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Music / ONEUS

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Six monarch-vampires ready for war. L-R 

"It's not just about singing well and dancing well on stage. We have to show our own interpretation of the song so that viewers can enjoy and appreciate our performance."

ONEUS is a South Korean boy band that debuted on January 9, 2019 with the song Valkyrie and mini-album Light Us under Rainbowbridge World (RBW).

As of September 2020 they've released: 4 Korean mini-albums, 1 Korean single, and 2 Japanese mini-albums.

Nicknamed by media as "stage geniuses" and "trust to watch", ONEUS bring a sense of theatricality to their performances, and have been praised for their musical theatre style of storytelling through their music, lyrics, choreography, and acting.

ONEUS also carry an overarching storyline to their music videos, as outlined below:

Long ago, the human world was ruled by six monarchs. They were admired by everyone. But Helios, the God of the Sun, resented the monarchs. Blinded by jealousy over the humans' worship of the monarchs, Helios threatened the humans to make the sun disappear forever.


Eventually, the frightened humans sacrificed the six monarchs to Helios. Helios sent the six monarchs and their servants into exile, and created a world of eternal night, cursing upon them an endless thirst for the blood of the humans they cherished so much. Nevertheless, the monarchs only drank blood from evildoers, and continued to love and protect their dear humans. However, their cursed servants were disgusted by the humans' betrayal. Every night, they slaughtered human beings without mercy. They worshipped the moon and waited for a child to be born on the day of an eclipse - a child to be used for a ceremony to bring an eternal night.

On the day of the eclipse, a child was born as prophesied. The devastating war between the monarchs and their servants to protect the child lasted ten years. But as they tried to cut the neck of the last marquis who led the servants...


"When the red moon appears again, I will come back for the child."

The night the red moon rose, after a fierce battle, the monarchs found victory. The souls of the defeated were sealed inside a necklace. Yet the monarchs realized that as long as they existed together humans could never escape their bridle of pain.

"Call us Ishmael."

Leaving this statement, the monarchs also relinquished their souls into the necklace. Helios' gaze disappeared into the eternal darkness beyond the unreachable sun.

Meanwhile, Helios grieved the loss of his son, Phaethon. His grieving sorrow turned to anger and that anger soon fell upon the monarchs who had fled to the darkness. Helios stripped away the monarchs' power and imprisoned them in a chamber made of the shattered remains of the sun chariot, sending them into an endless slumber. The only way to ever regain their strength and to escape was in taking the blood of the prophetic child's descendants that they so dearly loved and tried to preserve. This was the most powerful curse that Helios could bestow upon the monarchs.

Now, hundreds of years have passed since they have fallen into their slumber...

  • Ravn (Kim Youngjo, born September 2, 1995)
    • Main Rapper, Producer, Lyricist
  • Seoho (Lee Seoho, born June 7, 1996)
    • Main Vocalist, Rapper, Acrobat
  • Leedo (Kim Geonhak, born July 26, 1997)
    • Main Rapper, Lyricist, Vocalist
  • Keonhee (Lee Keonhee, born June 27, 1998)
    • Main Vocalist
  • Hwanwoong (Yeo Hwanwoong, born August 26, 1998)
    • Main Dancer, Choreographer, Vocalist, Rapper
  • Xion (Son Dongju, born January 10, 2000)
    • Maknae, Vocalist, Visual


