ICYMI IN CASE YOU MISSED IT // JULY 5 - JULY 11

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JULY 5 - JULY 11


Hello Hallyuplussers and welcome to yet another week of ICYMI, the article where we here at the social media team attempt to update you on all of the biggest news within the Asian Entertainment circle! Now make sure to grab a seat as we run through all of this weeks news together, look at some of the releases, and see who scored big in terms of achievements!




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BY POLARIS_TAE


MONDAY:
#1- We started off the week with new comeback announcements! SE7EN returned with a new single, 'Mona Lisa', on the 7th of July, while Baek Jiyong & FT ISLAND's Lee Hongki released a remake of 'Can We Love Again' on that same day. Later, we learned that John Park will be returning with his 2nd mini-album on the 12th of July, while Koda Kumi will be releasing a series of three separate digital singles over the span of three consecutive months starting on the 28th of July with 'We'll Be OK'. Are you looking forward to any of these upcoming releases?

#2- Now onto Variety & Entertainment news!
Kang Daniel will be joining the Mnet female dancer survival show 'Street Woman Fighter' as its MC; later in the week it was announced that Boa & NCT's Taeyong will be joining the show as judges. Meanwhile, DREAMCATCHER's SuA will be joining SBS Power FM's Youngstreet Radio as a regular guest. Are you excited about any of these announcements?

#3- EDAM Entertainment welcomed
Shin Sekyung to their label after it was confirmed that the actress had signed an exclusive contract with the agency. We look forward to seeing even more activities from the actress under new management!

#4- Kim Sejeong and SF9's Inseong, who are both starring in the musical 'Red Book', have both
tested negative for Covid-19. Their co-star Cha Ji-yeon later tested positive for coronavirus forcing the musical into a temporary hiatus. Furthermore, SF9's Inseong did not participate in his group's comeback showcase as a precaution. The following day, NOIR's Minhyuk also tested positive for the virus. We wish him well and hope he makes a full recovery.



TUESDAY:
#1- MOFA & UNESCO will be collaborating together in order to hold their 'Live Together' concert on the 30th of July and as such have announced the lineup of artists set to perform at the concert. Those set to participate include: A.C.E, BRAVE GIRLS, MONSTA X, Ailee, Tiger JK & more. Who's performance are you most looking forward to seeing?

#2- Moving onto Entertainment news, FT ISLAND's
Lee Hongki was in the news another time this week after it was announced that he'll be joining the new Mnet music show, 'The Playlist' as their MC. We congratulate him for receiving such an exciting opportunity and can't wait to see him on TV again!

#3- Now onto news related to contract negotiations. CJ E&M has confirmed that despite wishes from fans regarding an
IZ*ONE reunion, that the group and their respective companies have no plans to reunite any time soon. While still on the topic of contract negotiations, it was announced that everyone's favourite comedian Yoo Jaesuk would be parting ways with FNC Entertainment following the expiration of his contract. We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours.



WEDNESDAY:
#1- Great news for NCTzens! NCT 127 have announced that they'll be making their comeback this September with a brand new mini-album! Meanwhile, we have some OST news in the J-pop world! LiSA will be singing the theme song for the TBS drama, Promise Cinderella titled, 'HADASHi NO STEP', while Kis-My-Ft2's newest song 'Fear' will be used as the main theme for the drama 'Tada Rikon Shitenai Dake'. We can't wait! Which release are you looking forward to the most?

#2- On Wednesday it was announced that Red Velvet's Wendy along with Cha Chunghwa will be joining the reboot of
SNL Korea. Are you looking forward to this?

#3- Some positive news for INFINITE fans this week. INFINTE leader
Kim Sunggyu has thankfully recovered from Covid-19 and has once again resumed daily activities. We're glad he's feeling better. BRAVE GIRLS also tested negative for the virus later in the week. On the opposite side of the spectrum, however, ATEEZ's San tested positive for the virus, also testing positive was a staff member for CUBE's latest rookie girl group, LIGHTSUM. Following this revelation, the group has had to cancel all of their schedules. The members are currently at home in self-isolation. We hope that this doesn't affect them too much.



