I decided to try and keep the SJ’s together in this section, so I’m going to blast through the sub groups today.
As with their parent group SJM can be broken into categories. Since there are less members I’ll just list each one and their specialty role in the group.
ZhouMi- songwriter, singer, MC, translator for Korean members
Donghae- dancer, rapper
Siwon- Actor, model
Henry- Dancer, singer, English (meaning he gets the English lines in songs), violinist, translator for Korean members
Hangeng (former member)- Dancer, leader, translator for Korean members
What Makes/ Made Them Popular
Super Junior-M gained much of their early following through their relation to the main Super Junior group. They’ve made a name for themselves after this image, but they still share a lot of the same draws.
There is no defined image for Super Junior- M. They’ve tended towards the manly and strong image, but have also explored more serious songs as well as light and soft works.
This group more than any other SM Entertainment group is very self-contained when it comes to music. So far five of their songs have been written by member ZhouMi. More songs come from the members themselves in some way than for any other SM group. Previously when leader Hangeng and member Henry performed their dance or instrumental skills the music for that was also composed or mixed by maknae (youngest member) Henry, who has contributed in Super Junior’s repackaged Bonamana album as one of a writing duo for the song “All My Heart” (the other being Super Junior’s leader Leeteuk).
How They’ll Do
Right now SJM is coming out of an issue where their leader brought a sudden lawsuit against SM Entertainment to end his exclusive contract. That came in the middle of promotions for their mini-album and full album (which was not released as a result). They have announced that they are preparing an album to be released later this year or early next year, and I think they’ll have a tough time of it. Fans will continue to shout for ex-leader Hangeng to return, and I think they’ll have to work through all of that muck before they can really work on building their strength in China again. I’m not saying they can’t do it, they’re more than capable, but it’s going to be a tough road early on.
As the members Chinese improves their image and popularity is strengthened. Previously Hangeng, ZhouMi, and Siwon ruled the stage, with the others being relatively silent in the background (or in member Ryeowook’s case totally silent). During SuperGirl member Kyuhyun began to speak and maknae Henry almost totally broke out of his shell. I think as the group becomes more comfortable with the language they’ll continue to show more charms and will grab more fans.
One of the lead draws is the sudden change in personality the members seem to undergo between China and Korea. The major indicators of this are ex-member Hangeng, Siwon and Kyuhyun. In Super Junior Hangeng was almost always silent and reserved to the point where you would think he was afraid of the camera. Siwon was always known as the “Prince” and had a very serious and gentlemanly image, and Kyuhyun was known as the “Evil Maknae” (youngest member), with a playful and sarcastic image. With Super Junior- M though Hangeng is playful and sarcastic, Siwon is goofy and cuddly with the members, and Kyuhyun is a shadow to member ZhouMi.
Recently it’s been announced that members Donghae and Siwon will co-star in a drama in Taiwan, and I believe that will help increase their popularity and Chinese abilities. Siwon has also been proposed as one of two male leads in the Chinese adaptation of “Gossip Girls”. The major news with this is that his proposed co-star is former SJM leader Hangeng, who left the group suddenly and without word to the members. The two will definitely draw a massive audience.
Right now it’s still relatively early in Super Junior- M’s career. Yes they debuted two years ago, but between promotions they do not do much if anything in China. I think that’s their fatal flaw. It won’t necessarily end the group long-term, but it restricts them from really taking off.
Super Junior seems to always come before Super Junior-M. That’s what I think their major problem is. There needs to be balance between the two groups, since they share members. I know that SJM is a Sub-Group, but they would benefit from the members being more active in China than they have been. Recently member ZhouMi has been co-hosting a Chinese program in Korea, so that is at least a step in the right direction.