Achievements of a 10+ year K-pop idol group must be unimaginable. Considering the long years they spent in the industry, they must have done a lot as a group and individually. And being active in all those years must be pretty hard, but Super Junior is one of those groups that proved that they are indeed the last man standing.
Disney+ released a documentary for Super Junior titled “Super Junior: The Last Man Standing” last January 18 and ELFs loved it!
“Super Junior: The Last Man Standing” is a 2-episode documentary that shows Super Junior’s 18-year-long career as a K-pop group. It showed how the members trained and were first called “Super Junior 05”, finally becoming the Super Junior we loved and knew today.
The documentary showed their pre-debut and trainee days. How they lived their dreams to become idols, performers, singers, and entertainers that they are today.
It’s amazing how SM Entertainment kept their clips from 10+ years ago, including their pre-debut videos, debut album jacket shoot, interviews, behind-the-scenes videos, etc. You can truly see Super Junior’s 18-year-long career in this short documentary.
As an ELF myself, I very much enjoyed this documentary. It made me cry, happy, sad, and all kinds of emotions. In my opinion, it was a bittersweet documentary. This year, I’m turning a 14-year-old ELF and this documentary brought me back all these emotions and the memories I shared with them years and years ago. It was a surreal feeling. I remembered the reason why I fell in love with them and why I stayed all these years.
It’s also amazing how this documentary showed not only Super Junior’s happy years but also the crisis they experienced (accidents, members leaving the group). Even though those were the saddest and hardest parts of their lives, they were still able to talk about it in front of the camera and they see those unexpected events as a part of their career as a group. Although they were sad, all those happened for a reason and helped them shape into the person/group they are today.
One crisis they discussed was when they were about to start their military enlistments and they wondered how it was going to work and they worry that people would forget about them. But in all those 8 years of military enlistment, Super Junior was able to keep their name known by still producing albums, doing concerts, and each member doing their individual schedules outside the group. In 2019, Super Junior finally finished their military hiatus!
The documentary also tackled how Super Junior became successful all these years and even with 13 members at the beginning. Each of them had its own shining moment in all those years. The public knows every single member of Super Junior despite them being many.
Toward the end of the documentary, ELFs of all ages and different countries were interviewed and shared their journey as ELF. This part really made me cry as I can relate to all of them. Everything they said was about how I feel toward Super Junior and my experience as an ELF.
Some of them said, “Super Junior was a part of my teen years and twenties.”, “As long as they exist, I’ll remain as ELF.” Their fans literally grew up with them and it’s such an honor to have witnessed their success all these years.
SM Entertainment’s COO and Super Junior’s former manager Tak Youngjoo said that the best description for Super Junior is “Kings of Hallyu” and I agree with him.
Super Junior really paved the way for K-pop. They were there when K-pop began. They were there even before the internet/smartphone era. They proved to the whole world that they can do it and be successful as a group. And even after all those years, they are still here, performing with Super Junior for their fans and even doing their solo projects.
They are indeed THE LAST MAN STANDING.
A quick chat with Leeteuk and Ryeowook
Annyeong Oppa was given a chat to attend a virtual press conference with Super Junior members Leeteuk and Ryeowook last February 1.
The two happily answered questions regarding their documentary.
Leeteuk and Ryeowook opened the press conference by talking about the documentary and how they watched it.
What does the title of the documentary hold?
Ryeowook shared that the words “the last man standing” is a line from their song “Superman”. 10 years ago, he felt that Super Junior would be the last man standing in the industry. Although he felt a lot of pressure and responsibility, he just wants to show their juniors how to work hard.
Leetuek said that he wants in 10 or 20 years time, Super Junior can still say that they are “last man standing”.
What made Super Junior the last man standing?
According to Ryeowook, Super Junior never took a break even with them enlisted in the military. They continued to work. Leeteuk said that they try to work harder at every moment.
This documentary is 17 years worth of your career. If you can go back to your younger self, what will you say to him?
Ryeowook would like to say to his younger self that he will be the best and that he should not be afraid.
Leeteuk said that he’ll say to his younger self that he is doing great.
Which part of the documentary made you cry?
The documentary showed their entire past and Ryeowook didn’t think that they will show everything including all the crises and problems they experienced as a group.
Ryeowook also shared that Super Junior overcame all these problems and crises by going on trips together. They have a great bond together and that’s how they became stronger as a group.
What one English word can describe Super Junior?
Ryeowook answered that the word LOVE best describes Super Junior while Leeteuk’s word is ONLY because there are such things that only Super Junior can do.
As a group, it’s only natural that there would be conflicts between members. How do you fix these?
Since they’ve been together for so long, Ryeowook said that they would naturally patch things up and everything will be okay after that.
Super Junior will be celebrating their 20th year soon. Do you have a way to maintain a good relationship between the members?
Ryeowook shared that he likes to support and congratulate his members whenever they have solo schedules or activities. He wants to be there to show his support.
There are 2 episodes in this documentary. If you were to add another episode, what would you like it to be like?
Ryeowook said he wants to include their daily lives together, with their friends and family. If they will add this, he felt like the audience will understand them more.
Leeteuk wanted to include their plans moving forward as a group and solo.
What is Super Junior’s charm?
Ryeowook thinks that Super Junior is a whole package while Leeteuk said that the documentary showed how each member ventured into different fields. Super Junior also started the units in K-pop groups which made them known individually.
What are the 3 major peaks in your/Super Junior’s career?
Leeteuk shared that Super Junior is the first ever K-pop group to have many members. Even though they have many members, each member is very known in the public and you can see each member venturing into different genres. With the help of all their members, they were able to top the charts and received awards.
Ryeowook said that his 3 major peaks are their hit song “Sorry, Sorry”, which became popular around the world. He debuted solo with the album “The Little Prince”, and finally, his fellow members are doing so well individually.
What can you say to those who haven’t watched the documentary yet? How will you encourage them to watch?
Ryeowook is inviting those who like K-pop because this documentary isn’t just about Super Junior’s history but rather the history of K-pop itself.
Leeteuk shared that the writer of their documentary hoped that this documentary will be the gateway for their new fans. Those who haven’t heard of or are not fans of Super Junior will absolutely love them once they watch this.
SUPER JUNIOR: THE LAST MAN STANDING will show you their humble beginnings and what they did to achieve their dreams. This is an inspiration, a legacy, a story of people who achieved their dreams through music.
You can watch the trailer here:
Super Junior: The Last Man Standing is available for streaming at Disney+.
Check out these individual photos of Super Junior for their documentary!
All images are courtesy of Disney+