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The World Ep. 2: Outlaw

Updated: Jan 19


What we know so far: (See full recap in Ateez Storyline: Updated April 2023).

Can I just say that KQ did an EXCELLENT job with promoting this comeback. They are really doing things differently during the World Series.

They had Ktiny running all over Seoul and we got to experience their real life escape room vicariously through them. Thanks for sharing by the way, it was greatly appreciated by this Itiny.

The World Ep. 2: Outlaw Trailer:

There is a lot to unpack here. We find out that they have been living separately in pairs for 6 months planning their entry into Prestige Academy (in music video world, I don't know if that translates to diary entry world).

We get our first view of Prestige Academy.

And we see how they are communicating with each other while being separated (using chili peppers with hidden messages inside them).

We will dive more into the information provided in the trailer when we look at the music video.

Diary Entries:

Ateez got GOOD writers or at least English translators for this comeback. I mean there is actual imagery in these diaries! As usual, I am summarizing these so I highly recommend you reading them in full in the Diary version of their album. These summaries look long but trust me, I paired them down a lot (like by half). I have included these here for those of you who do not have access to the diaries. If you do, have already read them, and just need a refresher on the key points, please skip down to that section.

A. Intro: Hoping that the members might help, the boy said, “Prestige Academy.” Yunho smirked. “That’s perfect. We were planning to go there, too.” For an outsider entering Prestige Academy is no easy task. After checking your entry ID at the main gate, you must pass through numerous inspection stations to finally enter; similar to that of the immigration offices used to move between countries in World A. In this world, children are required to undergo various tests at a state-certified hospital within six months of birth and parents are obligated to nurture their children according to their innate growth potential. The children who have been identified as “talented” are able to enter Prestige Academy and are then placed in one of five classes depending on the results of their entrance examination.

  • Class 1 is raised to work in the government and will be responsible for researching and implementing systems for better efficiency and control of society in the future.

  • Class 2, which includes future Guardians, is trained to control people and punish those who defy control according to government guidelines.

  • Class 3 is taught to classify new humans following the system and then educate them accordingly.

  • Class 4 is fostered to handle various tasks necessary for human survival (e.g., overseeing new energy exchanges, charging control chips, or the supply and manufacturing of essential energy).

  • Class 5 is in charge of city management, sanitization, and organization.

001: Not only could they save the boy’s older brother but Prestige Academy was the ideal target because they could damage World Z’s ruling class from within. With the help of hacking by Left Eye and the Black Pirates, the members were able to sneak into the school in disguise, each performing their own roles. Mingi and Wooyoung, who infiltrated the academy’s security workforce, were acting as entrance guards. Mingi recognized the boy’s brother from a photo shared with them and sent a signal to the group, “He just entered the school.” Wooyoung then signaled: ‘He’s passing through the hallway on the right.’ The boy’s brother arrived at the classroom and sat down trying to act as stiff and emotionless as possible. So far no one seems to notice my emotions, he thought with a sense of relief. “Meet me in the restroom on the left side of the first floor.” The boy’s brother turned back in surprise at the low voice he heard from behind him. Yeosang’s deep eyes seemed to whisper to him, ‘it’s okay.’ Have I been caught? he thought. As if in response to his confusion, Yeosang flashed the breaker in his hand with a small smile and then walked out of the classroom. The boy’s brother quickly turned back and looked around the classroom. He questioned, did anyone see me? But no one did because they were focusing on their own work. That’s right, no one here is interested in me, he thought and stood up as if he had made a decision.

