Why I Will Never Call BTS by its New Group Name

It looks like the boys of BTS are growing up and they’re changing their name to prove it. Well, trying to.

On Tuesday, July 4, the K-pop boy group (who became a household name after a single appearance at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards) unveiled some new changes to its logo via its management company BigHit Entertainment’s YouTube channel. The cinematic video starts off with the words “See you there” before launching into the display of the sleek and minimalist designs for both the BTS and the A.R.M.Y (that’s the Adorable Representative M.C for Youth, a.k.a. the BTS fan base), officially saying goodbye to the youthful bulletproof icon. But logos aside, it’s the voiceover of BTS leader RapMon saying “Beyond the Scene” at the end that is leaving every A.R.M.Y member (including me) very confused.

So, is the boy group alluding to a new English group name (which didn’t exist before)? According to Koreaboo, they’re not changing their name per se. While BTS will forever stand for Bangtan Sonyeondan (a.k.a. Bulletproof Boy Scouts – the literal translation), they will now include “Beyond The Scene” to their revamped identity.

Following the announcement, the group tweeted its thoughts on its new BI (brand identity) and how excited it was about the changes.

“I really like the new BI [Brand Identity],” the group wrote in Korean. “I was so excited that I wanted to show you guys even a day earlier. I feel especially good because it’s an image that connects us and ARMY into one!!”

BigHit Entertainment explained the process of designing the new logos and how it represents a harmony between the past and the present in a press release on Naver.

“We defined and visualized the universal combination of BTS’s album concepts and activities throughout time in a futuristic concept,” says the company. “The new brand identity was the result of the members working almost a year with the best design consulting firms in Korea, while considering the fans’ opinions gained through a research company.”

However, it looks like the A.R.M.Y is still very undecided on where they stand, judging from the fans’ reactions on Twitter. While many are supportive of their idols’ new image, others are disoriented by the news.

And as much as I love the new logos for both the boy group and the A.R.M.Y., I’m still confused. What does adding an English moniker have to do with all this? Phasing the youthful bulletproof vest out of the logo was a strong move to show the members’ growth, I agree with that. However, how does adding an English-friendly name to the brand have anything to do with removing their boyish concepts? If anything, it looks like the group is trying too hard to appeal to the international crowd because last I checked, no one was calling them by Bulletproof Boy Scouts.

Ever since the group popped onto the mainstream stage at the Billboard Music Awards, they stood out from the rest of the industry with their boyishly cute looks, team spirit and talent  – Korean name and all. Adding an English name for their already-present international fan base just seems pointless. What makes the K-pop sensations a standout is that they broke free from the K-pop/South Korea bubble all on their own. (Well, with the help of the A.R.M.Y, of course).

Why not call them for what they really are when they debuted four years ago? Can’t pronounce their Korean name? No worries, refer to them as BTS. I’m sure they won’t mind. And honestly, BTS just rolls off the tongue easier. Their marketing team might have spent a lot of money into this rebranding, but I personally think they missed the mark on this one.

I may not be a diehard A.R.M.Y member, but as a fan who followed these seven boys young men since the release of “I Need You,” I think I have a right to my opinion. They will always be BTS (or Bangtan) to me. #sorrynotsorry.