Monday, February 8, 2010

Hana Yori Dango Vs Boys over Flowers


Just finished watching the season one of the Japanese 'Hana Yori Dango' and I felt it was just about ok. I guess this is because I saw 'Boys over Flowers' first and the kdrama really was top notch in every respect. 'HYD' aka Hana Yori Dango was telecast in 2005 and was the second adaptation of the HYD manga written by by Kamio Yoko. The first one was a Taiwan production 'Meteor Garden'. Kamio Yoko must be one happy lady now that her work has been made into three dramas in Taiwan, Japan and South Korea. I am sure India's queen of soaps-Ekta kapoor will also be planning her very own version of this hit drama.

















HYD starts off with Makino(the main girl) already in the elite school owned by the richest conglomerate in Japan. How she lands there I really dont know. She has trouble fitting in and the F4 boys come along and make it worse. When I saw Domyoji, I was pretty disappointed. He is not a patch on Gu Jun Pyo(Lee Min Ho) of BOF. I think Lee Min Ho elevated Gu Jun Pyo's role in the kdrama to another level. His quick fire expressions, temper tantrums and boyish behaviour were really captivating.














It doesnt help that in the Japanese version, Domyoji's character is very violent and invariably ends up punching random people whenever he is in a bad bood(which is a lot). Makino characterization is well done and you can identify with her problems. Once Makino stands up to Domyoji's crazy antics and kicks him, the love story begins and other characters enter into the picture.





















Hanazawa Rui plays the second love interest of Makino. Here he is not into music so much but still does the sleeping and the staring into space behaviour. I didnt find him appealing either and his chemistry with Makino left a lot to be desired for. There were hardly any scenes that showed the bonding between Makino and Rui which was so unlike BOF where Jan Di and Ji Hoon were attracted to each other initially but end up being very good friends.
















After seeing both 'BOF' and 'HYD', it is very apparent that the 'BOF' team has toiled away at the script to make it more sensible and interesting. It is horribly silly that apples were the cause of conflict between Domyoji and Hanazawa Rui. The BOF writers took care of that and introduced a much valid childhood incident between the two friends that makes sense in the plot. Also 'HYD' has a lot of Japanese references that dont make sense to the world viewers so it becomes a tad difficult to get some of the jokes.





















In season one of HYD, there are no new locations whereas we were treated to 'Macau' and 'New caledonia'in BoF which were beyond picturesqe. As far as the casting is concerned, again BOF wins. The F4 Korean guys were way better looking than the Japanese F4. I wonder if the Korean casting directors make it a point to choose really good looking actors that have universal appeal.I have yet to see a Korean drama that does not have awesome looking stars.

















I had a lot of problem rooting for Makino and Domyoji in the Japanese drama cause I didnt care about them at all. What's worse is that there are hardly any scenes with the couple spending time together which is a travesty considering that this is basically a romantic drama.


















In the Korean version, there are quite a few incidents where the couple share thoughts, bicker and make up. Jun Pyo's character slowly but surely grows on you and you can feel his earnest attempts to win Geum Jan Di's heart. Also the sports battles in BOF were really well done and highlighted the fears and growth of Gu Jun Pyo and Ji Hoon.












Let me talk about the two events in the Japanese 'HYD' that were worth watching. The first one was the elevator/first date scene. It was quite interesting to watch Domyoji wait in the rain for hours for Makino and when they finally meet up, they get stuck in the elevator where more trouble ensues. This was done better than BOF as we get to see Makino's selfless and caring side.

Then in the last episode of HYD of season one, the 'Teen of Japan' competition scenes were nice. Makino's final goodbye to Domyoji as he leaves for New York and the really touching letter he wrote to her were the highlights of that episode.



















Maybe 'Hana Yori dango'lacked a big budget and better looking stars but since it came out in 2005, you cant expect much from it. Also since HYD came out first,the 'BOF' scriptwriters had the ability to correct many of the flaws of 'HYD'. Season one of HYD ends with almost everyone in a very happy place. The only person left in a waiting phase is Makino who has to bear her first christmas without Domyoji. All things considered,'Boys over flowers' is definitely a clear winner over the Japanese 'Hana Yori Dango'. I for one ended up watching repeat episodes of 'BOF' again :-)

9 comments:

cgherreh said...

I have to disagre with You. For me, the japanese version was way better in acting and story than the Korean one.

I don´t know if you have watched the 2 season of HYD plus the final movie. It´s a better story and never dragged with unnecessary scenes like BOF.

