a guide to

BU CONTENT

Introduction

BU Content refers to multimedia content that belongs to a fictional universe Big Hit Entertainment is creating as part of BTS' body of work (BU = BTS Universe). However, not everything from BTS is part of this universe, so relevant content is marked with either the BU Logo, or "BU Content certified by Big Hit Entertainment" at the end of Youtube video descriptions.

Chronologically, BU content dates back as far as mid-2015 with I Need U, but several videos were retroactively marked as part of the BU in mid-2017, when the BU was officially established in time with BTS' rebranding and the release of the Wings Concept Book, which is where the BU Logo first appeared.

In fandom circles, the BU is sometimes still referred to as HYYH, which comes from the videos I Need U, Prologue, and Run. These videos were part of the album trilogy The Most Beautiful Moment in Life (kor. 화양연화, Hwa Yang Yeon Hwa = HYYH), and are now widely understood as the foundation of the BU, but fandom already recognised they belonged to the same fictional universe before the official introduction of the BU, hence the fanmade name HYYH. Even Big Hit still uses HYYH in the name for HYYH the Notes (short: the Notes), which are small pieces of writing similar to diary entries about events on a specific date in the BU, and written from one of the seven characters' point of view.

The characters and their backstories in the BU are fictional, but they borrow the names and age differences of the BTS members in real life. In the year 22, where so far most of the events in the BU take place, the characters are (most likely) between 17 and 22 years old.

A general warning: the BU story directly deals with potentially triggering themes like suicide, abuse, accidents, mental illnesses, and parental neglect. None of these themes are treated lightly or trivialised, but if you are generally sensitive to these topics, please proceed with caution! Specifically the webtoon is very graphic when it comes to death and injury. In the timeline there is an option to display trigger warnings.

List of BU Content

For the sake of brevity this list only contains the longest/final versions of content that appears in multiple places (e.g. the Japanese Blood Sweat & Tears teaser is marked as BU Content, but only contains scenes from the MV, so only the MV is listed)


150510 I Need U (Original ver.)
151001 HYYH on stage: Prologue
151129 Run
151201 I Need U

160311 Run
160419 Epilogue: Young Forever*
160904 Short Film #1 Begin*
160905 Short Film #2 Lie*
160907 Short Film #3 Stigma*
160908 Short Film #4 First Love
160909 Short Film #5 Reflection
160910 Short Film #6 Mama
160913 Short Film #7 Awake
161010 Blood Sweat & Tears

170510 Blood Sweat & Tears
170629 WINGS Concept Book
170811 Love Yourself Poster
170819 HYYH The Notes: Seokjin
170819 Highlight Reel '起承轉結'
170918 HYYH The Notes from Her

180406 Euphoria: Theme of LY 起 Wonder
180504 HYYH The Notes: Jungkook
180515 Fake Love Teaser 1
180601 Fake Love (Extended ver.)
180810 HYYH The Notes from Tear
180504 HYYH The Notes: Seokjin
180810 Comeback Trailer: Epiphany
180810 HYYH The Notes from Answer

190117 SAVE ME Webtoon
190305 HYYH The Notes 1 (Book)
190412 HYYH The Notes from Persona
190821 Game concept trailer

* Due to a glitch, some browsers don't display the "BU Content certified by Big Hit Entertainment" in the YouTube description, but it's there.

Additionally, the Naver blog Testesso (translation) contains post written by the owner of the fictional "Smeraldo" flower shop, a shop Seokjin encounters in the story (he also tweeted about the Smeraldo flower a couple of days before the Love Yourself era was introduced). The blog posts describe the history of the flower and the events leading up to the shop's opening. While none of the BU characters are mentioned by name, there are hints that the customer the owner talks about in the blog posts is Seokjin. Posts have also been added and/or changed a few times when BTS was gearing up to release a new album. While this might be subject to change, so far the blog doesn't really contribute to the plot itself, but merely provides some background information and context.

The twitter account Smeraldo Books was created to introduce the book and webtoon, but merely recycles content that appears elsewhere and draws (more or less obvious) connections between video clips and scenes from the Notes.

Some BU Content also makes very clear references to the BTS Begins concert VCR, and while we have no way of knowing if it's officially part of the BU because Big Hit cannot retroactively add a BU marker to this, it's safe to assume that it's at least partially relevant.

Song lyrics have never directly contributed to the BU storyline so far, if at all they only reflect the general mood or topic of a video.

About the timeline

The timeline is a chronological list of events in the BU, with information primarily taken from the Highlight Reel and the Notes, which are part of the physical package of the albums from the Love Yourself and Map of the Soul series, one set for each album plus a few additional notes uploaded on the official Big Hit Twitter. After the end of the Love Yourself era, a book was released that contained most of the Notes from the three albums, with several entirely new Notes and some changes in the old ones.

The purpose of this list is to structure and connect what we canonically know about the BU, without any further interpretations of the story apart from a few conclusory notes about what's hidden directly in the text. It's meant to be an aid for those who want to understand what's going on, or want to draw their own conclusions about what's happening below the surface.

Prior to the release of the Notes and Highlight Reel (i.e. the start of the Love Yourself era) there was no information on which events happened when in the universe, and while the storyline is becoming clearer, there is still a lot of (video) content that currently can't be placed into any timeline. Seokjin time travels in an attempt to save the other characters, but for now it remains unconfirmed if the Notes describe events from different versions of the universe as a result of Seokjin's actions, or if they all belong to the same one (with the exception of Seokjin's notes from Aug 8, Year 22, where we already know there are two different versions thanks to the Highlight Reel).

The timeline doesn't include any events from the SAVE ME webtoon, since it shows multiple versions of how the story can play out on the same days, which would blow up the timeline considerably yet not contribute much to the understanding of the progression of the story as a whole in a chronological sense. It's best to read the webtoon in its entirety to learn more about the characters, and use the timeline as a guide, since the webtoon makes quite a few references to scenes from the Notes. However, none of the events in the Notes are ones that directly cause Seokjin to fail at saving everyone in the webtoon.

All new notes contained in the HYYH the Notes 1 book and the Persona album will be added as soon as possible!

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Credits

Admin/Creator (design, content, coding):
dalpingu

Full translations of the Notes:
ktaebwi

Cross-checked with translations by:
 doyou_bangtan,  papercrowns,  cafe_army,  doolsetbangtan

Timeline layout partially inspired by:
tokyo_temtem & kocchi


All original BU Content © Big Hit Entertainment

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