Hi! It’s Annie!
I mentioned this briefly in my last post, but I feel like this is quite possibly an important change that the blog will reflect in the future. While we write posts based off of all of our favorite fandoms, I don’t think we write about anything quite as much as K-Pop. Both Hallie and I have changed our ult group to ATEEZ. And obviously we still love all of the other groups we’ve mentioned as well, but I think this has been coming on for a little while. Literally every time ATEEZ releases anything, it’s my new favorite thing that I’ve ever seen or heard. I am absolutely in love with how they delve into storytelling. I’m a huge geek and their storylines really appeal to my fandom heart. And also, as I have mentioned before, Yunho has been my ult bias for months. Sometimes I think that ATEEZ isn’t underrated anymore and then I am reminded that people still don’t give them the credit that they deserve. I’ve been voting for them every day for the MAMAs and I hope everyone else is too! But I do want to take this announcement post to give them more of the credit that they deserve. Because nobody, anywhere, does anything like ATEEZ does.
Our Captain, a rapper, and one of the brilliant brains behind ATEEZ. This man has written so many songs for this group and his love of classic music and tampering with different kinds of music has partly given ATEEZ their unique sound. It would not have surprised me if the decision to combine “Answer” with “Ode to Joy” was something Hongjoong suggested. This man has lost a computer’s worth of songs just to re-do all of the work, and was at one point the leader of around twenty trainees. He’s known for being responsible and sometimes selfish over Atiny and the absolute best Captain that we could have asked for.
The absolute Mom of the group and the ultimate shoulder to cry on. Seonghwa can both sing and rap and has one of the lower registers of the group, and he’s also known for his visuals. Seonghwa is the support that we all need in our lives and the one that surprises a lot of Atiny the most. He’s very adorable behind the scenes and extremely intimidating on stage. His onstage presence has been known to bias wreck those who see him live. Seonghwa is known for making so many people comforted with much of what he does and I think we’ve all turned to Seonghwa for comfort at some point.
Obviously I’m biased (pun intended), but Yunho is one of the most underrated members of ATEEZ. Fortunately, people are beginning to notice this and give him more credit. Yunho is one of the main vocalists and the main dancer; if one of the members need help with a piece of choreography they go to Yunho. Yunho has also successfully tried his hand at being an actor and has an underrated stage presence. I can never tear my eyes off of his aggressive but very clean dance style whenever I see them perform. He’s known for being a sweet golden retriever with a competitive streak and I don’t know how more people don’t bias him.
Yeosang used to not get many lines as a vocalist, but now he’s been getting more and more and I’m very glad. Yeosang has a unique darker tone to his voice, but he’s mainly known within the group for his statue-esqe visuals. And now that the tour has happened, his way with the choreography has wrecked so many people. Seriously, I don’t know how any of us survived watching him perform “Cyberpunk”. Yeosang is the most introverted of the group and he’s also so incredibly sweet. He may be quiet but he also has a sarcastic wit that makes me laugh every time. He has the best burns of any idol.
San, a vocalist, is the most biased of the group and we all know why. He has one of the most eye-catching performance styles in the entire industry. His facial expressions and interpretations of the choreography has attracted many a fan. And also, if you saw an idol go viral for wearing a crop top not that long ago, it was most likely San that you saw. His intense performance style, like Seonghwa, is also a difference from his more adorable persona. This man takes care of his members and also has a collection of amazing plushies that we all love to see. San also made me question me entire life during “Cyberpunk”.
This man just wrecked everyone, and I mean everyone, for this tour. When he performs, he goes all out. He’s known for his deep voice when rapping and he’s also known for taking off his shirt. If you’ve seen one of these members go viral because he was shirtless during a performance, I guarantee you that was Mingi. He also got all of the fans to bark at him at pretty much every location of this most recent tour. Mingi is another sweet goofball and I’m so glad that we recently got the Mingi and Yunho head spin back. We missed him for the short time he was away and we’re all glad he’s back!
A bit of a troublemaker with definite vocal and choreography skills. Wooyoung and San can be a double kill on any day of the week, but Wooyoung has proved time and time again that he can be a kill completely on his own as well. He loves to mess with other members of the group, specifically Seonghwa and Hongjoong, and they all make fun of his laugh all the time. But Woo has laser focus on stage. His dedication to the performances always comes across and makes it hard to not notice him when he’s on stage. And Wooyoung’s attachment to the other members is always so endearing to watch.
The amazing maknae that is also the other most underrated of the group. Have you heard this man’s voice? Why don’t more people bias him? Jongho is not characteristic for a typical maknae because of his slightly intimidating presence and the fact that he often acts older than other members of the group. He can also rip apples apart with his bare hands. But mostly, he’s known for quite possibly having the strongest voice in all of fourth gen. Jongho hits notes that many other people wouldn’t be able to even think of hitting. And when you see him live, he’ll hit them all over again like it’s nothing.
