Amazingly enough, after the manga series ended, the story was picked up again and made into not one, but TWO live action dramas! The first was in Taiwan, and then one in Japan! But wait, there's MORE! In 2011 there will be 2 MORE HanaKimi dramas - one in South Korea, and yet another one in Japan - bringing the total HanaKimi dramas up to 4! Way to go HanaKimi! Almost as many versions as Hana Yori Dango! :)
In the winter of 2006, "Hua Yang Shao Nian Shao Nu", a live action drama version of Hana-Kimi, began airing in Taiwan. It stars well-known Taiwan singer/actress Ella as Lu Rui Xi (Mizuki), Wu Chun as Zuo Yi Quan (Sano), Jiro Wang as Xiu Yi (Nakatsu). This series ran for 15 episodes, and a second season is planned!
The drama does a fairly good job at following the manga storyline. A few events are condensed, but for the most part they cover the essentials. They even do a good job at matching the floorplan of Sano and Mizuki's room! I think Ella looks okay as Mizuki, but her acting is a bit too exaggerated for me at first. She spends most of her time making these stupid goofy faces. I think I would like her more if she played the part a little more seriously. Jiro is AWESOME as Nakatsu though, and Wu Zun is hot as Sano *_* It took a few episodes for me to get used to the over-acting, but I soon came to love this show, and I can't wait for season 2!
I will eventually add synopses of the epsidoes here
Some basic info about the drama:
Opening theme: Zen Me Ban by S.H.E (Ella is a member of S.H.E)
Ending theme song: Zhuan Shu Tian Shi by TANK
A few screencaps:
The Japanese Hana Kimi drama began on July 3, 2007 and has quite an attractive cast. It lives up to its tagline of 'Ikemen Paradise' ^_^ It is slated for 12 episodes, which is a pretty good number for a Japanese drama. After watching 7 episodes, I have to say that while there are some things I like about this version, over-all I think I prefer the Taiwan one. I think this Japanese version has changed too much from the manga plot, and some of the casting bothers me. Actually, in a perfect world, I would combine my favorite actors from the Taiwan version and the Japanese version into one all-star cast ^___^ Horikita Maki is pretty good as Mizuki (she is almost too pretty ^_^) and Ikuta Touma is amusing as Nakatsu, but Oguri Shun is a bit too emo for Sano, in my opinion ^_^
Opening theme: Ikenai Taiyou by Orange Range
Ending theme: PEACH by Otsuka Ai
A few screencaps:
In spring, 2011, it was announced that a new HanaKimi drama series was going to air during the summer starting July 10th. This new drama is not a sequel to the first one, but rather is a remake, or a reboot of the original story with a new cast. Just as the first season was populated with up-and-coming idols, the 2nd season features its own herd of idols-of-questionable-acting-talent. It seems kind of odd for them to do a direct remake so soon after the original series. The pictures I have seen look very similar to the first season. Why bother, the first season was fun as it is! I am also worried about all this casting of pretty faces with little acting experience. Still, it's always good to see more HanaKimi and I hope they do a good job!
I love Kdramas, and was thrilled when a Korean version of HanaKimi was announced for 2011! Not much is known about the Korean series yet, except that it will also be full of pop idols making their acting debuts, thanks to the production being handled by SM Entertainment, a company that manages a number of popular idol groups in Korea. The official cast has not been announced yet, but I will update this page when I learn more.