I’m back with my second review for possibly one of the best dramas ever!
Of course I’ve watched the Japanese version “Hana Yori Dango” (a review is coming soon J ) and even read the manga, didn’t watch the Taiwanese version. But the Korean version has a certain charm to it that kept me hooked even I was really frustrated at many times (maybe it’s the pretty boys!).
Since this drama has a Japanese version I’ll add something to the review, “Korean vs. Japanese”, which are some differences I noticed while watching.
Of course you remember the rules: There will be spoilers and photo spamming 😀
- General info:
Title: 꽃보다 남자 / Kkotboda Namja
Also known as: Boys Before Flowers / Boys Over Flowers
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Episodes: 25 + 1 special episode
Geum Jan Di is an ordinary girl whose family owns a dry cleaning store. While delivering dry cleaning to a student at the prestigious ShinHwa High School, she saves his life by stopping his attempt at jumping off the roof and is given a full swimming scholarship. She attends ShinHwa High and soon is terrorized by the leader of F4 (the four richest and most popular boys at the school) Gu Jun Pyo. Although Jun Pyo persists on bullying her, he begins to find himself attracted to Jan Di. However, Jan Di has a crush on Yoon Ji Hoo, Jun Pyo’s best friend. When she realizes that Ji Hoo is merely a close friend and that she really loves Jun Pyo the couple are thrown into a dilemma as Jun Pyo’s mother sets out to break them up and find a more suitable match for her son.
The series has way too many characters, so I’ll just talk about the main ones which are Jandi and Gaeul, the F4 and their families.
Guem Jan Di: The lead girl and the one who’d melt the hearts of the mighty F4. She is the daughter of a dry cleaner and gets into Shinhwa completely by accident. But that changes her fate, also the fate of the F4. She’s a true friend, really tough girl who’s not easily defeated. The least thing she cares about is money, all she cares about is not to hurt the people she love. At times she can be very sweet, at other times she can be too good at concealing her true feelings. For me, I thought she was too damn cold for Jun Pyo and Ji Hoo (Makino had some emotions showing on her face but Jan Di NO), I didn’t feel her most of the time. At times Jun Pyo or Ji Hoo would pour their hearts out, and she would be standing there with her poker face, that was really annoying!
Go Jun Pyo: The heir to Shinhwa group and Jan Di’s love interest. He’s the hot-tempered, curly-haired, aggressive and childish leader of F4. He only cares about himself until Jan di comes into the picture. She starts of as one of “Red Cards” victims but later he starts falling for her, because of her different personality. He’s lonely and Jan di would be the reason that he’d become more “human” according to his sister.
Yoon Ji Hoo: The Prince and Jan di’s firefighter. He’s the hero type, and he’s Jan di’s first crush and soulmate (I have a question, how’s anyone supposed to leave their soulmate, especially after they knew that he’s the SOULMATE!). At first, he used to help her against Jun Pyo bullies, then he would start having feelings for her, that later develops into deep love after getting over his first love, Seo Hyun. Although she liked him first, she later on treats him as a friend and falls in love with Jun Pyo more. He’s perfect at playing any type of instrument and being the perfect dream guy. He later on would work in his grandfather’s clinic and start earning his own money not depending on his former presidential money. He’s orphan because of an accident that resulted in his parents dying and him being the only survivor.
So Yi Jung: The Casanova and the potter of the F4. He’s considered the F4’s biggest player though it would all later on change because of Ga Eul (Jan di’s friend). He only acts this way so as not to hurt any woman who would get close to him, resulting in hurting himself too. After he lost his first love because of his pride and inability to see that there are people who love him for who he is. He’s the cutest of them all! (cough*smilingprince*cough)
Song Woo Bin: Sadly, this mafia cute prince didn’t get his deserved screen time or storyline or even a girl like the rest of the F4 guys. Although he might be actually the sweetest of them all, he’s the one that would talk in bad English just to break the ice. He highly looks down on himself thinking that others were better than him, until Yi Jung brings him back to his senses. I wish that he would have more storyline (and less “Engrish*)
Cha Ga Eul: Jan di’s loyal and best friend, who always sticks by her no matter what, she also has her eyes on one hot Potter. She reunites him with his first love, starts to melt the ice around his heart and eventually become his girlfriend and the reason why he’d stop being a player for good. She’s just like Jan di, can’t stand seeing someone weak getting hurt and not do anything about it.
Jan Di’s Family: I hated them! I mean how could they be so mean and self-centered and money-lovers to this extent? All they cared about from the beginning till the end was how to make Jan di marry a rich guy (Whoever that guy!) to pay back all their debts.
Jun Pyo’s family: I HATED THE MOTHER TOO MUCH! She’s just too much evil in one woman and I’m not falling for the sweet act in the final episode! His sister is so lovely I wish that I’d had a sister like her!
The actors did a very good job, but I have to say something. Jan di is my least favorite character they made her seem so not romantic, so not caring, she never showed her true feelings to Jun Pyo, she waits till he disappears and runs off to cry to Ji Hoo, WTH?
Hye Sun was good at expressing sadness! Her expressing love was awkward… or wasn’t even there at all! She never seemed to be totally impressed by what Jun Pyo was doing for her. Lee Min Ho on the other hand was too sweet for the role and at times too helpless but I loved his acting. As for my prince, Hyun Joong he was amazing my heart broke into little pieces each time I saw him suffer or stare at Jan di not knowing what to do, he’s too cute (although on reality shows and programs, he’s too quiet!). Kim Bum doesn’t need to act, all he needs to do is to smile and then everything will be alright! As for Kim Joon, his awkward English made me cringe at times but I wished that he’d have more solo scenes.