This is the major thing that sets ATEEZ apart from everyone else. ATEEZ is always game for a story. Through their various albums and performances we’ve been introduced to HALATEEZ, an alternate dimension version of ATEEZ from a semi-apocalyptic world. As well as ATEEZ themselves, a pirate crew with a flying ship that stand up for the young people who don’t feel that they can really speak for themselves. As the story has gone on we’ve seen the struggles of both ATEEZ and HALATEEZ, but in particular we have seen them help each other out. Often their realities will collide and ATEEZ will rescue HALATEEZ from prisons or even help them fight in wars. HALATEEZ lives in a reality where the government has prohibited human emotion and banned creativity. After the threat from HALATEEZ’s own universe popped up in ATEEZ’s world (over the course of their ‘Kingdom’ performances), HALATEEZ crossed over to help ATEEZ fight that threat. And unfortunately lost their lives in the process, leaving their own world without a revolutionary force. The most recent storyline for ATEEZ has seen the pirate crew cross over into the universe of HALATEEZ to pick up where they left off in being the revolutionary force. And recent interviews have Captain Hongjoong saying that this will not be the end of the story. In fact, he said that this universe crossing is the beginning of a new storyline. No other K-Pop group has ever been this story driven. It’s like waiting for the next season of your favorite streaming show. This added to their unique and hard-hitting music makes it difficult to see why ATEEZ is so overlooked. This combination of music and storytelling makes them almost unbelievable to me in how much so many of my likes could exist in one thing.
Music and Choreo:
All of that story was partially because they liked the look of HALATEEZ, something that they came up with to prove to the industry that they weren’t just getting by on visuals. They did an entire MV, the “Hala Hala” MV, as an enormous dance focused video where they all wore masks to cover their faces. The masks make it virtually impossible to decipher who is who (unless, of course, you are very familiar with the members), and the MV takes place entirely in a warehouse type of area. This makes it so that the audience can focus on nothing but the dancing. And the dancing is more than enough. If you’ve seen someone make a video about the best dancers in K-Pop and they put “all of ATEEZ” somewhere in the video; that’s really common. ATEEZ is a dance group. On top of that, their genre mashing and fast paced tempos make their music addicting and dance-worthy. But more than that, they try to make things different than anything the industry has ever heard before. ATEEZ has never made a move where they played it safe. So each time they release anything, I’m blown away with how unique it sounds and also how I’ve lived my life so long without whatever they just released.
I need to talk about this too. My sister and I are the exact same age as most of the members of ATEEZ. This honestly could be a reason why we connected so much with them so quickly. ATEEZ has made it a point to talk about things that make their generation feel less than or unworthy. I got out of college in the middle of a pandemic, had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, and spiraled. When ATEEZ released “Turbulence”, a song about not knowing who to be or where to go, I was shocked for at least a week that a song describing so much of what I had gone through had come at such a perfect time for me. ATEEZ has made songs encouraging fans to lean on them during hard times and describing them going through the same things. I don’t think I’ve ever connected this much with something, not just because it meets so many of my likes, but also because it feels so incredibly personal.
Why the Change?:
I think this question always comes up when someone changes a group or a bias. Especially when it comes around the same time the last group you were an ult stan of starts slowing down for a while. And, no, my sister and I did not change our ult bias group because BTS is going into the military. While I can’t speak entirely for my sister, this is where I’m at in this situation. My sister and I started stanning ATEEZ only about two years after they debuted. This was before ‘Kingdom’ and even before the release of ‘ZERO: FEVER, Pt. 2’. ATEEZ recently just had their fourth anniversary, meaning we’ve been with them for two years now. And we started stanning BTS about seven years after their debut. For me, this has meant that I got to see ATEEZ grow and change and the fandom grow and change. And somehow it all got so personal to me because of that. Not to mention that even before we made this decision I had been saying that my favorite K-Pop songs were ATEEZ songs. Just because, like I said, the minute I heard their sound I wondered where it had been all my life. Yunho has been a giant comfort to me, both in the ways he’s talked about his own hard times and how amazingly kind he is. And all of the members of ATEEZ have helped me out in so many ways I can’t even describe. They gave me incentive to keep going and, more than that, made me feel heard by covering things that I feel are important to me in my life right now. Right now I’m deciding on a career that not everyone in my family is supportive of. And ATEEZ has a song for that! If you’re wondering why this is changing, it’s because this is very personal to us. It’s not going to be a situation where once ATEEZ goes into the military the bias group changes again. This is a decision that was a long time coming for probably over a year for me personally. They had slipped into being my ults before I even realized it!
I love these men so much. Probably too much. I seriously can’t wait to see where they keep going from here. It’s felt, weirdly, so right after changing my ult group. It’ll be really cool to see how this will be going forward. But I miss them already. Their Anaheim concert was my favorite concert I’ve ever been to and yes, I still have post concert depression!
See you across the pond!