Friday, 7 March 2008

Hana Yori Dango, the K-drama version

It all started from this very influential shoujo manga series...

If you are manga fan, you'd probably have heard this news. Thanks to
Lemonade Lagoon, a reader of this blog, i found out about Hana Yori Dango.

Hana Yori Dango is a popular Japanese shōjo manga created by Kamio Youko.

It is also known as "Boys before Flowers" or "
Boys over Flowers".

The gist of the story goes like this...

Adorable Makino Tsukushi is the only poor student studying at the prestigious Eitoku Gakuen private school for the ridiculously rich and privileged. The school is "governed" by a group of four boys who come from powerful families and call themselves "Flower 4" or F4. If you were unfortunate enough to tick any of the F4 guys off, you would get a red notice and they would make your life a living hell. (wikipedia)

That premise has since been made into an anime series, adapted into a Taiwanese TV series called
Meteor Garden (2001), then in 2005, the Japanese dorama version of Hana Yori Dango was aired. Both the Taiwanese and Japanese drama versions were garnered high ratings and was very well received by viewers. Meteor Garden created sequels in the form of Meteor Rain and Meteor Garden II.

I vaguely remember Meteor Garden being
aired on Malaysian TV many years ago...

That's not the end...the four actors who played F4 in Meteor Garden shot to fame and became the boyband F4 (Flower 4).

Taiwanese group F4 - Vanness Wu, Vic Zhou, Jerry Yan and Ken Chu

Now, the Korean drama version is in the making: 꽃보다 남자 . The production team behind this third drama installation is Group Eight and they are the people who brought you k-dramas Fantasy Couple and Goong S. The drama is said to have 24-episodes and will start airing second half of 2008.

The Korean version really has big shoes to fill

Many are apprehensive at this news as the Japanese drama version was superb (i heard). It is said that the Japanese cast was perfect, the cinematography excellent, in short - it was arguably one of the best manga-adapted dramas ever! Now how does one top that? The Korean version certainly has big shoes to fill and expectations from fans are high.

Which Korean actor/actress would you want to see bringing these manga characters to life?

From the top of my head, i'd say pick any of the four from the suave Dong Bang Shin Ki boys to play F4. But then again, i saw the DBSK boys in a variety show which tested their acting skills over the Lunar New Year holidays and they were really bad actors. Okay, maybe Micky wasn't so bad...but still that's a no-go.

Have you seen j-dorama Hanayori Dango or Meteor Garden?


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Sarah said...

IMHO the Japanese version wasn't all that great. Give me the Taiwanese version any time. Forget bad acting.. this story is all about good looks. The F4 guys are not the greatest actors anyway (VERY good looking still). I hope the Korean version would not dissappoint ESPECIALLY in the looks dept!

Anonymous said...

I watched the japanese version (Hana Yori Dango 1&2)and liked it a lot the story was really interesting and actually got me into watching japanese dramas. It was really well done so the kdrama of this will have to have really attractive, good actors and a really likeable lead girl. They are gunna have to work harder than Goong S -___-

Ann said...

i've watched both. looks, i go for the taiwanese version, i love f4. the reason i was hooked on asian stuff. acting and storywise- jdorama all the way.

ily_lalala said...

i watched both jap and taiwan versions. preferred the jap version better. but totally love the f4 in meteor garden.
anyway, dbsk boys are ok i guess, but i think 4 suju-actors boys can do it. (yeah im a suju fan).
so, here's what i think.
Tsukasa= siwon
Rui= kibum
2 others= heechul & hankyung
hankyung's been in ri in's video, and that boy can act!

Anonymous said...


Listen here
Meteor Garden
Show of all time.
Yeah. I dont even like F4, but even the overacting is PERFECT. PERFECT I SAY.

All people who have not seen Meteor Garden are missing a huge chunk of their lives and education.

In that same sense I once watched a Korean spoof of Meteor Garden. I dont know what show it was on or if it was a show of its own but it was SOOOOO funny I almost had a hemmorage. It was these fat guys and.. hahah ok.. dont remember, I cant even find it agian on youtube.
They also played on meteor garden in a spoof with KangTa but it was a big spoof of everything, it just happened to spoof F4 too.

