9 K-Pop MVs That Are Based On Famous Literature

All forms of art are a source of inspiration, and literature is considered to be one of the most resourceful forms. It’s always fun to see written content creatively shaped into a visual adaptation and from a different lens, and K-pop music videos are simply the best at making this happen.

Literature is undoubtedly broad, and so are K-pop visual creations. To narrow it down, here are nine K-pop music videos that are based on famous literature.

1. SHINee – “Sherlock”

The members wear their detective hats in this music video named after Sherlock Holmes. Being one of the most famous fictional detectives in the world, the character made his first appearance in “A Study in Scarlet” by Arthur Conan Doyle back in 1887. SHINee knows exactly how to pay homage to the character via their outfits, accessories, and of course their excellent detective work. One can say that they dressed the part – to the letter.

2. gugudan – “Chococo”

It only takes a few seconds into this music video to notice that Roald Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” has inspired the visuals. Even the background reminds us at some point of the famous golden tickets mentioned in the the 1964 novel. Needless to say, gugudan has an obvious weakness for chocolate, and working in a chocolate factory does not help control the cravings!

3. VIXX – “Hyde”

If anyone knows how to bring concepts to life, it’s VIXX. The duality in this music video is in fact an adaptation from “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Louis Robert Stevenson, first published in 1886. In the music video, the members visibly struggle as they switch between “Dr. Jekyll” and “Mr. Hyde” while trying to get a hold of their love life.

4. BIGFLO – “Obliviate”

From the song title that reminds us of spell casting to the signature round glasses, the Harry Potter series is all over this music video. With many wizardly aspects spotted in various scenes, it seems that J. K. Rowling’s books have served as inspiration. One thing is clear: the BIGFLO members are set to enchant their fans with this bid.

5. IU – “The Red Shoes”

It’s not difficult to guess that “The Red Shoes” inspired this clip since it carries the same title. IU portrays the famous fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen in a happier tone compared to the original story, but the music video still bears the same amount of suspense as the shoes end up chasing after her.

6. Wonder Boyz – “Tarzan”

The story of “Tarzan of the Apes” by Edgar Rice Burroughs has been told for decades since 1912. In this music video, Wonder Boyz finds a way to spice things up by combining it with Ian Fleming’s “James Bond” series. Featuring Girl’s Day’s Hyeri, there’s action, thriller, and romance, and the outcome is quite entertaining to say the least!

7. BTS – “Blood, Sweat & Tears”

To some fans, this title track introduced them to Hermann Hesse’s “Demian: The Story of Emil Sinclair’s Youth.” However, this literary work has a cult following of its own. The way BTS illustrates it in “Blood, Sweat & Tears” is simply wholesome: from the narrated quote to the scattered hints, the members vividly act out temptation, struggle, and growth throughout the music video. One could say that “Demian” lives in this visual masterpiece.

8. Ga In – “Paradise Lost”

John Milton’s “Paradise Lost” is a classic epic poem that goes all the way back to 1667. In this music video, Ga In puts her own twist on the story by taking on the role of both Eve and Satan, as she seduces her way through the dance floor with a sultry snake-like dance that vividly retells the biblical tale.

9. ONEUS – “To Be Or Not To Be”

“The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark,” more commonly known as “Hamlet,” is a play written by William Shakespeare. Evidently, “To Be Or Not To Be” is a phrase that has been quoted since the 1600s. ONEUS did not only choose it as the title of their main track, but they were also inspired by its connotation of life and death that is implicitly represented in the clip. In addition, their wardrobe reminds us of the famous play, being a significant element of the mise en scène. In that sense, the members pulled off a beautiful rendition in this epic visual.

Which literature-based K-pop music video is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

Esmee L. is a Moroccan lively dreamer, writer, and Hallyu enthusiast.

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