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Special Edition Bible Study: Deja Vu

[Note: This series originally started as a project on Reddit. You can find an explanation of what Bible Study is all about here.]

After a wee bit of a hiatus, we're back with a special edition Bible Study. As has become tradition, we follow each diary with a purposeful watching of its associated music videos seeking connections and revelations.

GD: Are we doing deja vu first?

Bobby: I guess? It was released first

GD: Okay then

I have it pulled up

but I suppose we should start with the overall story of the diary

I have had to go look at the start of the diaries again

and I already feel so silly for thinking deja vu had nothing to do with diary, I can't even stand it

Bobby: Okay--I finally finished reading

Yes we should start with diary story as a review

01: what is the overall story of the diary?

GD: Well diary from part 2 had them begin their quest to get find the grimes girl's voice and talk to Left Eye, so this diary picks up with the outcome of those adventures and sets them on the path to finding the cromer with the android guardians.

Bobby: We had a notable character moment with Mingi on the boat

GD: We saw Halateez again for the first time since 1? Is that right? I don't' remember seeing them in 2

Bobby: Right, they were not in 2 at all.

GD: And then notably, we lost Yeosang

Bobby: I remember ages ago when I wrote my Hero's Journey and the Fever Diaries post I said that Yeo was one of the main characters, and I think I stand by that

His actions here propel the narrative forward into the epilogue

GD: Yeosang's character arc/motivation is the one that is the clearest and recevies the most attention in my opinion

We get character moments from all the boys at some point or another, but we get it every time we have a Yeosang perspective

Bobby: I think it was very smart on The Intern's part to sort of focus on each boy one at a time. Yunho also has a clear arc and growth--Mingi as well though less clear--but they each get their resolutions at different times

GD: I agree

Bobby: And since Yeo's already reached the end of his individual story, it makes it okay for him to be completely out of the story for epilogue

GD: I'm sure some Yeosang stans would disagree with you

Bobby: Yeosang stans can bite me

GD: But I like that he becomes.... what's the word

Bobby: It will be fun to discuss when we get to The Real

GD: Like a macguffin, but obviously not a macguffin because he is actually important

Bobby: The connections are clear

GD: Their motivation, I suppose. Perhaps the word was simpler than I thought.

Bobby: He's their Treasure

GD: I swear doing this project has really opened my eyes to the ways in which the music videos track the diaries

I always thought they were almost completely disconnected

but now I see that they're very intertwined.

I guess that's getting ahead of ourselves since we haven't actually watched this

shall we?

Bobby: Oh, I haven't pulled up the thing

Oops got distracted by Not Okay teaser

Okay, am ready

GD: Playing now

GD: We're watching all the way through right?

Bobby: Yes

GD: I'm watching it again

Bobby: Deja Vu really is mostly just vibes

Not to say that it doesn't have substance

GD: It feels like it has more dance break than their most recent videos

Bobby: Well, I have theories

A theory really

But, watching this again--it's been a while--I have to wonder, if they remade this with today's budget, what would it look like

Because this is right after Kingdom and before they've started touring again

GD: Well

I've finished my second watch and I have so many thoughts

Bobby: Let's start with the story

GD: But to your point, yes, I do think this is... almost an end of an era with regards to ateez's growth

The moment right before they began to really make the money they needed to tell their story effectively

Not that they hadn't been doing the most with what they had, but you can tell it steps up

Anyways, the story


02: what is the overall story of the MV?

Bobby: There obviously isn't a typical narrative, but they are clearly hinting at something happening behind all the dancing

GD: When I watched it the first time, and watching it now, it does feel like a heist story. Has a very sort of future vibe that reminds me of the matrix or that one movie that was rebooted that Ryan Rynolds was in

Bobby: Right--you get clues that this is an advanced society with the drone and with the one screen overlay part 

GD: But there's obviously some of that.. god what is the genre called?

Like gritty future

My brain isn't braining today

Bobby: Is that a specific genre?

GD: Cyberpunk

Bobby: Ah

GD: That's the genre

Bobby: That felt too easy

GD: it did didn't it

Bobby: The junkyard of cars connects us back to Fireworks/Strictland dump

But now we have an actual city

So it feels like a progression from Fireworks

GD: Right

And they do end up meeting with halateez

Bobby: Which is arguably the only thing that actually happens in the MV

They get in cars, they meet Halateez

GD: There seems to be some... listlessness?

