Boys Over Flowers
I have always been a fan of the manga Hana Yori Dango. I got to know this through the Taiwanese drama Meteor Garden (still dreamy about Jerry Yan). Japan also made their own version of the drama with the exact title as the manga (Hana Yori Dango). Like the Taiwanese drama they had 2 seasons but the Japanese had the final or season 3 in Movie.
A few days from now, Boys Over Flower (english translation of Hana Yori Dango or 꽃보다 남자 – Kkeotboda Namja) will be aired in a local channel. I was one of those excited K-POP drama addicts who anticipates the Korean version of this drama. I promised my self not to watch it on-line (because I always loved marathon watching — allows me to go back to favorite scenes) BUT i ended up watching it at mysoju anyway.
The Korean version stars Lee Minho (이 민호) as Domjuyi and Gu Hye Sun (구혜순) as Makino. Rui is played by Kim Hyun Joong while Akira and Soujiro is played by Kim Joon and Kim Bum respectively. The Korean version had their own names for the lead stars as follows:
- Domyuji – played by Lee Min Ho named as Gu Jun Pyo
- Makino – played by Gu Hye Sun named as Geum Jan Di
- Rui – played by Kim Hyun Joong named as Yoon Ji Hoo
- Soujiro – played by Kim Bum named as Seo Yi Jeong
- Akira – played by Kim Joon named as Song Woo Bin
Just as expected the number of episodes of Korean version is in between the Taiwanese and Japanese versions, the first being the longest and the later the shortest. Honestly I had little faith in the cast because i had other Korean artist in mind to play the F4, I infact made a Face Off about it. In the long run I came to like Lee Minho and Kim Bum.
The story started differently for BOF Korean where Jandi helped rescue a guy being bullied in Shinwa University which started her complicated life.
The love triangle between Jun Pyo and Jihoo towards Jandi as expected is the center of the story’s plot. However it was surprising to note that Jihoo (Hua Tze Lei – Taiwan and Hanarazawa Rui -Japan) seems to have shown more love than the two characters from the former versions.
Except for the key element of this Manga, those beautiful rich boys, Korean gave the story a twist. They did not reinvent the wheel but they mixed some scenes from the Taiwanese and Japanese versions. The lost in snowy mountain did not happen in the Taiwan version but it happened in the Japanese version towards the late part of season 1. In the Korean version, it happened mid of the story.
It will not be Hana Yori Dango if the evil mom wasn’t there but fortunately, the Korean version of this character is hateful but not as evil as the Taiwan version.
Yi Jeong and Ga Eul (played by Kim Seo Eun) had a fair share of love story in the drama as their relationship seems to have prospered more than the previous versions. It was implied that they are ‘together’ as namchin-yochin (boyfriend and girlfriend in Korean) in the drama. This is very different from the original Manga but I somehow like the twist… the Cinderella formula never fails to excite me.
My thoughts on this drama…it has all the necessary Hana Yori Dango ingredients. As I mentioned they got 4 good looking guys and some other key spices such as display of wealth, friendship, a weed’s determination and cheesy scenes. Similar to the Japanese counterpart the scenes taken out of the country was splendid.
There was successful chemistry between Min Ho and Hye Sun. Hyun Joong did the job well of portraying a nice character but i feel Song Woo Bin’s character was almost negligible. He was like there for the sake of having F4 but his role was so down played unlike in the Taiwan version.
With this, I can say the Korean version is just as special as the two previous versions. Like any other Cinderella type of story, this drama will not fail to tickle the teen in you just looking at Lee Min Ho and the rest of the boys.
Now I wonder if there would be next to Korean version to this wonderful manga. I got to have that ultimate Hana Yori Dango face off … I am cooking it up.