THURSDAY:
#1- Starbucks Thailand have an exciting collaboration on the horizon! They'll be launching a special line of merchandise in collaboration with BLACKPINK! We can't wait to see just what they release!

#2- Now onto new and upcoming releases!
=LOVE will be releasing their 9th single 'Weekend Citron' this August. The group recently released the music video for the single, so make sure to check it out when you can! Meanwhile, AKB48 has announced the title and senbatsu of their upcoming 58th single. The groups' upcoming single will be titled ' Ne Mo Ha Mo Rumour' and is set to release in late September. We can't wait!

#2- On Thursday, it was reported that TWICE's Momo & SUPER JUNIOR's Heechul had
broken up. Later that day, the idols respective agencies confirmed that the report was true and that the pair had ended their relationship due to busy schedules.



FRIDAY:
#1- SG Wannabe will be returning with their first release in three years on the 16th of July. Meanwhile, JYP Entertainment have announced their plans to debut a new girl group in February 2022. Despite the fact that nothing has been revealed about the group, the company plans to hold pre-sales for what is essentially a blind item in the form of a girl group. How do you feel about this marketing tactic?

#2- SBS
Inkigayo has announced that they will be going on hiatus for two weeks due to the upcoming Tokyo Olympics coverage. We hope they have a good two-week break and hope to see them back on air soon!

#3- Two HelloPro groups have welcomed
new members to their line-up this week! Juice=Juice welcomed three new members to the group. Irie Risa, who participated in the groups' joint audition with Tsubaki Factory, while Arisawa Ichika & Ebata Kisaki joined the group through their Hello Pro Kenshuusei system. Meanwhile, four members joined Tsubaki Factory. Kasai Yuumi, Yagi Shiori & Fukuda Marin all joined from the previously mentioned audition, while Yofuu Runo joined through the Hello Pro Kenshuusei system. We congratulate them and look forward to seeing each of their activities with their respective groups!



SATURDAY:
#1-Following her departure from YG Entertainment in 2019, 2NE1's CL has finally found herself a new home! The artist has signed an exclusive contract with Kang Daniel's label Konnect in order to manage CL's Korean domestic activities. We're looking forward to all of her future activities!

#2- On Saturday it was reported that the Kpop management agency,
TS Entertainment had officially shut down. The company was home to acts such as SONAMOO & TRCING. The industry was renowned for the mistreatment of their employees, with multiple former employees, such as B.A.P, SECRET's Jun Hyosung, UNTOUCHABLE's Sleepy & more all filing lawsuits against the company for mistreatment.

#3- Following earlier reports of
Hwang Jungeum preparing to divorce her pro-golfer husband Lee Young-don, the actresses agency has announced that she will no longer be getting a divorce and has instead reconciled her relationship with her husband.

#4- Following a positive Covid-19 test result from one of LOONA's staff members, it was announced that all of
LOONA -- and their staff -- had taken a Covid-19 test. Thankfully, all members of LOONA tested negative for the virus, however, the group will be temporarily halting activities to undergo self-quarantine as a precaution.



SUNDAY:
#1- The boy group brand reputation rankings have been released for the month of July! BTS has once again taken their position on top, while SEVENTEEN & 2PM placed 2nd & 3rd respectively. The girl group brand reputation rankings were also released! aespa placed first for the 2nd month in a row, while Brave Girls & BLACKPINK rounded out the top three positions. Did any of your bias groups manage to rank this month?

#2- To cap off this week,
Hinatazaka46 & Sakurazaka46 announced their intentions to hold arena tours in the latter half of 2021 beginning in September. This will be Sakurazaka46's first arena tour since their name change as well as Hinatazaka46's first ever arena tour. We can't wait!