002: “Don’t worry. We’re here to help you.” It was Seonghwa. Seeming slightly relieved by his smile, the boy’s brother stepped forward carefully. Seonghwa followed him and sent a signal to the other members, ‘I’ve made contact with the boy’s brother.’ When they entered the restroom where Yeosang was waiting and Seonghwa locked the door just in case anyone else tried to come in. “Your younger brother came to the Black Pirates’ bunker last night. He was worried that you might get sent to the Disposal Site and asked us to come save you.” Yeosang and Seonghwa knew the boy’s brother was feeling conflicted, but there was no time to waste. They explained their goal was to rescue him and awaken as many people as possible at Prestige Academy. “Emotions, confusion. Why would we need those? All it means is that a lot of people will have to go through the same things as I am right now”, the boy’s brother stated. “Chaos and pain are not necessarily bad things. You need to feel them to grow. What’s clear is that this feeling of growing through pain is a new, precious experience of yours. It was the same for all of us.” The boy’s brother stared at Yeosang’s outstretched hand as his heart gradually started to calm down. He cautiously reached out and grabbed it. “Class will start soon, let’s just go back to the classroom for now–“ BANG BANG BANG! “Open the door right now. Otherwise, I will refer you to the disciplinary committee immediately.” The boy’s brother, who was still holding Yeosang’s hand, quickly pulled away and moved back. Then, with a painful sigh he recited, “Thunder -”

003: BANG BANG BANG! The boy’s brother sprang up and unlocked the door. Outside stood a group of students in neat uniforms inscribed with the word, ‘THUNDER’. “Why are the three of you all gathered here with the door locked?” The female leader demanded as she stared at Yeosang with a fierce gaze. “You don’t look familiar.” Yeosang handed over the ID card he had prepared in advance and his identity was confirmed. For a while now Seonghwa had been staring at the girl with a look of disbelief. Panicked by Seonghwa's display of clear emotion, Yeosang moved to block the girl’s view. “I think the door needs repairing. I never intentionally locked it, but it wouldn’t open and it took me a while to grasp the situation.” The leader pushed aside Yeosang’s shoulder and approached the boy’s brother. He swiftly tried to hide his trembling hands behind his back, but she grabbed them first. More and more the boy’s brother was losing the ability to hide his emotions. At that very moment, Seonghwa snatched the girl’s wrist. “Why are you here?” The girl looked back at him with an unchanged expression. Yeosang knew they needed to get out of this situation as soon as possible and he quickly thought up an excuse using the logic system of World Z. “It’s inefficient for us to use our time like this. Class will start soon, so would you please let us leave?” The girl raised her free hand signaling permission for them to go. Pulling her wrist out from Seonghwa’s grasp she asked, “What exactly do you mean? Do you not know what kind of group Thunder is?” Seonghwa snapped out of his confusion and looked at the girl. He touched the bracelet on his wrist, trying to calm himself down. The bracelet was engraved with the words, ‘Be Free.”

004: “Why did Thunder come all the way to this remote restroom? Is there a problem with us using the restroom?” Looking at Seonghwa speaking with a steady expression, it seemed as if the female student’s face shook very slightly. Is she – feeling some kind of emotion? Avoiding his eyes, the girl said, “It’s Thunder’s duty to patrol the school. We need to keep an eye on anyone who might be ‘emotional.’” Seonghwa examined the girl’s face without answering. He wanted to find confirmation of the slip in expression he saw before, but her face had returned to its original coldness. “Class starts soon, return to the classroom for now. I’ll have to refer you to the disciplinary committee for an emotional test”, the female student said before leaving with the rest of Thunder. The strong, cold looking girl was the same girl from World A who’s dancing had freed Seonghwa from his lists. She then disappeared and he had been looking for her ever since, but Seonghwa never expected that he would meet her here in World Z, as the head of the student group Thunder, a group composed of those most loyal to the system of control. He didn’t know whether to be happy or sad. However, just as she had changed his life and set him free that one day, Seonghwa was determined to save her from this world.

