Nine Questions Concerning the Fate of Nine Muses

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You all have heard by now that, with her contract expiring, Sera has reportedly left Nine Muses. Or, as Star Empire has said, Sera has "graduated." This comes months after popular members, Lee Sam and Eunji, also "graduated," leaving a huge hole that maybe not even nine dozen muses can fill. And, really, our hearts break for Nine Muses. They've struggled mightily, with unfair comparisons to SNSD, a poor debut, and a cruel agency in Star Empire. We were rooting for these girls, and they even had a stellar 2013, with four very strong comebacks. Now, Nine Muses' future is shrouded in mystery. And we're full of questions. Let's try to address some of them, shall we?

Will the new member(s) be ready for an August comeback? 

It's reported that Nine Muses will be making a comeback in August, but we're skeptical. Though stripped of her official duty as leader long ago (as seen in the documentary, "Nine Muses of Star Empire"), the loss of Sera is tremendous. If not the official leader, Sera was Nine Muses' emotional one. She was their rock. Getting any new member ready would be a challenge, but possibly three, with that rock gone, will be nearly impossible. Throw in fan hysteria, and it could be disastrous.


Eunji from Nine Muses

Did you notice that we keep putting quotes any time we say "graduation?" We didn't believe it when Star Empire used those words to describe Lee Sam and Eunji's exit, and we're not believing it now. Nine Muses was never meant to be the next After School. Ever. Star Empire is clearly trying to soften the blow, and the girls, probably under strict legal liability, probably can't say why they left. Yet.

Where did Nine Muses go wrong? 

We've been fans of Nine Muses for years and never could understand why they had such a bad reputation to begin with and had to endure such a slow build to legitimacy. There were mishandles by the agency and early troubles with quality, but being rookies should have been a considering factor. When they debuted, in 2010, Girls' Generation was at the height of their popularity. How could a group of nine women, to the casual fan, look like anything else except an inferior version to that phenomenon? Maybe it wasn't Nine Muses or even Star Empire that went wrong here. Looking back now, it could have all started with bad timing. And then things got better, especially in 2013, until they got worse.

Where are Lee Sam and Eunji?

Lee Sam of Nine Muses

While Sera's contract ended, it seems as though Lee Sam and Eunji are still under Star Empire's clutches. They said that they would be doing solo activities but we haven't heard one word on either of them developing an album. Are they really still a part of Star Empire? Are they waiting for their contracts to expire? With as much exposure as they get, how can Kpop stars disappear so easily and so completely?

What will Sera do next?

Sera from Nine Muses

We hope she'll move onto a new agency, go solo, have an amazing career. May we suggest Mystic89? Even better: we hope she takes Lee Sam and Eunji with her, because we miss them too. Sera has too much talent and passion to fade into obscurity. For now, check out her YouTube page here.

Is this the end of Nine Muses? 

No. Star Empire would not let that happen. But after rising so far, losing three core, popular members is a major setback. Sera leaving will be the last straw for some fans. Switching members is never a popular concept. For many fans, it's heartbreaking. Jewelry used to be huge, but lost many fans to member rotation. Even After School, with their planned graduation process, has never fully recovered after Kahi left. Look at Kara. T-ara's scandals. Exo's struggles. Losing members can be challenging, often debilitating.

Who should we root for?

You should root for Euaerin, for Hyuna, Sunga, Minha, Kyungri, and Hyemi. You should root for the new girl or girls who will undoubtedly be rushed in, who will be scrutinized by Star Empire, the current members, and fans. Root for the girls who got out of a bad situation, yes, for Sera, but the other members that have left years ago too. If you put yourself out there like these girls have, you deserve support.

Support Nine Muses!

Is Star Empire...evil? 

Long answer: find somewhere you can watch the documentary, Nine Muses of Star Empire. Short answer: Yes.

How should Mine (Nine Muses fans) soothe the aching hole in their damaged hearts? 

Life is impermanent. Time, just an illusion. Remember: Even groups like Kara can fall. Take an afternoon. Pretend it's 2013. Believe it.

Watch "Dolls"

Watch "Wild" 

Watch "Gun"

Watch "Glue"

While other groups toiled in Japan, or spent six months prepping their comebacks, Nine Muses were the hardest working girls in Kpop. They had four comebacks that charted higher than they ever have before, which made sense because every song was gold. To the detractors, they proved that they were legitimate. And for the fans, nothing can take away the fact that 2013, from beginning to end, belonged to Nine Muses. 

Timothy Moore writes from Chicago. He blogs at Read My Blog Please, and edits at Ghost Ocean Magazine. His biases are T-ara, Block B, Nine Muses, Brown Eyed Girls, and Girl's Day.


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