The culture of K-pop has reached new heights across the globe, thanks to super groups such as BLACKPINK, EXO, TWICE, and BTS. Fans show their love and support for their idols in various ways. And in this industry, there are so-called multi-fandoms, pure fandoms, sasaeng fans, solo stans, and even akgae fans. But let’s focus and talk about the difference between solo stans and akgae fans.
If you haven’t heard of it, a solo stan chooses to support one member and does not care for the rest. There’s nothing wrong with it since it’s the person’s choice to admire someone even if that idol belongs to a specific group. But the problem lies when a fan starts spreading hate to the rest of the members.
Short for the Korean term akseong gaeinpaen (악성개인팬), an akgae means a “malicious individual fan.” This can apply to those who stan a single member while degrading others. This is problematic because aside from bashing, the usual aim of the akgae is for the group to disband, or for the member they stan to go solo.
According to one article, the qualities of akgae fans are as follows:
1. They always think their favorite member never gets any support from their label.
2. They believe the group is holding their favorite member back.
3. They don’t believe there are fans who like the entire group and consider those kinds to be fake fans.
4. They think their favorite member is the most pitiable victim.
5. They claim posts written by trolls were written by the fans of other members of the group.
6. They don’t believe they’re an akgae. (Figures.)
Unfortunately, akgae fans are unavoidable since they’ve always been part of the K-pop culture. Here are some examples of well-known groups where akgae fans are often found:
Raised under JYP entertainment, Twice is one of the most famous K-pop girl groups right now. But despite their loyal fanbase, they are also known for having a lot of akgae fans.
Considered as the youngest of the group, Tzuyu is a victim of akgae fans. They are seen attacking other members because they believe Tzuyu can stand alone without the rest of the group.
Many are also attacking her by saying that she’s not really pretty, just young. In 2016, a video went viral which witnessed how Tzuyu was being insulted. Some fans shouted and did not let her speak in the middle of the forum.
But regardless of the case, many of the real Twice fans, called ONCEs, still protect and defend the whole group saying they are all beautiful and talented.
Blackpink, considered the most famous girl group internationally, has also had experience with akgae fans — particularly with Lisa and Jennie.
As the main dancer of the girl group, akgae fans believe that Lisa deserves a solo spotlight. But because of this, others have also attacked her nationality. Being born and raised in Thailand, many think that she does not deserve to be part of a K-pop group.
Meanwhile, Jennie is a victim too of akgae fans. They believe she can shine on her own. As a result, many are trying to ruin her image by painting her as a “lazy dancer” (but in reality she’s just injured), and scrutinizing her dating life.
Winwin, one of the members of the NCT, has akgae fans too. According to them, there is a mistreatment in the way SM entertainment agency handles him. Whenever the group performs, he only sings a few lines, thus, his appearance is also limited.
There was also an issue when he left NCT 127 and was transferred to WayV for promotional reasons. The agency hasn’t released any statement about it, but fans are looking forward to him reuniting with NCT 127 where they feel he belongs.
The phenomenon of akgae fans is something that cannot be denied. They are unhealthy, and yet they continue to persist.
Just remember that real fans always support each and everyone in the group. It’s okay to have biases, but it is also important to respect and acknowledge other members too! Because at the end of the day, their efforts and hard work are seen as one.
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