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Zero: Fever Part. 1 (Part 1)

Updated: Feb 5, 2023

Diary Film

Interestingly enough for some reason this Diary Film was really daunting for me when I was trying to figure out the storyline. I don't know if it was because Ateez was leaving the Treasure series and entering into a new part of their storyline or because the video was so long, but I was incredibly intimidated by it. Back before I started trying to figure out the storyline as a whole, I had seen just Bookish Theories' theory on Wonderland (since it was my favorite music video at the time) and then started watching her theory of the Diary Film. I actually stopped watching it because it felt too "heady" for me. Knowing I would need to tackle this when I was working on the storyline for my Army friend was not fun and I actually ended up procrastinating by going back and finding more theories on the Treasure series (that is when I found FixOn8 and added my "sub-days"). I finally had to bite the bullet and move on and was glad I did because now the Fever series storyline is my favorite! So now that I have prolonged this enough, let's get started.

What we know so far: Ateez has gathered as friends to form a group of anarchist pirates who will come if called and have started on a journey towards a treasure that might be a new world/utopia. There is also another group, Halateez, who are most likely doppelgängers from a future parallel world that Ateez may have caught a glimps of and it appears to be a dystopian universe that may be risky and lack happiness. Ateez experienced a time where they were under an illusion but they have since escaped from it and know that by leaning on each other, they can get through hard times. They geared up for some sort of battle against a controlling entity in Halateez's dystopian world where they worked with Halateez and then celebrated their success by enjoying a delicious meal together.

We know, based on Ateez's comments, that the Zero: Fever series is the prequel to the Treasure series. The title of the series also gives us a hint that this is a prequel with the use of the word, "zero" since the Treasure series uses "zero" as a starting point as well. In a Forbes interview, Hongjoong said this about the Zero: Fever series, "To define the new series Zero, I’d say it’s all about youth. We can say that it’s a prequel story, the story before the Treasure series, so we wanted to put in some diverse perspectives on youth itself. All the music, and all the contents like the diary film, are all related to the theme of “youth.” Honestly, I would say it’s about youth but it’s not about any age or any generation. The overall message is that youth can be hurtful, but it also at the same time makes your heart flutter. We want to combine all the feelings and messages of youth that everyone can relate to, and it's related to how you can find Treasure." In that same interview Seonghwa said, "I feel the idea of “fever”represents chasing our dreams and overcoming all the obstacles in our paths."

Ok, so what I have realized is that Bookish Theories does an excellent job of finding all of the little details in each video and trying to make connections, but what she doesn't have is the info that Ateez themselves are giving to us about their storyline, so some of her connections are incorrect. However, FixOn8 used the Diary Booklet in their Diary Album to come up with theories. So I am still giving you the Bookish Theories explanation for you to see the details she points out but I want you to follow the theory of the FixOn8 video. Each of their theory videos are about 22 minutes long so be prepared. And, of course, I have 15Kim's interpretation as well.

Bookish Theories (for the details):

My Takeaways (of details. I am not including things related to theories I have already decided against)

  • The diary film is set in reality and follows the boys on their journey towards maturity

  • The hourglass on the book indicates possible time travel and the star on the hourglass is in the shape of a compass which symbolizes their unity gives them a direction to follow

  • "This is the story of where their dimensions are split into eight pieces again" indicating they have been split at least once before and they have been able to repair the split

  • Members' dreams overlap with images from the Treasure series (e.g., Hongjoong's hand on the TVs reminiscent of Yunho's TVs in Wonderland and Yeosang's hand on the glass case in Say My Name, the chains blocking the warehouse are similar to Wooyoung's chains in Wonderland, Yeosang is entrapped by a cage of lights in Wonderland like the bird cage in his diary, and San going down the escalator is reminiscent of the members going up the stairs in Wonderland indicating moving away and towards the treasure)

  • Seonghwa's office has to do lists with days and activities (daily chores that repeat over and over again) to convey a sense of refinement and restraint. The TV has the glass box from Say My Name and there are shadows of prison bars on the walls which both symbolizes being trapped and stop him from reaching his goal. The girl he sees represents freedom and allows him to escape from his current situation

  • Wooyoung's memory is the only one that doesn't feature the group as a whole and the members that are missing are the ones that get in a fight at the end of the video.

  • Yunho's scene has a flashing light part that moves from his brother on the floor to Yunho standing and looking at that same spot (I didn't see that when I watched the Diary Film becuase I was too busy reading the subtitles). Yunho's shadow duplicating in Wonderland may be related to him and his brother

  • 5:07 links Jongho, Yunho, and Mingi

FixOn8 (for the theory):

My Takeaways

  • The warehouse Ateez used as a hideout may be a symbol for escape

  • Hongjoong's Diary Entry Title: "I Don't Want to Be Forgotten As If I Never Existed": In the story, he came from a broken family and felt like the members were his second family which is why he is the key for them to be together again. The reason why Halajoong (referring to Hongjoong's doppelgänger in a fedora) was able to contact him is because he is the only one left believing in Ateez's dream after they split. Halajoong's question referenced the Answer era with the red and blue albums similar to the red and blue pills in The Matrix that Neo has to choose between. Halajoong confirms 15Kim's theory that both dimensions are real and gives Hongjoong the hourglass that connects them.