005: That afternoon the members installed various devices they had prepared in advance throughout the academy. They hid smoke bombs in places they had scouted out, just in case of emergency. The class bell rang and the members were waiting in preparation for the upcoming performance at each of their locations when an urgent signal came: “The boy’s brother has disappeared!” It was from Yeosang. At that moment, one of the members received another alarm signal. It was Wooyoung, ‘It looks like he’s going up to the top floor!’ Hearing this, the boy dashed out into the quad as if he knew just what his older brother was thinking. Wooyoung hurriedly climbed the stairs up to the top floor where he found the boy’s brother. “I had only one day left before graduation. Just one day and my 40 years of schooling would be complete. But you Sense Offenders have made a mess of everything. If I don’t pass the test, I’ll be dragged away to the Disposal Site. My life is ruined! I could have been a Guardian!” Wooyoung tried to reason with him as tears streamed down his face. Water is coming out of my eyes? I knew something was wrong with my mind, but I guess my body is broken now too, he thought. “Brother!!” A familiar voice came from below. The boy’s brother looked down at the quad and among the dull faces there was only one that showed emotion. It was his younger brother with the same water flowing down his face. It was as if his brother’s feelings were being projected on him. He closed his eyes tightly.

006: “Is this really what you want?” Yunho, who had just joined Wooyoung, called out to the boy’s brother. “How should I know? I’ve never felt ‘want’ for anything before. I’m just trying to finish everything before I’m dragged off to the Disposal Site.” “What about your brother? Do you think your brother wants you to die?” Wooyoung grabbed Yunho’s shaking shoulder, knowing just what a brother’s death meant to Yunho. The boy’s brother looked down to see his younger brother shouting, “Brother, no! Please!! I just wanted to help you!” Just then, Guardians ran out of the building into the quad, heading towards the younger brother. “No, the Guardians will take my brother away, save him–” the older brother begged as he slipped out of the window. He and Wooyoung tried to reach each other as he fell but he was already too far away. It was at that moment a light shined behind Wooyoung. The Guardians, who were running towards the younger brother, stopped at the flash and looked up. One of the Guardians called out, “Quantum Energy – It’s the Cromer!” When Wooyoung looked back, Yunho disappeared along with the flashing Cromer. Yunho reappeared in the air for an instant, snatching the boy’s brother’s waist and then they disappeared again before materializing in front of Seonghwa and the boy. “Brother!” Seeing his brother safe in front of him, the boy burst into tears and ran to hug him. As the brothers hugged, they felt a desperate sense of relief, love, and what “life” was.

007: “What a relief…or maybe not.” Jongho said as he approached the other members but was watching the Guardians who were rushing in from all over. Seonghwa made eye contact with the female Thunder leader standing among them. On the surface, there was no change in her expression, but he felt that she was smiling. “Guess it can’t be helped.” Mingi shrugged, “Let’s go!!!” The group looked at each other and shouted together as they dispersed to their respective positions using the Cromer. Beep! Groovy music filled the air and a large black tent covered the building with colorful neon-colored paintings and an A marking in the center of the ceiling. Breakers fell towards the emotionless students and faculty. Those who used the breakers were flooded with waves of emotions. As Ateez and the Black Pirates appeared and disappeared in the dark, the Guardians could do nothing but jump after them helplessly. A ball exploding with light fell from the ceiling to the center of the quad shining on the walls to create a mirror. Those who had regained their emotions were able to recognize their own faces for the first time. With so many people awakening, the Guardians were confused, and unable to decide who they should catch. Just then, the tent disappeared and Ateez reappeared among the students dancing and singing joyfully. People joined in, including the boy and his brother. Ateez's leaflets were then scattered and read. Within minutes, the world at Prestige Academy was completely changed. The Guardians rushed toward the members. Their leader called over the radio, “Catch anyone who’s awakened and immediately dispose of them without replacing their chip. If you want to save them, put down the Cromer and come here slowly.”

