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I Can’t Stop Watching These Two K-pop MVs

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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCD chapter.

Amidst the currently chaotic landscape in K-popland, the comebacks of two girl groups are welcome distractions; I’m talking about IVE and aespa. I’ve always been a casual listener of these two groups, but their new music videos (abbreviated to “MV”s) have made me a fan. The creative direction and the fantastical story in both MVs turned the viewing experience into short films. Beyond that, these MVs cement their identities as K-pop acts. 

“Supernova” by aespa

Watching this music video feels like a fever dream. So much is happening all at once! Karina lifts a car with one hand while holding a hand mirror in the other, Winter spins around a pole at superhuman speed, and Ningning sets fire to poor Giselle’s one-girl birthday party. Then at the end, everything rewinds to as it was before. And don’t forget that part where there were literal deepfakes of the four girls poorly synced up to the audio (why was that part included?).

If you felt confused after watching this, let me try to explain what is happening. Despite watching this MV many times, I can’t say that this explanation is perfect. Supernovas are exploding stars that are extremely bright. The lyrics compare the singer to a supernova, “blowin’ up crazy” with “light at the core.” They reference the supernova as something inside of themselves that they can control. Later, they ask questions about where they came from while recognizing that they are dying (“Bring the light of a dying star” and “Event’s imminent”). The song seems to use a supernova as a metaphor for aespa. The lyrics celebrate the power and light that a supernova contains while hinting towards the inevitable death of a star. As K-pop idols, aespa shines on the big stage, knowing that one day they will not be able to perform anymore. Another interpretation is that the supernova represents human life. This brings an existential tone to the song.

In the music video, we see that the girls relish using their superpowers. The plot focuses more on Giselle, who speeds up time to celebrate her birthday faster. She tries to verify her identity on her phone, which shows various images of her and the other members and asks her to choose which images are AI-generated. This is interrupted when Karina fires a finger bullet (or missile) that breaks Giselle’s phone screen. While celebrating her birthday, Ningning breaks into Giselle’s apartment and sets it all on fire. Giselle flees and rewinds time, presumably to have a better birthday. Other than that, I’m having a hard time figuring out why the AI captcha images are included. It implies that they are actually AI, but I can’t connect it to the supernova concept very well.

aespa’s artistic identity solidifies in this MV, with their penchant for futuristic concepts such as AI and sci-fi, as well as bringing back noise music. Seeing them embrace this concept makes me excited for their second title track, “Armageddon,” which comes out on May 27. 

“Accendio” by ive

Compared to aespa’s futuristic concept, IVE brings back the nostalgic magical girl concept. In the music video, Gaeul steals a magical wand from the evil version of IVE. The girls try to protect it from what appears to be their alter-egos. In the end, they successfully fight off their evil selves, but the wand reappears on the beach, where a child finds it. 

IVE always surpasses my expectations, improving in every comeback. This time, I was delighted to watch a fight scene (when was the last time you saw a fight scene in a K-pop MV?). I also adored the magical girl transformations. The cherry on top? Yujin flashing a villainous smile when she peers through the window. 

Both of these music videos stood out to me due to the plot. While it is certainly not a novel thing in K-pop, there have been fewer MVs with storylines. I hope these MVs inspire other groups to do more storytelling because it is highly enjoyable to watch.

Yesha is a biological sciences major at UC Davis. She loves learning about pretty much anything, and she used to have a studygram. In her free time, she enjoys reading, going to the gym, and arts and crafts.