Drama Recaps
To the Beautiful You: Episode 1
by | August 17, 2012 | 186 Comments

Have you ever experienced the excruciating pain to stay away from a 9 minute preview? And how satisfying it is to see the premiere in its entirety? We were promised lots of pretty and heartwarming moments, and we got those. But we also got some disjointed and jarring ones as well. I’d attribute this to two distinctive styles that haven’t fully meshed together yet but I’m holding out that they find a nice middle ground.

And this song rocks my socks off. It’s right up my alley.


J-Min – “일어나 (Stand Up)” [ Download ]

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At the 2010 Youth Olympics high jump finals, competitor and our hero, KANG TAE-JOON (Min-ho) takes a deep breath before his third and final jump attempt. Should he succeed, he’ll set a world record and clinch the gold.

He sets off with a look of stern determination as he approaches the bar. He jumps, soars into the sky, and clears it with ease. Tae-joon punches into the air in victory with a huge smile on his face.

Our heroine, GU JAE-HEE (Sulli) watches the screen with a focused but solemn face. At Tae-joon’s victory, a single tear falls from her eyes.

Some time later, we catch up with Jae-hee, a pair of scissors dangerously close to her precious locks. At her friend’s insistence that she doesn’t have to go this far, Jae-hee firmly responds, “I gotta do this.”

Snip snip.

Jae-hee arrives at Incheon Airport sporting her shorter ‘do and stops to smile at a poster of Tae-joon. Decked out in glorious angelic wings, he’s pretty much god (or maybe idol) status in the athletic world.

We meet CHA EUN-GYUL (Lee Hyun-woo) via an awesome butterfly kick that secures the winning goal for his team. He passes by all of his teammates (and his coach) for a hug to document his victory for his fans with a selca. HA.

The fangirls eat it up as they await their oppas at the gate of the all-boys high school, Genie High.

Tae-joon’s manager tells him about an upcoming CF where they’ll need a shot of him jumping and he quickly nips that in the bud. She doesn’t understand his reluctance since he’s out of rehab now and Tae-joon puts on his headphones to block her out.

Those headphones aren’t going to be useful against the horde of sasaeng fans who surround Oppa’s van (Sasaeng is derived from the word “sasaenghwal” (사생활) which means “private life.” So fans who love a celebrity so much, they’re willing to invade Oppa’s privacy.).

Pressed to the window is Jae-hee, having been caught in the mob. Tae-joon shuts down his shade.

The track coach, BAEK KWANG-MIN (Kang Kyung-joon), quickly regains control of the situation and stops Jae-hee in her tracks, “Who are you to just walk inside?”

So Jae-hee turns on her most convincing guy mannerisms and is all, I’m a guy Teach! He whacks her head in response: I know you’re a guy! Hahaha.

She introduces herself as the transfer student but Coach Baek has heard that excuse before and is amused that she’s even prepared documentation. Problem is, it’s all in English and to save face, he lets her through.

I have to ask: How do you get a few Cs and STILL end up with a 4.03? Do I need to transfer schools? We get a slo-mo shot of Tae-joon’s van (with a few sasaeng stragglers) pass by Jae-hee.

Jae-hee struggles with her heavy suitcase up the steps. Unbeknownst to her, the constant banging cause the locks to pop open leaving a trail of clothes behind her.

She hurries to retrieve them once she realizes when she’s suddenly blinded by another student’s presence. She blurts: “Kang Tae-joon.”

Tae-joon holds out a Winnie the Pooh underwear, “You’ve got… unique taste.” HAHA.

Jae-hee falls into her suitcase in her attempt to grab it and she starts to skid before Tae-joon stops her with his foot on the handle. But then that breaks too and he watches in shock as she zooms down the steps, screaming for dear life.

She comes to an abrupt stop at a tree and then waves that she’s totally fine, underwear still in hand. Well, that’s not embarrassing or anything.

But nothing can break the excited smile on her face for finally meeting the legendary Kang Tae-joon in person. That is, nothing short of sliding down the hill again.

Jae-hee is warmly welcomed by the Korean language teacher, LEE SO-YOUNG ( Lee Young-eun). She’s impressed by Jae-hee’s track record and Jae-hee thinks in her head all of those athletic achievements are according to women’s standards.

Donned in her new school uniform, Jae-hee walks into a rowdy classroom where everyone is busy doing their own thing. They barely blink an eye as Jae-hee attempts to introduce herself to her new classmates.

Suddenly, a student hurls a banana peel that hits her square in the face and she stands there while the other students ridicule her. Eun-gyul points her to an empty seat next to his and they exchange a small smile as she sits down.

One student, SONG JONG-MIN (Kwang-hee), shuffles up to the new kid and says that surely she’s aware of the Genie High initiation right? She doesn’t but she’s eager to be accepted and agrees.

That brings her to a doghouse surrounded by warning signs. Jae-hee approaches with caution and stops, hopeful at half of a broken sign, “Doesn’t bite.” But the other half reads, “If you don’t come near…” Well, that won’t work.

The dog growls and Jae-hee warily steps towards the doghouse. Then the dog jumps out of its house and Jae-hee falls back in terror. Back in the classroom, Jong-min laughs that the dog has probably half-eaten the new kid by now.

But little does he know that Jae-hee is currently drowning in doggie kisses. Cute. She crawls inside to grab the ball she’s been tasked to retrieve when she suddenly hears Tae-joon’s voice.

He bends down to greet the dog, Sangchu, with a smile. He confides with it about the upcoming CF- should he drop that and throw in the towel for high jumping too? Jae-hee shouts, “You can’t do that!”

She asks why he won’t jump and instantly reaches for his ankle – does it still hurt him? He doesn’t really mean what he said about not jumping again right? He recognizes her as from the Pooh underwear and tells her it’s none of her business whether he’ll continue the sport or not.

Jong-min and his crew stare in shock that Jae-hee was not only able to fulfill the task but to come back in one piece.

She casually tosses the ball in her hand before slamming in on his desk and blows the hair away from her eyes. Eun-gyul looks on, impressed. Jong-min fumes and scowls at his buddy’s remark about how pretty the new kid is.

She perks up at Tae-joon’s entrance and as luck would have it, he sits down behind her. She turns back and stares leisurely, her mouth agape until he signals for her to look forward.

Jae-hee marvels at the ins and out of the school. Her most obvious issue comes to the forefront when she’s got to pee and she cringes before stepping inside the boy’s bathroom, heading straight for the stalls.

She trips over Jong-min’s foot on her way out and grabs ahold of something to break her fall and… looks up at another student (cameo by rapper Sangchu) whose pants are now at his ankles.

No Pants shoves Jae-hee to the wall by the collar and by now, the other students including Eun-gyul have gathered in the bathroom. She evades his oncoming punches and tries to escape but to no avail.

She gives No Pants a final warning to stop or else she’ll have to defend herself. Her weapon of choice? A plunger.

She puts up a decent fight against No Pants, attacking with her plunger. But he’s physically bigger and stronger than she is and overtakes her with a kick to the gut.

He cheers in victory but Jae-hee’s got one more surprise for him and sticks the plunger in his face, leaving a red ring around his mouth. That gets him even more enraged and nearly gives her a taste of his right hook before he’s physically pushed off of her.

The mysterious savior calms down the hotheaded No Pants and then pulls Jae-hee close, whispering that she should be more careful from now on.

He sends off the other students with a smile. The one who frets the most is Jong-min.

Eun-gyul hangs back to check if Jae-hee’s all right and he informs her that that was their dorm leader and captain of the fencing team, senior HA SEUNG-RI (Seo Joon-young).

He asks about her fencing skills and she brushes it off, saying she picked up a thing or two from her older brother.

As they walk to the dormitories, Eun-gyul admits that he thinks she’s all right after that fight against No Pants and going through with the initiation. He wonders how she managed get past Sangchu since the dog normally hates guys. Jae-hee gulps.

He tilts his head with a curious look – she looks pretty doughy for a guy. And he confirms by placing his hand on her chest. Already at second base? But aren’t you a soccer sensation?

She freaks out and he laughs, thinking she must be doing chest exercises to keep it so stiff.