008: The members stopped dancing and looked at each other, troubled. No matter how important their goal was, they couldn’t risk the death of innocent people. The members slowly approached the Guardians with their hands up, holding the Cromer. Boom! Colorful smoke bombs detonated throughout the campus, obstructing people’s view. The members used the chaos to rescue those caught by the Guardians and ushered people outside. Then, a scream came from behind. Seonghwa looked back reflexively, and through the thinning smoke he saw the younger boy caught in the grasp of one of the Guardians. Yeosang and San, while working to get the remaining people out, saw Seonghwa standing in the smoke staring at someone who had grabbed his arm. It was the female leader of Thunder. They saw Seonghwa follow the girl as she pulled him along and disappear in the smoke. All too late, San and Yeosang ran into the smoke that the Guardian and the boy had disappeared into, but no one was there. No Seonghwa, no boy, no female student. There was only Yeosang’s voice anxiously calling out to Seonghwa.

Z. Outro: Z's secretary opened the office door for the principal of Prestige Academy and the Guardian leader. Z sat back in a large throne-like chair. Z: There’s not much to say. The principal should take responsibility for this situation.The principal was prepared to be demoted and waited for his sentence without a word. Z: Has a replacement been found? “Yes. A replacement was found and is on standby to start working right away.” Z nodded at the secretary’s words. Z: Originally, I was going to send you off to a sanitarium, but I’ve decided to dispose of you quietly so as not to create another excuse for the Sense Offenders. “Thank you.” The principal said without really knowing what it meant to be grateful. Z: Take care of it. The Z-Only Guardians immediately took out their guns and shot the principal’s head and heart. He died instantly on the spot.

Diary Entries - Key Points

  • The reason for targeting Prestige Academy was further explained - to damage World Z’s ruling class from within

  • Ateez infiltrated the Academy, connected with the boy's brother, and set up their escape plan

  • Seonghwa, Yeosang, and the boy's brother had a run in with Thunder, an elite group within Prestige Academy, similar to school perfects.

  • The leader of Thunder was the same girl Seonghwa saw dancing in Universe A who left behind her "Be Free" bracelet and Seonghwa suspected she is still feeling emotions

  • The older brother had a "why live" moment and Wooyoung and Yunho tried to save him from that but he ended up falling out of the window anyways when he saw the Guardians moving towards his younger brother on the ground below him

  • Yunho used the Cromer to save the older brother in mid air

  • Ateez carried out their rather elaborate plan to awaken the students and faculty and then used smoke bombs to try to escape

  • The boy was recaptured and Seonghwa went back to save him but was intercepted by the Thunder leader. All three of them are now missing

  • Z killed the principal of the school for letting Ateez infiltrate

Bouncy Music Video

At first glance, you may think the lore part of the music video does not begin until you get to the white building set (the inside of Prestige Academy), but if you also think back to the trailer and consider the diaries, you see that the beginning of the music video also connects to the lore. Let's consider the four pairs the group split into when they were living separately during those 6 months. We have San and Wooyoung in the underground fighting world, Yeosang and Seonghwa living in a biker gang, Hongjoong and Mingi as outlaws (in the old school western movie sense), and Yunho and Jongho as undercover cops or impersonating police officers. Each of these sets is living in an underground/undercover/outlaw capacity which aligns with the theme of Outlaw that runs through this album. It also relates to their overarching theme of anarchists. Just like pirates are the anarchists of the sea, so too are biker gangs, outlaws, and those who live in an underground/undercover world. We also see that each group has a different task that contributes to the whole.

San and Wooyoung are the money earners:

Yeosang and Seonghwa are in charge of growing and distributing the chili peppers which are used for passing messages (in the trailer) and bullets (in the music video) to the other members:

Yunho and Jongho can step in and get any of the other members out of trouble if they happen to be arrested. They could also use their police scanner (which is in every cop car) to listen to what is going on around them in case trouble arises:

Mingi is meant to create a distraction by shooting up the saloon while Hongjoong shoots the true bullet into Prestige Academy to kill the Android Guardian:

Each group performs their equally important tasks to fulfill their true mission just like in the diaries where some members have infiltrated the security team, others are in charge of finding the older brother and getting him to safety, and others are in charge of setting up their elaborate set of music, tents, art work, ball of light, smoke bombs, etc. they need to awaken the students and faculty as well as get out without getting caught. In the music video their goal was to kill an Android Guardian (which is the face of the central government in their music videos), while in the diaries their goal was to damage Strictland's ruling population from within.

