Disclaimer: While I try to keep my posts as short as possible, I must warn that this one is fairly long.
Welcome back to the Music Video Theory segment of my site. Apologies for my very long pause on the segment. I had to drop it for a while due to my studies. I thought I was able to get through it all but it became a little too much, so I decided the best course of action. But I have kept my promise and returned to finish off what I started. Today’s music video that we will be diving into is UNB’s debut video, Sense.
I have previously touched upon the storyline during my Sense review but I did so in a very brief manner. Today, with the help of visuals and more research, I am able to deliver an in-depth description of what I think is going on. If you have yet to watch the music video, please watch it below before getting stuck into my theory.
The Korean Monologue
The music video starts off with a Korean monologue, taken from this YouTube video. Translation goes:
What we desperately wished for
I will remember this moment forever
Let’s never let go of our hands
Your warmth embraced my hands
Approached me like a warm spring
So we can last together
I’ll run to you and hug you tightly
So you don’t have to wait any longer
There are various interpretations for the above translation. A pledge towards each other, their commitment to their goals and/or a message for their fans who have supported them throughout tough times. Any of these can be plausible for my interpretation.
During the Korean voiceover at the start, we are introduced to three different worlds. The first features the dark tree (where most of the choreography were shot). The second is shown via the normal lighted hallway, which represents the original world. Finally, the third world is past all the different doors, which represents the alternative world. Any scene which features over-saturation of one colour, odd colours or a wavy effect is part of this alternative world.
Jun is the only member located in the hallway. Everything in this hallway is plain and ‘normal’. Compared to the rest of the video, there is no wavy effects or odd colouring (beside that one scene at the very start). Hence, it shows the original world. Here, each individual member of UNB is in their own groups (i.e. Jun is in U-KISS, Euijin is in BIGFLO etc.).
Each of the doors along the hallway leads to one of the other worlds. One of the doors Jun opens leads to the outside alternative world (purple skies). There is also another door to a room which is where Euijin and Chan are sitting in, which seems to be transitioning between the original to the alternative (at the beginning, everything is lighted normally but when we get to the end of the video, the painting at the dinner table takes on the wavy effect). The third door leads to the darkness and the lone tree.
The first door features Euijin and Chan, sitting around a dining table. A single candlestick is situated in the middle of the table and an abstract painting is hanging on the wall. As mentioned previously, I believe the two are in limbo between the alternative world and the original world. Nothing really happens to the two in the video. However, the room does start to change. The painting on the wall starts to adopt the wavy pattern and Marco (who is freed from the confines of the later discussed circle makes an appearance). I assume the room becomes part of the alternative world.
I am not too sure but the way Euijin and Chan stare at each other suggest tension. This is just how I am reading the scene, but it may represent competition. They want to compete to the be at the top, hence why they don’t interact too much with each (i.e. due to being in their own teams). However, they realize that the only way they can do so is by working together (as UNB), which may explain why Feeldog is there.
In this world, the sky is purple and there are wavy lines, showing how non-linear or unique it is. Throughout this world, we see Kijung, Daewon and Ji Hansol located in the fields. They form a triangle formation, similar to when they are lying asleep in their beds. My idea is that they entered the alternative world via their dreams. This makes sense to as they want to be at the top, but this is only possible at this time through their dreams.
Marco and FeelDog are also in this world. At night, they are standing within this circle made from light. And they don’t get to leave that circle for the entire scene. What is interesting are the stars in the background, making me think they are in the alternative world via wishes. They want to be at the top but for the time being, the only way possible is to continually wish and pray. Towards the end of the video, both Marco and Feeldog are freed from the circle and they roam to the alternative world (including areas in which are transitioning) (see First Door section).
A possible fourth door?
Before we move onto the third door, there might be a fourth door that we didn’t physically see. This door could potentially be the entrance to Hojung’s section of the video.
Like the first room, this extra room could be part of that transitioning phase. At the start of the video, we see the room unoccupied, which is quite eerie if you ask me. Inside the room, we see a bunch of TV screens showing the grey static ‘no signal’ image and a glass box partially filled with water. Hojung later appears in the room and is seen wearing headphones.
Based on my understanding of the scene, Hojung is currently stuck in the original world. The static TV screens represent the work they are doing. Very little or not that successful. He puts on the headphone, which is a clear representation of music but his facial expression doesn’t look too enthusiastic about things.
Daewon makes an appearance in this room, connecting this room to the alternative world. We see Hojung remove the headphones and drop them into the water before the screen become over-saturated in the orange colour, showing that it has become part of the alternative world.
This room features Jun. He opens the door from the hallway and enters it. In the middle of the room, a bare tree stands. It looks pretty much dead. It represents unsuccessful achievements and goals, as they were experiencing the original world.
Over this scene, Jun has a French monologue, which is quoted from a book (Les Nourritures Terrestres (The Fruits of the Earth)), which is about leaving a strictly ruled society and going onto a new adventure.
All knowledge that does not precede a sensation I do not need.
Looking in the evening as if the day were to die and, in the morning, as if everything was born there.
May your vision be at each near new moment.
The wise man is who wonders afresh.
The quote above simply can be interpreted about starting each day as a brand-new person and not to worry about the past. Take each new day as something new, regardless if you do everything the same as the previous day. The last line is probably the most impactful for the members. They will redebut as UNB (wonders afresh) and once they wrap up the UNB promotions, they will return to their original groups as ‘the wise man’. There, they will be able to bring their experiences and ideas to make their own groups better.
Once Jun touches the bare tree, it lights up. At the start of the video, the tree was not lit up. However, from the French monologue onwards, the tree was bright, showcasing regrowth and hope. The members were also wearing white in front of the tree during some of the choreography shots. White is known to represent innocence and youth.
I think this part of the video represents their belief. Jun believes that he (along with the others) are able to rise to the top. They just have to put in the hard work (i.e. their redebut) in order to be able to where they want to be.
At the very end of the video, we see all the members return from the alternative world. They enter, via the doors, all happy and thrilled. This represents the group finishing their time as UNB and their excitement of returning to their original groups. But this is not the very end, as the members appear to be partying and arm-in-arm with each other, showing that while on their journey in the alternative world, they formed bonds and friendship that they will live with forever.
And that wraps up my theory on UNB’s music video for Sense. If you have yet to check out my other music video theories, do so by clicking on Part 1 of each of the theories below, where you should be able to find the links to the following parts.
GOT7 Flight Log Triology Part 1
Monsta X The Clan Part 1
Dream Catcher Horror Series Part 1
Next up will be LOONA’s music video theory. I don’t know how many parts this one will be as there are many videos I need to re-watch. I also do not have a confirmed date for the theory, though I am looking at the next few weeks! Until then, thank you very much!