It’s me, Mel! Hope you are all going well today!
We are now at the third blog tour of 2020 and the second that I am taking part of since I took a long hiatus.
What is OWLS?
OWLS stands for Otaku Warrior for Liberty and Self-Respect, we are a group of bloggers and vloggers promoting the acceptance of everyone regardless of their disabilities, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and religion. Each month with the help of the pop-culture, we are exploring a new prompt given by Lyn (Something About LynLyn) our Chief Creator.
If you want to know more about OWLS, you can take a look at the blog here.
This month tour was a recommendation from the wonderful Lita
The Prompt : Devotion
When we talk about fandoms, we show our appreciation and support by buying merchandise, cosplaying, writing fanfiction, etc. In fact, our appreciation can end up looking like a sign of religious worship. For this month, we will be talking about how certain characters express devotion to others, objects, and values. We will also be discussing how devotion can turn into an unhealthy form of passion and obsession and the implications of that.
It took me some time to find my subject when I saw the topic, I scrolled my Anilist profile up and down trying to figure which series I could talk about for this month’s tour. I had a couple ideas popping like how devoted the clansmen are toward their King in K-Project or how Mikaela is toward Yuu in Seraph of the End and I was originally supposed to go with Fullmetal but i decided to change topic after having a flash idea. Today we’re gonna take a look at the world of Kpop fans.
Kpop is Korean Pop, is the popular music from, you probably guess, Korea, mainly from South Korea. This the definition of Kpop and at a certain time it was really that, now when people think of Kpop, they think more about boy or girl groups like BTS or Twice.
The reason I decided to talk about Kpop fans once again instead of Fullmetal Alchemist, is quite simple. With time, I have the feeling Kpop is becoming more like a religion than a music genre made for entertaining people. Fans attend concerts like faithful people attend the mass.
While we are talking about it more, seeing it more, this is not something new, the devotion fans has for their idols was already quite extreme in the past back in 2008 Girl Generation had a Black Ocean (concert goers turning their lightstick off during a group performance) during the Dream Concert, due to the jealousy of fan from other group (they were jealous to see the member getting close to their favorite group) and cause of the lie (some prove other were not) spread.
The fan devotion to a group can lead to a lot of things, one of them being the fanwar, which is basically a war between fan clubs. Girl Generation’s Black Ocean is the result of a fanwar.
The concept can also be applied to other media, just think of the Star Trek fan and Star Wars fan. A «Trekkie» could dress as Spock to go see a Star Wars movie in theater just to piss off the fans of the franchise. It works the same way with K-Pop “my fave is better than yours”, “your fave is nothing compared to mine” is a common thing to read on K-Music forum, even on YouTube video. To this day I still failed to understand why someone will go on a page of a group they don’t like, just to piss off the fan of said group. The level of maturity of some really amazes me. It can become really bad during the award period since most of the big award fans vote for their favorite. And those fans tend to be really delusional. This delusion and level of devotion leads me to an other reason why fans can be scary, which is Idol Shielding.
Idols are by some seen as superior being, some put them on pedestal or see them as gods and cause of this they refuse to see the flaws and the mistake of their bias, they will go up to shielding their favorite idols even when said idols are in the wrong or did action punishable by the law. Take Yoochun’s case as an example, his fan was shielding him until the very end, even after all the solid proofs were given, they still couldn’t believe it. They blindly believe he was innocent.
This devotion can lead fans to become really extreme like following their idols everywhere, trying to take pictures of them, even when the idols are going to the toilet. We call those fan stalkers “sasaeng”
“In South Korean culture, a sasaeng or sasaeng fan (Hangul: 사생팬; Hanja: 私生팬) is an over-obsessive fan of a Korean pop idol, or other public figure, that has engaged in stalking or other behaviour that constitutes an invasion of privacy.”
They will do anything to get close to their idol, from hacking their social media account to invading their home, some also sell idol personal information.
If you are still not sure of how “sasaeng” be check out Koreaboo post about “13 Extremely Disturbing Stories Of Sasaeng Fans That Went Too Far”.
And when it’s not the so-called fans who are putting the idol’s life in danger, it’s the anti-fan who try to kill the idol, ask Yunho from TVXQ what he thinks of them.
I want to conclude this post by a quote of Kim Dongwan from the veteran group SHINHWA
You can like a group or an idol and devote yourself to them, you never lose sight that they are human and not god.
This was my OWLS post for the month of March, feel free to leave a comment below!
You can see the full schedule here
~ Thank you for Reading ~