Who Is SJ?

1-leeteukLeeteuk (real name Park Jeongsu) is the leader of Super Junior and was born 7/1/1983. He is one of the weaker vocalists in the group and is in subunits Super Junior-T and Super Junior Happy. He does a good job I think of being a leader and being cheerful and keeping the group together when he suffers from depression and some seriously messed up family issues. However, I don’t spend enough time reading Super Junior interviews/etc to get a good feel for why this is the case, but as I understand it he’s not particularly popular outside of SJ fandom, and things like this don’t really help. He was most recently heard hosting Super Junior Kiss the Radio and on TV, Star Show 360.

2-heechulKim Heechul was born 7/10/1983 and is not one of the very best vocalists in the group but I’d put him in the top half – he has made a lot of progress especially in the last 3-4 years (and also he raps sometimes). Heechul is known for being the prettiest one in the group and can pass pretty well as a woman, though he only does it for humorous effect anymore. He is in subunit Super Junior-T and also in M&D/Heechul & Jungmo, with Jungmo from TRAX. Heechul is famously quick-witted and funny on variety shows, especially Knowing Bros (are you watching Knowing Bros GO WATCH KNOWING BROS IT’S REALLY GOOD AND NOT JUST BECAUSE OF HIM). He is also very very blunt, and you may find him to be a huge jerk (I think this is also one of the things that has improved about him in the last few years, but even on Knowing Bros he can get a bit eesh). Heechul was involved in a nasty car crash in 2006 which left rods in his left leg for two years and (I think) had a significant impact on his visual/perceived participation in the group for a long time. He has been on a lot of shows.

3-hangengHan Geng was born 2/9/1984 and was in subunit Super Junior-M (he’s Chinese) before he infamously sued SM Entertainment and quit the company in 2009. While SM would probably happily set him on fire if they could, SJ seems to still be on decently good terms with him (particularly Heechul who still hangs out with him). Though he’s not the greatest singer (and doesn’t have the greatest grasp of Korean language), he was a very good dancer and is trained in all the many traditional Chinese dance forms. SM also made him wear this messed up torturer mask thing in early performances, officially because of visa issues, but also because they’re assholes. He went on to have a successful music and film career in China.

4-yesungYesung (real name Kim Jongwoon) was born 8/24/1984 and is in subunits Super Junior Happy and Super Junior-KRY as well as having had released one solo mini-album. He is still probably one of the top 3 singers in Super Junior, but his voice has SERIOUSLY dropped off a cliff the last few years, because he doesn’t have good technique. (The first single he was on after his military service was “Devil” and that made me immediately start googling WHAT HAPPENED.) Yesung is known for doing the very silly “octopus dance”, and was by far the #1 singer in early Super Junior productions before Kyuhyun joined and Ryeowook developed his voice a bit better. He’ll be in Voice this year.

5-kanginKangin (real name Kim Youngwoon) was born 1/17/1985 and is in subunits Super Junior Happy and Super Junior-T. He has had some of the best pitch control since the beginning; if anyone’s going out of tune in live performances, it’s usually not him, and he seems to have a good handle on what his vocal limits are and doesn’t push it too much. While not being the actual leader, he seemed to be the tough muscle of the group. However, Kangin is more famous now because of his 2009 DUI hit-and-run, which got him summarily packed off to the military, and then his 2016 DUI hit-and-run, which sparked Korean petitions to get him kicked out of the group. There was also the time right before the first hit-and-run where he was arrested for being in a bar fight, though he was cleared on that one. He is currently on “sit in the corner and think about what you did” hiatus, which is timely since SJ isn’t doing anything other than TV stuff and SM Station songs right now; I’ll be curious to see what happens when more people are back from the military.

6-shindongShindong (real name Shin Donghee) was born 9/28/1985 and is in subunits Super Junior Happy and Super Junior-T. He is on the lower end of singers (but is very earnest, when he tries) and not the best rapper either, but a good dancer, and this is not meant to be a dig against him but I suspect that SM just added him to the group for personality reasons, since he had comedy experience prior to joining. Shindong is likely the least-featured out of anybody on SJ recordings, but directed some of the videos from the Mamacita album, and has hosted numerous shows, including Beatles Code 2 and SJ Shindong’s Shim Shim Ta Pa. Also, he was the chubbiest of the group (he has since lost some weight), and got in trouble for saying he didn’t like fat girls, which um. He just completed his military experience and I imagine he will go back to hosting things fairly quickly.

7-sungminLee Sungmin was born 1/1/1986 and is in subunits Super Junior Happy, Super Junior-M, and Super Junior-T. SM seems to consider him the 4th-best singer in the group, but I think that’s pretty debatable (I don’t think he’s any better than Heechul or Kangin, for instance). He was pretty involved in musical theatre prior to going on his recently-ended military leave, and met his wife that way; he is the only member of Super Junior who is married. Sungmin is the cute chipmunky aegyo one, but he also knows martial arts and seems to be the most determined, hard-working, and serious. (And, to be honest, if anyone were to quit SJ at this point, I’d pick him; aside from the whole marriage thing, he’s gotten a lot less smiley in the last few years.)

