Hallyu group Super Junior has released the music video of Opera, its second Japanese single. Opera was a track on their latest studio album, Mr Simple, and it comes into its own in Japan, where a video was made for it featuring nine members of Super Junior (sans Heechul, who is in the thick of the two-year mandatory military service required by South Korea of its able-bodied male citizens; Kangin, who just got out of military service; Hangeng, who left the group to pursue a career in his native China, and Kibum, who is trying to jump-start his acting career).
The masquerade theme is certainly fierce, but I am one with many ELFs (Ever-Lasting Friends, as Super Junior fans are known), who think that SM Entertainment, the boys’ management, have been stiffing them since Sorry Sorry. They think – wrongly! – the placing of shoddy special effects will mask the sore lack of plotline and what are essentially just two CGI sets. The track itself is not carrier-single quality, and the video does not add any excitement or justice to Opera. And while we certainly can’t stop them from choosing who gets the pimp spots or most camera features, the fact that Shindong gets his first camera glimpse a quarter of a second into 1:40 on the video, is appalling; talented vocalists Ryeowook and Yesung also receive sorely less camera time. So why is Siwon all over the place? Japan loves a good hunk, methinks.
SuJu will do well in Japan because it’s SuJu. However, SM Entertainment is clearly revealing its biases in continuing to give the “super juniors,” the original “rejects given a second chance,” less and less share in the SM budgeting pie. (I mean EXO got more budget in the prequel to the actual vid, and those kids, however talented, didn’t make much of a dent its first time out, despite all the won spent to generate buzz on the first SM debut artist since SHINee.) I don’t know how to feel about that, but the gut feel tells me we’re in trouble.