Saturday, February 24, 2007

Eh-hum # 133

I have been quite serious the past fiew days, so I've decided to write something short about Japanese pop culture, particularly its drama series. Nowadays, I think the most popular is Hana Yori Dango, which is based on a manga/anime series with the same name. I was able to catch a few episodes myself and well, I can only understand it based on how the characters interact with each other. But since I am familiar with the story, its no problem really.

Come to think of it, almost all Filipinos are familiar with the plot of this drama, not because of Hana Yori Dango, but because of Meteor Garden, a Taiwanese drama based on the same manga/anime series and dubbed in Filipino. The latter became very popular in the Philippines and it started the trend of broadcasting Chinese/Korean dramas to local viewers. But I think Meteor Garden still remain the most popular among the Filipinos massess since it was the first. I am not really a fan of these series, but after watching several episodes, I find it amusing. Sometimes, the scenes/situations are so exaggerated that its actually entertaining (for instance, how ridiculously rich the F4 are).

But of course, the two series have their differences from the original manga and from each other. But I think, the Taiwanese version has made the most significant changes in the storyline. For instance, Hana Yori Dango is set in high school (actually, most Japanese manga/anime series are set in high school, hmmm...) which is also the same with the live version. Meanwhile, Meteor Garden shows us that the lead characters are in college (this point I like better, its more believable especially when the lead boy is being groomed to be the head of his family's company and has a fiance). I also think if it was set in college, the characters are faced with more realistic issues and have a certain depth. But that's just me.

In terms of acting, I think both are the same, I couldn't tell the difference actually, hehehehehe. But in terms of casting, the girl in the Jdrama (Inoue Mao) is, I think, prettier, and has a more expressive face. Though Barbie is cute as well, there are times that it is quite obvious that she is older than members of the F4 (before Meteor Garden, she is already a popular singer in Taiwan).

As for the F4 boys, well, I think Meteor Garden has a better-looking ensemble, because they really look like (college) students. Two of the boys in Hana Yori Dango (who do not play Domiyugi or Rui) don't look like high school students. Also, I don't find the guy playing Rui (or Lei in Meteor) cute at all, but if the Japanese girls think so, who am I to say otherwise? Hehehe. But anyways, you be the judge:


F4, Meteor Garden


F4, Hana Yori Dango (Sorry, this is the only pic of the boys together online)

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