BTS’s J-Hope And BT21’s MANG Talk Face-To-Face In Emotional First Meeting
On September 26, 2017, BTS and LINE FRIENDS joined forces to create BT21. Each BTS member designed their own character, and for J-Hope, he created what appeared to be a dancing masked pony named MANG.
MANG is a purple creature-alike wearing a light-blue horse mask. Their horse mask has a pink heart-shape nose, an indigo hair, and long string with a short indigo tail attached to the bottom of the hair. Mang is evidently identified as non-binary or gender neutral as they had chosen to go in between the male and female toilet doors during the BT21 discussion video. Mang can also be genderfluid, as they shift between the pronouns ‘she’ and ‘he’ in various descriptions.
— BT21 Wiki
In BT21 UNIVERSE 2 ANIMATION Episode 8, it was explained why MANG wore a mask. MANG’s idol and mentor, CONN, encouraged and gave them a mask to help them overcome their fears since they suffered from performance anxiety.
Yet, CONN hoped that MANG would not rely on the mask forever, wishing for them to ultimately be free to be themself and reach their full potential.
So, it was always part of J-Hope’s vision for MANG to take off their mask one day, and that day is soon here.
BT21 has been teasing lately that MANG has taken off their mask.
Now, Episode 1 of INSIDE MANG has been released. J-Hope entered the offices to talk about the second chapter for MANG.
I hope my sincere heart’s desire can be communicated. I was wondering if this could be communicated better. That’s why I made the request. It’s something I’ve thought about for a long time.
The staff surprised J-Hope by revealing that he had a video call with someone, and it was none other than MANG!
J-Hope was so shocked to see his creation; he couldn’t believe it was really MANG. He started laughing out of surprise and also from the cuteness overload!
While J-Hope created MANG and has, of course, interacted with many toys of the character, it is their first official meeting. They spoke to each other for the first time.
MANG: I’m so happy to finally meet you like this.
J-Hope: MANG, I’m so happy, too.
MANG was truly like a little kid, excited to show their parent what all they could do, so they showed J-Hope their dance moves. They really take after their dad, and he watched proudly.
Can you see me? I can move my hands. And I can dance like this!
J-Hope even contemplated not changing MANG because of how adorable it is! But MANG told him they were excited that today was their day to open a new chapter.
J-Hope explained to MANG that although the mask has always been a big part of their identity, he hopes for them to show the “real” MANG. He also closely spoke into the camera, just as a dad would talk to their kid via FaceTime.
You see, that mask is an integral part of you, MANG. But I thought it may be time to show them the real you. That’s why I wanted to talk to you directly.
MANG replied, “I’m so cool without this,” so they are ready to show the world their true self! They sweetly thanked J-Hope and asked him to make them “look pretty.”
Yet, most surprisingly, MANG told J-Hope they had to tell him something before leaving. MANG thanked him for creating them, as they have been able to meet their friends and spread love. Even J-Hope couldn’t help but tear up hearing this!
Then before I leave, I wanted to say this! Thank you so much for creating me. Thanks to you, I met KOYA, RJ, SHOOKY, CHIMMY, TATA, COOKY, VAN, and everyone else in BT21. With this gratitude in my heart, I’m trying my best to spread my love to everyone I see.
MANG asked J-Hope if they would see each other again. So, J-Hope reassured them they would, much to MANG’s excitement.
MANG: Will we meet again?
J-Hope: Of course!
MANG: Yes! Then I’ll be looking forward to it.
As if this interaction couldn’t get any sweet, MANG and J-Hope kept saying, “I love you” in both Korean and English before departing.
It was a humbling moment for J-Hope. He really has experienced fatherhood through creating MANG.
I didn’t realize what you had in store! The fact that I made that character, really makes me feel real. I feel like a dad again.
Watch the full video below.
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