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A Decade of Reverse Harem

Reverse Harem Garden actually turned ten last September. Sorry, for the late post. But be warned, to compensate for the late post this ...

Monday, October 8, 2012

To The Beautiful You

To The Beautiful You 16 episodes

Goo Jae-hee (Ashiya) enters the all-boy Genie High School to help Kang Tae-joon (Sano) jump again. She was able to blend in pretending as a boy and even making friends with Cha Eun-gyeol  (Nakutsu).

This is the second reverse harem Japanese manga after Hana Yori Dango that gets adapted first into tdrama, then jdrama and finally a kdrama. Yes, in the same orderly fashion. SM Entertainment decided to remake this after the success of idol-based Dream High in 2011. It's a great move that it took a year for the drama to air because the summer of 2011 was filled with 3 gender bender dramas: Ouran High School Host Club jdrama, Ikemen Desu Ne Japanese remake and another Hana Kimi jdrama remake.  After a year of rumors they have hired the same director of Boys Over Flowers and casted idols Sulli Choi from f(x) and Choi Min Ho from Shinhee. I thought the rest of the cast would from idols too. Aside from the main leads, the only idol from the ikemen bunch is the lipgloss-toting Hwang Kwang Hee from Ze:a.

I haven't read the manga but it's no surprise that this will deviate much for a fourth remake (the jdramas had 2). I'm not going to be nitpicky and detailed about it. But the very crucial difference is that they turned Sano's character from cool, indifferent guy to the very emotional, affectionate and jealous Kang Tae Joon. Just like the Korean version of HYD, Hana Kimi gets upgraded with over-the-top everything: very large campus, colorful uniforms and interiors and the very spacious nest for the lovebirds.

News outlets in Korea have a knack for finding the most unflattering stock photos whenever casting are announced. I really thought the leads were ugly. Sulli has boyish poker face but when she smiles *boom* she's a101% girl. I find Choi Min Ho's acting when he's being sweet and nice a bit forced. Lee Hyun Woo is perfect as Nakatsu! On a side note, kdramas always give their characters a second hairstyle and Lee Hyun's cuteness doubled up when he had the clean cut.

I love the awkward heart-stopping, squeal-inducing situations they put our characters into and the misuse of brief moment of insanity when Kang Tae-joon and Cha Eun-gyeol give it to their feelings and hugs/kisses Jae Hee. The only downfalls of the drama are that there's a lot of stretched and boring scenes and I still find the scenes between Cha Eun-gyeol and Jae Hee lacking. Sorry, I'm really biased. I really love Nakatsu. I'll miss Squeasy-squeashy. I think I'll finally watch the second Japanese Hana Kimi to fill my TTBY withdrawal.


  1. Hello, I was wondering. in your opinion, what is the best version of this live action? I'm planning to watch it before sembreak ends :)

    1. So sorry for the late reply I prefer the first Japanese version. I havnt picked up the 2nd version again.


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