Jae-hee changes the subject, happy to hear that Tae-joon’s in the same dorm as Dorm 2.

We’re given a breakdown of the three dorms in Genie High: Dorm 1 students rely on their strength and power and their leader, JO YOUNG-MAN (Yoo Min-kyu), specializes in taekwondo, Seung-ri is the Dorm 2 leader and is the most normal of the bunch, and the Dorm 3 leader, NA CHUL-SOO (Kim Ian) is a figure skating major.

The dorms have a strong rivalry with each other and are equally competitive. Tension runs particularly high with an upcoming athletic competition. Jae-hee prods if Tae-joon will be jumping in the meet, and Eun-gyul answers that Tae-joon hasn’t exercised since his injury.

He notes that Jae-hee’s talking an awful lot about Tae-joon and she breezes that it’s just because they’re classmates. Eun-gyul lets the matter drop, teasing her by calling her “dough boy.”

Meanwhile, Jong-min looks on with a permanent scowl.

We meet Miss Princess aka SEOL HANNA (Kim Ji-won) who coyly apologizes for being late to her photo shoot on account of her beauty sleep. She pours on the aegyo which does the trick to soften the photographer’s heart.

It’s no surprise that she’s not Little Miss Perfect Princess once she hears that Tae-joon has pulled out of shoot last-minute. She fumes, citing that she even came early today. According to whom, love?

She refuses to continue and storms off.

Eun-gyul drops Jae-hee off in her new dorm room, telling her she’ll be using the loft. Jae-hee wonders about her roommate, noting the landscape photos in the room and he tells her that she’s better off not knowing. The door tells us who her new roomie is: Kang Tae-joon.

Meanwhile, Director Jang meets with one of their endorsements who are unsure about their contract with Tae-joon after his injury. She assures them they have nothing to worry about since Tae-joon is fully recovered and the investor agrees to reconsider it IF he high jumps in his next CF.

She leaves him with a final word: “YOU didn’t choose Tae-joon. Tae-joon chose YOU.”

Back at school, the boys file out and Jae-hee flusters when the next period is swim class. In the locker room, Eun-gyul asks if she isn’t going to change and she lies that she forgot her swimsuit. Jong-min offers a spare (it has a hole) and leaves in a pissy mood when she declines.

Then Eun-gyul pulls at his gym locker to find a sasang trio spill out to take pictures of nekkid Oppa.

He finds Jae-hee sitting fully-clothed and finds her chlorine allergy strange. Once again, points out how she’s always looking for Tae-joon and asks, “You’re totally a Tae-joon –ppa(stan)!”

Thank God someone finally admitted it.

We’re given a short but hilarious introduction to the school doc, JANG MIN-WOO (Ki Tae-young) who abruptly clicks away to an X-ray when Tae-joon arrives. Don’t think I didn’t see you stare intently at those Bae Yong-joon pics, Mr. Eugene.

He observes, “The more I look at you, the prettier you get. Not you. Your Achilles’ heel.” HA. Tae-joon appears to be fully healed to the Doc but they still need clearance from a larger hospital.

Tae-joon gets a call from Director Jang as he waits in the hospital. She tells him that the high jumping segment is back on, adding that Tae-joon will want to do it because a famous coach will be there to see him jump.

He can consider this as a new start and from here on out, it’s on Tae-joon’s shoulders.

Later that evening, he holds a silver necklace wondering what he should do. He gets a call from Dad who is displeased to hear that Tae-joon isn’t considering jumping for the CF.

He reminds his son that those kiddie records are pointless after his injury. Thanks for the pep talk, Dad.

To top it off, he returns to his dorm room to find someone already settled in. He scoffs at the photo of himself taped to the wall, rips it off, and notices the broken suitcase in the loft. Then he hears the water running in the bathroom…

Jae-hee spots movement from the crack of the bathroom door and grabs a towel to cover herself just before he walks in. They’re both legitimately surprised to see the other and Tae-joon demands to know what’s she’s doing. Jae-hee: “Shower.”

Once she’s dressed, she catches the tail end of his phone conversation and asks if Tae-joon is planning to jump after all. All he wants is for her to get out of his room because he doesn’t share. Jae-hee stands her ground that she won’t move an inch and then we see her getting tossed out of the room anyway.

We spend a few moments to focus on another student , MIN HYUN-JAE (Kang Ha-neul), glistened in sweat, practicing the high jump. He fails to clear the first two tries and succeeds on his third try.

Interestingly enough, an article on Tae-joon hangs inside his gym locker and he gives it a little tap before closing the door.

Jae-hee laments to Sangchu about her predicament but pretty soon she’s found by none other than Seung-ri who brings her back to the room and scolds Tae-joon for kicking the new kid out.

In any case, Jae-hee happily jumps into her bed and thinks to herself, “Even until yesterday, there was an ocean between us. But I can’t believe that we’re within touching distance now. Now that I think about it, I might be able to see you jump tomorrow.”

She dreams of Tae-joon’s legendary high jump, flying over the bar with angelic wings into a bed of flower petals.

Tae-joon wakes up the next morning to find little notes posted throughout their room (Oh heyyy there Vitamin Water). He rips off each one, annoyed.

Where’s Jae-hee you ask? Sleeping in the doghouse with Sangchu.

Doc reports that the test results are out and he dramatically sets himself up to reveal… that he’s fully recovered. Tell us something we don’t know, Doc. It’s telling that Tae-joon isn’t in the least excited to hear the news.

He turns to leave but the Doc stop him. He’s heard that Tae-joon is on friendly terms with Hanna. “By chance… is there a way I can get her autograph?” Pffft, such an ajusshi fan you are.

It’s Soccer Day in gym class and Hyun-jae pointedly aims his tackle for Tae-joon’s ankle, barely missing it. Hyun-jae feigns an apology and helps him up.

They face off and Tae-joon tells him it’s a waste of his time to worry about the other team. Hyun-jae tells him that the money must be good and then Tae-joon digs, “Do you know why you could never beat me?”

Hyun-jae’s face stiffens. Tae-joon: “You worry too much about useless crap.”

Jae-hee remains firm on being roomies and asks for a chance: what does she need to do to stay? Tae-joon suggests a proposition – if Jae-hee can put in one goal, he’ll reconsider. She agrees and tells him to keep his word.

He tenses, “I don’t back down on things. Especially promises.”

Eun-gyul is stuck as the goalkeeper and asks Coach Baek to let him play. He gets, “Nope, you’re the soccer star.” Your way of keeping a level playing ground, eh?

But Eun-gyul doesn’t listen and calls for a change. Jae-hee’s first attempt at goal hits the goalpost. He tells her, “It doesn’t matter if we win or lose, but after seeing you run, I didn’t want to lose anymore.”

He kicks the ball to Jae-hee and she runs down the field to receive it. To us, she’s running in slow motion but Eun-gyul and Coach’s jaws drop as she zooms past the other boys.

Enter music cue as Jong-min catches up to her and rams into her forcibly knocking her out. Okay PD-nim, she fell. We don’t need the toontastic *wonk wonk* to figure that out.

Tae-joon carries her into Doc’s office but splits when he gets a text from Director Jang about the CF to come to the gym. His audience includes staff, reporters, Hanna, Hyun-jae and even his father.

Director Jang checks in with him and he gives a nod that he’s ready to jump.

He breathes in and then takes off running… but the bar clatters to the pad. He sits in light of his failed first attempt and the cameras shutters continue to click as his audience looks on with shock.

Jae-hee rouses awake with a splitting headache and Doc tells her that she fainted from the field. He walks towards her, “But it’s strange…” and leans in to look at her square in the eye.

“Tell me.” Doc asks, “What is a girl doing in an all boys’ school?” Busted.



Man is this drama PRETTY – the colors are saturated, bright, and vivid, and that HD camera is niiice. You can see some similarities from Boys Over Flowers with showing off the gorgeous sets and grabbing different angle shots of our characters. On the other hand, however, I do scratch my head at some of the other elements. A scene by itself is cute but then the parts don’t quite make a whole. Instead of some continuity, it feels like we jump from scene to scene with no explanation of how we got there.

