The team at UKP’s Music Video Breakdown has a special task as they must answer one of K-Pop’s current big questions; “What on Earth does all these teasers mean, Seventeen?!” That’s right! Pledis’ diamond boys will be making their return with their fourth mini-album, “Al1” (read as Alone) on May 22nd.
For fans it would be a glorious time to know your favorite group is coming back, but for Carats it is becoming a period of torturous waiting and dissecting every nook and cranny to understand what the concept is. We already know that the boys traveled to Los Angeles to shoot the music video and unconfirmed rumors that there was casting calls for thirteen girls to act alongside them. Imagine every Carat’s surprise when out of nowhere, Pledis drops a bomb with the first trailer video, titled “2017 Seventeen Project Chapter 1. Alone”.
Now that all of the teaser have been unveiled and the countdown can officially begin, let’s take a look back at all the teasers in this special Breakdown, and find out what else is hidden behind Seventeen’s imminent return.
Teaser #01 – Vernon
The trailers themselves are already gorgeous, with the first featuring rapper Vernon, wondering alone through one of the desert areas situated in the Los Angeles area. At this point, no one knew if this would either be a full comeback or another project similar to the Hip-Hop unit’s “Check In”, as the video was titled as Chapter 1. However, in the course of the video multiple elements do appear. First is the quotation placed at the bottom of the screen; “One less than a full revolution”, which had the possibility of being a lyric to the comeback track or something other wise. There has been no confirmation on what this may be as of yet.
Throughout this period, Pledis has asked what is the Prime Number for each member, which can appear in multiple forms. In Vernon’s case, it appeared in his compass as the number it points to also unlocks a photo teaser including a melancholic Vernon.
Teaser #02 – Jeonghan
With Vernon’s teaser, fans already began to establish an order and possible time schedule of the videos. Fans believed the next to release a teaser would be Woozi, as he appeared in the end of Vernon’s trailer where the compass appears to be thrown over to him. Pledis has other ideas it seems, as the second member to emerge was the Vocal Unit’s Jeonghan.
Already turning heads with his mature blonde hairstyle, Jeonghan’s video takes a different turn, basking in the silence of his craft and gazing into the distance. The romantic style perfectly suits his new image, using a light, hazy effect to bring a sense of peace and tranquility as Jeonghan crosses off the days through sketches and photography. However, one day specifically is crossed differently as he suddenly runs out of the house, which is soon accompanied by Hoshi, who settles down and looks through the camera left behind in Jeonghan’s haste. Once again the quotes and numbers play a big role in the teaser, with the words “Somebody said it means imperfection and danger” written in the trailer.
The number crossed on the calendar also links back to Seventeen’s challenge to discover more teaser pictures, unveiling a beautiful close up of Jeonghan when unlocked.
Teaser #03 – Mingyu
In the third installment, Mingyu appears to suddenly wake up in a similar house to Jeonghan’s, appearing to come to and explore the home with a look of sorrow. Throughout the video, we see duplicates of certain items; clocks, half-bitten apples, lamps and even Mingyus through a reflection in the mirror. Compared to the others, this appears to be more aesthetic to portray his state of mind as he appears lost both physically and emotionally.
Focusing on the Alone element, Mingyu also leaves his own mirrored self behind as it watches him depart, trapped in a mere reflection, before continuing the interlinked cameos with Wonwoo, making his own appearance, all while portraying a similar reflective mood. The quote once again marks another mystery for Carats, stating “Another Chapter of my Life began since I met you.”
The duplicates lead to Mingyu’s Prime Number in order to unlock his own teaser image, with a look reminiscent to the ‘dark’ teasers, initially released for their previous album, “Going Seventeen”.
Teaser #04 – DK
DK introduces the possibility of time involved in the entire concept. We have seen clocks involved with Mingyu, and the passing of days in Jeonghan’s teaser, but with this, time appears to have frozen still. DK rushes through the streets, jogging as if he is working out as he often checks his stopwatch to check his time; which when first unveiled shows 37:33. However, no matter how long he runs for, the numbers still remain the same. This time is also DK’s Prime Number to unlock his image teaser.
