Hana Kimi (花樣少年少女)

!!!BEWARE: SPOILERS ABOUND!!!

EPISODE 01

Hana Kimi has always been one of my favorite manga's, so when I heard there was going to be a live-action drama of it, I was beyond ecstatic. My first impression? I thought the actors for Sano and Nakatsu were PERFECT: I'd seen them on other dramas, and had a fairly good idea of how they'd fit into their roles. I was convinced, however, that Ella was NEVER going to be able to pull off playing Mizuki. She looked too much like a guy, and wouldn't be able to look cute and girlish, which was part of Mizuki's appeal. All of this I predicted after looking at the promotional posters that had been released in anticipation of the series.

Then I saw the first episode.

I'll admit it: I was a judgmental idiot. Now, after seeing Ella perform, I just can't picture anyone else playing that role. Sure, she may look like a guy... but I would much rather have someone who can act, than some pretty girl who simply cuts her hair short, and calls herself male. And honestly, the more you watch it, the more feminine she becomes... even when she's dressed like a guy, there are times when it's VERY obvious that she's female. And I must say, I adore the variety of expressions she pulls off... they're so cute, even though some people call them over-exaggerated or annoying, I think they're great. It's just another part of her character...

And the interaction between her and Quan is perfect: the chemistry is definitely there.

I fell in love with this series within the first 3 minutes. They really managed to capture the humor of the manga, and place it into a realistic setting... and the characters, all of them, are SO entertaining to watch.

My only complaint is Doctor Umeda's hair. The guy playing him is great, but I just can't get over how hideous his hair looks!! And he's one of my favorite characters from the manga, so that really pains me...

Again, I really can't begin to tell you how much I adore this drama...

The balance of humor, romance, and... I give up. It's just too cute for words.

EPISODE 02

(Quan = Sano; Xiu Yi = Nakatsu; Rui Xi = Mizuki)

Geez, this series is awesome.

I love Jiro's portrayal of Nakatsu (Xiu Yi in Taiwan). He is just so hilarious, and I love the funny/horrified/confused expressions he makes whenever he touches Mizuki. The poor guy... he has no clue she's a girl, but he's falling for her anyway. He's just so sweet... I love when he's yearning to hold her, to comfort her, when he sees her crying, but is afraid to since they're both "guys". It's really hard not to love his character... though I'm still a hardcore Mizuki & Sano fan. ;)

Speaking of Sano... ^_^

Honestly, I didn't think much of Wu Zun in Tokyo Juliet, but in this drama, I think he really IS Sano. He's got the handsome, quiet, tortured-but-talented thing going on for him... and every time he takes off his shirt, my inner-fan girl squeals. **dreamy sigh** I love how every time he catches Rui Xi sneaking a peek, all he does is give a cute, secretive, little smile.

I'm so glad they made him aware that she's a girl... I love the protectiveness he shows for her, and how he's determined to keep her by his side, no matter what. I'm just in love with his character. ^_^


EPISODE 03


This is one of my favorite episodes, and not only because I helped time the first half. ;)

This is when their first kiss happens!! Sure, he's drunk, and can't really remember it, but they kiss!! Aww, so cute. I wish it wasn't quite so forceful though... I think I prefer how they did it in the manga: she just kind of found herself trapped against the wall, he leaned in, and before she knew it... BAM! Kissed!

It was still cute in the drama though. ;)

One of my favorite scenes is in the beginning, when the boys are telling Rui Xi about the importance of Valentines Day. "Valentines Day... chocolates..." (haha, I just love how she says it). In a little bubble above her head, Rui Xi imagines giving Quan some chocolate--they confess their love, they hug--then, seconds later, out of nowhere, he pulls away, only to loudly proclaim (to their surprise) that she's a guy! Looking completely horrified, she replies, "Oh right! I'm a guy."

Wow. I was laughing like crazy! hahaha. Poor Rui Xi...

My main complaint for this episode is the "fat" issue. I'm really not sure how I feel about this. Part of me admits that it makes sense, and it further justifies why she admires Quan so much--a legitimate reason, but one that never occurred in the manga. But another part of me is a little insulted by it. I mean, I know that America is sort of known for being unhealthy and having weight problems, but not ALL of us do, and living here doesn't necessarily mean you'll get fat. It's just a little insulting, I guess.

It's just like that annoying misconception that everyone from the west greets each other by kissing. I have NEVER kissed another person on the lips/cheek when introducing myself, and I'd really like to know where they got such a strange idea. Personally, I think it's Richard Dawson's fault... the old guy who used to host Family Feud... but that's just me. ;)

But again, both of these, I can overlook. It's just something that stood out to me since it never happened in the manga.

EPISODE 04-14

I really love Rui Xi and Quan together... they really do have excellent chemistry. And I like the the fact that there were legitimate reasons for not confessing their feelings right away... I mean, such a big secret is understandable, as is the desire to actually keep it a secret.

And they included my one of my favorite story-arcs: the beach resort. I loved the kiss scene, even though I wish Quan hadn't looked so surprised, and tried enjoying it instead. ;)

But really, Xiu Yi is hilarious. One of the funniest things to see, was him coming "out of the closet" and confessing to Rui Xi! I don't think I've laughed like that in a long time... and hearing him call Julia an American Witch...? Classic. ^_^

And much to my surprise, I loved the Julia character. Judging from the first episode, I didn't think I'd like her much... but as soon as she entered the picture I couldn't stop laughing. She just interacts so naturally with Rui Xi that it's easy to picture them being life-long friends. Also, it was one of the few times we could actually see Rui Xi acting like a real girl... even if she wasn't actively aware of it.

I was a little disappointed that they still included the evil teacher arc though. They could have given us a decent ending, if they hadn't wasted an entire episode to that stupid cheating storyline... and knowing what happens in the last episode, makes me hate that arc all the more!

EPISODE 15

I'm so angry right now. I have never been so disappointed in a final episode in all my life. Seriously. What the hell were the writers thinking?! They had a brilliant set-up for a full-blown confession, and yet somehow managed to ruin it! What kind of drama has that kind of build-up, and then ends with the characters not officially getting together?! No. What I'd really like to know is how it went from, "I better confess my feelings" to the ever popular, "I better fly back to the US without telling anyone... even if I don't have a good reason."

...WHAT the #*%#?

What kind of ending is that?!

One little kiss--is that too much to ask? Just once when neither of them are drunk, irrational, or asleep? They did it in the manga, you know--I wasn't just dreaming it.

There were more problems with the ending than that, but I'm too frustrated to go into it. Don't even get me started on Xiu Yi! I loved the twist (it's actually what I wanted to happen in the manga) but the way they handled it was HORRIBLE. It was rushed, and made no sense.

Please. Someone tell me there's a sequel. I really can't say I liked this drama if this is the way it's officially going to end. I am just so disappointed and angry right now. Only my love for Rui Xi and Quan (and of course the 14 other episodes) is keeping me from giving this only one star...

Update: Don't worry, I've calmed down now, lol. Still disappointed by the ending, but still madly in love with the series overall. Especially since I tried to watch the Japanese adaptation, and am one of the HanaKimi fans who wanted to claw their eyes out afterwards.

My Rating:




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