I’ve learned enough Japanese, I can read their kind words. I easily found your city, put in a large section for your fans. When I purchased your CD, they gave me a poster of the cover. I still haven’t had the heart to open my CDs or hang up your poster. Someday I will though.
On my way to Tower Records, I had visited Hachiko. All the while I remembered when you took a picture with him too, and fans started to gather in take pictures, which you happily and loudly invited to continue. (Funny enough people took pics of me then too in my fairy kei fashion haha)
In Odaiba, the Gundam statue. I’m not a Gundam fan like you are but I wanted to copy you by taking a selfie in front of the statue (albeit I wasn’t meaning to go in cosplay but that’s how things wound up haha;;; ). I’m glad I could go where you once were. It helped comfort me a lot knowing you once experienced a lot of happiness and fun, enjoying your vacation where i was. And knowing you must be feeling that happiness once again. You deserve all of the happiness in the world.
Jonghyun, I’ll try to keep it short. You changed me as a person. I now stand up for what I believe in. I try to not let others push me around. I know you stood up for what you believed in and it inspired me so much. But you’ve been inspiring everyone around you since the beginning. They all said so; fans, other musical groups, your friends, and your fellow members. You’re an idol in every sense of the word. You’re a star.
What SHINee has taught me most of all is something I’ve been trying to prove my whole life: true friendship exists. I hoped it existed with the friends I had back when I discovered SHINee in middle school. There were also 5 of us. But our five wasn’t meant to be, of course, we went different ways. I’ve made more friends and lost them between then and now. My depression worsened because I believed I’d never find friends that would want to be with me, want to work towards the same goals, or help me through hard times. I just had friends that abandoned me, gave up on our projects we started with so much promise, and brushed off my feelings. When I found the videos of SHINee, it broke through this despair I’d built up overtime. I saw them laugh, cry, smile, argue, and work so hard together and knew there were no truer friends in the world. Someday I want the friendship they have. I’m not there yet but I know now that it’s out there. That’s what made me fall in love with SHINee more than any other band ever will. They’re not just the pretty boys with nice voices and incredible dance moves. Their distinct, incredible people who care about each other so much, and put their all into their group. Though they may have different goals and dreams ultimately, and different side talents and projects, it’s clear their #1 focus is SHINee, and the Shawol that give their love to them. They love us because we love this group that they put their hearts and souls into. There’s no way to deny how much they love us. In return, let’s all do our best to be as amazing as they always believe we are.
Thank you, SHINee. Thank you Onew, Jonghyun, Minho, Key, and Taemin. Your future is shining bright.
( Thanks everyone who read! This was just my view of SHINee, so it may be perceived way different than the next fan. But everyone’s reason to love SHINee is just as correct. We’re all fans of this incredible group and I love all of the dedication Shawol have. Sorry if this was a long ramble and about the tense changes. Take care, everyone. )