"Find me and I'm gonna live with ya," the boy group claims as they roam the green pastures of a seemingly mythical land in their largest-scale music video to date.
BTS took their millions of fans by surprise with the sheer scale of Map Of The Soul: 7's title track "ON" and its previously-released Kinetic Manifesto film, but nothing could have prepared the avid fanbase for the song's official music video.
With a length of nearly six minutes, "ON" departs from the band's (and K-pop's) usual format, choosing to focus completely on storyline rather than also depict official choreography. The video opens over a battlefield, bodies thrown across the land as member Jin looks down at a wounded dove and kneels down to help it. Whatever happened in the field that brought so much destruction is not included in the video, however the metaphor of BTS helping the wounded white dove is difficult to miss.
BTS are no strangers to intricate storylines spanning multiple music videos, but "ON" feels like something new entirely. Fans of the Maze Runner trilogy may find certain similarities to the books' storyline and the aesthetic BTS plays with in their latest comeback, a sense of fighting for hope and freedom running clear through. As Jungkook runs away cuffed from an unseen threat, V stands in front of a set of massive stone doors, and RM leads the group past the doors caging them in, the video seems to reflect a variety of tropes common in literature, but that music videos rarely have — let alone explore as well in just five minutes and fifty-five seconds.
Map of the Soul: 7 is a celebration of the group's upcoming seventh anniversary, a detail remarked upon with the members only coming together at the end of the music video as they finally cross the stone doors and rise as one. Like the group's previous videos, the locations featured seem to play a large part in the storyline: beautiful green fields standing in contrast against the member's battered up states only furthering the sense of something more, some bigger story, taking place. And while it isn't exactly clear how this storyline plays into the group's previously-established universe, it's safe to say fans are more than eager to see where the group will go with it!
The group under BigHit Entertainment is currently enjoying promotional activities with schedules in the U.S., having recently gone viral with their participation in James Corden's Carpool Karaoke as the group prepared for their biggest release to date.
Earning over 11 million views within the first five hours of its release, fans expect "ON" and Map of the Soul: 7 will be the comeback that completes the group's full transition into Western mainstream media.
What do you think of "ON"? Was it everything you expected? Let us know in the comments below!
Cover Image: BTS (BigHit Entertainment)
Written by Vale Papili