K-Pop: ONEUS MVs

Screenshot of Kim Geonhak (Leedo) in the ‘Come Back Home’ MV. Copyright goes to ONEUS and RBW.

Hi! It’s Annie!

I’ve been really anticipating the ONEUS concert in a couple months and so that, for me, means that I watch MVs over and over and over again. And watching ONEUS’s performances and MVs is always entertaining for the stories and imagery that they use in each of them. Some of them are more story heavy than others, but I’m always a fan of the way they utilize each of the members individually as part of the MVs. I personally think the imagery in ONEUS’s MVs is some of the most gorgeous imagery in the K-Pop industry. Part of it may be their more graceful style of dancing that pairs with their beautiful and unique songs; but part of it is also definitely location and mood. After all, ONEUS did originally capture my attention because of intriguing thumbnails to their MVs. So I’m going to go through some of my favorites of their MVs and what they entail that makes them so addicting to me personally. This is your one and only MAJOR SPOILER warning. If you want to go into the MVs blind, then don’t read beyond this point!

Come Back Home:

This has to be one of my favorite MVs of theirs because of the storyline alone. This is also one of the main MVs that started the association of sword imagery with ONEUS. This MV alternated between individual shots of the members dressed in white, a dance performance at a theatre, and the middle of a medieval battlefield. All of the members are sword fighting with men in black and seem to be losing for much of the MV. Most of them are pretty scraped up and, heartbreakingly, in the middle of the battle is a child who is very obviously crying. While all of them defend the child to the best of their ability, one of the men in black traps him which causes Leedo to jump in front of the kid and take the blow for him just in time. This was an apt choice in member considering Leedo closely connected with the child actor on set and chose to get his college degree in child development. Thankfully, Knight Leedo doesn’t die. He’s able to turn around and take down the assailant. At the end we see the members of ONEUS all surrounding a throne that the child is now sitting on; meaning that the Knights of ONEUS were protecting their King this entire time. I’ve always loved Medieval themes to literally anything and was absolutely thrilled when I saw this MV. There’s sword fighting! What’s not to like?

LUNA:

If you want to see the gorgeous imagery I was talking about, this is the MV to start with. Each of the members have their own personal background themes, which distinguishes each member more. I kind of wish more groups would adopt this idea in their MVs because it really is a great way to make each member of a group stand out. Leedo starts out the MV on a rooftop at night with the moon in the background and holding a fan, Seoho continues with a more military style inside a gorgeously decorated house, Xion appears with long hair and a red background with a staircase to a traditional style painting, Hwanwoong appears in a room only lit by lanterns, and Keonhee appears in a low lit setting with perfectly pink cherry blossoms. This MV is particularly lovely for the traditional Korean imagery and the fan choreography. And the backgrounds do change for some of them, with some of them appearing inside with traditional decorating or outside the house under the cover of night. Each image makes you want to be transported directly into the video.

No diggity:

This is definitely a more hardcore song and the imagery reflects this. Hwanwoong gets a lot of the choreography that feels hard hitting and has a more playful graffiti style to his personal shots. Leedo is extremely intimidating in an all red suit with a half ring of fire behind him or he crawls on the floor next to a cannon. Keonhee has crystals underneath his eyes and sits at a table surrounded with people as he messes with them. Seoho has some extremely awesome looking black eye makeup in a hallway that is flashing between red and white. Xion is in a room that is on fire in the background with a statue of a horse in it. They all are very obviously villainous in these roles, and they look intimidating as they sing at a potential rival to back off of their girlfriend. For the lyrics of the song you might have expected a more noble type of theme, but I really like how they went for a more villainous and intimidating vibe.

Twilight:

This MV was obviously done on location at this beautiful historic building. It looks like an old fashioned style mansion and it has gardens all around it. It’s the perfect site for the choreography for this song, which is really graceful and incorporates a lot of lifts. This is the perfect MV for showcasing how much ONEUS has a focus on unique beauty. I don’t think any group quite captures this regal feel like ONEUS does.

Bring it on:

This is another one that features a more villainous theming for them. We begin the MV with the members all in the back of a van with sacks over their heads and their hands bound. The majority of the MV seems to take place at an odd amusement park that looks more creepy than fun. Leedo once again starts us off inside the theater at the park where he is still tied to a chair; though this also cuts to a shirtless Leedo looking villainous in a run down bathroom. Hwanwoong is in an elevator that shows a cityscape but he’s also playing a dangerous looking card game with Xion. Keonhee is in what appears to be an arcade, but not long after we see him it becomes apparent that there’s a bomb counting down with him. We see Seoho outside behind a fence outside of the park with some clown imagery in the background. Xion also appears to be in a dangerous situation as he is strapped to a wooden board that is made to look like a playing card, while also playing that dangerous card game with Hwanwoong. They all appear at the end running on the top of a moving train that, by the end of the MV, they appear to have taken control of.

TO BE OR NOT TO BE:

This MV is based off of Shakespeare which makes sense considering ONEUS has used Shakespeare in a few performances before. For example, if you haven’t heard their cover of ‘Be Mine’ by Infinite, I highly recommend it. I love it so much, it’s such a beautiful rendition of the song. That one adapts ‘Romeo and Juliet’, though I do feel it doesn’t focus on each individual member enough. In this, the members are depicted in a thorn like cage as well as their performance shots. Hwanwoong starts us off this time in a white room full of pure white flowers, while Seoho appears to be in between laying in white sheets and also strapped to a post with red lighting, Leedo is in a bathtub filled with what appears to be blood, Keonhee is in a white room where he is blinded by a blindfold and surrounded by flowers, and Xion has black running over his hands in a room with a gnarled tree in the background. But along with this we also see Keonhee standing above what appears to be a bleeding and dying Seoho whose situation only gets worse as the MV goes on. All of them are tempted by the same crown that they all seem to reach for but are tormented by. At the end of the MV they are all fired upon by a firing squad, but all endure despite it. At the very end, Keonhee ends up wearing the crown they were all tempted by. Go Keonhee!

There are so many other ONEUS MVs and all of them are so worth watching. Their imagery is breathtaking and the choreography always packs a punch at the same time it always looks so graceful. And it’s interesting that the group seems to enjoy covering both noble aesthetics as well as handsome villain aesthetics. And I’m very glad that they put so much effort into singling out every single member and giving each their own aesthetic and theming for most of their MVs. I know that a lot of idols have talked about struggles with not being distinguished from the other members of their group enough and I definitely understand the want to be seen as an individual within a group. ONEUS makes this a priority, which I always love to see. But seriously, if you haven’t started stanning ONEUS, this is your sign to do that. Their music is gorgeous, it’s unlike anything else in the industry, and they’re constantly passed over when they shouldn’t be. They deserve more than they get and I hope that they get some more recognition for their amazing contributions to music as a whole. I can’t wait to see them in concert! And so close!

Note: I did not want to address this again, but the situation is still a bit out of control. I know that these MVs contained another person. Due to Leedo’s words and the wishes of every single member of ONEUS, the omission of this person was entirely purposeful. ONEUS is a five person group and wishes to be seen that way. It’s that simple.

See you across the pond!

Sincerely, Annie

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