Spirit of Youth: GFriend’s “Navillera” MV Review

GFriend’s most manic single yet storms through the headphones and into our hearts with this retro-hyper music video:

Thin on narrative and high on life, “Navillera” boldly (and correctly) decides not to deviate from the “School Trilogy” theme which has helped GFriend’s meteoric rise.  With over 60,000 physical pre-release orders for their new album, GFriend at this point may well be poised to snatch the “heirs of SNSD” crown from A Pink’s fingers– a blasphemous thought for a Pink Panda such as myself, and there’s room enough for more than one supergroup in Asia, but in terms of commercial and zeitgeist ascendancy, there has perhaps been nothing so astonishing as GFriend.

And, since it’s not altogether irrelevant here, let me say this by way of comparison: while “Remember” is a great song, and I love the choreo, and there are some terrific moments in its video from last year– it would have been a better video had it been more like “Navillera”.  All that stuff with A Pink on a yacht and doing their lipstick and driving around in their car was meant to signify their transition, subtle but sure, from schoolgirl fairies into slightly more mature young women.  Perhaps it happens to us all, [Ed.: Speak for yourself!] but what really was the hurry?  I’m certainly not dissing on A Pink as a group, but couldn’t the video have just stuck with the frolicking in the countryside and dancing around the fountain parts?  Those were more visually attractive, and they were truer to A Pink’s real spirit.  The other stuff was more like an awkward game of dress-up, and perhaps even came off (however inadvertently) as just a tad shallow and materialistic.

GFriend on the other hand make no pretense here of needing a yacht to have fun (even if, ironically enough, they did end GFriend: Where Are You Going? by sailing on one lolz).  Here, as in prior videos, they’re just up to amusing themselves in the rec room or sauntering through the countryside, running and skating and enjoying an innocent yet manic pace, embracing life to the full.  The scent of the forests fills the air and each is surrounded by her best friends.  Sometimes a fall is taken, even a scrape is endured, but they are always there to help each other; and though there is the hint of ambition to compete in all their gym frolics, at its heart “Navillera” is about the emphatic bonds of girlhood friendship, as witnessed in the many quick moments of solicitude (especially between Eunha and Yerin) as well as all the endless horseplay and teasing.

Perhaps this video has less thematic weight than the one for “Rough”, which bittersweetly yet zestfully addresses the transitions of youth, with Yerin’s abandoned teddy bear outstretching his arm for her (tears!), and the girls rejoining in the country to dig up their time capsule diary and look to the skies, eager for what new adventures in life await.  Is “Navillera” their college freshman video diary?  Their “Roly Poly” time-travel look to the past?  Or just an inspired moment of saying, ‘you know what?  Who has to be in a hurry to “grow up”?’  Whatever the case, GFriend have made the right call.


One comment

  1. Recent spectacles of glory:

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