- Is it funny?
Many funny moments occur but it’s shadowed by the drama of the love triangle (Jan Di, Jun Pyo & Ji Hoo). Most of the funny moments are Jan Di & Jun Pyo first encounters. It’s not really classified as a comedy.
- Is it romantic/tear-jerking?
PLEASE MAKE IT STOP! Every episode I’m crying for a certain reason! Either Jun Pyo’s mom did something awful again, Jan di & Jun Pyo broke up again, or my sweet Ji Hoo’s heart is breaking AGAIN! The tears that come with this are just too much! Also the romance is perfect, I was rooting for Ji Hoo, and luckily for me his scenes with Jan Di were more romantic than her scenes with Jun Pyo! (woohoo!).
This series definitely has one of the best OSTs ever! It was released on 3 albums, one for each season (the special episode had songs of its own with its own album)
The music is more reason to just looooooooove the drama, I’m addicted to the OST, especially the first season’s songs like “Almost Paradise by T-Max”, “Because I’m Stupid by SS501”, “Do You Know by Someday”, “Stand by Me by SHINee” and many other Kpop hits!
- Hotness Level/Style:
Do I even need to say something here! I’ll let the pictures do all the talking since 99% of the reason that drama got so popular before even being released was the pretty boys! (I loved the dresses, Jan di’s sweatshirts, and Ji Hoo’s outfits).
- Moments to remember:
There were many, but for me Ji Hoo’s scenes are so precious. Also when Jun Pyo runs to the rescue or start screaming Jan Di’s name I get weak in the knees, so many love in this drama!
- Korean vs. Japanese:
So many differences, that for me now I still prefer the Japanese version (yet I’m in love with the Korean F4). I’ll start with each character comparison, then some main events comparison.
Geum Jan Di vs. Makino Tsukishi: Jan di is a little too whiny, yet so emotionless at many events. Makino can be a tomboy and a monster at times, but you can clearly see the love she feels (something I’ve never felt from Jan Di). Maino is strong, Jan di isn’t that strong. Also in the Japanese version she wants to be a lawyer, while in the Korean one she wants to be a doctor.
Gu Jun Pyo vs. Domyouji Tsukasa: Jun Pyo can be romantic, caring and fell too easily in love with Jan Di, but he’s way too helpless (against his evil mom, that is). Domyouji is the same he’s the childish badass who loves Makino but at least he stands up to his mother until he eventually gives in, at the middle of the series. They’re both are amazing nevertheless.
Yoon Ji Hoo vs. Hanazawa Rui: For Rui, I didin’t root for him & Makino, it has always been Domyouji, I just felt a little bit sorry for him. But in Ji Hoo’s case I actually was very disappointed that they didn’t end up together. I LOVED HIM too much, and they gave him in the Korean version more screentime (though changing his background story completely!).
Soo Yi Jung vs. Nishikado Sojiro: YI JUNG <3. I love him, end of story. Of course it’s obvious that’s due to Kim Bum’s killer looks, but here his love story with Jan di/Makino’s friend is taken to a whole new level, that it actually instead of being hinted in the Japanese version, it ends happily for them in the Korean version, and HE’S HOT! 😀
Song Woo Bin vs. Mimasaka Akira: The Mafia boy, he was deprived of even a suitable background story in the Korean version. In the Japanese one, he loves older women, because of his young mother and little sisters, he have his moments. But in the Korean version, we see him only talking awkward English and having no background story, except for that episode when he’s talking to Yi Jung about how he’s embarrassed of himself (completely unnecessary).
Cha Ga Eul vs. Matsouka Yuki: I honestly prefer Ga Eul over Yuki, she’s sweet, cute, and wears the best outfits ever! Even hear developing feelings for Yi Jung make sense, I absolutely love her over Yuki, who seemed to be too obsessed with Sojiro.
The Korean F4 are too handsome, they’re even convincing to be filthy rich. The Japanese F4 are much friendlier and has a little more of a background story shown.
Makino/Domyouji scenes are sweeter than Jan di/Jun Pyo which seemed awkward at times (Jan di never seemed to be in love with Jun Pyo even till the end). The Japanese version is much more hilarious, while the Korean one has more intense drama and tragedies happening one after another. Ji Hoo/Rui is a friend in the Japanese version but a soulmate who for some reason is left behind in the Korean version. (For Makino/Rui shippers watch the Korean version).
What bothered me the most was the lack of chemistry between Jan Di & Jun Pyo, I mean her scenes with Ji Hoo were more romantic! I liked the Saturn necklace in the Japanese version better; it’s got a beautiful meaning. Also, the Japanese cookies though less extravagant they’ve got more heart than the Korean ones.
- Did it end well?
NOOOO! The worst cliffhanger ever! They’re on the beach, he’s proposing and she’s looking with that poker face and before we hear an answer, the rest of F4 comes. The all stand looking at the sea, and that’s it. THAT’S IT? And when I heard there was a special I was glad, but instead I watch that special and 99% of is flashbacks!! I hated the ending way too much, how come that there’s not even a wedding? (The Japanese ending is so much better, and the Japanese movie/special is just PERFECT).
- Rating: 4/5 .. I enjoyed it, mainly due to the pretty/hot/handsome F4, but there were mainly troubles with the plot, storyline and characters.