One of the biggest discussions in K-Pop that has gained attention from netizens worldwide is the issue of idol security when it comes to the airport. As the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions have started to be lifted, more idols are able to travel and meet fans.
Recently, ENHYPEN went to Japan to appear on the final of &Audition – The Howling, a reality competition program that follows the formation and debut of the first boy group under HYBE Labels Japan.
For many, the trip to Japan was huge for the group as it was the first time youngest member Ni-Ki was going to return home since the pandemic. The experience ENHYPEN had at the airport in Japan that shocked netizens.
Even before the members had arrived, videos circulated showing the organization and calmness of Japanese fans. According to tweets from Japanese fans, they were told that they should remain seated as the members were arriving at the airport, adding, “The Japanese fans sat and waited as instructed.”
— salt🧚♀️ (@saltniki) September 3, 2022
Videos proved that the fans were waiting calmly for the members to arrive. They were praised by international fans who had seen the chaos and danger idols have faced in the past.
— leo (@_macncheese1115) September 3, 2022
Even as the members walked through the airport, the fans remained seated.
From behind the barriers, they were able to interact with the group. It also meant that the members of ENHYPEN seemed more willing and comfortable about interacting with fans.
Although the initial journey from Korea to Japan was calm, the manners and behavior of Japanese ENGENEs meant the contrasting experience of arriving back at Gimpo Airport.
As soon as the members arrived, security guards could be seen holding back fans who were trying to get close to the group. Yet, it didn’t last long. Many broke through and, along with members of the media, started to crowd the members.
In particular, as the members made their way through the doors, fans noticed that .fans pushed out member Heeseung. From various angles, it could be seen that he almost tripped.
Jake‘s experience seemed almost more extreme as the young idol seemed shocked after being grabbed and almost fell over due to the huge crowds pushing against him. Their manager was protecting Sunoo as the crowds became more intense and a path seemed less clear.
Many even pointed out that the attitude of the members seemed to change instantly as they went from greeting fans to almost “annoyed” as they had to fight to get through crowds. As they tried to get to their transport, the crowds seemingly engulfed the members.
On social media, many fans raised their anger and shock at the contrasting experiences the group had at the different airports. While many praised Japanese fans for their respect…
salute not only to j-engenes but japanese fans in general. they are really calm and and respectful, something that k and i engenes should learn.
— mrii (@mriessi) September 3, 2022
j engenes stay seated as instructed as they welcome enhypen in the airport
— takoniki 🐙 (@namaewariki) September 3, 2022
they shared anger at those waiting at Gimpo Airport in Korea. For fans, it was clear that the members weren’t comfortable and added that there should’ve been more security waiting.
It isn’t the first time HYBE artists have gained attention for their contrasting experiences at the airport. BTS‘s V had a reasonably calm journey when leaving New York’s JFK Airport but was greeted by huge and chaotic crowds at Korea’s Incheon Airport.
The topic of idols at the airport has quickly become a hot topic after netizens saw the extreme and sometimes dangerous behavior of fans. After seeing the experience ENHYPEN had in Japan, it might not be an issue to stop idols from going through airports, but the label should have more control and rules in place.
You can read more about ENHYPEN’s experience at Gimpo Airport below.