It looks like we won’t see any new material from BIGBANG as 5-member group anytime soon due to T.O.P’s military service. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t get nostalgic and go back to one of the most iconic videos that BIGBANG gave us: ‘Fantastic Baby’. Not having BIGBANG around for such a long time might be a struggle but it is the ‘Fantastic Baby’ music video that can give inspiration. In the video, we can find symbols, visual elements and stories about a struggle that can be overcome in the end.
First, re-live the music video below!
In this analysis, I will focus on each member of the group and show how the concept of struggle, fight or even war is being expressed. Sometimes it will be the member’s clothing or accessories, or it will be the members’ surroundings, and sometimes both. As for the conclusion, I will talk about how the members come together, celebrating and dancing as they are celebrating their victory over the various challenges and struggles.
G-Dragon’s (GD) Solo Appearances
GD might be the member with the most varied selection of outfits in the video. In the beginning, we see him in a black and white suit, with a long orange hair. He is sitting on a big chair that is similar to a throne. He is also holding a staff, giving off a feeling that he is in power or in charge of something. The makeup around his eyes also looks like dirt or war paint. We then see the soldiers wearing scary helmets and holding shields that say “Stop Music“. So, here we have GD (seeming like a king) who sings/raps, versus the “Anti-Music” soldiers.
In his next outfit, we see GD in what seems like a war zone, where the “Anti-Music” soldiers are confronting rebels. Those rebels will later be revealed as BIGBANG supporters, but let’s stay focused on GD.
If GD seemed like a king in the previous outfit, in this outfit he is definitely a king. He even wears a special hat that used to be worn by kings in pre-modern Korea. In addition to this, his torso is covered in bandages. The fashionable red jacket he wears might make it hard to notice, but you can see it in the picture below. Also, his body is a bit dirty, with a wound on his left arm, suggesting he took part in a fight.
In his next outfit, GD can be seen wearing a white suit. It’s also interesting to see the painted patterns on his lips. In general, GD in this outfit seems to be conveying the theme of Light and Dark; from the white scarf with the black shapes (with similar lips), to the dark eyes and eye shades contrasting with pale skin. Even GD’s hair is half dark, half platinum blond. It is as if his whole appearance represents a struggle between light and dark. In addition to all this, GD lands on a ruined car in the same environment where the battle between the “Anti-Music” soldiers and the rebels, took place.
Taeyang’s Solo Appearances
In the first scene of Taeyang’s we see him shirtless, covered with tattoos (fake tattoos that were specially made for this video) while defrosting. At the same time, he can be seen clenching his fist as he also prepares for a fight. In addition to this, a flaming bottle is being prepared and thrown at a sign that seems to forbid listening to music with headphones. There are two struggles here: Ice versus Fire, created due to the video’s editing, and the Rebels versus the “Anti-Music” force, which is a part of the video’s story.
In his next outfit, Taeyang can be seen sitting on the same chair GD sat on, wearing a black coat while dancing enthusiastically. The dance might be seen as an additional act of mockery against those who wish to stop the music. While the rebels are directly fighting the soldiers, Taeyang shows his resistance by dancing. In his next outfit he can be seen shirtless again, while meditating. However, despite the calm looking position, he is singing while making determined facial gestures that show he is ready for battle. The people around him seem to be rebels as well since they are wearing the same masks.
In his next outfit, Taeyang is shirtless once again while his left arm is almost completely covered with what looks like a metallic plate, giving the illusion that the hand itself is made of metal. This reminds me a bit of the “Mortal Kombat” video game character named Jax. Take a look at the picture below and judge for yourself. Even without this resemblance, Taeyang’s outfit still contains horns and chains that give off a feeling of an armor.
T.O.P’s Solo Appearances
T.O.P’s first costume is a big red coat. While nothing seems to be battle related, we can see him facing something that looks like stormy weather, while being on a boat.
In the next outfit, there are clothes that give off a royal feeling (middle-age European style), along with many military badges attached to a ribbon. This might suggest that T.O.P is a skilled and honored fighter. We can also see him sitting on a huge chair as well. That chair has two big engravings on it in the shape of pistols, which further contribute to the concept of battle.
T.O.P’s next outfit seems to be more mystical than his previous outfits, and there is a strong icy feel to it. It begins with the pale blue color of the outfit, along with the painted eyebrows and pale skin, that gives the feeling he is somewhat frozen. The scarf that he is wearing can also resemble snow. While nothing seems to be connected to a struggle, T.O.P is located in the area where the battle between the “Anti-Music” soldiers and the rebels took place. We can also see a ruined car next to him.
Daesung’s Solo Appearances
In his first appearance, Daesung is shirtless while being chained to a wall. Some fans claimed that Daesung being so exposed in a video is by itself a reference to one of his personal struggles. They claim that he is usually shy about his body and doesn’t expose it as often as Taeyang. Putting that aside, Daesung is seen chained to a wall inside a dungeon and doesn’t appear to be very happy about it, judging by the way he screams. It seems he is struggling to break free as well.
In his next outfit, Daesung can be seen wearing a blue business suit. He is located in the battle scene as well. However, he is also screams again and can suddenly be seen falling. But don’t worry, the rebels will catch and save him. This scene further confirms that the rebels are not just the enemies of the “Anti-Music” soldiers, but that they are the supporters of BIGBANG. The connection between the two groups will be discussed more where we reach the final scene.
Seungri’s Solo Appearances
In the 2nd verse of the song, Seungri can be seen surrounded by women. The women wear tight black suits, heavy makeup and cat ears. Bleeding scratches can be seen on Seungri’s body. It is not clear if they were caused by the women or not. It might symbolize a struggle related to love or another problem. Another small, yet interesting, detail is Seungri’s earring. It is quite large and has a shape that resembles a spear. While it’s hard to tell if Seungri wears this on purpose or not, it is definitely a nice addition to the struggle theme of the video.
Additional Solo Appearances By The Members
In addition to the special outfits, all the members can be seen in the video in individual close-ups, where they wear helmets. These accessories look rather futuristic and look like space helmets. Some have horns attached to them as well.
The Final Scene
As soon as the rebels save Daesung from falling, we can see all the members together at the same place. They no longer wear any battle outfits, but are actually dancing and being happy together.
We can see GD making a gesture that is similar to the “Haduken” attack, made by a character from the “Street Fighter” video game. However, some fans say that this move is taken from the Anime/Manga, “Dragon Ball-Z”. No matter where it was taken from, this scene is where the members are fooling around and maybe laughing at the times when their struggles and fights were real.
In addition, we see a traditional “Lion Dance“, where people who wear a costume of a lion are dancing around. This performance can be seen in various traditional festivals in Korea. This goes well with the traditional King’s hat in the beginning of the video. BIGBANG are showing that during times of struggle and times of victory, they are creative and diverse by combining old and new. BIGBANG’s supporters can be seen dancing and pulling off their masks. They look like ordinary people, just like BIGBANG’s fans in real life. This whole scene is therefore one big celebration.
In the end, we can see all the members sitting on huge chairs and looking like kings. This video shows, in a metaphoric way, that BIGBANG’s fans help them with many struggles and it is thanks to them they are in such high position.
Also, it might be connected to BIGBANG’s album ‘Alive’, of which ‘Fantastic Baby’ is the title track. BIGBANG are also expressing in the video their thanks to their fans who keep them alive. Another interpretation might be that this video is all about spreading the message that you can’t give up and must work hard, no matter how tough the obstacles are. If you keep working hard and get some help from friends, you will too be a winner, a king, like BIGBANG.
So, cheer up guys, Fighting!
Written By: Ariel Wagner
Edited By: Acacia