Monday, August 31, 2009

dangos would be better, thank you very much.

Ah, who would've thought that a simple hand-drawn manga entitled Hana Yori Dango would be known mostly in Asia(and in some parts of the world). I wouldn't wonder if Kamio Yoko would be proud of her accomplishment by now. Heck, I wouldn't even wonder if Domyouji himself would still be as arrogant as ever, knowing that he's not only just recognized in fiction, but in the real world as well. I mean, who would've thought, that a story about four guys and a girl would be one of the most adapted mangas on this decade. Mind you, this group of men call themselves 'Flower Four'. For the non-fans, you might find it cheesy at first. *reads the synopsis* You might say, 'They're the richest and most well-known people and yet, they call themselves F4? Flower 4? what the hell. But don't worry; some people go through that phase, especially when they are just getting to know the characters.

I was introduced to the first Asian drama Meteor Garden back in 2002, when animes were more popular in our country back then. It all started with this Taiwanese drama, and after that, the rest is history. I have grown to appreciate Korean and Japanese dramas more but it was very recent that I became a fan of Jdoramas. One jdorama that never fail to endear me is Hana Yori Dango.

Some may not appreciate this shoujo manga, since everything(read:drama cliches) just seem to happen to the main character. But just to let you know, and no matter how much you hate the drawings or the characters, this is still the most popular shoujo manga in Japan of all time. And you gotta admit, this is true love and destiny for our characters despite some of the sappy and mushy stories. And because of its popularity, after Taiwan, Japan released their own version in 2005 (following that is the second season in 2007, and the movie in 2008), and early 2009 South Korea had their own F4.

If I were to rate the three versions (and excluding the Mainland China version because its not an official remake and they don't the have the author's copyright), I would say that Hana Yori Dango comes first, then Korea's Boys over Flowers, and then Taiwan's Meteor Garden. Before you start bashing me and telling me that I don't have the right to say this, I want to tell you that this is my opinion (and this is my blog), and I have seen the anime and read the manga, so I know enough on which version is the best, in my humble opinion. And also, I'm the type of fan who doesn't watch a drama just for the heck of it, or because of eyecandy. I maybe a fangirl, but I do have my limits, as I know which drama to like. And I have also seen a wide variety of Korean and Japanese dramas. It may not be enough, but at least not everything is just for my pleasure. Sometimes, I like my brain working when watching something. On to my argument. When it comes to the quality of a drama, the production, the sets, the music, the direction and the actors, I consider Hana Yori Dango to be the best. On the other hand, Boys over Flowers has the loveliest actors and sets. Everyone just seems to be so pretty, that you can't help but be envious of the main girl who hangs out with the F4. And we all know that Meteor Garden is the series that started it all so you could say that they are the original.

Back to the story. They're rich. They're bullies. They're powerful. They're lady-killers. They're good-looking. And anything you do to humiliate them can jeopardize your life at school. This is what F4 can do to you. But why the heck would they call themselves Flower 4 if they have that rough image? And why is the manga's title english title Boys before/over Flowers when in Hana Yori Dango, 'dango' means food in Japanese? (For a more detailed and further explanation, I will now take you to this wonderful site. Nothing to worry; its a spoiler-free post, and the blogger couldn't have said enough.)

For a fan, it all depends on how you perceive the three versions. And if you are a new fan, or if you just want to try something new, you can give this drama a shot. If you did love it, but somehow feel ashamed of liking something like this, that's normal. After all, some women just can't resist the F4's charms.

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