One of the most recent (and few) photos of the whole group which comprise of these eight "angels" note Youkyung, Choa, Chanmi, Hyejeong, Seolhyun, Yuna, Jimin, Mina
A South Korean Girl Group who debuted under FNC Entertainment in 2012. Full name being Ace of Angels, they are well-known for being a "hybrid/transformer group" - part band, part dance. They are comprised of 8 members - 5note Jimin, Choa, Mina, Yuna, Youkyung in the band unit officially known as AOA Black and 7note everyone but Youkyung in the dance unit, with the 3 non-band membersnote Seolhyun, Hyejeong, Chanmi in AOA White.Members of both units:
Shin Jimin: Leader, vocalist, main rapper (dance unit/Black), lead guitarist (AOA Black).
Park Choa: Main vocalist (dance unit/Black), rhythmic guitarist (AOA Black).
Kwon Mina: Sub-vocalist, rapper note She is still said to be a lead rapper but she has switched over to singing as of late (dance unit/Black), bassist (AOA Black).
Seo Yuna: Lead vocalist (dance unit/Black), keyboardist (AOA Black).
AOA White (members of the dance-unit only):
Kim Seolhyun: Face, lead dancer, sub-vocalist. Also the resident actress.
Shin Hyejeong: Visual, lead dancer sub-vocalist.
Kim Chanmi: Sub-vocalist, main dancer, lead rapper note She seems to have been promoted now that Mina's no longer interested, maknae.
Member of AOA Black only:
Seo Youkyung: Drums. She is the only non-dancer/vocalist in order for her to focus on drumming; she's currently inactive and only counted by some as a half-member, which has raised a lot of questions in regards to FNC's treatment of her. She's a former member of now-disbanded Sponge Band, where she did actually rap a bit.
They've gained a lot of interest since their debut, but in contrast to older labelmates and Power Rookies FT Island and CN Blue (as well as Juniel who also had decent interest and sales), they had a rather lackluster debut. Their popularity gradually rose however; their first number one on the music charts was the band-only single Moya, which showed promising signs for AOA Black and proved once again FNC's prowess as a company home to idol bands. They eventually found greater success in dance-unit-only single Miniskirt, with its MV having over 10 million views on YouTube and currently one of the most-watched kpop videos in 2014 (it even beats their labelmates' MVs which are popular but don't bring nearly as enough views). It also won their first music show, which confirmed their status as a rising star.While they are currently a Base Breaker with everyone due to currently leaving their band unit on indefinite hiatus and ditching it (and Youkyung) in favour of their dance unit and sexy concept which brings some Unfortunate Implications, they nevertheless have won many fans for their multi-talent, Ear Worm songs, likeable personalities and their impressive visuals.
Angels' Story (2012)
Wanna Be (2012)
MOYA (2013) (AOA Black only)
Red Motion (2013) (dance unit only)
Miniskirt (2014) (dance unit only)
Short Hair (2014) (dance unit only)
Miniskirt (2014) (dance unit only, however the whole group song Get Out was included, albeit without crediting Youkyung's drumming contribution)
Do not confuse with Age of Apocalypse the comic book, or The Axis Of Awesome the band, which both use the same initials. Also do not confuse with the Hong Kong pop twin duo with the same name, who are unfortunately now overshadowed and hard to search up.
Youkyung once drummed for famous Korean guitarist Kim Se Hwang's showcase.
Seolhyun was in FT Island's "Severely" MV predebut.
Seolhyun also did some minor CFs and modelling predebut.
Mina was a well-known ulzzang pre-debut.
Hyejeong did cheerleading at school and also minor modelling predebut.
Bare Your Midriff: They do this a lot. Most prominent in Confused whey they often wore crop tops.
Beauty, Brains and Brawn: According to their angel backstory at debut, Hyejeong.Linus is the most beautiful of all angels, Seolhyunari is the brain among the angels and Chanmi T.T loves to dance.
Blatant Lies: Even Hyejeong and Jimin's faces screamed this when the latter made her "dating" confession: when Hyejeong asked who it was, she gestured to the camera (the audience) and cheerfully replied, "With all of you guys!" Cue silence.
