Truth be told, when I got enmeshed in this whole Kpop craziness, I was pretty much wrapped in a foggy haze of DBSK. I didn’t notice anything else — no other bands, no other singers, nothing. Then I was told about a few dramas that I needed to check out, but wasn’t quite sure if I was game. I mean, I can’t stand American soap operas, I loathe telenovelas. So I was more or less arguing with myself as to whether or not I should take up this endeavor.
Then I discovered Miss Ripley.
Miss Ripley tells the story of Jang Mi-Ri, a young woman fleeing a crude existence of desolate circumstances. She escapes Japan and the clutches of the brothel lifestyle and follows her feet back to her birthplace, South Korea. She finds herself continuously turned away from every job opportunity and propositioned by lecherous men who see a beautiful face and young body and consider it theirs for the taking. She literally stumbles into hotel CEO Jang Myung-Hoon’s life — a man who’s been disrespected and jilted by his ex-wife. He looks into Jang Mi-Ri’s eyes and sees a dying light in her that he wants to save.
With Mi-Ri’s history, she doesn’t have the qualifications for anything more than menial labor; however, if she can’t manage to find steady income, she’ll be deported back to the hell that was her life in Japan. This leads her to continuously sew herself into tragically unsavory tapestries of deception, including seducing Myung-Hoon, capturing the heart of young heir to a hospitality conglomerate, Yutaka, and forging credentials and stealing her friend’s blueprint designs.
In a deep sea of red and flashing lights, there emerges a five-man vocal group as powerful in name as in number. Their talent is mighty, their ambition great. They are Dong Bang Shin Ki, the Rising Gods of the East. And they have suddenly become my newest obsession.
It’s hard to really say what exactly drew me to this band of singers and dancers. Could it be their charisma? Hardly — they’re all dorks. Could it be their dancing? Well, it is quite impressive. I’ve always been a fan of music from different cultures, specifically pop and soul because the universe tends to expand when those two genres are in the hands of artists from different countries. However, dancing doesn’t necessarily make a group worth my attention. After all, after dancing ability fades and good looks turn to dust, all you have is your voice, right?
Then, that must be what captured me so about these five young men. Of course, voices come and go. I think what genuinely sparked my interest in this group is their bond and their unique ability to effortlessly blend together. Their harmonies intriguing, to the point of outdoing many vocal groups that the States have to offer. But, wait. I’m getting ahead of myself.
Introductions are in order… I give you the members of DBSK.