ONEUS provides examples of the following tropes

  • Absent-Minded Professor: Seoho can be a cross between this and Bunny-Ears Lawyer, with a touch of Genius Ditz thrown in.
  • Album Intro Track: Every album to date excluding single album In Its Time has included an opening track that sets the themes and motifs for that album's concept.
    • "Intro: Light Us" from the debut mini-album Light Us
    • "Intro: Time" from Raise Us
    • "Intro: Fly Me to the Moon" from Fly With Us
    • "Intro: Lived" from Lived
    • "Intro: Devil is in the Detail" from Devil
    • "Intro: Window" from Blood Moon
    • "Intro: Who Got the Joker" from Trickster
    • "Intro: Eden" from Malus
  • Animal Motifs: Each member is represented in official posts as an animal:
    • Ravn: A black cat (often with his dog, Sunny, on top of the cat's head)
    • Seoho: A squirrel
    • Leedo: A chick
    • Keonhee: Bunny #1
    • Hwanwoong: A tiger
    • Xion: Puppy (or sometimes a deer)
  • An Odd Place to Sleep: Ravn, Seoho and Hwanwoong tend to fall asleep at odd places. Ravn even falls asleep when he makes music sometimes.
  • Arc Words: Everything to do with Moon or variations of it (ex. Luna, 달). Most notable examples being title tracks Luna and Lit.
    • Album Lived have the examples of: "To Be or Not To Be", "Do or Die" and "Dead or Alive".
      • This motif is shared with the album Trickster. Where the chorus of it's title track Bring It On has the "Do or Die". While in the english version of Bring It On RAVN instead of singing "do or die" sings "To Be or Not To Be"
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: With a wig and a little make-up, Seoho easily passes as a beautiful woman.
  • The Baby of the Bunch: Xion is the maknae. He is treated as such as well, talking about how his hyungs take care of him.
  • Badass Baritone: Leedo. He has a very deep voice in which you can hide giraffes and is the type to fight zombies, according to an interview.
  • Band of Relatives: Downplayed. The ONEUS members aren't related, but Xion's twin is in the brother band ONEWE.
  • Befriending the Enemy: They were supposed to be rivals to Ateez during their first Weekly Idol episode, but they befriend each other faster than the M Cs can really set this up. Especially the ending is this trope to the max.
  • Big Eater: Keonhee and Xion.
  • Bishōnen: All of them. Especially Xion during Luna era.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: ONEUS have never shied away from horror themed performances, but Come Back Home and To Be Or Not To Be were definitely a step up in terms of blood and death. Expected, as these signal the beginning of their vampiric story section.
  • Boy Band: Of the Korean-pop variety.
  • Breakout Hit: Arguably every track in 2021as they all brought Oneus popularity boost, but the final one, Luna being the signature one for bringing them the first music show win.
  • The Caretaker: Xion, who writes them all shopping lists and will tuck in members that have fallen asleep in the middle of doing something else.
  • Cat Smile: Ravn's signature pose includes making cat ears on top of his head with his pointer and middle fingers. Coupled with his smile he tends to look like this.
  • The Charmer: Hwanwoong. He's especially magnetic on stage.
  • Classical Mythology: And how! Their concept is best described as 'vampire creation myth meets Greek Mythology'. Helios, Greek God of the Sun, is a prominent figure in their mythos, seemingly as an antagonist.
    • They've also incorporated specifically the fall of Phaethon as a catalyst for their cursed existence as vampires, and the music video for To Be Or Not To Be includes imagery of Zeus' lightning surround their prisons made from the sun chariot.
  • Cloudcuckooland: Their interviews often get them into this territory, as they get questions like: "Would you rather have spaghetti hair or sweat maple syrup?"
  • Coffee Shop A.U. Fic: They shot scenes in a coffee shop for a sketch, so this can’t be avoided.
    • The revelation that there's a coffee shop in their building that they love will make this storyline even more attractive.
  • Creator Provincialism: Lit (가자) has this in spades, being a song very much influenced by the band's Korean roots.
    • The opening call/repeating lyric of "The Moon is beautiful today" comes from Jeon Woochi: The Taoist Wizard, a Korean movie by famed director Choi Donghoon about the titular Jeon Woochi, Joseon era scholar and sorcerer.
    • The lyrics are written and delivered in a more traditional Korean style. They also include a lot of Korean sounds like 'jihwaja', as well as Korean onomatopoeia for instruments.
    • Their remixed performance on Road To Kingdom turned this up to eleven, with more cultural references packed into 4 minutes 18 seconds than you could poke a stick at, including but not limited to:
      • Jeon Woochi's silhouette fading into Leedo playing a traditional Korean flute, and then into his rap verse referencing Jeon Woochi.
      • Their wardrobes, including those of the backup dancers, are all based on hanbok.
      • Hwanwoong's fan.
      • Xion's fan and supporting fan dancers.
