The Controversial Aspect Of The K-Pop Industry That Fans Hope SM Rookies’ Shohei Will Change

Both fans and idols have spoken out against this practice before.

K-Pop fans are hoping that SM RookiesShohei will be the start of a change in the industry, one which many feel is very important.

When Shohei was announced as one of the members in SM Rookies, he became the subject of some hate comments regarding his age and past job.

Shohei | @smrookies/Twitter

As someone born in 1996, many deemed him ‘too old’ to be a rookie, and even more so to be making his debut. Netizens came to his defense when the news of his age spread, claiming that not only was it perfectly normal for him to start his career at the age of 26…

…but that clearly he had been picked by SM Entertainment based on talent.

In a recent guest appearance on THE NCT SHOW, Shohei gained attention not only for his visuals and irresistible deep voice…

…but also for his distinctly mature vibe. Fans praised his maturity and thoughtful approach to NCT Doyoung and Jungwoo‘s questions.

This has led many fans to hope that Shohei’s debut will change things, especially given the controversially young age at which many K-Pop idols debut these days. The practice of debuting idols at an extremely young debut age has received its fair share of criticism, including from big name idols such as BTS‘s Jin. Jin weighed in on the issue last year, claiming that idols now get their start way too young compared to himself.

I got in at 20 years old. But I think that kids these days do start too young.

— Jin


This commentary came on the heels of a controversy surrounding the debut of Koki, the 12 year old former trainee that was set to debut with P Nation‘s new boy group, TNX. While netizens praised the boy’s talent, it was undeniable that he was much too young to debut.

Koki | @PNATION_LOUD/Twitter

Meanwhile, Shohei has not only proven that he’s got what it takes to debut as an SM Entertainment artist, but he has done so while being well above the current average debut age. And rather than this being an issue, fans seem to be just as, if not more, excited about his debut as they would be about a younger idol.

In fact, for many Shohei’s age is actually a plus, as it means he would be much better to handle the pressures and risks of being an idol as a fully grown adult.

Seeing as Shohei’s debut is already surrounded by considerable hype, fans are hoping that K-Pop companies will take this into account and see debuting older idols as a positive thing.

With controversies continuing to arise around the young age of newly debuted idols, it is time the industry start listening to the fans and established idols who have spoken out against it!

Read further about what netizens had to say about Shohei’s debut below.

Netizens Defend New SM Rookie Shohei From Alleged Hate Comments About His Reported Age And Past Job