8-eunhyukEunhyuk (real name Lee Hyukjae) was born 4/4/1986 and is in subunits Super Junior Happy, Super Junior-M, Super Junior-T, and Super Junior-D&E. He is the lead dancer and rapper of the group, and was the temporary leader while Leeteuk and Heechul were in the military. This was rough on him, because it meant that he was the leader during Super Show 5 when some ELFs petitioned to have Henry and Zhou Mi officially classified as not-SJ members, and Eunhyuk had to publicly make a statement to that effect. This resulted in his solo performance in Super Show 6, which was basically a fuck-you to fake fans and internet haters. Eunhyuk tends to appear on TV more as a guest or as the host of a one-time special rather than as a recurring cast member, and he is currently in the military.

10-zhoumiZhou Mi was born 4/19/1986 in China and is in Super Junior-M, but does not participate in any other Super Junior Korean/Japanese activities. He has released two solo EPs. His and Henry’s existence as members (or not) of Super Junior causes a certain subset of fans extreme consternation, though when asked, the Korean SJ members generally insist Zhou Mi and Henry are just as much their brothers as everyone else in the group. He has a very nice smile and a good vocal tone, albeit a little over-dramatic at times. He’s mostly seen on Chinese TV, but did host season 5 of Korean MTV’s The Show.

11-donghaeLee Donghae was born 10/15/1986 and is in Super Junior-M and Super Junior-D&E. As a singer he’s in the top half of the group, maybe #5 at best, but as a dancer he’s very, very good and usually #2 behind Eunhyuk. He and Eunhyuk are bestest bestest bros, and lots of people ship them, to the point that when pressured to be a couple on a Taiwanese talk show they had to insist they weren’t dating. (For the record, I genuinely do not ship anyone in SJ with anyone else in or out of SJ.) He’s not stupid per se but he’s not incredibly quick-minded, and also is known as Amber Liu (from f(x))’s big brother since they seem to look a lot alike. Donghae is busy enough with SJ activities (particularly D&E, who worked their faces off 2014-2015) to not really do much in the way of TV/film. He is currently in the military.

9-siwonChoi Siwon was born 2/10/1987 and is known as the “face” of Super Junior, in that he’s the most abs-y chiseled-jaw attractive one of the bunch. He also does a lot of acting, to the extent that he’s not always in the dance scenes of music videos because he didn’t have time to learn the choreography (though he does always fully participate in tours). The third thing he’s known for is being very, very Christian, to the extent that he wants to be a missionary when he is done being an idol. Siwon is in Super Junior-M, but that’s the only subunit; the internet claims he can’t sing but that’s patently untrue, he just doesn’t have a particularly distinctive voice. He is currently in the military, but was recently seen in k-drama She Was Pretty and in Jackie Chan movie Dragonblade.

12-ryeowookKim Ryeowook was born 6/21/1987 and is a member of Super Junior-KRY and Super Junior-M, as well as the second best singer in Super Junior, and has released one solo mini-album to date. Fans call him the “eternal maknae,” since he is one of the youngest members and seems to have a very cherubic appearance and innocent mindset. He has also been subject to gay rumors for a long time (not the usual Kpop fetishization shippy stuff, more like “no he really is gay”), but if he is, chances of him ever coming out while an active celebrity are basically nil and also, it’s nobody’s business. He has been involved in musical theater and also appeared on season 3 of Celebrity Bromance, with Park Hyungsik of ZE:A. Currently Ryeowook is in the military.

13-kibumKim Kibum was born 8/21/1987 and was not a member of any Super Junior subunits; when he was an active member, he was mostly a rapper. Though he announced he was going on hiatus after the Sorry, Sorry album in order to pursue an acting career, he didn’t really appear much on that album either. He remained an SJ member on a technicality (did not participate in any SJ activities whatsoever) until August 2015, at which point he announced on SNS that his contract with SM Entertainment had expired, destroying the hopes of ELFs in denial around the world. His acting career while on hiatus was not particularly packed with roles, and it would not surprise me to learn that SM was disinclined to help him out with that.

14-kyuhyunCho Kyuhyun was born 2/3/1988 and is a member of Super Junior-KRY and Super Junior-M, as well as having released three solo mini-albums of his own. He is technically the maknae of the group, though he doesn’t particularly act like it, and also, he is pretty clearly the best singer in the group at this point (there is a widening gap and Waiting, Still is just ridiculous in spots), and probably one of the best singers in Kpop as a whole, if not the best facial emoter. Kyuhyun was the last member to join the group (not counting Henry and Zhou Mi, who joined when Super Junior-M was created). In 2007 he, Leeteuk, Shindong and Eunhyuk were involved in a car crash in which Kyuhyun was the most injured of the four; he was in a coma for four days and only had a 20% chance to live, and it would have ended his singing career if not for the intervention of his father. Aside from musical theater, Kyuhyun is a regular host of Radio Star and will be going into the military in 2017.

15-henryHenry Lau was born 10/11/1989 in Canada and, like Zhou Mi, is a member of Super Junior-M only. He has released two solo EPs, can speak five languages, and can play many instruments, including violin (while dancing) in the “Don’t Don” video before Super Junior-M launched. Henry is best friends with Amber from f(x) and appeared in 2016 on Sisters Over Flowers 2 in China, as well as Real Men in 2014. Henry posted (and quickly deleted) in late December 2016 that he regretted debuting with SM and believed no one there had his back; it is yet to be seen what if anything this means for his participation in future SJ-M activities.