the winter album

ASTRO’S True Debut

After talking with @sanhatation​ and @moon-hyuks​ for.. a couple of hours(?), we cracked the code.

Hide & Seek: So the girl and ASTRO are in two separate realities.  This is marked by the change of saturation between the two.  Anywhere ASTRO is, it’s overly saturated.  Anywhere the girl is, it’s rather dull in comparison.  The girl can’t directly interact with ASTRO and vice versa.  She only can interact with ASTRO through mirrors and shadows.  At the end of the music video, the girl wakes up.  She was only dreaming about ASTRO.  ASTRO were part of her dream.

Breathless: ASTRO are soda bottles.  They’re with the girl and they’re influenced by her.  If the cooler tips over, ASTRO falls.  If the cooler is shaken, ASTRO is also.  However, ASTRO still cannot directly interact with the girl.  At the end of the music video, ASTRO wakes up.  ASTRO were dreaming of the girl that once dreamed of them.

Confession: ASTRO and the girl are now together.  Both of them have direct influence on each other.  ASTRO makes the girl happy and keeps her company, the girl can put ASTRO in situations (like making them holding tennis rackets and then take them away, for example).  At the end, it appears that the girl is leaving ASTRO.  ASTRO were never real to her anyway.  They were drawings, hopes and dreams of a perfect boy projected into a drawing.

The more ASTRO and the girl could communicate, the more real ASTRO became.  Or did they?

To Be Continued:  The name doesn’t make sense.  What does “to be continued” have to do with what happened in the show?

If you think about it, it really doesn’t have anything to do with it.  What’s being continued?  Nothing.  This is where the drama ends, leading off to ASTRO’s debut.

The girl woke up in Hide&Seek.  ASTRO weren’t actually with her.  ASTRO were a figment of her imagination, and she wasn’t actually with them.  In Breathless, ASTRO were the one to wake up.  The girl was a figment of ASTRO’s imagination, and there wasn’t actually a girl.  Nobody really seemed to wake up in Confession, but ASTRO were just dreams to the girl anyway.  ASTRO has never been an object in reality.

But what about the new song, the new concept, which is a direct continuation of Confession?

For the teaser photos of 붙잡았아여해 (Should’ve Held On), you might have noticed the mattress in the bathroom.

What do you do on a mattress?  You sleep.  ASTRO is saying that they “should’ve held on” to this dream, because once they wake up (once they become famous and wake up from this perfect dream their careers have been so far), things might change.

ASTRO being with the girl has never been real from the beginning.  In Hide&Seek, they were in the imagination of the girl.  In Breathless, the girl was in their imagination.  In Confession, they were the hopes and dreams of someone.  ASTRO have been dreaming of these girls, of their fans, of their first loves, but none of it is real.  Not until now, until Should’ve Held On.

ASTRO are waking up.  For the last year, over a year, since To Be Continued, ASTRO have been asleep.  They’ve been dreaming about AROHA, wanting to meet AROHA, their fans, wanting to experience that first love with AROHA.  They haven’t been able to, though.  They’ve been dreaming about the experience.

This wasn’t ASTRO’s true debut.  It was a dream.  (It was a debut, but hold on, don’t get lost yet.)

In To Be Continued, ASTRO goes to the past, back to when they were high school students.  In Hide&Seek and Confession, they wear school uniforms.  Up until this point, every comeback has been in the past.

At the end of To Be Continued, what happens?  ASTRO debuts, but it’s with a concept quite different from Hide&Seek.  Surely when this was filmed, ASTRO knew they were going to debut.  They might not have known when, but Fantagio must have.  Agencies do tend to plan very far in advance.  Even ASTRO was surprised by their debut concept being Hide&Seek.  It was so different from what they did up until that point.

The following is an excerpt from XP Star Shot’s article “ Debuting with a Bright Concept? We Couldn’t Have Imagined It”

Let’s now speak truthfully. Did you think that you were gonna be debuting this zesty?
Moonbin:
Before debuting, I couldn’t imagine that we’d be coming out with this kind of image. Big Bang, BTS, etc., we covered a lot songs with a strong concept when we were trainees. We never really tried soft and cute so at the beginning when they played the song for us at the company saying, “You guys will be debuting with this kind of song,” I was really shocked. Since it was of a completely different feel. I remember how hard conveying ourselves and making (the right) facial expressions was.

