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Cast list for heroine-in-drag rom-com To the Beautiful You


Sulli, Min-ho

Get ready for lots of casting news, starting off with the Hana Kimi remake, To the Beautiful You, the awkwardly titled gender-bending rom-com coming soon to SBS later this summer. Casting of the lead roles has been set for a while now, but the show has just unleashed a slew of news about supporting actors, so we may as well get evvvverybody’s roles out in the open in one monster post. Ready? Diving in…

The show is set in a high school for athletes, with specific attention in track and field (a couple characters are runners and high jumpers), making it sort of like a Fame For Sports Stars. Or Dream High, Literally. The drama stars a number of idols like Sulli of f(x) and Min-ho of SHINee, though I’ll be watching mostly for Lee Hyun-woo (Equator Man), who’s transitioning nicely out of child roles into… well, if not quite adult roles, then at least older and almost-adult. He’s like the next Yoo Seung-ho in terms of packing lots of talent into his tender years, although technically he’s a few months older than Yoo (though Yoo edges him out for leading roles and industry experience).

The story kicks off when leading man(-boy) Min-ho, a “genius high jumper” — pfffft, is there even such a thing? Okay, I suppose you could call it a prodigy, but again, pfffft — suffers an injury and falls into a mental slump. Sulli’s the girl who cross-dresses her way into the school to help him make his comeback, which naturally leads to Shenanigans. Hijinks are a given. Maybe even Tomfoolery. The heroine uses the name Jae-hee (which can swing both ways but tends to be more of a boy’s name), and both Min-ho and Lee Hyun-woo start to fall for her despite initially believing her to be a boy. She’s the Beautiful Ultimate Prince Scandal Man, basically.


Lee Hyun-woo, Kim Ji-won

Also among the previously cast stars is Kim Ji-won of High Kick 3, who plays star gymnast Sol Han-na. She’s going against her wiser-than-her-years High Kick character by playing a bright and cheery character with a careless streak — although she turns into a “docile lady” in front of Tae-joon (Min-ho). Born to a wealthy family and raised with everything she could ever want, she lives only for Tae-joon, but that remains firmly in one-sided-crush-land.

Now for the newest additions, starting off with Kang Kyung-joon (pictured below). He may be the most obscure of the bunch, but he’s the one who gets my attention since he’s become one of those actors on my Where are they now? list. It’s been a while since he’s been in the public eye; he got on my radar in 2005’s campus sitcom Nonstop 5, where he had a cute loveline with Jo Jung-rin. (His acting was rough, but he was very likable.) Then he went to army and seemingly disappeared for years. See, that must be every budding actor’s great fear about army duty — losing momentum when you’re trying to gain purchase and dropping off the face of the showbiz planet. (Kang has done a few things here and there, but not much: He had a bit in History of the Salaryman earlier this year and a cable drama, The Great Catsby, among others. )


Kang Kyung-joon, Lee Young-eun

Kang will play athletic coach Byun Kwang-min, who’s not so brainy (“simple and uneducated”) but rates strong on the brawny meter. He’s a former high jumper and he’s known for being tough on his students, making him an antagonistic presence to the kids. But he turns into a softy whenever he’s around love interest and fellow language teacher Lee Young-eun (Marriage Plot). Which makes me think of the sidekicks in Big — or, you know, any of the High Kicks, which may be more apropos given this writer’s resumé.

I can already see how the setup works cutely, but I can’t be the only one who’s seen enough male gym teachers with demure lady language teachers, can I? Is there something intrinsically feminine about teaching language? It makes me want to see the direct opposite, which makes me appreciate Flower Boy Ramyun Shop’s Eun-bi even more, now that I think about it.


Ki Tae-young, Kwanghee

Ki Tae-young, aka Mr. Eugene, is another addition to the adult crew as the “mysterious doctor” who works the infirmary. He’s the first one who finds out that Jae-hee (Sulli) is a girl, which I guess means he earned that medical degree. He doesn’t out her immediately, however, and is described as a character who adds dramatic tension to the story (well, aside from the fact that every character should add dramatic tension, really.). I presume that means we/she will be nervous as to when, or if, he’ll spill the beans. Instead, Doc keeps his mouth shut and ends up becoming a supportive guardian angel figure for both Jae-hee and Tae-joon, popping up whenever they run into trouble.

Then there’s Kwanghee, another idol (of Ze:A), whose specialty is jumping hurdles. Literally, I mean, on the track, not that he enjoys overcoming adversity — although hey, who’s to say he doesn’t? Frankly I thought Kwanghee was cringe-inducingly bad in Vampire Idol, and there he was playing an idol, but it seems he’s pretty firmly in background character territory here so I’ll try not to think about that too much. Plus, he’s described as a guy who’s constantly being annoying, so… maybe that’ll work with the role. His character’s got a warm heart, supposedly, but he’ll be one of our heroine’s main antagonists, picking on her and causing trouble.

Last but not least, adding interest are the rumors that this may be a comeback project for Go So-young, aka Mrs. Jang Dong-gun and Nineties It Girl, who hasn’t been in a TV project in five years, during which time she got married and gave birth to a son. Hers is the only casting that’s still unconfirmed, but if she signs on to the project she’ll be acting as chair of the school board.


Go So-young

The drama has a built-in following on multiple fronts, given the fanbase of the original Japanese series, as well as that for each individual idol. Granted, by now we know that idol starpower isn’t enough to make a show a success, but when we’re talking about a youth romance based on a manga, it’s pretty much primed for idol participation.