Additionally, it’s as if the PD-nim is hitting my head over some minor plot points that I already got from the get go. Yes Jong-min doesn’t like Jae-hee but you don’t have to remind me every moment that he doesn’t. Yes, this CF is important and determines Tae-joon’s public image. Yes, he’s fully recovered. We geddit.

His musical choice is nowhere near as blaring as Boys Over Flowers (the phrase “Almost Paradise” is forever ruined), and this could be me nitpicking but what was up with the wonk wonk when Jae-hee was knocked out? Should I brace myself for possibly more inappropriate musical choices that will pull me out of the scene? But you have such an awesome theme song (the one posted above)! *fingers crossed*

Could there be any more characters to name? If you lost count, I don’t blame you. And it feels like we still have more characters to meet. For now, I’m doing okay with the volume of names but the character introduction throws me off. If you belatedly tell me who that person is and what kind of person they are, how can I keep track whether this person is important or not? Because right now everyone seems important! *tugs at hair*

Oh SM, you love to find reasons to use your fancy shmancy 360 degree camera don’t you? Don’t think I didn’t catch you using it for that flying banana peel. If you can’t find a way to incorporate it into your music videos, there it is in your drama!

In terms of acting, I thought Sulli was spot-on as Gu Jae-hee or if we’re referring to the source material, Ashiya Mizuki. I was skeptical with the headlines prior to the premiere but boy did that effort show. I was even surprised that there were instances where I thought, “Wait…you’re a teenage girl not a teenage boy!” You can see how much of herself she’s pouring in and the earnest quality in Jae-hee matches Sulli’s earnestness for this character.

On the other hand, there’s not too much to work with Tae-joon’s character because all we know is that Tae-joon doesn’t want to high jump anymore post-injury and he’s a cold nut to crack. That said, it’s too early to speak more on Min-ho besides that he’s delivering the character that’s written for him.

This premiere came in dead last at 7.3% in ratings but like J-Min tells us, it’s only the beginning.


186 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. bwahahahaha

    Sulli looks even prettier with her new hairdo!

  2. krys

    Thanks for recapping, gummimochi! Interested to know how this drama fares so far…

  3. Stardust

    Gummi!!! Thanks for the recap! I like Sulli and the rest of the pretty boys are all new to me, but so easy on the eyes.. but the story is just so…

    I get that Yoon Eun Hye’s character has to pretend to be a boy so that she can help her family situation. But becoming a boy to ‘help’ someone she likes get his confidence back? Without seeking to understand why he is not doing what she likes him to be doing, just seems to be very controlling and ‘I know what is best for you’ saesang fan. XD I know its a manga adaptation, but I just feel its a pity for such a premise….

    Please don’t flame me. XD

    • 3.1 canxi

      Japanese manga premises…some are better when you don’t think about the details. LOL

      • 3.1.1 Stardust

        XD ahahaha… Thanks Canxi!

        • Maidenelle

          Agree with you, Stardust. Not much of an explanation here for the main character’s motivation. It kind of makes me not care about the story.

          • kara

            well, in the japanese live action of the manga, the reason why the girl did what she did was revealed halfway to the story. so for now it really looked like she’s just being a sasaeng. haha XD

          • chocopie83

            if they follow the manga, everything will make a perfect sense later on.. actually it should happen in the early, if not mid, episodes 😀

    • 3.2 ajewell

      There’s clearly a reason she’s so determined to help him jump again, something beyond simple stalking.

      If you look closely in the opening scene, when he wins the gold, she seems to be watching his competition in a hospital. Considering how sullen and depressed she looks, I wouldn’t be surprised if she was confined to a wheelchair after a crippling accident or something, which made her unable to walk. If Tae-joon was her inspiration during rehabilitation, it would make sense that she feels indebted to him and wants to return the favor. . . if I was adapting this into a drama, that’s how I’d do it anyway.

      Either way, I’m loving this. Can’t wait to watch Episode 2!!

      • 3.2.1 ~Feather~

        Yeah, I also saw that she was watching the Olympics from a hospital. It makes sense, your inference. I think that that’s what they will reveal her reason to be.

        In the first j-dorama: He was injured while trying to save her from thugs, so she feels indebted to help him jump again.
        2nd j-dorama: He gave her confidence when she was at her most depressed point, so she wanted to repay him by giving him confidence to jump again.
        Taiwanese drama: She was inspired to lose weight and become fit after randomly seeing him on TV.

        Your theory seems to fit in with these. 🙂

        • Lemon

          Ha you make the taiwanese version one seem totally retarded

          • Mosquito


      • 3.2.2 Jackie

        I saw that too. You can tell there’s a good amount of information yet to be revealed.

        Also in the beginning hospital scene, she seemed depressed (probably injured as welll).

        It seems like they’ll actually give us a reason, unlike the manga. LOL

    • 3.3 byj_angel

      This drama failed to nail the quirkiness of the manga from the get go. I have watched episode 2 and I was shaking my head. This is BOF all over again. A mess! I am bailing myself out.

      • 3.3.1 pigtookie

        I think the moments were definitely quirky enough, but it’s lacking in the characterizations (Song Jong Min/Nakao can unquirk himself a little)- 2nd dorm leader, the doctor, Jae Hee can be more silly.

        • bjharm

          I think it they hint barley at the gay bit ie the doctor and the pretty boy of the school who get pissed that the new boy prettier. They have him being a bully but do not explain WHY he is doing it, the only hint really is him putting lip balm on his lips? As for his crush on the dorm leader..nothing. And come on the shower scene! I know the lead guy suppost to be a cold fish but as they skipped him finding out she a girl from the start as the other version did, how could they miss a chance of laughs of at lest some kind of reaction from him even if in it only talking in side his head at how cute the ‘guy’ looks wet and wrapped in a towel..lol

      • 3.3.2 whatis

        wow… totally on the same page!
        That was the thing that bothered me the most.

        Weird reason to creepy stalk a guy… fine.
        Going into an all boy’s school for a guy… fine.

        I can tolerate a lot of silliness and can suspense reality since I was brought up reading japanese comic books.

        But they really did not capture the energy, passion, and youth of the characters. Basically… not over the top enough.

        The entire time.. I was thinking Nakatsu’s energy would resemble something like a Jeremy of You Are Beautiful.

        A bit disappointed… my favorite drama version so far, is still the j drama with Maki. But my favorite version, by far is the one in my head… ahhaha!

    • 3.4 haruko

      That was always the weakest point in the manga, BUT in the stories defense, in the manga it was much more hero-worship at first, not a crush or fan-girling that had her going to such extremes.

      I’m not sure how this version will play it out (I’m I the only one that thought she was in a hospital when she saw him on Tv?) but in the original she credited him with turning her life around, and wanted to pay back that debt somehow. So, a little airheaded (and THAT does fit the character, ha ha) but not so much creapy. IMO. 🙂

      • 3.4.1 canxi

        Yup! Definitely see the hero worship as she thinks about him and gives him wings, lol. I agree it was the weakest point in the manga come to think of it. I think the manga just really focused on the characters and their relationships and that’s how it moved along rather than lots of story.

        • haruko

          Yeah, the characters were so crazy and adorable you were willing to forgive any weak spots pretty quickly, ha ha 😀

    • 3.5 skwonto

      omigosh. I totally agree. I have only seen first episode. But I agree. It is a dumb plot. I like the comment below, “some are better when you don’t think about the details.” I like the execution. It is a pretty show. Lee Hyun Woo and Min Ho are total cuties.

    • 3.6 skwonto

      omigosh I totally agree. What a dumb plot. I like the comment below from Canxi, ” some are better when you don’t think about the details”. Totally true. It is a pretty show. Lee Hyun Woo and Min Ho are total cuties.

    • 3.7 Someone

      yeah i thought the girl was kind of pathetic at the start but they explain it in the end and you get why they’re made for each other (as cute as nakatsu was) and why she went through all that effort

    • 3.8 Hamsa

      Where can i watch this drama in eng sub ?!

  4. Annaaa

    The drama felt so serious from the first episode.
    Hopefully it’ll lighten up as it goes on???

