When news started spreading on this drama having a Korean version, I was so excited. I love this drama. This got me started on watching Asian Dramas and Meteor Garden (as titled in the Taiwan version) remains to be one of the best Taiwanese dramas for me. Who can ever forget the fame that it brought to F4, conquering Asia by storm.
I also had the chance to watch the equally good Japan version which is just a little less than the beautiful faces of F4 boys in Taiwan. I love the Japanese version for the pacing that they employed in the development of the story. There was never a dragging scene for both seasons 1 and 2 contrary to Meteor Garden which became too slow on season 2. I also noticed how the Japan version seem to be more elegant, extravagant and near ‘rich-like’ in their production design.
For some reasons I have high regards on the way Korean make their dramas so my expectations are likewise high on their version of Hana Yori Dango. As news on the Korean drama version of this famous manga heats up, the casting has been finalized. Honestly I was a bit disappointed with it but nevertheless Hana Yori Dango is one hell of a story for a drama.
- Doumyouji Tsukasa – lead F4 member, the character that I love most of the four will be played by Lee Min Ho (K) originally played by Jerry Yan named as Dao Ming Sz (T) in Taiwan and Jun Matsumoto (J) from Japan version
- Hanazawa Rui – the gentle character played by Shun Oguri (J) and Vic Zhou (T) went to Kim Hyun Joong of the boyband group SS501.
- Nishikado Soujiro – this tea ceremony master cum playboy character is played by Shota Matsuda (J) and as Ximen in the Taiwan version by Ken Chu (T). Kim Bum will play this role in the Korean version
- Mimasaka Akira – another gentle playboy character is played by Tsuyoshi Abe (J) and American-bred Vaness Wu (T). Mei Zuo in Meteor Garden will be played by Kim Joon in Korea.
Comparison of My Cast versus the Original Korean Production Cast
So why am I disappointed with the casting? I was expecting for each Korean actor to surpass their Taiwan and Japan counterparts in terms of the looks and acting. Well anybody who would play the role in this drama will surely become big… if there are criteria for selection of the character the looks will probably be more important than the acting. Not that I am expecting for poor quality actors but the roles are simply easy and not complicated to portray, i just feel it does not really require too much effort. So i think the looks will play a major part in portraying the character along with some acting skills.
I have nothing against Min Ho really… i think his acting skills cannot be undermined as a soon to rise star it’s just that i think Top (탑) of Big Bang suits the role more having that bad boy look and image but at the same time could carry on a stylish look. He also played his role in I am Sam well so in terms of the acting skills he is not that bad. Hyun Joong seems the only cast that I have no question of but this will surely post a lot of challenges to his acting skills as the Rui role has been played well by Shun (bravo!) and Vic
The two other chosen actors for the Akira and Soujiro seem to be okay except that given the chance to hand pick, i am choosing Ki Bum of Super Junior to play Suijiro and Seungri of Big Bang as Akira. I think having them in the cast would draw more power to the casting of this exciting drama.
The Korean Cinderella for Hana Yori Dango - Goo Hye Sun
Although I must admit that I like Mao Inoue as Makino more than the role played as Shanchai by Barbie Hsu in the Taiwan version, i think choosing Goo Hye Sun is a good idea. She became famous with her role in the hit drama Pure Heart.
Despite falling short on my expectations towards the cast…knowing its going to be Koreanized, I am still looking forward to this drama. I just hope these actors will turn out bright during their performance so the whole sweet success from its Taiwan and Japan counterpart can be equalled if not surpassed. At the end of the day its still Hana Yori Dango plot.