[Translation] Ohashi Kazuya’s First Arena Tour Instagram Post — 19/02/2022

Ohashi Kazuya (大橋和也)’s photo from his performance of ARASHI ()’s ‘Monster’ — during なにわ男子 First Arena Tour 2021 #なにわ男子しか勝たん — was posted on Naniwa Danshi (なにわ男子)’s official Instagram account today.

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Ohashi Kazuya 大橋和也 Instagram Translations First Arena Tour Live 2021 Naniwa Danshi Arashi Monster Performance
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Ohashi Kazuya Instagram Post Translations 大橋和也 Naniwa Danshi なにわ男子 First Arena Tour Live 2021

< A good guy that’s also dripping in sweat😅>

What’s at the tip of my finger?

Your chin? Or is it your lips???

I have no idea.

If I could say just one thing, I can’t keep up with this sort of character anymore. LOL.

I did my best 🤣🤣🤣

This is embarrassing, so I’m going to run away now.

Vanish! 😶‍🌫️

by Kazuya (Leader)

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なにわ男子 First Arena Tour 2021 #なにわ男子しか勝たん is Naniwa Danshi’s first concert DVD and it’s scheduled for release this Wednesday — February 23, 2011.

[Original Instagram post on @naniwadanshi728official]

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Shunsuke Michieda Cast as Main Lead of 2022’s Live Action Remake — Kindaichi Shounen No Jikenbo

16 January, 2022 — Shunsuke Michieda has been announced to play the role of Hajime Kindaichi in Nippon TV’s live-action drama remake of the mystery series The Kindaichi Case Files.

michieda-shunsuke-new-drama-kindaichi shounen no jikenbo 2022

It’s been eight years since the last drama adaptation of this famous series, Kindaichi Shōnen no Jikenbo N (neo) — 金田一少年の事件簿N (neo), starring Ryosuke Yamada from Hey! Say! JUMP.

The main role of Hajime Kindaichi has been played by talents from Johnny’s Entertainment since Tsuyoshi Domoto (KinKi Kids) first landed the part in 1995.

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Since then, other idols from the same agency have taken turns playing this crime-solving high school student.

  • Domoto Tsuyoshi (堂本剛 — KinKi Kids) → 1995
  • Matsumoto Jun (松本潤 — ) → 2001
  • Kamenashi Kazuya (亀梨和也 — KAT-TUN) → 2005
  • Yamada Ryosuke (山田涼介 — Hey! Say! JUMP) → 2013
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Five years ago, during a ZIP! interview, Michieda revealed that he wanted to be involved in a future remake of The Kindaichi Case Files after seeing his idol(Yamada)’s involvement in the series. Michieda constantly attributes his dream of becoming a Johnny’s idol to Yamada Ryosuke and Kimura Takuya (SMAP). He deeply admires both of his seniors and views them as role models.

“He (Yamada) was the 4th person to play the part, wasn’t he? That’s why I also want to act in this drama. It doesn’t matter if I play the 5th generation or whatever generation. I want to do it. And then I sent in my resume.”

Michieda Shunsuke (道枝駿佑 — なにわ男子)
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“Many of my seniors have played this role so I think that this is a drama that has a lot of history behind it. So, I’ll accept the baton that’s being handed to me by my seniors and I won’t try to copy their performance. Instead, I want to find a Kindaichi that only I can play. And then properly deliver the role.”

Michieda Shunsuke (道枝駿佑 — なにわ男子)
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Michieda admits that when he found out he had gotten the part, he burst into tears and cried in the Johnny’s Entertainment office. He then contacted his family via their family group chat to tell them the news.

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Kindaichi Shōnen no Jikenbo is a mystery manga series that follows the adventures of a high school student named Hajime Kindaichi as he solves crimes and other mysteries. Despite his laid-back demeanor, Hajime is the grandson of Japan’s greatest detective.

The manga series was originally written by Yōzaburō Kanari and serialised in Weekly Shōnen Magazine in 1997. And later series were written by Seimaru Amagi.

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The anime adaptation of the series aired for a total of 148 episodes from 1997 to 2005.