Nonetheless if they made such good spoofs, they could make a good version, but nothing nothing nothing will compare to the Meteor Garden version.


Anonymous said...

PS Taiwan always has the best shows EVER.

Maggie said...

i love hana yori dango!! well the manga is the best. i prefer the japanese drama because it's hilarious. since i'm taiwanese, i've got to say that meteor garden.. completely sucks. it is horrible, the acting, vic's hair. just a big ew... but yeah, looking forward to the k-drama version!!

nozomi05 said...

I saw both the Taiwanese and the Japanese version of Hana Yori Dango. The Taiwanese version had better looking actors (I love F4)but the cinematography, storyline, plot and character development of the Japanese version was amazing. I loved the Japanese version better. I hope Korean version brings something more.

gossipahjooma said...

DBSK's HERO for Hanazawa Rui and Big Bang's TOP for Domyouji!!!!! AHHH!!!!

Taiwanese version has a special place in my heart cos it was the FIRST drama (korean,jap,taiwan)id evEER watched!!!! Jap version didn't appeal to me cos i DID NOT LIKE Matsumoto Jun and i did not like Oguri Shun's hair. GRR.

can't wait for korean version!!!!!

sezling said...

The Jap drama does top all. Lol one of the dbsg boys in F4?? that'd be nice ^^ but i dun think thats in their schedule (delving into the acting field) just yet - what with jap album promotion and all. however I reckon for a Korean adaptation to be successful they'd have to be fresh young faces. I can't really see any current prominent young actors filling the roles. But they better not pick TOP.. not that I have anything against him but his acting isnt very convincing =x As for Tsukushi's character she cant be stick thin or a pretty girl.. she'd have to be short, rough n tumble and down to earth. I can sort of see Moon Geun Young fitting that cute attitude and image of Tsukushi??

Anonymous said...

currently, i am watching the japanese version (Hana Yori Dango) part 2, just finished part 1. love it. the story is exactly like the "book" beautiful scenery and fun character. plus the eposides are short. highly recommend it to others. Now the K-drama version, Hyun Bin wiil be my lead actor choice.

ladida said...

i luv F4 in Meteor Garden. Zai Zai won me over w/his perf. in the T-drama "Silence". He isn't a great actor but he's adorable :) too bad he broke up w/his longtime gf, Barbie; she's really cute

kpop_rub said...

omg there are sooo many meteor garden fans here
lol I have the show downloaded but never got around to watching it ~sigh

Hanneebuff said...

I've watched Meteor Garden and it is the reason why I'm hooked to Asian dramas now. I just finished watching HYD 1 and currently HYD Returns. IMHO, the Japanese version is better. It is more fast paced and is more manga-like. Although I initially thought that the F4 is the Taiwanese version is more good looking, but then again while watching the Japanese version, I realized that they were good looking too. The characters of Akira and Soujiroh had more exposure than their Taiwanese counterpart. Plus, Domyouji is more mean than Dao Ming Si. In any way, the storyline of HYD/MG is already excellent so I just hope that the Korean version will give justice to it.

blinkable said...

oh great to know this! Let's see who they will be casting for this drama ^^
I have watched only the Taiwan version bcoz I just never got around to watching the Japanese version since I am not into J-drama XD
I highly doubt DongBang boys or even SuJu have the time for this *LOL*

Chianz said...

well... ^^ ii do wish that TVXQ will play for the roles but TVXQ have 5 members so is also quite hard to choose! But the girl suppose to play by who? I think Lee Da-Hae,Sung Yu-Ri n Yoon Eun-Hye will be in my wish list... ^^ coz 3 of them have the potensial to be in this role...Lastly,can't wait for the korean version drama of Meteor Garden... :'p excited*

Arin said...