Seonghwa and Yeosang sitting on that gross mattress situation with the monitors? and the butterfly? Is the moment I'm thinking about

Bobby: Yes

GD: Also, in some ways, the way they lift Seonghwa in the junkyard

And I guess I'm wondering if in those moments, they're not ateez, but the rest of society

sort of going through the motions of life without feeling or experiencing it

Bobby: The lifting of Hwa onto the "throne" reminds me a bit of his part in Halazia

In the beginning when he's seated on the thing. . . it has a name


GD: Yes!

An interesting connection

Bobby: Isn't there a group out there that represents the seven deadly sins? Am I making that up?

GD: I know a lot of people were like "Seonghwa real leader, Seonghwa betrayer" because of that moment.. but that's not really how it reads to me

Like a kpop group?

Bobby: Yes

Okay no.

Although people have created fake groups with that concept

I don't know why people have been so desperate for a member to be a villain

GD: Because they don't understand the lore and people like a sexy villain

Bobby: As do I, but it's all or nothing

Which is why Don't Stop works

Because they're all villains

GD: Do you have any thoughts on the flowers with Wooyoung? It is something that has always stood out to me but never really had any concrete ideas on what it means

I remember people looking up the flower.. and also calling him a villain

Bobby: Because the dahlia can represent betrayal

I covered this in my Sirens post

One of my greatest works

However--and I can't remember if it was in that post or if it was in a bible study back in the fall--but I believe it's meant to represent that there will be a betrayal, not necessarily that a member, or Wooyoung in this case, would be the betrayer

Which is what happens

GD: A side note

I really love Wooyoung next to flowers, and I love this Wooyoung hair. It's my favorite


Back to the task

Bobby: I was thinking earlier how wild it is that people don't like this Yunho hair

Like, okay, keep being blind I guess

GD: It's sad

We should feel sad for them

Bobby: Just like I feel sad for that person who doesn't like Mingi Epilogue hair

Silver Mingi?


It's absolutely insane out there

GD: I feel sad for anyone who feels that any ateez hair is bad enough to actively dislike it

I don't like Hongjoong's mullet but I understand that he still looks great and also don't need to post about how it should never come back

Hongjoong, if you're listening, cut that mullet if that's what you want. I'll keep my mouth closed and say how nice you look.

Bobby: Alright--thematic connections

I assume we're ready to move on to that?

GD: No


I feel like it's the elephant in the room

Or maybe just the elephant in my heart 

Or maybe that's for a later portion and I am ready to move on

Because we're just talking about the story right now

Bobby: I do have a setting note

How the first room is reminiscent of SMN

A thing literally every atiny was talking about at the time but given these events occur right before SMN, it feels important to mention

GD: Yes

I'd also say that the junkyard and deserted room are reminiscent of the vibe of some of the place in Fireworks? Though obviously they've used a different color grading on the film

Bobby: The multiple TVs a callback to Fever Diary and maybe Wonderland

And Answer I think?

GD: I think that's right

And, spoiler, not okay

I assume not okay will have been released by then tho

Bobby: Yes

Also Guerrilla

GD: Oh!

The screens in the Fever Part 1 diary

Bobby: Yes

GD: Oh you said that

Are there screens with Jongho on his burning bed?

I was thinking of the ones with Hongjoong

Bobby: Are there?

GD: Ohhhh all of their individual music videos

Bobby: All of them?

GD: Not all

But some

I think matz and it's you

Bobby: Crazy Form

Not multiples but the one

We're touching on theme territory here I think

GD: I need to look for something in a video

I have a very clear image in my head, and I need to see if I can find it

Well I can't find it so I must've made it up in my head


03: what are the thematic connections?

GD: Anyways, yes, I think the idea that there are screens throughout is related to themes and I think there are two themes that one can pull

one is the idea of being watched or monitored, and then I also think there is the idea of feeling like you're living your life somehow seperated from it? Like a disconnect between yourself and the world

I'm thinking specifically of the way Hongjoong looks longingly at the screens in the diary film

Bobby: I thinking like a barrier between you and the thing you think you want

GD: Yes, that's a good way to phrase it

It also reminds me a bit of the feeling of being trapped

I watched the Fahrenheit 451 movie the other day, which I think I told you

And while it's nothing like the book, it does remind me a bit of the vibes of this video and the vibes of Not Okay

Bobby: If you told me, I entirely forgot.