  5. Annaaa

    The drama felt so serious from the first episode.

    Hopefully it’ll lighten up as it goes on???

  6. Denali

    I won’t lie – I won’t follow this show because cross-dressing is a no-no in my book. Yet, I was curious to see how the bunch of idols would do on the 1st ep. Niiice. Thanks gummimochi.
    And I couldn’t help myself but squee at the mention of Kwanghee. Bwahaha, this kid cracks me up too much. Who will ever forget his 1st appearance on Strong Heart? 😀

    • 6.1 Cynthia

      You’re interested in Kwanghee? You might like this:
      “On August 17, MBC confirmed that ZE:A Kwanghee and SECRET Sunhwa to join show as the new couple of the virtual marriage ‘We Got Married 3‘. It is also revealed that both idols have already filmed the first episode. Kwanghee and Sunhwa will join the existing couples in this variety show, T-ara‘s Eunjung & Lee Jang Woo”

      I find him amusing, but am really surprised that he’s being paired as a couple in WGM – mostly because I was convinced that he’s gay. But I suppose that if JoKwon was successful with Ga-In, then Kwanghee might do okay.

      I like him in this drama, so far. He seems kinda semi-evil.

  7. canxi

    Lol, don’t worry about all the characters gummimochi! I know there are a lot but it becomes less confusing. There is, like, one in every 5 you should probably be paying attention to. You’ll see! 😀

    Thanks for the re-cap. Looks like the first episode kind of swung through the first few chapters of the manga, trying to establish character personalities, and relationships. A lot to do in one episode with so many people even if it is an hour. Oh lort, it is stunning though. Saturated colors…*__*

    • 7.1 oftheshore

      Re: number of characters – I just gave up trying to remember them all when I was reading the manga! I guess the writers are in a difficult position: they will be blamed if some minor characters are not included, but people can also complain if there are too many characters to remember.
      Also, I thought Tae Joon was a bit less wooden than the main characters in the two previous adaptations. Let’s hope they don’t make him too mean or too dark and brooding (although he did indeed have a complicated family situation in the manga).

      • 7.1.1 canxi

        Right! It’s easier to get used to in a manga because you have an introduction at the start of each book to refresh you on who is who, but in a show it can be overwhelming. Not everyone has a story to tell though, so there is that.

        And is he? That’s good then. He’s a broody character anyway, but I hope they don’t make him into one of those…UMFB’s (unbearably moody flower boys).

        • oftheshore

          Oh yes, I lost count of all the characters, and doctor’s love life left me all confused, too.=)
          UMFB? Hahaha, that’s a great acronym/trope name! Yes, I think the idea was that Sano was supposed to be awkward, have at least some sense of humor, and he was often unintentionally funny. I remember laughing at the scene where everyone was admiring his dancing skills, and then he would step on the partner’s toe, or something like that. He wasn’t very talkative, but nor was he mean or cold.

          • canxi

            Hahaha yeah–he just seemed that way at first as anyone would when someone you barely know is all over you, I hope they include the part where he’s thinking in the shower all confused about if Jae Hee likes him or not.

            He’s all “But she’s so close with this guy, but do I like him? Wait, she’s a her, it’s cool! But does she like me? She came all the way here for me? Right? RIGHT?!” Cracked me up–it’s from the manga but I don’t remember seeing it in the japanese version.

  8. wanderlust

    watching all the other currently airing dramas and for some reason strangely HOOKED on this one the most. The colours make it feel less like a standard kdrama, can’t describe it- like creating a vivid world and I can see the luxury of BOF coming out which was one of the strengths. Loving the eye candy and seriously surprised at how natural sulli is and liking how she doesn’t try to act like a guy or anything and I’d actually believe she was a pretty boy. Second lead syndrome coming on already but must be said that Min Ho smoulders and pulls off a uniform perfectly 🙂

    The main song is right up my alley too! I’ve watched both the J-drama and the Chinese version with Ella and there are ofcourse differences and I hope people don’t get caught up in comparing because it’s the Korean adaption- it’s not supposed to be a carbon copy. There will obviously be elements that are done better or worse but it’s good to judge it on its on merits.

    uh oh. I feel the crackness coming on. Need MOARRRR.
    and thanks gummi!

  9. BD

    Not impressed at ALL!! This version may be prettier to look at but it lacks the quirkiness and hilarity of the J-dorama adaptation. ughhh, why do these writers make the source material so angsty and sappy from the get go. blerghh…

    They changed something so central as to the reason Mizuki decided to enrol in the school. If the writer expects me to believe that Sulli’s character watched Minho’s character perform on tv, was moved to tears, and decides to enrol in his school. yeah not buying it!! Nakatsu was key to the manga but here they’ve made EG so ehhhh!!

    So disappointed!

    • 9.1 Miss D

      My train of thought exactly. Sure the lighting is amazing, the set is super fancy, the scenes by themselves are hilarious and the boys sure make it fun to just stare into the crowd but the writers seem to have forgotten to explain one tiny detail: why is there a GIRL in an all BOYS school?

      As a veteran from the Japanese version, this drama will forever hold a special place in my heart because it was my first Asian drama. Ever. I tried to make myself stop comparing this new version with the Japanese version but I’m just appalled that the only apparent reason why she transferred to his school was because (as BD so nicely puts it) Sulli watched Minho “perform on TV, was moved to tears and decided to enroll.” Why did they take away her more compelling reason which was just to help him recover without any romantic feelings involved? What I really liked was actually watching her feelings transition from gratitude to something deeper.

      I’ll admit that this first episode got me laughing right off the bat, but it also had me screaming at my TV screen: Sulli, why are you even at the school?! Oh, plot line, where are thou?!

      • 9.1.1 BD

        My main gripe is Nakatsu!!!!!! Not only is the actor wearing the most unfortunate mushroom cut but I see he didn’t get enough lines in Ep 1. I actually like the actor so I know that it’s a major writing flaw where the SME idols shine…unfortunately!! :/

        Haven’t watched Ep 2. Will give it a shot only if the actor got more material to work with.

      • 9.1.2 IBELIS

        I watched both episodes and I admit I have never watched a live action version of this story before. Also did not read the manga, I found this girls obsession with the boy creepy. It would be bad enough for a girl to stalk a boy the way she does all over the school, but if you keep in mind that she is pretending to be a boy and behaving in this way makes it too weird.

        I’m off to watch the Jdrama version before I decided if I can watch this.

      • 9.1.3 xnopex


        one of the reasons why the first japanese adaptation of hana kimi was such a memorable drama for me was that it was weirdly self-aware with how weird the actual story was.

        nakatsu’s inner dialogues (best part of the first japanese adaptation), the ridiculous contests, the fact that they were in a school and went to class all of 3 times, and the multiple site gags. i know we’re not seeing any of that here.

        i can accept that however i am upset that they changed a few characters here to play into some stupid tropes i see a lot in kdramas

        evil/unsympathetic gay guy: one character change i absolute dislike is how nakao’s korean counterpart is depicted as an antagonist to jae hee. one of the reasons why i still watch japanese dramas is that outside of variety shows, i can get a human depiction of a homosexual without it being gross and insulting. i doubt they’ll keep the friendship between nakao and nanba in this version bc they’re already making this guy an asshole for absolutely no reason at all.

        jealous girlfriend: second character change i know i’m going to hate is the gymnast. one of the cute things about hana kimi was that even though the st blossoms girls were competitive, they weren’t like, bear vs fox territory competitive. it’s annoying as hell that i can’t get through a korean drama without them pitting women up against one another for no reason at all. if they’re going the way i think they’re going, she’s going to end up


        finding out jae hee’s secret before tj and we’re going to get an annoying blackmail situation that will play out until tj’s noble idiot syndrome. i’m placing money on this.

        other things that stuck out at me

        nakatsu: i guess we’re not going to see him shine as much because well, he’s a prop for the main character’s love story.

        akiha is now sano’s manager? this is a small one but like, i guess we’re not getting the cute banter between she and the doctor? maybe they’ll keep that in.

        i get that side characters in korean dramas are mostly props to push the main couple along but these weird character changes make no sense to me as what purpose do they serve? plus the school dorm looks like the boxes SM films their music videos in.

