Ranking of my Favorite Images Among Kpop Boy Groups, Part 2

This is the final ten to the list I started last week, my favorite boy groups ranked based on how much my general superficial impression of their style and image (NOT music) appeals to me. A group has to be included and ranked if I can name all the members.

10. Infinite

infinite

My general impression of Infinite… Hmm… Super talented dancers, some great characters and a very good ability to let (almost) all members shine and do their thing. I mean, Hoya and Dongwoo got their little rap project, Sunggyu went all rock ballad-y, Woohyun sang a beautiful ballad and Sungjong just kills it with all his girl dances. I’m not really thinking these mentions through, I’m just naming some off the top of my head.

Infinite have a pretty neutral ‘image’, the thing that mostly stands out is the dancing, to me. And they are definitely one of my favorite dance groups, so they do that very well.

9. 2PM

½ºÅ¸ÀÏ: "Portrait B&W"

Pictures like this is what I think about when I hear ‘2PM’. Their image is probably the sexiest one out of all the male kpop groups. They debuted as men, when many groups were trying the cutie thing, and they’ve stuck with it. If you just look at the surface (which is what we’re mostly doing here), this is a highly sexualized group. And while that could be seen as a negative in many aspects, I enjoy it. I mean, my favorite member is the one that’s the most sexualized on stage, so I’m definitely not complaining!

8. B.A.P

b.a.p

B.A.P have been slipping downwards on this list for a while now… They debuted as such an over-the.top, ridiculously much in your face group and since then they’ve really changed. There’s still a very masculine vibe to them (And if they ever try the cute thing they did for ‘Stop It’ again, I’ll kill myself) which I like. But I preferred the over-the-top image of their youth. It felt fresh, they did it well, and it was very entertaining. I understand that they had to move on from that and make their image slightly more mature, but I still wish they’d kept more of the original style that made them famous.

7. MBLAQ

mblaq

I think MBLAQ are at their very best when they go all drama queen, that’s just it. The first video I ever saw from them was ‘This is War’ and that song is still my favorite one from them. I hope their next comeback goes super drama queen/musical-esque again, ’cause even though I loved the subdued sexiness of ‘Smoky Girl’, I think they rock overdramatic better than anyone.

Another main point to my impression of MBLAQ is that these guys are absolutely hilarious. I mean, crazily so. This is a bit of an unfair point to make though, since I haven’t taken the time to look up variety shows and interviews to all these groups, but it’s still a valid point. This group also holds someone who I love very dearly… I loved him for years (was it several years? It very well could have been) without taking the time to learn the rest of the members. Damn, when it’s love, it’s love. I just had no use for the other members at the time. Sorry, guys, you’re all great! I just didn’t care about that.

6. BTS

bts

I know that BTS is technically still a rookie group (or are they? I’ve always been confused about how long a group is counted as ‘rookies’) so putting them this high on the list might seem a little rash. But considering that they have put out three singles already and are in the process of releasing another one, and they all follow the same theme (though I can’t speak for the new one yet), I think it’s legit to include them up here.

As I mentioned in my very first list of the week, BTS have had an extremely solid image since their debut, and I would be very disappointed if they suddenly changed that. They give a voice to the struggling students of Korea, and voice their concerns and struggles through young and hip hip hop music. It’s a concept that I can’t remember seeing anywhere else, and one that worked very well for me. Yes, I might not be struggling as badly as the Korean students, but I’m still a high school student, so I can relate very well to many of the issues they touch on. I like it a lot so far, so I have no shame for putting them as my number 6.

5. EXO

exo

I’m just going to say one word: SUPER POWERS. And yes, their debut was super cheesy and the whole ‘tree of life’-thing was stupid as hell, but it was also GLORIOUS. I’m actually kind of sad that they haven’t utilized their super powers more in their later releases. I’m very happy that Tao turned back time in the ‘Miracles in December’ music video though, that was great!

