“HYBE Fumbled”: ARMYs Disappointment Over BTS K-Drama “BEGINS ≠ YOUTH”

“HYBE Fumbled”: ARMYs Disappointment Over BTS K-Drama “BEGINS ≠ YOUTH”

The long-anticipated BTS-inspired K-Drama BEGINS ≠ YOUTH recently premiered.


Several years ago, during a press conference, HYBE founder Bang Si Hyuk shared the agency’s plans for a Korean drama inspired by BTS‘s fictional universe. The K-Drama, originally titled YOUTH, was slated to air in 2020 but moved to November 2023.

We are working with a famous Korean drama production company to produce a drama where the theme is based off of BTS’s outlook of the world, and the drama is expected to be revealed in the second half of 2020.

— Bang Si Hyuk

Cast | MyDramaList

This K-Drama is based on the BTS Universe, originating from The Most Beautiful Moment in Life Series (also known as Hwa Yang Yeon Hwa Series, or HYYH Series) with the group’s music videos. The time-traveling friendship story later expanded into other media, including the BTS Universe Story game, Save Me Webtoon, HYYH Notes, and now K-Drama BEGINS ≠ YOUTH (also known as Begins Youth, Youth, or Blue Sky). 

The drama follows the lives of seven boys navigating their school years and personal growth, each grappling with family obligations, loss, poverty, abandonment, violence, and rejection. After an unwanted return to Songju-si, Kim Hwan meets six boys. As an outsider and the son of Kim Chang Jun, the boys sometimes find him suspicious and misunderstand his actions, leading to conflicts. Despite these initial difficulties, they eventually become friends. It seemed awkward at first, but over time, they grow closer and open their hearts. They travel and play together, sharing their problems to help each other heal. Realizing they all have similar family issues, they become even closer. Hwan confronts his own feelings by staying with the other boys. As he spends time with them, he starts to like Songju-si and genuinely wishes for these days to continue forever. However, Chang Jun notices the other boys and considers them useless, insisting that Hwan stay away from them. Hwan, who has always lived an obedient life, raises his voice for the first time and confronts his emotions.

— MyDramaList

| Webtoon

ARMYs have been eagerly anticipating the release since it was announced. Now, BEGINS ≠ YOUTH has premiered. Episodes 1-4 became available on April 30. Episodes 5-8 and 9-12 will be released on May 7 and 14, respectively.

Despite ARMYs’ anticipation, many are unable to watch. BEGINS ≠ YOUTH  premiered via the Xclusive platform, not a streaming service like Disney+, Netflix, or Prime Video, where previous BTS content premiered. It is the first drama series launched on the Xclusive platform.

Since Xclusive is not your average streaming platform, there is actually no monthly subscription to watch numerous titles. Instead, each episode release is available for purchase. Even with the initial 25% discount, it was over $30 USD per package. So, watching all of the episodes would still cost over $90 USD. Currently, it’s only 10% discounted, and it costs nearly $10 USD to watch just one episode. This is the cost of a monthly subscription for some streaming services. If you purchase all episodes, watching the entire series costs $118.92 USD.

Additionally, there is a purchasing period that will come to an end. It claims that the episodes will only be available until sold out. After that, you must purchase or rent from another person who previously bought it.

BEGINS ≠ YOUTH is a collaboration between CRB Media and HYBE utilizing Web 3.0 technology using blockchain. Xclusive claims to be a “blockchain-based platform that aims to innovate the content distribution process with fandom.” So, BEGINS ≠ YOUTH  has been referred to as an “NFT K-Drama.”

The Most Beautiful Moment in #web3 has arrived!

Collaborating with @fingerlabs_io, Mantle proudly introduces “Begins≠Youth” inspired by K-pop sensation BTS’ “The Most Beautiful Moment in Life”, a captivating series of K-drama NFTs distributed exclusively via Xclusive and… pic.twitter.com/Oqg0Zn8erj

— Mantle (@0xMantle) April 2, 2024

ARMYs were shocked to see that BEGINS ≠ YOUTH became what appears to be an NFT and Multilevel marketing (MLM) scheme. They expressed disappointment in HYBE’s decision to release the K-Drama through a blockchain platform.

Multilevel marketing (MLM) refers to a strategy used by some direct sales companies to sell products and services. MLM encourages existing members to promote and sell their offerings to other individuals and bring new recruits into the business.

— Investopedia

HYBE TRULY WTF?!?! Now you are doing some hybrid NFTxMLM pyramid scheme for the BTS kdrama?!?! I swear every time I think you can’t possibly sink any lower in your money grabbing bullshit. This is infuriating and so so absurd. pic.twitter.com/XZ02IOQjDx

— Luna⁷ʟᴏ(ꪜ)ᴇ 사람 사랑 (@mintblueskye) April 2, 2024

are these prices in USD??? they must be out of their mind if they think people are gonna spend $90 to watch this show #beginsyouth pic.twitter.com/1fYWNgClDs

— dramakakes (@DramaKakes) April 2, 2024

Some are boycotting BEGINS ≠ YOUTH. Many are watching via clips on social media.

Still, some took one for the team, purchased BEGINS ≠ YOUTH, and shared it with others. Those who have been watching are in awe of the production, praising the actors for their portrayal of the beloved characters.

I feel like hybe fumbled so bad for not putting BEGINS ≠ YOUTH drama in a streaming site like netflix for the general public bcs; 1) they bagged good actors and 2) the plot is interesting and very well-executed.

What a shame it’s not for the world to watch. pic.twitter.com/KPKIyn9KJn

— 𝐀𝐜𝐡𝐢. (@Rchivenj) May 1, 2024

Hyyh taehyung was 100% channeled through him. The boxy smile. The goofiness. The temper. The “I will kill you if you dare touching namjoon hyung” eyes.

It’s also not helping cause the one playing namjoon sounds almost like him too. Hyyh nations we feasting pic.twitter.com/hOgQpkmhwX

— 𝐀𝐜𝐡𝐢. (@Rchivenj) May 1, 2024

And I love that its not only a biblically accurate adaptation of hyyh notes, but also the character of each member irl. They incorporated many small details & the actors seem to study the members religiously cause at times they’re unbelievably identical pic.twitter.com/3cuhOAugQx

— 𝐀𝐜𝐡𝐢. (@Rchivenj) May 1, 2024

ARMYs feel HYBE has wasted such a great K-Drama by releasing it through Xclusive. They also feel bad for the crew and actors who put so much into the show, only for it not to be shown at its full potential.

Many are hoping that, eventually, it will be moved to another platform, hopefully Netflix. Some have even begun tagging Netflix and HYBE to express this wish.

Read more below.

HYBE Under Fire As BTS K-Drama “Begins ≠ Youth” Costs Over $90 To Watch

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