        • crazykel

          I agree with you on most of your points, but actually in the HK manga, Nakao is unbearably mean to Mizuki in the beginning because he thinks that Mizuki is trying to take Nanba away from him. He bullies her and does awful things to her, so the characterization of that character at present is spot on. Now if they keep him that way, then there is a problem because the friendship between Nakao and Mizuki is so beautiful.

          Akiha in the manga isn’t female, so maybe they will make him male like they did in the TW version. I love the interaction between Akiha and Umeda; it was honestly the one thing I didn’t like about the original j-version.

          I couldn’t agree with you more about the jealous girlfriend thing. In HK, that particular character only appears at the beginning and is really a second thought character and isn’t nearly as annoying as Hanna. She liked Sano, of course, but she never acted like a sasaeng. The St. Blossom’s girls are actually separate from her and she has nothing to do with them.

          • bjharm

            yes he was mean to her/him but here they do not give any reason as to why he is, that is the trouble plus there no hint as to him liking the dorm leader, or the dorm leader being one for the older women. i know korean tend to be rather homophopic but it seems they going out of their way to avoid it, though how they going to do that with the soccer player beats me. i do wonder if it more SM not wanting to link any of thier talents to any hints of being gay, more than anything else. The one person I miss is the guy who can see ghosts, though. With all this well white washing of characters they killing a lot of the fun and silliness that made the other versions so interesting.

          • xnopex

            here’s hoping they keep that detail in there! thank you for that!

    • 9.2 Alice_IW

      Sadly I’m inclined to agree with you.

      As someone who loved the manga and watched both Japanese and Taiwanese adaptations I was definitely let down by the direction of this episode (and the next).

      This version is pretty, sure, I love the vivid colours and the camera work but as the audience I could not connect with the characters or feel much warmth for them at all (how could they get rid of Oscar’s character, seriously!?!?)

      The fact that the premise and setting of the story is so different from the original doesn’t sit too well with me (superstar athlete with a manager/cf’s? I mean c’monnn). The whole “annoying ‘girlfriend” has been overplayed in K-dramaland already and I literally found myself rolling my eyes at this unnecessary character.

      Oh well. End of rant. Let’s see how this rolls out.

      • 9.2.1 jvip

        I totally agree with you!!
        To me it seems all superficial and it doesn’t give me any feeling!!
        in some parts the music doesn’t fell right at all, so irratating.
        Still I don’t know if I’ll watch this.

      • 9.2.2 xnopex

        all of this. it’s really annoying that kdramas employ this bear vs fox bs just to have another female second lead.

        like this girl can’t be her friend or someone not competing against her? or hell, go the route all three adaptations ahve gone and use her as comic relief like the other st blossoms girls.

        man, give me a drama where both women realize that fighting over men is stupid shit, leave the dood, walk off into the sunset, eating as much as they want without giving a shit about it making them fat.

      • 9.2.3 asianromance

        I like Sulli’s depiction of Mizuki the best of the adaptations I’ve watched so far and I like how Minho looks more like Sano, but I agree with your feelings about not being able to connect with the characters or the story. While I found a lot of things to like in this adaptation, I don’t feel Hanakimi’s charm in this adaptation yet.

        Will wait till after episode 4 to decide whether to continue or not…

    • 9.3 Alice_IW

      As someone who loved the manga and watched both Japanese and Taiwanese adaptations I was definitely let down by the direction of this episode (and the next).

      This version is pretty, sure, I love the vivid colours and the camera work but as the audience I could not connect with the characters or feel much warmth for them at all (how could they get rid of Oscar’s character, seriously!?!?)

      The fact that the premise and setting of the story is so different from the original doesn’t sit too well with me (superstar athlete with a manager/cf’s? I mean c’monnn). The whole “annoying ‘girlfriend” has been overplayed in K-dramaland already and I literally found myself rolling my eyes at this unnecessary character.

      Oh well. End of rant. Let’s see how this rolls out.

      • 9.3.1 Alice_IW

        OMG IT TRIPLED POSTED !! sorry, i don’t know what happened. I meant to rant but not TRIPLE RANT.


    • 9.4 Alice IW

      Am I one of the rare people who actually didn’t really enjoy it?

      As someone who loved the manga and watched both Japanese and Taiwanese adaptations I was definitely let down by the direction of this episode (and the next).

      This version is pretty, sure, I love the vivid colours and the camera work but as the audience I could not connect with the characters or feel much warmth for them at all (how could they get rid of Oscar’s character, seriously!?!?)

      The fact that the premise and setting of the story is so different from the original doesn’t sit too well with me (superstar athlete with a manager/cf’s? I mean c’monnn). The whole “annoying ‘girlfriend” has been overplayed in K-dramaland already and I literally found myself rolling my eyes at this unnecessary character.

      Oh well. End of rant. Let’s see how this rolls out.

      • 9.4.1 Maidenelle

        Nope, I didn’t like it either. I felt like it took every cliche that could occur in a gender-switch situation and played it out without ever giving us a real reason why the herione put herself in the situation to begin with. I don’t understand any of the characters’ motivation, actually. This drama is not making me care too much right now, and this is without having viewed the previous versions of the manga.

        • DangCinDee

          I’m joining you guys. It was Meh for me too. Meh…

        • bjharm

          really? i felt they missed so many chance for more laughs using the gender bender thing, I mean that why the theme so much fun, it so open for misunderstanding and laughs on how the guys and girls for that matter react, when you the viewer really know the truth of the matter. That shower scene was so perfect for well something..but in the end nothing. i can not help but feel they are white washing all the chatchters making them lose than craziness that made they so much fun in other versions, also if they somehow trying to make it..well dare I say it, a serious drama! but all they seem to be doing is making it..well boring perhaps

    • 9.5 jellyfish

      I kept telling myself not to compare and the Japanese version was never among my list of favorite Jdramas, but watching TTBY made realise how successful the Japanese one was at creating the perfect dorm atmosphere with a very entertaining mix of boys of different backgrounds and characters. What happened to the Dorm 3 bunch of overdramatic, Theatre-loving boys for example? I felt that TTBY really toned down on the character of the other boys. It’s a tamer, more “grown-up”, more stylish environment here in TTBY, and something feels amiss.

      I give Minho the benefit of doubt that it’s the script and not him, but Sano is supposed to be much more than a sulky teenager. He may look cold on the surface, but what balances his character out is his subtle concern and loyalty for friends like Nakatsu, and the guy does have fun in the dorm at times despite preferring to be left alone most of the time. The boys let him be but they accept him the way he is as a part of them. There is a missing connection between TTBY’s Tae-joon and the rest of the boys, he just seems to stick out like an outcast here, so far. I hope it’s just because it’s still too early to tell.

      But hmm i do like Sulli’s portrayal of Ashiya better than Horitaki. And yes, lovely colors throughout. And love love LOVE the J-min song.

      • 9.5.1 foolmoon

        You’re not alone, my friend. Me too.
        I have to keep reminding myself not to compare this to original Hana Kimi, and be more open-minded.
        But, but …, but it looks like to become so cliche! I feel they are losing the main point of the story that are youthfulness, the enthusiasm of falling love and making friendship. You know, those simple things in life …

  10. 10 reglest

    And yaiy for Sulli from me, girl, you should chose being an actress than being in an idol group. I know you can beat Go Ara! *well wishful thinking here*

  11. 11 JCyy

    Seems like TTBY is changing a lot of details! I thought Taejoon would find out that Jaehee’s a girl after she fainted in the soccer field! Oh well!

    Anyway, the drama is gorgeous! And the OST rocks! Love Sulli to bits, Hyun Woo is awesome as well. Uhh Minho… totally have no feels for him.

    Overall, the first episode isn’t bad, but after watching the original version, I feel like I’m nitpicking on everything! Definitely gonna continue watching this though, SULLI IS SO ADORABLE!

    • 11.1 aoiaheen

      I think TJ might already know she’s a girl. This is not a spoiler… its just the impression i got by the way he looks at her.

      I think he may have seen her showering.