While the manga ended in 2017, a continuation began serialisation in 2019. And the series now follows a since-graduated Hajime, who initially left the sleuthing business but was inevitably drawn back into solving mysteries once more.

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I’m Babbling — Johnny’s Festival ~ Thank You 2021 Hello 2022

Johnny’s will always be a part of my life. I may not be the biggest Johnny’s fan but I’ve loved both ARASHI () and Kanjani8 (関ジャニ∞) for over 14 years now. Of course, one of them is on hiatus — with little to no sign of coming back — and the other is merely just an upsetting ghost of what they used to be. And, personally, I thought that my days of loving these groups were long behind me. However, since ARASHI (嵐) first announced their hiatus in 2019 and I began to look at other J&A groups, I realised that there was still a lot that I loved about these personalities.

Johnny's Festival Thank You 2021 Hello 2022 ARASHI Kanjani8 Naniwa Danshi SixTONES Snow Man Kansai Johnnys

For example, I’ve finally grown to love Hey! Say! JUMP over the years; not just Chinen Yuri. I really love Shigeoka Daiki from Johnny’s WEST (ジャニーズWEST). And I still enjoy listening to songs by SMAP, Kis-My-Ft2, KAT-TUN, and NEWS. I’m still not entirely on board with some of the newer groups — perhaps I’m simply too old to enjoy their youthfulness — but there are still a number of their songs that have piqued my interest. For example, Navigator by SixTONES completely won me over when it was featured as the opening song for The Millionaire Detective Balance: UNLIMITED.

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While I could discuss my experience and thoughts on Johnny’s & Associates for a very long time, that’s not what I shall be writing about today. For now, I’d simply like to disclose that I’ve been a fan of several Johnny’s acts for over a decade and I finally ‘attended’ a J&A’s year-end concert.

I’ve always wanted to purchase a ticket to see an actual Johnny’s concert, specifically, ARASHI (嵐)’s or Kanjani8 (関ジャニ∞)’s. And I was actually seriously considering attending ARASHI (嵐)’s final concert at the end of 2020. Which, of course, didn’t end up happening due to the global pandemic.

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And, while Matsumoto Jun‘s online concert for Johnny’s Festival 2021 – 2022 was more akin to watching a concert DVD, I actually appreciated and enjoyed purchasing my ticket for it and watching the entire concert just days after it took place.

While there was no ARASHI (嵐), the remaining Johnny’s groups still did a fantastic job delivering a wonderful concert. Of course, with that being said, these groups are still incredibly massive. And it would have been absolutely ridiculous to even entertain the fleeting thought that Johnny’s Festival would have been anything less than a success. Especially with Matsumoto Jun producing, directing, and editing the entire concert.

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All of the groups that performed on December 30th, 2021 are listed as follows:

KinKi Kids

NEWS

関ジャニ∞

KAT-TUN

Hey! Say! JUMP

Kis-My-Ft2

Sexy Zone

A.B.C-Z

ジャニーズWEST

King & Prince

SixTONES

Snow Man

なにわ男子

The concert opened with one of the newer groups, Snow Man, and they performed one of their most popular songs — D.D. And here was how the rest of the setlist went:

  • D.D. — Snow Man
  • NAVIGATOR — SixTONES
  • 恋降る月夜に君想ふ — King & Prince
  • Big Shot!! — ジャニーズWEST
  • Za ABC~5stars~ — A.B.C-Z
  • Sexy Zone — Sexy Zone
  • SHE! HER! HER! — Kis-My-Ft2
  • ファンファーレ! — Hey!Say!JUMP
  • Keep the faith — KAT-TUN
  • 無責任ヒーロー — 関ジャニ∞
  • weeek — NEWS
  • 初心LOVE — なにわ男子
  • 頑張れ、友よ! — A.B.C-Z
  • Luv Bias — Kis-My-Ft2
  • Kiss魂 — A.B.C-Z・Kis-My-Ft2(エビキス)(Collab)
  • Black Sugar — エビキス (Collab)
  • マスカラ — SixTONES
  • Imitation Rain — KAT-TUN・SixTONES(カツスト)(Collab)
  • Roar — KAT-TUN
  • ハルカナ約束 — カツスト (Collab)
  • 狼青年 — Hey!Say!JUMP
  • RUN — Sexy Zone
  • 未来へ — NEWS
  • BURN — NEWS・JUMP・セクゾ (Collab)
  • 夏のハイドレンジア — NEWS・JUMP・セクゾ (Collab)
  • White Love — NEWS・JUMP・セクゾ (Collab)
  • シンデレラガール — キンプリ・スノ (Collab)
  • Magic Touch — King & Prince
  • 君の彼氏になりたい。— キンプリ・スノ (Collab)
  • Grandeur — Snow Man
  • ダイヤモンドスマイル — エイト・WEST・なにわ (Collab)
  • ええじゃないか — エイト・WEST・なにわ (Collab)
  • 前向きスクリーム — エイト・WEST・なにわ (Collab)
  • 証拠 ジャニーズWEST — エイトがバンド演奏
  • NOROSHI — 関ジャニ∞
  • 硝子の少年 — Kinki Kids
  • スワンソング — Kinki Kids トラジャバック
  • 愛のかたまり — Kinki Kids
  • フラワー V6 — All Groups
  • SHAKE SMAP — All Groups
  • リリック TOKIO — All Groups
  • 夢物語 V6 — All Groups・トラジャ
  • Happiness 嵐 — All Groups
  • 愛なんだ V6 — All Groups
  • smile Twenty☆Twenty — All Groups

I’m actually incredibly happy that I watched Johnny’s Festival ~ Thank You 2021 Hello 2022 because I now truly have a better opinion of the newer groups.

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For example, I learned that A.B.C-Z is absolutely mental. They don’t have that ‘sparkly’ or polished look that Johnny’s are typically known for and I feel like they’re significantly overlooked for a group that’s been around for 10 years. To be honest, I didn’t even know what they looked like until Johnny’s Countdown (2021-2022).

Truth be told, I always thought that they were a fairly new group and I simply didn’t really care for them. But after watching their performance of 頑張れ、友よ! at the festival, I can safely say that they’re definitely keeping the Shonentai (少年隊) spirit alive. I’m not even kidding, I just about had a heart attack when I saw Ryôichi Tsukada backflip off the stage like that.

At the time, I had no idea that their “A.B.C” stood for “Acrobat Boys Club” so their stunts and gymnastics completely took me by surprise!

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And, while I was aware of SixTONES because of their song Navigator, I had no idea that they were the original artist group for Mascara (マスカラ). I’d heard this song before this concert. But to see them perform it live for the first time, especially with the dance? It was really very good and the chorus accompanied by the guitar strumming was honestly too addictive. There is simply no way that you could ever listen to it and not feel like vibing along with the song.

Plus, can we talk about how ridiculously lucky SixTONES was to be able to perform and collaborate with KAT-TUN?

While seeing groups perform songs by other groups is completely normal, witnessing the groups actually collaborate on stage like this? Personally, I think that it’s a complete rarity. However, I also believe that it is absolutely necessary to carry out these collaborations in order to ensure that Johnny’s older fans and newer fans gain an appreciation for all of their acts. It’s a smart tactic that honestly worked.

It was so surreal to watch because it felt like all these different worlds were just colliding before my eyes.

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Moving on, when did King & Prince change their image?

It’s true that I haven’t seen them since they released their debut single — Cinderella Girl — but I was astounded to see how much they’d changed when they performed Magic Touch on the 30th. Their hip hop performance left me so completely shocked and I really couldn’t believe my eyes.

They really proved that they could pull off both the flowery prince image as well as the masculine “I’m gon’na look like a beguiling gangster pirate with my poofy white dress shirt” look. Plus, I really felt like my heart stopped beating for a bit when they just dropped down into the holes that open up on the stage floor.

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And with that unbelievable and seamless exit, Snow Man performed their second solo performance for the night. I really can’t call myself a fan of that group, since I’m only able to recognise Meguro Ren and Raul, but their live performance of Grandeur was downright exhilarating.

I’d seen their dance practice video as well as their music video for the song prior to this, but at that time I could only find myself questioning why their stylist decided to have them wear such tight black leather pants.