Making of Music Video and Jacket, and Reaction to Bouncy:

They didn't really share much in terms of lore in the jacket making film or reaction but they did have some things to say in the making of film.

  • During the making of film, San introduced his character stating, "Let me introduce my character. Wooyoung and I are on the same team and I'm a street fighter. Wooyoung and I go around together and try to make a living. I fix the game so that Wooyoung makes money and once again Wooyoung tells me, 'You need to lose again' but my ego won't let it slide so I end up winning again...That's my character. We are always running away too. We don't have a home. Our car is our home! That was my character analysis." -- Ok so I got some of that right. I didn't realize they were going to give character analyses in their making of video. I probably should have watched that first but it is kind of fun to see what I got right and wrong from my analysis above.

  • Yunho also shared, "I am an undercover cop today. The minute Atiny turns their eyes, I'll be there! I'm watching so don't go anywhere and stay by my side." -- Yunho confirmed undercover cop. Good to know.

  • Can we also just stop and talk about how cute it is that Mingi was scared of the gun sounds at first. Precious!!

  • It also looks like Mangkot, the goat, ate one of the messages they were sending back and forth between the members. Good use of the goat! And of course Hongjoong made friends with another farm animal.

  • During the reaction to the Bouncy music video Yunho said, "Jongho and I showed our IDs in the garage. There was a motive. Cha Tae-hyun and Jun Ji-hyun sunbaenim..." Hongjoong then said, "Ah, I know I know" while clapping and then Wooyoung said, "My Sassy Girl" -- Wikapedia has a pretty in depth summary of this movie. I linked it here for y'all. In all honesty, I have not idea what Yunho and the others are talking about by referencing the movie. If anyone does, please let me know.

References in the Outlaw Album and Bouncy Music Video

There were several references I wanted to research before writing my post both in the music video and then in the album as a whole. Starting with Bouncy where we see references to the Japanese 1988 animated film, Akira.

My friend Carey and I watched this entire film and maybe it is the fact that I had never seen a Japanese anime before but I did not follow the storyline and honestly thought it was really weird. This is a no shade statement as entertainment is subjective, it just wasn't my cup of tea. But the real question is why did KQ/Ateez choose to model their music video off of this movie? Here is an IMDb summary written by Tzung-I Lin "Kaneda is a bike gang leader whose close friend Tetsuo gets involved in a government secret project known as Akira. On his way to save Tetsuo, Kaneda runs into a group of anti-government activists, greedy politicians, irresponsible scientists and a powerful military leader. The confrontation sparks off Tetsuo's supernatural power leading to bloody death, a coup attempt and the final battle in Tokyo Olympiad where Akira's secrets were buried 30 years ago."

So we have anti-government activists (anarchists). Irresponsible scientists is a nice way of saying they were running experiments on people's brains to make them superhuman (so we can draw a connection to Strictland's work to remove emotions from their civilization). Greedy politicians and a powerful military leader (Z anyone?). Ok, I can see some similarities. Also there is this subgroup of people in the movie that worship Akira, "The time of atonement is upon us! That which is called civilization devastates the spirit of man! That which is called science perverts providence! Lord Akira Enlightened!" Science perverts providence and civilization devastates the spirit of man...that tracks.

Fun fact, the first image I noticed was the back of Kaneda's jacket.

