As a wayward youth, I was really into anime. Somehow, that led to me being into J-rock (Japanese rock) — I really, really liked visual kei bands — and that led to a productive few years of music writing and going to concerts in Taiwan and Japan.
Over the past few years, however, my interest in J-rock waned somewhat. I still nostalgically listen to the music I’ve collected, and I still occasionally check for updates on my favorite artists (social media makes this a lot easier), but it’s not as all consuming as it once was.
And somehow, in the midst of all this, K-pop (Korean pop) reared its shiny, beautiful, well-coordinated head. I had managed to keep K-pop at bay for so long. I didn’t want to fall into the rabbit hole — and I knew I would, since I have an obsessive personality. I didn’t want to expend all of my energy keeping track of band members (there are always so many of them) and their releases and all of their projects and activities, and most of all I didn’t want to get sucked into learning Korean.