      • Ravn's rap section uses talismans as props. His backup dancers are frozen in place until he removes the talisman, thus 'freeing' them; later on he turns them into brooms, another reference to Jeon Woochi.
      • Seoho on the throne, flanked by two Korean Lion Dancers.
      • The moon turning red is not just foreshadowing for Come Back Home, but also a Shout-Out to popular Netflix Korean zombie drama, Kingdom.
      • Not to mention the musicians and other performers that join them on stage, all representing various areas of Korean music and dance.
  • Creator Thumbprint: Ravn begins all his raps with "Ra Spit Out Flame", which is changed to a Korean phrase Ra recites poetry in Luna for the sake of its traditional aesthetic.
    • Hwanwoong has a quite recognisable choreography style - he's fond of floor work, jumps, kicks, and cross stage movement in his choreography, as well as certain signature moves such as some form of backward bridge supported on one hand with the other reaching to the sky (examples found in Come Back Home, his solo cover of Fools, his solo section in Dance Monkey, solo dance break for Heroine, etc.).
  • Creepy Doll: Seoho dressed up as one for Halloween.
    • The whole premise of their Dance Monkey choreography video.
  • Dance Battler: Given the interpretive nature of their choreography and their storyline, this occasionally shows up in their choreography - for example, the beginning of Come Back Home has Hwanwoong snapping the neck of his dance partner.
  • Dancing Is Serious Business: Hwanwoong is one of the most gifted dancers of his generation, not to mention a superb choreographer. See below in Jack-of-All-Trades for examples of his work for ONEUS.
  • Deadpan Snarker: When Leedo keeps asking why he can’t be in charge of make-up, Seoho tells him to look in the mirror.
  • Fainting: Xion’s character in their sketch faints when “Elsa” talks to him.
  • Fandom: They are called TOMOONs
  • The Fashionista: Ravn. He's practically got his own room for all his clothes, often customises said clothing and accessories, and will post OOTD style posts under RVCOLLECTION. His sister's even a fashion designer!
  • Flower Motifs: A Song Written Easily.
    • Once again in Luna. The Korean title, “Beauty under the Moon”, is the nickname of the epiphyllum flower, whose imagery is shown in their dance break. Roses, especially blue roses, and cherry blossoms for Keonhee are also significant in the MV.
  • Friend to All Children: Leedo majored in Early Childhood Education and is "very good with children."
  • Genre Savvy: When Seoho and Ravn are decorating, they speculate that the next scene in their reality show will cut to Keonhee and Hwanwoong, since they were just wondering aloud how they were doing.
    • They also show a remarkable ability to either complain or talk their way out of having to play games that will put them at a disadvantage, doing it not once but three times in Episode 3 of Show Me The MWM.
    • In the same show they once again predict the captions and cuts that will be made in editing.
    • Taking away their bags, phones, and money? No problem, they'll barely complain - just don't leave them alone, because they can (and will) sneak money in on their bodies anyway.
  • Halloween Episode: Harry Potter, Snow White and Dracula all make an appearance.
    • In 2019 it was Victor, Maleficent, Elsa, Willy Wonka, Jack Sparrow, and... Ryan, the bear from LINE Friends.
  • Handy Feet: Keonhee's toes can do a lot, including opening chip packets and can even be used as weapons.
  • Heart Symbol: Like many idols, they make these with their hands. Thanks to his long limbs, Keonhee can do a special one and he's very proud of it.
  • Hidden Depths: Leedo, with the aforementioned Early Childhood Education major. Coupled with his deep voice and physique, others are often surprised to find this out.
    • Seoho is also a big science nerd and tends to throw out chemistry references at random.
    • Ravn is a talented artist and customises his own fashion and accessories.
    • Both Leedo and Ravn's fathers own (separate) Hapkido studios, and Seoho was also a practitioner.
    • Leedo has trained in Kendo.
    • Hwanwoong is a sa-dan (fourth degree) black belt in Taekwondo, which he occasionally shows off in performances.
  • Idiosyncratic Album Theming: Their first three mini albums - Light Us, Raise Us, and Fly With Us - make up the "Us" series, exploring their unique colour and concept.
  • Idiot Ball: When Xion says he wanted to dress up as a princess when he was a kid and specifies it was the one from Beauty and the Beast, Keonhee responds with: "Rapunzel?"
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: The group as a whole are involved in all aspects of their music from the production to the performances.
    • Ravn, Leedo, and Seoho have all produced tracks.
    • Ravn and Leedo contribute lyrics on every track.
    • Hwanwoong has been involved in every choreography except To Be Or Not To Be.
      • For Valkyrie, which was entirely self-choreographed, each member was responsible for his own centre sections, with the remainder (chorus and transitioned) handled as a team.
      • For Twilight, all rap sections as well as the pre-chorus breakdown with Seoho was their work.