It does have a feeling of general unease

GD: Perhaps I just thought about telling you

Bobby: And also transitoriness

Which reminds me of Fireworks

and actually Turbulence now I think about it

Oh we didn't mention the stinger earlier

The clear depiction of Yeo breaking the cromer

A thing that is becoming very important and perhaps problematic for heading back to A universe

They made the choice for it to rain in Deja Vu, just like Crazy Form

GD: Well when we get to oneteez

Lightning/rain feels like a recurrent theme

And I feel like we've talked a bit about rain before? We've at least talked about water with inception

Bobby: Water & fire; light & darkness--all common motifs

Something specific I noticed, though I'm not sure what meaning it might have is how they never stand out from their environments

Like, there's no color contrast

They purposefully blend in

GD: Like ateez themselves?

Bobby: Yes

GD: Interesting

Bobby: They wear blue with blue backgrounds

Black in the dark outside

GD: I had the passing thought that the blue color grading reminded me of isolation

Bobby: It's cold

"Color this infinitely cold world"

GD: But I'm thinking about a society like this, where the goal is to blend in right.

Oh no I'm thinking about a sci fi story and I don't remember the name of it

But it's like a boy who is too smart--so they kill him? And maybe there's a ballerina dancer?

Bobby: There's a short story called Examination Day where a boy scores too high on an intelligence test, so he is routinely killed

GD: Maybe that's the one I'm thinking about

And the ballerina one is a separate story

I found it

Harrison Bergeron

Bobby: Oh


GD: The first lines: THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren't only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.

Bobby: That's the one where they're all obsessed with TV?

GD: I don't think so?

But maybe?

I was just re-read parts of it

Bobby: I just remember TV being very important. Like everyone watches at the same time

GD: And they put 'handicaps' on others to bring them down to like a common level. A normal. So that everyone can be the same

I think that's true

Bobby: Sameness

GD: That seems to be a common goal in sci fi? and I think the coloring sort of exemplifies that

nothing in the world is designed to stick out or be special

(the story, by the way)

Bobby: Well, not for the common rabble 

Ruling classes are always exempt somehow

GD: Right

It's funny because that sort of talk always reminds me of the american revolution and you know, the like ruling upper class that the country was built upon that we always like to pretend wasn't the case

Bobby: Lol, reminds me of certain fandoms intent on making their idols win the struggle olympics but they're from a big company

Like, okay

GD: Yes

I was going to say something petty

But I'll keep it to myself

Everyone at home can just know that my thoughts turned petty

Bobby: [says something petty that shall never be revealed]

GD: I want to talk about the lyrics

When do we get to that portion of the event?

Bobby: Now

GD: Two lyrics stuck out to me

"which place and which time"

and "find you in my heart"

Bobby: I've been looking up what decalcomanie means

GD: I had looked it up a while ago, and isn't it related to like.. a never ending loop?


I'm back on oneteez train

Bobby: Not really? but maybe?

GD: Is what I'm saying

Bobby: It's a decorative technique whereby you can transfer prints and engravings onto pottery

In kpop, it seems to mean copies of something or oneself

So when Mingi says a "decalcomanie on a white sheet" I don't think the sheet he's referring to is a bed sheet which is how I think atinys have always interpreted it bc of course they have

It's more like a copy of himself, a drawing

On a sheet of paper

GD: Interesting

I don't really know what to do with it, but I do think it's... interesting

Bobby: Right--I'm not sure how it fits in the song exactly

Or what it means

GD: I kept coming back to the 'find you in my heart' because it made me think of hearts awakened live alive

Bobby: "Which place which time/ which fate, oh/ attracts me to you" is interesting. Suggests multiple timelines

GD: The 'it feels as if I just had a dream in a dream' stands out to me too

(I've just started reading the lyrics)

Bobby: "Is it an illusion or an illness"

GD: "Reality or illusion" is in there too

Along with "I'm thirsted by desire"

Which sticks out to me for having the title of another song in the lyric

I'm thinking about Halazia

Hongjoong's rap

"Please let me take real breaths"

"Your breath reaches me / will my breath reach to you too / even if it takes my breath away"

Bobby: Yes, I also thought of that other breath line

"hear the sound of love's breath" or something like that

Yes "I want to hear the sound of love's breath"

You'd think I'd have the Halazia translation fully memorized by now

GD: We certainly look it up enough

Bobby: Truly. I'm also on day 25 of daily viewing

GD: You will need to update me on how it's going when we're done here

I am not sure I have many more thoughts

It's unclear to me why I ever try to eat donuts

Bobby: I feel like I'm still trying to connect the diary to the mv

Like, DV is about desire, I think, if I were to sum it up in one word

I think the most obvious surface-level interpretation is it's about sexual desire; but Ateez always builds layers into their lyrics. Like It's You could be about sex, but it could also be about the pursuit of passion. Everything could be about a break up, but it's also about regret

And so I think what in the pt. 3 diary connects me to desire?