I got all excited about the Matrix red pill blue pill reference and was explaining it to Carey while we were watching the movie, and then found this tweet where someone smarter than me had already done the research:

You would need to expand the text image to read the whole paragraph about this drug so I took a small segment of it and recreated it here. I don't know where she got this information, so I cannot cite it. “...drug use in Akira was a double-sided sword for the individuals that had been psychically awakened. One one hand, it had the effect of allowing the individuals to exist alongside regular humans much easier but on the other hand, it limited their mental potential. I suppose that the use of drugs in Akira was a way of distancing yourself from reality, which the mysterious entity seems to either have supreme control over or simply be part of the fabric of…”

Bouncy also references the Cheongyang chili pepper in both the lyrics and the video. As someone who thinks that green bell peppers are a little spicy, I chose not to find and taste these chili peppers. I did, however, look them up. Obviously not lore related but thought it would be good to add since they talk about them so much.

I also noticed Yeosang's choreography when they are in Prestige Academy looked like he was playing some sort of hopscotch game. This took me some time to convince my friend but when Yeosang specifically talked about it during a Logbook, she came around.

If Yeosang says hopscotch is important. It is important. SABANGCHIGI 사방치기, meaning "Hitting the Four Cardinal Directions": A Korean-style hopscotch, or a children's game in which a player moves through a series of outlined spaces on the ground by kicking a small flat stone from one space to another. The Geometric Study defines it as, "Sabangchigi, also known as “Hopscotch”, "potsy" or "cherry bomb" in some regions, is a children's game that involves jumping between numbered squares or spaces on the ground. Play is a voluntary activity that allows children to explore the world, and human culture has developed through play. The traditional game of hopscotch and its reinterpretation in various colors and shapes represent the expansion of play into life, and tell a story about human nature. It is based on the idea that the correlation between sound and movement is a fundamental aspect of how humans experience life." I like that last line the best:

"It is based on the idea that the correlation between sound and movement is a fundamental aspect of how humans experience life."

Ateez is bringing back sound and movement to the citizens of Strictland so they can experience actual life as opposed to how they were "living".

Moving into the Outlaw Album as a whole we see two more references to pop culture that need to be discussed. These references are found in the titles of two of their b-sides, Dune and Django.

Dune is a book, well actually a series, written by Frank Herbert in 1965 and is described as the best selling science fiction novel in history. That's a big statement! I have never read the books but I did know about the series from the video game that my friends used to play in computer lab and of course the 2021 movie, but when I told my friend I was going to research it for my blog, she got excited and started talking about spice. Wikipedia describes the general premise of Dune as, "Set tens of thousands of years in the future, the saga chronicles a civilization that has banned all "thinking machines", which include computers, robots, and artificial intelligence. In their place, civilization has developed advanced mental and physical disciplines as well as advanced technologies that adhere to the ban on computers. Vital to this empire is the harsh desert planet Arrakis, the only known source of the spice melange, the most valuable substance in the universe." Interesting that in Dune society has banned what is most promoted in Strictland.

Since there are 25 books in the series, I opted to rewatch the 2021 movie to see if I could find any references in relation to the song. The movie starts with the quote, "Dreams are messages of the deep". Well that fits right into Ateez's lore (see using the Cromer to communicate through dreams on the crescent moon and songs like Inception, Dreamers, Illusion, Eternal Sunshine, etc.). Another connection is the fact that in Dune spice melange is used to access these dreams. In the movie you see spice as a sandlike substance that causes the main character, Paul Atreides, to have visions of the future. This instantly made me think of the yellow smoke used in Strictland that causes people to have visions, including reliving their memories (see Jongho's basketball memories and Left Eye's memories of his daughter) which makes sense because yellow smoke is made by burning people's memories. I stumbled across a YouTuber, Nerd Cookies, who has made several videos on lore in the Dune series. They did an entire video on the line, "Dreams are the messages of the deep" that I have linked here.

My favorite line from this video is, "It's not a surprise to many that one could easily lose themselves in exploring such visions losing touch with reality as they dream walked endlessly forward and backwards in time. Consequently Paul recognized the need to also maintain a firm grasp on his awareness of the present. He refers to this as trinocular vision, with the one-eyed vision on the past, the one-eyed vision of the present, and the one-eyed vision of the future." I'm sorry, are we finally getting the reference to Wooyoung's different colored eyes in Paradigm and Jongho's different eyes in Halazia? Not to mention Tiny Bug Ink's discussion on the one eye open and one eye closed in her theory films.

