It’s the beginning of the end. On 19th April 2016, BTS released the first music video of their epilogue to the Hwayang Yeonhwa trilogy, initially odes to ‘the most beautiful moments in life’, but also to ‘the anxieties and insecurities that the youth of today currently face’. As before, with I NEED YOU and Run BTS have released a beautiful, highly visually stimulating, and cinematic music video that does not even need to convince you to watch. You are just pulled into it.
In anticipation of the album release on 2nd May 2016, a review for the EPILOGUE: Young Forever music video is a must, but it will be short as we wait for the album release. Still, there are definitely some initial observations to make.
As ever, BTS have captured us from the get-go. Slowly but surely, clues, signs, symbols are being revealed to us, hopefully answering some of the questions we had since the previous releases. We also hope it will give us a more comprehensive insight into the narrative that BTS have wanted to present through this trilogy. But three things single themselves out and make this music video so unique.
Firstly, the visual allusions and inclusion of snippets from I NEED YOU and Run immediately root Young Forever to the same story arc, and this also makes us – as an audience – very aware that there are definitely things BTS want us to notice. But at this moment, before the album is actually released, we can only speculate symbols and conclusions to some of the stories already set before us.
The second feature of this music video is definitely the setting. The music video first opens with all the members separated by the maze made of tubular fencing. Despite the maze, which is meant to contain and limit the members, the tubular fencing does the opposite: it opens up the scene and still allows the intense sunlight to stream through, for the members to see each other, and for the angelic-like down-feathers to flutter across the screen. Another interesting thing to notice are the thin strips of white ribbon tied to the fencing, seemingly similar to the tradition in Korea and Japan to tie papers of prayers to the trees and shrubs of temples. Perhaps there is symbolism in something…
We move seamlessly from the maze to the aeroplane runway. Due to the maze’s openness, the movement from the maze to the runway doesn’t seem so dramatic and yet, it is only on the runway scene that all the members come together.
The final thing that I have to comment on is the dating of the music video: 2015.04.29. Whilst some might say it is a mistake, we know that BTS would not be so careless. The date definitely has some symbolism, but that is all I can say for the moment!
Overall, BTS are tugging at our heartstrings, and making us wait in earnest for yet another amazing release. Whilst most people will find it hard to contain the excitement, BTS has definitely won over its fandom and the K-Pop world. Just knowing that this is the beginning of the end, just knowing that we might get answers to our many questions is both so electrifying and also saddening: I for one don’t want this to end. Ultimately, all we can is wait. But we all know that we are going to receive an fantastic comeback.
Review by Tariq