Believe it or not, we’re into the final stretch of 2018 already! October has been another month full of crazy amounts of releases from big groups and alternative groups alike, with a few surprises along the way in terms my favorites. Check out the best of the month as we tread closer to the new year.
Favorite Song: “Pirate King” - ATEEZ
Truthfully, ATEEZ wasn’t even on my radar as a debut this month, let alone likely to make a favorite list. The boys of ATEEZ definitely aren’t unfamiliar to the K-Pop industry, with a few members participating in MIXNINE. “Pirate King” has a rather eclectic formula musically, but that’s why it caught my attention initially. The powerful raps from Hongjoong and Mingi really sealed the deal. The boys are here to prove their resilience in the industry with this strong debut!
Favorite Album: ZZZ - Zion.T
Fall into winter is my favorite time of the year, and I love having some calming music to complement the warm feeling within the house that combats the chill outside, and there’s nothing like some great K-R&B to fit that mood. And who is a better R&B artist than Zion.T? His title track “Hello Tutorial” with Red Velvet’s Seulgi had me hooked immediately, and after obtaining his full album I found it to be the perfect album for the season. I’ve always been a big fan of Zion.T’s unique brand of vocals and R&B-influenced tracks, but he’s really outdone himself with this album in particular.
Favorite Music Video: “Shoot Out” - MONSTA X
I’m always excited for MONSTA X comeback season, ever since their debut, since they almost never disappoint with their concept comebacks. As a fan of the darker and more badass comebacks, my tastes often line up with what the group brings to the table. Recently, MONSTA X has really begun to refine and define their signature look in badass and sexy, which I definitely think is their area of skill. The visuals of “Shoot Out” really solidifies this, with outfits that switch from prison jumpsuits to provocative all black (with some white) combinations. Let us not forget the extensive use of chains, chokers, and facial piercings to add more to the affect. Be still, my heart.
Favorite Music Show Performance: “Goodnight Kiss” - Donghan on M!Countdown
Here’s one for the season! Kim Donghan returned this month with “Goodnight Kiss,” and this particular M!Countdown performance was fabulous as Donghan dressed up as a vampire for his performance, complete with red lipstick and a trail of blood on the side of his mouth. The use of costumes for performances around Halloween is awesome, but not the main staple of this choice. Donghan has mentioned that the choreography of this comeback is more difficult than anything he’s previously done, even with JBJ. It’s also particularly sexy, something he’s been quite skilled at portraying since his debut. All in all, the visuals and choreography are totally on point, with a bit of a nice spooky twist.
Favorite Debut: JBJ95
I’m a well-known JBJ enthusiast, providing coverage of all the members since their disbandment here at The Kraze. But since beginning, I’ve been a Kenta stan, with an affinity for Sanggyun as well. With that being said, when it was announced that the two would debut together as a permanent duo, I was so excited I actually burst into tears at my desk in the middle of the day at the office. Although it took until the end of the month, I’m so happy to finally have my two favorite members back on the K-Pop scene for good.
Favorite Drama: Sweet Combat
We’re taking a trip over to the China side of dramas for this month! I found myself unable to put down this drama, not because of the first couple or even the second couple, but the third couple. The story revolves around a group of six friends involved in fighting academies who eventually pair off into couples, staring the lead couple as Luhan and Guan Xiaotong. While I did enjoy their story, I was the most emotionally invested in the love line between Cheng Yanan (Li Mengmeng) and Lou Guanyan (Zhao Yue). Yanan is a big tomboy who doesn’t have any traditional femininity about her and instead focuses on boxing, while Guanyan is the best boxer of Yanan’s rival school who is known for his flower boy good looks. I’m a huge sucker for female characters that don’t follow the traditional beauty route and the pretty boy chasing for them, so it’s no surprise I got hooked. However, it’s a struggle to be invested in a couple that is very clearly not the main focus. That being said, I still found the main cast to be pretty entertaining as well, and worth a view if you’re a fan of Luhan or are looking to shake up your normal K-Drama routine.