When I watched the movie, the thing that connected most to the lyrics of Ateez's Dune was the weather on two of the featured planets. The lines:

"The pouring rain falls and presses on my head (Presses). I try my best to climb up somehow (use my strength). I'm suffocating, I can't even count the sacrifices. I'm falling endlessly (I'm still falling down)."

Connected to the scene on the Imperial Army Planet of Salusa Secundus where the army was prepping to go to war under a constant downpour of rain. Interestingly enough they were literally sacrificing people for some sort of blood ritual in that scene as well.

The lines:

"Shake into the waves down, down. The wind's pressure wraps around (Hoo). Hey, save me here, help me (Woah). Hold my hand, hold me (Woah). Water, water keeps drying up, I'm thirsty. My body won't even make a bad sound (Ayy). Into the depths. I'm in danger of disappearing. Can you remember? Even if it is this scream of death."

Reminded me of the climate of the planet of Arrakis where there is no precipitation, just endless heat beating down on sand dunes covered in spice. A place were sandstorms can bring down their dragonfly looking helicopters (as the wind pressure wraps around them), were people have to wear special suits to capture their sweat and turn it back into drinking water, and were you have to be careful of the sounds you make even when you are walking because you don't want to grab the attention of a sandworm who will come and swallow you up. We are also harkening back all the way to the debut music videos with sand dunes acting as waves. My friend, Carey, found this lyric in Intro Long Journey that even connects:

"The vibrations of the sand may swallow us but we'll never stop."

Another bit of lyric play I didn't notice until reading the English version of Dune was the gradual build up to the "mayday" call. The song starts with:

"Mm-day, mm-day, oh-oh-oh-oh-oh Mm-day, mm-day, oh"

And then you get the pre chorus:

"Heaven's door; Is getting farther and farther away. Mm-day, mm-day, oh"

Before finally getting to them crying out for help in earnest in the bridge:

"The gesture of despair tempts me; As if I could run away. Run away, run away, far away. I can't take it anymore; Mayday, mayday, mayday. Fade out, fade out, fade out. Why are you doing this to me? I want to live (Hey)."

Yeah, just let that sit in for a minute.

Django is also based on a pop culture character that for me, as an America, I instantly connected to Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, but when I started researching the character, Django, I discovered that the Tarantino version is actual based on a character created in Italy in 1966. When someone asked Hongjoong about Django vs. Django Unchained during a fan sign, he stated the reference was the original version.

The character Django mainly appeared in spaghetti westerns, western films produced in Europe mostly by Italian producers and director. There have been two official films, Django (1966) and Django Strikes Again (1987). The Django character has been featured in 38 unofficial films and 1 television series across multiple countries mainly in the 1960s and 1970s before resurfacing in the early 2000s. (Someone made a youtube video featuring all of the Django movies but said there were 85 of them so Wikipedia may be missing a few or a lot in the list I counted to get the 38 number). Quentin Tarantino re-envisioned the Django character is a former slave turned bounty hunter on a quest to liberate his wife and even had the original Django actor, Franco Nero, as a minor character in his movie. So when we think of the Ateez song, Django, we should be picturing their actual reference.

Wikipedia states the following as the character biography for Django in the original 1966 Italian film, "Django is a dismissed Union soldier who fought in the American Civil War. The film is set in 1869, four years after the end of the Civil War. After arriving in a bleak, mud-drenched town in the American Southwest and dragging a coffin behind him, Django gets caught up in a violent race war between exiled Mexican revolutionaries, led by General Hugo, and a gang of militant neo confederates led by Major Jackson. Armed with a deadly Mitrailleuse volley gun, Django proceeds to play both sides against each other in the pursuit of money and, ultimately, revenge against Jackson; the Major having murdered his wife years before."

