‘BTS Webtoon’? A fantasy world that unfolds despite criticism

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On January 15th, Hive released a new project original story. The original story, along with Naver Webtoon’s super casting campaign, was first introduced as a webtoon, and novel web content was translated into ten languages ​​worldwide through Naver’s global service. Three works were released: ‘SEVEN FATES: Chasing Ho’ with BTS, ‘DARK MOON: Altar of the Moon’ with N-Hyphen, and ‘Boys Chasing the Stars’ with Tomorrow by Together.

Hive’s original story garnered much attention just two days after its launch. ‘Seven Fates: Arrival’ topped 15 million cumulative hits, the most popular new charts, and all genre charts on Naver Webtoon’s English service Webtoon (WEBTOON), ‘Dark Moon’ and ‘Boys Chasing the Stars’ It is also attracting attention in the global market. However, some critics are also raised that Hive is ‘focused on making money rather than music.’

BTS webtoon? Hive painted the big picture.

Hive’s original story is not a character (artist)-centered plot but a worldview developed by the agency.

Let’s compare it with the Netflix animation, which was a hot topic to help you understand. Jinx, Vi, Jace, Echo, and Victor appearing are champions (characters) appearing in the popular game League of Legends. Riot Games, which runs League of Legends, have been planning and releasing the settings for the champions’ unique backgrounds and the cities they live in (Zaun, Piltover) even before the animation was made. is a work that transferred Riot Games’ intellectual property (IP) into a video.

‘Seven Fates: Coming Soon’ (‘Changing Ho’ below) is different. Hive envisioned a fantasy action play of modern scavengers who hunt evil spirits ‘beans’ in ‘Shinsei,’ a corrupt city soon. BTS is a concept that has been ‘cast’ in this story. It is easy to understand if you consider the Marvel superhero movie that cast Robert Downey Jr. as the main character and Benedict Cumberbatch as the main character.

The main characters of ‘Chang-ho’ are beings inspired by the members and planned, but it is right to view BTS’s promotion of ‘Chang-ho’ as a promotion for the works they are appearing on, not as a meaning for the works based on them. The same goes for the other two works. ‘Dark Moon: Altar of the Moon’ (‘Dark Moon’ below), a fantasy school for vampire and werewolf boys, cast an n-hyphen. ‘Boys Chasing the Stars,’ which deals with an idol group that can handle magic, is a work by Tomorrow X Together.

Hive’s original series has its roots in fierce concept competition in the K-pop market. After giving BTS an attractive worldview, such as ‘School Trilogy’ and ‘The Most Beautiful Love Story, Hive developed the original story business through the webtoon ‘The Most Beautiful Love Story Pt.0 SAVE ME’ and the game ‘BTS Universe Story.’ has been tested for

The present original story is the result of strengthening the concept with intellectual property rights penetrating the entire label beyond the role of merely assisting the artist.

Still unfamiliar with IP business, they decided to collaborate with Naver.

Many people who have encountered the original story identify the characters with the artist. Criticism of ‘using the artist commercially’ is also easy to see. Except for SM Culture Universe (SMCU), which SM Entertainment presented with girl group Espa, there were few cases where the worldview took precedence over the artist. It was only processed as a follow-up content that can come out because of the idea, which is modifying the secret story of the artist’s birth. I am familiar with ‘artist’s content,’ but I am unfamiliar with the concept of Hive, ‘casting an artist into the content.’

Even if you understand this part, you need to overcome the fatigue felt by the fandom from agencies that want to expand their intellectual property rights into their business models. In the K-Pop market in 2022, where many idol groups appear with original stories, ‘Impeachment’ is not as easy as it used to be. Even at the end of the 2010s, when the K-Pop worldview was in full swing due to the great success of BTS, many people could not immerse themselves in the K-Pop worldview.

This is a positive factor for the influx of new fans in that there are many things to enjoy. However, in the case of the existing fandom, there may be voices of dissatisfaction with ‘commercial use’ instead of artist care and activities. Especially if Hive Ramen, which has been reborn as a global company with the power of a long-time core fandom, and that fandom is the army of BTS, the biggest K-pop group, there is no choice but to worry. While pushing out good content, an attitude of listening to concerns is required. It is the fate of large corporations.

Hive Original Story is part of the Naver Supercasting campaign. The Super Casting Campaign is a project that transforms IPs of world-class companies into webtoons and web novels, using the global intellectual property value chain platform that Naver has built for a long time as a stepping stone. ‘Batman: Wayne Family Adventure,’ which has been showing with DC Comics since October 2021, is an example of a super casting campaign.

