So last night, I was wandering around on the internet with nothing particular to do, which is always a bad sign for one’s productivity. I had been through all my manga novels again, the last few that I read being Hana Kimi, which is short for the Japanese phrase “Hanazakari no Kimitachi e”. It translates to “For you in Full Blossom” and is a manga about an Japanese-American girl named Ashiya that cuts her hair off and attends an all boys Japanese school so she can meet her favorite track star, the high jumper Sano. It’s a very middle school/high school style manga and I mostly read it still because I have fond memories from reading it back then. Foolish me remembered that even though there is no Anime for this, there is a Jdrama, Taiwanese Drama and a Kdrama for it. RIP my free time now. I’m totally in love with this show and I’m only 4 episodes in!
When I first saw the series, I thought Sulli was a poor choice of protagonist. Jae Hee as they call her in this series, is way too pretty to be a man. She makes Ren from Nu’est look jacked and super manly. I had wished just a little bit that they would typecast this and make her band mate Amber be the protagonist. Amber is perfect because she actually is a Korean American, and would have the language difficulties associated with her role. She would also look the part, just cool enough to pass as a man, just pretty enough to make the men question their sexuality. Then I went back and read the manga again, and questioned how Ashiya ever made it through without Nakatsu ever realizing that she was a girl, so Sulli was a dead on cast. Sorry for questioning your acting abilities Sulli, you were just staying true to the manga.
Minho makes a good Tae Joon (Korean name for Sano) when he’s exposed, but in the manga I always felt that Sano was distant as opposed to icy, so the first episode turned me off from him for a bit. I’m excited to see the character he is going to become and how he will interact with Jae Hee now that he knows that she’s a girl.
The best thing about this Kdrama is definitely Eun-gyeol, which is the Korean Nakatsu, played by Lee Hyun Woo. He makes a much better Nakatsu than the manga version and I feel so sad for him watching him fall in love and question himself, knowing that according to the manga his attempts will never be fruitful. I love the online journal and the constant picture taking, which is so Nakatsu and so Korean at the same time. His facial expressions are probably the best thing about him. They are so expressive, and for a comedic character, he ends up being so heartwarming that you want him to succeed, even if it doesn’t make sense in a plot line context.
I found the addition of Han-na, Jae Hee’s rival love interest for Tae Joon very interesting. It seems like they spliced her American friend into a Korean girl and gave her a celebrity complex. I think we as an audience are supposed to dislike this character a lot, but I’m waiting for the time when we get to see her in a better light. The doctor seems altered as well, he doesn’t seem to be flamboyantly gay in this Kdrama. Jae Hee’s brother is also American and speaks flawless Korean and that’s slightly off putting to me. His Korean actually sounds better than his English, but that’s because he’s half Korean, half French-Canadian, so he’s faking an American accent. I do like the switch from a partial athletics school to a full on athletics school that retains the characteristics of each dorm based on the focused sports.
Watching just a few episodes allows me to understand how Kpop fans suddenly gain this urge fan completely over Kdrama stars. I have no such urge to fangirl over Sulli now, but I feel like I know a little more about her. Now if only Hyun Woo was a Kpop star….