After watching so many episodes of ‘EXO Showtime’, another thing stands out to me: This is such a group of confused, awkward, weird idiots. And I say that in the most loving way possible.

4. SHINee

shinee

SHINee is my number one favorite group of all time, so not putting them in first place hurts me. A lot. But I do have to admit that even though I love these guys to death, they are quite SM, in the bad way. The presentations and music videos aren’t always the best, and there’s quite often something very robotic about how they are portrayed.

That said, I think SHINee is a very obviously highly talented group and they’re also a clear favorite among my favorite dance groups. And yes, some of that comes from me being biased, but I also think that SHINee are very good dancers. All of them aren’t the best dancers out there on their own, but as a team they come together in an excellent way. They also almost always have some very memorable choreography. Infinite are superb dancers, but I sometimes find that the dances lack memorable moves. That never happens with SHINee’s dances.

Final thought: These guys are excellently crazy. When you know how the group you love looks while imitating giraffes you know two things. Number one: You spend way too much time on the internet and number two: The group you follow is insane.

3. BIGBANG

bigbang

There is one thing I think BIGBANG does better than any other kpop group out there, and that’s individuality. While the members of my favorite groups seem completely different to me, they’re often not to the untrained eye. BIGBANG never has this problem, they never look the same, they don’t sound the same and they don’t act the same. Just by watching a single music video from them you can easily pick out different members, even if you’ve never seen them before. And in an industry that have been known for things like ‘Gee’ ´, where all the members look and sound pretty much the same, while doing the exact same dance and moves, individuality for the members is a big win.

G-Dragon being a star leader, and the composer and producer behind many of their hit songs is also a big plus in my book. While I have no problem with the kpop way of doing things, idols that do it themselves get some extra cred from me.

2. CNBLUE

cnblue

Yet another group that does it themselves, and therefore gets some extra love from me. Yes, they don’t write all their stuff, but they do write a lot, and I applaud that. The fact that they’re a legit band who play instruments is also strangely appealing. I have no need for my musical groups to play instruments whatsoever, but I think it’s nice when they can and do. I really don’t know why.

There’s also an incredible sincerity to these guys towards their fans and their music. It shows that this is a group that really just loves playing music. I also love how they started out as a small indie band playing the streets and clubs in Japan, and now they’ve made it so far. They deserve every bit of the love.

1. Block B

block b

Block B are most certainly very hip hop, but they lack the overly gangsta coolness that all other hip hop-y groups in kpop have. They substitute it with an incredible sense of humor and a great ability to make fun of themselves. These guys are really funny, and it really shows that they are happy with what they’re doing.

I was very worried about them when the whole business with the lawsuit went down, but I supported it full-heartedly nonetheless. I wanted them to take a slight step out from the kpop world, and gain some more control over their own music and that’s exactly what they did. It puts the reins more in the hands of the guys, and especially in the hands of super leader, Zico. Zico is kind of a lot like G-Dragon, in that sense. I know that everyone (including me) hates the comparison, but think about it, they’re both great rappers who lead hip hop oriented groups and they both take a big interest in the writing and producing of their groups’ material. But here’s where I think they differ: Zico is a better rapper, even though GD is great, and Zico is also much more rough around the edges. If you listen to his mix tapes, he raps about pretty real and heavy stuff at times, while GD is more focused towards making fun, polished and exciting party music, many of the times. Nothing wrong with that at all, and it’s not always the case, it’s just a pattern I see.

This is also a group that reeks of talent. Especially Zico, Kyung and Taeil are super great at what they do.

That is the end of my ranking of my favorite 21 kpop boy groups, based on their images. I know that it might have been very unfocused at times, and more like a rant, but I hope that you enjoyed it anyway.

What did you think of my list and what do you think about the images of these groups? Let me know in the comments!

If you have any comments or suggestions for Sunday’s random post, Tuesday’s review or next Friday’s list of the week then leave me a comment or email me at topofthekpops@gmail.com!

– Admin A

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