The whole series has a rather desolate vibe, being a story about a group of friends of the Dysfunction Junction kind splitting up over tragedy and being left alone.
SAVE ME has its own page.
- This is clearly a Crapsack World of sorts, with the boys living in poverty with absent, distant or abusive parents, and going to a school where Sadist Teachers seem to abound. The boys themselves are a Dysfunction Junction, a gang of kids with issues hanging out in alleys and abandoned train tracks unsupervised (even at night) and some of them skipping school to get into fights with other kids or running away from police. It was clearly them alone, and their happiness could only be temporary.
- Everyone in the main cast are The Woobie in some way, but special mention goes to Jungkook. He's neglected by his family (and is described by Namjoon as a boy who "never received affection") and has no friends until he meets the other boys. Being the youngest, he looks up to the others, who effectively become the family he never had, and becomes especially close to Yoongi. However, by an unfortunate sequence of events, Yoongi gets expelled after defending him from a teacher who was physically abusing him. The group ends up falling apart and losing contact for two years, with Jungkook unable to do anything about it.
The Most Beautiful Moment in Life
- The "I NEED U (Original ver.)" music video shows each of the characters alone and suffering in different ways (even to the point of suicide), along with images of the boys hanging out together in abandoned train tracks, fast food restaurants and garbage dumps. The juxtaposition of the boys being happy together in the past and being alone and miserable in the present is what makes the video hit so much harder.
- Jungkook, the youngest of the group and The Cutie of the series, letting himself get beat up by strangers in an alley and then getting hit by a car is really sad to watch. Made worse with how he barely reacts to all of it; as we see in The Notes, he had already hit the Despair Event Horizon by then.
- Taehyung waiting outside his apartment surrounded by empty bottles, with what's happening inside revealed to be his father hitting Taehyung's sister. Then finally snapping, grabbing a broken bottle and stabbing his father to death while his sister screams in horror... and then realizing what he just did, ending up crying on the floor with his hands covered in blood. And V's acting completely sells it.
- Yoongi setting the room and himself on fire in a clear display of Dissonant Serenity becomes worse when you learn his history with fire in The Notes.
- The scene appears again in The Notes for Answer, where he sees Jungkook panicking right before Yoongi passes out. While it's not clear that both occur in the same timeline/universe, there's still the possibility that there was a reality (that could very well be the one in the video) where Yoongi died an horrific death and Jungkook only found out afterwards... or got there too late.
- Jimin is seen burning the picture of him and his friends before attempting to drown himself. Although he resurfaced and survived his attempt, he cries in despair.
- "Prologue" as a whole has a very melancholic vibe, with even the happiest moments being undermined by Taehyung having just killed his father without the others knowing, the use of "Butterfly" as the soundtrack throughout, and of course, the ending.
- It starts right where "I NEED U" left off, with Taehyung trying uselessly to clean the blood off his hands, and then deciding to call his hyung (presumably Namjoon) for help. He looks like a lost child.
- In the bonfire scene, Yoongi can be seen turning the lighter on and off. Even when the boys are together, he still can't escape his past.
- The ending. While the boys are distracted admiring the view of the sea under the sunset, Taehyung goes to the watch tower and climbs it. The boys take notice and start to tell him to go back down, so he gives them a reassuring smile... and jumps.
- The "Run" music video seems to imply that the boys - Jin especially - are losing track from what are memories and what's reality, jumping between them back and forth. It also reveals more information about what lead to the separation of the group, including certain event from the previous video.
- A scene shows Yoongi trashing the room they used to hang out in, seemingly drunk, and Jungkook trying desperately to calm him down. A Cool Down Hug only results in Yoongi laughing and pushing Jungkook away against a wall. Jungkook ends up punching him instead, but Yoongi only pushes him again. Jungkook just watches him from the floor with a hopeless expression as his hyung throws a chair against a mirror.
- The continuous dolly in/dolly-out shot of the members (from the past) partying, with the camera closing in on Jungkook (from the present, right after the previous scene) among them, and then pulling out to show the rest of the room around him again, now empty.
- Some parts in the "happy" scenes are this due to a clever use of hindsight, such as Taehyung painting with spray a red cross on Jin's body or the boys dumping Jimin and Taehyung in the water of a bathtub.
- "Epilogue: Young Forever", a video for a song that's already a Tear Jerker on its own, can be this depending on how you interpret it. It doesn't resolve anything in a conclusive way, it's not certain if any of it is real (like an abstract representation of real events in the story) or merely a fantasy. Therefore, the boys leaving the maze and Taehyung reuniting with the rest could be real... or just wishful thinking.
- While they're much more abstract and surreal, the WINGS teasers/short films delve deeper into each character's issues, sometimes delving into this (along with Nightmare Fuel).
- "Begin" has Jungkook wake up from what's implied to be his car accident. The scenery quickly changes around him while he can just watch, until he's positioned in front of a painting, while rain is falling. The painting (confirmed by Word of God to be a portrait of Yoongi) then starts to melt, with colors eerily falling over the portrait's face. Jungkook starts crying (for real crying) and seemingly shouting "hyung!" helplessly.
