the bangtan universe
the bts universe or bangtan universe (BU), originally called the most beautiful moment in life series/hwa yang yeon hwa series (HYYH), is a fictional universe that is centered on a series of music videos, short films, short stories, books/notes, and webtoons produced by big hit and based on characters inspired by the members of bts.
if you are still learning names, i suggest coming back a little later. the bu can get quite complicated and confusing as there are many different layers and theories accompanying it but it is very interesting and still an active part of the fandom.
before you continue...
trigger warning: contains mature content and heavy themes such as:
suicide, depression, and violence, view at your own risk.
may contain spoilers
“Seven boys. Best friends. Their fates intertwined through the good times together, but also the tough times, as they have gone their separate ways and suffered greatly as a result. When all is almost lost for these boys, one is given a special chance to go back in time and help his friends fix the mistakes that led them down this path. He’ll do anything to save them, but can he? Or is he too late?” -save me webtoon intro
in 2015 bts released their single ‘i need u’ & its music video. the mv shows a story of the seven members in an alternate reality, depicting their anxieties and uncertainties as they confront their futures. after this release, multiple pieces of content were released in this era and their third era. big hit then named this fictional storyline, the bu. the company wanted to create and put emphasis on an alternate storyline like the mcu (marvel cinematic universe) or star wars. from there, concept books (the notes), character posters, short films, and more were released under bu certified content.
bu certified content & links
bts wings concept book (2017)
the notes from ‘LOVE YOURSELF ‘her’(2017)
the notes from ‘LOVE YOURSELF ‘tear’(2018)
the notes from ‘LOVE YOURSELF ‘answer’ (2018)
‘save me’ webtoon (2019) (webtoon app)
the notes 1 book (2019)
the notes from ‘map of the soul: persona’ (2019)
‘we can laugh when we’re together’ 함께라면 웃을 수 있다 graphic lyrics (2020)
the notes 2 book (2020)
the storyline centers around seok-jin (the fictional character) who can travel back in time. however, he takes several attempts to understand he has this ability. eventually, he concludes he needs to use this ability to save his friends from making mistakes that could ruin their life.
i found this twitter thread very useful in understanding what order to watch and read everything
bu twitter thread
essentially, the notes are a diary, it contains short entries from each of the characters that sort of pieces the whole story together.
this dropbox contains all of the notes organized by character or by date, however you would like to read
or this is a google doc with the notes organized in a timeline, personally i found this one easier to understand but the drop box one is more authentic
-very pressured by his father's high expectations. he’s usually kind and happy, but the stress of having to save his friends makes him anxious and worried for them. his dream in life is to become a good person
-in february, year 19, he returns from the us and is transferred to the songju jeil high school where he first meets and becomes friends with the rest of the boys. they meet in the classroom-turned-storage room that they were initially assigned to clean, as penalty but after that, the room became their hideout where they often skip class to visit and talk about their dreams.
-after meeting a white, cat-like creature on the beach, he acquires the ability to travel back in time, although he doesn't realize this until his third travel. he uses this ability to try and fix his friends' fates as well as his own.
-he always played the piano with his mother as a child; however, after her death by suicide in a fire, he stopped playing the piano and has not been truly happy since, and the silence between him and his father causes him to yearn to leave.
-he is afraid of getting close to people due to the accident and his own self-destructive tendencies, so he prefers to keep them away. to remember what happened, he carries a lighter with him at all times and therefore is often symbolized by fire in the series.
-he was abandoned by his mother in an amusement park when he was a child, and he lived in an orphanage for ten years following the incident. he was diagnosed with munchausen syndrome.
-he enjoys dancing and always only ever shows his bright and cheerful side to others and he often takes care of ji-min.
-he has a part-time job at a gas station. he always watches others from far away and lives with a complex resulting from not doing anything for the people he cares for.
-he changed schools a lot due to his constant admission into and discharge from the hospital (before he meets ho-seok and the five other boys from the school)
-unfortunately, his happiness does not last long, as he is soon brought to the hospital once again.
-he was abandoned by his mother as a child, and lived with his father, a drunk who abused him and his sister.
-he frequently practices vandalism and later murders his father in an enraged attempt to protect his sister.
-Premonitory Dreams: he always have dreams preceding his friends destiny (there’s lots of theories on what this could mean)
-he is a shy and reserved boy and is often lonely and feels neglected, as his mother has a new family, and they tend to ignore him or forget that he exists.
-as a result of this, he battles with self-harm, depression and suicidal ideation. with the other boys, he is happy, but is always afraid that those days spent with them will come to an end.
i know this is all probably extremely confusing but really, if you want to piece it all together, watch the videos and eventually watch theories, etc. to get a better understanding, the way all of it is layered becomes very interesting. after all, this was just a basic overview ;)
and dont worry, it takes time, and it’s not mandatory to know, it just enhances the experience
this is the video i watched, it pieces all the mvs and short films in the timeline order, yes it is long, but again, it is a very interesting story. good luck!
bu timeline video