For any K-pop fan out there, collecting official merchandise is no strange thing. It’s never obligatory because we all come from different backgrounds with different financial abilities, but it’s always nice to own an official item to show support to your favorite artist.
Today I’ll be doing a double review in double form – text and video – of my two most recent NU’EST related purchases. The video version is mostly made for the purpose of doing a quick flip-through, while this text version will give you a more in-depth opinion on the items. If you prefer the audio-visual format, scroll down for the YouTube video link, otherwise – keep reading~
NU’EST Happily Ever After Epilogue behind book
Retail price: 17,000₩ (Korean won)
NU’EST Happily Ever After Epilogue behind book was a part of official merchandise for NU’EST Concept Zone, a mini-exhibition set up and run by Pledis Entertainment in Myeongdong, Seoul, from May 17 until June 13, where behind photos and other exclusives for NU’EST past concert Segno and Bet Bet promotions were displayed. This photobook features B-cuts and behind photos from album jacket and music video shoots. Currently, the item is not available for purchase since the Concept Zone has closed down, and there’s no information on whether these will ever be up on sale again, so I think it’s safe to say that this is a limited sale item which will definitely increase in re-selling price as time goes by.
The items come with a set of 5 photocards, one per each member, wearing their Knight outfits. The backside is simply designed to par with the photobook cover, and only has “Happily Ever After” and members’ respective names written. If you follow the group activities, you’d notice that only Minhyun had his Knight outfit fully flexed in the music video (Bet Bet, Universe (Minhyun solo)), and members JR and Ren had parts of their suits shown in the MV teasers. I still have no idea why Pledis decided to not use these outfits anywhere in the video or promotional stages, so I guess, we’ll only have these photos as a reminder that this specific look exists in the NU’EST Queen trilogy.
The inclusions are separated by corresponding versions of the actual physical album Happily Ever After (click on each preview to see full-size photo). I intentionally omit the Q version because there were only 2 shots included, to focus on the And After extras. On the last collage above you can see there are some more photos of the boys wearing their Knight outfits, as well as the behind shots from music video shooting. Those photos take over almost half of the book, and there’s an equal distribution of shots per each member: no visible discrimination noticed.
These photos are carefully taken, so you can see some outfit details, for instance, the Knight outfits on all members sans Minhyun, and the accessories like on this photo below.
There are no additional captions or scripts in this behind book, and only the closing page has handwritten messages from members, as well as their signatures. If you’re keen on collecting items related to Bet Bet promotions, then surely this photobook would be a lovely addition to your collection, and you should look for individuals or group order managers that have extra copies available now, because later, if Pledis discontinued this MD completely, the value of the items will rise up immediately, and the cost could jump up to double, if not more. But if you’re in a situation when you can’t afford both items reviewed today, then I suggest you continue onto NU’EST Road review to make the final decision.
NU’EST Road photo essay
NU’EST Road photo essay is a compilation book of photos taken by NU’EST members themselves during their trips to Yangyang (Gangwon-do, South Korea) and Japan. The correlated reality TV show of the same name aired on Mnet channel between May 8 and June 12, 2019, showing the groups’ amazing friendship as they make memories of their first trip together.
The photo essay is split into two sections, one per each traveling stop, and features numerous shots, from landscape to members’ candid photos, which are filled with life and character. The contents of this heavily remind me of NU’EST’s first full album Re:BIRTH, where they’ve taken a similar trope of showing genuine captions instead of a well-set photoshoot.
Photos taken by NU’EST members will have a small watermark on the bottom side, with a simple camera icon and the name of the member that took the photo.
Almost every other photo is accompanied by a caption also composed by members.
It’s really interesting to observe and analyze each member’s photography style and preferences. For instance, Minhyun on the show mentioned that he likes taking pictures of landscapes, and in the photo essay there are several landscape/no human photos taken by him. I personally find his photography style similar to mine, so I’m really loving his aesthetics.
Each member was also assigned to take pictures of each other, and the mission was to secretly take as many pictures as possible without the person being in the picture knowing. Later in one of Vlives it was revealed that Aron and Ren were assigned to each other, Baekho’s paparazzi target was Minhyun, Minhyun got to take photos of JR, and JR had to capture Baekho.
Photo essay also ended with a group shot, including their signatures. After that, there are two pages of messages from NU’EST members: one to themselves as a group, and one to their fandom (click to enlarge).
Here I have a short flip-through video of both items reviewed today, for those who want to see it more in action before deciding whether to place an order or not.
I personally think it’s definitely worth buying the NU’EST Road photo essay, as it displays NU’EST dynamics very well, as well as you can analyze and pick up some photo-taking tips from members. Considering that HEA Epilogue behind book was a limited-time sale, I find that you won’t lose much from not having it in your possession unless you’re someone who’s dedicated to collecting every official merch existing.
Thanks for reading, see you in the next one!