The Key Difference Between Korean ARMYs, and International ARMYs
The producer of BTS and Big Hit Entertainment, Bang Si Hyuk, revealed how he believed international ARMYs are very different from Korean ARMYs.
During a lecture, Bang Si Hyuk explained to the audience that for BTS, the narrative and storytelling is the most important part of the group’s concept; however, Koreans rejected that idea at the beginning.
When I first planned for BTS and proposed the idea and concept, what I actually felt was that the fans from Western culture and Japan caught and understood the storylines really fast. In Korean culture, on the other hand, I felt there was even rejection at first.
— Bang Si Hyuk
He got a lot of feedback from Koreans asking him to just create cool songs and dances for their “pretty oppas”, rather than make them try to understand “useless” storylines and discuss different theories.
In comparison, international fans appreciated the deeper meaning in BTS’s Hwayang Yonghwa Trilogy (HYYT, aka “The most beautiful moment in life”) extended play movies, released as three-part albums, straight away.
It was Bang Si Hyuk’s intention to show Korean fans that K-Pop can have deeper meanings and more enjoyable storylines. He also mentioned alternative universes, which are known as “AU” and are very popular in international BTS fanfiction, and said it was his job to show them in the narratives.
The release of BTS21 and BTS World are expansions of this worldview. And there could be an intersection of where these different worlds meet.
— Bang Si Hyuk
There were a lot of fan theories created by international ARMYs about BTS’s HHYT videos, with most concluding that the story is about growing up and maturing.
With the release of the Wings album, international ARMYs theorized that Jin is basically the only real person in the narrative and the rest of the members are a part of him, based off excerpts and concepts in the book Demian by Hermann Hesse that are featured in the music videos.