To be honest, I admit I’m a little fatigued of the cross-dressing heroine device — okay, a lot fatigued. It’s a trope as old as time and I’m not against it in principle (on the contrary, I tend to love these plots); it’s just that it sure has gotten a workout in recent years. To the Beautiful You will have its work cut out for it in satisfying fans of the genre while accomplishing something fresh to set it apart from all the others. Especially since so many of its K-drama predecessors have done such a great job with the conceit: Coffee Prince, You’re Beautiful, Sungkyunkwan Scandal… If you do nothing new and remain complacent, you end up with a mess like K-Pop Ultimate Survival, which was mostly fluffy cuteness without direction.

The producers make sense for this project, but also make me wary: I have some faith in the writer after penning Nonstop 5 and all the High Kick series, but PD Jeon Ki-sang, who butchered Boys Before Flowers? You almost want to ask, “Who saw Boys Before Flowers and thought, ‘Hey yeah, let’s give him another drama? Another high-profile adaptation with idol stars and a youth target market, to boot?'” And then I remember the insane numbers of Boys and have to sigh at the marvels of failing upward.

To the Beautiful You will air on Wednesdays and Thursdays on SBS beginning in August.

Via Osen, My Daily, TV Daily

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Not looking forward to Min-ho as the main lead. Guess I've watched him in too many varieties and have grown to dislike his competitiveness (which borderlines rudeness/lack of sportsmanship). Hopefully, his acting can mask the already damaged impression he has on me!

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I second that!
Besides why on earth is lee hyun-woo not cast as the lead? he's the most experience in term of acting..
why cast idol as the lead, gah.
at least on Boys Before Flower the main couple is a real actors.

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AGREE! I would have loved to see Lee Hyun-woo as the lead, but I've heard that SME will be the main financial sponsor behind the project, so it's understandable that they would want to have their idols playing the main roles.

At least Sulli used to be a child actor, so she has some experience (although I'm really terrified to see Minho...the only thing I've heard from my friends when "Minho from Shinee" and "acting" pop up in the same conversation is a "he's terrible" following a distasteful crinkling of the nose and brows...)

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Oh dear, so true. It's not the competitiveness so much that annoyed, but it always felt like Minho was trying to seem competitive. I don't know if that makes sense, but he always came off a bit too fake to me. It got boring real fast. Lee Hyun-woo really would be a better choice for lead. But whatevs. I'm going to try this, but chances are I'm going to pass. You just can't beat the original j-dorama version. It was just so.... fucking epically casted and hilarious. XD Good times. Good times.

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Its because this drama is financially backed up by SM entertainment. Hence, the lead actors are from that company. :L

Yeah, I want Lee Hyun Woo to be the main lead too.

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Haha, MinHo was casted because SM is the producer I guess. Something like investing money that's why they chose all leads from SM:)

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The role he took has always been the best one (in both the taiwanese vers and japanese, even the manga), having used the best actors playing it. He'll shine with the role, really. Even in the manga, hyunwoo's role is the show stealer and the most entertaining. The main role is just a cliche type of guy, im happy hyunwoo got the second lead role cuz thats my fave and i can totally can imagine him playing it.

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agree with you. LHW's role is the one that requires more acting and emoting (?) than the main lead. because he is the one who is so confused with his feelings believing he's in love with a boy, when the main lead knows that fact much early in the story. right? if i remember correctly.

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VERY true. In the Japanese version, Hyunwoo's character seemed to have more screentime just because his personality was more rounded. Glad we're gonna see Hyunwoo with that character personality instead of a stone-face with a soft heart x)

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Actually, come to think of of it, you're right! Nakatsu wasn't absolute fav In terms of the actor playing him and his in character in general.
*FINGERS CROSSED - a certain HOMO-JANAI dance is included in this drama~* ;p

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I did not get such an impression.. May be because I was into sports myself. One can't be a good sportsman if he/she side-step all the time. All the result-making sports people (never mind the gender) are little egoistic, while each team has those loved by all types, but they are sports-wise normally only important team-mates, but not the result making/stars

Bus as for the show - I agree. While Minho is good to play a sportsman, looking at the photo of him and the female lead.. they just do not look good together, I fear we are for akward-no chemistry thing in there.

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Omg, finally.
Everyone around me loves Minho and I honestly can't stand him. Both his over competitiveness and his looks.

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I am not gonna be watching this bec of Minho. I could not stomach The Pianist bec of him. Instead of being melodramatic, I was laughing my ass off.

Sorry Minho fans. But he's awful.

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I generally dislike it when unexperienced idols head dramas....it's uncomfortable watching their acting...sigh. I really want to watch this because I like the story of Hana Kimi and I love Hyun Woo but everyone else is so..meh. Why sulli? I wish the gymnast girl was the main character...asdlkfjasd;lfkj

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i totally agree with you... minho's competitiveness turns me off completely... hyun woo is waay better in terms of acting experience and better yet, if hyun woo too child-looking than i wish they used another lead male instead >.>"

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Really? Maybe because I'm competitive myself, but I've never found his competitiveness rude. I have friends like him and I've never found it rude (entertaining actually). It's not its intentional either. Minho always seems to treat everyone well too, so maybe it's just me and I don't see it.

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Yep, on varieties, he's pretty competitive. But that's only one of my many worries about this drama.

Some other worries:

1) The PD.
"You almost want to ask, “Who saw Boys Before Flowers and thought, ‘Hey yeah, let’s give him another drama? Another high-profile adaptation with idol stars and a youth target market, to boot?’” And then I remember the insane numbers of Boys and have to sigh at the marvels of failing upward." Goodness BBF was a mess. It was a nice watch in terms of visual fluff and joy, but... it left you going... "Wait. So how does that make sense again?"

2) The original story
To the Beautiful You has also been criticized a lot in other remakes. A lot of people ranted on the Taiwanese one, the Japanese one, etc. There were already many plot holes existing in the manga, so I'm not really sure how SM will execute this so that it's not as bad as I expect. God, the Taiwanese one. I love Ella, but in that one, she killed me. -_-

3) Actors
Since this is an SM remake, there are SO MANY idols. I understand this will attract more people, but... ahem. Are you sure of their acting skills? Sulli borders on fairly decent in my opinion, but Minho, I'm not really sure about.

