Fan names. We all know of them. If you’re a big fan of a group, you more than likely refer to yourself as the term associated with your group. I’m pretty proud to call myself a ‘BANA’ since I love everything about B1A4. Plus the fan name isn’t campy, nor is it so far in the left field that if you say it, you have no idea who you’re stanning. I actually signed up for the official BANA fan club…provided I did it correctly because the application was in Korean and I didn’t have to pay anything (like I did when I signed up for Maroon 5’s fanclub when I was in Jr. High 10 years ago) so who knows?
However, there are some fan names that are just so ridiculous, or that make such little sense, you can’t help but wonder where they came from, or why anyone in their right mind would call themselves by them. At the same time, for every ridiculous name, there are some pretty clever ones. While I won’t be talking about every K-Pop fan name in the universe here, I’m going to be highlighting some of the best, and the worst, in this post. I’ll also be talking about some other generalizations of K-Pop fandoms and why it may be in your best interest to not use certain fan names for yourself as it is.
If you’re interested in a mostly full list of K-Pop fan names, check out this site.
Queens – T-Ara
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, I’m biased towards T-Ara, whatever. That has nothing to do with it. Their name is a T-Ara, and who wears tiaras? Queens. So fucking clever.
ELF – Super Junior
Are you Legolas? Are you a Christmas creature? Yeah, it stands for ‘Everlasting Friend’ – which automatically means you’ve been everlasting friend-zoned by Super Junior. So sad.
Best Friend – Boyfriend
Also friend-zoned. And being friend-zoned by a group that calls themselves ‘Boyfriend’ is even worse than Super Junior.
Blackjack – 2ne1
If you know me, you know I don’t care for 2ne1 at all. But their name is 2ne1 (twenty-one), commonly associated with the casino game, “blackjack.” Easily one of the most clever fan names out there.
Baby – BAP
BAP stands for “Best Absolute Perfect” and unless “Baby” has some sort of hidden meaning us non-Babyz (is it with a ‘z’? I’ve seen it with a ‘s’ and a ‘z’) know about, it makes no sense. Unless it’s referring to how a lot of the fans are actual babies about everything. I kid. Kind of.
Beauty – BEAST
Beauty and the Beast. Literary-level clever.
Playgirlz/Playboyz – After School
You’d think this is talking about some porno magazine, but nope, it’s talking about a fanclub. You’d think Pledis would be worried about copyright infringement and a lawsuit from Hugh Hefner…but nah.
Mercury – SPICA
Space/Astronomy themed. Love it.
Pink Panda – APink
While I’ve gotten over most of my dislike towards APink, I just can’t deal with this fan name. What do pandas have to do with anything? So ridiculous.
Melody – BTOB
Seeing as BTOB stands for Born to Beat, and melody and beat are related, I think this is really cute and clever. Apparently Cube rocks with boy group fan names, but is generally miserable with girl group names. I won’t be getting into how dumb ‘4nia’ is because I think we all know.
ARMY (Adorable Representative MC for Youth) – BTS (Bulletproof Boy Scouts or whatever they’re calling themselves these days)
…..What? I had no idea ARMY even stood for anything and finding this out made it that much worse. Why? Whose idea was this? Granted from a group with a kid named ‘Rap Monster’ you can’t expect much but….what? My head hurts. That fan name is almost as bad as MBLAQ standing for ‘Music Boys Live in Action Quality’ or whatever acronym JTune came up with.
These are just some of the stand-outs for me. Some other questionable fan names include:
- EXO – L – EXO ; Obviously short for EXO-Losers.
- Elvis – AOA ; Considering “Elvis” was their first song, and they don’t even acknowledge that there is an 8th member, wouldn’t doubt if this is changed in the next year or so.
- Dai5y – Girls’ Day ; There’s actually nothing wrong with this name ‘Daisy’ aside the use of ‘5’ in the place of the ‘s’. This group does not have 5 members, so the stylization needs to change for it to make sense. In actuality, I really like the similar sound in ‘Daisy’ and ‘Day’ and I would move this to one of the best names should the stylization change.
- DEEPS – SPEED ; So clever….not.
- HelloCupid – HelloVenus ; Yeah ‘cupid’ and ‘venus’ are connected by ‘love’ blah blah…It’s yucky.
On the other hand, here are some of the better choices:
- Inspirit – Infinite ; Not sure why I like it, but it works, and sounds nice together.
- Kiss Me – UKiss ; Unlike other cheesy names, this one doesn’t seem as obnoxious.
- Hyorish – Lee Hyori / Alien – Ailee ; They both manage to incorporate their names (or a sound similar to their name) and make it sound awesome to be their fan.
