I miss PENTAGON. It has been two years since PENTAGON released a new album, and their loyal fans have been clamoring for a comeback. We’re still confused what is happening. Although I was delighted that it was announced last August that the group is gearing up for a Japanese comeback. How about a Korean one?
On September 8, they released the single, 결국 (Love is Pain), which is a Korean remake -of “Bu Ru” (不如) by Chinese artist Qin Haiqing. The song cover was done for the Perfect Match Project by NSMG, or New Style Media G, a Chinese music media company. The Perfect Match Project aims to compile several top trending Chinese songs on TikTok and be reconstructed by other artists. The Media company pin-pointed PENTAGON to be a part of the compilation.
That was great news for all universe (PENTAGON’s fandom name). It’s also great that PENTAGON is active on their YouTube and other social media platforms. It’s also good that they have a new Japanese album, PADO, but there’s a huge difference. Japanese albums are quite exclusive to Japanese fans, unlike Korean albums that are widely available worldwide.
I Miss PENTAGON: Hui on Boys Planet
Last year, it was a surprise and an insult to fans and the group when PENTAGON’s leader, Hui, joined the K-pop idol search show Boys Planet when he was overqualified. It was huge news on social media, which was quite a good thing, to be honest, as it leveraged more noise for the group. Apart from that, not everyone in PENTAGON supported his decision to join the Mnet reality show.
I purposefully didn’t watch Boys Planet because it was so ludicrous that Hui went there as a contestant and not as a judge. He was way way better than the judges on the show. Hence, I’m confused about what happened there. I also feared that if he won, he would create a new boy group and would leave PENTAGON. Albeit weird, I was relieved that he placed 11th, which not one person can explain to this day.
According to Hui, “There are no regrets about joining Boys Planet.” After his mandatory military service ended in 2022, he felt he was lacking and thought he needed more training.” I’d really like to believe this because I love Hui; he’s one of my biases in PENTAGON, but I believe he was only following his agency, Cube Entertainment’s wishes, which many of the group’s fans (Universe) disagree.
My Marketing brain knows that the show would be a good exposure for Hui, and it worked initially. In fact, there were a lot of assumptions from the fans that maybe Hui was only pretending to be a contestant and that, in the middle of the show, he would eventually surprise everyone with the announcement that he was actually a judge and that he was just the other trainees’ spy. I know that many fans were expecting that because I surely did. It was too ludicrous that he was a contestant.
While Hui’s participation in the reality show was a huge commotion, it couldn’t maintain it because of its bad promotional decision. To be honest, I think that it might be a good idea, but only if they made Hui a judge towards the middle or end of the show instead of being a trainee all throughout its course.
I Miss PENTAGON: My Honest Thoughts
As a marketer myself, an observer, and an adult, we all know that PENTAGON might have started rising to the top due to two of their members’ (Hui and former member Dawn) sub-unit with Hyuna, Triple H, and also after releasing the hit, “Shine,” in 2018. PENTAGON was already on their way to the top until it was put to a halt after Cube learned that Dawn and Hyuna were an item that was not allowed in their agency. This led to both idols being kicked out of the agency and each of them going solo.
Many people, including fans, are saying that Dawn was the most popular person in PENTAGON, and that he was carrying the torch. A lot of them were even blaming Hyuna, especially when it was announced last year that they had broken up. People were saying that Hyuna broke Dawn’s career.
I don’t wanna be liberal about what happened, and. I believe many universes (PENTAGON’s fandom) would understand. In Korea and Japan, it’s still frowned upon when idols participate in romantic relationships, especially during the peak of their career. When it was announced that Dawn and Hyuna were together, I thought people would be cool about it, given that Hyuna was also an idol and a top one at that.
Just a Segue: K-Pop Idols in Relationships
It’s so confusing that starting with 3rd generation idols, being in relationships, or even having crushes with fellow idols became a no-no for fans. In 2011, another Cube Entertainment boy group, BEAST’s (now called HIGHLIGHT) rapper and main songwriter, Yong Jun-Hyung, confirmed his relationship with Go Hara (formerly of KARA, God bless her soul). It was well-received. Many more 2nd-generation idols’ relationships were widely accepted, and the fact that Mnet’s reality show, We Got Married, was a hit, as it featured two top idols (like CNBLUE’s Yong Hwa and SNSD’s Seohyun) during their heydays.
Right now, you can’t be caught dead shipping 3rd and 4th gen idols (for example, pairing ENHYPEN’s Heeseung to (G)I-DLE’s Yuqi). The more popular one is that I believe that BTS’ Taehyung and BLACKPINK’s Jennie are together, but they can’t just say it.
Where is Yanan?
After the promotions of PENTAGON’s IN:VITE U EP, Yanan went back to China due to family issues. It was said that due to China’s Zero Covid policy, Yanan couldn’t go out of the country. However, that was impossible because many people were coming in and out of China. Yanan is even seen posting photos on Weibo (a Chinese social media platform). So what’s happening to him remains a mystery, especially since we hear no explanation from Cube and people don’t trust them. What many fans do is just make assumptions and investigations.
I Miss PENTAGON: What is Happening?
If Hyuna and Dawn weren’t in a relationship and were still in PENTAGON, do you think it would’ve been different for PENTAGON? I honestly can’t say so, but there are many possibilities. After Shine, PENTAGON released several more EPs and albums that were good. Their hits like SHA LALA, Humph!, and DO or NOT were so well-received that they even had an American tour.
I’m a late Universe. In fact, I discovered them during their IN:VITE U album. I was a Triple H fan, though. Regardless, I think that all members are amazing. They have top-notch talent (most members are aces) and are far from the abilities and charm of several popular groups now.
So what is happening? You really got to blame it on the cube. Cube Entertainment doesn’t invest much in the group. The agency has been focusing on other artists, especially (G)I-DLE, which they even partnered with 88Rising for more leverage. It seems like Cube doesn’t have much budget now, or perhaps their investments in their groups weren’t enough to keep the momentum going.
It saddens me that even when PENTAGON members do their best to do live streams on Instagram, it doesn’t get many views compared to even new 4th generation groups. Just a while ago, the members went live, and the number of views was only around 3500-3700. Even if I didn’t understand it, I stuck through the end. That’s what happens when musical groups lose momentum. Even if they get fans, many of those get easily distracted and taken away by other activities and other new idols that are more exposed.
I’m so emotional as I write this because PENTAGON as a group is much more talented than other groups, but they don’t get enough exposure and support. Although their YouTube account is active (Thank God), I really want them to make a comeback album. I’ve been waiting for more than two years now. They really need more promotion, so please stream their songs on all platforms, watch their videos on YouTube, follow, engage, and watch them on social media. I’m writing this article so the group gets more mileage because I love them so much. I miss PENTAGON.