So I was planning on breaking down Lion, which is an astounding video, but it’s Thursday and Suga came out with this incredible trailer and I’m drinking orange juice with mandarin vodka so LET’S FUCKING DO THIS SHIT.
Previously on Fangirl Follow Along I broke down Obsession by EXO.
It was the first time I posted in over half a year, and it was so fucking liberating. And I was rewarded. With a comeback trailer. See, good things do happen.
Let’s go be emotionally vulnerable with Suga.
We start, as always, with the Big Hit Logo. Fuck, bro, I missed you.
So let’s just jump right into the imagery, shall we? First, we have the lampshades sitting in front of the blinds backlit with red. And it almost feels lurid. Menacing. Titillating and obscene. The longer I look the more uncomfortable I get, so I’ll move on.
The dark red that runs along the middle of the corridor and frames the doors feels a lot like something out of science fiction. Almost like what you would expect around zerg or alien breeding grounds.
In front of each of the seven doors is a shadowy figure. Each faces the door without looking towards Suga. Are these figures symbolic of the members? Of the album title? Of the years they’ve been performing? Probably.
At his feet are shards of broken glass.
And finally, we’re looking down on the entire scene, as if from above.
This is gonna be good.
SciFi horror. I fucking knew it.
And when the people pulp goes full static… just run.
Just… avoid at all costs.
The mirror is reforming from the shattered glass. If this were a movie, it would be the kind I send my husband to see with his friends. Because I am not joining in.
And I know I’m joking here about the ambiance of the MV, but it’s really perfect when you think about it. Suga has been open about his struggles with depression and self-worth. And that is scary. These feelings, these demons, they make you feel alone, even in a group. Even if that group is as close as your family. Which is demonstrated by the hooded figures facing away.
The mirror, shattered and then reforming in front of him, signifies introspection. Which is big. I mean, for the most part we still punish not only emotional openness but honesty and vulnerability. And here Suga is, not just looking at himself, but allowing the world to look along with him.
Adding in the unreality of the scene going in and out of focus pushes you into the mindset where nothing seems real. These demons, they’re insidious. They’ll tear you to pieces with a tiny errant thought here and a harmful little nudge there until you can’t even trust yourself or how you see the world.
This is just an astoundingly good representation of mental illness.
The mirror reforms, full of cracks, and shows another version of Suga. Like, I don’t even need to point out the symbolism here, do I?
I will, however, point out that he looks fine as fuck. In fact, consider this entire post one giant thirst post.
Oh damn, if I’d only waited another second.
Because HOLY SHIT the lighting looks like wings.
Speaking of lighting…
(It is well known that I feel good lighting in my jellies. Also known as “I get horny for good lighting. See previous follow alongs for examples.)
I mean… he’s open and vulnerable here… *shifty*
So for those of you not deep in BTS fandom, BTS’s second release and the first full-length album was named “O!RUL8,2?”
This is the cover.
This shit is deep.
Let’s go back to the people pulp so I don’t worry about Suga’s state of mind in 2013, which I can do little to change now.
Now, I love the angle of this next sequence.
Suga pushes away from the door and the camera shifts so it’s below him.
He steps over us (symbolism.)
Camera angle sifts again and he starts to run.
Angle switches again and he’s now Naruto running away from us.
A quick break to watch as he goes hard.
We cut back to him running past this open door into a (theoretically) empty room.
AND JUST SO EVERYONE KNOWS, IF THIS IS THE HOTEL ROOM HE SETS HIMSELF ON FIRE IN I WILL FUCKING RIOT.
I can only watch him die so many times.
So Suga is running and…
…stumbles onto this stage where he is on the edge overlooking a crowd holding up their cameras recording.
(Suga has previously stated he would like fans to not record, just watch their shows instead. And, like, not likely. I need the images from my concert because I blacked out for portions of it.)
(Oh my god, I saw BTS live.)
This has a very “oh shit, they’ve spotted me” video game feel to it. Honestly, I heard the alert noise from the original NES Metal Gear. (I’m thirty-six. Since I just dated the fuck outta myself.)
Looking down from above as broken shards of glass float around his head while he performs.
