Versions of the K-Drama ‘To The Beautiful You’: Differences Between the Korean, Japanese and Taiwanese Adaptations

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Hana-Kimi, Popular Manga from Japan Which Has Four Live-action Dramas

You must already know about these popular dramas from Japan, Taiwan, and Korea, based on a Japanese manga, Hana-Kimi. The premise is about a girl who disguises herself as a boy to enroll in an all-boys school, so she can get closer to her favorite athlete.

In this article, Channel-Korea will provide you with everything you need to know about the differences between the Japanese, Korean, and Taiwanese version of Hana-Kimi. So, stay tuned!

Hanazakari no Kimitachi e, The Original Manga

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We already know the live-action adaptations of this popular manga, but have you read the original story from the manga? If you haven’t, check out below for further information about Hana-Kimi.

Hana-Kimi, or Hanazakari no Kimi Tachi e (official title), or For You in Full Bloom (English title), is a shōjo manga series by Hisaya Nakajo. The story was serialized in the semi-monthly shōjo manga magazine of Hakusensha, Hana to Yume, in Japan. This manga series ended in August 2004 in Japan with volume 23. Hana-Kimi was published by Viz Media in English with the final volume released in April 2008 in the United States.

Hana-Kimi tells the story of Ashiya Mizuki, a high school girl living in the United States who disguises herself as a boy to enroll in a private boarding school for all boys in Japan, thus getting closer to her idol, Sano Izumi. Sano is a high jumper, and she is amazed by his form and wants to know him better. Then, Mizuki persuades her parents to send her by herself to Japan. Without knowing that her daughter is going to go to a school for boys, her parents are letting her go. She cuts off her long hair to enter the school, disguises herself as a male, and attempts to give Sano hope after discovering that he is no longer doing high jump.

In her new school, Mizuki has been assigned to be Sano’s roommate. He soon finds out about her secret identity, without her knowing, and protects her. Because Mizuki is kinda dumb, she’s revealing herself too often, it’s almost a shame that no one else has found it out before. Yet Sano, this stoic, brave, and wholeheartedly kind guy is putting up with her and slowly starts falling for her.

The boarding school has cultural festivals and programs to bring aspects of Japanese culture to you. But one of the main selling points of this manga is that it is very LGBT friendly without drifting to yaoi (boys love) or yuri (girls love) manga. Nakatsu, another school student, soon becomes friends with Mizuki, and although he’s convinced that she’s a male, he feels that he’s falling for her. He is faced with this problem because he is persuaded that he is not gay, but because of Mizuki’s personality, he has fallen wholeheartedly.

How cute is that?

Sadly, he’s just a secondary character, we all know which the endgame couple is. But it doesn’t hurt to see his cute moments with Mizuki and how adorable Nakatsu is when he’s with her.

With its 24 volumes, the manga itself is a little too long. The beginning is light and fun and cute, but for ages the majority drags. We’re going through several story arcs that just feel like filler material, keeping you reading as you want the ship to set sail, but not satisfying you. Nonetheless, the ending was certainly satisfying. The romance is so good and makes you ship them so hard.

Taiwanese Version, Hanazakarino Kimitachihe

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Hanazakarino Kimitachihe, or Huā Yàng Shào Nián Shào Nu, or The Tricks of Boys and Girls, is a 2006 Taiwanese drama featuring Ella Chen of S.H.E, Wu Chun and Jiro Wang of Fahrenheit and Danson Tang. It was based on the popular Japanese manga, Hanazakari no Kimitachi e. The series is the manga’s first live-action television adaptation, preceding the 2007 Japanese version of Hanazakari no Kimitachi e, starring Shun Oguri as Izumi Sano, Maki Horikita as Mizuki Ashiya, and Toma Ikuta as Shuichi Nakatsu, broadcast on Fuji Television; the remake of Hanazakari no Kimitachi e 2011; and the 2012 South Korean adaptation To the Beautiful You.

The Taiwanese version tells the story of Lu Rui Xi, a Taiwanese girl living in the United States. Lu Rui Xi (Ella Chen) is watching a Taiwanese high jumper Zuo Yi Quan (Wu Chun) documentary movie in America. Inspired by his performance, Rui Xi wants to pursue her idol and therefore moves to Taiwan’s Ying Kai University. The academy is an all-boys school, though, and so Rui Xi cuts off all her hair and dresses up as a boy to go to school. She encounters Jin Xiu Yi (Jiro Wang) there. Rui Xi gets knocked unconscious during a friendly soccer match between the two, and so Quan helps by taking her to the doctor of the class, Mei Tian.

Mei Tian, being gay, finds out Rui Xi to be a girl. He also learns, when Quan takes Rui Xi to take her to the sickbay, that she is actually a girl. He keeps everybody’s identity a secret, including Rui Xi. According to Rui Xi, Quan had left high jumping after a road accident before her arrival and attempting to save her friend from falling over. When Rui Xi convinces Quan to return to high jumping, their relationship begins to blossom.

Japanese Version, Hanazakari no Kimitachi e (2007)

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Hanazakari no Kimitachi e, or Ikemen Paradise, or also commonly abbreviated as Ike-para, is a Japanese television drama that aired on Fuji TV in 2007. This drama stars Maki Horikita, Shun Oguri, and Toma Ikuta. This drama was filmed at Keizai Ryutsu University.

The Japanese version tells about Mizuki Ashiya (Maki Horikita), a Japanese girl living in the United States. One day, she saw a young athlete Izumi Sano in a high jump competition on television. She began to idolize him. One day, while in America, Sano suffered an injury trying to help Mizuki escape from a criminal. He stopped being a high jump athlete since then. Mizuki blamed herself for the incident and decided to go to Japan and help Sano return to being a high jump athlete.

Sano attended an all-boys boarding school, so Mizuki had to pretend to be a boy to meet him again. Sano began to learn about Mizuki’s true identity when Mizuki’s brother came to Japan. Sano hid the fact that he knew Mizuki’s true identity so she did not return to America. Sano who started getting close to Mizuki tried to do the high jump again. In the middle of the story, Mizuki falls in love with Sano. Meanwhile, Shuichi Nakatsu (Toma Ikuta), Sano’s best friend, falls in love with Mizuki. Nakatsu was looking for shampoo when he accidentally saw Mizuki taking a bath and learned that Mizuki was a girl. Then, Nakatsu and Sano try to make Mizuki not return to America.

The special episode of the 2007 Hana-Kimi tells about Sano and Nakatsu who remember memories of how Sano fell in love with Mizuki. The story takes place between episodes 7 and 8 in which Mizuki’s American friend, Julie, came to Osaka Gakuen to pick up Mizuki to return to America. When Julie was in Japan, she acted as Mizuki’s lover to see if Sano cared about Mizuki.