haha. wow, a lot of feedback xD
I've watched both Taiwanese & Japanese version. I personally prefer the Japanese version. It's not that draggy and yeah, the storyline is more similar to the manga. Haha, I'm not a big fan of F4 (don't get me wrong, I don't hate them ^__^), and I prefer the Japanese casts. HANAZAWA RUI <3

ok.. so back to the Korean version of this drama. I don't think the Dong Bang boys are ready to act yet. Wait, I REALLY WANT TO SEE THEM ACTING! xD but not this time. Anyway, I want the young actors like Ki Bum, Si Won & Hee Chul (Super Junior), Jung Il Woo, Kim Bum, Park Jin Woo, Jang Geun Seuk or Lee Wan to act as one of the F4 guys. ;) I want fresh faces for this drama! woohoo.

As for the girl... herm.
I'm not that sure, but maybe young actress too? like Lee Yeon Hee? *bias* hahahaha.

Mariana said...

Between Jap and Tw.. I don't know, I like different parts from both ^__^
I mean, I really liked the F4 and Barbie in the roles.. but no one can deny Oguri Shun =P
Jap's version has better video quality and it's hilarious.. plus, I love the OST (and they way they put in Harry-Potter-like songs XD)

I agree with you.. for me it would be 4 DBSK as F4 and.. Jaejoong to play the girl XD
(Just so that everyone would be on it XP~)
But yeah.. their acting skills suck x-x

yay said...

i've seen both taiwanese and japanese versions. Hana Yori Dango was actually my first asian drama EVER.
The Hana Yori Dango is SOOO much better than Meteor Garden.
Meteor Garden F4 boys are very good looking but that's about

And if you compare Inoue Mao's 'Tsukushi character' to Barbie Xiu's.. Barbie has got nothing on her. Inoue Mao was superb. Barbie was so annoying.

The storyline was perfect in the Japanese version. It wasn't dragged out like the taiwanese one. There's a lot more creativity in it as well. Everything worked well in Hana Yori, even the songs fit really well.

Hana Yori Dango is a must see drama. One of my fave dramas (ie, Nodame Cantabile, Hotaru no Hikari &

Anonymous said...

my gawd!!! how many versions do east asian countries have to do for Hana Yori Dango before they let it go???

janice said...

oh pleazeee... the dongbangshinki boyz DON'T know how to act to save their lives.

on the other hand, looks-wise Shiwon (SUJU) could pull off the Domyouji part. although i think Hankyung (SUJU) is someone to keep an eye on 'cause he's good at everything he does. but then he's not korean...

jicks said...

@sarah "Forget bad acting.. this story is all about good looks."

^lol But I completely agree! For the Korean version to even stand a chance at succeeding, they are going to have to pack in a ridiculously good-looking cast.

I'm all for eye candy here!

Rooster said...

F4 played the school bullies in the Taiwanese version? How appropriate since in the manga the gang is called F4 as well (Flowery Foursome... ha ha ha!).

Haven't seen the drama, but I'm just now reading the manga online from a link Orchid sent me.

Anonymous said...

i tried to watch both the taiwanese version and the japanese version. i couldn't even get through the first episode of the taiwanese version, but i finished the japanese version (and the japanese version made me a little more receptive to watching j-dramas in general). personally, i don't think either sets of boys were quite as good-looking as i liked, so i went more for the acting.
but i don't see why it has to be necessarily suju or dbsg for the F4.

faith said...

true enough, taiwanese version was more eye-candy. jdorama's take was very much by the book. love jdoramas eversince.

i hope korean's will have the best of both worlds. pretty boys with decent acting credibilities and superb film production. can't wait! aja!

Liz said...

I remembered the Meteor Garden craze but was not a part of it.

I remembered my school friends talking about it like crazy and I snickered at them. Well, serves me right, huh? I missed out on it.

Hey the F4 guys, they became really popular because of the show? Ah....

Anonymous said...

ahhh..meteor garden and hana yori dango... i watched both and had to agreed that taiwanese f4 are better looking but i think that the storyline kinda bit off from hana yori the manga... i like the japanese version better.. korean version def. need to at least at par with both japanese& taiwanese version..they def. hv lotsa followers.. hopefully they pick a new face to play the lead but if not, i just hope they didnt pick YEH as Tsukushi.. not that i hate her or anything just.. well.. just because..i guess :p

varms said...

