The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


This error message is only visible to WordPress admins

Error: No feed found.

Please go to the Instagram Feed settings page to create a feed.

‘Love wins all’ is a heartbreaking masterpiece

Ji-hye (IU) and Tae-jun (V) hold tightly onto each other as they face their death from the cube device.
Image courtesy of Edam Entertainment
Ji-hye (IU) and Tae-jun (V) hold tightly onto each other as they face their death from the cube device.

The music video of Korean singer IU’s pre-release single “Love wins all” was released on Jan. 24, featuring V of BTS as the male lead. Fans were excited at the announcement of the two artists’ collaboration, expecting what IU was always best at—a sweet, simple ballad. 

This was what I expected too, until I saw the music video for the first time. It was nothing like I ever would have imagined. This wasn’t just a music video, it was a cinematic masterpiece. By the end of it, I was sitting in awe, struck with a million different emotions. 

The music video is set in a seemingly post-apocalyptic, dystopian world, and Ji-hye (IU) and Tae-jun (V) are seen in a dark wood, injured and escaping from a flying, metal cube device, the villain of this story. At this point, there is no music, and only the rustling leaves of the trees and gasping breath of the two characters are heard, setting an ominous atmosphere. Ji-hye signals to Tae-jun to follow her, and the two run into a dilapidated building. 

The song opens with a soft piano melody drifting through as the two characters explore the building, hand in hand. In the middle of the gloomy, tattered-down building, they find a huge pile of ragged clothes belonging to the people whose lives were taken by the cube device.

The first lyric of the song, “Dearest, darling, my universe, would you take me along? To a place I can’t dream with my poor imagination,” immediately sets the melancholy tone of the piece. We can infer at this point that the two characters are lovers, who are navigating their way of survival in this dystopian world. They begin to explore the building further when Tae-jun finds a camcorder. He lifts it up to his eye and turns it toward Ji-hye. 

He sees Ji-hye, with no scars or injuries, but instead illuminated by a bright light. Surprised, Tae-jun hands her the camcorder, and she sees what he did: a healthy and beautiful version of one another. This represents what the characters would have been like in a perfect world, but also how they see one another despite how broken down they are, through the lens of love. 

Tae-jun and Ji-hye then find themselves in a dark, ruined restaurant, and find a seat for themselves. Tae-jun once again looks through the camcorder to see Ji-hye biting into a pretty, pink macaron, when in reality, she is just putting the fork up to her mouth. Ji-hye signals to Tae-jun, “It feels like I actually ate it.” 

It’s important to notice here that the characters seemingly have disabilities. Ji-hye, appearing to be deaf, mostly communicates with Tae-jun in sign language, Tae-jun is blind in one eye, visible through the discoloration in his right pupil. The disabilities of the characters are what makes this piece different from a plain love story. It’s a love story that sprouts from flaws and imperfections, and what others might see as ‘different’ or ‘ugly’. Never seen in K-pop before, this representation brings a wave of uniqueness to IU’s storytelling abilities as an artist.

The two spend time having fun in their distorted, fantastical reality of a world, grabbing food from the tables and running around while they are surrounded by those dressed in black, who represent something similar to the cube device: the people of the world who are discriminatory towards marginalized groups such as those with disabilities.

The next few scenes are one of the most iconic, and my personal favorites. Ji-hye and Tae-jun dress up in a wedding dress and tuxedo, respectively, as they sit in front of a camera, taking photos together in what seems like a perfect universe of happiness and love. The two characters mess around before Ji-hye makes herself onto a stage with a microphone. Confetti falls, and Tae-jun places a flower in her ear. The warm, dreamy filter helps set a wonderfully heartwarming mood to the scene. The people dressed in black throw hateful gestures at the couple, but the two characters completely ignore them, showing once again that “love wins all.” 

However, even the happiness is momentary, and the cube device is back for blood. Tae-jun and Ji-hye take flight, running down hall after hall, turning corner after corner, but the cube device tails right behind them. They eventually reach a dead end with a destroyed wall, and we can see the outside world for the first time in the video, where hundreds of cube devices are floating around in the air. 

It’s the final battle. 

One of my favorite lyrics appears in this scene: “Destroy me slowly and chilly, ruiner/I want to get sad with you, my lover.” 

It shows the power love holds even in the worst of times, when everything, including yourself, is breaking down and no longer able to hold on. The two characters’ love for one another is truly unconditional, and they’re willing to get ruined with each other. They’ve finally come face to face with the cube device, and Tae-jun tries to destroy it, but soon realizes that he’s lost, and collapses to the ground. They can see the end coming. The two characters hold tightly onto one another, even in the very last moments of their lives. The cube device glows a fiery red, and we see Tae-jun and Ji-hye slowly fade into the abyss as their bodies float into the air. The camcorder, an object that signifies their love throughout the whole story, powers down and shuts off. What falls back down are Tae-jun’s tuxedo and Ji-hye’s dress, which get added to the existing pile of abandoned clothing. 

Though the two characters were unable to reach a happy ending, the pain and hardships they endured together make the power of their love that much more impactful to the audience. 

IU’s delicate voice was definitely the most beautiful part of this piece, and the cinematography complimented that in a way that left me with a strong, lingering feeling of emotion. This is easily one of the best music videos I’ve ever seen and is a must-watch for any K-pop fans out there. 

Story continues below advertisement
View Comments (1)

Comments (1)

Information about our comments policy can be found here:
All tjTODAY Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • E

    eFeb 29, 2024 at 3:07 pm

    very cool emogry