Top 10 K-pop Music Videos of 2013

It’s Day 5 of the 2013 countdown! We’re down to the 10 best videos of the year!

Day 1: #50-41

Day 2: #40-31

Day 3: #30-21

Day 4: #20-11

When I say “best” or “top” video, I take into account the song, cinematography of the video, and the wardrobe. If the video has a storyline or a dance, I consider those too. All five factors are weighted evenly. Every video on this list is one that averaged above 4/5 in every category.

Note: If your favorite video isn’t on this list, it’s okay. These are the videos that I thought were overall the best, but you may think differently. I just ask that you pay attention to the videos I chose and if it’s one you’ve never seen before, watch it and consider the strong points of the video before feeling upset that I chose something else over a video you liked.

If you still think I missed a very important video, leave me the name in the comment section! I watched a lot of videos this year, but there were definitely a lot that were released that I may have just not known about. Some of those youtube channels (LOEN, CJENM) release multiple videos a day. I know I missed a lot.

Here we go! The top 10 videos of 2013!

#10: BTS – N.O.

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I’m starting off the final countdown with BTS, one of the most impressive groups this year. “N.O.” tells the story of BTS, a group of students being turned into learning robots by an oppressive teacher. They break free and rebel against the educational system using force and dance. The video looks clean and sleek and is metaphoric for the current educational system in Korea, where students are vigorously encouraged to go to school and come out as carbon copies of their teachers. BTS uses song, rap, and dance in this video to make a statement to kids to take control of their own lives and education and to not allow themselves to be subject to the current system’s oppression.

#9: BoA – Disturbance

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Another of S.M.’s miracles. This video was actually directed by BoA’s brother, Kwon Soo Wook, and he did an amazing job. It was another of those regretful breakup video, but the flashbacks and ending made it so unique and interesting. It was a story within a story. We see BoA sadly watch Taemin as he looks back on his relationship with BoA, missing the good times and regretting the bad times. As BoA watches Taemin reminisce, Taemin flashes back as he relives the past moments in the present. The most unique part about the video is that we are given an option to choose our ending to the video. Both endings are well done, and they give each type of audience member the satisfying ending that they need. It was a really well-done video with elements that made it stand out from all other videos of its kind.

#8: Lee Hyori – Bad Girls

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If there was a video that screamed girl power this year, it would have to be “Bad Girls.” This hilarious video depicts the life of a girl born into a bad family situation and constantly picked on in school, however she doesn’t let these situations hurt her. We see her at different ages in her life, encountering one problem after another, but with each person who tries to push her around or take advantage of her, she gets back at them in the most hilarious ways. By the end of the video, the “good girl” who throughout the story flaunts the good in her life ends up handcuffed with Lee Hyori as they are both arrested. It was a fun, entertaining way to send a message to girls to not let others push them around.

#7: Eric Nam – Heaven’s Door

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Coming in at #7 is this simple and sweet video by Eric Nam. In this video, we are given a glimpse of Eric’s little piece of heaven. We watch him go about his day as he plays with his dog and enjoys his winter wonderland. Throughout his day, he sets up a little treasure hunt for his girlfriend that leads to his heaven. As he sets up each piece, he takes a picture of it and we are flashed forward to the story of the girl finding each piece and getting closer and closer to “Heaven’s Door.” As the girl is getting all of these pieces, we as the audience also feel welcomed by Eric to his heaven. It has a really cute ending that will leave anyone satisfied and smiling. Everyone needs a feel-good video like this every once in a while.

#6: Lee Hi – Rose

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This has to be one of the most beautiful and well-crafted videos ever. The basic gist of the video is that Lee Hi is a beautiful rose, but she has thorns that hurts any boy she meets. The video uses a variety of images to portray not just that one general theme, but a bunch of different aspects to her reality that she is a harmful rose. Words, flowers, rooms, and even her wardrobe are all used to portray these different concepts. The song and video both are extremely powerful. For a story without a plot or a dance, it is one of the most beautiful and entertaining videos of the year.

#5: MYNAME – Baby I’m Sorry

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It’s impossible to watch this video without tearing up or feeling your heart wrenched from your chest. The plot of this seven minute video could be stretched out into a full length movie. It tells the story of a group of friends who get caught up in a deadly game between two older men. Like a real plot, it has subplots, such as the older brother sacrificing his safety to support his younger brother, an overconfident boy getting in way over his head when he signs up to be the minion of one of the men, the two men using these young boys as soldiers, the younger brother trying to keep up with his brave friends but never quite getting there, and the brotherly bond between these five boys that is tested again and again in this story, only to be forever torn apart in the tragic ending. The song is great, but the video is just phenomenal at drawing us into this story and pulling at our heartstrings.

#4: VIXX – VOODOO DOLL

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VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED! This twisted video is difficult to stomach, but it is such an experience to watch. It features VIXX being tortured by a psychotic girl and her voodoo doll. They are stabbed, pierced, and thrown around as they sing and dance, professing their conflicted love for her. The cinematography and wardrobe choices made the whole video like a nightmare, but a well-crafted one. When Ravi screams “Open the doors of Hell” we really feel like they are in Hell. The dance and song are amazing, and everything together creates an experience that part of us wants to forget, but we really just watch in awe at the fact that VIXX had the nerve and talent to pull off such a crazy video. This is one that I will never forget.

#3: Kim Jaejoong – Mine

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K-pop needs more songs like this. It is so refreshingly hardcore rock. To match the dark song, sung amazingly, Jaejoong plays the part of the devil, a fallen angel. He breaks free from his prison in hell and returns to a church, only to reclaim it as his own kingdom of hell. He fully takes on the character of this dark angel not only in the story, but in the way he sings. The irony at the end is too good for this literature nerd to pass up. This video was not about a romance nor was it Jaejoong singing about how great he is. It brought something fresh to K-pop and pulled K-pop fans into a new experience.

#2: G-Dragon – COUP D’ETAT

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The art of this video blows me away every single time I watch it. G-Dragon takes us into the dark part of his glamorous world as a celebrity. This video is his “Coup d’etat,” his revolution, against the entertainment industry and the public’s expectations of him, and he shows us in this video how he sees his position, which is not a very good one. He uses vivid imagery to portray his dark reality, such as black wads of cash being boiled in oil – the real result of all of this money he supposedly makes. He uses image after image to try to physically break himself away from the boy who sang “Heartbreaker,” arguably the video that launched his massive fame. The video itself is a revolution.

#1: B.A.P – One Shot

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There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this is the best video of the year. Amazing song, amazing choreography, amazing wardrobe, and amazing story. Everything was on point. A lot of videos either have a really good song and dance or a really good storyline, but the true gems have both. The story had moments of exciting action and heartbreaking moments, with not one, but two twists at the end. There was a clear beginning, middle, and end all in under seven minutes. The song is motivational and the dance shows off B.A.P’s utter talent for dance. Everything about this video was done right, which makes it the best music video of 2013, and one of my all time favorite music videos.

Well, that’s it for 2013! If there are any videos that I missed, leave me a comment! I hope you all have a great new year and I’ll see you in 2014!

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