I really liked Hana Yori Dango! I just watched it earlier this year and I'm seriously wondering if Group Eight can produce a remake that can top that... I mean, I'm not exactly fond of Goong S or Fantasy Couple... But I'm vaguely interested in who they'll cast as F4! :)

A Japanese HYD movie came out in the 90s and there's another HYD movie with the same actors from the dorama coming out this summer! I'm really looking forward to well as the Proposal Daisakusen SP (sorry, totally random, hehe...).

wawa said...

i watched the Taiwanese version but not the Japanese version coz i'm not really into J-drama... i really love MG coz i love the storyline everything but of coz MG is all about the look.

Til today, i still love to watch MG and i hope the K-version will not dissappoint me!

wawa said...

when i commented on this topic in april i haven't watched the japanese version yet!
since i just finished the japanese version last week (both seasons), i have to admit japanese version is more fun to watch... don't get me wrong since i still love MG! but shun oguri as Rui is totally hot!
well, korean producer have already list out the actors/actresses that have been chosen by fans to play the 3 main character: Rui-Makino-Domyouji....

weeeee...can't wait bout it!

Anonymous said...

i think i just read somewhere that hyunjoong, the leader of ss501, has been determined to play rui. *takes a moment to fangirl before regaining composure*

i'm worried though... goong s was... not that good-- horrible-- from what i've heard and it would really suck if the korean hyd doesn't live up to expectations.

kit.silverblade said...

i adored the jpn version of hyd. matsumoto jun was a perfect domyouji so they'll have a hard time finding his equal. having said that... i really hope they pick one or more of the suju guys, but they're so blasted busy that i would almost be surprised if they did. han geng (hankyung) might be a good pick for one of the f4.

one of the complaints i've seen with the older actors being suggested is that it would be awkward for a school story, but i disagree. older actors constantly play younger roles. that aside, if the producer/directer/whatever is really sold on a particular actor/actress that is older they can always change the story to be in a college setting. i've seen it done with other manga adaptations like MARS.

Anonymous said...

I really hope they don't pick actors that look about 15 yrs old.
The actors from the Taiwan version did look quite a bit older than the Japanese boys which i personally preferred and think looked more realistic for the story line even though i prefer the Japanese version.
I think they should pick actors that are about 20yrs old,imao ; )

Amalina said...

I read the manga,and I watched both the Taiwan and Japanese dramas.

I prefer the Japanese drama. It follows the manga more closely. And the actors were superb. Matsujun did justice to Domyouji! Except for his height. XP

So yes, a fan of HYD like me expect a lot from the Korean version.
Hopefully they'll stay true to the manga, instead of butchering the plot. :X

Anonymous said...

The japanese one is the best compared with the taiwan one. It's pretty obvious actually. compared with that taiwan one, jap's hanadan has the best story plot and the best actors (looks, acting skills, popularity). I say, Korea will really have to work hard to surpass the japan version, because the jap's hanadan is way too fab to be put into words. watch it for yourself. not to be offensive, but the taiwan version is nth compared to the jap one.

Anonymous said...

OMG! I cant wait until the K-version of Hana Yori Dango comes out I am suprise...

Osakii said...

Well ,HUm Hana Yori Dango nice drama , i love it so much hh
I Saw the Japanese Version it's good hh , i want to say the K - Version :)

any way i think that the K-Version is NICE TOO


Anonymous said...

I like Japanese version than Taiwan, in terms in acting and I love Rui).

ayeen said...

i've already watch all the hana yori dango version..I REALLY LOVE THE JAPANESE version...people should not only watch because the actors and actress are cute but also with the acting skills..japanese version story was cute, funny and love to watch it over and over again...i cannot get over it that when i have nothing to do i watch is really true that taiwanese and korean actors are cute but still i love the japanese actors..GO RUI and SOUJIROH..LOVE the tandem of also AKIRA...


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