KQ Entertainment’s Ateez starts December with a new comeback called ‘The World EP.Fin: Will’. Their fourth comeback this year, in addition to a Fellowship Break The Wall world tour, Officially announced in late October, Atiny's fans are excited to see all eight members together on stage for the last comeback of 2023.
On October 24th, Ateez’s official Instagram posted three pictures revealing the name of the upcoming album. The next day, a preview of the physical album was shared, followed by concept photos of all eight members. Ateez’s maknae, Jongho, suffered an injury earlier this year that required surgery, causing a temporary hiatus. Despite his absence on the Latin American leg of the Fellowship Break The Wall tour, Atiny’s throughout Latin America sang over the youngest members’ lines.
On October 26th, their official Instagram account shared an encrypted schedule with the post reading “Estrella, Amistad, Historia." Many fans were shocked by their use of Spanish since all members are Korean. Atiny’s praised them for their use of foreign languages while also commenting on the translation “Star, Friendship, History” for all non-Spanish-speaking fans. Ateez is known for having international support from fans despite their company being small at the start of their debut in 2018.
The encrypted schedule teased numerous pop-up locations around the world. Including a subway cart in Korea decorated with clues about the comeback with little text but including qr codes to pre-save the album. Some pop-up locations included clips of the upcoming songs, while others had decorations inspired by their third concept picture.
The initial trailer for the comeback was posted on their YouTube channel on November 10th. The two minute trailer currently has 3 million views with only instrumental audio. The tracklist for the comeback was posted on their Instagram account on November 13th, with the visualiser being different moon phases. The tracklist shows a total of twelve songs, including the title track, Crazy Form, represented by a glowing red full moon. Atiny’s were excited for the length of the album as well as the inclusion of unit songs ‘Matz’, ‘It’s You’,'Youth',’ and ‘Everything’ since Ateez had never included unit songs on any of their comebacks.
On November 18th, an instrumental tracklist preview was posted on their YouTube channel. Confirming the four unit songs on their lyrics by credits, unit songs are performed without all eight members of the group. It is a common practice for k-pop groups to show off their main rappers, singers, or dancers, which Ateez never included on their albums due to their focus on the production of mini-albums.
On November 23rd Ateez posted another preview, including ‘World Z’ on the title but only four of the twelve tracks with 454,000 views. All of the social media promotions confirmed a December 1st release of the full album with all members, including Jongho. The youngest member of Ateez announced the end of his hiatus on October 16th by joining Mcountdown in France. Jongho was not able to dance with his members yet, but he was able to sit and sing live on stage.
On November 29th, Ateez posted a main video teaser, which has 397,000 views, with a second teaser posted on November 30th with 304,000 views. The teaser reproductions are high considering the MAMA 2023 awards were taking place in Japan on those days. Ateez had a cinematic stage performance lasting 10 minutes, with almost three minutes of the performance being a pre-recorded clip that introduced their concept for their performance.
The cinematic introduction also includes an explanation of actor Ryu Seung-ryong's character for this special performance. Half of the performance while Seung-ryong's character is listening to music in a sickly state while Ateez performs Bouncy, the title track of their previous comeback. Halfway through the performance, San approaches a safe while surrounded by men wearing black suits. When he successfully opens the safe, Seung-ryong's character reveals he is the man behind the safe.
Seung-ryong has a few lines saying he has found his “real self” again. After taking a bite from the chili peppers filling the safe that San opens, he turns to the crowd, saying, “Let’s live in a crazy form." Introducing the second half of the performance as their comeback’s title track. San turns, taking off his jacket and vest top, revealing a fake tattoo of different moon phases, referencing back to their tracklist announcement design.
Ateez was also awarded the Fan’s Choice Award and the Global Performance Male Group at MAMA 2023. Celebrated with two ‘Thank You Stage’ videos uploaded on M2’s Youtube channel. The main video of Crazy Form was uploaded to KQ Entertainment’s YouTube channel on December 1st, 2 p.m. Korean time. Despite Ateez having a larger foreign fanbase than local support, the video has had 13 million views in less than 12 hours since posting.
In the main video, Jongho is not seen dancing; presumably he was recovering from his earlier injury when the video was recorded. However, clips of him are included in an acting role so as to not exclude him from appearing on the video. Regardless of his inability to dance in the official video, KBS World has posted a performance of Crazy Form where Jonho is able to dance throughout the performance.
All in all, Ateez has produced another comeback to end 2023 with. Surprising fans with a partial performance at the MAMA Awards for the title track. Throughout the MAMA Awards, they thanked their fans for all the support they received this year and promised to work harder to bring even more music and performances to their fans.
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