NU’EST W: Separate into Different Universe
In the NU’EST W comeback, it seems like the fantasy narrative continues with the boys woken up in a different universe, with one Knight’s and the Queen missing. Fans said that those two are consumed by darkness, therefore they didn’t appear in this storyline. Cleverly, this depiction somehow also represents the real-world events in which Minhyun has to be on hiatus form NU’EST to promote with Wanna One for a year and a half. The word W in NU’EST W also stands for Waiting, in which the members would wait for Minhyun to return.
First, many fans have noticed that the boys are wearing the same silk outfits as in the previous, iconic “Love Paint” music video. They interpret that the events that happen in the “Love Paint” were all just a dream, and now they woke up in another, separate dimension.
One blog post from the fan captured the comprehensive breakdown and interpretation on this music video.
With the lyrics featuring that longing for someone who may be far away or one-sided, the music video plays out in various ways as the four remaining members appear to be lost in various forms of Havana, while still searching and longing for something. The fans are making connection about the two previous MVs, in which this MV represents the dream world, as all four members are inside their own representing bedrooms while also locked in their own worlds.
Multiple symbols link this theory; starting with the red butterfly that emerges at the start of the video. Within literature and movies, butterflies are often creatures of fantasy or in this case, a being that is currently being chased by the NU’EST members. Within their dreams, they are unable to reach the person they long for the most and in this case, the butterfly signals hope and the possibility of waking up to their loving reality once again.
Throughout the course of the video, this butterfly makes a frequent appearance in each world, which differs in how the members cope with their imprisonment. The first world holds JR, appearing to be that of a church. At the altar, he tries to pray for the dream to be a reality but his desperate attempts appear to be unanswered as he is welcomed by the butterfly. In another world, the youngest of the four; Ren, appears to be blinded by his own reality or innocence. Instead of remaining on his own, he is blindfolded in a red lace ribbon and driven into an abandoned quarry. His captive appears to be a mysterious ballerina dressed in red and concealed by a bejeweled mask. It could be questioned that she takes the form of the said butterfly or in fact the being that has broken Ren’s reality and left him in a lost world, away from his loved ones. Meanwhile, Aron is locked in a long series of hallways. The rooms seem to be never-ending, signaling his journey he makes through the dream world while leading by the butterfly once again.
Baekho’s scenes seem to be the most interesting in terms of imagery. Instead of certain worlds or scenes, he often saw with the association of water. His bedroom is flooded with the inclusion of blue accents – a typical color representing water. Soon, this turns into the sea as he is plunged deep underwater. This seems to depict that of helplessness and struggle as he attempts to swim back to safety. However, he is floating in his own dream state, unable to escape the drowning sensation of love and loss. It’s interesting to note that although there is no clear association or link, the scenes seem best suited to each member; Baekho has struggled with continuous rumors, JR has prayed and worked hard for his group to do well, Aron has gone through his own journey outside of the group while the other members were in Produce 101 and finally, Ren is the youngest, who has to bear the weight of his group through the long years of promotions and training. Within this, they face themselves in the dream world as they soon wake up; seeing the people they were before and their emotions. Both versions are represented by different colors, signaling both love and loss. The red is often seen in the dream world, which holds what they desire the most and reality is signaled with blue, portraying sadness and vulnerability.
As the worlds intertwine and the members wake up, they are left with one emotion; Hope. Either seen by the light that emerges in the dream world or the butterflies, all four members soon rely on it to break from the dream world and finally unite once again. Bear in mind that the fifth member of the full group, Minhyun, is currently absent due to his promotions in Wanna One, but the hope can still be applied in him. The W in the sub-unit’s name is noted as ‘Waiting’, which means they are waiting for hope to answer and for all five members to untie with their fans again. The light could be both their absent member and the fans which led them through the difficult times and brought them hope once again. Hope that brought them into the spotlight and giving them the happy ending they deserve in this story.
And indeed, the ‘happy ending’ will happen in the continuation of this narrative.