Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dong Bang Shin Ki to Suspend Activities

Dong Bang Shin Ki announced that they will suspend activities as a five member group in Japan following their suspension in Korea, so their future activity plans have attracted attention. On April 3, Dong Bang Shin Ki’s Japanese agency, Avex, made an announcement that Dong Bang Shin Ki will discontinue activities as a group, but the agency will continuously support individual members’ activities.

Dong Bang Shin Ki already suspended its activities as a group in Korea due to a legal battle with their agency, SM Entertainment (hereafter referred to as SM), in which three members, Xiah Junsu, Young Woong Jaejoong, and Micky Yoochun, were involved in July last year. But they had continued their performances as a five member group in Japan until December last year and even ranked atop the Oricon Single chart at the beginning of this year with two new single songs. Therefore, this announcement has incited rumors about their disbandment. There are many opinions about their future activity plans.

Meanwhile, each member has already started individual activities. Xiah Junsu appeared in the musical “Mozart” in January and will release a solo album on May 26. U-Know Yunho also appeared in the drama “No Limit” in last September and performed in a commemorative event for Michael Jackson last month.

Young Woong Jaejoong will appear in the Japanese TV drama "I Can't Be Honest" and the movie “Heaven's Postman,” which was filmed and already released last year in Korea. It will be released all around Japan from May 29. Choi Kang Changmin is also at the height of filming the drama “Paradise Meadow” on the Jeju islands. Another member, Micky Yoochun, is also preparing for individual activities.

Since the original group is divided into two parts at the peak of the group’s popularity in Japan at this time, there are some opinions that it is possible that the three members who experienced the legal battle with SM in Korea will still continue their activities in Japan with other members as a group. A person who knows the J pop industry predicted, “The group is already divided into two parts and it might be impossible for all five members to perform together as a group. Basically, the five members will focus on individual activities, but three members who were engaged in the conflict with SM could work both individually and as a separate group in Japan.”

The world of pop music has bemoaned the fact that the five member group has suspended their activities. A representative of a management company expressed the feeling by saying, “To make a group like Dong Bang Shin Ki, a huge investment is required over many years. It is very regretful that they suspended activities at this moment when they are at the peak of their popularity in Japan.”

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