BTS MVs (Hopefully) Explained
After watching Run the Japanese version, I decide to share my thoughts to the Army about what my opinions are for their extremely deep MVs.
I have seen many, many conspiracy theories concerning the boy band that we all love. Through it all, I still refuse to think it’s about them dying or getting depressed. V did not die, Jin did not die and most certainly not any of them died. Instead from the title, ‘The most beautiful moment in life’, the central of all the stories is their youth (around the age of 16 to 24?).
Let’s remember some facts, it will make sense later on,
1. The age of our boys (Korean ages):
Rap monster 23
2. Ace of clubs – “The prime motivating force for this card is an insatiable thirst for knowledge, combined with a desire for a deep and lasting union with someone who is emotionally compatible. Hence, the Ace of Club is always looking for his or her “soul mate”, believing that true marriages are made in heaven… Once a relationship develops, they feel as though their quest for knowledge has been stymied. When they once again apply themselves to their eager quest for knowledge, they lose the love they so desired! Combining their two great loves is the key to happiness.”
3. White lilies - While white lilies symbolize chastity and virtue… As the flowers most often associated with funerals, lilies symbolize that the soul of the departed has received restored innocence after death.
4. House of cards - an organization or a plan that is very weak and can easily be destroyed
My theory is that the MVs relate to their age and their journey into adulthood.
We all saw that Jin was constantly alone in many videos even in the HYYH On Stage DVD VCR. At the end, he looked back at their group photo and found himself alone. In INU, at the end (again), he pulled out the polaroid that only had him in the photo. Jin is the mathyung of the group, the oldest. Basically, he stepped into adulthood first and is stranded in this sort of Limbo state, where he is alone in the adult world while all his friends in their youth, still having fun.
Then the videos go onto the younger members.
First though, let me outline the key themes I think each video is about.
I Need U – the side effects of youth. All the sins a young person does that they later regret. Suga (
unprotected sex?) burns the motel down, thinking he can burn all his faults and start anew. This talks about destroying any evidence of their faults to avoid judgement or punishment.
Jhope is the depressed teenager who wants to escape the harsh reality by terminating his life. These are real life situations and I can totally relate. As I grow older, things get more complicated and we’ve all thought of a means of escape by death. My friend had a hard life as a child and to make it even worse, she self-harms thinking it’s an alternate route to suffer the mental pain.
Anyways, bit off topic. Back to the video, Jimin tries to drown himself. However by drown, I mean to silence the world. In water, sounds become murky and hard to understand. I believe that he is trying to muffle all the criticisms one gets at this age. Adults love you less and expects more from you. School, work, universities, it all suddenly becomes too loud.
V represents the children who come from difficult families. The most known cases are domestic abuse. He is a teenager living with his mom and his abusive (supposed) dad. He hates him and wants him dead as does many children with such families.
Then we have our leader, rap monster. Rap mon in INU has a role of a typical part-time-job teen. As I have learned from many Kdramas, smoking in Korea, for a teenager, means nothing to them but a way to relive stress. In Korea, the exams are (I think) extremely harsh, and many rebellious harmonious teenagers seek release through smoking. In his rap, he said “I tried everything but can’t help”, even though the song is about love, to this day, I highly doubt that the song is anywhere near the subject of love. In this case, I think he is talking about all the stress of adolescence. In the song, Baepsae, they admit that they are the cursed generation (for more information, Google 1990s and the Asian Financial Crisis, do some research). So their parents undoubtedly expect a lot from the children. Stress from parents, stress from school, yeah you get the idea hopefully.
Last but not least, our maknae Jungkook. Jungkook is a teenage boy full of hormones. He has angers at the world that are released through fighting. He deliberately picks fights with older sunbaes in order to release that anger. However, he is not yet strong enough to fight them, instead, he just gets beaten up.
HOWEVER! We also get snapshots of them spending good times together. This is talking about friends easing the pain. It’s a very lovely message, I think. Through all these bad times, it is your friends who will stay by you always. Not your girlfriends or your parents. But your true friends. This is further explored in Run.
Prologue – I don’t wish to talk a lot about the prologue mainly because I don’t really enjoy it that much. What with V jumping off the scaffold into the water and stuff. Very grim. So I’m just going to summarise some main points:
- Jin taping everything – to keep a memory of his youth to take with him to adult land.
- V supposedly killed his abusive father. He calls Jin, who is an adult, for help. Since murders are considered as adult offences, he has no one to turn to but his adult friend Jin. He is scared of what he had done. What he is also scared of, is the adult responsibilities he has to face for his murder i.e. the courts, jail etc. Also, since Jin has already been through the supposedly harsh era of being youthful, maybe he can help V through it all.
- “you need to survive” by rap mon, because they all know that despite how much they are suffering now, in the end, they will come through it all
- Friends are not solutions but a way to ease the pain.
- In the end, friends will be there to stop you from doing things, but you do it anyways.
Run – my favourite MV. Run MV and the song talks about the positive side of youth, yes, exactly the opposite of INU. Does it really though? In this explanation I’m going to go in chronological order of when things happen in the MV. If you have a laptop nearby, play the MV and pause if you need to.
1. Rap mon drops his lollipop into his coffee. First of all, ew. Second of all, I have no idea what it means. Because if his lollipop suggests a cigarette then he literally just threw his cigarette in his coffee and drank it. Yeah, ew.
2. Rap monster is the third in line depending on their age into adulthood. The fact that he walks into the party rather than already being there suggests that he is already distancing from youth. Whereas Jimin, who greets Rap mon, is still in his youthful age. Then again, what is Jin doing there? I don’t know. Escaping from adulthood by hanging out with the young ones?