      And if thats the case, i think its good that the drama is changing stuff a little here and there. It’s a nice change for those who watched both the jdrama and the tdrama.

  12. 12 Ivoire

    Thank you for the recap!

  13. 13 Sakura

    I actually like Sulli’s potrayal of Jae Hee! She’s not afraid to just do anything and I wasn’t that worried about her acting as I was for Minho. But then again, Tae Joon doesn’t really talk much. T_T Ahhh…I’m hoping the drama doesn’t die out in the middle. I’m hoping that Sulli will act again. >_<

  14. 14 MM

    Pure EYE CANDY!!! hahaha love this!! Even though everything is predictable, can’t help but just be drawn to this, omg love their dorms too~~ minho soo hott sulli so cute~~ thanks dramabeans keep recapping~~ hehe

  15. 15 Ah Ra P.

    tq for the recap! couldn’t watch the drama so I’m entirely depending on these recaps! Thank you gummimochi XD

    good to know that the drama’s on a good start, I hope Lee Hyun Woo’s character will be as good as Nakatsu did in the 1st Japanese ver.

    the soundtrack rocks btw! XD

  16. 16 Di

    Is this based on the Hana Kimi series?

    • 16.1 Do-ra-ma

      Yes. It’s Korea’s version of it.

  17. 17 UJ

    i thought sulli really acted well!! 😀
    as for Min Ho i cant really judge him at the moment…he hardly emoted…or rather there wasn’t a single scene that required him from being anything but stoic..so ya i will watch a few more epis before i judge him!

    All in all this version has a different feel from both the Japanese and the Taiwanese version…its different from the J version, so its a little disappointing…but the fact that its different from the T version makes it the best thing ever to happen for me! i loathed the T version with a passion!

    And the main theme song!!! LOVE IT!! been loving the song since the teasers got released!! was waiting quite impatiently for the official release! LOVE IT!!

    i cant say this show was a let down because i hardly expected it to be a serious gut wrenching piece of work…it was supposed to be a light high school rom com with a whole lot of pretty boys…and in that term it absolutely delivered!

    Its kind of a drama you wanna watch when you are just dead tired and want something light to relax your mind with!

    Also guys i think you should give the dramas some chance to prove itself..watch atleast 3-4 epis…maybe it will grow on you…passing judgement just after the first epi is kinda immature! i made this mistake with A Gentleman’s dignity and i have to say i was wrong! the drama turned out to be really good^^

    last but not the least, thanks for recap Gummimochi 😀

  18. 18 Mar

    Thanks for recap!

    I came into this relatively Hana Kimi free, being as I do not read manga and could never get through the first episodes of either the Japanese or Taiwanese versions. That says a lot because I will generally give a show 3 or 4 episodes of a chance. Korea’s production value is so much higher that either Japan or Taiwanese production so I had better hopes here. The female lead is way more likeable, does not come off as completely psycho, geeked out stalker. She pulls the (albeit a really young boy not a high school kid) boy look okay, the first scenes at the school she wears too much foundation makeup and flips her hair around too much to pull off boy, but it get better. It’s okay to go without make up. We get that you are a girl. I’m trying to figure out how she’s explaining no leg hair in those shorts.

    The show fails to give a good understanding in the beginning of why she’s so moved and fascinated by the high jumper. Really, that needed to be covered, because we really do not quite get why she suddenly shows up at his school dressed as his little brother.

    CHA EUN-GYUL. Anyone ever see high school boys play soccer? It’s war. No one walks off the field with DRY perfectly coiffed hair. People leave in ambulances during EVERY game. And he calls our girl doughy and frail? He’s more frail looking then she is. He looks like a little elf that she could probably snap like a Slim Jim.

    It must be a cultural instance that I do not have education on and I do not mean to seem insensitive to cultural differences but why are most dogs on K-drama chained up outside to a dog house?

    The male lead, pretty eyes, at least he can pull off the athleticism, but he doesn’t have much of a personality. He’s not funny mean, or anything, he’ s not giving us any reason yet to say okay, he’s a tortured soul, we will let him have time to get that soul off the rack. Mostly he’s just boring. Okay, okay, it’s early days yet. I’ll try to warm up to him.

    Bathroom scene. Forget the broody pouty high jumper. HELLO SUNBAE (Seo Joon-young)! Seriously girl, check out your Sunbae, stat. Don’t walk away! Glom onto his leg!

    It was fun enough, fluffy sweet, and predictable. I’ll watch this some, not a priority, but I’ll keep an eye on it.

    BTW if you want to watch another fun gender bender type, watch She’s The Man, with Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum. It’s really really funny and has female empowerment themes, and was inspired by Shakespeare’s 12th Night.

    • 18.1 jellyfish

      [i]The show fails to give a good understanding in the beginning of why she’s so moved and fascinated by the high jumper. Really, that needed to be covered, because we really do not quite get why she suddenly shows up at his school dressed as his little brother.[/i]

      I notice a lot of people have a problem with this, logically. Wanting to encourage a favorite high jumper to jump again doesn’t seem to be enough of a reason for her to turn up as a boy at his school. Anyone knows if TTBY is gonna change this aspect? Because in the Jdrama (POSSIBLE SPOILER……………………….) back then he’d gotten into the accident as a result of trying to help her. (/POSSIBLE SPOILER) So this didn’t bother me that much because subconsciously i just assume this is the way things are going to turn out. If not, then yes, not very convincing. D:

      • 18.1.1 Mar

        jellyfish-thanks for info. on that, I seemed to recall (don’t quote me lol) what I saw in the other version first episodes it gave the impression she was a rabid fangirl. The beginning of TTBY was really really vague, maybe I missed something, IDK, and, well, that didn’t set well with me, I was like, okay, she’s watching him win the juniors, big tear, cutting hair, wth? I felt anyone with no idea about the backstory would be totally flabbergasted.

    • 18.2 April.

      Just wondering, but what do you mean by production value?

      • 18.2.1 Mar

        April- Production value is just the general overall quality of the staging of the drama. The sets, the locations, the costumes, etc., the cinematography, etc.

  19. 19 Jennifer

    Thank you so much !! And Tae joon ah Fighting !!!

  20. 20 Catherine

    Ok, so I’ve read the manga and watched the Japanese adaptation of the manga, so it irks me when they change it up a bit (seriously, CF model? a manager?) The manga is way different but I guess I understand it had to be adapted for a Korean audience. Maybe I’ll watch it someday, but I’ll keep checking this website to see how the drama unfolds.

  21. 21 Mommai

    I’ve read the manga before, but only once, and it was long enough ago that I remember enjoying it, and some scenes, but I don’t remember every detail, so I’m able to enjoy the drama for what it is, which is a pretty fun easy drama, and I’m able to fill in some of the gaps when they show only brief glimpses of things. So far, I’m enjoying it, and I hope they keep it fun and watchable (not expecting drama of the year from it, so that helps)

  22. 22 Joan

    This is random, but Dorm Leader is so cute heh

    • 22.1 queencircles

      not random!! I love him. Soo cute! Lots of eye candy in this show lol. I’m so glad seo joon-young has a semi big secondary character role in this series, I just loved him in TWDR.

      • 22.1.1 Ruthie08

        I love him! He’s my favevorite character since the nakatsu character is not as as crazy as the Japanese version. I feel like an old lady here by dang he’s hot. And btw, u mentioned TWDR? Really? Which one?

        • Ruthie08

          Yah, kill me! He’s the crowned prince in TWDR! He looks so young on that drama? And now he’s a man…I can’t believed I didn’t recognized him. Anyways, what’s important is he grow up well…he’s hotter now!

  23. 23 Joan

    Also, did they name the dog after Sangchu? I’m sure he appreciated that HAHAH

  24. 24 Laura

    Strangely for me it was quite painful to watch the SAME thing again. Those new details… oh well, i say, just keep the same pattern and do something new, or I should say FRESH. If there is such thing as another version, I expect it in some way to surpass the original please.
    I do see that it is shot beautifully, that song is really catchy (there was another one too) but if it’s the same (more or less) story with the same characters, can it be watchable again? I guess mainly for those who didn’t see the jdrama.

