Oh My Girl’s first sub-unit debuted this month on the 2nd of April with the aegyo-filled, energy-driven ‘Banana Allergy Monkey’. Banhana is a trio consisting of Hyojung, Binnie, and Arin, and their concept is dedicated to re-awakening the quirky and weird side of cute that we last saw with the likes of Orange Caramel and CoCoSoRi.
This concept and sound is truly polarising, with listeners either very much loving it or very much disliking it. But Banhana offers a wonderfully tongue-in-cheek version of the cute concept, and it’s amazing.
The concept Banana Allergy Monkey plays around with is the theme of a video-game-like reality, and it’s reflected in the sound of the music itself. It’s a bouncy, heavily synthesised song. And the verses are punctured with sound effects that would feel equally at home in an old school Super Mario Bros game.
Offsetting this is the high-toned, airy vocals that the trio provide. Both the tone of the singing and the lyrics being sung is very reminiscent of the bubblegum indulgence that is Laboum’s Sugar Sugar. Banhana’s ‘Banana Allergy Monkey’ is pure sugar, simply a cute pop song. And it’s fantastic for that. It’s a great listen. It’s addictive and super bubbly; so if you like that, you’ll love this.
Carrying on the 1990’s theme, that has been super popular both in KPOP and beyond it, the music video for Banhana’s debut single transports us into the idea of a simulated reality. All the action takes place inside the monitor of a 2001 Commodore PET computer.
It takes us through a series of different sets, wherein the girls are Safari explorers, Arctic explorers, slumber party guests, and the cutest set of astronauts we’ve seen all year! There are references to video games within the video too, like in the cafeteria where points appear above each of the girls’ heads.
The most striking thing about this music video, though, is the use of CGI and 360 degree cameras. Scattered throughout the video are composite shots of the girls in slow motion, placed together in various different sizes. The thumbnail of the video, as show below, is an example of this. We’ve seen shots like this in Red Velvet’s Dumb Dumb and WJSN’s Happy, but it still remains so refreshing and awesome to see it used.
The music video is incredibly well-done and thoroughly enjoyable. Banhana knocked it out of the park with this comeback!