Oct 17, 2012

[K-Drama Review] To The Beautiful You

Now it’s time for me to write what I have to say about To The Beautiful You a.k.a. Hana Kimi Korea!

I finished the 16-episode drama just last week. Well, actually, I marathon-watched the last eight episodes because my sister didn't stop pestering me about it and my inner ShaWol accused me of betrayal to the fan girl oath of loyalty. Also, I am tying up some loose knots so I can move on to a new drama obsession in the form of I Miss You.

Given that this is the third drama adaptation I watched of this shojo manga I have a head start of the plot. I knew what I am up against and I embrace it without batting an eyelash. The plot was crazy, beyond the realm of reality kind of crazy, but who cares? I have to get my dose of Minho’s charisma and I need to support him on his first drama project. The same way I supported my other idols. That doesn't mean I didn't scratch my head and screamed at the screen for the absurdity of TTBY. I knew TTBY was not the best drama out there, so instead of filling this post with rants, I will stir clear of that head ache and focus on the good stuffs that I got.

On this review, I’ll give the Korean version of Hana Kimi a more appropriate title. Why they didn’t give the drama the literal translation of Hanazakari no Kimitachi e as a title the way the others did for Hanayori Dango and  Itazura na Kiss? I do not know. But I am not really sure that To The Beautiful You is the right title for it.

The SM Town Mini Album
J-Min in Stand Up MV
Take a look at the OST list:
  • Stand Up - J-Min
  • Butterfly – Jessica and Krystal
  • In Your Eyes – Onew
  • It’s Me – Sunny and Luna
  • Sky – Super Junior KRY
  • To The Beautiful You – Kyuhyun and Tiffany
  • Closer – Taeyeon
  • Maybe We – Dana
  • U - Taemin
It’s like the drama was made so SM Entertainment can have an excuse to release new songs. But I’m not complaining. I played my own "Guess the Next SM Artist" while watching TTBY and I enjoyed it. Singing along to the songs was fun too, especially when half the time I didn’t give a damn what’s happening in the story (That’s the beauty of watching Hana Kimi for the third time. I don’t get to think too much and just go with the flow.) Instead of dwelling on the negative, I was just singing along with a bunch of my SME idols. Fun! I love that Taemin and Onew were contributing artists on the OST. The SHINee love is on!

Classified Ads Drama
SME literally splattered this drama with their official merchandise and Korean products. I wonder how much they got from all that promos from Samsung, Etude House and all. The school where the story took place was even named Genie. Isn't that their brand of smartphone app or something? Way to go SM!

The Pretty Parade

What TTBY lacked in the story department, they compensate it in the pretty cast, pretty set and pretty wardrobe. Watching it is like watching a mini fashion show. TTBY has too many pretty faces it's a sin. A fan girl will have a hard time picking her favorite and then end up taking dibs on everyone anyway. I know it first-hand. I entered the fandom with the sole purpose of taking my Minho fix and then came out with a bunch of kkot minam added on my list.

I love their dorm! Blue for Ravenclaw.
The set is pretty too. I don’t know if a school like that really exists in Korea but if it does, dude, I want to turn back time and study high school there. Wait, I’m neither an athlete nor a boy. Bummer!

I want to have this shirt!
I love Lee Hyun Woo’s collection of T-shirts in TTBY. What’s the brand he is endorsing anyway? I want to check it out!

The Lee Hyun Woo Show

Lee Hyun Woo is the saving grace of TTBY. The kid is simply awesome. No wonder the drama critics are dubbing him as the next Yoo Seung Ho. The aegyo, the hyper-activeness, the confusion, the inner turmoil of having a crush on a guy, the angst, the pain, the betrayal and the acceptance --- he portrayed it all with flying colours. I could care less what the other characters are going through but with Cha Eun Gyul I've paid attention all the way. It wasn't really a surprise since I was also Team Ikuta Toma in the Jdorama and Team Jiro Wang in the T-Drama. Whether it is Japanese, Taiwanese or Korean, my Hana Kimi champion character will always be the second lead. But I guess Lee Hyun Woo will be special in the way he gave Shuichi Nakatsu a new feel. He is definitely on my radar from now on.

As I've said in a Tumblr post, I wasn’t in the TTBY fandom for the ratings. When I found out that Minho was the lead, I have decided right there and then that I would watch it no matter what and I’m proud that I did if only to say that I did my part as a SHINee fan. After all, it wasn't really such a burden to watch Hana Kimi for the third time because there were a handful of moments when I totally enjoyed and laugh out loud watching it. It’s not about the ratings, it’s not about how coherent the plot is but it is about the fun times and the pretty.

Come to think of it, To The Beautiful You is the appropriate title after all. You know, pretty is synonymous to beautiful, right? Oh whatever!

Thank you and goodbye, TTBY!

"It should have been Krystal!" - a running joke between my sister and I. Every episode one of us will say that and the two of us would giggle our heart out on how awesome TTBY would have been if Goo Jae Hee is Krystal. That's a moot point now but we rejoiced on the fact that it was Taemin who sang the Eun Gyul-Jae Hee song. It's like Taemin is making his own statement or something. Check it out.

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