There was an easier time this year where it felt like Ano & Younapi‘s graduation might be the worst thing to happen this year. Clearly, these days are long past.
I initially wrote this during the middle of lockdown. I had not seen the sun for weeks and everything felt unglamorous and detached from the passage of time. That’s a lot like what happens in DAHLIA.
Dahlia opens with the girls walking haggardly into a messy apartment saturated with garbage and half-done things, like the already open sardine box that Chiffon picks from. The impression that time stands still is reinforced by the girls’ lukewarm attempts at normal living, like Younapi wearily checking multiple drink bottles that are, of course, all empty. Clearly, life has been sucked out of the Zombie versions of our beloved idols in more ways than one. The one thing that seems to awaken a sliver of vitality in them is the projection of better, sunny days from the past, where they were all gardening happily (no social distancing needed back then).
This sparks longing, not only for better days, but for ways to better the present. Our quatuor sets out on a journey to find something –anything– that could (metaphorically and literally?) resuscitate them. Stopping at a general store, they are reminded of the past, but nothing quite clicks until Younapi finds the “Dahlia” seeds that were named in the projection. After buying the seeds, they go back to attempt planting them and seeing them bloom again. It is unclear for the viewer if the sun will ever come back, as the entire video takes place at night and businesses are manned by staff as pulseless as the group. But there is no way to see if it will work if we never try, right?
As I mentioned in the introduction, this project was planned before talk of quarantine even started in the different respective countries of Homicidols various writers. As I tried to help and pick MVs that weren’t already claimed, I stumbled upon Dahlia, which I couldn’t remember seeing before. I definitely wasn’t expecting something that would hit with such precision. My heart swelled at the lyrics of this song, and I continue pulling out this MV again and again when I need to gather the strength to go on.
I finished this overtly personal take on YLMM’s 40th MV hoping that when YLMM finally wow us with their awaited 50th, we’d all be out, basking in the sun, shivering as we remember quarantine as a distant memory. While this was overtly optimistic, most of us can now go to stores again, with about the same population density you see in the video. Please keep safe in the meantime and hopefully, the numerous streamed lives can bring much needed joy into your heart.