I have an intense dislike for western films and country music probably stemming from growing up in Texas and being inundated by those genres for so long; therefore, I did not watch the movie, Django for this post. It must be good since the character became probably the most internationally well known western/outlaw character ever but I could not bring myself to watch it. So we will just know the Wikipedia info and some snippets I got from watching a few people reviewing the movie. What we mainly get is Django's superior gun skills, his fights with waring factions, his use of a very big gun to kill lots of baddies, his solitude, and his need to revenge his wife's death.

So why did Ateez choose to name one of their songs after Django? Because he is cool, he is a well known outlaw, and he comes out on top. I think they wanted something instantly recognizable that gives people the outlaw/gunslinger vibe. The lyrics:

"Put everything on the line and shoot, right now. Final round with fate on the line. If you want to run away, then run away. Ain't nobody mess with Django, call me Django. Pre-determined scenario. You can't control me. 'Cause I just live today, don't care about a thing. Call me Django."

paint the picture that they want to be seen as this guy. They want to be the gunslinger who is victorious against society.

Final Thoughts

Outlaw continues the story Ateez started in Movement. We get to see them infiltrate Prestige Academy and enlighten countless people. All of that work paid off!! If Movement set the stage for the start of their work and dove into the citizens' feelings of both losing themselves to Strictland and then being awakened, Outlaw was a full battle album. Every song made me feel like we were in some sort of fight. It felt like the soundtrack to the part in the diaries where their full plan is in action and everything is just going crazy with the tent and the neon paintings and whatever else they did. I think the next album may be them in more of a hideout stance while trying to track down Seonghwa (since the cookie mentioned the wanted sign) but we will see when it comes out. No matter what, the World series definitely feels more like a full story than the other two series and I am here for it!

Also, please let me know if y'all need me to summarize the diary entries or if just the key points will do. I am trying to determine if the summaries are still valuable now that they are so long. Thanks!

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댓글 14개

Nancy Sikazwe
Nancy Sikazwe
2023년 12월 01일

You are amazing, thank you for this, If I could get you a cup of coffee for your hard work I would. I'm waiting for when you add crazy form to the storyline, I'm itching to get your view:)

2023년 12월 01일
답글 상대:

Thanks so much! It normally takes me about a month because I like to wait for them to post their making videos and reaction videos. They seem to drop little nuggets in them. Although, they were dropping some good things tonight in their countdown!! “Our album is about the traces we LEFT in Z dimension” They used that blood moon to go home after they finished their task and someone who stayed behind broke the cromer again!! At least that is what I think based on initial viewing.

I also need the diaries to get to me since my shipping label has been made but nothing has happened with that for the past two days. Last time I gave up…


2023년 11월 04일

I read this entire thing, and then spread my Ateez cds on my living room floor in storyline order:). Thanks for all of your hard work!

2023년 12월 01일
답글 상대:

Thanks so much!! Now that Will has dropped, I’m going to treat myself to a Movement exploration starting with Answer and the listening to every movement in order until I reach Will. I can’t wait!


Famke Bogerd
Famke Bogerd
2023년 9월 02일

About Dune... The books start with diary entries of a princess, giving context etc to the story... A 'famous' quote is '“He who controls the spice controls the universe.” (the spice growing in the tube, in MV Bouncy) Another quote is “Once men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free. But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.” (about Z's plan)

2023년 9월 03일
답글 상대:

OMG I LOVE that!! Thanks for sharing!


2023년 8월 15일

Could I ask you? Is it possible to you share the ateez diaries with us?

2023년 12월 01일
답글 상대:

Sure! Let me go find it and send it on to you.


2023년 8월 15일

Thank you for your exellent work!!! I'm really glad to be a part of your ateez world))) I start discover ateez storyline throught your page! It was undoubtedly the best decision!

2023년 8월 15일
답글 상대:

Thanks so much!

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