The guys in K-pop boy band BTS have officially become emoji artists thanks to a collaboration with LINE FRIENDS.
LINE FRIENDS, a subsidiary of LINE, a messenger app created by a Japanese subsidiary of South Korea’s Naver Corporation, debuted the BT21 characters beginning in September by introducing them through Twitter. Each of the seven animated characters — dubbed Tata, RJ, Chimmy, Cooky, Mang, Shooky, and Koya — were inspired by drawings by the members of BTS, and the bandmates also crafted the figures’ personality characteristics.
With the tagline “Stars of tomorrow, UNIVERSTAR!” each of the seven animated characters, will be featured as emojis and used in promotional materials related to LINE FRIENDS, LINE’s brand based around the company’s original 11 cartoon mascots.
Each of the seven BT21 characters correlate to one member of BTS, and through the characters official Twitter account its already been revealed that Koya was created by Rap Monster, Shooky by Suga, and Chimmy by Jimin.
— BT21 (@BT21_) October 12, 2017
According to a press release, the BT21 characters, like BTS, have a storyline surrounding their creative existence:
“Tata, who was always curious about everything outside of his universe, decided to become a superstar on Earth after accidentally landing there during his travels. He soon begins his journey with members RJ, Chimmy, Cooky, Mang, Shooky and Koya to become BT21, becoming a global superstar. And this is how BT21 begins.”
Along with offering emojis and special stickers to use on the LINE messenger app, the company will also feature BT21 in a variety of videos, games, and merchandise, the latter of which will be available to stateside BTS fans in the Times Square flagship LINE FRIENDS store. LINE FRIENDS has already released several behind-the-scenes clips featuring BTS as they created BT21’s characters.
The BT21 line is the first collaborative effort as part of LINE FRIENDS’ Friends Creators project, which aims to work with globally popular artists on creating new properties for the brand.
Watched the first extended behind the scenes video of BTS working on BT21 below: