"Our name, INFINITE, means 'limitless'. We never put a restriction on our possibilities, and we will always improve."
INFINITE (Korean: 인피니트, Japanese: インフィニット) is a South Korean male group consisting of seven members who debuted under label Woollim Entertainment in June 9th, 2010. It used to hold previous label mate Epik High and is home to rock band Nell.The boys were Woollim's first attempt at an idol group, due to the need of a dire source of income at the time, and bringing them out into the scene almost bankrupt the company. Worse was that they met little success. It wasn't until the year 2011 that they pulled a break through with their comebacks. Working their way from the bottom to the top, they were recognized for their impeccable synchronized dancing and popularized the common knee float move by impressively incorporating it into their choreography with their song BTD; the part in particular is now dubbed as the "Scorpion Dance". They hit it big with Be Mine, landing them their first music show award, and it was an uphill climb from there on.Taking advantage of the momentum, they continued with Paradise, and then 2012 saw the release of The Chaser. Critically acclaimed, it landed first on Billboard's "20 Best K-Pop Songs of 2012". With their fans increasing and popularity expanding at a quick rate, they are slowly ranking as one of the top boy groups in South Korea, able to match numbers with bigger names in the industry, and becoming a force to be reckoned with.Members:
Art: In some sense. L loves and enjoys photography with a passion. He has an innate talent for it and is self-taught. He also has a penchant for drawing/doodling (as does Sungyeol to a more skilled degree). He recently released a best seller photo essay book called L's Bravo Beautiful, where it showcases his photos while unintentionally, if we take in the translations so far, presenting another impressive hidden talent in writing.
Brutal Honesty: Sungkyu is a little too honest when it comes to expressing his thoughts and feelings sometimes.
The Chew Toy: Sungkyu. On Weekly Idol, INFINITE's variety shows, and even some take a stab at him in interviews. All in good fun of course.
Concept Video: Paradise. And funnily enough, it's their most 80s-sounding title track.
Cover Version: INFINITE has done quite a bit. They've danced/sung tracks like TVXQ's Mirotic, H.O.T.'s Candy, Wonder Girls' Tell Me, Girls' Generation's Gee, and Shinhwa's TOP and Wild Eyes in music shows.
They have covered songs like Jay Sean's Down, Usher's You Got It Bad, Neyo's Closer and So Sick, Chris Brown's With You, Jason Mraz's Lucky in varieties (acapella) and radio shows. This includes Korean artists, as well as label mate Nell and prior label mate Epik High.
The Danza: L as "L" in Salamander Guru And The Shadows and Kim Myungsoo in What's The Deal, Mom.
Death Glare: L's charming feature is his intense eyes. So it's no wonder he could pull murderous glances off. It's even the main reason he got the part of Jiu in Jiu - Special Investigation Team, who's a silent, serial killer and only speaks with his expressions/eyes. When the director witnessed L's audition, he remarked that the character was real.
Determinator: The bunch of them. Despite the odds, which they were aware of, they still pushed on, holding unto faith, and repeatedly stated that they would work harder every comeback. It was rewarded.
In their Sesame Player, at the time when Over The Top was released, there was an episode where they escaped from the managers to have a little fun. It ended up with them walking the streets and doing impromptu promotions once they realized no one was playing their song (at least when they passed by). They went into each store that wasn't blasting Be Mine, asking - quite embarrassed - if they could put it on and replay it for 24 hours (and the employees did, with an exchange of them bringing attention to their shop), and finished it off with a small unplanned fan sign at a record store. After everything, they were so tired they knocked out on their ride back to their dorm.
The Eighties: INFINITE's trademark unique sound for a majority of their music, with a modern twist. Mixes in with some 90s. Paradise and Inconvenient Truth, however, are incredibly mind numbingly 80s. The beginning of Man In Love with the drums made quite a few people feel they were about to get Rick Rolled at first and the female laugh in the start of Inconvenient Truth appears to intentionally/unintentionally make homage to the one at the start of Duran Duran's Hungry Like The Wolf.
Engrish: INFINITE has it kind of bad. It's pretty funny.
Nothing Sober. Or Yakisoba.