GD: I don't know that I think it's about desire

A hot take, I know

To me, it's more about desperation... of which desire can be a part, but it's deeper than desire

Bobby: See, I don't really get desperation. I think that's where we're headed, but we're not there yet

I could argue it's about longing

But there's a heat in the lyrics that pulls me toward desire. Longing is colder to me

GD: Yeah, I don't get longing either. But I do think we've reached desperation stage.. the endless thirst, i go insane, an endless thirst. To me, those all say desperation more so than desire

Like if this was about a relationship, I'd be like ah yeah, that's a toxic relationship, you should get out of it

Bobby: I think it's because the music itself is both playful and subdued. I could imagine that there's unacknowledged desperation under the surface. Like "I go crazy" isn't literal; it's more. . . flirty is not the word I want, but it's the best I can think of

GD: See, I think the music is sort of creepy

It makes it onto all of my creepy playlists

Bobby: I see that. It's why I'm saying there's layers.

It reminds me of how a nursery rhyme is very cutesy and sing-songy

But it's actually creepy when you think about it

GD: Ashes, ashes, we all fall down

Is the one that always comes to mind for me

Bobby: Right. Everyone's always dying in nursery rhymes

I think what I'm thinking here is a disconnect between tone and mood

Like DC's Because. The tone is playful and sweet; the mood is super creepy

GD: I guess I don't really see as much of a disconnect as you do. I think that's going to be very true when we get to Eternal Sunshine though. 

Bobby: Not a disconnect entirely but a difference between what they're saying and what they think they're saying

But that does make me think of how at this point in the story they are determined just to go home, that's all.

They definitely are not interested in staying to help these people

Definitely not

GD: Right, and then by the end of this diary, they are missing a member

Was I thinking about the screens with Jongho in not okay?

Bobby: You did mention

GD: Also Jongho in the teaser. It's really good that that came out after I talked to him

Well I went looking for the very clear visual I had in my head of screens around Jongho, and now I'm like, was that the not okay teaser?

Bobby: I def don't remember screens in Diary film

Not with Jongho

Just fire

Not Okay is going to be so good

Which is an understatement

But I don't think we're emotionally prepared for how good it's going to be

GD: I agree

Their Japanese releases are always hits

But this one..


I'm very excited

Bobby: Have we any other theme thoughts?

GD: I don't think so


04: what are your final thoughts and takeaways?

Bobby: Final thoughts and takeaways then

In all of Ateez's discography, Deja Vu kind of feels like the redheaded stepchild of their title tracks

GD: Deja Vu is the one it feels like GG stans like the most

I know my army friend's favorite ateez song is Deja Vu

My takeaway is that a heist concept for the music video is an accurate form to tell the story of what happens in the diary

Bobby: Are we getting heist concept because they get in cars?

GD: Mmmm, not exactly?

I think it's the opening shot going through the tunnel? And just some of the framing of the shots?

Bobby: Because they never retrieve anything--though Hongjoong does meet Halajoong, so that's it?

If we didn't have the diary, would you still think heist?

GD: Heist is what I thought when I thought it had nothing to do with the diary

It's how I've always envisioned it ever since release

I think it's the opening shot

Bobby: It definitely feels like a mission of some sort

GD: They go like down through a tunnel into an underground area

And an opening shot can really do a lot, so I think that shot has just always make me think 'oh this is a heist MV'

Bobby: We didn't even talk about the drone

Why is it there

What is it doing

GD: Aren't butterflies also drones canonically?

I think the drone adds to the whole 'being watched' vibes

Bobby: I mean sure--but the only drone we know of is Yeosang's

Bobby: I've never understood a sentence less

GD: Maybe it was a dream

I thought the butterflies were drones

Bobby: As in, the butterflies aren't real, they are tiny machines?

