Posts Tagged hana yori dango

Favorites from Nippon

Before, I had mentioned my soft spot for cute Asian people. (I actually have a weakness for all cute people, but since I also have a weakness for Asian people, it’s like double the weakness.) I also said that I was going to show you my favorite, but just couldn’t bother before. So here we go, my favorite actors from Japan. I also have stickers purchased from Tokyo to prove my addiction.

– Matsumoto Junmatsumoto jun

Sometimes I am ashamed to admit that Jun is so, so, so cute. He’s girly beyond words, and resembles, as I said before, a certain Turkish singer, but I always find myself wishing I had a doll of him (To this day, I haven’t found one, but if you have a spare, I’m willing to pay big). His acting skills are also questionable, though in the second season of Hana Yori Dango, he was pretty good (though the series itself wasn’t). 

For those living in outer space, Matsumoto Jun was born in 1983, which makes him just the right age. He’s a signer in the popular group Arashi. His most famous drama is Hana Yori Dango, which I wrote about in my previous post. He also starred in dramas such as Kimi wa Petto, which is actually based on a manga lisenced in English as Tramps Like Us, and Bambino, where he played a cook with big dreams or something. His latest drama is Smile, which just finished airing. He also has movies, such as The Last Princess, which is a historical one, and Boku wa Imouto ni Koi wo Suru, which is also based on a manga of the same name (it’s about twins falling in love, so beware). He’s part of Johnny’s Entertainment, which is this Japanese talent agency that has boys like him running around inside its walls (heaven, for some of us). This is his DramaWiki page.

– Ikuta Tomaikuta toma

I first saw Toma in the first episode of the second season of HYD, where he played a bad boy. But then I saw Hanazakari Kimi Tachi E, where he played Nakatsu, a character adorable beyond words. I think the reason I love Toma is because of Nakatsu (he’s just so cute, he actually falls in love with a girl disguised as a boy). Hanazakari Kimi Tachi E is one of the better known jdramas, based on the manga Hana Kimi (it’s full of other bishounen. yummy). Ikuta Toma also has many other very famous dramas, such as Maou, where he played a police officer next to another dude (evil, in this case) from Arashi. There’s also Hachimatsu to Clover, based on the manga Honey and Clover, which I haven’t seen but the manga is awesome. His latest drama, Majo Saiban, is currently airing, and its genre is “legal”, which means I’m itching to watch it. Not. 

Ikuta Toma is born in 1984, and is also a part of Johnny’s. I wouldn’t call him conventionally handsome, but he’s just so cute, though I wouldn’t necessarily want a doll of him, I wouldn’t say no if you want to send me one. His acting is also better than Jun’s. This is his DramaWiki site.

– Oguri Shunoguri shun

Yes, another flower guy from HYD. Actually, all the guys up to know can be seen in that episode I mentioned (which shows that I watch dramas a lot less than I should). He was the second most important guy in Hana Yori Dango, who forms one side of the love triangle. Although he doesn’t get the girl in HYD, he does in Hanazakari Kimi Tachi E, by long jumping over high hurdles (literally). He plays moody characters in both, and I haven’t seen any other dramas by him, even though that doesn’t mean he’s not popular. It just means I don’t watch much.

Shun was born in 1982, and to our surprise, is not a part of Johnny’s. His acting is a bit better, and his filmography is also a lot longer than the others guys. He’s also a seiyu, which basically means voice actor. This is his DramaWiki page.

– Tamaki Hiroshitamaki hiroshi

This guy is an exception, since he’s not conventionally cute, but like Toma, adorable beyond words. He’s a bit older than the others, born in 1980. I met him and adored him in Love Shuffle, where his character was a dude confused with his life. I believe Nodame Cantabile, based on the manga of the same name, is his more famous drama, where he also played one of the leads.

I only watched one drama of his, and he played a goofy but actually smart guy, and he played it very well, so I believe if we were going to give an Oscar to one of these four guys, Hiroshi would get it. Also he’s been singing and releasing singles, so I would stay tuned. This is his DramaWiki page.

