It is a sad day for Cassiopeia and Bigeast around the world, as their beloved duo’s second half, Changmin, enlists in the military. Changmin of TVXQ has built up a spectacular 12-year career since his debut in 2003. Throughout that time, he picked up a few nicknames and stereotypes along the way, some of which stuck around even though he’s grown out of them. Today, in honor of his leave for the next 21 months, I would like to spend some time debunking some of these myths.
1) He only knows how to scream
Changmin is probably best known for his extraordinary high notes. He certainly knows how to scream, and it’s a common occurrence for him to go on a show, and they ask him to demonstrate his high notes.
Unfortunately, that perpetuated the rumor that he can’t do anything else with his voice. On the contrary, Changmin has an extremely unique and versatile vocal color, and it shines through best in the lower vocal register. His song “Rise as One” is a good example of that.
His new Japanese solo album “Close to You” is also filled with beautiful, soft ballads that showcase his mature vocal tone and technique.
2) He isn’t a good dancer
Changmin had never danced before signing with SM Entertainment. The dance part of his audition consisted of “military claps,” and even when he debuted, fans had begun to notice that he was awkward as he danced. When TVXQ reformed as a duo, Changmin was scrutinized even further as he was now paired with Yunho, well-known for his dancing prowess.
However, eventually, the tall, lanky Changmin began to grow into his body, and with hard work, Changmin improved so much, now with excellent command of the stage!
3) He is always serious
TVXQ has been maintaining a gentlemanly, senior-of-the-industry image for quite some time now. As such, most of their concerts consist of charismatic vocal and dance performances. Even on variety shows, it’s clear that their objective isn’t to make laughter. In particular, Changmin used to be very shy, and he is a very thoughtful speaker. Because of that, It’s easy to mistake him for being serious all the time. However, he is anything but; he is your typical fun-loving 20-something-year-old who has recently been showing more of that side of himself, even on stage!
4) He and Yunho don’t get along
This is a rumor that was quite prominent after the reformation as duo. With this huge change, Changmin and Yunho’s dynamic was on the chopping board, and their relationship was scrutinized with microscopes. Changmin and his bandmate Yunho even admitted later on that when they first became a duo, they argued over everything from toothpaste to shoes. When they decided to live apart, the rumors gained even more momentum.
However, unfortunately, their other heartwarming comments about each other are ignored, including Changmin’s comment, “I could only come this far because of Yunho, and because he’s there, I will be able to go further. We are connected by a thread that can never be broken called TVXQ,” and Yunho’s comment, “I used to liken Changmin to a brother, a member, a partner that I’m married to… but now, I think he’s more like another version of myself. I see someone I admire in him. Instead of treating him like a partner, I’d like to say that he is mine.”
5) He is “evil”
Although Changmin was always the youngest, he often spoke his mind and treated his older members comfortably. Because of that, he was often labeled “evil” and “disrespectful.” He is probably one of the first members to earn the “evil maknae” title.
However, he’s probably the idol with one of the biggest hearts. In 2008, he had a small holiday in Korea after a busy promotion period in Japan. Instead of resting, however, he joined his father in a secret volunteer effort to clean up a massive oil spill disaster in Tae An. He was found out by a fan who happened to recognize him, but he is known to volunteer secretly on a regular basis.
Not only that, but Changmin chose to enlist earlier than his required year, reportedly turning down solo activity opportunities in order to continue on as TVXQ with Yunho. His loyalty and love for those around him are extraordinary, and really, he’s anything but evil.
Changmin enlists to the military as part of the conscripted police force on November 19. Unfortunately, we will be without TVXQ for a while. But I think we can look forward to a new and improved Changmin and also TVXQ after they return — until then, we will wait patiently.
Watch Changmin shave his hair: