Memo: BTS Blood, Sweat & Tears (Japanese Version) Music Video Analysis Part 4

We’re not a blog that is dedicated to reviewing music (including Kpop), but because we absolutely adore BTS and their music, we decided to do a memo-style review of the Music Video (MV) for their Japanese Version “Blood, Sweat & Tears” (血、汗、涙 -Japanese Ver.-).

***Note: If this is your first time browsing the Drama Files, please read The Rules on how our Memo-style reviews work.***

***Note: We really wanted to analyze the Blood, Sweat, Tears Korean MV before, but we missed out on the opportunity. We thought this MV was very interesting as well, so we were really eager to share our theories about what they could possibly signify. There are definitely many theories, so we thought we’d propose ours. Our views are simply theories and purely speculative.***

Memo

Dear Reader,

There have been some questions regarding the recent release of BTS’s 血、汗、涙 -Japanese Ver.- (“BST”), particularly:

(1) Who/What does each member represent?

(2) How is the ending clip that is reminiscient of the “I Need U” MV connected to BST?

Conclusion

(1.1) J-Hope acts as a guide. J-Hope is Archangel Michael and Frau Eva from Demian.

(1.2) V is Max Demian (“Demian”) from Demian and the Devil/Lucifer/the Fallen Angel (“the Devil”) .

(1.3) Suga is Pistorius and the Old Wise Man (archetype).

(1.4) Jimin is Sinclair from Demian and Adam from the Bible.

(2) This will be answered in a subsequent Memo.

Background

Please read the first post to understand how this MV fits in with the other MVs and the different types of reality in this MV.

Please read the second post for more information on Demian and other important concepts.

Please read the third post for a detailed analysis of Suga’s role.

Analysis

(1.1) J-Hope acts as a guide. J-Hope is Archangel Michael and Frau Eva from Demian.

Please read the first post to see this analysis.

(1.2) V is Max Demian (“Demian”) from Demian and the Devil/Lucifer/the Fallen Angel (“the Devil”) .

Please read the second post to see this analysis.

(1.3) Suga is Pistorius and the Old Wise Man (archetype).

Please read the third post to see this analysis.

(1.4) Jimin is Sinclair from Demian and Adam from the Bible. 

Jubiemon J: We will first look at Jimin being Sinclair, then at Jimin being the Hero archetype, and finally at his being Adam from the Bible.

(i) Jimin is Sinclair from Demian.

Let’s do something a bit different this time and start by looking at his short clip called “Lie”. Rapmonster narrates from Demian‘s Chapter 1, “Two Realms”: “My parent’s house made of one realm. This realm was familiar to me in almost every way–mother and father, love and strictness, model behaviour, and school.” This part is towards the beginning of the novel, where Sinclair is recounting his story of self-realization. This passage, as a result, suggests that Jimin is also on the path to self-realization.

In the clip, we see Jimin by himself and he seems to be eerily looking at this camera and smiling. On the outside as in the external reality, Jimin is happy, but then we see that inner struggle within himself. We get a feeling that he is “caught in a lie” like his lyrics suggest.

1
Jimin forcing a smile
2
Jimin struggling internally – look at the dance too! He is covering his mouth, which is something people do when they’re trying to stop themselves from saying stuff. He’s resisting to tell his lie.

Then Jimin falls back and we get to see his inner world. We see him in a hospital bed and in this room that’s completely white. We’re getting the vibes of a psychiatric ward. After, we see a glimpse of a card that has the word “Eva” all over it. Frau Eva is who J-Hope represents from Demian. To be brief, Eva is like Sinclair’s mother and acts as his romantic interest (See J-Hope’s post for more). We know that J-Hope is involved here as Eva because J-Hope has been associated with pills in the previous BTS MVs. Eva also represents a symbol of completion and perfection; she has both masculine and feminine qualities. Therefore, Jimin is striving to find that perfection through J-Hope and we notice Jimin struggling via the pillow whacking.

3
Jimin struggling internally
4
Eva!
5
J-Hope and pills…
6
Seeking perfection

There’s also a sign that signals Jimin’s journey to find his self. The sign says Pulkkot Arboreteum 1.2 km. Pulkkot translates to Hibiscus, which is South Korea’s national flower, while an arboreteum is a botanical garden dedicated to trees. These likely allude to the Garden of Eden. Another point is that when I was searching for the meaning of the sign, I came across the Korean words: 불꽃 (“bul” + “kkot”). 불 means “fire” and 꽃 means “flower”. Together, they can either mean a flame, a spark, or fireworks/fire cracker (See here).

12

In the last chapter of Demian, “The End Begins”, Sinclair and Demian are soldiers at war and one night, Sinclair sees this giant godlike figure that looks like Frau Eva. Figuratively, she swallows up the soldiers and then cries out in pain. Stars explode from her forehead and one gravely wounds Sinclair. Demian lies beside Sinclair and says that he has to leave. Demian then gives Sinclair a kiss on the forehead, which is said to be from Frau Eva. Sinclair (the Ego) ends up merging with Demian (the Self) and Frau Eva (the Animus).

The Ego is our conscious self; it’s when we think of “I” and “me”. The Self is the consciousness, the unconscious, and the ego. Carl Jung believed that when you are born, you start out with the Self, but then you gradually develop a separate ego-consciousness in order to fit into society. During the later half of your life, you’ll spend time finding your Self again.

