BTS continues to break molds and shatter records as their latest music video for “ON” breaks 10 Million views within the first hour.
In promotion for their latest album, Map of the Soul: 7, the South Korean septet had previously released a Kinetic video for their lead single and Thursday morning (Friday 12AM KST) they dropped then official video for the empowering new song.
Like any BTS video, there is a lot to take in both visually and symbolically. The video begins with a shot of Jin in a field of arrows that have shot down birds and people alike then panning out to see Jungkook running through a field as he looks back to an enclosed cage like structure. Inside we see V and Jimin both observing lifeless children, V with a blindfolded girl and Jimin with a boy holding a drum. In another shot we see Namjoon in front of a wrecked ship surrounded by animals, giving off the idea of Noah’s arc. Then we see Suga inside what seems to be a church lit with candles accompanied by a mass of people. Now we also see Jin protecting something inside a cage.
Throughout the video we see the transition of Jungkook running trying to escape with his hands tied by a rope of spines and at one point he falls and is seen with a crow atop him as J-Hope stands to the side. Later on Jungkook rises and heads into a river to remove his shackles and raise a shell to ring the cry of freedom. At the same time, the doors to the concrete structure holding the other boys in suddenly opens to reveal more land which quickly becomes a forest with a large rock formation in the distance as Jin releases a white dove into freedom. The six men walk out of their captivity with the children and more people following and later are joined by Jungkook atop the rock. We see 7 white doves flying as the 7 boys make their way to the top of the rock, lead by Namjoon. The doves could represent the seven members who can now fly high with their musical and artistic freedom or it could represent their dreams which had been shot down time and time again before (as hinted at in the room where Jin is surrounded by empty bird cages where he hides one bird/Dream with a cloth).
The entire video is full of symbolic moments which can be interpreted in many ways. The video can be seen depicting the struggle the group went through from their beginnings to where they are now with their success. Going from feeling trapped in a society that did not expect them to succeed to being at the pinnacle of their careers as they reached worldwide popularity. This is also backed up by the final words shown in the video “No more dream” which transition into “Dream”. Another nod to their past as “No More Dream” was the title of their debut single in 2013.
Another theory is that the children and mass of people they are with represent their fans as the little girl who was blindfolded to be protected from the horrible events surrounded her had the blindfold removed once they were free. Symbolizing how BTS tries to protects their ARMY and lead them to a better future through positivity.
One cannot oversee the dystopian like references to The Maze Runner, Lion King, Birdbox, Attack of Titan and more. As well as the biblical references with Namjoon depicting a figure like Noah and Jungkook’s Savior like figure similar to Jesus. This theme was also showcased in the third photo concept for their album which portrays the last supper.
The videos sets and landscapes are also reminiscent of the Connect BTS projects that have launched worldwide which encourage us to become one with art and nature.
Take a look at the video below and chose your theory. Whichever you chose, thing is clear, BTS are spokespeople of freedom from oppression and violence, which has been their message from the start.