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BY DRAGON OF THE WEST & POLARIS_TAE


#1. BTS - PERMISSION TO DANCE
BTS released their single album Butter and as an accompanying track, they included their latest English single, "Permission To Dance", which was co-written by Ed Sheeran. To get the positives out of the way first, it is important to commend BTS for using this song to show inclusivity whether it's through the use of sign language in the choreography with movements that mean "fun", "dance" and "peace", including different races & nationalities and featuring professions such as janitors and waitressing. However, despite all these positive and heartwarming moments, no song should be exempt from criticism over things it gets wrong. For starters, it seems like the foreign producers took a note out of Big Hit’s book of notoriously terrible vocal mixing as the members' voices are so overly processed that they begin to lose shape, melting into mumble phrasing that’s difficult to discern at certain points. It's clear what "Permission To Dance" is aiming for. Beyond just replicating the success of "Dynamite" and "Butter", the song seeks to uplift fans which is an admirable goal, but this feels like a particularly cynical way to go about it and the song itself feels like it holds nothing about BTS' identity and could have been released by just about any American boy group. As K-pop has gained western prominence (and continues to do so at growing rates), expectations around the industry have unfortunately changed. It’s no longer enough to cater to your own niche fanbase with labels looking into the global scene. Frankly speaking, I just wish someone would remind BTS that aiming for the Western market doesn’t necessarily mean you have to sandpaper down all your unique qualities. For a group with one of the strongest rap lines in K-pop, it's becoming more and more unfortunate that their strengths seem to be pushed to the side with each new release.





#2. TAEYEON - WEEKEND
Taeyeon recently released a new digital single titled "Weekend", which will also be the first song that she actually does extensive promotions for considering how she took a sort of hiatus from music shows for the last few years. The song brings her to the disco genre, blending dance-pop elements with laidback city pop inspirations. While it doesn't quite have a hook that's as gripping as some of the genre's biggest hits, its chorus does tend to glide over the beat-matching the breezy energy. "Weekend" presents an opportunity for Taeyeon to stretch herself as a performer through the second verse where her rap is fun and bouncy. However, similar to a lot of K-pop songs that tackle this genre, it does feel a bit too safe. Disco tracks are meant to build a sense of drama through their dynamic melody, outstanding vocals or really engaging instrumentals and it's a shame that this song doesn't quite get there even though everyone knows she would be able to pull it off really well. Instead, while being a decent track, "Weekend" seems like SM's attempt at recreating Doja Cat's "Say So" which was a major global hit in 2020.





#3. DAY6 (EVEN OF THE DAY) - RIGHT THROUGH ME
DAY6's subunit Even of Day has made their first comeback as they released their second mini-album Right Through Me with the title track of the same name. Right off the bat, even as a big fan of a lot of DAY6's music ever since their debut, I get the sense that their last two singles, this one included, lack the memorable moments that characterize a lot of their best work. As a song about rejection, it’s unfair to expect "Right Through Me" to be upbeat and exciting. But, its laidback groove exists in sort of a grey area – too fast to be a ballad, yet too reserved to actually get people dancing. The chorus has a nice sense of lift, but the melody and instrumental feel undercooked which makes this seem more suitable as a b-side rather than a title track and that is only further realised through the lack of a defined climax. The members' are talented enough and have strong vocal personalities to ensure that this song is just slightly above average, though it would probably be time for them to seek new inspiration as it seems like they're stuck on autopilot, at least with their title tracks anyway. Some of the album's b-sides such as "Home Alone" and "from the ending of a tragedy" feel more true to the DAY6 that a lot of people have come to love. Perhaps with time, "Right Through Me" will come to be one of those songs that's the type to linger on you the more you listen to it.





#4. JEON SOYEON - BEAM BEAM
Something many people might not know is that Jeon Soyeon debuted as a soloist back in November 2017 before re-debuting as (G)I-DLE's leader just half a year later. As such, it doesn't come as much of a surprise that she has released her first solo album this past week during a period where some members of the group are focusing on solo activities during this unofficial group hiatus. Her mini-album is titled Windy and the title track "Beam Beam" fits her almost to a tee. Soyeon has heaps of confidence, and that energy goes a long way. In "Beam Beam", it is evident that she opted for a quirky arrangement that injects punk rock influences. As both rapper and singer, Soyeon flirts between styles during the song's verses as she mixes sing-song melody with charismatic hip-hop, and the blend feels rather convincing. Once it gets to the chorus though, the melody becomes dull and overly repetitive, which is a shame because a better chorus would have probably taken this track to the next level. With all that said and done, her solo career will definitely be one to watch especially with her being one of the few self-producing female idols and one that many will look up to in the space.