Consolation Backfire: The one excuse many dance-biased fans use to make Youkyung's situation less questionable is to compare her to Henry and Zhoumi only being in Super Junior M. Except 1) they were added later to the group unlike Youkyung who has promoted with everyone right from debut; 2) it's implied the two were meant to be added to the main group but fans were really against it at the time and manipulated the situation so badly that either way SM had no choice but to only make them Suju-M members, whereas Youkyung was never in such a position; 3) Suju-M is pretty active, the two have a lot of activities on the side and frequently appear with the main group which is the polar opposite of AOA Black/Youkyung's activity; and 4) (Only13s aside) many ELFs now consider the two to be true Suju members anyways and want SM to make them official and full-time - which is also the opposite of many AOA fans.
Not to mention Suju members clearly respect and adore Zhoumi and Henry. Other AOA members have showed little such affection; the number of times any of them has talked about Youkyung can be counted on the fingers of one hand.
Jimin, who's frequently thought to be the maknae despite being 2nd oldest. She looks young, is very cheerful and can have a childish personality when messing around - she's even been compared to famous child-star Choo Sarang. Members agree she has the most aegyo in the group.
Choa, who is the oldest and is known for it but won't stop people for thinking this due to her youthful appearance, bubbly and caring personality and Cloud Cuckoo Lander tendencies.
Their Angelcams give most members some individual attention, especially earlier ones which helped fans get to know them better.
AOA Black focuses on 5 members and their instrumental skills. In particular, "Moya" is an AOA Black-only single and its promotions were solely focused on them hence also gave Youkyung well-deserved spotlight and full activities for once - both aspects made many fans very happy. There's also the Elvis MV band-only version.
AOA White may or may not become an official subunit with their own promotions in the future. note Looking unlikely due to Seolhyun/sometimes Hyejeong's busy acting schedules and the members lacking in the vocal department. For the time being, as a group, they stick to mini dance solos (dance tutorials, Gangnam Style special stage, Crazy In Love cover).
There's two official videos of just Yuna playing keyboard and singing.
Hyejeong was a guest-singer in Phantom's "Seoul Lonely" lives for first week of promotions. Her lines were unfortunately prerecorded, but she still pleasantly surprised a few people.
Minor, but in the hip-wave dance aka the highlight of the Miniskirt choreography, Hyejeong is front and center instead of the usual Seolhyun.
Choa to Hongki, for both being power vocalists and similar tones. She sang a bit of their latest song "Madly" once, and she even had her own version of Hongki's drama OST Words I Couldn't Say released.
Upon hearing they would both play instruments and dance, some immediately compared them to Led Apple, a band whose vocalists also incorporate some dancing into their performances (they do that much less and focus solely on the band now though). This was before it was made clear that AOA had two separate units.
AOA Black, especially Yuna who plays the most elegant instrument out of all of them (the piano) and also very beautiful. It mostly shows in her two solo videos of her singing and playing a ballad version of CNB Lue's "I'm Sorry" and "The First Noel".
Also possibly Seolhyun who can play piano too (but is yet to show it) and whose beauty is praised a lot.
Their "angel names", which they debuted with go go with their angel concept: Jiminel, Choaya, Minaring, Yunaria, Y, Seolhyunari, Hyejeong.Linus and Chanmi T.T. Everyone was dumbfounded, jokes were made and even members expressed their embarrassment when introducing themselves as this. The names have notably been ditched ever since.
Their official fanclub name is Elvis. Some are happy, some would rather just call themselves AOA fans instead.
Some people have called Choa the next Taeyon, due to their similar voices and both being power vocalalists.
Seolhyun shares similar traits to many "IT" girls such as Yoona, Suzy and Naeun (visuals that meet the ideal Korean beauty, the overall face/visual of the group that the company promotes the most, focus on said visuals and acting instead of singing/dancing). A selected few also think she can be the next IT girl.
Genki Girl: Jimin, who was voted the funniest and most playful member by the group and is a cheerful and energetic girl. It's quite evident in group performances where people often comment she has the most energy and charisma (and arguably the only one at times).
