It’s more than fitting that the acronym BTS also stands for “Behind The Scenes,” as showing personal and professional glimpses of the process surrounding Bangtan’s impeccable music and performances has been a hallmark of the group’s ethos from their pre-debut days. From early YouTube vlogs to multi-episode coverage of tours and shows, BTS consistently grants their fans opportunities to learn more about how and why they create their art. Chapter 2 is no different, as seen by the releases of documentaries “j-hope IN THE BOX” and “Road to D-Day.” Premiering on Disney+ earlier this year, these two pieces give insight into j-hope and SUGA’s creative processes and roadblocks as they developed their first full-length solo albums. To celebrate BTS’ 10th anniversary, both documentaries were shown in movie theaters worldwide on June 17-18, 2023.
Hwagae Market Doors Re-Open
On May 16, BTS’ channel posted a video featuring SUGA and j-hope, which was somewhat surprising given j-hope’s enlistment and resulting restrictions in media appearance only a month prior. Using the introduction from the duo’s 2016-2019 livestream series “Hwagae Market”, the two announced that their solo documentaries would be streaming in theaters across the world in June. This decision certainly made their documentaries more accessible. Because Disney+ is a subscription streaming service, both documentaries are normally available only to those who have purchased a membership; therefore, choosing to add a theater showing made both pieces available to watch for anyone with the ability to purchase a ticket.
ARMY Experiences Around The World
Be it concerts or movies, ARMY experiences often extend beyond the runtime of the advertised event itself and these documentaries were no exception. In addition to handing out exclusive photocards, Seoul’s Lotte World Cinemas created an incredible photozone for each documentary where visitors could watch clips from each show, take pictures with themed backgrounds, and play with non-recording TV and film cameras themselves. Across the Korea Strait, theatergoers in Japan also received unique photocards (Japan also provided unique freebies for those who saw “Yet to Come: Busan” in theaters). ARMY in other countries held cupsleeve events and group showings of both movies as well, bringing people together to celebrate these two brilliant artists.
Individual Stories in Conversation Together
Though both j-hope and SUGA’s documentaries can be watched separately (and indeed some ARMYs bought tickets to watch one of the two in theaters), there’s something incredibly profound about watching both pieces back to back on the big screen. As highlighted in the 2022 FESTA video, BTS’ Chapter 2 is largely focused on individual exploration (and rest) for each member as the septet makes its way through their mandatory military service. Watching SUGA and j-hope’s different approaches to both album and documentary development demonstrates how this particular chapter allows for both members to engage in personally specific and complementary growth.
For example, j-hope is frequently referred to as the “backbone” of BTS; he oversees group choreography and serves as the dance captain on top of his duties as a main dancer, producer, and lyricist. As the first solo debut during Chapter 2, viewers see j-hope focusing on himself; he features no other artists in his Jack In The Box tracklist and minimal dance-heavy choreography. Conversely, much of SUGA’s documentary features him spending time with musicians other than fellow BTS to find inspiration, a feat often more difficult with a packed seven-member schedule. Seeing both of them challenge and expand their individual music creation process and the resulting growth for each of them as artists will make it incredibly exciting to see the group reunite as a whole in 2025.
Continuing to Reach “Beyond the Star(s)”
While SUGA and j-hope’s documentary showings in theaters is now over, there will definitely be more behind the scenes content to come. Disney+ and BTS have entered into a multi-project deal with at least one more confirmed collaboration: a seven-member documentary series entitled “BTS Monuments: Beyond The Star” (release date yet to be announced). BTS’ first memoir “Beyond the Story” is dropping globally on July 9 for those who love reading as much as watching content. In the meantime, ARMY can enjoy the concert film “BTS: Permission to Dance on Stage” on Disney+. Hopefully, Disney+ and BTS will continue to utilize movie theaters to screen content in the future!
Written by: Mariko
Edited by: Marcie
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