Hopefully the dramagods take mercy on us. Please. We just got past that fucking shitload of a drama called Dr. Jin. PLEASE. Anyways, my expectations are not high for this drama. Actually my expectations for dramas have been lowered recently because of Dr. Jin. Ugh. Joining all the other pieces of my heart in the corner called Mary [Stayed out All Night]. (Jang Geun Suk, I is still disappoint.) I LOVE LEE HYUN WOO. Okai, I got that out. All I have to say... um... don't disappoint me too much? c:

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OH! Korea's making another remake....well not sure what to think but as of Eugene's husband's role.....in the Jdrama ver that role has some kind of gay thing going on :DDD

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IIRC, the manga was pretty accepting towards homosexuality. The male nurse was openly gay and was in a long-term relationship, which i'm curious as to how the this korean remake is going to handle, because even the J-Drama sidestepped the issue and paired him up with a female in the end (you know, DESPITE the whole gay thing). And the second male lead in the love triangle going for the protagonist heart fell in love with her believing her to be a boy, and slowly began to accept that he might be gay (although he wasn't) and that all that mattered was love.

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lol. the korean remake is not going to handle this at all. i not jazzed about this remake because a lot of the sexuality is going to be muted or erased.

like you said, the japanese version (both versions) sidestepped it. i was hoping the korean version would be a combination of the taiwanese version and the humor from the japanese version but seeing as it's SM's money and rep on the line, i doubt it.

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because SM is handling this, I am sure they will not observe the homosexuality thing. If some other, more mature, and artistically-focused producer had this drama, I'm sure it would have been observed.

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I cringe at this.... I just DONT KNOW.
Saw a pic of Sulli while filming and it's SO hard to see her as a boyish girl let alone as a boy.

I do think she has acting talents since I've seen her in something else. I just don't think the role is for her. Plus this is an SM drama.... and I can't remember the last time I was able to get through one of those :/

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Has SM produced dramas before this? Oh wait, don't tell me its the one with Changmin. *cringe* Yea, not going to have my hopes up about this drama. Checking it out out of pure curiosity.

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They're probably producing in name only or at most dealing with funds, patron-like "This is what I want..." requests, etc., the actual job of producing will go to Kim Hoon (White Tower, Love Story in Harvard). I mean, surely a billion-dollar company like SM Entertainment can afford recruiting and securing decent - if not the top - talent.

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There's another SM produce drama with U-Know in it and I think it's a soccer theme drama. I remember it had very poor rating.

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Is this U Know from DBSK...he shouldn't ever act,,,ever...cringe!!!

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I think U-Know was just horribly miscast.
He could do bad boy types well if he practiced it and learned to sneer like the guy that played Wolverine in X-Men. Evil prince type or sorcerer. He could be scary if he tried. I noticed the potential in one of their music videos.
Guess will never see it happen though.

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Maybe produced is not the right word... but had a hand in it somehow. Yes Changmin's drama is one of them ... so is The soccer based drama too. They just take one of their artists and plonk them on to a drama set.... it's just so wrong most of the time.

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I think Amber would've been better for this role. She's an f(x) member too, so I found it weird that they didn't pick her instead.

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Amber popped up in my mind too but I think Korean's still her stumbling block, unless I'm mistaken and she's somewhat fluent now...?

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L of Infinite suppose to play a role in this too. or did he drop it?
i really hope this would work out or i would be in the line with those who oppose Jap-manga Korean adaptation.

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I thought the same thing, I heard awhile ago that he was cast in this. maybe he's smarter then all of them and jumped ship?haha

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I hope to god he dropped out of it... PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't have anything to do with this!!!

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I watched the Japanese and Taiwanese version of hana kimi and enjoyed it, I wonder with this one.

This drama got my attention with its supporting cast... I can't say I don't like Minho and Sulli since I watched them on variety shows a couple of times but it's different in a drama.

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Aww, what happened to L? I thought he was going to get part in this too.

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Id' love to check this out to find some difference with the other versions.

Just wanted to see what kind of feeling I'll get when I watch this. Would it be the same feeling I'll get with Nakatsu. waaahh...(gigles infintely! )

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I adore Hana Kimi. It alwaaays makes me laugh, especially Nakatsu (Ikuta Toma was perfect in this).

From what I've read hear I presume that Lee Hyun-woo will be playing Nakatsu and for that I thank dramagods because he's adorable and has good acting skills (I would be so disappointed if they casted an idol with no experience as Nakatsu - this guy is the best thing about this drama). So I will definitely check it out.

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Absolutely!! HanaKimi always had the greatest supporting characteres (my fav is the first japanese version from 2007).
For me it is one of the show that it doesn't matter if the leads suck as long as the supporting cast rocks, so Sulli and Min-ho being rookies doesn't bother me. But experienced actors able to play funny and believable emotional scenes are a must for roles like Nakatsu, the doc and Namba-sempai.
Can't wait to see how it will turn out!

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HanaKimi thrives on the antics of its supporting characters. that's why the 2007 dorama made sure to find good actors, who if people actually analyze, most have gone on to lead status or at least can be part of the lead characters (ikuta, mizushima, shirota, okada, yamamoto, mizobata, etc). so, it's definitely a telling that the 07 dorama had good acting from its support.

now...having Lee Hyun Woo can be a plus or a minus. kid's good. ive loved him ever since Great Sejong as the young Sejong. he was also very good in God of Study (a remake of a JPN drama that did very well!). that's a plus for him to play Nakatsu -if they actually give him Nakatsu's eccentricities. but! it's also a minus cause it might give spotlight to the inexperienced acting of the two leads. he might overpower both leads in acting, especially Minho... heck, even Ikuta overpowered Oguri in HanaKimi, and Oguri was a good actor.