We got the orange juice, yeah! (it's actually "we got the all the chance, yeah", which is still grammatically wrong)
Eyes Always Shut: Not entirely, but Sungkyu does get picked on jokingly by others for his small eyes. Sometimes they actually do appear that way.
Fanservice: From shirt rips to abs/chest being exposed (Hoya, Woohyun, and Sungyeol), to never ending heart throwing and cheesiness, and "official" shippings. They have, as a male group, provided indeed.
L's especially skilled at harmonization, and usually ends up being the support whenever Sungkyu covers a song. It helps that his voice has the right timbre for it to mix well with others. Dongwoo is also a very notable mention.
Has a Type: The never changing "long, wavy hair and innocent" by L.
The Heart: Dongwoo. He's sweet, kind, helpful, humble, smiles and laughs 24/7...even the members adore him. Hating him is like kicking a puppy.
L has shades of it. Both him and Dongwoo share similar traits, the only difference is that L has more of a mouth on him and isn't as readily selfless. Those two get along with the entire group and are warmly loved in return.
Heroes Love Dogs: Birth Of A Family, where they had to take care of puppies until they were adopted.
Both Over The Top and Paradise had a small, different (one had the members conversing at the beginning, the other didn't) teaser of That Year's Summer, which was later added to Infinitize as a full song.
In the iTunes and physical album versions of Over The Top, Real Story has a hidden track that starts at 6:48.
Infinitize had one member message each album.
Each New Challenge album has a hidden track containing an instrumental to one of the songs.
Improv: Man In Love definitely didn't make synchronization its focus. Other than the tuned moves here and there, you mostly see each of them improvise and do random stuff in-between. In their press conference, they said this time they were going for more freestyle and individuality, which matches the mood of the song. Say Sungjong's leg is wider than the rest in one part or off angle - they let it slide.
Innocently Insensitive: In MBC'S Radio Star, Sungkyu mentioned a situation where L was drinking away his sorrows about What's The Deal, Mom being canceled with the CEO and Sungkyu came over to comfort him. At the time, there was a related search term about Sungkyu's album being a failure (wasn't true), and while L was thankful he was there, he eventually got drunk and stated "but it's okay because you failed, too". Sungkyu ignored it, but L continued to talk about it, unaware of how sensitive the topic was, and Sungkyu eventually snapped "Didn't the drama get ruined because of you?" (untrue). It turned out not a big deal, however, as they ended the misunderstanding by getting over their hangover together during breakfast and they're one of the closest members.
Sungkyu himself plays this trope due to his Brutal Honesty and some of his comments.
Intercourse with You: Around the raps. Beatles Code 2 presented a specific one from Paradise by Dongwoo - "Every night, I filled me with you". The members were supposed to decode it. Sungjong turned it PG, Sungyeol was much more obvious but still sugarcoated it, and L...blatantly stated it meant they had sex.
Japanese Series: L's first ever acting role was in the Japanese Drama Jiu - Special Investigation Team. He played the titled character, Jiu.
Korean Drama: A good portion of INFINITE members have gone into acting -
Other than that one Japanese Series, L made a cameo in Salamander Guru And The Shadows as Code Name"L", played Lee Hyunsoo in Shut Up Flower Boy Band,...Kim Myungsoo in the sitcom What's The Deal, Mom, and a small role playing the younger version of So Ji Sub's character Joong Won in The Master's Sun.
Sungyeol played Yun Sojoon in the sitcom While You Were Sleeping and had a cameo appearance in Adolescence Medley.
Hoya played Kang Junhee in Reply 1997. Noteworthy in that he took on a gay character role.
The Klutz: The amount of times L's slipped and/or tripped on stage and off is quite something to behold.
Lady of War: Dongwoo's older sister, Jang Kkotip, who sword dances.
Lighter and Softer: She's Back, Nothing's Over. Man In Love would be placed alone, but the entirety of New Challenge is this.
Lyrical Dissonance: Inconvenient Truth. It's very peppy 80s and rather catchy. The song is about a boyfriend who's quite bothered with his girlfriend's dangerously short skirt and the prying eyes that are obviously watching. He doesn't want to force her to do anything or wants to fight, but he feels rather uncomfortable of the attention regardless. Some fans felt that it was close to being, or is, a Misogyny Song once they read the actual translated lyrics.