      • For Lit, Hwanwoong has uploaded demos of Leedo's rap break as well as the dance break choreography.
      • For A Song Written Easily, Hwanwoong's work includes Leedo's rap section as well as the chorus, the latter with input from Ravn. They've also mentioned they originally went with a different choreography for Ravn's rap section only to change it back to their own after filming the MV and finding it lacking.
      • It's fair to say that if choreography exists for it, the members have been involved in creating it. This includes their b-sides, concert exclusive covers (e.g. The Weeknd's The Hills), and dance covers.
    • They input ideas for their wardrobe/styling as well. Xion even does his own makeup on occasion.
    • They're also involved in the distribution of lines in their music, often recording the same sections with multiple members before deciding on who has the best voice for that part of the song.
  • The Leader: Averted. Unlike the majority of kpop groups, ONEUS operate without a designated leader. Instead, each member has their own roles and specialities that they take charge of, and in situations where a decision must be made or presented they decide diplomatically beforehand.
  • Lighter and Softer: A Song Written Easily was a departure from their previous tracks with a lighter, softer Spring theme.
    • Luna, in members’ own words, is even dreamier than A Song Written Easily, and is a sentimental song with a quick tempo.
  • StockLightNovelHero: ONEUS are all shades of this - the more that's revealed about their pasts the more obvious it becomes that they've stepped out of a manga (or manhwa).
    • Ravn writes lyrics, produces, designs fashion, is an artist, rapper, vocalist, dancer, and model, and is also The Heart of ONEUS. No, really - his power is heart, he's almost unnaturally zen, and the group have all said his openness with his emotions have taught them to also be more open with each other.
    • As mentioned, Seoho has the brains (science major), the brawn (designated acrobat/stuntman), and the vocals. He's also a rapper - he originally auditioned as a rapper, only to find out after being accepted that he's a natural vocalist.
    • Hwanwoong's life story reads like a light novel: named after a god, he didn't start dancing until his last year of middle school and aiming to get into the notoriously picky Practical Dance Department of SOPA. Within a year he not only managed to be accepted, but had already gained a reputation for his dancing. Oh, yeah, and he was still class president and keeping up his top grades whilst doing it. Not to mention his position in ONEUS as resident choreographer/vocalist/rapper/all round stage performer and the one they call when acting is required.
  • Look Behind You: Hwanwoong uses this to have everyone look up just before he does his introduction on Weekly Idol.
  • Lovable Coward: Keonhee
  • MacGyvering: In a pinch, a container lid is used as a cutting board.
  • Meaningful Name: ONEUS were originally going to be called King-King due to the... unique nature of the members' names.
    • Ravn's real name is Youngjo (영조), a name he shares with the 21st king of the Korean Joseon dynasty.
    • Seoho's birth name was Gunmin, meaning to hold up the sky.
    • Leedo was the birth name of King Sejong the Great.
    • Keonhee's full name is Lee Keonhee (이건희), the name of the president of Samsung.
    • Hwanwoong (환웅) means Supreme Divine Regent and is the name of a god from Dangun creation mythology.
    • Xion's real name is Dongju, a name of a great poet in Korean history.
  • Mister Big: Hwanwoong has a bit of this in him. It doesn't help that the rest of ONEUS as a whole are a rather tall group. The next shortest, Xion, is a full 10cm taller.
  • Music Is Politics: They had a chance to remake a 'song of a (kpop) king' and they took it and ran. Not only did they choose a controversial song - H.O.T's ''Warrior's Descendants'', originally about school bullying and specifically a boy who took his own life, with the lyrics from his perspective saying this is him taking revenge on his bullies by punishing himself. They changed the lyrics and messaging to reflect a new message of "violence cannot be justified by violence", reinforcing it in the staging, performance, and acting. Hence the "this is a new message from ONEUS".
  • Nobody Touches the Hair: When Seoho is asked which body part he could miss, Hwanwoong starts touching his hair. Yet, Seoho is very adamant: the hair stays.
  • Norse Mythology: Their debut song was Valkyrie. Also a play on words as the Korean for "shine the light" sounds very similar to "valkyrie".
  • The Perfectionist: Hwanwoong, to the point where he'll film and edit dance videos only to not share them because he's not satisfied. He can often be seen in backstage videos re-watching their performances and muttering changes that need to be made to himself, and once ranted for 4 minutes about how the placement of a beanie in one of his videos meant it couldn't be used.
    • Ravn, too, having apologised several times on different occasions to their producers for his constant revisions to their music.