The centre dot is the Ego. The bigger circle and the inner circle make up the Self.

I think the sign, Pulkkot Arboreteum, does serve as a reference to this scene from Demian. Yes, it is likely the Garden of Eden, but it is also where an explosion will occur to cause Jimin to find his Self once more.

During this journey of self-discovery, Jimin will feel lost and confused. We see tons of clips of his struggles. That’s probably why the lyrics from “Run” are seen from the short clip: “Please stop me. Please guide me. Please let me breathe.” There also seems to be a reference to a verse from “Save Me”: “I’m trapped inside of myself and I’m dead.” That line is telling because Jimin is struggling internally like Sinclair and metaphorically speaking, his old, innocent self becomes dead due to this journey. In the end, Jimin succumbs to temptation and bites that apple. He leaves us with a smirk because he has now become wiser and knows more than us.

7
Struggling Jimin
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Burning piano – leaving his mentor, Pistorius aka Suga
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Sinking deeply into the darkness – remember how Taehyung’s fall into water is associated with turning “evil”? This is similar here.
10
Forbidden apple sinking deeply into the water
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Jimin fighting the urge to jump into the pool of water.
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Eating that apple
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Jimin smirking

We also see in the MVs that Jimin is searching for himself. In the Korean “BST” MV, Jimin begins his journey to self-discovery. Like Sinclair, Jimin has probably led a sheltered, innocent life and therefore, in the Korean “BST” MV, we see Jimin’s eyes being covered by Suga’s hands from the beginning.

15
Suga shielding Jimin’s eyes

As mentioned in the previous post, Suga is Pistorious to Jimin and Pistorius represents someone who is progressive yet still wants to cling onto the foundations of our society (See part 3 memo for more details on Suga’s role as Pistorius). Thus, it makes sense that Suga is the one guiding Jimin and colours Jimin’s lens of the world via the blindfold Suga puts on Jimin. Although Suga is allowing Jimin to explore and understand the world better, Suga is also restraining Jimin. Jimin, as a result, hasn’t succumbed fully to “temptation”/what people perceive as the dark side. We see in the Korean “BST” MV, Jimin still has not bitten the apple. He held onto it, but he didn’t bite it.

This situation is analogous to the one we find between Pistorius and Sinclair. Pistorius acts as a mentor to Sinclair and educates him about many concepts. However, Sinclair later realizes that Pistorius is archaic and still unwilling to let go of the set ways of understanding God (standard biblical beliefs). Upon this realization, Sinclair criticizes Pistorius and leaves him, meaning that the student has left his mentor.

19

We see this act of departure from Jimin in BST. In the beginning of BST, Jimin runs away from Suga who is by this piano. (Remember: this is the inner reality/psychical reality because Jin is looking through the lens of the painting.) Jimin is now on his way to explore and figure out himself by himself. We also see before this that there is another Jimin in this blue room. That is his innocent self that he will reunite with later.

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Innocent Jimin here
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Jimin pushing away Suga 
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Jimin leaving Suga
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Jimin running for his journey

This Jimin, which I’ll call Innocent Jimin from now on, is sitting on a chair that reminds us of those ones that we see in films where a patient is talking to his therapist/psychiatrist. Moreover, we also see that he is dressed more purely: white button-up shirt and trousers. That’s different from the sweater he wears when he is looking for his innocent self; that sweater reminds me of feathers/wings.

We see Jimin trailing behind Taehyung and Jungkook. V walks further away, leaving Jimin behind in the kitchen. Jungkook and Jimin are Sinclairs, so it’s interesting to see that they are tagging behind V, who is clearly the most “developed” Demian. Because Jimin has run away from Suga, he has “fully” succumbed to the “dark side”. Hence, we see Jimin taking a bite from that apple and the blender mixes some crazy colours.

Then we see Jimin and Jungkook restraining V to let J-Hope punish V. I think that makes sense because Jimin and Jungkook are still not as developed as V and there are times where they too are fighting within themselves about change. That’s seen throughout Demian where Sinclair goes back and forth about his feelings. He feels guilty for criticizing Pistorius, yet he still leaves him.

In the end, there is that battle between the two thoughts with J-Hope dancing in a room that has a ceiling of heaven in blue and then Jimin is dancing in the same room with the same ceiling in red. We know from J-Hope’s post, the boys can’t stick to the old belief system and so J-Hope “loses”. Jimin is covered in red in the external reality where he is looking into a mirror at himself, while Jungkook is covered in this grey smoke in a red washroom.

red jimin
Jimin dancing
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J-Hope dancing

At the end of this journey, Jimin is able to reunite with his Self that’s in that blue room. Suga is covering the Innocent Jimin’s eyes because he probably doesn’t want the Innocent one to be completely tainted.

However, the two Jimins make eye contact and merge together. I’ve talked about how Sinclair merges with his other entities so this scene represents that unity. That’s why as soon as the two Jimins combine together, Jimin is shot back to the external reality through that weird neon-coloured whirlpool.

jimin revelation of truth
Jimin being shot back

(ii) Jimin is Adam from the Bible.

Jimin is the one that has an apple in his hand. Adam bit the apple from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam couldn’t resist the temptation and gave in. Similarly, Jimin gives into this temptation to know more and leave his sheltered life. Because of that, Jimin goes through some painful trials and “chaos” ensues.

JM and that apple15

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