3. NU’EST – Face
Speaking of dancing with chairs, it is honorable to mention NU’EST and their school-day concept for their first single, Face, a couple of years before BTS used the idea. It would become their debut single and was released on March 3, 2012. Beforehand, they released individual profile pictures to introduce them to the world on January 26.
They also dropped a music video teaser for the song in a 15-second video. They look like they’re in a dark, messy classroom.
The group released individual teaser videos for each member, in uniforms and using a school setting on March 5th (Baekho), 6th (Ren and Minhyun), and later, on the 11th (JR and Aron). Finally, they released the music video on March 14 and made their official debut on March 15. They might not show a clear school-day concept for their teaser images, but in the music video they use a school setting. The first clip shows the boys are sitting on chairs, then a school boy comes into the locker room to find his locker is filled with garbage. One by one, the group members pass by the bullied boy but JR, who sees the bully push the boy, immediately comes and confronts him. In the middle, there is a breakdance part in the darkness. In the end, when the bullied boy is sitting on the ground in front of his locker, Aron comes and offers his hand.
Although NU’EST doesn’t wear regular uniforms, they emphasize the problems faced by teens in school, like bullying. If you turn the lyrics translation on, it shows that NU’EST wants to encourage the bullied ones to stand up for themselves.
4. BEAST – Beautiful and I Like You The Best
Next we have BEAST, before their re-branding as Highlight, with all six members back in 2010. After receiving so much recognition as the result of their single Fiction in 2009, BEAST released their 4th mini-album, Lights Go On Again, on November 9, 2010, with their title track, Beautiful. They released teaser images previous to the album’s release.
They didn’t take school-day concept for their album, but they did use a school setting for their relay music drama video. The music video teaser came out on November 10. We can see the boys dancing in some kind of underground or isolated room, then it shows a clip of Gikwang entering a classroom and sitting beside a girl.
The music video was released on November 25 and became the first part of the relay music drama. It starts with audiences in the underground room, like in the teaser, then we can see Doojoon as a DJ while Hyunseung dances with two other guys. Not only boys, there are girls dancing, too. Then the clip shows Junhyung, Dongwoon, and Yoseob preparing themselves and waiting for their performance. The three of them come to the dance floor and from that moment, it’s clear the scene is about an underground dance competition as the audiences bet on the group. Then the song starts and they start dancing.
After that, it is revealed that all of them (except Hyunseung and Doojoon) are normal high school students and classmates, and that’s when Gikwang comes in as the new student. They all wear regular school uniforms with the school emblem on the left side of their jackets and red-and-black striped ties for the boys and bow ties for the girls. Unlike the other five, Gikwang seems to be a nerd and a neat student. The others seem to enjoy picking on him though, while Junhyung keeps sleeping in the class. After school? They go back to the underground activities, as usual, but Junhyung hurts his arm so he can’t dance for a while. Then a girl comes in, if she seems familiar, you’re not wrong because it’s Naeun from APink, before she was debuted. It turns out that Gikwang is also a dancer and joins the competition. Afterwards, the tension between Junhyung and Gikwang grows stronger.
A year later, the second part of the relay music drama was released on September 25, 2011, with another song from the album I Like You The Best. It starts off from the first part’s ending. Unlike the first part, the second one gives off a more serious and intense atmosphere. There is flashback of Junhyung with the girl and a reveal about Gikwang’s health condition. In this video, we can see Junhyung, Yoseob, and Dongwoon get themselves into trouble when they try to hurt Gikwang because Junhyung feels that he is intimidated by him. We will see more of them interacting in school.
From the two music videos, BEAST tried to focus on high school life either in class and after school activities, and for them it’s underground dance competitions. It also shows friendship and involves teenage love rivalry.
5. SEVENTEEN – Mansae
SEVENTEEN is known for their fun and jazzy songs. The often take concepts as if they were in high school, because most of the group was 17 when they debuted. They took the school-day concept and school setting for the Mansae music video. It was the title track of their second EP, Boys Be, which was released on September 10, 2015. The album itself is the second part of a trilogy of ‘boy falling in love with girl’. No wonder they finally took the school-day concept for their music video. Before the music video released, they released group teaser photos, starting from August 31.
They also released individual teaser images for the album days after that. The theme of those photos is more like casual summertime.
They dropped the teaser video for Mansae on September 7. We can see the boys wearing grey uniforms with their names patched randomly on their coat. It’s refreshing to see the glimpse of them dancing in uniforms. We can see there are clips in the classroom, too.
Finally, on September 10, they dropped the music video for Mansae. It begins with S.Coups turning on the camera to take a photo with the others. As expected from the teaser video, they all wear grey uniforms. They are each trying to impress the girl in their own way. It is also shown the school setting like classroom, gymnasium, hallway, and tennis court. If you notice, there are clips where some of the boys wear different kinds of uniforms, with a darker coat and white pants.
Around a week later, they released the performance version, on September 18, so we can see more of them dancing in their uniforms in a classroom, including bonus clips at the end of the video.
With all the school boys themes, there was once a controversy raised up after the music video was released. According to Koreaboo, someone commented that the uniforms were similar to EXO’s (referring the grey uniforms). However, many disagreed with that and said SEVENTEEN didn’t copy anyone, including EXO, and both have their own concept. Moreover, if we look closely, the uniforms SEVENTEEN wears has light stripes on it.
6. MYNAME – Baby I’m Sorry
MYNAME was announced to be having a comeback with the release of their second mini-album, and they released the first teaser image on June 25, 2013.
On July 1, they dropped a teaser video for the title track of the upcoming mini-album, Baby I’m Sorry. It stars the famous actor Yoo Oh-sung and MMA fighters like Choo Sung-hoon and Kim Donghyun. We can see the boys wearing standard uniforms: white shirts, grey pants, and blue-and-white striped ties. It looks like they are all in the middle of a fight with some gangsters.
They finally released the full music video for Baby I’m Sorry. Just like the teaser, the music video looks more like a blockbuster movie clip. It starts with a conversation between Yoo Oh-sung and Choo Sung-hoon at night. Then it continues to show the clip of four boys and they are seen having fun with each other at the beach, and of course, in their school uniforms. When Jinsuk comes, they realizes he was beaten and Gunwoo immediately goes to find the gangsters, to fight with them. When Gunwoo is nearly defeated, the other boys come and help him to fight. It turns out that Gunwoo is secretly working for some mafia boss, Choo Sung-hoon, which explains why he is a good fighter. Later, his friend Seyong, after figuring Gunwoo’s secret job, joins a mafia boss, Yoo Oh-sung, Choo Sung-hoon’s rival. The tension grows stronger as Gunwoo and Seyong are both ordered to kill each other’s boss. Too bad, Seyong can’t make it and leaving Gunwoo in rage towards his boss. However, things turn tragic for Gunwoo and all the boys here.
You can watch the full video below. We would like to warn you in advance that this video may contain considerable violence and blood.
Although they don’t really use a school setting, they try to focus on the friendship and brotherhood among the members while they are in high school. The video pretty much represents how most of us develop true friendships during that time of our lives.
Check out their other concept photos!