3. Again Jin is filming everything. He needs a physical memorial of the youth that they share
4. Big, red cross on Jin. This means that he is already ‘out’. Out of their groups of youthful boys.
5. Rap mon and V being rebellious. Destruction of property by vandalising walls. Typical teenager thing to do. They are telling us that they are still young, free and not afraid of anything (even the police).
6. Jin builds a house of cards (see meaning above). He is trying to say that friendship built during their youth can be very weak and easily be destroyed. No matter how good a time they are having now, this will become nothing in the future but memories. He is also questioning, will their friendship last for eternity?
7. The scene cuts back to rap mon and V running away. Rap mon looks very scared. Is he scared of the troubles that this is getting him into? V, on the other hand, looks care free, he looks back at the police and smirks (and sticks out his demonic tongue)
8. Jin’s house of cards gets destroyed. The eventual break of their friendship? I would just like to say something here. As time passes, old friends become just acquaintances, no matter how close you were, you get new friends, in new environments and forget about you old mates. Is this what he is scared of?
9. This is one of the most confusing scenes in the whole of history. Rap mon and V got caught. Rap mon smirks at V but then at the police. We then see a smiling V but the smile quickly turns into a look of surprise. Did Rap mon betray V? Was he too scared of the punishment they were supposed to share? Saying that he wasn’t part of the whole vandalising thing and framed V? is this the end of their friendship that Jin has warned about?
10. J-hope jerks awake to find Jimin waiting for him to wake up. Oh no. did he fall into the long slumber of the real world and finally woke up to his fantacy with his friends? And the ace of clubs that Rapmon found upon the feathers (see meaning above), describes Jimin and Jhope’s current relationship. Soul mates. I think it describes all of their relationships. But as all armies know, Jihope’s relationship is one of the strongest within the group, at least that’s what I think.
11. One of my favourite scenes (mainly because Yoongi is my bias and so is Jungkook). Yoongi yells at Jungkook and Jungkook tells his hyung to stop. Yoongi is almost an adult. He is leaving his youth behind but Jungkook refuses to let him go. I think Jungkook really looks up to Suga in general. Like he seems to be the arrogant kind of guy who thinks they are the best and the others think so too so they don’t say anything about it. But Yoongi doesn’t care, he still scolds the maknae as he should. They make good friends because of that and results in Jungkook looking up to the older boy. This is why Jungkook really doesn’t want Yoongi to leave him behind. Jungkook hugs Yoongi only to be pushed away again. Does Yoongi want to leave his youth behind? Jungkook pleads for him to stay. Their friendship, like the broken mirror, like the fallen house of cards, tears into pieces.
12. Another one of my favourite scenes, Jungkook in a room full of partying people, sitting there looking at them as if he was in a dream. The camera zooms in on him and then zooms out again to reveal that there is no one there! What a plot twist (love me some plot twists). I love this scene because it completely pros my point. Jungkook is the youngest one, he is the last one to even reach 19 (the adult age in Korea) so obviously he is the last one to leave his youth. And until then, one by one of their hyungs will become mature adults and leave him to his youth, alone. He looks at the mirror and sees himself still as a boy. Oh and btw, Yoongi broke that mirror because he, inside, is no longer the boy he sees in the mirror, his outside.
13. There’s this really short (and cute) scene of Yoongi finding (a wild) an unconscious Jimin on the floor. Did Jimin just turn into an adult? Is Yoongi there to the rescue?
14. In the photobooth, we don’t really fully see Jungkook. Are they trying to say that, don’t worry Jungkook, even though we don’t look youthful anymore, we are still the fun people you once knew. We will not leave you alone in this scary world. Most importantly, we will not forget you.
15. Jhope alone on a hospital bed. He falls asleep back into his fantasy world with his friends (on Jimin’s lap). They all meet up in this surreal world.
16. Jungkook, alone, is once again found. He looks down at Jin. The maknae looking at the mathyung. Youngest and oldest. Their difference he realised, isn’t that great. Despite the age difference, they are very much alike.
17. The WTF is happening scene where they vandalised every single car in the tunnel. Well done them, very subtle. this shows their rebellious youthful side.
18. The ‘everybody hang out in the bath tub’ scene. A message to us armies, even though they are older, they are still the youthful, fun boys we met 3 years ago in ‘No more dream’. They didn’t change except for their age (
and hair). They are still reckless and full of energy.
19. The ending, resolution to everything. A message to Jin. “It’s okay, we are fine. Life is hard but we are surviving.” They run away together as a group. Away from the problems, as long as they are together, life is fine. Rap mon, in the end did not betray V, they ran away together to find the others. They are still together as one. The house of cards as Jin dreaded, does not exist and will never exist.
20. Also their running scene on the highway (?), I love it. It reminds me of their song Kil or ‘Road’, where they talked about their journey together as a group. They have come this far together, they will ‘run’ into the future together.
21. Jungkook smiles at Jin to reassure him that it’s fine. “We will come find you. But for now, we will enjoy as much of our youth as we can”.
Thank you for reading all this and thank you for putting up with my terrible English (there’s a reason why I dropped English right after my GCSEs). Also, the fact that I wrote an almost 2500 word essay just on their MVs, shows how much I love and appreciate our Bangtan Boys. Like I hate writing essays, and analysing stuff. But I had fun writing this. My first original piece. I hope people will agree with me on this, because I simply cannot live to think that they are about them dying. Nope.
P.s. The burning lilies…
i think they mean the dying of their innocence as boys. They are turning into a group of (fine) young men. I love them. So, so much.