Harp of Femininity: Was part of Mina's angel backstory; "Minaring who plays the harp all the time." Of course it was just symbolic of her bass.
Hime Cut: Essentially everyone but Youkyung has shown to have had this either predebut or after debut.
Choa, Jimin, Chanmi and Mina had it for a while from debut. The first two have cut it since then and the other two are growing their bangs out.
Seolhyun, Hyejeong and Yuna had it during middle/high school years. Seolhyun got one again for the drama "My Daughter Seoyoung".
Hired for Their Looks: Seolhyun and Hyejeong, who were scouted at modelling events and are the official Face and Visual of the group respectively.
Huge Schoolgirl: Hyejeong is the tallest at 172cmnote she admitted this herself - her profile only says 170cm. Seolhyun and Youkyung are the next tallest at 167cm, though possibly taller. Their heights are more praised than anything else, in contrast to most examples. They often wear non-heeled/shorter-heeled shoes unlike the others and still meet or surpass their height. Youkyung's height is made even more obvious when she's with just AOA Black◊ where most of the short/normal height girls are.
Jack-of-All-Trades: Part of their concept. Applies to members of both AOA Black and the dance unit (as well as Seolhyun who's officially only the dancer/face but can play piano too). AOA Black members have also written 20 songs together, though sadly none have been shown yet.
Jimin can speak Chinese and play guitar, and some basics of harmonica and piano.
Choa first learned drums and keyboard before picking up guitar to train for AOA Black. She's also qualified in Aviation Business Administration which she studied in college.
The Klutz: Mina who's fallen/tripped more than once. Also see her barely keep up in their first Random Dance Play segment of Weekly Idol and jokingly being asked by the MCs if she's a new member.
The Leader: Jimin is officially this. Choa is sometimes mistaken as this due to her role as the main vocalist and being the oldest.
Averted with Jimin (2013 onwards), Choa and Yuna (both 2014 onwards) - especially the latter two who are Team Mom and the "princess" respectively.
Girliness Upgrade: Was also averted with Youkyung up until 2014 - then onwards her hair has been growing out, and many have commented how more feminine she looks with it. She isn't particularly girly like other members though.
Played straight with everyone else. Seolhyun's was especially long until she cut it shorter for a drama.
The Musical: Choa was in the Korean High School Musical as Gabriella, and was meant to be in the Zorro musical but was taken out for "personal reasons". Yuna was also in the Korean Summer Snow musical which took place in Japan.
New Sound Album: Their "Confused" single was a complete 180 from previous songs.
Not So Stoic: Youkyung, whom many think otherwise since she's quieter and given less focus, leading people to assume she's not very expressive and doesn't have much personality. People who actually notice her know she does often show her cheerful side and engage in conversation, and the only reason why she seems stoic is because she hasn't gotten to talk/participate as much as everyone else due to being Put On The Bus.
Older Than They Look: Jimin and Mina, often dubbed the fake maknaes. The actual maknae Chanmi is a 1996er. The other two were born in 1991 and 1993 respectively.
Piss Take Rap: How many feel about the rappers, especially Jimin. Of course many others love Jimin's rap too though for its uniqueness and sass.
The raps in Elvis in particular are very... squeaky/whiney. And also make up over 50% of the song.
Power Ballad: "Without You". Also Choa's OST for The Bride of the Century.
Put On The Bus: Youkyung and Seolhyun/Hyejeong/Chanmi have this done to them depending on which unit is promoting.
Youkyung has this done to her the most since the dance unit is more active and she isn't given any other activies; and now both her and the band are on indefinite hiatus, to fans' chagrin. Music college is FNC's current reason for her absence, even though it's not impossible to to study while promoting and, considering her situation, hiding her completely with college is the last thing they should be doing. She's made more appearances recently though, which has sparked hope.
Seolhyun is already prone to this often enough due to her busy acting schedules, but she was also put on a longer one during Miniskirt promotions due to her injured knee.