- "Lie" has a brief moment where Jimin is sitting on one of two hospital beds, which are both next to one another. From the bed he's in, Jimin extends his hand towards the other empty bed, implied to be Hoseok's.
- "Stigma" makes further reveals on Taehyung's past while he's being interrogated on a police station after being caught vandalizing a wall on an alley. Memories appear, including him silently going to her sister - who's lying awake and trembling with visible wounds - and lying down protectively/comfortingly behind her, while their father sits on the background, drinking from a bottle.
- In the police station, the officer interrogating him takes a drink of water, which makes Taehyung flinch and look away. When asked about his parents, he says "I don't have anything like that".
- There's a somewhat abstract sequence of Taehyung being punched by something invisible (possibly Taehyung remembering the pain itself instead of where it came from) and lying on the floor, crying, while a huge cage descends over him. Then a small dog appears walking towards him, with Tae happily playing with it for a moment, only for the dog to leave while Tae can only stare. The Woobie indeed.
- "First Love" has Yoongi break into a music shop (in the most literal sense), only to play for a few seconds and giving up. He hears a whistle (with the same melody from "Begin") and walks out to follow it, but ends up disoriented. Then a car passes right beside him, almost crushing him... and it crashes into the store. He returns to watch how the fire consumes the store and everything inside.
- "Reflection". Namjoon is surrounded by mirrors - one of them displaying the phrase "you need to survive"-, confronting him with his own image and words. He covers his ears, and the mirrors explode. When it's over, a phone starts ringing. He hears it and runs towards the phone cabin it comes from... but it's closed with chains. The song starts to play while he fruitlessly tries to enter and gives up; on the side of the cabin the word "LIAR" appears in red. It ends with the song's final lines:I wish I could love myselfI wish I could love myselfI wish I could love myself
- "Mama" has Hoseok sitting inside a white hospital room, expressionless, while a doctor fills a form showing his diagnosis: Munchausen Syndrome. Keep in mind that, like his real-life counterpart, Hoseok is pretty much Fun Personified (or at least, his outside persona is), always smiling and joking around, so it's a pretty sad example of O.O.C. Is Serious Business.
- "Awake" has Jin sit alone on an elegant table, with dinner prepared just for him, while soft classical music plays. Jin, however, isn't happy, in what could be interpreted (in the context of The Notes) as him living in a family situation where things are done for him; where he's given the best, even if that best isn't what he wants. He then walks into a bedroom (with the doors closing shut behind him by themselves); he takes six flower petals (possibly representing the others) and unhappily lights them on fire. He is then shown shifting on the bed in despair.
- The Highlight Reels:
- The first part ends by dropping The Reveal through a Troubled Backstory Flashback of Hoseok in an amusement park (being no more than 6 years old) being told by his mother to cover his eyes and count to ten. While he dutifully covers his eyes and counts, she leaves to never return, only leaving a chocolate bar beside him.
- In the second part, Taehyung stops to wistfully look at the sky as he gets a flashback to Namjoon (a clip from "Prologue", to be specific), and then replicates Namjoon's hitting an object with a golf stick. Despite everything, Tae still misses him.
- Similarly, Jungkook gets a flashback to Yoongi playing the piano with him sitting next to him.
- The final moments (with Yoongi tossing his cigarettes aside with a smile, followed by him receiving a sudden text) are ominous, especially with the context given later by The Notes.
- The third ("轉") part. After we see each one of the boys actually start to look happy (or on the way to be), it gets ruined.
- Seokjin, while driving contently towards his date, looks at his photo of the seven and, seemingly remembering, slowly turns melancholic, then anguished.
- Jimin rehearsing alone, in the dark, intercut with Hoseok dancing with the girl in the light.
- Namjoon gives up on trying to find courage to talk to the girl in the bus, leaving. He gets off the bus and passes by a bus stop with Taehyung's graffiti.
- Yoongi is now shown (apparently) drunk and trying to play the piano only to furiously bang the keys and throwing music sheets aside in frustration. The girl with the guitar finds him on the street, and he angrily shrugs her off and yells at her to go away.
- After colliding with the female dancer, Jimin gets a wound and panics, immediately going to the bathroom to desperately clean the blood off. He then goes outside, clearly upset, only to see Hoseok has already taken off with the girl to the hospital. So he walks away.
- Taehyung and the homeless girl he had made friends with are found spraying graffiti on the street by the police. They run and hide in an alley. As they approach, Taehyung talks to her, who looks scared. The last we see is him turning himself to the police, alone.
- Jungkook, now fully rehabilitated, walks excitedly with a bunch of flowers to his friend's hospital room, only to find that her room is now empty, implying she left (... or died).
- Seokjin waits with Smeraldo flowers for his date, the girl of the notebook. They see each other, she happily waves her hand at him and crosses the street... only for a car to hit her. The last shot of the section is Seokjin looking in shock.
- Seokjin's look of utter defeat in part 4.