FANSERVICE. Does any group give fanservice out as willingly and as masterfully as AOA? Over the years, the girl group has perfected the term. Must we remind you that they INVENTED the now common "Eye Contact Versions" of dance practices with "Confused?" Must we also remind you of "Short Hair" which not only was accompanied with the patented "Eye Contact Version" (which no group has done better since, ever) and the traditional "Dance Practice," but also, wait for it: "The Eye Mirror Version" whatttt?
Talk about fanservice, this "Eye Mirror Version" (whatttt) gave you two AOA's for the price of one!! You get to watch AOA watching themselves! That's almost too much fanservice! But we shouldn't have been surprised. This is brought to you by the same FNC who had their gorgeous idols in cosplay for their early hit, "Get Out."
Tomb Raider? How much more fanservice can you get? Apparently, a lot more. Like giving Jimin a whip in "Like a Cat!"
As if she were some mother f##king top madam or something. Or how about Seolhyun dressing as a cheerleader (twice now), because FNC seems to hold a wishlist that taps into the mind of every pervy netizen, and they're checking that list off, one pervy item at a time.
Which is to say, AOA is run by evil geniuses (Don't even get us started with their fetishization, complicit in Korea's infatuation, with BUTT).
But it's not until their latest release, "Heart Attack" where we finally feel uncomfortable. But it's too late. AOA has gone FULL FRONTAL FANSERVICE. Enter, the "Solo Eye Contact Version."
You can find them all here (we'll link to the official YouTube versions when they post them). But the question that these videos pose is: Should you find them? Can you take Yura staring at you for the entire song? Staring into your soul?
Because that's what it feels like. She's watching you watch her. Not just the abstract "you" as audience, it's as if she's watching you the person. The individual. You, on the other side of that screen. Which, we suppose, is the intent of these videos (besides cutting them to form the "Choreography Version," of course). They're here to provide intimacy between you and these (Ace of) Angels. Intimacy that breeds devotion.
Are you not devoted?
Are you not proverbially slayed?
We've had eye contact versions before, but rarely on this scale, and only once with AOA, with their "Short Hair" promotions. They harken back to the fancams that have become a part of Kpop consciousness ever since EXID ascended to vertical glory. Usually these videos will focus on a specific idol (this is not unique to female idols) and sometimes, inevitably, on certain parts of the anatomy. And sometimes, just sometimes, the idol will notice the fancam, their eyes hitting the lens directly. And the crowd (YouTube comments) go wild. Extra points if the idol gives a modest smile.
Now idols and the agencies are beginning to see the value of the fancam and are trying to find ways to exploit and control the intimacy that they bring to the viewer. Observe: Fiestar compiled and mashed together a smorgasbord of fancam videos for "You're Pitiful."
What AOA is doing here is taking that a step further, by not simply endorsing fancam videos, but making their own. These agency developed "fancam" videos benefit from their inevitable awareness, which allows them to give us the intense eye contact, the intimacy, that netizens crave. Connection at the spiritual/wireless level. A connection that feels so real it's unnerving.
After watching Choa's video, I had to text my girlfriend that I love her. Watching this almost felt like cheating. I'm still feeling guilt. Fellow Critical Kpopper Zander couldn't even watch any of these at work, because even though these videos are tame in comparison to some of AOA's other videos, they certainly felt like they belonged in the category of NSFW.
Which, we must also assume, is all part of the devious plot. With AOA, FNC plans on ruling over Kpop. Maybe the world. They're currently knocking on SNSD's door. And it's not even some secret. We know exactly what they're doing with fanservice and how it makes us uncomfortable the more intimate the fanservice becomes. But it's too late for us. You've been warned:
DON'T CLICK ON THIS LINK AND WATCH THESE AMAZING VIDEOS.