For some time, fans of K-Pop and manga noticed the striking similarities in visuals between SHINee's Taemin, and a male character from popular Japanese romance series 'Blue Spring Ride' named Kikuchi Touma.
Do you think they look similar?
A K-netizen who is a fan of both SHINee and the 'Blue Spring Ride' series did some research to see if Japanese fans had ever addressed the issue with the manga's author, Io Sakisaka.
It turns out, the question has been answered by Io Sakisaka herself! To a Twitter mention asking, "I heard rumors that the model for Touma was a Korean idol group member, SHINee's Taemin. Is this true?"
The manga author answered, "I've heard this a lot, and I regret to tell you that this is not true. I do not select specific models for my work. However, for Touma's hair, I did think, 'I'll go for a feel like Taemin or Yudai Chiba~' and went with the mushroom hairstyle! So it's not that I went with a certain model at all."
Check out the hairstyle similarities below:
Interestingly, it also turned out that the 'Blue Spring Ride' manga author Io Sakisaka is a SHINee World! In this tweet below, she wrote while watching a blu-ray of SHINee's dome tour: "Is that an angel? Or a prince? Is what I thought about Taemin."
The author also visited SM Town's Artium during a Korea visit and is known for a well-known fanart piece of Taemin, below.
Netizens reacted with comments such as, "TT Taemin does look a little 2-dimensional, perfect for a romance manga", "Wow the shape of that character's mouth is really similar to Taemin", "I had no idea [the author] was a SHINee fan!", "There are a lot of Korean manhwa artists who are also SHINee fans", "He really looks like Taemin", "Taemin, why are you in that manga?", and more.