  • Pinky Swear: Hwanwoong makes a whole crowd do this to promise that they will come to their performance.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: Hwanwoong is shorter than the average male idol (at 168cm) but is a quadruple threat dancer/vocal/rapper/actor and often the centre of their stages due to his overwhelming presence and charisma.
  • The Power of Friendship: Their whole Weekly Idol episode with Ateez really.
  • Psychic Link: Two interviewers, desperate to stall Xion and Leedo since the others are preparing a surprise party, play a game with them. Xion and Leedo give the same answers repeatedly, so the interviewers claim this is due to telepathy.
  • Random Events Plot: while the others are preparing a surprise party, Ravn goes to his closet and starts randomly introducing his clothes to the camera.
  • Real Men Cook: It doesn’t go too smoothly. Seoho is the team chef, but has interesting ideas on what constitutes as 'edible food' - think green onion flavoured chex mixed in an omelette with a lot of salt and sugar.
  • Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: Hwanwoong is named after a god in Dangun (Korean Creation) mythology.
  • The Renaissance: There's a lot of Renaissance art in Twilight, most notably a reproduction of Laocoon and His Sons (with Laocoon's arm as Raphael preferred it, outstretched).
  • School Idol: By all accounts Seoho, Xion, and Hwanwoong were all very popular at school.
    • Seoho was both very athletic and a science major. On top of that, stories have come out about him buying cakes for people he didn't know because they were "a friend of a friend".
    • Xion was drama club president as well as class president at his high school. He's said he used to visit the nurses' office to help out and would attract a gaggle of first year girls at the door who had come to peek at his good looks only to run away when he got close to them.
    • Hwanwoong's high school was Seoul School of Performing Arts (SOPA), the alma mater of a huge number of idols and idol trainees/actors. He was famous for his dance skills, ranking 1st in the dance department every year until graduation, and had his own unofficial fanclub.
  • Shameless Self-Promoter: Lampshaded in interviews a lot. They have a tendency to answer questions in a way that they can mention themselves or otherwise sing their own music, and it's all very tongue-in-cheek. See: Genre Savvy.
  • Shown Their Work: Their remake stage for ''Infinite's'' "Be Mine" revolved around a Romeo & Juliet theme. Rather than simply taking the tragic love story angle, they more or less summarised the play in 4 minutes and 24 seconds.
    • The performance is framed by Romeo finding Juliet on her deathbed to an instrumental version of the classic "A Time For Us".
    • The choreography closely follows the events of the play:
      • First, Ravn as Romeo and his friends crash the Capulet party, where he meets Juliet, who appears with red roses, meaning "love".
      • Leedo as Tybalt struggles to reach Ravn-Romeo, fighting against the backup dancers before facing off against Keonhee as Mercutio. They both fall and 'die'.
      • Ravn disappears after Tybalt's death, as Romeo flees in the play, and only returns upon Juliet's death, cutting through the house crests of the Montagues and Capulets to get to his Juliet.
    • Juliet's roses have changed to blue - wanting the impossible - at the end of the stage.
    • Ravn's new rap sections are both direct references to Romeo & Juliet.
      • The first refers to the iconic balcony scene.
      • The second towards the end directly quotes the play.
      "Rather than living without your love/I’ll die with hatred."
    • In terms of stage design, the lights are 'stars' for the star-crossed lovers, and The Balcony is prominent in the background.
  • Singer Namedrop: "This is a new message from ONEUS" in their Warrior's Descendants remake.
    • RAVN uses a tag before most if his raps that goes in two variations of "RA Spit Out Flame" and "RAFLAME". For the song Luna to keep it fully in korean RAVN instead says "라육시조" which translates to "RA recites poetry".
  • Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism: Hwanwoong has to choose between being covered in scales or fur. The idea of either makes him restless, but he picks fur in the end.
  • Soprano and Gravel: Leedo is an example of both in the same body - his rapping voice is extremely low, but his singing can either be husky and deep or a clear falsetto. He even filled in for main vocal Seoho during A Song Written Easily when Seoho was injured.
  • Stage Names: Ravn, Leedo and Xion. Seoho legally changed his name to Seoho.
  • Surprise Party : for the newest two members to make memories.
  • Tsundere: Leedo has been accused of being this by just about the entire group as well as fans. He's the type to complain about having to take care of someone whilst still doing everything they ask for.
  • Vocal Tag Team: Every member is a vocalist. Yes, even the main rapper(s).
  • Zombie Apocalypse: If this occurs, Seoho would survive the longest, according to himself. Hwanwoong would also survive because he'd sleep right through it. Leedo would be the first bitten, as he would fight the zombies instead of running away.