Passions and Obsessions

I trust BTS. The best is yet to come

ARMY also reminded the fandom that in fact, BTS and HYBE had announced in December 2021 that the boys were going on a break to prepare for Chapter 2

Photo taken from @fayepjm twitter

The thing about this whole “BTS on hiatus, one step to disbandment” talk is that it showed the lack of understanding of non-ARMY about BTS and ARMY and unfortunately, it was the non-ARMYs’ voice that dominated the night of the Festa dinner last week.

To this day, even after the band members themselves have cleared the confusion by posting on Weverse (social media platform of Hybe and BigHit Music) and individually going on VLive (the digital platform of the KPop industry), there are people who still insist that they are right about their disbandment narrative, and I can only shake my head in disbelief.

Taehyung posted on Weverse to share more about the direction BTS is taking. Jungkook went on VLive the day after the Festa dinner to say that they are not disbanding, not even going on hiatus, because they have so many group activities lined up, and after JK’s VLive, Namjoon wrote on Weverse that their new song, Yet To Come, clearly says that it’s not yet the end. Instead, there is so much to look forward to.

I take comfort in what BTS said because I always trust BTS. The best from our seven is yet to come, and we will be together for a long time. Not long after the Festa dinner, in fact, it was announced that BTS are the official ambassadors of the 2030 Busan World Expo.

I admit that reading “hiatus” in the subtitles of the 2022 Festa dinner last week did throw me off because in the same breath, they talked about having their own solo projects and finding the need to grow as a band and individually. Let’s just say that like many other ARMY, I panicked at that moment.

But Yoongi emphasized in that same video—and that was clear in the subtitles—that they were not disbanding. So, I calmed down and realized they were preparing ARMY for a stronger band, a BTS that would give the world better music and performances.

This isn’t the first time that the boys are taking a temporary break. The one in 2019, I distinctly remember because that was the year I became ARMY. Other BTS members traveled with their own set of friends, while a few members stayed in Korea and did their own thing. I thought then, as a new fan, that this was a healthy practice of BTS to allow themselves to grow outside of the group.

In the aftermath of the “hiatus” brouhaha, other ARMY reminded the fandom that in fact, BTS and HYBE had announced in December 2021 that the boys were going on a break to prepare for their Chapter 2.

There were other references before. ARMY are usually quick and sharp to detect them but, okay, we sort of missed them this time.

Which is why, I think, at the Festa dinner, the boys felt confident to talk about their transition to Chapter 2. They said that Chapter/Season 1 was originally going to end with ON, meaning the Map of the Soul (MOTS) album and the world tour, but the pandemic changed their plans.

Then somewhere in between, they dominated the Western charts, became more famous worldwide, and were nominated for the Grammys, and these too, changed their plans.

BTS shared so many things with us in the video and for those who want to know more and understand better, the Festa dinner is on YouTube. “Hiatus” has also been changed to “temporary break”.

You’ll find out that the dinner wasn’t all about the “hiatus” and their solo projects. In fact, you’d even wonder if these were really solo projects because they are also collaborating with each other. These boys apparently cannot live without each other.

Also, they said that they were filming their super popular and fun Run BTS! variety show, which means group activities are really lined up for them.

The dinner was also hilarious half the time because of their Bangtan stories like Jungkook, in the early days, sawing off part of a mattress he had bought just to make it fit in his room, or a sleep-deprived Hobi wanting to slap a drunk Jimin, his roommate, who kept pestering him to wake up, or Jin saying he knows a lot about Yoongi, having lived with him for so long, but he’ll keep everything a secret. And the list goes on. These are seriously funny guys.

And if Bangtan are funny, they are always open about their feelings and decisions, too. Always honest and considerate of ARMY.

The heaviness I felt turned into tears when Jimin and Namjoon started to cry. Hobi and Jungkook started to tear up, too.

It just tore my heart when Namjoon said: “The thing I want to do and the thing I wish continues is that we’ll be together and be sincere when we perform on stage and when we gather and talk like this that we could talk and be happy without thinking about the rules of the world. That’s all I want.”

I was teary-eyed because I didn’t want to see them in pain. These seven boys make me happy each time with their music, their performances, their goofiness—I felt guilty that the source of my joy was struggling deep inside them themselves.

To be clear, Namjoon, Jin, Yoongi, Hobi, Jimin, Taehyung, and Jungkook have always said they are grateful for what their group has become, what they have achieved, where they are now.

But they are human beings, first and foremost, and it is perfectly alright to feel exhausted and feel the pressure of having to please their fans and meet everyone’s expectations. We all understand the fear of failing or disappointing people. Ordinary mortals like us feel this. What more the biggest band in the world, adored by millions, recognized by world leaders?

Which brings me to another point—what other ARMY have also been saying: The world has put too much burden on these seven boys. It is unfair to them. Yes, theirs is a strong voice with such a massive fandom, but we should not give them the task of saving the world.

Don’t get me wrong: I am mighty proud, as an ARMY, to see Bangtan at the Blue House, White House, the United Nations. They have done so well in making people more aware about issues such as racial discrimination and hate. They have helped us cope with the personal struggles we faced at the height of the pandemic.

I also share the belief of other ARMY who said that the boys taking a break will also be an opportunity for a fandom cleanse. It will separate the grain from the chaff.

I think Taehyung said it best that night: “Ninety percent of our fans would root for us no matter what kind of direction or music we choose.”

These seven boys always bring us sunshine, inspiration, and hope.

Now that they said they want to allow themselves to breathe, to discover new things, to find themselves amid all the chaos of success, to grow individually and as a band, the most compassionate people—whether ARMY or not—will understand.

Take your time, our 7. Apobangpo!


ARMY tweets:

ARMY, like Bangtan themselves, can really be funny and introspective. These are the tweets I read right after Festa, which made me realize how lucky I am to be in good company.

BTS setting the record for shortest hiatus among Korean idol groups:

Yoongi realizing during Festa dinner that Jungkook has grown:

An ARMY translator tried to correct some of the subtitles:

A veteran ARMY contemplates Bangtan’s message at the Festa dinner:

What hiatus? An ARMY reminds us that JK has eight mattresses in his house and Jin has a tent in his living room:

An ARMY’s thoughts on Namjoon’s take that the K-idol system doesn’t give one room to grow. My sister took it as an indictment of the system:

Of course, Jin won’t let JK go hungry at dinner:

JK goes on VLive the next day to clarify things and to give ARMY an hour-long concert. He falls off his chair as he hits a high note, and finishes the song on the floor:

BTS didn’t warn ARMY that Chapter 2 means “chest is yet to come”:

And so what’s there to update for ARMY @/btsfashionhr? It decided to “close” because of “lack of clothing”:

About author


She is a journalist in hiatus, specializing in security and political issues for two decades until the pandemic changed her life plans almost overnight. She is fascinated with the Korean Wave in general and in particular, South Korean mega-group BTS and actor Ji Chang Wook.

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