  • Seonghwa's Diary Entry Title: "She, Who Was Dancing To The Beat": This explanation was similar to Bookish Theories'

  • Yunho's Diary Entry Title: "Weather is Clear": In his diary Yunho reminisced about going to watch street performances at Han River, which is where Yunho and Hongjoong met. Yunho's brother was in a car accident that caused him to be in a deep sleep or coma (since Yunho is waiting for him to wake up to show him he continued his brother's dream of pursuing music).

  • Yeosang's Diary Entry Title: "Just Like Midsummer Night's Dream": Yeosang had a habit of disassembling speakers and reassembling them. He passed by a warehouse where Ateez asked him if he knew how to fly a drone. That is how he joined the team. Yeosang's parents knew he was hanging out with the members and weren't happy about it. Yeosang ended up having to leave the members after the fight and apologized to them for it.

  • San's Diary Entry Title: "I Don't Know": It is a reflection of how the decisions of an adult may reflect on their child. Seonghwa, after learning to be free, taught San that too. Wooyoung taught him to perfect his dance moves. San is asked to move again and is trying to decide what to do.

  • Mingi's Diary Entry Title: "The Sound of His Laughter": Mingi is a reflection of youth in a cruel world. Living in poverty and being shunned by others. This is why he protected himself and used his music as an escape. Wooyoung broke through his shell at school and brought him into the group. Wooyoung's laughter is what is referenced in the title because it gave Mingi hope.

  • Wooyoung's Diary Entry Title: "It's Different This Time": Wooyoung met Hongjoong, Seonghwa, and Yunho at the street performance and they helped him get over his stage fright.

  • Jongho's Diary Entry Title: "I Had It All Planned": Jongho's story is about loosing his first love, basketball. He gave up his passion and lived a life with no direction. When he met Ateez he found his second dream, music. Just when he started believing again, Mingi left the group which is why Jongho punched him.

15Kim included her theroy on the Diary Film in her Inception theory but I am picking out that part to add to this post so everything can be in once place:

My Takeaways

  • A certain incident happened and broke the relationship between the boys, which also split their world into 8 dimensions

  • Halateez's hourglass remains after Hongjoong wakes up from his dream meaning it isn't an illusion

  • Halateez and Ateez are working together since Halajoong gave Hongjoong the hourglass and it helped him undo what they broke

  • Keywords revealed: "They can't achieve their dreams because of (Hongjoong losing his friends, family, and dream of being a singer; Seonghwa having many tasks to complete, Wooyoung having stage fright, Yeosang's father forcing him to play violin, San having to keep moving, Yunho dealing with the trama of his dead brother, Jongho being injured, and Mingi's defense mechanisms) and are under the PRESSURE but have a strong desire for FREEDOM"

  • Using the hourglass they boys gather to fix everything that had gone wrong

Some "Kindtiny" uploaded all of the diaries onto Google drive and shared them through Reddit. I am eternally grateful to her!! I don't feel like I can share them on this blog, but I will try to summarize them in my Zero: Fever posts. FixOn8 did a wonderful job of summarizing the diary entires from Zero: Fever Part. 1 so I will start with my summaries with the next comeback. Also, there seems to be some disagreement about Yunho’s storyline. Bookish Theories thinks he was hit by a car. I don’t think that is true. I think that was representing his brother being hit by a car. Also most people (and 15Kim) think his brother is dead but FixOn8 thinks he is in a coma. I may be leaning towards the coma theory based on the diary entry as of now since it says, "When the time comes, you must wake up from your long hibernation. I want to show you all of it!" We will see if this is further explained in future diary entries.

And, finally, the Diary Film:

Final Thoughts

Wow! This was a lot! All of those old feelings have creeped back in, so I'm glad I am almost through with this part of the storyline. What I know for sure is that Halateez are definitely not the Hyde to Ateez's Dr. Jekyll. They are their own separate entities living in a different dimension and have decided to reach out to Ateez for some, yet to be disclosed, reason. Halajoong has chosen to help Hongjoong get the band back together after they split up due to the fight between Mingi and Jongho over Mingi choosing to leave the group. Jongho is mad about that because Ateez and music are what gave him new life after his injury. We also know that San is sepperated becuase he has to move away again.

Here is what I am theorizing about the other members by putting together all of the pieces from my research: I think Yunho's brother really was in a coma after a car accident and the text he receives at 5:07 is from the hospital saying he passed away, that is what takes him away from the group, dealing with the grief over loosing his brother (so a combo of everyone's theories); Wooyoung is at the dance at 5:07 so he misses the fight, but when he returns to the warehouse, it is chained so he leaves dejected (also anyone else think the chains don't look like his Wonderland chains but the Halateez mask chains?); Yeosang has to leave the group, probably because he succumbed his parents' pressure; and now that they are split up, Seonghwa will return to his old ways. Hongjoong returns to the warehouse (let's be honest, he probably breaks in) and that is where Halajoong finds him to give him the hourglass. He uses it to bring the group back together (we don't know how yet).

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