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Addiction Over Flowers

Turkish TV series don’t do it for me. Although there are exceptions, they are usually too corny, and I almost never enjoy them. I also do not enjoy old Turkish movies, where the cliched plots are so anchored that for a while you believe them to be true. 

hana yori dango

When I started watching Hana Yori Dango, I didn’t yet know that almost all these cliches were present in this piece of classic jdrama. It has everything. Rich boy-poor girl. Mean boyfriends. Rape drugs. Bullying. It’s been a while since I watched it, but I’m pretty sure I can name a bad Turkish movie or TV series for each episode of it. 

I started watching HYD when I was studying for my finals. Some warned me that it might be addictive, but I didn’t pay attention. The beginning was a bit harsh, with very, very intense bullying and Jun Matsumoto’s very, very bad clothes. The bullying was so bad that I just didn’t understand who the main pairing would be. And I am ashamed to say that I was actually surprised. For those of you who are not familiar with F4, which, cheesily, stands for Flower 4 (Hana Yori Dango means Boys for Flowers… go figure), they are “the richest” and “the most handsome” boys in this particular elite school, whose students do not think it’s weird to fly to Las Vegas to purchase a particular Louis Vuitton bag (especially since LA is closer. haha). They serve “the red slip” to those who they will bully, and for the first time they serve it to our very innocent heroine, Makino, because she stands up for her friend when one of the boys bump into her lunch tray. Like I said, the bullying is intense, includes rape and other creative and corny ways. There is even a scene where the F4 leader, Domyoji, orders Makino to lick his shoe (but you have to see the shoe to understand that I am not kidding about the his clothes. it is outrageous. in one scene, he actually wore fur).matsumoto jun

There are other disturbing things about HYD other than the bullying. For example, Makino’s family is so poor that they can’t stop talking about it. It is so annoying, and sometimes I felt like I could just kill her little brother. Domyoji, who’s supposed to be the lead, looks so much like a Turkish singer (who’s a woman but used to be a man) that my mother couldn’t stop pointing it out. For the first few episodes, he’s so unloveable that one cannot believe that he can turn good later on. I later found out that he’s called Matsumoto Jun, and is actually a very famous singer in the band Arashi, and he’s supposed to be an eye candy. I kind of like the way he looks now, and he became very, very famous later on.Makino, on the other hand, is strong as a bull and as annoying. She keeps talking back when she shouldn’t, and goes demure when she should be angry. She has weird principles that she has trouble abiding. I guess the actress, Inoue Mao, also became famous but I don’t care about girls.

F4’s “mysterious member” Hanazawa Rui is played by Oguri Shun, who’s also very famous. That character appeals to the masses in the beginning, but later his stupidity got to me. I mean, if you are not a bad boy, why are you part of F4? At least Domyoji is honest with himself. Makino pointed this out once, and said something like “Aren’t you a man?”. I agree with her on this once.manga

Because they didn’t think my finals were that important, they actually shot a second season of HYD silliness. In Hana Yori Dango Returns, more stuff happens even though F4 has graduated from high school. More cliche stuff, like evil CEOs and the like come into play, and there is actually a part with actual memory loss. I mean, one cannot go more cheesy than that. And since this wasn’t enough, they actually sot a movie, and millions of Japanese people went to see it. Geez.

You might be asking this to me by now: “if you hated this, why did you watch it?”, which is a simple enough question, but I don’t know the answer. I guess it beat studying, or it really is addictive. I didn’t even fast forward until the very last episode, when things got too stupid that I had to see the very end. Also I watched the whole series to see if it would get any more cheesy, and you know what? It did, until the very end.

Now, for the facts. HYD is the creation of the mangaka Kamio Youko, who actually created a manga out of this first. I just can’t imagine the amount of money she earned. There’s also the anime, of course, that comes before the drama. And not only one anime, but also an anime/movie which actually takes place in an alternate reality. Also, before HYD came Meteor Garden and Meteor Garden II, which is the Chinese version. I only watched the very beginning, because even I sometimes have to think of other things to do, and it looks like it’s more in line with the manga (yes, I read some of the manga, too). And last year there was Boys Before Flowers, which is the, yes, Korean version of our beloved classic.korean: boys before flowers

So if you like the story, you should be glad to find 1001 ways in which you can enjoy it. Joy. Check this out if you want more info.

chinese: Meteor Garden

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