(Update in Progress – December 2020)
BTS has come a long way since I started following them. I haven’t been there from the beginning, but I did become a fan right around the time they started to gain recognition in South Korea. The music they made from 2016 to 2018 is probably my favorite. It’s been really cool to watch their journey over the past five years and see how far they’ve come. I never could have predicted all the success they have had, and I’m genuinely proud of each and every milestone they achieve. That being said, I must confess that my enthusiasm about them has significantly waned since I moved to South Korea.
As my blog indicates, I’m very much a multifan. My style is to live in the now and follow whichever groups are promoting at this moment. It’s hard for me to maintain hype over groups, so I usually go all in on a comeback and then move on to something else – otherwise I get bored. I do this with all groups I like, even my favorites. Unfortunately, this method does not work with BTS because that’s not how most people stan them these days. Since they’re obviously super popular in South Korea, I don’t have that opportunity to take a break and recharge because they are everywhere. And on top of that, I’m not vibing with their current music as much as I was with the Love Yourself trilogy. So to tell the truth, I have become much more of a casual listener over the last year or so. But although I’m not as invested in BTS as I used to be, I remain proud of everything they’ve accomplished and I continue to look forward to what they will do in the future.
Have I seen them live? I’ve seen BTS twice at two large multi-group concerts. The first time I saw them was in 2016 at KCON France when they had just released “Fire.” The second was in 2019 at the SBS Super Concert in Gwangju right after they released “Boy With Luv.” So, they were two very different times in BTS’s career. Unfortunately, I didn’t have great seating for either of those concerts so I saw them from *very* far away. I’d love to see them live at their own solo concert, but that might be impossible now even under normal non-COVID-19 circumstances.
First member I recognized: RM. I no longer remember why I wrote this back in 2017, but I think it was probably he had a really distinctive look the first few years of BTS’s career.
First bias: Jungkook. This was before I was aware of our significant age difference (darn K-pop stars and their ambiguous ages), but I really admired his dancing skills and thought he was very charismatic.
Current bias and why: I’ve actually changed biases fairly frequently over the years, which is pretty rare for me. I went from Jungkook to Jin for a couple of years, and then I settled on Jimin in 2018 or so. But somehow I’ve now come back to Jungkook? Weirdly enough, I think it’s because of BT21 merchandise. I have a lot of it because it’s so easy to get here in Korea, and I buy a lot of Cooky stuff because it fits my aesthetic. (My aesthetic is basically pink LOL.) I guess this has somehow translated into me subconsciously paying more attention to Jungkook or something like that. Though I was talking to my best friend about this, and she was like, “I’ve always gotten the impression you were a Jungkook fan.” So I don’t know.
Favorite song: “Blood Sweat & Tears.” It’s just such an excellent song, and one that I still frequently listen to four years later.
Favorite album: Love Yourself: Answer. Normally I would try not to pick an album that’s a repackage or compilation, but that whole trilogy is a time that I remember fondly. And there are songs from both Her and Tear that I really enjoy. Most importantly, I choose Love Yourself: Answer because has two of my favorite B-sides: “Euphoria” and “I’m Fine.”
Favorite MV: “Run.” Though we’ll never know what the deal is with this complicated plot line (Is Jin dead? Are the rest of them dead? Are any of them dead?), “Run” remains a powerful story that really captures the restlessness of youth and the strength of friendship. And although BTS’s music videos are always stunning, this one has stayed with me over the year. Though I will say that “ON” is a visual masterpiece.
Favorite era: “Blood Sweat & Tears.” Everything about this era is just gorgeous. This is the time when I looked at them and thought, “They really are a top tier boy group.” I still have a lot of nostalgia for this era, and looking back, I realize it was probably when I was the most invested in BTS.
Favorite fashion era: I will always love those colorfully printed suits BTS sported during “IDOL” promotions. Iconic.
Favorite choreography: “DNA.” It’s so entertaining and engaging from beginning to end, and there are so many great pieces. The part in the middle where they form the link is so memorable even years later.
Who I think is the best looking: V has seriously become so handsome recently. I don’t why I’m just noticing this because he’s always been good looking, but I guess I’m just noticing him more these days.
Who I think is the cutest: Jimin. There are times when he’s very manly and not cute at all, but his smile is just so sweet and pure.
Favorite singer: V. I’m not as picky about the vocal line as some people, but his deeper voice makes him stand out from the others.
Favorite rapper: Suga. They’re all great, but I tend to like rappers with a higher tone.
Favorite dancer: Jimin. He’s really just such a beautiful dancer. Even if Jungkook is apparently my bias now, my eyes always to go Jimin when I watch BTS performances.
NOTE: The cover image is from when BTS was shooting their music video for “Dynamite.” It was originally posted on BTS’s Twitter, which you can see here.