Hello, ARMY! I hope everyone is well-rested and taking good care of yourselves.
Today I’m going to write a little about JinMin and the development of their relationship over time. Jimin has said many times that he originally didn’t understand Seokjin well, and that they didn’t really get along. For newer ARMY especially, this seems unbelievable. These days, we see them interacting with complete cuteness and affection. So what happened?
The most common question I get on the Answer series is about this period when Jimin and Seokjin didn’t see eye-to-eye. In Wide Awake, I refer to a backstage fight between Jimin and Seokjin at the 2016 MAMA. The fight was so extreme that MNET unposted the original video, edited the fight out, and reposted it again.
Strange as that seems, it’s true, although until recently, I had no way to prove it. When I was writing Answer, I didn’t think about videos being edited, tweets getting deleted, or VLive+ closing down. All that time I spent linking posts in my timeline… *cries*
I’m over it, though. Because, thankfully, someone was thinking ahead, and that someone shared the unedited video file from MAMA 2016 with me so that I could show you what I mean about JinMin.
Before going in, I gotta say that this is not meant to shade Jimin in any way. Jimin was a dongsaeng who tended to push things too far with Seokjin, and this is an example of one of those times. We love Jimin, Seokjin loves Jimin, and Jimin loves Seokjin, too.
For context, here’s the edited MAMA 2016 video. Note: they cut A LOT.
All right, so! Here we are backstage with the vocal line: Taehyung, Jimin, Seokjin, and Jungkook.
We see JinMinKook playing around. Seokjin squeezes between Jimin and Jungkook, and they begin to squash him. Taehyung looks uneasy. He is having none of their nonsense.
As they progress down the corridor, Taehyung tries to intervene. JinMinKook ignore him. Taehyung looks annoyed.
Jungkook nudges Seokjin. He stumbles over to Jimin. Taehyung continues to try changing the subject. There’s a slight cut in the video, and Jungkook falls behind. Now we have Seokjin finally seeming to remember the camera’s presence. He announces where they are: the MAMA behind. Seokjin and Taehyung kinda shoulder Jimin out of the way.
Playfully, Jimin nudges back in. Taehyung stays irritated. Check how he breaks the fourth wall. It’s like he’s saying, “Can you believe these two?”
Jimin puts his arm around Taehyung. Jungkook is behind them, and we can see Jimin looking over his shoulder at him. He’s smirking a little, like he knows he’s pushing, but he’s having fun and totally not reading the obvious tension in Taehyung.
Meanwhile, Seokjin reminds us (and Jimin) that he is the hyung, and that Jimin is being disrespectful by shoving him out of the way. Right now, Seokjin still seems borderline playful, but the captions even pick up that he’s starting to get angry.
Seokjin says, “You pushed the oldest hyung, is it right or wrong?”
Jimin’s like, “Wrong. I’m not going to do it right.” He shoves Seokjin again, and he stumbles hard enough that the intern runs after him to check if he’s okay.
Seokjin says, “Well, that can’t be helped. I can’t do anything about it.”
Like, I can’t do anything about your lack of manners.
Jimin is still laughing it off, but notice how upset Taehyung looks at the end. He’s nervous and stressed out, and these two just keep messing around. Remember that in Korean culture, respect for your elders is a very important thing. They’re on camera and about to go on stage for the largest awards show in the world. It’s as though all of this is weighing heavily upon Taehyung’s shoulders.
There’s a brief cut in the actual video, and then we can see intern hurrying off in the background.
Seokjin and Jimin continue to bicker. The captions add in (I’m the hyung, I’m the hyung) to let us know that Seokjin’s trying to remind Jimin of his status as the elder. Seokjin says again, “That can’t be helped.”
Taehyung responds with “Yah!”
My co-teacher, Ji-Eun, would yell this at our students when they misbehaved. It’s stern and it’s rude, and it immediately affects Seokjin. At the end of the gif, you can see his facial expression change. Things got un-funny real quick.
Perhaps more interesting, though, is that Jimin first seems to think that Taehyung’s “Yah,” is directed at him. When he sees it’s meant for Seokjin, Jimin makes fun, pointing at Taehyung, who looks totally wrecked at having lost his cool with Seokjin.
Here we have Taehyung’s devastation, Jimin’s humor, and Seokjin’s offense, all in one frame:
Their expressions hide nothing. Seokjin’s no longer joking, even though the captions try to reassure us that they are. Yeah, except that this part was edited out, so… nice try, MNET, but I don’t think so.
Clearly, Seokjin is offended AF, and Taehyung is mortified. They bump Jimin out of the way, and the video instantly cuts to this:
Note the caption: the red carpet enemies appears again.
It’s interesting because Jimin instigated the whole conflict, but it was Taehyung who reacted, and Taehyung’s reaction that hurt Seokjin. Jimin is very protective over his friendship with Taehyung, as we can see by the way he clings to him in the earlier clips. It’s as though he’s reminding Seokjin that Taehyung is his friend, even if Taehyung clearly didn’t intend to take Jimin’s side against their hyung.
Not long after, though, we have this sweet taejin moment. Look at Seokjin’s soft eyes, and see how Taehyung swallows at the end. Peak devastation.
Also, fair reminder, all this went down before this iconic taejin stage:
So perhaps it’s expected that tensions were running a little high.
Now at last, my quest is at an end. Believe me, I thought maybe I was delulu when I went to find this JinMin interaction again and it was missing from Youtube. Then all the blogs and posts containing the unedited gifs were missing, too. Suspicious? Yeah, just a little bit.
More importantly, though, at the beginning of 2017, we started seeing Seokjin and Jimin pairing off more in episodes of Run. We saw them interacting more on Twitter and in Bangtan Bombs. It seemed like they worked on their issues off-camera, and their relationship improved. We love us some character growth.
Thank you for reading this analysis. I have a degree in Communications with a focus on interpersonal relations and nonverbal cues, and I obsess over things like arched eyebrows and nervous blinks. Even still, these are only my interpretations. I only ever speculate based on what I observe.
HUGE thanks to @wiildcamomile for sharing the unedited video with me.
Abundant thanks to @cookhaus for his patience as he walked me through things like bit-rates and interlacing to finally make these gifs.
Also, super props to all you gif makers out there. It’s difficult and complicated and tedious, and you make it look amazing.
Now I’ll shut up and return to editing Sea Glass. Much love and I purple you forever 💜