Anonymous said...

are you kidding me?! the japanese version was the best. they may not have spent a lot for props, but the chemistry and acting of the leads made up for it. they nailed it perfectly. tsukasa was definitely his character: violent, hot-headed yet naive and vulnerable when it comes to love. jun matsumoto also brought the silliness and stupidity of tsukasa to a whole new level, making the latter loveable. mao inoue was perfect for tsukushi too. her weed power and strength really was apparent especially in season 1. the way she stood up against domyoji kaede... although i agree that the apple story was ridiculous, i found it more painful and harsh what kaede did to her son, making him see with his own eyes that his friend committed suicide. that for me, is more traumatic and can trigger an immediate change of heart in tsukasa. plus the ending of season 1 was just beautiful :) i do think lee min ho was a good actor in BOF. however, no matter how many times i watched this version, i can't feel the chemistry between jun pyo and jan di.

Anonymous said...

you're right! BOF is SOOOO much better than HYD!

Anonymous said...

Bof is better than Hyd?are you kidding me?hyd is still the best for me because of their chemistry just seem real than that stupid bof..because bof just leaning to that handaome f4 than acting quality

Anonymous said...

1) It is not fair review if you only watch the first season of HYD when you already finished the 24 episodes of the Korean version. c'mon compare 9 episodes vs 24 episodes?!

2) if you said that no new location/overseas filming in HYD like in BOF,it means you have to watch the 2nd season of HYD. The Macau/New Caledonia thingy in BOF belong in second part of BOF ( episode 13 onward) so if you compare it with HYD, its should be New York and Las Vegas in second season of Hanadan.
3) if you want more chemistry between the cast and more bickering scene, you should watch the season season of Hanadan a.k.a Hana Yori Dango Return and also the finale!

Anonymous said...

1) It is not fair review if you only watch the first season of HYD when you already finished the 24 episodes of the Korean version. c'mon compare 9 episodes vs 24 episodes?!

2) if you said that no new location/overseas filming in HYD like in BOF,it means you have to watch the 2nd season of HYD. The Macau/New Caledonia thingy in BOF belong in second part of BOF ( episode 13 onward) so if you compare it with HYD, its should be New York and Las Vegas in second season of Hanadan.

3) if you want more chemistry between the cast and more bickering scene, you should watch the season season of Hanadan a.k.a Hana Yori Dango Return and also the finale!

Anonymous said...

i thought so too when i watched the first few episodes of hana yori dango (jap. version) after watching the bof, but that was when i had just started watching east asian dramas, korean dramas are much more apealing and eye candy to the new viewer they use alot of glamour and glitz . korean stars appeared more pleasing because i had not developed the taste for appreciating east asian beauty, but after watching many korean and japanese dramas and shows i have come to realize just how beautiful tha actors playing the japanese f4 are, mastuda shota (shoujiro) is on top of my favourite actors list now ( just watch liar game or love shuffle), matsmuto jun (domyouji) is etherealy pretty, (watch gokusen or kimi wa petto), and what to say of hanazawa rui (oguri shun) ,he is perfection, as if he just walked out of a shoujo manga (watch hana kimi or binbo danshi), the actor playing akira is also gorgeous, it takes time to develope a taste for japanese stars and way of acting but once you do that, you are hooked and korean dramas appear very shallow and immature, no doubt cute. all i can say is i have watched hyd six or seven times and never get tired of it, weheras i cannot tolerate watching bof a secod time.

Anonymous said...

no doubt you think so because korean dramas are so much like indian soap dramas, slow and detailed, dragging on and on, whereas japanese dramas are more like pakistani dramas , fast paced, crisp, to the point, i think hyd is ten times better than bof , although i m a fan of lee minho and kim bum.

Anonymous said...

hm... u just too much watching BBF when u saw HYD. :D i mean u can't figure it out after all.

when i watched both of them (bcoz i thought it's not fair if i said meteor garden the best without watching HYD n BBF), for the 1st time, at once, on an almost same time, i decided that HYD is much better than BBF. (but i'm agree that apple part is non-sense)

jandi pretty, but somehow look annoying and too fancy. i mean, when shancai only wears T-shirt and jeans/simple skirt, jandi wears a bunch of "too cute" stuff w/ 'ugly' expression. she is (sometime) cherish but not taugh as a weed >>it's important for makino role. also, she has no chemistry w/ jun pyo. BBF scene has too much 'attribute' that not necessary.

min ho handsome, not bad, but it doesn't mean jun matsumoto worse. they just brought the role with different ways. for high school student (even he is sooo rich) is it normal to (almost) always wearing formal coat? even, daoming si still looks cool when he wears T-shirt.

i love ji ho n jandi scene. better that jun pyo-jandi. how could it be .. -_-" it can't be like that. alhough shancai-daoming n makino-domyoji also often have a "temper accident", they have 'sparkling' eyes when see-each-other.

the side story of personal F4 is good in BBF, (in MG they make it on another series Meteor Rain)

also, BBF made after HanaDan. it's normal if the scriptwriter work harder and try to be different, n they have a bigger budget after the success of Meteor Garden n HYD