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True. People talked more about Ikuta than Oguri because Nakatsu stole the show. I'm glad that Lee Hyun Woo was cast and I think he shine brighter than the leads. lol.

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Well, to defend Oguri Shun, the Japanese drama didn't really give Oguri a good part in the first place, they really made his character bland in comparison to the exciting character of Nakatsu. Sano in the manga had much more emotions and more to do than moping around and being mean to Mizuki. So Oguri really didn't have much to go on with his character.

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If I may ask, what is the equivalent to Sol Han-na (Kim Ji-won) in the manga series like, character-wise? I'm crossing my fingers for a not-so-evil-shallow-crazy-bitchy archetype, but from what I can find out, that doesn't seem to be the case...

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@Phil, to be honest, I don't remember such a character in the manga. It may be she didn't leave much of an impression on me or didn't exist, but it's been awhile since I read the manga so I forgot. I don't know if she's supposed to be some extension of the leader of that group of girls that idolized Sano (the Hibari group or whatever their name is), or that maybe they just created such a character to give the main lead a "rival". I hope someone else could help out here.

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@Phil and la dee dah

I don't believe there was such a character equivalent to Sol Han-na in the manga. More than likely, as la dee dah said, she is just an extension or a new twist on the role of Hibari from the J-dorama version (whom I think was a combination of two St. Blossom girls with a worship-worthy Sano crush added by the dorama), but apparently more docile than Hibari (whom I completely enjoyed despite the crazy). This is why I cringed at the appearance of this character in the K-drama version, because we all know where THAT's headed -- standard K-drama love rectangle form.

In the manga, Mizuki didn't have a love rival at all, which I'm fine with cause I'm not a big fan of complicated love polygons.

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Agreed. Even in the manga, the supporting characters were the ones who brought life to the story with their side arcs and crazy personalities (ESPECIALLY my favorite Hana Kimi character, the flamboyantly open and evil homosexual school doctor Umeda Hokuto).

This is what the 2007 J-dorama version did right to make it more memorable, but the 2006 version Taiwanese drama did wrong to make it a bit... well, boring. I enjoyed both, because the J-dorama version was hilarious and REALLY played on Ikuta Toma's role of Nakatsu to the fan girls (I fell for it and continue to love him to bits); and the Taiwanese drama focused more on the romance and followed the manga plot pretty closely (if not exactly) which is probably the only reason I liked the Taiwanese version at all. But the Taiwanese version skimped out on the supporting characters and I really didn't care for them in that version.

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I too am a fan of the Jdrama version of Hana Kimi, the supporting cast added to the fun of watching such craziness. Minho's acting in "Salamander..." wasn't bad in his latest drama and Sulli I had never seen act but thanks to Soompi--Sarangwoo, here's a cut of Sulli in Punch Lady....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54v1yt3Lmb4

I look forward to the craziness of KHana Kimi... thanks...

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Kang Kyung-joon? That's totally the character's name in BIG!

Sorry for the off topic.

Looks interesting...will check it out.

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I know, I had to reread that to make sure I wasn't hallucinating. :) Then I remembered that Korea has a limited number of surnames.

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I don't care about the leads, just moreee Hyun Woo. and please add lotsa boys coz that's what all HANA KIMI is all about!!! and you forgot to add that guy from daily KBS drama Only You who will be playing Nanba Senpai a.k.a Dorm 2 Leader! and i thought Kwang Hee is gonna play Oscar but looks like he will play that sissy boy who was always jealous of Ashiya and like Nanba Senpai!

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The one who will play Nanba-senpai?? Who is he? Who is he??
Nanba-senpai is my favorite character! Well, mostly because of Mizuhiro. But I do hope he can liven up the charismatic leader.

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that's what i wanna know too~ who's gonna play nanba senpai? i actually love japanese and taiwanese version of hana kimi, so i really hope this one would be good too.

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You're in luck! Seo Joon-young (Tree with Deep Roots) will be playing Nanba Minami/Ha Seung-ri. Wonderful actor, and not too shabby on the eyes, either!

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I don't know why but I want Lee Hyun-woo, Kim Ji-won to play the lead atleast they are fine actors but here they are wasted in the second lead territory..... whatever not a fan of remakes after BBF mess......

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I've been told that the second male lead of is more difficult and nuanced to play than the main male lead in this case, so it might be a role far better suited for Lee Hyun-woo than an inexperienced idol.

As for second female lead, I think her role was considerably beefed up to be a serious (screentime) contender, most likely for the love square/rectangle Korean dramas are so fond of... so I have no idea. Here's to hoping that the scriptwriter of Nonstop 5 and High Kick series fame, creates a more well-rounded female lead Kim Ji-won deserves, rather than opting for the trendy archetype!

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Oh yeah, remember in Dream High when everyone was bummed that Eunjung got the second lead instead of the main role? Everything turned out fine then.

So, here's to hoping the same thing will happen this time around! ;)

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Ooh, Hana Kimi adaptation... The other two versions were both very funny and enjoyable, so I'm not sure if this K-version can top them.
At least BBF made up for the weird editing with lots of pretty and decent acting (...from Lee min-ho, anyway), but I'm kind of iffy about these leads... Hopefully I'll like the girl more than Gu hye-sun.

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all, i mean ALL i care about here is just Lee HYUN WOO!!!!! :DD shouldn't he be the lead or something :'(

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I'm hoping that the drama won't change so drastically that I'll be sitting there saying "WTF this ain't Hana Kimi".
If they are simply taking the core of the original show & making something completely new out of it then okay but if it is a legit remake of Hana Kimi then I'm hoping that they stick to it cause nothing is more frustrating to those who have read and watched the previous live-actions of the show to see it just go to waste due to poor writing/production/acting [yes I'm still butt hurt over BOF & how the Korean version turned out LOL].

From the gist that I've gotten from other sites in regards to K-drama version they may be more emphasis on the romance aspect of the show & the second lead actress just might have a stronger role as opposed to the other versions [hoping this ain't so]. The thing about HK was that I loved the camaraderie that was shown between the different dorms & the groups in general, that was one of its main drawing cards for me & also the character Nakatsu (who I'm glad will be portrayed by an upcoming actor - adore Lee Hyun-woo & pray he does justice to the character) - the fact that his character goes through this phase of trying to figure out his feelings for Mizuki & the fact that he embraces it regardless of what gender she is. I'm curious to see if the Korean Version will even go there or explore it as well as the Japanese/Taiwanese Versions.
One thing I do hope the Korean Version does better than the other two versions is actually have a complete ending to the show & not leave us hanging (For those who have seen the Taiwanese Version, I was so annoyed when I found out there was no Season 2 so I felt like I was duped, as for the Japanese Version it was nice but wanted something more).

Anyways I really do hope that this drama does do well, the standard/bar has already been set & I'm wishing that they meet it & go beyond as well.

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You'd think that after 3 versions of Hana Kimi, they'd stop. But nope. You'd think wrong.

I'm not looking forward to this version *at all*, mostly because of what seems like... mis-casting. I love Minho to death as much as the next shawol, and I have nothing against Luna nor Kwang Hee, but they all seem shoe-horned in more as a furthering-of-career-project rather than an honest remake that someone wanted to make because they had a vision for it..

Wonder if the good doc will stay true to manga form though...

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Let me saying, im lolling my butt off at the people who have already started to bash this drama, all the whilst of being fans of the taiwanese version of hana kimi.

I mean seriously? that doesn't even make sense tbh. Ella's acting was extremely cringworthy at best, hell everyone's acting in the Taiwanese version was extremely cringeworthy. Actually, scratch that, the whole taiwanese version of hana kimi was extremely cringeworthy because honestly, they tried to hard to be funny, serious, and it just flopped.

Oh well, rant of the day over. hahaha. excited to see what Sulli is going to bring to the table.

ps. and to everyone complaining about how they can't see Sulli as a "tomboy", if you ever even read the manga, its part of the running gag in the manga. Thats how it supposed to be in the manga. The manga character is obviously female (despite acting like a boy) yet none of the guys even have the slightest suspicious that she is female. It's supposed to be humorous guys.

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IKR. The Taiwanese version was terrible :/

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*Giggle* Thank god someone else found Ella... less than perfect. The only versions of Hana Kimi I liked were the Japanese ones, and in particular there was a certain "OREWAHOMOJANAI~" shouter who completely ran away with the show <333

As for the running gag, she's supposed to be androgynously female (I call it the male-but-really-stretching-it trope) in the manga (like Yoon Eun Hye in Coffee Prince or Park Shin Hye in You're Beautiful), and I think over here the problem is that everyone finds Sulli immediately beautiful and/or identifiable as a female. And I think that to make her tomboy-ish, they're going to give her an uuggllllyyy haircut (a la Wild Romance.. like seriously, why does that Clark Kent move even exist, much less work?) and run with it. And as for none of the guys having the slightest suspicions: In the manga, 2 of the guys in her class know almost right off the bat that she's female, besides the Doctor and photographer =3

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oh, well most of people didnt know that she was a girl. LOL*shrugs* its been a long time since i read the manga

but the same can be said for the japanese/taiwanese remakes. i mean honestly, who looks at maki and thinks, SHES A BOY.

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And who listens to her speaking English and thinks, "she grew up in the US"?

Often, a drama character doesn't look or sound like they should. The show assumes people will quietly buy it and sometimes it's ridiculous.

I liked the manga, I loved the first jdrama and the later one was okay, and the tw version made me laugh because of the poor quality of the videos I was watching and because I don't understand at all the language so I couldn't really take it seriously.
But anyway, from the manga to the latest Japanese drama, I thought that many scenes weren't funny because it wanted to be overfunny.

I just hope they won't ruin it like they did with Boys Before Flowers (my first drama and a total disaster because Hana Yori Dango is one of myall time favorite TV shows).

I'm fine with just another funny version of Hana Kimi which is okay to watch.

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"who looks at Maki and thinks, She's a Boy?"
ME!

because honestly, without long hair, dress, and makeup, Maki can pull off a guy look - a bishounen.

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AGREE. It was so unbelievably obvious she was a girl and then production thought to make her look more like a boy they would give her ugly, bland make-up.

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But the manga has a petite and gangly girl and Harikito Maki was perfect for it while here we have a very tall (maybe as tall as Minho) who's going to potray her and I can't imagine how is Minho gonna carry her in the scenes when she fainted. She is gonna faint right?

Luna would be better in terms of pettiness but acting donno.

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according to google, maki is 5"2 and sulli is 5"3-5"4.

i don't think 2 inches is going to make that big of a difference tbh.

minho is taller than her so he'll be fine.
idk about luna's acting, but sulli is decent/good for an idol so I guess thats why they picked her.

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UM on waht earth is sulli 5'3"???? she's at least 5'7" ok, she towers over most male idols. im 5'4" and i consider myself short

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Ah, the memories! How well I remember Ella's penchant for pulling strange and terrifying faces, and Wu Zun's endearing woodenness.

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I don't have a problem with remakes; I don't even care that remakes are made to capitalize on an already-established fan base. What I do care about is if they screw up the story. I'm planning to watch it with every finger and toe crossed in hopes that they stay true to the story...and heck, maybe even give us a better ending than the Jdrama (and special) did.