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However, their JF performance was so explosive. It was truly brimming with energy and their dance (especially the gun-to-the-sky move) combined with the incredible lighting was so awe-inspiring. It really makes you want to join in on the dance. (Good luck on learning the moves.)

But enough about the dancing, Let’s talk about Kanjani8 (関ジャニ∞)’s performance!

My 2011 self celebrated as soon as they came out to sing 無責任ヒーロー, but I couldn’t help but bereave the fact that Nishikido Ryo and Shibutani Subaru’s voices and energy weren’t present during the song.

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With that being said, I felt nothing but pride as soon as I saw Yoko with a guitar in his hands while they acted as the supporting band for Johnny’s WEST (ジャニーズWEST)’s 証拠.

The man actually learnt how to play the guitar to make up for the loss of their two lead guitarists. Plus, he still knows how to play the trumpet. So, within the span of five minutes, Yoko actually handled the percussions, a guitar riff, and even several trumpet solos.

While I’m still disappointed that he was one of the main members who pushed for Yasuda Shota to continue playing, despite his deteriorating health, seeing him step up like this had me welling up with pride.

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I found it incredibly inspiring.

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But since we’re still discussing the older groups, NEWS’s weeeek really transported me back in time. And I was surprised at how well I could remember the lyrics for that song. I’m glad they chose that as their first solo of the night because it’s one of two of their songs that I used to listen to all the time when I was younger.

Moving onto Johnny’s latest group — Naniwa Danshi (なにわ男子) …

I was personally a little shocked when all of the groups gathered together and began the talking segment straight after they wholeheartedly sang weeeek with NEWS. Thankfully, the Seven Stars video began playing as soon as the lights went out and Naniwa Danshi (なにわ男子) literally rose up to perform their debut single — 初心LOVE.

And it was a wonderful performance! However, I couldn’t help but laugh at the animations that Matsumoto Jun (most likely) added in while he was working on the video. Sure, I appreciate the novelty of it, but it was honestly incredibly unnecessary and it’s slightly upsetting that Naniwa Danshi (なにわ男子) had post-event animations in place, when Hey! Say! JUMP got absolutely nothing during their performance of 狼青年.

Seriously, what warrants animations for 初心LOVE and not the dance which elevates to an unimaginable level of awesome when combined with animations? That’s the reason why animated graphics were included in the PV for 狼青年 right?

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However, even without any fancy after effects, Hey! Say! JUMP absolutely killed their second performance.

The red flames, stage, and lighting were so completely simplistic yet overstimulating in the best way possible. Everything about it combined with the perfectly executed dance was just so incredibly satisfying to watch. And we can’t forget about the howl because that was just the cherry on top.

Also, as always, I loved their 狼青年 outfits so much.

Anyway, despite Naniwa Danshi (なにわ男子)’s massive entrance, fans of the group might have been left a little disappointed if they solely attended the concert to see them. Because, unlike the others, these seven members were only able to deliver one solo group performance.

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While they donned a never-before-seen hot pink costume with the most enchanting blue top beneath it all, their second wardrobe change was a little disappointing. While I definitely can’t pinpoint which previous performance they wore that outfit for, I’m absolutely certain I saw them in those white and gold ensembles before they made their debut.

The reveal of their second costume during their entrance with Johnny’s WEST (ジャニーズWEST) and Kanjani8 (関ジャニ∞) felt like such a let-down. It would’ve actually looked a lot better if they’d just ditched their hot pink jackets from their first appearance offstage before they came in on the moving stage cars.

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It almost felt like their yellow and orange sparkly suits completely concealed their stage presence and it really made them look like a bunch of Johnny Juniors running around the stage trying to keep up with the senior members.

And it really shouldn’t be that way since they’re no longer a Johnny’s Jr. unit.

I’d also like to point out that every single group was able to perform twice, plus collaborate and perform another group’s song — one on one. All except for Naniwa Danshi (なにわ男子). This is purely an afterthought, but wouldn’t it have been fantastic to witness Naniwa Danshi (なにわ男子) perform Everybody GO! by Kis-My-Ft2? Just imagine it.

On the topic of Kis-My-Ft2, I’m so glad that they performed their first song on roller skates in true Kis-My-Ft2 fashion. And their second concert outfit was beautiful. It was classy, age-appropriate, and just perfectly charming.

