K/DA took the world by storm in November of 2018 when their debut music video, “POP/STARS,” was released. K/DA is a virtual girl group that mixes K-pop and English and is composed of “League of Legends” (“LoL”) characters, Evelynn (Madison Beer), Akali (Soyeon), Ahri (Miyeon), and Kai’Sa (Jaira Burns). Their music debut sparked increased interest in “LoL,” lots of cosplays, and increasing popularity for K-pop group (G)I-DLE. Even though “POP/STARS” was just supposed to be a one-off, the music was phenomenal, the animation was amazing, and fans around the world clamored for more of K/DA. Well, “LoL” listened, and K/DA recently released an extended play (EP) called “All Out.” There are five songs on the EP, all of them are fantastic, but I will only be reviewing the ones with music videos (as of November 14).
The second song in the EP is “More.” All the members of K/DA are voiced by their original singers, with the addition of Seraphine, voiced by Lexie Liu. The song opens with Akali (Soyeon) and her crazy rapping skills. Seriously, the opening for “More” goes hard. The bridge consists of Evelynn and Ahri leading into a catchy, hard-hitting, chorus. I sing along to the bridge and chorus every time. Then, we get to hear Jaira Burns. She had no solo time in the debut, so it’s so awesome to hear her get a solo part now. Plus, she knocks it out of the park. Then Evelynn comes in, followed by Ahri before they then reprise the bridge and chorus. After this, we get to hear Seraphine, showcasing Lexie Liu’s talents. I loved the addition of a Mandarin singer, and Liu does a good job with her part. Then, “More” closes out with the powerful chorus again. For the animated music video for this song, and “LoL” seems to have taken the route of cartoony-realism. The textures and details are spot on, while the character proportions are still fantastical. It’s bright, colorful, vivid, and an absolute delight to watch. The character designs are different from “POP/STARS,” but still recognizable. The dancing of the characters is really good, too. The motion capture for the models is better than the debut, and the dancing animations are much more seamless and realistic. The lighting and shadows in the video are also mind boggling. “LoL” really went and flexed on us all this year.
“Villain” is the third song on “All Out,” with the vocals of Kim Petras and Madison Beer as Evelynn. The song is catchy and upbeat sounding at first, but the lyrics are darker then what is typical of K/DA. Evelynn is a bad b---- and unapologetic about it. There are vocal effects added that add a bit of an edge to the song, too, eventually it gets distorted for a bit about a minute to the end. What really gets me about this song, though, is the music video. It is some of the most beautiful, detailed, compelling animation I have ever seen. Everything looks so real, the only reminder that it’s not real are Evelynn’s proportions. But the animators even put imperfections and texture onto Evelynn’s skin, dust motes in the air, and the environment looks like a real place. The water, the fire, the stone, the fabric, the metal… they all look real. The animators play with light and shadow a lot, and I just couldn’t believe that it was animated. As much of a flex as “More’s” music video is, “Villain” is just straight up a mic drop. There’s a part about halfway through where a smooth metal texture morphs into a fabric that emulates snake skin, and the transition and motion is flawless. A beautiful and eerie video that accompanies the song of a similar nature.
I hope that, after reading this, you are inspired to go and watch K/DA’s videos and listen to their music. You won’t regret it.