Interestingly, the quote at the bottom of the screen has an curious link back to the group; “In the place thirteen pieces can be completed.” Carats noticed that the pieces refer to the thirteen members of Seventeen, but have no clear link yet to what these words mean for the entire album.
Seungkwan also makes an appearance, holding the same stopwatch used by DK, glancing at it as he seems to be outside of the time loop that his fellow member is trapped in.
Teaser #05 – Woozi
Woozi resides in a different location, reading through a book of mathematical problems as he attempts to solve a formula of his own. However, the Vocal Team leader appears to be struggling as he searches multiple copies in order to find the answer. It seems the quote appearing in this video; “All of the Questions in the world can be answered in One Definite Answer” – is far from the truth, as Woozi becomes frustrated and destroys his recent attempt and idles over his work scribbled on the window.
Finding the Prime Number proves to be more difficult in this case with Woozi, but the answer resides in the member who makes his expected cameo; S.Coups, who writes a number down on his hand.
Strangely enough, time does appear again, continuing from DK’s teaser. The book Woozi is reading is titled “TIMED SERIES: Advanced Problems”. When searched, time series are in fact a sequence taken at successive equally spaced points in time, such as ocean tides and sunspots, which could further suggest the use of time possibly separating the members but in the time of Woozi’s video being uploaded, these were just one of several theories.
Teaser #06 – Jun
The teasers begin to show a little more as they progress, notably with Performance Unit member, Jun’s individual trailer. While looking through old letters, he appears to be remembering someone from his past: possibly a girlfriend who he broke up with or lost contact with. In his frustrations, he heads out before proceeding to a motel, where he walks up to a door – which also marks his Prime Number. As he knocks on it, the identity of whoever is behind there isn’t revealed, with only a single shot of it opening to Jun gazing back into the camera.
A key point in the video is the accompaniment of a supposed voicemail message in English; left by fellow member, Joshua who says the following; “Hey… How are you? I don’t know why I called you but… When we see each other again…? No, never mind. Hi…”
Instead of simple aesthetic in the teasers, Jun’s acting brings forth the themes of unrequited love or feelings that remain after a break up. This fits perfectly into the title of Seventeen’s project, “Alone” as both Joshua and Jun have a sense of sadness but still wanting to be in love again; as Joshua just calls the girl on a whim while Jun leaves his home, possibly to chase the girl down and confess his feelings in the motel.
Teaser #07 – Dino
The youngest, Dino appears to again, like the others, be alone as he walks into an open apartment. He seems reminiscent yet pensive as he looks around the hall and resorts to the board games scattered on the floor. While moving the figure on the board, he stops at “Return to the first space”, possibly noting that if the lost love themes are true, he is back to the start and has to walk alone before finding love again.
The dice also marks his Prime Number, as the dots that appear facing up add up to the digit needed to unlock his forlorn teaser image.
Joshua appears at the end, in a similar scenario while gazing at the dice. In comparison to Dino and Joshua, the colors appear to differ. Dino is wondering around in color while Joshua’s appearance in shot in black and white, possibly linking into time or how the other members appear together in future videos.
Teaser #08 – Wonwoo
Wonwoo’s trailer continues from his cameo in Mingyu’s, wondering around the house as he passes the time away by watching TV or enjoying the spring air. He seems sleepy and relaxed, sitting in warm pajama bottoms but as the television appears to malfunction and flicker through the channels, Wonwoo appears emotionless as he drifts off to sleep.
Looking through the numbers as the television shifts through shows comes together to make his Prime Number, unveiling a striking profile of the Hip-Hop team member.
Also, this trailer begins to pave a full-circle theory into bring “another form of Seventeen”, as the static suddenly changes in the end of the video to the start of the first trailer, and the establishing shot of the deserts that Vernon is wondering in.
Teaser #09 – Hoshi
Hoshi is residing in a fancy L.A. house when he suddenly receives a phone call but as soon as he picks up, the line turns dead; “The line for reaching to the Beloved Ones”. Hoshi attempts to call back, dialing a number that he finds scribbled on a strip of paper – a number which also becomes his Prime Number.
