Last time we were left with three theories following our exploration of I Need U, the Prologue, Run, I Need U (Japanese), Run (Japanese), and the Epilogue, after creating and discounting various others on the way. I’m going to take a quick moment to recap on them, and then tell which one I buy into the most, and why.
Our first theory proposes that, at the end of the HYYH series, Jin is the only member alive. During I Need U, the other members, besides V and Jin, die in various way and V kills a man. Jin helps him by going on a trip together, in which we see them retracing a group trip they previously went on when all the members were still alive. At this point, it’s possible that Jin was imagining his friends still alive. V, unable to live the same lie as Jin, eventually succumbs to his grief and jumps, committing suicide. Jin, however, continues to act as if his friends are still alive, but it is slowly starting to dawn on him that this is not the case. With the guidance of his friends, Jin eventually leaves the toxic head-space he was once in, coming to terms with his friends’ deaths, and is ready to continue with his life.
Our second theory suggested that no one died during I Need U, nor its following MVs. Instead, we see the group in turmoil, engaging in dangerous and unhealthy behaviours. The group slowly spirals more and more out of control, but realise in time to save themselves. They later look back, reflecting on their past lives, and perhaps regretting how they handled their problems. But now, however, they’re matured, and are ready to move forward, leaving their dark pasts behind.
Our third and final theory proposes that Jin was in fact the first to die, before even the Prologue or I Need U took place. Throughout the MVs, Jin is continuing to exist with his friends, struggling to stay with them, without realising his death. However, he starts to understand that he is the only on in a different world from the others, and after his desperation to stay with his friends, eventually lets go and moves on. Furthermore, his leaving allows his friends to move on with their lives as well.
Personally, I find the first theory of Jin being the only one left alive to be the most convincing. Not only do I think there is a huge amount of evidence throughout the MVs, I also think it’s the smoothest of the theories, and the one that accounts for most, if not all, of the scenes and symbolism we see on screen. I also think that this clip, shown at the conclusion of the HYYH concert, cements this fact. Note I didn’t include it in the analysis formally because it was never officially released by Big Hit, BTS’ company, but I still find it incredibly relevant. Overall, I think the theme of Jin being stuck in the past with his friends, and needing to find a way to move on, is a really good theme to touch upon, and I like the way it was handled very much.
Before I leave, I want to quickly touch upon Wings, the 2016 album by BTS. This album is very special in many ways, and what I particularly liked about it is that all seven members have a solo song, something that isn’t seen very often in the K-Pop world. The album was initially promoted by teasers featuring each solo songs; Jungkook’s Begin, Jimin’s Lie, V’s Stigma, Suga’s First Love, Rap Monster’s Reflection, J-Hope’s Mama, and Jin’s Awake, before the group song Boy Meets Evil and the title song Blood Sweat & Tears. Throughout these videos there are clear references to the HYYH videos through both flashbacks and symbolism. However, I personally don’t think Wings is linked to HYYH for a couple of reasons. Firstly, Wings has an obvious source; Hermann Hesse’s Demian. Not only is this story quoted throughout the videos (in Rap Monster’s pretty impressive self-taught English, although I always giggle with his pronunciation of ‘realm’ and ‘egg’), but there is a lot of symbolism comparing the members to the characters. Secondly, Wings is very obviously thematically different to the HYYH series, and I just think the contrast between the two is to great to be linked. Finally, I strongly, strongly doubt that the creators behind HYYH thought far enough ahead to Wings. I think the links to the previous MVs is just to smooth the transition into a new theme. But hey, that’s just my opinion, and there’s plenty of people out there theorising them together.
I’m not going to do a post series exploring Wings, partly because I don’t find it as interesting as HYYH, and partly because I had enough German psychoanalysis in my years of psychology undergrad. However, this doesn’t mean that I’m not pumped for the second part of Wings, due to come out on the 13th February! Overall, HYYH has had a significant influence on launching BTS into the limelight, showcasing their talent across a range of skills, and introducing some interesting concepts. I wish BTS all the best in their future that I will continue to support!