THE LATEST (AUG. 16)

After releasing the first "Love Yourself Highlight Reel" yesterday, BTS is back with another set of intriguing visuals. We see the guys still fawning over different love interests with the storyline getting deeper as a voiceover narrates, "The sound of cicadas that chirred like showers end in an instant. In the abrupt silence, I realize life's immense beauty...Even if this were a dream, this is where I choose to be. Why is it that the happiest moments usher in such fear?"

Once again, the visuals all feels almost like a K-drama (which many K-pop fans also adore along with the music) making fans think there could be an accompanying drama or film to the new music.

Yet the notable difference in this video's title and the visual released on Aug. 15 (see below) is this time the word "承" is in the title. The video released a day earlier had the word "起" in it earlier. Some fans are thinking these characters will eventually spell out "起承转合" (which roughly translates to "transference") to either title the video series or hint the next step in BTS' musical story. For their Wings album, BTS released a slew of short films that teased out the member's individual solo songs on the LP (see Rap Monster's "Reflection" or Jin's "Awake" short film). Could these words be hinting at song titles? Episode titles? "起" roughly translates to "root" in Korean...is it a reference to flowers? It's all still a big mystery, but fans know to always be looking for hints from the BTS and their company.

Fans have also noticed the same "Smeraldo" flower that many have theorized is part of BTS' comeback (read on below for all the theories) is seen in this video. Will the flower The triangular blue flower makes an appearance when member Jin is looking through his love interest's lost journal:

Watch BTS' latest, cinematic visual above and read on for everything else we know about BTS' "Love Yourself" comeback, from details of the upcoming release to the intense fan theories behind the concept. Check back for more updates as they come.

THE BUILD UP

BTS' latest album Wings broke records at home (the South Korean Gaon chart reported it broke their record for highest-selling album in the chart's history), in America (earning the best week sales ever for a K-pop album in the U.S.) and around the world (even hitting No. 62 in the U.K.). The LP gave the band their first million-selling record in Korea and moved about 25,000 copies in America in its first month. With a hugely successful accompanying tour and a major spotlight put on them when they won Top Social Artist at the Billboard Music Awards, BTS and their fans have made them one of the most exciting K-pop acts to watch.

After a successful deluxe version of Wings was release titled You Never Walk Alone in February—that landed the band another sweeping success with its single "Spring Day" becoming a minor hit stateside—rumors began swirling that the band would keep their momentum going with a late-2017 release. 

On July 4, BTS unveiled a new logo (or "brand identity," as they called it) sharing that their name BTS not only stood as an abbreviation for the Korean term "Bangtan Sonyeondan" (or “bulletproof boy scouts” in English), but now would mean "Beyond the Scene" perhaps indicating the group was aiming their next release to a more global market. The accompanying new image was also supposed to represent the connection the group has with their fans, the passionate fanbase known as Army. See the new design below:

POSTERS

The official kickoff of BTS' "Love Yourself" comeback began on Aug. 10, 2017 with a poster of member Jungkook curiously in a wheelchair, revealed via the Twitter account for BTS' Korean record label BigHit Entertainment.

BigHit explained through a press release, "The poster is really a teaser for the concept of the 'Love Yourself' series which is filled with clues as to what is to come next. BTS is always wanting to keep their fans guessing and excited as the concept is rolled out."

The other six member posters were revealed the next day on Aug. 11, with "Love Yourself" written in the same font. In order of their reveal, see the posters for Suga, Jimin, Rap Monster, V, J-Hope, and Jin. with phrases that give insight to the members' different thoughts on love. See them below along with a translations of their phrases:

"Don't come closer. You'll become unhappy."

"I lied, because there's no reason to love someone like me." 

"I watch you from behind, only, because now is not the time."

"Would you not have left me if I had made different choice."

"If you can shine, I'm okay."

"If I can turn back time, I want to be the best man in the world."

POSTERS, PT. 2

Just a day after unveiling a teaser poster featuring member, the group's record label BigHit Entertainment shared a new set of posters featuring the seven singers on Aug. 12.

Each poster seems to show both a light and dark side (such as one poster showing a brightly smiling J-Hope contrasted with Jimin looking somber in a dark room), possibly indicating a range of emotions and moods for the upcoming release. The members share posters except for Jin, featured on his own. See below.

Listen to a past K-Stop episode where we review BTS' Wings album:

HIGHLIGHT REELS

BTS continued to keep the intrigue high over their upcoming musical comeback by releasing the first "Love Yourself Highlight Reel" video on Aug. 15 that had the Korean word "起" (or "Root") in its title. In the visual, we see the members connecting or interacting with a female co-star in a visual that almost feels like a Korean drama. All the members seem to have a crush on a different woman except for J-Hope, who seems to be shown being abandoned by his mother at a young age. 

It all feels almost like a K-drama (which many K-pop fans also adore along with the music) making fans think there could be an accompanying drama or film to the new music. 

THEORIES

It appears that the BTS boys were already hinting at their new concept on major U.S. television when they received the award for Top Social Artist at the 2017 BBMAs. Leader Rap Monster told the audience while referencing the group's passionate fanbase known as Army: "Please, Army, remember what we say: Love myself, love yourself."

While it's not confirmed if that was a true hint to the new music, it does seem to align.

"SMERALDO": A fan's theory about BTS' latest concept went viral and seemed to indicate an intricate thought process behind the release. Details have been gathered on various websites, noting everything began when member Jin shared a photo on BTS' accounts of himself holding a bouquet of flowers with the caption "Smeraldo":

Smeraldo is not a real word nor flower, but fans quickly went into action looking up possible meanings with one finding a florist's blog who is opening a shop called "Flower Smeraldo." Fans noticed one of the images on the blog was titled "BTS_Smerlado" and that an Instagram account was also opened under the name "Flower Smeraldo" featuring flowers similar to the ones Jin posted.

More connections began popping up as fans noticed the smeraldo flower shop would open in September, the same month BTS was scheduled to release their comeback album. There is also mention of "The Smeraldo Academy" opening on September 12, 2013 a.k.a. the birthday of BTS leader Rap Monster. Even more curious is how the blog was created on July 4 a.k.a. the same day BTS unveiled their new logo and name meaning.

Fans have been running amock trying to piece the supposed clues together with some thinking they connect BTS' story from past albums:

Whatever it all means, it all appears the BTS guys have been thinking long and hard about their next musical step with the flower idea only further pushed with Jin's poster reveal:

THE NOTES

On Aug. 13, BTS' record label BigHit Entertainment shared an image on Twitter called "The Notes" with text in Korean.

Trusted translations of the text tell a fascinating story, all ending with Jungkook getting into a car accident which connects to the BTS singer being depicted in a wheelchair in his poster.

FORMAT

Despite an initial press release announcing BTS' next release would be an EP (or "mini-album" as known in South Korea), the official word is that it is currently undecided if BTS will return with a full-length release, EP or single.

ALBUM TITLE

TBA

RELEASE DATE

September 2017, but it's been confirmed the "Love Yourself" concept will continue through 2018

Keep yourself occupied while you wait for more BTS news with the latest episode of Fuse's K-pop podcast K-Stop: