Yep. I said it. Not only is it a vital part of the Hallyu Wave, but it also takes itself seriously.
Reasons I say this?
1: Every Kpop group has a fan club with a special name. Examples?
Super Junior - E.L.F.s (Everlasting Friends)
TVXQ - Cassies
Girls Generation - Sones
Infinite - InSpirits
2: Every Kpop group has its own colour. Originally this was so fans could show their support by bringing their group's colour of balloon, but now fans bring coloured led light sticks. Examples?
Super Junior - Some version of saphire blue
TVXQ - Red
The other groups - various versions of pearlescent light blue, pearlescent deep blue, pearlescent rose pink, pearlescent orange, and pearlescent black. Okay, I'm making fun right now, but that's similar to what the colours really are, and, on a light stick who can really tell the difference between pearlescent saphire blue and pearlescent light blue?
3: Kpop celebrities are commonly turned into actors for romantic comedies. It's not just one or two, it's one or two from each popular group. Examples (from romantic comedies only) include members of FT Island, CN Blue, Super Junior, TVXQ, After School, SS501, and Rain.
The list goes on, but it doesn't matter. What I really wanted to talk about was the whole coloured light stick thing and the fan club names. While on the one hand it's ridiculousness (5 shades of pearlescent blue. Hmm?) makes me laugh, on the other hand these things are a big deal. Clearly South Koreans take pop much more seriously than we do, and they try to engender loyalty in their fans much more than North American boybands of the past. Fan clubs and colours are actually pretty clever marketing since fans can identify with each other easily and feel a sense of unity or purpose when supporting their group. Serious stuff right?