Big Hit recently released a set of books called Graphic Lyrics with songs from their group BTS. The art and their connection to the Bangtan Universe caught my eye, so I had to get them and see what they were all about.
Each book has the lyrics of one of BTS’ songs: A Supplementary Story: You Never Walk Alone, Save Me, House of Cards, Run, and Butterfly. These are the Korean lyrics and there is no translated versions. Each of the books also focus on parts of the Bangtan Universe Story. If you don’t know what the Bangtan Universe is, go read my post for beginners to the storyline.
A Supplementary Story: You Never Walk Alone shows the fateful day where the group meets for the first time. It shows why the seven of them were each late to school on that day, which is a new bit of information to the saga. Save Me focuses on Hoseok and Jimin’s story lines, House of Cards is Yoongi and Jungkook focused, Run is Namjoon and Taehyung focused. And Butterfly focuses on Seokjin with scenes of the seven reunited.
First thing I am going to say is you will not fully appreciate these books unless you are following the Bangtan Universe. What I love about these books is the detail and Easter eggs towards the universe. There is really no new information introduced in these books besides their first day meeting, but finding connections between the overall universe to the books and even just between the books themselves is my favorite part of having read these. I’ve connect scenes and moments to their music videos and short films and recognized moments shared in The Notes 1. And even small imagery details have crossed through the different books to carry so much meaning.
The art is gorgeous of course. It is the centerpiece of these books after all. I really love the style and how it fits with everyone’s stories and visuals. Another thing they did was have unique assets in different books. For example, in Save Me, there are translucent pages that add interesting details on scenes to build them up. Run has pages that fold out to show more of scenes, and they smartly use it as a timeline builder.
I want to talk about Butterfly on its own because it is perhaps the most unique of all the books in the set. The art style actually changes in Butterfly for when the seven are together, but remains the same as the other four when it is just Seokjin. They also split pages as they differentiate between the seven versus the one. It is really cool and very interesting when you know the BU story, but it did make it a little hard to read. It would probably be easier if I could read Korean and following the lyrics easily. Even with that, it is still a beautiful and fascinating book along with the others.
If you couldn’t tell, I really love this books. I am a sucker for beautiful art and since the BU is involved I knew I would love these. The details and thought put into these really shows. I reiterate that you will not fully appreciate these without knowing and following the Bangtan Universe. But if you do follow and enjoy the BU and don’t mind the lyrics not being translated to English, the Graphic Lyrics books are worth it.
Are you a BTS fan? Let me know with a comment below.