Though I imagine that if there's any kissing, it'll be the pucker-less, fish-eyed kind. Sigh.

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I'll leave it to the kiddies (and the perv noonas/ahjummas! He he jk!)

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Meh. I won't be watching this unless it turns out to be at least half as good as the original *shrugs*
I kinda like Sulli tho, I hope she does well :) Minho, on the other hand, there's just something about him that i really don't like... can't really figure out why.

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but how would you know it's good unless you watch it at first?!

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Truthfully JB, To beutiful you was based on Hana Kimi, MAYBE, a pioneer of a girl crossdressing as boy among boys manga. It just now getting adaptation. And I wanna confirm something, so Kwang Hee is the rival jumper? Because the other source said he'll be head for dorm #3, which I think suit his flashy character

Lastly.. BOF PD? Errr..Yuck(?)

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I thought L (Myungsoo) of INFINITE is going to be in this drama too

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Might be a cameo? It's a boy's school. There are way more or should be way more characters than this.

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Amber would a better pick than Sulli

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no.

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NO. Amber doesn't act and her Korean is just kind of passable. And even though its supposed to be about a girl crossdressing, it's supposed to be very obvious that she's a girl. It's one of the jokes. In all of the adaptations its VERY obvious that she's a girl, but the fact that no one knows makes it funny.
Besides I'm pretty sure Amber is not interested in acting and Sulli has had experience.

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Why does this sound like Jackie Liu?

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Why is Lee Hyun-woo not the hero? I think he's talented as hell and has far more experience than MinHo. Sigh! I wonder when I will get to see that kid in a lead role. Maybe he looks too young?

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SM Entertainment is behind this version, so I'm not surprised SM idols are in the lead, to be honest. I wish there were more actor-actors and less idol-actors in there, but yeah.

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I wonder why they chose Minho and Sulli to think SM also handles actors and actresses such as Go Ara, Lee Yeon Hee etc.

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Because they are too old? coz if we look at the ages here Minho 1992, Hyun Woo 1993, Sulli 1994 and for Ara & Yeon Hee they are like big noona's of 1988 and that's like 4-5 years age gap

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In a marketing ploy, SM Entertainment - the producers behind To The Beautiful You - announced that the designation of SM artists to some of the roles would be decided by netizens' votes. 'Lo and behold, Sulli of F(X) and Minho of SHINee were among the two popular choices for the lead roles - to speculate, the other set were too old to pass off as high schoolers.

via OMTD

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*To clarify, SM Entertainment is the production company, but the actual producer behind this drama is Kim Hoon (White Tower, Love Story in Harvard).

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Overall, the idol:actor ratio isn't that bad, actually. So far, it's 3 idols to 11 actors (1:4), including main and supporting roles. The full list is here. We'll probably see a good deal of cameo appearances by SM artists - for ratings boost, no doubt - in the mass of students, but it won't matter because I doubt they'll get any lines with such a huge list of supporting characters.

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*3 idols to 12 actors, pardon

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If it's going to be like the Japanese version of Hanakimi, Lee Hyun-woo's role is the MUCH more desirable role than Min-ho's role. So I would say it's good that he got cast as the second lead.

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I haven't watched Hana kimi actually. I watched the first few episodes but lost interest mainly because it was little over the top for me.

So the second lead is a better character? Cool then. I'm glad for LHW!

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Minho's role isn't really that difficult. Lee Hyun Woo's character is the hardest character to portray in the drama. So it's a GOOD thing that he was cast as Nakatsu.

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Honestly! Lee Hyun-woo should be the lead. Why are these idols get the advantage when casting characters.

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Actually, if they only have one young actor to cast, he definitely should be Nakatsu, the second lead, because Nakatsu's character is the least easy to portray.
And in Japanese version, Ikuta Toma who play Nakatsu receive better appreciation from the viewer than Shun. So I think It's a good decision for Hyunwoo.

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ikuta toma's nakatsu was epic...the expressions he made while talking to himself...the spit-takes...he was sooo good...no wonder i fell in love with nakatsu...haha

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Nakatsu/Toma Love for the win.

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Since I know very little about the original manga and drama, I feel a lot better now. I'd still like to see LHW get a lead role, but as long as he has a good character, I'm fine with him being the second lead.

Thanks, kaka!

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since this is SBS, here's hoping LHW can be a guest in RM to promote this show.

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Yup- yup- yup. You're right. I dont really care bout minho nor the character. They're just so one dimensional. Even both the japanese and taiwanese actors (shun and wu chun, i think) but the character of nakatsu they're the show stealers (manga, taiwanese and japanese) so i am beyond happy hyun woo took that role. But i am still hoping minho could do a better job than shun and the taiwanese guys (i love shun tho).

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It's a bit unfortunate for Minho since he's stuck with SUCH a boring character, but hopefully he'll do better than previous portrayals.

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eeek ! this reeks of disaster .

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I loved previous versions of Hana Kimi because I dig crossdressing heroines, but the fact that it's going to be packed with idols in main roles... Doesn't bode well for the drama. At all.

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I've watched Hana Kimi Jap version and I don't like it one bit. I don't know what viewers are raving about it. The romance side is so, so. The so-call bromance/friendship among the "boys" were emphasized in the drama. Overall it's quite boring. I am sure the korea version will change a fair bit especially in the romance department.

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Well there were two Japanese versions but the latest stuck the most to the original manga story. The first one was cute and both had many scenes with the dorm students. The second one was more about "we're all best buddies, yay!" while the first was focused on a few characters' friendship (so it was more bromance to me).

What I liked about the first one was the part of Nakatsu (the one who thinks he's gay) because he was always funny and he wasn't overbearing as a second lead character. The romance was discreet and it was fine, I could buy it.