Retcon: At debut, AOA was always stated as an 8-member group with Youkyung considered a member like everyone else, and both units considered equal. Once the fame of Miniskirt kicked in, FNC had Youkyung shafted to the sidelines and merely treat her as some random back up member while treating AOA as a 7-member group, and they nowadays acknowledge AOA Black as nothing more than a non-serious act that only play at FNC events. Many fans have gone along with this, sadly.
Recent songs have gotten this critique which is to be expected when working with infamous self-plagiarism producer Brave Brothers. Miniskirt is like a rehash of all his recent previous songs and Short Hair is often dubbed as Miniskirt 2.0.
She Cleans Up Nicely: Youkyung's evidently pretty like the others and already wears make-up as part of the job anyways, but some people had this reaction when she joined the others for a CF photoshoot (the photo on this page is part of it) and wore a miniskirt/stockings outfit instead of the usual shorts or pants.
She's Got Legs: All members. Hyejeong's are praised the most as she's the tallest.
Show Some Leg: Most of their outfits aren't shy about showing some legs, but in particular:
The miniskirt-zipping in the "Miniskirt" dance does this.
In the "Miniskirt" MV Jimin rips the outer layer of her dress away which shortens the hem hence shows off more leg.
In the cartoon teasers of "Short Hair" part of the girls' makeovers was to make the hem of their skirts shorter.
People think this is why Youkyung only promotes in the band as apparently her not wanting to dance/sing and being quieter than the others means she's too shy and hates the spotlight... which makes little sense she is in the music industry which means she does in fact want some acknowledgement of her skills. She is also friendly and talkative when given the chance - which is rare, therefore she appears as this most of the time.
Hyejeong used to be this until she picked up cheerleading and modelling, which gave her some confidence boost.
People who hardly know the band keep thinking Youkyung is this whenever she makes a rare appearance with the rest of the group. To a less extent, people who became fans or got to know AOA during "Miniskirt" promotions thought Seolhyun was one during "Short Hair" promo.
Juniel joked about being this with this◊ group photo of her and the group, where some couldn't exactly pinpoint which one was her. Many people did think she was going to be a member before their debut.
Youkyung was under the stage name Gaon when she was Sponge Band's drummer.
Statuesque Stunner: Her profile only says 170cm, however Hyejeong confirmed she's actually 172cm. She's also constantly praised to be the best-looking in the group with an admirable body and sexy charming aura.
Surprisingly Good Foreign Language: Jimin spent a few years studying in China with her cousin so she knows conversational Chinese. She was meant to enrol in a Chinese school when back in Korea, but chose to go to a music school instead.
Team Dad: Jimin, who is the 2nd oldest. Members say this themselves, saying she guides the group, is the strictest and has high expectations of the other members, naturally as the leader.
Team Mom: Choa, who is the oldest, and cooks for/takes care of everyone. Her age was made fun of in their 2nd Weekly Idol episode, where she didn't know the latest slang and an MC exclaimed, "You're halfway to 50!"
Tomboy: Jimin and Youkyung, who both have/had short hair and dress less femininely than the others, especially Youkyung whose outfits are often a tomboy version to the dance units' outfits (for example their debut showcase outfits, where she wore an Elvis-style shirt and pants outfit in contrast to their dresses). She also plays drums, which is considered a masculine instrument.
Learning bass was this for Mina, to the point of her crying from hurting her fingers.
Jimin getting Carpal Tunnel syndrome predebut was apparently due to practising guitar too much.
Translated Cover Version: Miniskirt and Short Hair for their Japanese debut. Many are disappointed considering FNC's legacy for giving their other artists original songs for their Japanese promotions.
The Unfavourite: Youkyung, with FNC, fans and members. Some fans want her to leave specifically because they think she deserves better, and many wonder why FNC bothered putting her in a "half-band" group (with the dance unit getting preferential treatment) instead of an actual band like her skills/intentions call for.
