Copied Or Inspired: BTS' Most Popular Era's Concept Was A Rip Off Of SHINee?

Before they became known as the concept kings of K-pop, BTS actually faced numerous plagiarism allegations, especially during the HYYH era. Read on!
Copied Or Inspired: BTS' Most Popular Era's Concept Was A Rip Off Of SHINee?

Copied Or Inspired: BTS' Most Popular Era's Concept Was A Rip Off Of SHINee?

BTS undoubtedly raised the bar when it comes to concepts in the K-pop industry. From HYYH's intriguing storyline to the mysterious Wings era, the iconic group generated much interest through their captivating concepts. However, before they became known as the kings of concepts, BTS actually faced numerous plagiarism allegations. In fact, one of their most popular eras had once been accused of being a complete rip off of another beloved K-pop group.
Well, let us take you back to 2015-16. BTS were capturing netizens' attention with their coming-of-age concept, after being high school bad boys during their debut years. From the hard-hitting No, Danger and No More Dream, we saw them transition to the somber I Need U, Run and Save Me. Just as they were about to close their iconic HYYH era with The Most Beautiful Moment in Life: Young Forever, the then up-and-coming group were slapped with plagiarism claims.
Young Forever’s pictures were compared to SHINee’s 2014 Japanese single Lucky Star and the group's photoshoot for their limited monthly magazine Shawol-J. Why, you ask? Well, because of the outdoor, more specifically camp-themed concept pictures. With both the groups having a rainbow-coloured hot air balloon, campfire pics and a similar fashion sense, eyebrows were raised, to say the least.
Now, does anyone own an angle or a shot? Well, no. Same goes for a concept or style. One can only popularize a concept or a style. However, nobody owns them, especially in this era (we’re looking at you Min Hee-jin). However, a problem arises when most of the elements in one photo are essentially the same.
In BTS' case, the concept pictures are just too similar. Not the exact same, but similar. The resemblance in SHINee and BTS’ campfire pics is simply uncanny, especially when they're pointing towards the sky. There is a difference between content and form. The concept can be the same, but the execution is where a group shines through.
SHINee 2014 vs BTS 2015
SHINee (2014) vs BTS (2015)
As for the hot air balloon snap, even a fan would need a few seconds to differentiate between both the group's concept pictures. Well, that’s an issue.
SHINee VS BTS
SHINee VS BTS
So, could one say that SHINee’s pictures were probably on the Pinterest board while BTS' creative team thought of concept pictures for Young Forever? Well, 70% yes.
Why do we say 70%? Around the same time, the campfire and outdoor aesthetic had become quite popular among K-pop groups. SEVENTEEN used a campfire as a focal point for the concept pictures of their third mini-album, Going Seventeen while GFRIEND had taken to the meadows for their 2016 release, Snowflake. Even so, it was clear that the pictures had different elements.
SEVENTEEN39s Going Seventeen Concept Pic
SEVENTEEN's Going Seventeen Concept Pic
While BTS (well their team) might not have straight up ripped off SHINee, the 2nd gen group’s concept pics were definitely the blueprint for the photoshoot. So, it's not too far-fetched to think the concept pics were copied.
End of Article
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