Hana Kimi


…Turned out pretty good. Different from the Taiwanese version plot-wise; very different from the Taiwanese version in terms of style and presentation.

Find all episodes so far at crunchyroll.com … here.

So I finally got round to watching episode 1 of Hanazakari no Kimitachi e, or For You in Full Blossom – the Japanese version! After my disappointment, and then gradual come-around, with the Taiwanese take of Hisaya Nakajo’s manga, you can imagine that I was stewing in a slow broth of both dread and anticipation (flavoured with a healthy dose of cinnamon. Mm mm.) when I started loading episode 1 … what if it was worse? what if it changed the plot completely? what if *gasp* Ella turned out to be a better Mizuki than Horikita Maki? (more…)

…episode 5 of Hanazakari no Kimitachi e, also known as Hua Yang Shao Nian Shao Nu, the Taiwanese drama.

I can’t believe I’ve waited 2 months for this next post. My apologies, all.

Here goes…episode 5!

Episode 4 ended with several threats and ultimati. Jin Xi, Rui Xi’s brother, reiterates his threat to take Rui Xi home if Quan fails to make the jump at the match. Shen Le uses a few stern glares on Quan and Quan returns them with some of his own expressionless ‘fury’, although really, Quan should be thanking the guy for helping motivate his return to full form.

Full form? Well, let’s see.

Episode 5 begins with Quan at practice, with Rui Xi cheering from the side, a little book in hand. It turns out the book is a handbook on high jumping, and Rui Xi is using it to identify where Quan might be making mistakes. Quan manages to snatch the book from her, and while in the midst of teasing playfully on the high jump landing mattress, the two collapse on top of each other (as is usual between them *cough* ) accidentally. As Rui Xi struggles back to her feet, embarrassedly thinking about Quan’s ‘drunk kiss’ back the other night, Shen Le appears. Shen Le says he’s come to look for a friend, but Rui Xi accuses him of spying on Quan’s practice. Shen Le then taunts Quan about being afraid of him, and being a poor jumper enough not to be able to make that mere height. Shen Le then tells him he’ll show him a proper jump, and easily flies over the bar. Just as he comes back, Jin Xi appears from afar, to watch without being noticed. Quan then attempts the jump, but fails, his leg seeming to hurt. Shen Le tells Quan high jump isn’t a game, and he should start training seriously, because at this rate, he can never make it. Quan finally responds, saying now he is jumping for more than himself, and that is why he will make it. After Shen Le stalks off, Rui Xi notes that Shen Le seems to be encouraging Quan, rather than abusing him. As they walk off the field, Rui Xi supporting Quan, Jin Xi muses over Quan and the competition.

The next days see Quan and Rui Xi training together, and then having lunch. Quan asks (more…)

…Yes! I’m not kidding. A Japanese made, Japanese released, Japanese casted drama is coming out this July.

I only just found out, when a buddy turned up on MSN with “Oguri Shun as Sano Izumi” as her nickname. Naturally, our conversation devolved into mindless squeals of affection and delight. The new definition of ‘chat’.

More information here. I’ll see what else I can dig up, and elaborate in another post. For Hana Kimi fans who read the manga before watching the Taiwanese drama Hua Yang Shao Nian Shao Nu – you’ll probably be every bit as ecstatic as I am: a chance to excel where the Taiwanese did NOT!

I’m just wondering whether Fuji TV began production knowing what the Taiwanese version was going to be like. Probably. In that case, we can hope for a different take on the same plotline…perhaps not so comedic, perhaps more sweet, perhaps with plot changes?

O, the agony of deliberation!

And oh, look, a Hana Kimi livejournal!

Got to run, got another exam tomorrow.

Hua Yang Shao Nian Shao Nu – episode 4 summary…

Episode 3 ended with Quan’s ‘drunk kiss’ with Rui Xi; episode 4 opens with a close-up of Quan’s bruised left eye where Rui Xi punched him in the midst of the forced kiss. The other guys notice his bruise and assume Quan must have gotten drunk and kissed someone, who eventually they suspect to be Xiu Yi, who also sports a bruise, on his mouth. Rui Xi excuses herself, feeling guilty for having punched Quan, while realising he gave her her first kiss. Quan follows her out, and asks her an innocuous question about who covered them up when they fell asleep. Rui Xi is uncomfortable with talking to Quan and runs off to the toilet. Quan then realises it was her he kissed.

