VIXXfantasy

Let me share my history with a fandom near and dear to my heart, Star Trek. (Yes, I like weird nerdy shit, I run a fucking K-pop blog, what did you expect?) I have been boldly going ever since I first started watching O.G. reruns as a kid, right through the ‘90s renaissance and up till the 2009 reboot. For the most part, Star Trek in all its forms has been a pleasant enough diversion for me. I even found something to like about Enterprise. After all, Trek is like pizza, right? Even when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good.

Even when it has canon mpreg,
Even when it has canon mpreg.

The 2009 reboot met with a mixed reception from trekkies. Some were butthurt that the movie wasn’t cerebral enough, while others like myself and Harry Plinkett recognized that cerebral was not going to cut it with a 2009 audience. They wanted shit blowing up, so they got shit blowing up. However, it was very well done shit blowing up, with enough Trek-ness to satisfy (most) trekkies who didn’t have the original Enterprise model wedged firmly up their rectums.

Then Into Whiteness Darkness happened.

ID is a fine example of what can transpire when a moviemaking team buys into their own hype too much and starts pulling all their creative decisions out of their lower decks. Completely missing the point of what made the ’09 film great, they decided that cramming the next one with even more Trek references would be an acceptable substitute for an actual good script. Ergo, this halfassed Wrath of Khan retread, complete with bonus whitewashing! If Cucumbersmack had to be in a Trek film, they should’ve saved on makeup and had him play a Cardassian.

After that steaming shitpile, I was naturally hesitant to expect much else out of this Trek reboot. The events that unfolded afterward were not encouraging. Following the change of writers and director, a somewhat weird trailer, and reports of reshoots, everyone figured Beyond was going was going to suck Romulan balls. Of course, I was still going to see it because it was Trek and because I hate myself, but I was going into the theater expecting absolutely nothing.

Well, Beyond was the shit.

Was it completely flawless? Nope. Was it the best Trek film ever? Nope. But coming on the heels of Into Bullshit, it was fucking art. For all its problems—mainly, still being a big dumb action flick with Trek stuff—it made me enjoy Trek again, and for that it earns my respect.

OK, you say. But the fuck does any of this have to do with VIXX?

Well, VIXX and Star Trek have a lot in common. Like space. And cyborgs. Look at this shit and tell me it isn’t TNG as fuck.

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Sup Dr. Noonian Soong?

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VIXX’s path from golden age to draught to revival to flop to re-revival mirrors that of Star Trek. “Chained Up” was a decent enough offering after a long hiatus, but then they had to fuck us all over with the singularity of suck that was “Dynamite,” which I admit doesn’t really mirror Into Darkness that much aside from being being shitty but it works well enough for the metaphor. It was more like if Trek stopped even trying to be Trek and instead tried to be some Michael Bay shit or something and didn’t even do a good job of that. Anyway, as with Star Trek: Beyond, I vowed to go into “Fantasy” expecting absolutely nothing.

Well, good news, assholes. “Fantasy” is the shit.

No, you’re not going to get a bop on par with VIXX’s golden age. It’s over and we’ll never get it back again, and that’s just something we’re going to have to accept. As times have changed and trekkies must accept the compromises made by the franchise to stay relevant, starlights must accept that VIXX just won’t be the same again now that they’ve achieved Jellyfish cash cow status and are thus getting their fine asses worked to the bone for those fangirl/fanboy coins. If you can overlook that running-on-fumes look VIXX have been sporting lately—an ability that should come easily to the SM fans who came in with “Dynamite”—“Fantasy” is the sweeping, cinematic romp through the underworld you never knew you wanted.

On first viewing of the MV, I couldn’t really discern a coherent storyline. If you’re interested, one was provided at their concert, because I’m sure K-pop fans care deeply about MV storylines. I’m sure y’all are fapping to that sweet, sweet narrative flow.

We open with Ravi growling over a piano riff from Moonlight Sonata, and I’m not talking this excellent Bigstar song, but Beethoven’s famous composition that you uneducated slobs probably think sounds “vaguely familiar” just like these dingbats who hadn’t heard of “Whatta Man” before I.O.I. You people really need to educate yourselves. VIXX wander through a forest that you know is sinister because it’s awash in a reddish sepia filter. Let me tell you, some of these shots are art.

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The verses start off ballad-esque before gradually building in intensity. Meanwhile, we’re treated to some stunning vocals. You know I’m a sucker for N’s unique tone, but Ken’s doing some heavy lifting here, and damn is he serving visuals.

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Like, shit.

VIXX knows what we came for and also ramp up the homoeroticism.

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The musical momentum builds up to a soaring cinematic chorus, which delights me, because strings in K-pop songs are one of my favorite things in all the lands. One thing VIXX does impeccably is drama, and it’s out in full force here, down the the dance sequences exhibiting VIXX’s trademark inventiveness and intricacy.

We continue the “journey through the underworld” imagery right down to Neo in a boat (the river Styx? No, not the band, you ignorant shits). We also see VIXX at this fancy table looking all posh and shit, which I’m sure has an official explanation but I don’t particularly care. To me, these shots come off generic and clichéd. I’m reminded of similar shots in Exo’s “Monster” MV, and I’m also kind of done with evil being aristocratic. It’s become such a cliché, freaking Once Upon a Time has done it. There are so many more images they could’ve mined from mythology or classic literature that would’ve been fresher and more interesting. Why not get some Divine Comedy-esque chaos up in here?

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"And we're not even getting any free food out of this."
“And we’re not even getting any free food out of this.”

And no, I’m not saying anyone “copied” anyone else, save that shit for youtube comments. What I am saying is it’s probably another case of cheap/lazy K-pop MV directors being lazy. Jellyfish pulled this same shit with Gugudan, presenting a unique concept—The Little Mermaid—and leaving it stalled on some Barbie’s underwater dream house shit.

Oh hey it’s bondage in chemistry lab time!

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At this point I kind of stopped trying to discern any kind of plotline in this MV and went into “let the music and visuals wash over you and fap” mode because that’s what everyone’s here for, let’s be real. Here’s Ravi trying to rap all sexy like.

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“Hey baby, let’s make some sweet, sweet science together.”

There’s a lot of focus on hands here, and I may or may not have a thing for beautiful men with beautiful hands:

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The song builds up to a frenetic bridge of barely-controlled chaos. Ravi serves us up some Renaissance art realness and a wild Hongbin appears:

vixxfantasy-17vixxfantasy-18The chorus ends in the piano refrain, and N is in the rain singing the final line and I don’t even care what the fuck all that was about because it’s wet N singing and being all beautifully melancholy and fuck just let me die already.

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This is definitely a song and MV that I appreciate more on successive listens/views, and if I really cared to I could keep unpacking all the symbolism, which makes the English major in me almost as tingly as all the beautiful, beautiful vocals and visuals, but fapping nearly always wins out over academia, unless it’s fapping to academia, which one can do to the “Only You” MV since they all look like hot professors. “Fantasy” is not so much a pop song as it is VIXX theatre, so if it is a bop you seek, look no further than “Love Me Do,” a B-side which is easily the greatest 80s throwback since Stranger Things. Though “Fantasy” never quite reaches the pinnacle of VIXX’s golden age, it accomplishes something I can respect, which is being different from anything else that’s out there right now. It’s a very unique song and very uniquely VIXX, an element sorely missing from their past few comebacks. “Fantasy” got me to enjoy VIXX again, and for this, I am satisfied.

Just don’t fuck this up again, Jellyfish.

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