    (MINI SPOILER) I kept my fists that the main girlboy won’t slip during the marathon in ep 2 and win . She did win (I’m glad), but she managed to slip every time in the field…

    I think Gaksital made my expectations to go way higher for any kind of drama… 😀 Though I won’t put my hopes out yet (some inspiration for imagination maybe :D).

    • 24.1 Laura

      oh, did I say that that school is SO fancy?

      • 24.1.1 Uj

        oh god i DIED at their definition of a bunk bed!!! o_O

  25. 25 divaz_sha

    hate that plastic kwanghee…ruining this whole handsome boys…
    and hate the mushroom hair.. didn’t care his name

  26. 26 la dee dah

    Thanks for the recap!

    As for me, the first episode was basically meh. I’m not even trying to compare it to the other versions out there, it just didn’t grab me with the first episode. I never watched the taiwanese version, I did watch the Japanese version, and though I enjoyed it (and really enjoyed Toma’s Nakatsu), I was disappointed when they concentrated much much more on the guys and their antics and hardly did anything for the main two leads’ love story. In this version, however, the Nakatsu character is not grabbing me yet (he seems a little subdued and too overly nice).

    I will say that I looove the dorm room! It’s so big and pretty and big! And the bathroom was big and pretty and big. Well, except I didn’t like the bright neon blue colors of the outside hallway.. Oh, and loved the dog, so pretty! Which is not a good sign if I liked the dog and the pretty room more than the story and characters…

    • 26.1 hAil3Y

      agree! it’s like a 5 star hotel! what school looks like that? and the canteen is like a buffet restaurant XD

      and did anyone else cringe at the name, Genie high school? GENIE?!!? LIKE SERIOUSLY LOL.

      • 26.1.1 guess

        is that wat sment always advertise in their mvs that stupid pop up

        • xnopex

          i thought that along with the copious bottles of vitamin water was some next level product shilling.

          legit GROANED when i saw the name of the school.

        • foolmoon

          So, that’s where the school name comes from.
          At first I thought I misunderstood the sub about the school’s name, then I was like …???….
          What kind of vision to name a school “GENIE High School”
          AND IT”S A BOYS school ?

    • 26.2 DangCinDee

      lol I’m almost tempted to add cross dressing into my How to know you’re in a korean drama article :

      But then I’m not sure if that’s solely a korean thing or a japanese or a taiwanese. But Koreans have been picking it up a lot these couple of years.

      I agree with you that this version hasn’t captivated me as much. It’s …meh…for now. I think Min Ho is really good looking though. lol That helps my interest since I;m shallow lol.

      Sulli’s okay. Could be a little more expressive with her facial expressions. I thought the wc scene would have been more funny if she had more facial expressions. I think Shin Mina would have played that scene well. lol the girl has variety of adorable facial expressions.

      The TW version was really amusing even though the Ella (the female lead) totally over-acted in every scene. Her expressions were over the top and not believable, yet, nonetheless, I was amused and entertained. Can’t say I feel the same for this version.

      The JAP version, the girl was super cute AND expressive. I enjoyed that version overall as well.

      This version needs to work harder if it wants to outdo the other versions .

  27. 27 gary

    reminds me of You’re Beautiful, Sulli actually does a decent job of looking and trying to act like a guy, unlike Go Mi Nam who did not even attempt to be masculine It was totally unbelievable that she would ever be a boy, I hated that!

  28. 28 DangCinDee

    Has my memory betrayed me? Didn’t they leave out the most interesting and BEST scene?

    When he picks her up after she was wiped out, wasn’t he supposed to braze her chest and discover that she’s a chick?

    Cause the whole manga is of him going through a huge turmoil with himself because due to his growing feelings for her, trying to decide if he should let her stay or leave, and him knowing she’s a girl and trying to protect her. No?

    They’re not following the manga so I wonder how this is going to play out. It’s not going to be as fun if they make it like “Sungkyunkwan Scandal.” Don’t get me wrong, I loved that drama, but I do have to admit it’s a little weird for a guy to start a guy who is actually a girl dressed up as a guy. Uhms, quarter bi-sexual?
    And plus, I prefer the concept of him trying to protect her so that she can remain by his side because he knows she’s a girl dressed up as a dude.

    • 28.1 Ashley

      I do not know if you have watched the show yet, but the commercial at the end of episode 2 made it seem like we will not have to wait long for him to find out. I do not know for sure, but this is just my guess. I agree with you though, I would rather have him find out from the get-go then drag this out. Besides, I think if he knows she is a girl his soft side will come out. And this tension of living with a girl you have growing feelings for sounds great. I am hoping for the best when it comes to this show.

      • 28.1.1 DangCinDee

        I watched ep 2 already where he kisses her at the end of the ep in his uhms… ‘chocolate-allergy state.’ But i didn’t watch the ending preview. Anyone have a clip? What happens in the preview by any chance?

        Oh, and might I add…lol…that is quite the allergy. Most people who have allergies break out into hives or something, but in his case, he turns into a wild kissing machine. If this was the case, I’d feed him chocolate every day, all day. bwuahaha!

        • Carinne

          ROFL~ I think you need to work for Hershey and perfume yourself as a walking-talking histamine. Kkk~

        • ~Feather~

          Ha, so would I. 🙂
          But it’s actually because of the alcohol he drank. The guys were talking about how he became a kissing machine after he ate chocolate with alcohol in it.

      • 28.1.2 Ashley

        The commercial was at the end of the episode on viki, so you can watch it there. Basically there are a lot of water fights. She gets closer to both boys, and of course Eun-Gyul get jealous of Jae-Hee and Tae-Joon. Tae-Joon tells her he’s done with track and field for life, so butt out. And then at the end of the commercial we see him hug her, his eyes get wide, and he says they cannot live together anymore.

        • Ashley

          Also, I thought it was an alcohol allergy. Am I wrong? Either way, a kissing allergic reaction, I need to find me a boy with that problem 😉

  29. 29 alua

    I didn’t watch this (and am not sure I will), but that towel screenshot — so the guy sees her with the towel in the bathroom? From the picture it seems she has it covering her breasts (which I understand) BUT every guy I have ever seen in a towel (whether in dramas or real life) ties it around the WAIST!

    • 29.1 jomo

      Yes, it was very girly, but everything about her screams GIRL! Plus her beautiful soft skin, hairless arms/legs, soft shoulders?

      That is kinda why it is so fun.

      You just have to GO with it, alua. One of those major suspension of disbelief thing-a-ma-bobs.

      • 29.1.1 alua

        But that’s a dead give-away!

        There is feminine looking boys for sure, but towel in the wrong place is just weird.

        Okay, I haven’t watched this yet so I should still withhold my opinion, but it sounds like this adaptation is more angsty than quirky. In the Japanese version I might have bought the towel thing, well, because you get characters that walk around in flowing capes and things of the sort but here? From the comments I’m reading, it’s all very pretty, but not quirky….

        • jomo

          OMG, I forgot about the capes! 😀
          I don’t think K audiences would be able to take the capes, either.

          • alua

            Haha! Yeah, you may be right. That caped character was very mangaish and very Japanese.

    • 29.2 guess

      that is sooo true!! didnt notice that either nice observation lol

  30. 30 Mommai


    In the manga, didn't we find out later (as in, not when it happened) that Sano figured out Mizuki was a girl after picking her up?

    • 30.1 la dee dah

      Yes, Sano figured out Mizuki was a girl after he picked her up when she was knocked out. But in the Japanese drama version, Sano didn’t find out this way (spoilery, he overheard her talking to her brother). So maybe Tae-joon will find out a different way than the manga too.

      • 30.1.1 DangCinDee

        aaww…that was one of my fav scene in the tw version.

  31. 31 crazedlu

    i like it. it’s a fast, fun paced watch. nothing too serious. just light, youthful, and even a little magical. i’m in.

    • 31.1 alexandrasi

      EXACTLY crazedlu!!! Ditto on the I’m in and thzs 4 the recap gummi…have a great weekend all.

  32. 32 beggar1015

    The first episode gave me a few genuine LOL moments so I’m willing to try out the next one.

  33. 33 jomo

    Thanks for doing this, gummi!!

