I can’t believe I’m blogging about this haha. I really love the story of Hana Yori Dango, me watching this show AGAIN but in a different version, proves it. This story is one of my all-time favourite stories. I’ve watched the Korean adaptation of it, Boys Over Flowers, read the manga, watched its anime and now I watched the first season of its Japanese drama adaptation.
I think the reason why I can’t get over Hana Yori Dango is because of the fantasy world it has painted for us. Kamio Youko, the author did a great job in doing the whole story. The idea of the mega rich and super poor is greatly shown in the story and the disparity of them. The fantasy of 4, rich and beautiful guys ruling the school and having almost limitless authority and power to do whatever they want is practically a dream, though unrealistic. The chances of the richest and handsomest guy in the school falling for one of the poorest girls is actually so slim but because it happens in the story, it becomes Cinderella-like and all girls love that. The humour written in the story isn’t jaded and it’s funny no matter how many times I read and watch Hana Yori Dango over and over again. Here’s a scene in chapter 31 whereby Tsukasa punishes a bunch of guys for bullying Tsukushi. Enjoy XD
Even though the manga art of Hana Yori Dango pretty much sucks in the first quarter of the story, the art improves over time and the characters become really attractive in the end. I’ve grown to love all the F4 members because they are all needed, like body parts.
Okay so going back to the Japanese drama adaptation, I felt that it did try to stick to the manga but of course, like all the other adaptations, it had a little twist on its own. Which is fine for me I guess, because all the adaptations want their own take on the story themselves. I did find the last episode a little ridiculous though, with Tsukushi running alongside the airplane runway. Running alongside the airplane runway is not possible, let me tell you first because it’s DANGEROUS.
Also, this scene totally did not happen in the manga! I’m quite a stickler for film/drama adaptation of books to be true to them, if you’ve been reading my blog long enough. Oh well. Doesn’t really matter anyway.
I found the actors for Hanazawa Rui and Nishikado Soujirou really likeable and convincing. The actor for Mimasaka Akira wasn’t that bad too, I was quite surprised when they included a scene from the manga whereby Soujirou announced to the public that whoever bought sweets from the Dango shop would get a kiss from Akira XD Hanazawa Rui still had that gentle aura around him and always that soft smile whenever he smiled and Soujirou still had that suave aura with a playful look. Brilliantly convincing.
The actor for Doumyouji Tsukasa was a bit of a let down though, but I think he did portray Tsukasa reasonably well, acting like a spoiled brat most of the time and being kinder and smiling more around Tsukushi later on. I found him too short to be Tsukasa though, since the character is supposed to be around 8 feet tall. I also felt that Okami-san, Tsukushi and Yuuki’s boss was kind of an extra and a time-waster though she was amusing.
I didn’t like the fact that Tsukasa’s mother was introduced very early in this show and that she interfered in Tsukasa and Tsukushi’s relationship really early – she was practically one of the first few ‘enemies’ identified already, apart from Sanjou Sakurako, the evil girl trio and Jun Pei but I guess Jun Pei will only come out in the second season. To me, Mrs Doumyouji should’ve been introduced only in the later part of the show since she was only an ‘enemy’ when Tsukushi and Tsukasa got together but here, she was already butting her nose in even though Tsukushi and Tsukasa weren’t together and were still figuring out their relationship. Also, what was with her being all nice and gracious in the last episode, letting her son get off the plane to meet Tsukushi???
Still, I liked this adaptation and I think it’s worth carrying on to the second season of it. I’d like to see more of Soujirou and Akira because they’re such jokers and this second season has all the interesting parts in the story. Actually after watching this Japanese adaptation, I feel that although I really liked the Korean adaptation of Hana Yori Dango (
because of the handsome F4), it deviated quite a lot from the original settings and plotline. If you love the story of Hana Yori Dango, I think that no matter which adaptation you’re watching, you’ll still fall in love with the characters all over again. The fact that there are so many adaptations of this particular story proves its popularity and appeal to the public even after so many years. Kamio Youko is a genius.
Rating: 8.5/10 overall for the movie, which takes into account the cast’s attractiveness, the storyline and the acting believability.