K-pop girl band Loona (styled as LOOΠΔ) dropped a new music video at 4:00am ET (6:00 p.m. KT) on Tuesday for “Butterfly,” its latest single and the title track of repackaged album [x x] (originally called [+ +], read as “plus plus”). It’s the group’s long-awaited comeback music video, Korean pop culture website Soompi reports, following the August release of their second single, “Hi High.”
The group’s fandom flooded Twitter hours before the music video went live while rallying different fan groups (some of whom call themselves “Orbits”) to make #Loona_Butterfly and #Loonaiscomingback gain momentum for the music.
Both hashtags became top U.S. trending topics early Tuesday.
There’s an actual checklist of goals, guys. The band wants worldwide trending topics, millions of YouTube views, and iTunes attention.
Dont forget our goals@loonatheworld #LOONA_Butterfly #LOONAIsComingBack pic.twitter.com/oDkGttX6sE— #AlwaysWithHaseul (@rizchaprincessa) February 19, 2019
The visually compelling video matches the song’s catchy beat and most notable verse, “Fly like a butterfly,” which even trended on Twitter at one point. Give it a watch below.
The video caption accompanying the video includes a myth-like introduction of how the group—made up of HeeJin, HyunJin, HaSeul, YeoJin, Kim Lip, JinSoul, Choerry, Yves, Chuu, Go Won, Olivia Hye, and ViVi—was formed by Blockberry Creative (called BBC by fans).
As the Daily Dot reported last year, Loona is a reverse-engineered K-pop group, “due to the unique way its 12 members were revealed. Rather than debuting as a full group, members have been slowly revealed with single albums, starting in October 2016 and finishing [in March 2018] with its final member. The group is also split into three sub-units based on when they were introduced, and the latest unit, Loona yyxy, released a song on May 31 featuring Grimes.”
(The same report involved how the latter caused a branch of the Loona fan base to target Elon Musk—showing you just how vocal the stans can get.)
Shortly after the music video was released, Twitter erupted with stans praising everything from the choreography and visuals to the message and the “representation” showcased in the clip.
can we talk about how visually stunning the mv is like this is IT #LOONA_BUTTERFLY pic.twitter.com/Kar4VSW7UK— loona pics (@Ioonapic) February 19, 2019
loona gave us a song about diversity, representation, female empowerment with the greatest vocals, rap, choreo and concept???? NO ONE!!!! IS DOING IT!!! LIKE THEM!!!!! I CANNOT STOP CRYING WE TRULY DO NOT DESERVE LOONA #LOONA_BUTTERFLY pic.twitter.com/XBx5N5YupJ— . (@snoopeepee) February 19, 2019
There were updates on YouTube views, with encouragement to “keep streaming.”
100K views in 30min for #LOONA_BUTTERFLY!— loona stats #SoWhat #0205 (@loonastats) February 19, 2019
Keep streaming https://t.co/77mncDFGaJ#이달의소녀 pic.twitter.com/xUACWf8A3N
A lot of fans posted lengthy, almost reverential interpretations of the music video. Some call it a “powerful” message of “women empowerment,” “inclusion,” and “diversity.”
THE INCLUSION OF WOMEN OF COLOUR WITHOUT APPROPRIATION OR HYPERSEXUALISATION, THE WOMEN’S LACK OF CONFORMITY TO SOCIETAL NORMS, THE WOMEN STANDING UP IN A SHOW OF EMPOWERMENT, THE “FLY LIKE A BUTTERFLY” LYRICS ON TOP OF THE VISUALS… ITS SO POWERFUL #LOONA_BUTTERFLY pic.twitter.com/PElYSPw2VS— anna⁷ | YOONGI DAY (@luvnamgis) February 19, 2019
loona is not only including different ethnicities and races but also representing people with disabilities, different religions and girls with different body types! they want everyone to spread their wings and fly like a butterfly to be free from social standards #LOONA_BUTTERFLY pic.twitter.com/6JXHJGB72n— delia in 8land (@8ClTY) February 19, 2019
alright the song slaps,, + the choreography the outfits the aesthetics,, incredible. but can we talk about the diversity of women in the music video,, and how they are telling all women to "fly like a butterfly",, that's empowering. i ain't even a stan but damn loona snapped https://t.co/R7dG8ZQSTr— u (@happinesspjm) February 19, 2019
they included so many different races, religion, skin colors, no matter what the shapes n sizes and telling them to fly like a butterfly,, LITERALLY WHOS DOING IT LIKE LOONA????? #LOONA_BUTTERFLY pic.twitter.com/bGptsD13cP— CHECK PINNED! (@yoonjinz) February 19, 2019
loona literally encourages people all over the world to stand up for themselves and fly high. i think that's amazing #LOONA_Butterfly— mg☁ (@mxgafuse) February 19, 2019
tell me, who’s doing it like loona? who has the concept like loona? who has the rich and deeper lore like loona? who has the musical contrast like loona? who has a mv with many diverse WOMEN shown respectfully without appropriation? answer!!!#LOONA_BUTTERFLY— salaah..thee new era (@sohweetie) February 19, 2019
Fans believe “we are all Loona.”
“Loona … encourages us to be [ourselves] and ‘fly like a butterfly’; they aimed this for the world,” @lossianlulette tweets.
anyways, the aesthetic is SICKENING, and this kind of mv is what we almost never saw in kpop, it's kinda rebellious(?) what i took from it is that loona in a way encourages us to be ourself and "fly like a butterfly", they aimed this for the world. #LOONA_BUTTERFLY pic.twitter.com/eUSW30DON9— kae, konichan's footrest (@velvetheory) February 19, 2019
this is a minor detail but the fact that they showed this girl and the way she's closing in on herself clearly broken by society but towards the end, its shown she exceeds the struggles and 'fly like a butterfly' as she lets go and runs. that was so beautiful. #LOONA_BUTTERFLY pic.twitter.com/r7ogyHZqbf— kim (@kjheejin) February 19, 2019
LOONA literally tells us to:— choochuu (@botterflyyy) February 19, 2019
Break the barriers.
Stand up and rise against it all.
"Fly like a butterfly"#LOONA#LOONA_BUTTERFLY pic.twitter.com/yNKFyLhvXo
Even the backdrop has meaning: “The black rocks/mountains reminds me of HaSeul’s MV. Maybe they are in HaSeul’s cold heart and trying to warm it up and encourage her to love herself and fly like a butterfly,” @bchillii theorizes.
Whether or not you understand the meaning of the music video and most of the lyrics, you can’t deny it’s the perfectly upbeat #TuesdayMotivation track to get you “flying like a butterfly” through this week. Just maybe don’t be like @loveletter3gp, who tweeted, “I’m streaming #Butterfly at my workplace because I want my boss to hear it too.”
IM STREAMING #BUTTERFLY AT MY WORKPLACE BECAUSE I WANT MY BOSS TO HEAR IT TOO#LOOΠΔ #LOONA #X_X #이달의소녀 #LOONAIsComingBack #LOONA_BUTTERFLY @loonatheworld pic.twitter.com/wQGZTNi0Yl— flo (@loveletter3gp) February 19, 2019