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I don't like the jap. ver either. I like the manga version more. I could finished through that drama because of ikuta toma's character.

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@gene and @missjb, just a friendly note, for future reference, please refrain from using the word "jap", it's considered a derogatory usage of Japanese. I know it's mostly known as derogatory in the U.S., but since this is a public forum, it would be safe to not use it.

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What a recipe for distaster this is. Both Minho and Sulli have pretty much zero acting experience and landed these roles because they're SM artists and because they're tall.

Lee Hyun-woo, sure, he might be able to bring the level up a notch but I'm not even sure he can do it.

And then Kwanghee. Really, I honestly am trying to not sound rude, but I just can't with him. He just annoys me to pieces and I just can't help it.

But hey, I'll give it a chance and hopefully I'll be pleasantly surprised!

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"Sulli have pretty much zero acting experience"

no.

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@ Hanna - "Lee Hyun-woo, sure, he might be able to bring the level up a notch but I’m not even sure he can do it."

LHW in Return of Iljimae is like a younger version of Nakatsu / Ikuta in that. His cuteness overload and he talked so fast with mimics and all and that drama was like 3-4 years ago.

In GyeBaek / Equator Man more of a darker & serious tone. He's that talented and can bring different character onto the screen

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Sulli was a child actress, actually, and a pretty good one at that. It's baffling that she even went the idol route considering she was SM's only child actress.

It's Minho everyone should be facepalming at.

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It sucks that she went the idol route. She was such an awesome child actress. *sigh*

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WTF sulli has acting experiences.
hello child actress and a very gooood one too

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The only thing I love about this is LEE HYUN WOO!

I really enjoyed Hana kimi both japanese and taiwanese version. but this one... uh-oh

I'm afraid this will just turned out like Playful Kiss which is the korean adaptation of It started of a kiss. Well, Playful Kiss totally sucked! And besides this drama was invaded by IDOLS, oh my god. Minho is so boring. He's just a wallflower. Shinee will be Shinee without him. I like Sulli but no way. This role is definitely not for her.

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weird how you say this one is invaded by idols but you're ok with the taiwanese version which was also headlined by idols (Fahrenheit and SHE). I can't say much about the taiwanese version tho since i didn't watch it. I tried a few seconds at the beginning but i got annoyed with Ella so i stopped. but since you liked it then there's nothing wrong in giving the K-Idols a chance to prove themselves.

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I have a feeling that this would not end well. There's no chemistry between the two leads. I really love the Japanese version. I'm a big fan of Maki.

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I LOVED LOVED LOVED Hana Kimi-Japan- the first one, not the botched up remake. It's been many years since I've watched it and still none of the other versions could ever top it. The Taiwanese version was just so messed up that I vowed never to take a glimpse at anything with Wu Chun, Ella Chen or Jiro Wang ever again. although I adored Danson Tang but, hells no. It was such a wasted trip.
anyway, with SMent rearing up the reigns on this one, I'm not expecting anything. I've heard that Sulli was a child actress so she has some experience before, but I'm not sure with Minho. BUT it's such a crying shame about the two second leads. It breaks my heart to see those two playing second fiddle to the idol, it's. just. so. wrong. but I guess I should be thankful that Nakatsu's going to be in good hands. I still want to whack something hard at Jiro Wang's face everytimt I remember his atrocious attempt at being Nakatsu. so I'm hoping for the best, but expecting the
worst. who knows.. I was expecting something horrible with Dream High too, but it was such a pleasant surprise. so let's just hope for the best and don't jinx it haters! :)

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I'm there for Lee Hyun-woo. I couldn't finish Equator Man (something always seemed off), but I became pretty attached to him thanks to those early episodes. I just... wish he could be the lead.

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does the pd enjoy doing remakes of hit jdramas?

i hope they don't twist dis story with birth secrets and all that...haha...

i not excited over dis drama since i'm so in love with the 2007 jap version...ehe...

i'm also curious on who will be playing the dorm heads...cos the one's in the jdramas were pretty awesome...nanba, tenouji, OSCAR!

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I tend to swear loudly whenever I hear about remakes. Like yeah!~ totally don't know what's going to happen on each episode! Urgh!

But when I read it's going to be my darling Sulli. How can I not support this! Still not liking the need to remake stories in every language! But I'm gonna ride this bus...

Not sure about Min-ho as lead...I have a bias towards Oguri Shun. But surprisingly, though I feel the same way for Nakatsu's role because of Ikuta Toma...I'm excited about HyunWoo. He's got a nakatsu vibe.

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Hmm another remake....
I love the first Hana Kimi Jdorama w Maki, Oguri, n Ikuta... it is a very fluffy Japanese style high school drama...
it was fun, eccentric, and love Nakatsu there
haven't found any other adaptation that tops it

Not sure about the K version remake...
hopefully they can pull through the joy of high schooler!!!

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From my experiences watching Korean adaptations of Japanese doramas, the Korean versions tend to emphasize more on the romance, which I don't like. Hana Kimi is also about friendship and character building, not just romance. I hope the korean version will not forget that.
By the way, am I the only one who wish this drama will be like attack of pin up boys? I mean, rather than 'potentially' cringe-indulging while trying to be romantic and all, I guesss It will be more interesting if they go all out at humour and fanservice.

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I'm absolutely dreading this drama. I've read both the manga and watched the Japanese version of Hana Kimi. Minho does not fit my image of the main guy. I also hope they do the doctor right. He was my favorite character.