- BBC – Block B ; You got the group’s initials in there, and while Block B is supposedly short for ‘blockbuster’, the BBC is a widely known British channel, so you’re getting the entertainment thread in there.
- Inner Circle – Winner ; Similar to the theme of 2ne1’s name and fanclub, ‘Inner Circle’ sounds like an elite club at a casino, meant for winners. Very clever. I almost wish I liked Winner just so I could use this fan name.
Another issue with associating yourself with fan names are the reputation of the fans. A lot of fans of more popular groups such as SNSD, EXO, Big Bang, 2ne1 and Super Junior are known to be very aggressive and overall rude. An incident from just this year where Kemy of a A.Kor released a diss track about the Park Bom scandal resulted in Blackjacks sending death threats to the minor. Many fans of these groups are known for staring fanwars, bullying, acting all hardcore with the keyboard, and generally going insane if their favorite group doesn’t win awards.
Many fan groups are also known for complaining how underrated their faves are. Automatically Kiss Mes and Starlights (VIXX fans) come to mind. Babys were like this too until BAP won their first award with “1004 (Angel)” earlier this year. While this behavior isn’t as bad as the behavior of groups with larger fanbases, it gets tiring to hear about after a while. The thing with underrated and overrated groups, is that not every group can be the best. Not every group is going to do as well as say Big Bang or Super Junior or especially TVXQ or SNSD. Those groups had the height of their popularity during the height of hallyu, so expecting even the most popular group now to be as popular at the same level any of those groups were in 2008-2010 is absurd. Even looking at popularity now, there’s so many different groups to fit different tastes, and if a group appeals more to the masses, you can’t complain when your faves fit more of a niche market.
And then there are Girl Group Stan Bandwagoners. I may have discussed this before, but all of a sudden, in 2014 everyone seems to be obsessed with girl groups. I’ve been a K-Pop fan since 2011, and in a way it’s nicer seeing most fans supporting girl groups rather than hating them simply for being a) prettier, b) closer to their precious oppars, it’s almost getting tiring how much girl groups are shoved down the throats of K-Pop fans. Saying girl groups are better than boy groups, saying the vulgar dances are appropriate (they’re not for either gender, in my honest opinion), saying ‘all girl groups need a chance, we must protect all girl groups’ – and essentially saying you’re less than if you don’t listen to girl groups, it’s getting tiring. The superiority of these new Girl Group Stan Bandwagoners is getting tiring. While they may not be a fan of one group exactly, this group of fan deserves their own category in this post.
On a similar note come the Social Justice fans who think they need to hate on a group/a member if they do something ‘problematic.’ You can not appreciate someone’s behavior, but if they’re putting out a product you like, why deprive yourself of it? You can’t control how other people act, and Westerners forget easily that not every country has the same history as ours. It can be easy to make a big deal over nothing, but in the end, the “fans” (or as I like to call them ‘crybabies’) that do it are the ones who get themselves worked up and upset, whereas the celebrity is still making money.
Like…do I think Yesung is Human Trash? Yes. Do I state it every chance I get? Yes. Do I go out of my way to do it? Sometimes. Do I boycott Super Junior because of him, and Shindong’s hypocrisy, and Kangin’s DUI? Nah, I jam out to “Mr. Simple” in the car like a normal person and get over the fact that more than half of the members are problematic because I like what they’re putting out. Why should their behavior affect my enjoyment of their music and watching their MV to see Kyuhyun’s perfect face?
Of course, the larger the fanbase, the more likely that there’ll be some bad apples in it. That’s why fans of more popular groups tend to have a worse reputation. Not all fans of a group are bad, but when it seems the majority is, it’s hard not to want to avoid the group.
It’s also pretty hard to like a group when people chastise you for not liking their faves. I see this with a lot of newer groups, or people who are fans of underrated or rookie groups. BTS is one of the first groups that comes to mind that have fans that fit this bill, since it seems like it’s almost a sin for a K-Pop fan not to like them. Personally I don’t see what’s so great about them, and their music isn’t my style. How they’re so big at this point, I don’t even understand. While it isn’t fair to cast off rookies without giving them a chance, sometimes you just don’t want any new groups to listen to; it’s possible to just not be interested. It’s different than being a hater, in case you were wondering.
You know what I think?
Oh, you don’t like my faves? You think my bias is busted? Good more for me. You don’t think my faves have good music? You think my fave is Human Trash
(which my fave isn’t since all of B1A4 are perfect little angels)? Oh good, that means I have a better chance at getting in fanmeetings and for oppar to notice me and marry me someday.
Most fans take K-Pop too seriously. Stop it. Take a chill pill and enjoy the music.