Back to the crowd where he looks like Baek from EXO. Don’t at me.
I’ve already dated myself, so does anyone else remember the episode of Scooby-Doo where they chase the Thousand Volt Ghost? That’s what this reminds me of.
No, wait. NOW he looks like the Thousand Volt Ghost.
We’re back to Suga’s demons. Literal shadows at his feet cast by the bright lights of stardom.
Silent Hill vibes are strong, here.
The faceless figures from before are now chasing Suga.
And you can’t tell from the still, but they’re pounding on the meat door. Which is really something I thought I’d write in absurdist smut and not a kpop follow along.
If he were a honeypot I would gleefully allow myself to be caught.
He raises his arm and the doors fly open.
There is no way this outfit isn’t a nod to the love yourself era MVs. Mic Drop comes to mind.
And the angles lining up with the lyrics, just so much love for this video.
I love that one of the faceless figures falls as he runs.
OH SHIT I JUST REALIZED THERE WILL EVENTUALLY BE A BEHIND THE SCENES BANGTAN BOMB OF THIS.
I… need to lie down.
And the demons catch up with him.
But look. In those menacing windows from earlier, more figures trying to get to Suga. I actually screeched “I KNEW IT” here and…
…my cat is not amused with me right now.
Reaching for him.
Circling as the lights get brighter.
They grab him and he lets out a breath and then…
I mean, it’s onto a performance stage, but still.
I love to watch him do what he loves.
Wait. Symbolism break.
Not an intentional pun.
But I’m leaving it in. Because I need to have a caption for each of these.
OH WAIT, CONTENT BESIDES SHATTERING.
Okay, so here we have Suga with wings and a crown which symbolizes…
Nope, fuck it. Just microphones breaking glass for the next forty-seven minutes.
Listen, in real time I loved these scenes. It breaks everything up and when you combine the breaks in flow with the shattering glass sound it really drives the point home. When I’m trying to grab screencaps, though, not as amusing.
It takes a lot of effort to grab the perfect shot for whatever my point is at the moment. And sometimes I stop at the wrong second and find a perfect shot but think “eh, I’ll get it again” and then can’t.
Like this one. I was trying to get the doors closing (below, two seconds) but got this fucking perfect cap of the lighting, his pale as fuck skin, and his neck as he looks just so done. If the fiasco I had with Suho in Obsession wasn’t so fresh in my mind, you wouldn’t have this image now.
So this is as good as it gets. Suga is standing still while the hallway moves around him, and as he speaks doors close behind him.
We get one last look at Suga.
Then we pan past this person in the crowd and…
…shit gets real.
We now don’t just have this pure blue light, but now have this red undertone that looks amazing with his hair.
Jesus fuck, what happened on that album?
So, while we repeat the “I wanna be” section once again, it feels strained.
And this is the end of Suga’s part.
Well, you see, after this, we get to hear from his demons’.
There’s no other way to put it. The whole song changes here. The melody, the lyrics, everything. It’s still featuring the red lights.
And now you know they’re sinister. They’re the things hiding behind those blinds at the beginning of the video. The dark thoughts.
When Suga goes, he goes hard.
He does not look comforted.
The effects in the room of mirrors are amazing, but hard to capture.
Wait, I almost got it.
This was as good of a punch shot as I got.
To be honest, I’m just as happy that he busted the mirrors. It’s easier to capture.
It’s just… really hard to know someone else suffers. Even if you don’t know them.
Even if they’re a beautiful kpop idol. (Especially if they’re a beautiful kpop idol?)
Cell cameras and weird effects.
Fade to just faceless strangers taking photos and that’s it. BTS has trailed their come back.
Map of The Soul: 7 ‘Interlude: Shadow’ Comeback Trailer by BTS
Released: January 09, 2020
Album: Map of The Soul: 7
Notes: SOMEONE FUCKING HUG SUGA
Watched Status: Watched. So many times. Because I am weak.
Reason: He’s basically an angel.
Favorite BTS video to date: Boy With Luv
Join me next week when I break down Lion. Since I was going to tonight and really want to watch the “classical musicans react” video for it.
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