[K-DRAMA] To The Beautiful You + comparison of Hana Kimi

warning: may contain spoilers


To the Beautiful You is one of the dramas that I’m interested to watch because it’s the Korean version of Hana Kimi. I’ve already watched Hana Kimi Japan and Taiwan version. Honestly, I like Japanese version much much better. Maybe because it’s one of the few Japanese dramas I’ve first watched and because of Toma Ikuta. This Korean drama has drawn so much attention to me because it’s SM produced and its lead actors, Minho and Sulli are from SM. Yes, i find the actors very attractive and so it increased my interest.

The storyline of this Korean version is different from what I remembered with the Taiwanese version. When Jaehee, played by F(x) Sulli got lost in the woods with the pervert guy, it happened in the first few episodes. While in the Taiwanese version, it happened in the latter end in which Wu Zun was able to find out that Ella was a girl. Honestly, the Korean version is a bit draggy, I remembered that Taiwan was also draggy. But, I have to say that the story was much more polished and smooth. The sequence of events was really nice and you wouldn’t notice that the scenes were too forced and such.


The characters in the Korean version were all pretty and good-looking! Honestly, Sulli wasn’t the best candidate to be the female lead. She really looks like a girl. I wished it was just Amber. But yeah, it could have been difficult for her if she was to wear skirts and long hair. Sulli was really girly with the actions. She was simply a girl wearing boys’ clothes and short hair. In the first few episodes though, she kind of tried to make her voice manlier. But in the end, she just used her normal voice. I thought Krystal would be better. Though I have to applaud Sulli for her acting. Her acting skills was really great. She can act and cry! It was also her first acting role. I’m so proud of her! As for Minho, well I heard that he wasn’t great in acting. He actually did terrible. So I was kind of prepared to actually see him fail. But when I was watching it, he didn’t do it really bad. It was fine with me. It wasn’t awkward or anything. But compared to Sulli, I think Sulli was better. The third funny guy was Eun Gyul which was played by Lee Hyun Woo. He was also in Master of Study. I like him there because he was really great in acting. He was a bit chubby back then. Now, this time he was supposed the be a soccer player and he fell in love with Jae Hee and actually thinks he is gay. His acting was fine with me. But from the character that I know, he was supposed to be more exaggerated and funny. Well the image that I can see from him is depressed and sad. That’s the impression that I got from him. He wasn’t exaggerated enough. He was supposed to be the mood maker and the funny guy in the drama. I wished his hairstyle was similar to the ones in Hana Kimi Taiwanese and Japanese version. but I think it’s not the kind of hairstyle nowadays. I was kind of disappointed with his character. The real funny guy is Kwanghee or Jong Min who always put lip balm. He wasn’t acting at all. He was just being himself! I was laughing while seeing him act. He should be really named Kwanghee in the drama. I was just sad that he just completely disappeared in the latter end. He wasn’t even there when the guys bid goodbye to JaeHee in the last episode. I like the leader of Dorm 2, Seung Ri. He was cute! In this case, he fell in love with the girl who liked Minho. Well at least they became together in the end. He was cute and manly at the same time. I also liked the competitive competitor of Tae Joon. He has a great body. His built was much nicer than Minho who was really really slim. Also, I want to comment on Kim Woobin who also appeared in 2-3 episodes as Jae Hee’s first love/friend from America. I can finally see his cuteness and handsome look. He was Collin’s friend in A Gentleman’s Dignity and from there I couldn’t see much of him. But I’d say he is quite attractive. He is really really tall, even taller than Minho. He is so white too, whiter than Sulli? I also liked the trainer of Minho. He is so funny too. I think he’s really the one who made the drama so much funnier. His scenes ended up always with a laugh or smile on my face. I couldn’t say that they picked the best actors from the drama but I enjoyed it because of the good sight that I can see everytime I watch it. Out of the three versions, this got to have the best visuals! Acting-wise, I’d rather choose either Taiwanese or Japanese version.

Storyline wise, I think this was the best out of the three. Jae Hee’s intention of coming was similar to the one in Taiwan. Ella was really fat back then and she was the number 1 fan so she lost weight because of him. In Sulli’s case, she was bullied and she found hope again in Minho through his motto. In the Japanese version, she was once saved by the lead guy. For the ending, the Taiwanese version was the worst and crappiest. She plans to go to US because she’s going to have double eyelid surgery. It’s so absurd and nobody knows that she’s a girl. Only Wu Zun and the doctor knows about it. In both the Korean and Japanese version, it was merely acceptance. I like the Japanese version more because everyone was given a chance to say something. While in Korean, I think it was quite rushed in the end. Japan really promotes unity in many of their dramas. It was all craziness and competition among the three dorms. Everyone was having fun and playing around. It made me happier. In the Korean and Taiwanese version, it kind of focused on the 3 characters. I’m not saying it was a bad thing, but I liked the Korean version the best.

Character wise, I have to say the combination of the 3 lead characters in the Taiwanese version wins! I like Toma the best out of the three but Jiro isn’t losing as well. Wu Zun looks completely an athlete. He was doing all the jumping and that. Minho as well, but he kind of lost it in the acting. I think Wu Zun was more convincing because of course he had the look of an athlete. As for the female lead, Ella would win of course. She was the most convincing because she’s really a natural tomboy. As for the two, I wouldn’t buy it. They look like girls. I had to say that the Taiwanese version picked great actors for their 3 lead characters.

The setting, background, camera effects, etc. I have to say Korean version did it. The rooms look much cleaner and pretty. The set is really really pretty. Even the dorm rooms outside, the hallway it’s all blue. The laundry room to the canteen and to everything else. Well, maybe because it’s the most recent? The Taiwanese version looks the most normal one. The bed is just a double deck. They didn’t make much effort in it. The Japanese version one looks nice too but the color is quite monotonous. It wasn’t as colorful as the one in the Korean version.

Music wise, I like the Japanese version best. It’s the intro song that made me watch the drama. The Korean soundtrack also had a few songs that were nice to hear and fit for the drama. The Taiwanese soundtrack was also good but it wasn’t that attractive and addicting compared to the other versions.

To the Beautiful You didn’t make it big in Korea. I have to say it wasn’t the talked about drama of the year. I think it kind of flopped?! Well, the visuals didn’t help right?! Honestly, I was expecting a lot whole more than this considering that two other versions were released earlier. They should have learned their mistakes from them.

Overall: the Japanese version wins for me! I just find this version the most relaxing and cozy one. I really enjoyed every scene. I learned about unity in this drama and it was what Japan was promoting about right? Maybe because of I’m also a fan of Toma Ikuta, that is why it was also a big plus. Or maybe I was completely biased? There were no dull moments in this version and the 12 episodes seem just right for the drama. Making it 16 episodes will make it draggy and boring. The Korean version comes in next because they improved it with the setting and storyline. Also, with the attractive casts which made the drama much more worth a watch. The Korean version was really a visual drama. The Taiwanese version became rusty and plain when compared with the other two versions.

I can’t say that this drama is the best, but one that you shouldn’t miss.



4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Article 2 | kleeglobalization
  2. That One Potato
    Jun 01, 2016 @ 11:02:42

    Firstly… nicely written article! I do agree with almost everything in here. However, I like the Taiwanese version better. Maybe it’s just the sentimental effect it has for me, being a fan girl for the first time during those times. I watched it too many times, LOL.


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