BTS Show Their Perseverance in the Second Music Video for ‘ON’
Just days after releasing BTS ‘ON’ Kinetic Manifesto Film : Come Prima, BTS released a cinematic music video for “ON.” While the kinetic manifesto showcased the song’s choreography and the group’s performance skills, this new music video takes a different route.
The “ON” music video tells a story from start to finish, and is filled with biblical references and nods to past BTS eras. It’s completely different from anything BTS have ever done, but still captures the comeback’s message of perseverance. As they continue to try new things and push the envelope, the “ON” music video shows that BTS have reached a level where they only have themselves to outdo.
BTS’s ‘ON’ music video contains biblical references
The “ON” music video opens with imagery alluding to the Crusades. Jin walks through a war-torn field and finds a dove with an arrow shot through it. In the next scene, Jungkook runs through a field as an escaped prisoner with his hands still bound by thorns.
Jimin sings near a pile of drums and a boy who represents the little drummer boy. V lays in a field with his arms outstretched like a cross. When he opens his eyes, a young girl who is blindfolded sits next to him. Jin carries the injured dove in a cage, and the next shot shows RM surrounded by animals and a shipwreck, representing Noah. J-Hope and Suga also appear in biblical settings during their verses.
Jin heals the dove he rescued, and in the Bible the dove can represent the renewal of life. V removes the young girl’s blindfold, representing blindness being cured. Jungkook places his hands in water, which removes the constraints of the thorns. This could be interpreted as finding salvation through baptism.
The music video strongly draws on the Book of Exodus. V, Jin, Jimin, J-Hope, Suga, and RM are joined by a large group of people, representing those fleeing persecution. Jin releases the dove, and they are reunited with Jungkook. Together, they reach the promised land and climb a mountain that could represent Mount Sinai, where Moses received the Ten Commandments.
In addition to biblical references, the music video also seems to nod to pop culture. The mountain can be viewed as a reference to The Lion King, and the wall that separates BTS from the promised land alludes to The Maze Runner. The setting and wardrobe for the dance break have similarities to Game of Thrones, and overall the music video takes on a dystopian feel like The 100 and The Hunger Games.
How the ‘ON’ music video connects to past BTS eras
When Jin rescues the dove, he brings it back to a room of empty bird cages. As he clutches a bird cage to his chest, it is similar to when he tried to protect the flower in the “Fake Love” music video.
In the “ON” music video, the dove is clearly paralleled with Jungkook’s story. Once Jin releases the healed dove, Jungkook is able to find his way back to the BTS members. It’s a nod that even though this music video is like nothing BTS have done before, it could still be connected to past BTS music videos and universes.
When V removes the girl’s blindfold, the scene is quite similar to imagery from the music video for “Make It Right (feat. Lauv).” The “Make It Right” music video represented BTS’s relationship with ARMY and how the two look out for one another.
At the end of the video, Jungkook smiles as he runs up the mountain, reunited with BTS. They reach the top of the mountain and the text “No More Dream” appears, referencing their debut single. The text then fades to only show “Dream,” showing a new era has begun.
How this ties into BTS’s journey
Map of the Soul: 7 is an introspective album that covers BTS’s past seven years together since their 2013 debut. While it’s filled with nostalgic reflection, it also points towards BTS’s future. By making the album now, BTS found the perfect place to end one story and start another.
“ON” details BTS’s calling as artists and their perseverance and strength that carried them over the past seven years. The music video signifies BTS’s determination and ambition to reach where they are today. Through the allusions and references, the music video details the pain and hardships BTS faced. Despite this, they still reached the promised land together.
The “ON” music video shows that Map of the Soul: 7 is simultaneously the closing of a chapter and a new beginning. BTS overcame their struggles through their strength as a group and reached the dream they set out to achieve at their debut. Now that they have achieved this, there’s no telling what BTS’s future eras will hold.