That’s because they’ve been practicing and finding themselves for the last year and a half.  They haven’t made their true debut, the debut that comes at the end of To Be Continued.

ASTRO have debuted.  They had Hide&Seek with Spring Up, Breathless with Summer Vibes, etc., but none of it was real.  ASTRO’s true concept, their true “debut” concept, is still to come.  But they’ve already done their debut. The debut that happens at the end of To Be Continued is still in the future from right now.  

ASTRO have been practicing.  When they debut with their true concept, their next album (after Winter Dreams), then they will be awake from the dream they’ve been in the last 4 albums.

If the “debut” in To Be Continued is in the future from now…

Eunwoo would be right.  They have  done it before.  They have debuted already, but they’re still nervous because this would be a true debut.

In To Be Continued, MJ even talks about reality being cruel.  ASTRO’s reality up until this point hasn’t been cruel.  They have a very successful career as rookies.  MJ knows reality is cruel.

But Saeron has comforting words to offer.

If you look at ASTRO where they are right now, in 2017, they are prepared for the future.  They might not be the most well known group out there, but they are prepared.  They know how music shows work, they know how to promote their album, they know how to treat each other and how to treat fans.  They have been preparing ever since Hide&Seek.

TL;DR: ASTRO have been preparing, dreaming, up until this point.  Nothing has been real.  Their dreams (Spring Up, Summer Vibes, and Autumn Story) have been easy.  Now they’re waking up from those dreams (Winter Dream).  They’re been prepared since the beginning, and once they’re awake, they can truly live with their fans and first loves and experience reality.

To Be Continued - Episode 12 screenshots - source

Article translation excerpt - source

Extra contributions below the cut

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A Little List of Performances for Baby AROHA!!

PREDEBUT

  1. [COVER] View - SHINee
  2. [COVER]  Dope - BTS
  3. [COVER] The Chaser - Infinite
  4. [COVER] Just A Feeling - SES
  5. [COVER] Boy In Luv - BTS & Good Boy - Taeyang and GD
  6. [COVER] Bang Bang Bang - Big Bang
  7. [VCR] Puss in Boots (Cat’s Eye)
  8. [MUSIC VIDEO] Puss in Boots (Cat’s Eye)

1ST MINI ALBUM - SPRING UP (February 23, 2016)

  1. [MUSIC VIDEO] Hide&Seek
  2. [PERFORMANCE] OK! Ready
  3. [PERFORMANCE]  Hide&Seek
  4. [DANCE PRACTICE] Hide&Seek
  5. [PERFORMANCE] Morning Call
  6. [PERFORMANCE] Innocent Love
  7. [PERFORMANCE] Puss in Boots
  8. [COVER] Cherry Blossom Ending
  9. [COVER] Baloons - TVXQ
  10. [COVER] Couple - Sechskies

2ND MINI ALBUM - SUMMER VIBES (July 1,2016)

  1. [MUSIC VIDEO] Breathless
  2. [DANCE PRACTICE] Breathless
  3. [PERFORMANCE] Fireworks
  4. [PERFORMANCE] Breathless
  5. [COVER] Goodbye Yesterday - Turbo
  6. [COVER] Hatenai Sora - Arashi (Japanese)
  7. [COVER] Kesempurnaan Cinta - Rizky Febian (Indonesian)

3RD MINI ALBUM - AUTUMN STORY (November 10, 2016)

  1. [MUSIC VIDEO] Confession
  2. [PERFORMANCE] Confession
  3. [COVER] Replay - Shinee
  4. [COVER] Don’t Look Back (Immortal Songs 2 Performance)
  5. [PERFORMANCE] ISAC Aerobic Gymnastics Gold Medal Routine 
  6. [VARIETY] Girl Group Medley 
  7. [PERFORMANCE] Polaris
  8. [DANCE PRACTICE] Unofficial - Confession 
  9. [COVER] The Night the Stars Filled the Sky - Pramote Wilepana (Thai)

SPECIAL ALBUM - WINTER DREAM (February 22, 2017)

  1. [DANCE PRACTICE] Again
  2. [PERFORMANCE] Again
  3. [PERFORMANCE] You & Me (Thanks AROHA)
  4. [COVER] Love Confession - Jay Chou (Mandarin)
  5. [COVER] Para Bailar La Bamba - (Spanish)