Hive Original Story is simultaneously produced as a webtoon and a web novel in 10 languages and is simultaneously serviced worldwide through the super casting campaign. An immediate response from the global market followed the news of content related to the world-popular K-Pop artist. The daily active users (DAU) in English, Japanese, Spanish, French, German and Thai are also highest.

Through Naver’s global platform, Hive announced the smooth start of its original story and contents, which it had prepared for quite a long time. Thanks to the names of global entertainment companies and world-class K-pop idols, Naver has further raised the weight of its platform. However, it is not easy to say that favorable public opinion has been formed so far.

What is the world Hive dreams of? fantasy, virtue, youth

SM Entertainment launched the girl group Espa, heralding the beginning of the SM Culture Universe, which integrates its artists. It presents a sci-fi worldview established with future-oriented and cosmic concepts such as KWANGYA, KOSMO, and Ai. If so, what kind of world does Hive dreams of? The keywords ‘fantasy’, ‘virtue,’ and ‘youth’ penetrate ‘Chang-ho,’ ‘Dark Moon,’ and ‘Boys Chasing the Stars’ are ‘youth.’

Hive Original Story is a place of myths and tales, magic and supernatural beings. ‘Chang-ho’ predicts a confrontation between characters based on folk tales related to Dangun myths and tigers in ‘Shinsei,’ a fictional city set in the near-future Seoul. The popular Naver webtoon ‘Tiger Brother’ comes to mind.

‘Dark Room’ is a mixed application of the Harry Potter series and the Twilight series. It is a series about the protagonist Suha, who transfers to the prestigious Deselis Academy in Riverfield, a fictional world, and what happens between the school’s most popular group, vampire boys and werewolf boys. It reminds me of ‘Orange Marmalade’ and ‘One Day’ by webtoon writer Seok-Woo.

How about ‘Boys Chasing the Stars’ starring Tomorrow X Together? The story unfolds as Star One, an unknown group in the third year of their debut, goes on stage as a substitute for Midnight’s world-famous idol and demonstrates magic. In a world where a wizard is also an idol, none of the five members become a ‘mandolin’ because none can use magic. One day, the leader ‘Sol’ awakens his magical powers at 19 and confronts the mysterious enemy ‘Chulryongdoga.’ unfold Numerous contents that combined magical Japanese girl and idol dramas from the 1980s and 1990s pass by.

A world of ‘fantasy’ that cannot be realized in reality. Hive’s storytelling team has a formidable ‘virtue.’ Hive Chairman Bang Si-hyuk has shown his affection for various anime and movie content on his Twitter account in the past, proving his deep knowledge and ‘steamed love.’ This crucial factor led to BTS’s ‘Love Yourself’ and ‘Love Yourself’ and Tomorrow by Together and N Hyphen.

From early on, Hive has been preparing to expand the original story beyond the worldview of its artists. The current original story is a large-scale project that includes a list of countless contents such as music, novels, movies, cartoons, etc., after going through the list-up process, finding references among them, refining the plan, connecting with actual creators, and starting serialization on the platform. To be. Their ‘virtuous power’ is also quite natural.

There are also concerns about how Hive boy groups are fixed on the theme of ‘youth.’ The path that BTS has walked naturally overlaps in the appearance of Tomorrow X Together, who dreams of eternity as they enter their cold and chaotic twenties through their magical teenage years, and N-Hyphen, a teenager who breaks through while enjoying a chaotic world.

Hive faces the reality of young people in today’s chaotic world and presents a land of small magic and fantasy in everyday life. In the world of pure fantasy, the self-hatred, comparison, and conflict of puberty disappear. You can freely imagine and love without class, discrimination, or the gap between the rich and the poor. It is a place where you realize yourself ‘too beautiful even if it lacks a little, and reflect on ‘Love Yourself’ to envision a better tomorrow. The world that Hive dreams of is a utopia.

A crucial original story for Hive, what is their future?

The original story is, therefore, an essential project for Hive. By casting its artists in a new worldview, you can experiment with the possibility of changing routes and expanding.

Now Nhyphen’s ‘Dark Moon’ is receiving favorable reviews from fans and the public, proving that Nhyphen’s early vampire concept is an attractive IP. Despite the many criticisms, ‘Changing Ho’ and ‘Boys Chasing the Stars’ seem to be establishing themselves as a reference point in the K-pop market, which is eager to secure intellectual property rights. Now, the eyes are on Hive’s new girl group and original story, ‘Crimson Heart,’ scheduled to be released in May of this year.

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