Shawols have been eagerly awaiting the return of SHINee‘s maknae Taemin, who has been away since May 31, 2021, completing his mandatory military service.
SHINee made their last group comeback on February 22, 2021, with their seventh full-length album, Don’t Call Me, before Taemin officially enlisted in the Korean military.
Since then, Shawols have been living for any updates they can get about Taemin, whose exact release date has been uncertain until now.
While serving, he’s made sure to check in on fans and support his fellow members when he can.
He was even spotted at fellow SHINee member Key‘s solo concert, delighting fans as Taemin was seen smiling widely in the crowd, seated next to SM Entertainment‘s founder Lee Soo Man.
shawols scream when they saw taemin at the big screen, look at his precious smile 🥰 pic.twitter.com/trzX2abF8V
— ً (@718FEED) October 22, 2022
With his Christmas Instagram story, Taemin gave fans a rare update and the ultimate holiday gift.
Taemin took to his personal Instagram account to post an adorable photo of his cat Kkong with videos of Kkoong chasing bubbles.
— SHINee Instagram 💎 (@shineeinstagram) December 24, 2022
The photo of Kkong was posted with a caption wishing his fans, who Taemin has affectionately nicknamed “Jjakgoong,” a Merry Christmas.
He checked in, asking how fans were doing and thoughtfully advising them to dress warmly in the cold weather.
In the top right corner of Taemin’s Instagram update was a simple “D-100” that was loaded with meaning as fans realized he had begun the countdown to his official military discharge date.
After a long 18 months, Shawols finally knew Taemin’s discharge date, which is set for April 4, 2023.
Fans couldn’t contain their excitement as they shared their reactions to the news on social media. #LEE TAEMIN and #D-100 quickly began to trend as Shawols began to celebrate the spring return of the talented SHINee member.
Starting a countdown thread for the return of the king the ace the one and only Lee Taemin
THE SECOND COMING IS UPON US
— 〰 (@SaraOT5) December 24, 2022
D-100 and the kpop ACE will be back😭pic.twitter.com/9WoC8Kzk8O
— Hanah❤️🔥MINHO.THE FABULOUS ✨ (@han__5hinee) December 24, 2022
KING LEE TAEMIN IS FINALLY COMING BACK, THE WHOLE IS NOW HEALED pic.twitter.com/u2nTuIMHQR
— 📂 D-100 TILL TAEMIN'S BACK (@shineefilms) December 19, 2022
Check out more about Taemin’s unexpected appearance at Key’s solo concert in the article below!