Rui Xi finds her locker filled with pages of insults, telling her to ‘crawl back to America’. She and her friends try to figure out who he is, to no avail. The culprit appears to be Yang Yang, the school ‘idol’, who is jealous of Rui Xi’s new popularity and sees her as a threat to him. Rui Xi in the meantime wonders who could hate her so. Back in their room, Quan removes leaves from Rui Xi’s hair, and on seeing Rui Xi’s expression as she thinks he is about to kiss her again, he confirms his earlier suspicion, and thinks why he can’t recall doing it. Rui Xi thinks to herself that she must get another kiss from Quan in a more romantic situation. (more…)

Hua Yang Shao Nian Shao Nu – episode 3 summary…

Episode 2 ended with the mention of Valentine’s Day, and its approach, and the custom of girls giving guys chocolates. Rui Xi daydreams about giving chocolates to Quan, but quickly realises she can’t do this while she remains disguised as a ‘he’, to her dismay. Xiu Yi then interrupts her thoughts and asks her to support him at his next soccer match, both very nervous and excited, and then overjoyed when she accepts. Later that day, Rui Xi, taking Quan’s dog for a walk, finds herself unconsciously/subconsciously taking the route that passes by Quan’s training area. She leaves a ‘jia you’ note, water and a towel for Quan and moves on. Quan finds the note and towel, smiles, and later buys the canned fruit juice that Rui Xi likes so much, for her. When he gives it to her, without any explanation, Rui Xi assumes it is in return for her ‘present’. Quan muses silently that he cannot treat Rui Xi as a girl, and is too embarrassed to say ‘thank you’ for the gifts. Rui Xi then realises how girly her action was, and the two of them suffer an awkward moment. They eventually suggest getting dinner and say no more about the subject, Rui Xi comforting herself that Quan likely knows nothing about her real gender, and Quan thinking Rui Xi is too thickheaded to realise he knows. (more…)

Hua Yang Shao Nian Shao Nu…episode 2 summary.

Manga cover art: Nakatsu (Xiu Yi), Ashiya (Rui Xi) and Sano (Quan) from left to right.

Hanazakari no Kimitachi e

Well, I just watched Episode 2. I’ve changed a little of my mind about the drama. Episode 2 was much better than 1, in my opinion. More emotions, more complications.

The school doctor, Mei Tian, having found out Rui Xi’s identity as a girl, hears her story, and offers advice when she comes to seek it – although pretending to be unwilling and busy, and showing a nasty predilection for kicking and scissoring. He reveals he is gay, and has no interest in exposing her to the school. Later we also discover Si Nan is his nephew. Rui Xi decides to do the ‘right thing’, also partly because she can understand her feelings, for Quan’s childhood *female* friend and allows them to meet up. However, Quan’s friend (I’ve forgotten her name, gomen…) begins to claim Quan, warning Rui Xi off, saying Quan must be high jump champion again and Rui Xi should not get in his way. Rui Xi, having done nothing to deserve such a warning, fires up and responds that Quan should do as he wishes, and if he doesn’t want to jump, then he shouldn’t. Quan suddenly appears and grabs the other girl’s hand just as she is about to hit Rui Xi, and yells at her, sending her (more…)

Hanazakari no Kimitachi e – the manga, or the drama?

I really suppose after you’ve read the manga by Hisaya Nakajo you can’t expect the drama to be exactly the same. Drawn art can achieve beauty and character that might not co-exist with acting talent or starpower in real life.

I’ve only seen half the first episode of the Taiwanese drama based on Hana Kimi, named just that or else ‘Hua Yang Shao Nian Shao Nu’…and I’m willing to start a complaint rampage already – though before you start complaining yourself about how impatient and presumptuous I’m being, I’ll tell you I’ll reserve my judgment for after I’ve finished the show. *wry smile* That is, final judgment. I absolutely cannot resist making faces at Ella Chen, the lead for the drama – Ashiya Mizuki is meant to be irresistibly but unknowingly charming, and pretty for a girl, and not just for a boy; while Ella isn’t ugly, nor even plain Jane, she still doesn’t have the charming quality that Ashiya needs to have to be tipped as the school idol. Ashiya is portrayed as sweet, a little of a fool, but not quite the idiot that Ella plays. That said, Ella does a pretty good job of carrying off the humour in Hana Kimi, with her extremely versatile facial expressions *laugh*.

I also have a bone to pick with Yi Quan’s (Sano Izumi in the manga) actor, Wu Zun – while he is incredibly pretty here, I admit (and you got to have cute guys, or how are you going to make a drama aimed at young, love-starved women work?! *giggle* ), he’s also a bit of an ass. He starts out being rather temperamental, dark looks and antisocial behaviour really not appealing to us very much. Sano Izumi, in contrast, is just reserved, quiet, but not quite the sociopath. Jiro Wang plays Xiu Yi (Nakatsu) in much more attractive light, and more faithful to the manga too, as the extrovert soccer star, arrogant in an endearing way, the kind of guy who assumes you want to be friends with him and treats you like a best friend, and you actually do end up being best friends with.

Besides, Umeda Hokuto, our resident *adorable* doctor, is hilarious in the manga (thinks of the bikini dance scene).

But I’m mixing up actor and character here. I’d better get back to the drama (view here!) and finish watching it, before I can give a less biased review. Hm…wondering if I should upload the Hana Kimi manga in English here… *ponders* …I might need some persuading 😉