Netizens have different thoughts on Irene’s return to Red Velvet

Some are happy to see her back, some want her to quit the group.

Ahead of their next comeback, Red Velvet ran a promotional event called Queens Mystic General Store through its official Instagram page. The event, designed to stir up old memories, saw the girls present various objects from their career.


They began by dropping what they called an “archive video” of the B-side “Somethin’ Kinda Crazy,” which was the third track on their first EP Ice Cream Cake. A series of videos, each of which featured a different Red Velvet B-side and member, followed.



On July 29, an archive video for the B-side “Perfect 10,” which appeared on their second studio album Perfect Velvet, was released. It piqued the fans’ interest because the member featured in the video was Irene.


The group’s leader had become a lightning rod for controversy following her involvement in a bullying scandal. Red Velvet’s popularity dipped, and the band went on hiatus. While most of the members pursued individual activities during their break, Irene stayed out of the limelight to let the furor die down. Her participation in their Queens Mystic General Store event was the first time Irene did anything remotely related to idol work since the scandal erupted in October 2020.



Netizens had a lot to say about Irene’s teaser. “She’s crazy pretty, but something about her is scary,” wrote one.


Another netizen opposed her return by writing, “I just want to see Joy, Seulgi, Wendy, and Yeri. Irene-ah, please leave.”


Still, there were some who expressed their excitement and happiness at the fact that Red Velvet will be complete when they finally return to the music scene this month. The last time they promoted with five members was in December 2019, when they released The ReVe Festival Finale LP. After Wendy’s accident at that year’s SBS Gayo Daejun, they suspended group activities and spent 2020 promoting as soloists or in sub-units.


On August 1, the girls held a live broadcast on V LIVE where they looked back on their seven-year career. For her part, Irene recorded an ASMR message for the fans (a clip of which is embedded below) then revealed what she did during the hiatus. “I learned a lot,” she began, presumably alluding to all the self-reflection she did in the wake of the scandal. She added that she also spent some time dancing, drawing and working out.



She then talked about dabbling in photography. Irene said that learning to draw changed the way she takes photos, but she feels that she’s not very good at drawing. Her members comforted her by revealing that she also took over all the household chores in their dorm during their hiatus. They said she even made them some delicious takoyaki from scratch once.


If her members’ revelation is to be believed, it seems that their leader really has turned over a new leaf. Whether that’s true or not remains to be seen.


Everyone’s eyes will be on Irene when Red Velvet returns with their sixth EP Queendom on August 16 at 6:00 PM KST.

Juan Leonardo Mauricio

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