GD: Yes, watching them

Did I make it up entirely?

Is it like bobo?

Bobby: I've never heard that before

GD: That's so wild because I thought it was you that told me it was in the most recent diary I can't bring myself to read

I'll assume it was a dream

scary that it felt so real

Bobby: Hold on

One butterfly is a drone

I don't think I ever told you that

GD: Someone must've told me that

Maybe it was Cassandra

I have retroactively applied it every butterfly we've ever seen

Bobby: Yeo is the one piloting the drone though

So Yeo would be spying on himself

GD: Building the drone?

Bobby: Before they've even decided to stay?

GD: It would be weird to me for them to have an overarching thing of random butterflies and then provide a totally unrelated butterfly in a diary book

So perhaps he got the idea, or he used the butter fly here too to help with mission (maybe that's how he knew where the cromer was), or something. it would just be... a really weird thing to do to have all of the random butterflies not be related to the butterfly that we later see in the diary

Bobby: It would be if they'd planned out every single detail in advance

Which we know they haven't

Like, when they released Answer, I don't think they had planned that in the World pt. 2 diary they were going to have a student disciplinary group named Thunder that would actually turn out to be on their side

GD: Idk, I still think it makes more sense for them to want that to have more meaning. Otherwise the drone built later could've been a bird or some other thing that wasn't heavily featured in 2 MVs

Bobby: I think they picked it BC it had been featured

Yeo is using a butterfly because apparently they are common in strictland

Which is interesting bc butterflies tend to symbolize transformation 

GD: Is that what it says in the diary?

I suppose I really should read it

Bobby: There's a whole crowd of butterflies and his breaks off from the crowd

GD: Then I will reserve any further butterfly thoughts until I've read it

I don't know that we really reviewed any takeaways, but I think I said most of my takeaways. Including that this music video feels like the end of a an era related to the production values on Ateez's work

It's a strong and good music video, but you can definetely feel a bit of a switch once they get to the real

Bobby: Probably the real divide would be between Eternal Sunshine and Turbulence

GD: I forgot about Turbulence


Unlike me

Bobby: Turbulence is pretty simple, but it has real locations which are harder to work with than controlled sound stages

I guess DV also has some real locations as well

But The Real is definitely the first big budget

You can feel the money

GD: Exactly

Turbulence feels like a pre-release, which it was, so perhaps that's why I forgot it when I was thinking about music video eras

Like turbulence doesn't feel like the main event of the comeback

Bobby: Right. Since it wasn't

It was just a gift we did not deserve

GD: But thank god for it


05: closing

GD: Do we have any other thoughts?

I don't remember how we close out a special edition

Bobby: We do a praise, patron saints, and then rosary

GD: I'd like to praise aniteez

And that all the boys had their aniteez keychains at the airport

Because they bring me a lot of joy

Bobby: Oh no I'm thinking about ot8 keychains again 

GD: I've already done it so I don't have to think about it

I can rest

Bobby: Will I ever rest?

GD: Once you give in, probably

Bobby: The only way out is through

GD: I think I told Jongho I was going to build a shrine with my pictures and jjongbear

I'm too afraid to go back and listen

Bobby: A totally normal thing to say

My praise is how good Not Okay is going to be

Circling back for just a moment

I feel unsettled because I don't think I got anywhere with DV today

And I'm wondering about making it my next daily visit, should I wish to continue when I'm finished with Halazia

GD: How long are you working on Halazia?

Bobby: I was thinking 30 days

So, March 1 would be my final visit

GD: Well then you're almost done

Perhaps deja vu deserves it

I feel settled with it, and I'm not entirely sure why. If someone asked me, I don't think I could explain it. But in my heart I feel like I get her.

Bobby: So, patron saints?

GD: I was going to pick Jongho just because

But I think the heart wants Yeosang

My heart wants a lot of things

Including a nap

Bobby: I am picking Jongho

Because I need power and confidence

Also I think because of how he just rolls with the parts of his job that he may not love

GD: One can’t help but picture him in that Harry Potter robe

Bobby: It's too late for me to take a nap, but I may take one just the same. Shall we rosary?

GD: 8 makes

Bobby: 1 team

GD: Be the light

Bobby: Halazia


Thank you for joining us for this in depth look at one of ATEEZ's most underrated and quickly forgotten music videos. Stay tuned for Eternal Sunshine.



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