As many of us move closer and closer to seeing Pentagon live and on stage, there has been a lot of talk about wanting to get a bit more familiar with the members. I mean, you can’t very well scream out “And the Brown Hairs!” for every guy that strolls into the spotlight that isn’t Hui or E’Dawn. So, as I was at first mildly and now majoring obsessed with the group, Stephanie and Molly approached me about guiding them through a bit of a getting-to-know-you 101 in the same way that I did with Seventeen in the not so distant past. It was a struggle deciding as to whether or not I should help them…I mean, day after day of looking at pictures of these talented young men, hours spent watching them on YouTube. Again. It was so much. I think I agreed before either of them actually asked all the way. How could I not?
We renamed our tiny group chat ‘Penta School’ and kicked it off. Each day I guide them through an overview of a single member, dropping in pictures, gifs, YouTube clips, and some helpful tidbits about their personality quirks, backgrounds, and standout features. The idea is that with a little-focused attention and some individualization you learn them as people instead of just a mass of talented, good-looking men producing outstanding music. You learn them.
Stephanie, the ever mindful blogger that she is, thought that these lessons might be useful for other folks new to Universe and trying to prep before KCon NY. So here you have it, Lesson One, buckle up and enjoy!
SaraG: Ok, Pentagon is a group that is worth knowing all about…they are individually extremely talented but come together as a unique and interesting group that really stands out for me.
Stephanie: PENTAGON! The group always troublesome to lookup. No. I did not mean THE pentagon.
SaraG: HAHAHAHAHA….it’s the home base for the American military infrastructure.
Stephanie: And a delightful man band.
SaraG: Oh yeah, that too.
SaraG: They are a ten-member group that debuted on Cube in 2016…so they are still to some extent classified as a rookie group.
SaraG: They were introduced through an Mnet music survival show called Pentagon Maker. The members had to go through all sorts of challenges in order to complete a five-sided pentagraph.
Stephanie: Ooooh I really want to see that show though I know it will break my Pentagon loving heart.
SaraG: During the show, E’Dawn, Yanan, and Shinwon were all eliminated and the group was set to debut with only seven members…but they ended up bringing them back for the Oct. debut. Thank god. I’ve seen several episodes and lots of clips…it’s hard to find the whole thing subbed…and it’s heartbreaking.
SaraG: They have since done a ton of little YouTube and VLive shows that are fun to catch. I haven’t seen any of them straight through, but I’ve seen a ton of episodes out of order. They have Textbook, Private Life, To Do List, TNL, and Pentory
Stephanie: We need to get subbers to fall in love with Pentagon.
SaraG: We really do. Here’s the unhelpful guide…
SaraG: Almost all of the members were trainees at other agencies, some of them for years, prior to ‘auditioning’ for Cube through Pentagon Maker. That’s what made the show feel especially heartbreaking. This was really the last chance for many of them. They were all incredibly supportive of each other and not competitive like you see on a lot of other survival shows. As the early (and now ongoing) leader, Hui made a promise that they wouldn’t do a group without all ten members. When the three were cut it was incredibly hard on him.
Stephanie: That’s what actually endears me to them.
SaraG: When you watch them, it’s often like they are doing this for each other…don’t get me wrong, they LOVE Universe (their fandom), but I think they also feel so incredibly close and indebted to each other in a lot of ways that it almost feels like them against the world…which I love.
SaraG: It feels real. Anyway, they are a big pile of hilarious fools. Nobody seems to take himself too seriously and they are always pairing up to work on stuff in small units and projects…supporting each other and lending their skills and talents. They know they have to maintain their idol image, but…they have cracks through which they share their real personalities.
Stephanie: We Heart Cracks.
SaraG: Their first big song was Gorilla…even though it was super early in their career, many of them played a big part in putting it together…Hui and Kino in particular. Hui contributing to the writing and producing and Kino contributing to the choreo. I liked the song early on but am not a super fan of the lyrics… However, despite some of their tracks not really being my things I find myself listening to and falling in love with all of it eventually.
Stephanie: I remember that first song and deciding, I’m going to like this band. I then kind of forgot about them…..but I remember that moment.
SaraG: I love that Kino calls all but Jinho the ‘naughty hyung line’. Anyway, after the first album, they took even more control of their sound and choreo and it’s amazing. Each EP is a mix of styles and sounds…some of them are very slow and more ballady, but man, they are beautiful…all of them. Even if I don’t like the song I am struck by the quality. nothing feels throwaway at this point.
Stephanie: This is one of the bands where they aren’t just ‘performers’ I think they are truly talented singers.
SaraG: It’s especially evident in the sheer amount of content they put out on the side…they never stop doing stuff.
Stephanie: Do you think they feel like they have to continue to prove themselves?
SaraG: I think they are settling into their role…especially now that Cube has put out a new group and they aren’t the babies anymore. I’m sure they feel pressure, but they’ve had a lot of accolades from others as individuals and so I’m sure that helps. Plus, since many of them are asked to perform as featured artists and some have written for other groups, they get royalties and don’t have as much money pressure.
Stephanie: Yay, Bunnies!
SaraG: Feel like you have some good background now? ready to fall in love with more members?
Stephanie: Swoon! I can’t believe they’ve only been around for 2 years
Sara: They are so polished. I think it’s all of the years of training… plus, so much content. This is the song that helped me learn them.
SaraG: It seriously got me most of them in a single go. It was produced by Ilhoon of BtoB
SaraG: Don’t get distracted. Here’s another song in the same style…for practice
SaraG: They help you learn their voices too. And another one…more recent
SaraG: And they are damn good at eye contact videos.
SaraG: And we’ve all seen this, but it really showcases their raw talent.
SaraG: Now I’ve fallen down a YouTube hole and I can’t stop watching their stuff.
Stephanie: LAUGH. Whoops.
Next Up: HUI!