There is no confirmation that anyone answers Hoshi’s call but there is another theory that he may not be alone as he seems. As the video cuts to black, a door is wide open and possibly leads down to a cellar. Footsteps suddenly echo in the room and out emerges a formally dressed Jun, whose silhouette comes closer before cutting to black once again.
Teaser #10 – Seungkwan
In a traditional laundromat in L.A’s city, Seungkwan passes the time in an idle state, playing with what appears to be a British two-pound coin. He appears to be forlorn, suddenly leaving the store and dropping a handful of coins – made up of the same two-pounds, cents and also two UK fifty pence coins on the machine before departing. The coin in the middle appears to be a nickel, which when typing the cent value also unlocks his Prime Number image.
In the end, Dino discovers the coins, glancing over them and linking his world back to the other members, despite not being able to stand alongside them.
Teaser #11 – The8
Continuing from his appearance in Jun’s trailer, The8 arrives with a bag of groceries and discovers the letters left behind. These are the same letters owned by his fellow member before walked out to the motel. The note appears to affect The8 as he lets the food fall out and he ignores it to read over it and happily reminisce. However, as time passes, he becomes clearly upset and suddenly falls limp as the camera cuts to the black and white world.
There seems to be no response from a quiet The8, as DK walks in and picks up the note while his fellow member leans on the counter, appearing to be sleeping.
To discover the Performance member’s Prime Number, Carats had to look out for a Magic 8 Ball which rolled out the brown bag as it fell to the ground. The number inside would reveal a striking image of The8 on the website.
Teaser #12 – Joshua
Noting back to earlier videos, Joshua marks the return of time and duplicates. As he washes his face in the bathroom, he notices two figures reflected in the water. These figures are in fact a memory, as the smaller female figure slowly turns and walked away from the other silhouette – Joshua. The water later shows a number that unlocks an ethereal image of the vocalist.
As he wonders through the house, there is a nod towards the theory of another world or the blending of time. A small event from Mingyu’s trailer folds out in black and white, noting that the house Joshua wonders through is also where Mingyu woke up in during the third teaser video.
Teaser #13 – S.Coups
As expected, the trailers end with S.Coups, the leader of the entire group. The time loop returns once again, as he seems to be running around desperately for a way out, but he is wondering in circles, lost in the city streets before the video cuts to black.
However, some things take a turn in the final video. The quotes that have become a recurring theme remain the same with the words; “I was afraid and anxious since I was all alone,” but as the video cuts to black, the words suddenly change to “Nevertheless we met on thirteen different paths and eventually”. S.Coups also appears to be outside of his time loop, standing in a desert similar to that of the first trailer as he turns and notices Jeonghan standing meters away from him.
A third quote ends the video, stating “A complete bond has formed leading us to our brightest moment,”, sparking interest among Carats once again. Also, as it is the final teaser and his leader role, S.Coups’ Prime Number is fittingly 17, unlocking the last picture in the collection.
So what exactly can we take from these teasers? They seem to be intertwined in one way or another, with the same scenes bleeding into each other. With every ending, there seems to be a beginning, indicating that they may not be alone as they seem. The final quotes tie up this theory; marking the thirteen different paths that each member takes in their world of solitude.
However, these paths link up before long and their worlds collide – as noted in the first and last trailers. Within the other videos, every member is alone with only a fleeting peek into another which wonders into their world. Where Vernon and S.Coups are concerned, they are the only two to actually witness someone else; Vernon throws the compass to Woozi and S.Coups turns to see Jeonghan alongside him.
No further theories have been confirmed but Carats are curiously disecting every teaser and quote in order to make sense of it all. All we know for sure is that when the path meets, the “complete bond” will bring forth a new Seventeen and the sense that they are better united than alone.
In order to make sense of it all, we’ll just have to wait for the release of their new album; “Al1” , where we will be treated to several unit tracks, a special duet between Chinese members Jun & The8 and of course, their title track; “I Don’t Want to Cry”.
Are you ready for Seventeen’s comeback? Do you have your own theories? Let us know in the comments below and get ready for Seventeen on May 22nd!