#5. SF9 - TEARDROP
SF9 are the first group to make their post-Kingdom comeback and although they didn't win the competition, they certainly showcased their versatility as performers through the show. Almost like it was always meant to mark this momentous occasion, their latest mini-album Turn Over happens to be their 9th one. The title track "Tear Drop" is a minimalist, rhythm-based dance track which bears similarities to Taemin's "Move", a song they covered on Kingdom. The track rarely strays from the formula of similar songs which involves finding a melody that compensates for the lack of dynamism of the arrangement. It opens with drips of atmospheric synth and quickly races into its straightforward dance beat. The guys of SF9 deliver a smooth, airy performance and the sultriness helps to sell the simple melodies. Unfortunately, "Tear Drop" lacks any sort of killer chorus to build into which makes it quite forgettable and as the first group to make a proper comeback after Kingdom, it feels almost like they didn't really make any sort of impact on the musical side of things.





#6. BiSH - STACKiNG
BiSH released the music video for "STACKiNG" this week, which is a song that serves as the second OP to the 3rd season of KINGDOM, a heavily stylized anime adapted from one of the best-selling Japanese manga series. The anime takes place during the warring state period of China that explores and captures the feelings of ancient Chinese civilization, while also presenting a compelling story at the same time. The track introduces us to the 3rd season of the series, which, while being a popular series, is not as prominent in the West. The song starts off with a bang! It begins with an orchestral harmony of a violin, paired with, oddly, an electric guitar; which in a release by any other group would sound jarring. However, this is BiSH, a group consistently known for pushing the limits when it comes to music and creativity. This theme continues throughout the entirety of the song, through its ability to pair the stunningly soft sound of a violin with the heavy rock sound that we find within the drum beats and guitar instruments that fill out the instrumental. This, in essence, helps to establish "STACKiNG" as a high energy release that manages to match the tone of its accompanying anime, which is a game of high stakes and risk-taking; one wrong move in a time of war could cause the whole state to crumble to ashes, which is fantastically accomplished through the compelling performance of the song as the members deliver the song as if they have something at stake as well. All in all, this was a fantastic release by BiSH, and we hope to see even more releases like this from them in the future!






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BY NARA


#1. TWICE 'Taste of Love' has sold 522,876 copies on Gaon! They continue to be the girl group with the most albums that surpassed 500K in sales on Gaon. Congrats!

#2.
LOONA broke their own first-week sales record with their new mini-album '&' with over 76K copies sold in its first week of release-Congrats girls!

#3. Congrats to NCT DREAM who became a triple million-seller with total of 3.23 million sales of their first full album! They sold 2.03 million copies of its first full-length album 'Hot Sauce' and 1.19 million copies of its repackage 'Hello Future'.

#4. Stray Kids surpassed 500,000 copies sold with 'IN生' on Gaon, their first album to do so! Congrats on becoming monster album sellers!

#5. 'BTS, THE BEST' has been certified RIAJ Million in Japan for selling over 1 million copies. Congrats on becoming the first album by a Korean male group to achieve this feat! Moreover, their newly released MV for 'Permission to Dance' from their CD single 'Butter' has already reached 100 million views on YouTube and became the 7th fastest MV to reach this milestone!

#6. GOT7 BamBam's first solo album 'riBBon' surpasses 100,000 copies of album sales! He is also the highest-selling male solo artist for the month of June. Congrats!

#7. Gaon chart released a list of the top 100 albums sold in the first half of 2021! Come check out if your favourite artists made it to this ranking!

#8. AleXa's music video for 'Xtra' has surpassed 5 million Youtube views. Congrats to her as well as BM who featured on the track!






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BY POLARIS_TAE


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Our newest user of the month was announced this week! This month our Events Deputy Lead Stannie took the honour! We'd like to thank them for their contributions to the forum and extend our congratulations.