Nothing's Over. It's a really happy sounding song. But it's about a break-up.
Lyrics/Video Mismatch: Majority of INFINITE's music videos have nothing to do with the actual lyrics of their title tracks. The exclusions are Nothing's Over and Man In Love.
Manly Tears: INFINITE has been driven to tears quite a few times, mostly when they win awards, and at concerts, where the reality of just how far they've come and just how many fans they have hits them hard.
The Merch: Being a boy band and doing concerts, naturally they will have official merchandise with their Iconic Logo on it. They have cups, towels, toilet paper, pencils, pens, necklaces, bracelets, light sticks are a must, stickers, postcards, napkins, etc. Their ''earplugs''◊ even have their logo.
When doing Birth Of A Family, you could see the cups, napkins, and towels being used.
Minimalism: The group name "INFINITE". Relatively simple, but meaningful and grandeur.
Mr. Fanservice: Hoya, skin showing, and Woohyun, skin showing and cheesy lines. But Woohyun...goodness, Woohyun. He has an infinite amount of heart throws and versions.
And it has unfortunately spread to all the members.
No Sense of Personal Space: Dongwoo. L too, with his excess of skinship, but he has a limit in not squeezing/touching butts (he has done so here and there, but not as much as Dongwoo), rubbing nipples, and...whatnot. Though no INFINITE member really gets bothered.
Odd Friendship: Sungkyu and Woohyun. They didn't like each other back when they met in trainee days due to differences, yet now they share the tightest bond with one another. Sungkyu actually said that if it wasn't for INFINITE, he wouldn't have associated with Woohyun.
Shower Scene: L partook in this twice. First in You Are My Oppa and then in the Come Back Again MV. Both never went over the Shoulders-Up Nudity. Come Back Again did show a glimpse of his then baby abs however. That'll be the last time too for Inspirits (so far).
Spell My Name with an S: Sungkyu/Sunggyu. It's officially romanized as Sungkyu (though both versions are acceptable), but fans have gotten used to Sunggyu due to subs.
Stage Names: L for Kim Myung Soo, and Hoya for Lee Ho Won.
Swapped Roles: Unprecedented and unintentional. INFINITE's maknae line (Sungyeol, L, Sungjong) are the oldest in their families while INFINITE's hyung line (Sungkyu, Dongwoo, Woohyun) are the maknaes in their families. Hoya sits comfortably as the middle child for both sides.
Teen Idols: Though they're all in their 20s, and even Sungjong's going to be 20 this year.
Theme Naming: A custom for all Korean families is that the males share a syllable of their name, particularly brothers. The INFINITE members are no exception with their families. Woo Hyun and Boo Hyun, Myung Soo(L) and Moon Soo, Sung Yeol and Dae Yeol, etc.
They Are All Grown Up: Sungjong's a main example, but once you see past videos and photos, there's a difference between the INFINITE of 2010 to the INFINITE now. It has partially helped that their stylists finally got what fits each one the best.
Sungyeol loves Americanos [coffee]. Though he stopped drinking it due to finding out that after an excessive amount of cups in one day, he had an irregular heart beat and it's genetic.
Training from Hell: As usual of idols. Woollim even provided a video. INFINITE trained so hard in their dancing that they have injured themselves, and they practiced basically 18 hours a day with rarely any good sleep. Even now, though they don't have the time as they used to due to schedules, they still put hours of effort into their choreography as best they can.
Uncanny Family Resemblance: INFINITE members and their respective siblings. Dongwoo's older sister is a spitting image of him for instance.
The Unfettered: Hoya. He's really set on his dreams. Couldn't have a girlfriend once he became a trainee? Broke up with her. Didn't help that he had to leave Busan and that it would have been a long-distance relationship. Had a slim chance of debuting due to his Busan accent? Worked on getting rid of it (though he can switch it on and off). Criticize him? He'll work on proving you wrong.
What Could Have Been: INFINITE originally had five members, with L as the maknae. Sungjong and Sungyeol (who came in right before You Are My Oppa) were added later.
Interestingly, you can witness the initial five member line-up when they covered TVXQ's Mirotic dance in 2010.