Feb 28, 22
Here's the thing about Yoo Kihyun, main vocal of Monsta X, my ultimate bias, the love of my life: He's incredibly indulgent of his fans. Not only is he an incredible singer and performer, he's really providing the full Magic Mike Male Entertainer service--we flirt a little, get to live the fantasy for some money, and go back to our homes at the end of the night. Let's be real, this is true of all of Monsta X and most idols. But it just feels different with Kihyun. I don't know. I'm clearly insane when it comes to him, so you can't trust me.

I'm such a lurker on kpop twitter. I guess it's really an idol twitter since I followed a bunch of Arashians during their Turnin' Up era--you know, not just kpop anymore, it's jpop, too. It's been on-and-off private for years, mostly because I want to keep my thoughts to myself and not engage in fan discourse, but sometimes I wanted to share my fanart, so I'd make it public for likes and RTs. Since realizing that tumblr is a better place for that wholecloth, I've kept it private and gone about my business.

I follow a lot of Monbebe, for obvious reasons. And lately, a lot of Monbebe (Kibebe, perhaps?) keep saying

"Kihyun was written by a woman."

For the Lunar New Year this year, he wished Monbebe would "get married" and "continue listening to Kihyun," so he, and we, are fully aware that we both have our own lives, though we are obligated (obliged might be a better word here) to continue tuning in despite marital status.

But god, I have never seen a man so willing to indulge a fan's fantasy that he's their boyfriend. I remember one video, deadly, absolutely lethal, where Kihyun held a Monbebe's hands in his, only to remove one to brush hair away from her face. He tilted his head and smiled, with an expression of rapt attention and adoration. Like, "oh, don't let me interrupt, keeping talking, darling."

You see what I'm dealing with here????????

I remember how it all happened. It was Who Do U Love? era. Right off the bat, there's the main issue: Monsta X are out here singing in English, in a language I can immediately understand, asking me if I love them or not. One of my favorite things about songs like this and Jealousy is that they're like, competing with each other in the lyrics. Do you love me? Do you love Shownu? Why are you looking at him? Look at me. It's so much easier to believe than them like, acting as if they want you to abandon your real-life partner. It's more honest, more believable. And to me, clearly, much more lethal.

This was pre-pandemic so I still had plenty of serotonin in my brain to go around. Back then, kpop hit different. It hit harder. I guess it was also pretty new for me, too, and I had yet to go to any boy group shows. The first, and sadly the ONLY at this point, would be Monsta X's 2019 "We are here" tour. (Knocking on wood, lighting candles in a prayer circle, begging @God to let the postponed MX show finally happen safely this summer.)

Kihyun was probably the last member whose name I learned. With the unreal visuals of Hyungwon and Minhyuk, the intensity of I.M and Joohoney, the dancing of Wonho and Shownu, Kihyun was the one I couldn't put my finger on for quite a while. This happens to me a lot–usually, my favs are the one I initially find the most irritating, or they sneak up on me in ways I don't expect. Little did I know then Kihyun is EXTREMELY irritating (lovingly) and VERY HARD to overlook, if for his loud ass voice alone.

A little before the show, I remember frantically showing a group of mixed company that liked kpop the Who Do U Love? video. I'm sitting in front of the TV like an excited gargoyle, and when Kihyun starts up the chorus "Who do u love?" with a swift tilt of his pretty purple hair, a defiant look in his eyes, I just screamed "YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" at the television. I did NOT make eye contact with my friends after this outburst, and I refuse to think too hard about what they thought about it. However!!!!!!! This was, somehow, not The Moment. But it was a key one.

The Moment was when they performed the song during the show itself. Forewarning, this will ABSOLUTELY sound delusional, because that's what it's all about. It's the same moment, right? The chorus, when Kihyun is singing "Who do u love? Is it him or me? Cus I can't take the pressure anymore..."

Was it the Monbebe around me screaming???? Was it because all my friends were seated so far from me????? Was it the general high of screaming at 7 cute boys all together?????? The lines hit me like a truck!! I felt like a real man was asking me to love him!!! My heart skipped a beat, and just like in my fucking living room, screaming like a moron in front of all my friends, my heart is like IT'S YOU, KIHYUN!!!!!!! IT WAS ALWAYS YOU!!!!!!!!!

Like I'm writing lines for a play.

This is all well and good, because I am writing a [redacted] and the [redacted] is partially based on Kiki. A woman-written man. It's mostly in little things. The way his hair will fall. The gait of his shoulders. Little tilts of the head. Hand movements. His bright smile when he laughs. Things like that. The things that make you delusional.

I know I'm not alone in this either. Yamamori Mika admitted she based the adorably shy Mamura from Daytime Shooting Star off Kentaro Sakaguchi. And I have a long-running conspiracy that Key from Akiko Higashimura's Tokyo Tarareba Girls is FULLY her indulging in the fantasy that SHINee's Key would fall in love with a bitter 30something woman in his peak SHINee days.

And just for fun, I need to point out that Kentaro Sakaguchi plays Key in the live action adaptation of Tokyo Tarareba!!!!! Do you see this??? Don't you get it now???????

I mean, hell, just the other day I log on to twitter to see Higashimura congratulating Golden Child on making it high on the Oricon charts. And I've watched her Manben episode–if you pay attention, you'll notice that in every shot of her studio, her 2pm calendar is ALWAYS facing the camera, even if it's being shot from different angles.

Like, why do I feel the need to justify this? Of course, to write a loving romcom fantasy, you've gotta be so Into It to make the audience delusional, too.

One of my favorite Kihyun moments was...when was it? After filming? After a radio show? Something in September of last year, because it was my birthmonth, and I felt like it was a gift to me, personally. Kihyun was in a habit of jumping on VLive in the middle of the fucking night, voice only, and chatting with Monbebe. He was blasted tired, you could hear it in his voice, extremely close and quiet and a little raspy. At one point, he just mumbles "Hi...Hello, Darling," to????? All of his fans at once??? Just??? Because he can???

When I heard this, I felt like my soul astral projected back to being in love for the first time as a teen with my long-distance boyfriend; it was as if he'd just called me on the phone late at night, saying hello, and my heart was beating out of my chest.

This is never specifically happened–-I mean, the context is true, but what teen boyfriend is actually that sweet? The feeling, though, was the exact same. I guess that's the point of all this delusion, isn't it? To capture a feeling you've had. To capture a feeling you wish to have.

Well, anyway. Kiki's announced a solo debut since I started writing this, so it's time for me to preorder my copies and set an alarm every morning for when the previews drop. I cannot wait. I am DESPERATELY hoping for it to be more than a ballad. I want melodramatic, Imagine Dragons-loving Kihyun on full display, belting it out, nailing falsetto parts. See you there! I've gotta do my """"research"""".