To summarise, the group is organized in a manner that solely excludes her in one unit and she's only entitled to a "half-angel/member" role while dance-only members get to be full members even though she isn't less talented than they are in their field. She's left out of most group activities just because she doesn't dance, gets no solo activities and is sometimes not even mentioned as a member at all note for example, a photo of the dance unit is normally used to represent the group and their events even when she is participating, she doesn't even exist on their Japanese site and she's treated rather offhandedly as some minor back-up member in their Wikipedia page. She has a solid fanbase but many other fans who are dance-biased aren't very concerned nor interested in her note fantaken photos and appreciation posts/comments for her are rare and group discussions in their official threads often don't even mention her at all, and they'll deny Youkyung's being treated bad and insist she's happy the way she is. And other members, though certainly not bullies, don't seem to try to be close to her - she's normally left awkwardly standing on the edge while the rest are in a group being chummy. Their 2nd anniversary video and its comments demonstrates the last two points well - there are many "Who is this? Is it a new member?" or "It's Youkyung's own fault - she said she only wanted to be a drummer, so she deserves what she gets" comments even from fans, and never mind that the girls blatantly ignore her at one point, standing shoulder-to-shoulder while she looks on uncertainly in the background.
"Bullshit. She’s awkward sometimes because no one really pays attention to her, she seems very talkative and friendly from the way she’s speaking. Yeah she might not want much spotlight but she’s in the business because of course she wants to be known and not completely shadowed by everyone. Also, sometimes she’s not introduced with the other members when they play in some music shows. On top of that, all the other members don’t seem to have a relationship with her. They all seem to get along when she’s always left alone trying to join in. Heck, I watched a couple of episodes of Cheongdamdong 111 and she’s not in it yet and when they went to AOA’s dorm, it said “the seven members live with two managers” which means she’s not with them even in the dorm. Even the show’s opening that introduces all the artists under the company only introduced AOA as seven members. This is ridiculous, it’s like she doesn’t exist. They should’ve at least let her be part of the dance group or be in a band that is only a band because her situation now is like as if she only ‘features’ in their songs and is not really a member. You can’t sit there assuming she’s fine with it because that’s impossible, she’s probably more upset than us fans."
Chanmi: she's the beloved maknae with the fans but has trouble with popularity - she is the least appreciated and exposed after Youkyung and has been a target for hate, being called rude and ugly even though she's as pretty◊ and friendly as everyone else. She has very few lines, actually has none in at least two songsnote Get Out was one of them but she was given one of Choa's lines in the live performance - even though she's a lead rapper whose rapping is preferred to Mina's and sings live 100% loud and clear which already surpasses half the group, who have been getting flack for lipsyncing and excessive backtrack reliance. She's also the group's best dancer, though their choreography never highlights that fact which has earned her a "useless" label by others. The unfavoritism was made clear when she (and Youkyung) recently didn't show up at all in their official photobook, because FNC wanted it to be a sexy concept and couldn't get the underaged Chanmi to participate, so kicking her off instead of finding a better concept was apparently the best decision.
Besides Chanmi, Seolhyun and Mina are this too in terms of line distribution as they often only receive 2 lines at best. Even though out of the other 4 members that sing/rap, Hyejeong (and maybe Jimin) aren't that much better than them.
Up to Eleven: 8 members, or as FNC first stated, "7 + 1 members".
Vocal Tag Team: Choa and Yuna in both AOA Black and the dance unit. They usually sing 75% of a song, with Jimin getting 10% with a rap and the other girls dividing up the remainder of lines between them (it usually goes: Choa > Yuna > Jimin > Hyejeong >> Seolhyun/Mina > Chanmi).
Rap Tag Team: Formerly Jimin, Mina and Chanmi, especially the first two. With recent songs it's just Jimin and Chanmi, though Jimin still gets a good 80% of their raps.
Youkyung is the only member who doesn't sing nor rap. She's rapped in one of Sponge Band's (her old band) songs though which has resulted in some fans wanting her to rap. She also doesn't get to talk much even when she does appear, and newer fans are often surprised whenever they do hear her speak.
Seolhyun has no solo lines at all in their debut song "Elvis", which has puzzled some and had people wondering if FNC had that little faith in her singing at debut.
Chanmi, as seen in The Unfavourite, has no lines in more than one song, even though her singing is on par with some other members and she's the second rapper.