The LOONAVERSE: LOONA 1/3
It’s fairly easy to get trapped inside the “LOONAVERSE.” Modeled to have one of the most interesting and most thought-out debut strategies in the scene, almost anything LOONA releases is a piece of the puzzle that one can’t get enough of. From Heejin’s debut to the upcoming Up&Line screening event, each release ties up one theory to another, building intense anticipation towards the 12th member’s debut, which BlockBerry Creative has slowly and vaguely started teasing fans for.
Before the management drops the last piece of the puzzle and debuts LOONA as a whole, let’s look back on each sub-unit and their stories, starting with LOONA 1/3.
A LOONAVERSE Full of Color
The first member, Heejin, debuted in October of 2016 with the pop soul track “VIVID.” As the girl who started it all, there was immense curiosity with her release. Coming out with a track that talks about craving for “color,” the first chapter of the LOONA narrative taps on the idea of the LOONAVERSE’s wide spectrum of colors and members.
Contrary to the innocence she has showed through her solo and LOONA 1/3, Heejin is known for being one of the group’s most skilled dancers. She may be one of the most well-rounded members of the group so far, proven through her outstanding performances in JTBC’s MIXNINE. She is also one of the group’s most skilled vocalists, which only adds to her already strong skill set.
Around Someone Special
Hyunjin is the second member of LOONA 1/3. Heejin and Hyunjin are seen together almost everywhere in their story arcs, and their management confirmed that the two being close is part of the whole LOONA narrative (even in real life! But then again, all LOONA members are!). The two girls were said to have met in school, where they were in the same grade and formed a friendship later on.
Hyunjin debuted with “Around You,” a MonoTree-penned ballad that truthfully talks about hovering around someone you like. Hyunjin is portrayed to be identical to a cat in her music video, which hovers around her while she is hovering around someone she likes.
Let Yourself In
Haseul is the leader of LOONA 1/3, and she debuted with the most breathtaking solo single of all. A song with a combination of different string sections, the track relies on minimal percussion but creates a rather splendid mix of finesse and class. Shot in Iceland, the music video for “Let Me In” features her as she portrays her animal counterpart—a bird. The video possibly tackles internal struggle; Haseul shoots a creature that looks just like her and sings about deciding which trait she discards and which trait she gives in to.
Yeojin is the maknae of the sub-unit and has the best selling solo single of LOONA 1/3, physically. Releasing the ever quirky “Kiss Later,” she narrates a story of her protecting her innocence as she sings “let’s just hug, and kiss later.” The music video is the most comedic of all the solo singles so far, featuring a variety of colorful sets in addition to the vivid wardrobe and catchy choreography.
Is Love Sweet?
After Yeojin’s solo single was revealed, LOONA announced the debut of their first sub-unit, LOONA 1/3. Together with this announcement, the company teased that they were introducing a new member through their first mini-album Love&Live. The first unit is found opposite of ODD EYE CIRCLE in the “mobius strip,” a loop-motion that the events in the LOONAVERSE are moving in. Comprised of Heejin, Hyunjin, Haseul, Yeojin, and new member Vivi, the group debuted in March of 2017. Although the group only promoted as four without Yeojin due to her studies, she was confirmed by BlockBerry Creative as part of the unit as she represented the “/“ in the unit name. Heejin, Hyunjin, and Haseul represented “3” in LOONA 1/3, and Vivi represented “1.”
With “Love&Live,” we learn that Vivi is a “robot.” She is emotionless and needs to be “charged” to fully function. It is also reflective of her desire to become human and to blend in with the other girls, which the other members ultimately help her with. The “robot” narrative is brilliantly written into the story as Vivi is the only foreign member in LOONA so far, which draws similarities to the limitations she has as a robot.
Everyday I Love & Need You
Vivi released her solo single as LOONA 1/3 was preparing for their repackage album Love&Evil. With the Playing Child-produced “Everyday I Love You,” Vivi has the most upbeat track of all the solos. Released in a ‘90s style, 4:3 ratio, the music video for the lead single takes place in a bowling alley, which is referenced later on in Yves’ solo video. While Vivi was revealed to be emotionless in the first LOONA 1/3 video, she is later revealed to be completely different this time around. It shows how she has adjusted to human life with very human traits such as having a job and liking a boy (who could very well be Yves, as showcased in “new”).
The track features Haseul with her first (and so far only) rap verse in any LOONA track, which works perfectly as the verse is a light mix of singing and rapping. The title track has a slower counterpart, “Everyday I Need You,” which features then-unrevealed member JinSoul rapping instead of Haseul.
It’s also worth noting that this video could hint at the girls being time travelers, which explains why they, at times, appear in the videos of ODD EYE CIRCLE and the third unit.
Finding the Lost Girl
“Sonatine” is the last stop in the LOONA 1/3 narrative and is all about finding out whether love is sweet or love is evil, hence “Love&Live” and “Love&Evil.” With a haunting arrangement, paired with words that speak of complex emotions, it is through the song that the young girls start to understand that love also has a darker side.
It is during this period that the girls are narrated to be walking in a forest, trying to look for a lost girl who is then revealed to Yeojin. Have they found her? It’s a mystery that this chapter leaves unanswered.
Just the Beginning
It’s almost unbelievable how the stories of LOONA 1/3 have been very much eventful, even if it's just an early fraction of the entire landscape. As the group prepares for their full-scale debut, all eyes are on them as their debut is synonymous to the completion of the LOONA origin. With how unpredictable BlockBerry Creative has been, however, the story will only continue to unfold even after the group has fully debuted.
Join us next time as we talk about the second sub-unit of LOONA, ODD EYE CIRCLE!