We’re not exactly treading on new territory here as the manga Hana Yori Dango has already been made into three live action dramas (Taiwanese, Japanese and Korean versions), two live action films in Japan as well as an animated feature and anime. The numbers just prove how utterly charming this story weaved by Yoko Kamio is.
Others would dismiss HYD as another Cinderella-esque tale but the real charm of the story is not just the triangular romance of Domyouji/Jun Pyo/Dao Ming Shi, Makino/Jan Di/ Shan Cai and Rui/Ji Hoo/Hua Ze Lei but the characters themselves. The author was able to create these incredibly lovable characters that if portrayed well, would really seem to pop out of your screen.
The Japanese drama Hana Yori Dango, for instance, made me fall in love with Oguri Shun as the reticent Hanazawa Rui. I bugged my friend in Japan incessantly to bring me some magazine articles about Shun kun. For a while, I was obsessed. And for a good reason too since Oguri Shun was perfect for the role. He wasn’t the cutest Japanese guy around but there was something sad, sweet and innocent about Shun that made him the perfect Rui.
And then there’s Lee Min Ho’s portrayal of Goo Jun Pyo. As much as I loved Hana Yori Dango, I’m quite ambivalent towards Matsumoto Jun’s portrayal of F4’s ill-tempered leader. Arashi fangirls/fanboys would probably kill me for saying this but Lee Min Ho nailed the role. I am now officially a Jun Pyo convert.
Aside from the main story, I am so looking forward to Yi Jung and Ga Eul’s storyline. In Hana Yori Dango, I’ve always been frustrated at how Soujiroh and Yuki’s romance was left hanging. I know, I know, you can’t have a happy ending for everyone but still. I’m crossing my fingers in the Korean version.
In Boys Over Flowers, Yoko Kamio’s work again proved that with a new setting, a talented actor and some minor overhaul, there’s always something new to discover in a classic piece of work.
For lightning speed hardsubbed episodes, go to this site.