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honestly, gah! please doo not have BOTH leads be idols, it makes me cringe soo much to see a good drama, be remade and then mutilated by bad acting. maybe i'll watch the first episode or something, but this is just a recipe for disaster. :'(

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Well i think i'm gonna watch it, if only for my love of LEE HYUN WOO! :D :)

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Sulli is beautiful, but I don't trust Minho. I have watched Hanakimi and will not watch the Korean remake because I don't want to mess my impression about the original version. I'm glad I did well with BBF over Meteor Garden, love the Taiwan version sooooo much. Btw Javabeans, if you are curious about how feminine a language teacher is, I have one living example. It's me. I'm not feminine. Haha... people tend to think that I'm tough and independent, not as sweet and feminine as those Korean drama describe one.

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Sulli and Min-ho as Mizuki and Izuma? Hahaha!

... Oh, wait, you were serious? o_O

I guess it's possible they could subvert my expectations and be brilliant (or, okay, passably entertaining), but... I doubt it. (pessimistic, who, me? ;))

I'll give it a try anyway and if isn't any good, will merely watch for Lee Hyun-woo and Kim Ji-won and fast-forward the rest.

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Omg I just heard from a Chinese weibo Exo (12members!) is going to appear in the drama as well... Omg omg omg happy to death...

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*cringing at all the "jap" and "sissy boy" comment(s)*

I thought we'd moved past that already? ._.

That said, HanaKimi was the manga/drama that sucked me into shoujo manga and dramas in general so I have to give this one a shot, but oh god- I am not going into it hopeful at all. =\

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Aww the doctor is my favorite character as well as "Nakatsu" who is Lee Hyun Woo. He's more like a "reluctant" guardian angel but he's great. SO, I'll see how this doctor does and I'm hoping they keep him...him. I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't read or watched Hana Kimi yet.

Not sure Minho fits the lead role. Actually, I don't hink he does...Maybe if he cuts his hair and dyes it black since that character is super straight laced.

I think I'll watch it. It hasn't been done nearly enough times as Hana Yori Dango, so I'll just go in for all the shenanigans. And to see how Sulli does. I think Amer from f(x) would have been more suited for the role though. But, I guess that's because (I think) she's still learning Korean.

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Amber can't act, though. At all.

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I've never seen her act, so I wouldn't know,lol.

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Agree with keke.
Amber REALLY can't act. Plus her Korean's still not very good.

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I know her Korean isn't very good, I mentioned that. (:

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On the plus or negative side pending your view I saw photos of EXO as students at the Hana Kimi shoot....but 3 of the 12 seem to be missing

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Loved the original Japanese version of Hana Kimi where I discovered Maki, Oguri and Ikuta.Definitely the best version. The Taiwanese version was so-so.

Oh no... another version with idols who can't act out of a paper bag. They are so cringe worthy.

Will watch it because of Lee Hyun woo who is a talented, experienced, young actor. Why wasn't he given the lead? At least he can act.

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Wow, finally the Kdrama version is moving along. I'm glad Sulli got the lead role. At least she has acting experience and it didn't go to some newbie. It'll be interesting to see her as an actress at this age since the last time I saw her was in Song of the Prince.

I actually liked the Taiwanese and Japanese version (first one). The second one, for me, was the worst - did not like the cast at all! I have high hopes for the kdrama version as I'm expecting they will have a good budget to work with.

I thought it was kinda ironic when it was mentioned that the gender bender theme is "fatigued." Hana Kimi has been around for awhile and may have even influenced some of the recent gender bender dramas. It's just we had to wait a long time for it to make it to live action in Korea.

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Luuurve the manga, but I never thought, as I was reading it, that it could be turned into a *good* drama. The manga requires you to suspend all the disbelief you might possibly have. As in, really, all of it. Also, I don't think any of the previous adaptations have quite managed to capture Sano's character, because he's not supposed to be wooden/boring - he's having self-confidence issues *and* actually starts caring for Mizuki fairly early on. I think he's also supposed to be a bit awkward. But not wooden.
Rant over. I'll probably be all over this drama anyway, refreshing Soompi for spoilers every day, anyway. :D

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Sano is a wounded and introvert character That's why 2º leads like Nakatsu (and Namba) who are so colorful and effusive got all the spotlight in the japanese versions. There wasn't just not enough episodes to show a "real" Sano.

Although the manga wasn't about romance if I remember correctly, it was about growing up and assuming one's individuality through friendship and accepting the other(s) the way they are.

But as the show will only have a handful of episodes it will most certainly ride on the comic strike of Nakatsu and (hopefully) the sadistic one of the doc!

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Ok Hanna Kimi, I have read the manga one of the first cross dressing manga's I have read. I loved the manga.
If I wanted to watch the Japanese version before the Korean version comes out which one should I watch? The first one or the second one??

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Japan version was very good, even iа it had some weird personages-humor side. It still will be hard to beat it (IMHO). I, for example , could not watch the TW version after it. So there is a slight chance that you will be disapointed with Korean version looking at what people say here about it being SM thing and idols in the roles.
But on the other hand, korean dramas tend to be more drama and less weird. So, it depends on what you like.

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I don't want to underestimate Sulli, she could maybe pull it off, and she's a good actress too. I know Minho was in Salamander Guru, but that didn't do very good, right? :/ I love Minho, and while his competitiveness is a turn off to some, he really does work hard. I'm rooting for them!

IMO, the Japanese drama was not good, at all. The leads were so boring, I could die, it really was the other characters that made it interesting. It was the first drama that I've watched and I liked the second lead male more. Lee Hyun Woo is playing that character, right? I'm excited, totally loved Nakatsu. The female lead's character, I honestly don't want to imagine it...I'll be pulling my hair out, girls like that, I can't understand, but I'll try for Sulli. xDD

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I'm crossing my fingers that they make the two lead roles actual interesting. The J-drama leads were sooooo boring.
I like Sulli and Minho so I hope this works out for them.

Lee Hyun Woo will probably do very well so super excited for that. :D

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