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Here are all the awards that were added to the system this week! You can request them here (don't forget to follow the instructions in the OP)!

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Shop+ fans, our Shop+ team was busy again this week working hard to add even more collectable items to our virtual shelves. He is all the items added to our Shop+ catalogue this week:

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The Content+ Team is taking suggestions for their July user interview. This time they'll be accepting submissions related to users who actively post in the Japanese and Chinese sections of Hallyu+.


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Hallyu+ is actively recruiting for staff. If you want to contribute to the forum's growth and join our amazing team, don't hesitate and apply now!
We are searching for new members for the following teams: GFX, Translations and SM Team - Press Division.



And with that, we reach the end of this week's ICYMI article. Let us know down in the replies what your thoughts are about any of the releases that caught your eye or if there were any surprises you noticed on Gaon's Top 100 Album Chart for the first half of the year. Or simply whether any of this week's news, in particular, piqued your interest. As always, we look forward to hearing your thoughts and hope to see you again next week for another ICYMI, although we suspect it might be a quieter-than-usual week due to the looming arrival of the Olympic Games. Take care Hallyuplussers!





GFX BY @yerm
PROOFREAD BY @Dragon of the West
FEATURED ARTISTS: Hashiyasume Atsuko (BiSH), Jungkook (BTS), Soyeon ((G)I-DLE), Taeyang (SF9), Taeyeon
 

Riri

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"Frankly speaking, I just wish someone would remind BTS that aiming for the Western market doesn’t necessarily mean you have to sandpaper down all your unique qualities. For a group with one of the strongest rap lines in K-pop, it's becoming more and more unfortunate that their strengths seem to be pushed to the side with each new release."
give a raise to who wrote this

thank you for this new icymi! good job everyone!
 

Vampire

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thanks for the updates! the music releases haven't been very good lately imo, hoping we get some better music once the olympics are over or something
 

Dragon of the West

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"Frankly speaking, I just wish someone would remind BTS that aiming for the Western market doesn’t necessarily mean you have to sandpaper down all your unique qualities. For a group with one of the strongest rap lines in K-pop, it's becoming more and more unfortunate that their strengths seem to be pushed to the side with each new release."
give a raise to who wrote this

thank you for this new icymi! good job everyone!
Just had to get my thoughts out about it. It pains me a bit to see a group that always stuck to their artistry and released some amazing songs (esp between 2015 - early 2017) having to resort to putting out such mediocre songs just for the sake of having a higher chance of getting them played on the radio. The whole point of having K-pop blow up should be to get Western media to be more open to Korean songs rather than forcing the idols to adjust to the market.
thanks for the updates! the music releases haven't been very good lately imo, hoping we get some better music once the olympics are over or something
Yeah feels like companies are just putting out whatever they can because they know the downtime during the Olympics won't allow for any promotions. August will have releases from Red Velvet, Astro, The Boyz, Stray Kids, Weeekly and whatever else hasn't been announced so fingers crossed we get some great music.
 

Riri

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Just had to get my thoughts out about it. It pains me a bit to see a group that always stuck to their artistry and released some amazing songs (esp between 2015 - early 2017) having to resort to putting out such mediocre songs just for the sake of having a higher chance of getting them played on the radio. The whole point of having K-pop blow up should be to get Western media to be more open to Korean songs rather than forcing the idols to adjust to the market.

Yeah feels like companies are just putting out whatever they can because they know the downtime during the Olympics won't allow for any promotions. August will have releases from Red Velvet, Astro, The Boyz, Stray Kids, Weeekly and whatever else hasn't been announced so fingers crossed we get some great music.
it's very painful indeed, having been a fan since their debut the way they evolved each time at least made sense and they became better musically but ever since they hit big in America their songs have downgraded
i can't believe they released black swan and then all those other westernized songs after that like how do you jump this far? i hope they are given the chance to produce for themselves again and something they actually like cause I can't even picture them liking their old stuff and their past 3 releases in the same way, bts used to have an unique sound and they showed everyone they still have it with black swan.
 
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