    It’s fun to have you recap this one after doing the other Japan to Korean makeover, Operation Proposal.
    Of course with OP, we had an actor, YSH, replace an idol actor, Yamapi, and here we have the reverse.

    I like that the actors are age appropriate, although less seasoned actors.
    The script doesn’t give SJ’s character a lot to say, and Shun is naturally more expressive with his eyes than Minho, at least so far. Sulli doesn’t have the maturity Maki did, either. Still, they are fresh and so so pretty.

    K versions spend a lot more money on everything than the J folks do, and it shows on the screen. What we need, though, is heart. They have to have that to make this battered hero-cured-by-pure-heroine work.
    Sulli seems up for it. Minho just has to hunk hulk around and absorb it. He’s good at that.

    Fortunately, Lee Hyun-woo will deliver all the adorable and squee worthy notes we need. Despite the mushroom hair, his EG soooo cute and sweet already – also great in the soccer scenes. I think there is some body doubling there, yes?

  34. 34 guess

    The blonde in the beginning is soo funny. Her acting or tune of voice is soooo funny. I dont remember what she said exactly but something like ” the guy on t.v. looks korean” or “he is korean” between those lines…lmao
    I couldnt stop laughing!! i was like he is OBVIOUSLY korean for representing KOREA in the high jump (99% sure) and then she was like ” you dont have to do this” OMG thats very “persuasive” SERIOUSLY SHE DESERVES MORE SCREEN TIME. I WOULD LOVE TO SEE HER AGAIN WITH HER POOR ACTING!!! I love the 2nd male lead in the Jap version. He was awesome and i just love his portrayal of the character. On the other hand, I find the 2nd male lead protrayal of the character a little boring and bland.

  35. 35 guess

    The blonde in the beginning is soo funny. Her acting or tune of voice is soooo funny. I dont remember what she said exactly but something like ” the guy on t.v. looks korean” or “he is korean” between those lines…lmao
    I couldnt stop laughing!! i was like he is OBVIOUSLY korean for representing KOREA in the high jump (99% sure) and then she was like ” you dont have to do this” OMG thats very “persuasive” SERIOUSLY SHE DESERVES MORE SCREEN TIME. I WOULD LOVE TO SEE HER AGAIN WITH HER POOR ACTING!!! I love the 2nd male lead in the Jap version. He was awesome and i just love his portrayal of the character. On the other hand, I find the 2nd male lead portrayal of the character a little boring and bland.

  36. 36 Dizzy

    I loved Sulli’s bright pink ‘I’m a boy!’ lipstick. There are a lot of things that are different than the other versions, but I’m kind of glad about that. I am going to be really upset though if I find out they got rid of Kayashima. Really hoping he’ll show up in the next episode and that the dorm boys get sillier! Seriously, the wacky other dorms are some of the best parts of any version I’ve seen.

  37. 37 jvip

    I’m personally a little disappointed by this episode, it was boring…It didn’t hook me up.
    The only thing I liked was the song by J-Min – “일어나 (Stand Up)”
    Awesome song!!
    Maybe I’ll continue this drama only for the song ^_^

  38. 38 Sakura

    tq gummimochi

    I missed the scene from J drama when the 3 dorm

    leaders and the their boys walk to their school gate

    and their neighbour – the all girls school came running

    and waiting to cheer them along the way !!.

    • 38.1 Gom

      Yeah! I haven’t watched this yet but I’d like to see that scene again! The girls cheering along the way was a super Hana Kimi staple/trademark.

  39. 39 bigwink

    Hi gummimochi,Thanks for the recaps!
    Lets hope that it doesn’t go downhill from here. I’m worried! Well mostly because they’re my favourite idols… and i don’t wanna cringe seeing them act ;o
    Fingers crossed.

  40. 40 Chintu

    since ep 2 shows him layin a gold medal on some coffin or something, i was thinking taejoon’s mom and jaehee’s someone-dear-to-her died in the same accident, and she sees herself in him and wants 2 help him outta the slump??? cuz it sure seems as if something other than mere injury is holding him back from jumping again, a mental block…

    this is a kdrama afterall, and it wouldnt be complete without death and secret-connections 🙂

  41. 41 emmayu

    Sulli was really good as Jaehee. She brought life to the character. The way she said her lines, her body language, and of course her facial expressions. Everything was great. She is soo adorable and lots of moments that show her beauty. I had no doubt in her at all.

    Hyunwoo, same goes for him. He was pretty good as Eungyeol. But there needs to be more of him and more funny scenes associated with him.

    Minho was okay as Taejoon. His popped out fish eye glare is bugging me. I get that his character is sulky. His acting is not awkward and not uncomfortable to watch. Problem for me is his mumbling. Mumble Mumble Mumble. its probably due to his fish mouth/lips. Yes I think he looks like a fiish.

    first episode i thought some scenes didnt flow nonetheless i enjoyed it

    second episode is a lot better

  42. 42 Chintu

    & as 4 everyone commenting on no1 noticing her hairless hair, i have 2 say, i every scene where the guys wear shorts, i didn’t notice a single hairy leg (maybe there were 1 or 2 guys with hiary legs, or the hairs were fine or bleached or photoshopped)… thing is, the guys all have delicate, shapely (albeit, slightly muscled) legs with nary a hair to be seen from a distance…

  43. 43 Chintu

    & as 4 everyone commenting on no1 noticing her hairless leg, i have 2 say, i every scene where the guys wear shorts, i didn’t notice a single hairy leg (maybe there were 1 or 2 guys with hiary legs, or the hairs were fine or bleached or photoshopped)… thing is, the guys all have delicate, shapely (albeit, slightly muscled) legs with nary a hair to be seen from a distance…

  44. 44 befuddled

    Things like the bathroom fight scene cracked me up enough that I’ll check out a few more episodes even though this show is probably not what I’d usually watch.

  45. 45 Audrey

    So, I haven’t had the chance to watch this yet (the plan is to watch it tonight), I’ve only read the recap and comments. But the Korean Kayashima better show up. He’s a character that would be mentioned in the recap no matter what. Him and Nakatsu were my favorite characters and I want them to carry over into this version. (Although from the comments it sounds like the K-Nakatsu doesn’t stand out as much? Gah, I need to watch this!!!!!!)

  46. 46 Noelle

    I just realized that in this story there is a gay character…. So I wonder if he will be included in this story? Anyways off to read.

    • 46.1 xnopex

      there’s actually 2 gay characters. one which is in the first dorm and the doctor. they kept both in there.

  47. 47 Cynthia

    Thanks for the recap, Gummimochi!

    Liked the first ep, totally caught your take on the BOF visuals. It was the first thing I thought when they showed the overview, long shot of the school – Shinwah High campus, much? But, it is pretty to watch – reminded me of the color saturation and ambiance of ‘Heartstrings’.

    I’m hoping that the 2nd ep explains what in the heck our leading lady is doing at the school (other than stalking the object of her fixation).

    These ‘girl disguised as a boy’ dramas really crack me up – to me, they never, ever look like the opposite sex, Sulli in particular, no matter how mushroom-chopped her hair is..

  48. 48 crazedlu

    back to comment. bof had the fakiest fake helicopter ever. visuals are much better in this one. story too. and i was actually never a fan of the story of hana kimi. it’s very obvious there are some holes that need filling, like.. why exactly exactly is she there? sulli is better than gu hyesun. way. and i’m not as annoyed of tae goon as i was of gu junpyo. this show’s got my following. at least for now.

    • 48.1 crazedlu

      ugh. *tae joon.

  49. 49 Kay

    I’m watching this drama for Sulli and the 2nd guy. Their acting are spot on and have great chemistry…
    Sorry but MH’s scenes were boring so I had to skip it
    Hope it will get better though

  50. 50 Karsensis

    Maybe I was the only one but did anyone else burst out laughing when they brought jae-hee to the hospital and the doctor just touches her lips and looks at her eyes and then says that she’s breathing. I swore people don’t breathe through their eyes sir !!

    • 50.1 hawaiianseoul


    • 50.2 Maria

      He wasn’t checking for breathe but to see whether the pupils are dilated

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