However, upon further inspection, I’ve noticed that the flower designs feature actual 3D petals. And I personally think that there’s no shame if the designers would have just printed on the patterns instead. But their suits weren’t the only elements that made their performance of Luv Bias so enchanting. It was so impressive to see those stage lights and lasers combined with the bubbles. Talk about a dreamy performance.

I personally didn’t think that I would end up loving this concert as much as I did. But I’m so glad that I did and do love it because it was really very good.

And for Johnny’s & Associates’s final concert in 2021, I’d pin it down as a huge success.

So with that, I’d also like to say ‘Thank you’, 2021. And ‘Hello’, 2022.

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Hana Yori Dango Anime VS Hana Yori Dango Drama VS Boys Over Flowers [花より男子]

This might be my very last review before my last year of being a high school student begins. Therefore, I thought I should send this whole thing off with a huge hit. So, I’ll be presenting the big solo debate. How do all of the popular Hana Yori Dango versions stack up? Which one is the best? And which drama had the best cast? I’m going to break it all down for you and go as in-depth as I possibly can. So for the past two days, I’ve somehow been dragged into the whole Hana Yori Dango craze again. Now just to bring you up to speed, this hasn’t happened since 2006- 2009. So I’m just as shocked by this.

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(Forgive my proper use of the English language, somehow after watching so many episodes of Hana Yori Dango after my year-long anime hiatus, my confidence with it has dropped. *sigh*)

I had my first experience with the Japanese Drama: Hana Yori Dango in 2006, when it first came out. My sister and I watched both seasons when my Auntie bought both seasons 1 and 2 for us. Back then, I remember falling madly in love with Hanazawa Rui and thinking that Domyoji Tsukasa was incredibly misguided. (Honestly, you Japanese casting directors can’t just pick the new up and coming pop star to play a role that so clearly does not suit him! I don’t care if he’s the only Japanese guy that somehow has curly hair. You can’t just base it off of that!) However, thanks to Matsumoto Jun, I was introduced to the ARASHI group at the young and impressionable age of eight. (Ohno’s my favourite. My least favourite would be Sakurai. How about you?)

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Remember this was definitely way before I went anywhere near the anime version. So I didn’t even have a clue as to what the original characters were like or meant to be. Now that I have finally watched the anime, I have a very clear image of how everything is supposed to be. So let’s kick it off with the character analysis of Domyoji Tsukasa.

Domyoji Tsukasa (Anime Version): Let’s say that this is the template for how the character is supposed to be like. (Because it kind of is..) So Domyoji is egoistical, temperamental, forceful, weird and also… kind of cute. Let’s start it off with: he’s a spoilt brat. Money comes easy to him, he has no real idea of how to interact with other human beings and I get the feeling that his brain is slightly underdeveloped. His stand out characteristics that really pin-point his character is-

Hana Yori Dango Tsukasa Anime
  1. His curly hair                                                                                                                                    Apparently it’s natural. In the anime version, it actually looks normal. A lot of people nowadays actually have that haircut. (Not that I particularly agree to it) but maybe it was a little bit modern for that time. However, during the 80s and 90s, that hairstyle was definitely very common in America. In some of the episodes, his hair is seen to be straight. The first time was intentional, to look nice for Makino. The second and succeeding times were completely unintentional, due to his curls losing its shape once it has any contact with water. Honestly, I have nothing against his hairstyle, sure it’s not exactly my type, but I wouldn’t judge him for it. It’s not like he purposely styles it that way. Since, his hair appears to be way too long when it’s straight, I prefer his curly hair.

2. His lack of language skills                                                                                                                                                             – For some reason, his grasp of the Japanese language is off. He tends to speak weird Japanese, reading Kanji wrongly, completely disregarding the onyomi and kunyomi system of it and completely messing up the mood of things by messing up the proper sayings. In a sense, he’s a little dimwitted. But I guess they had to drown out his harsh personality with something… and this is just what they resorted to.

3. His child-like behaviour                                                                                                                                                                – Domyoji is very childish, his obsession with Makino should say it all. However, this really softens up the audience to him because it just makes you pity him and sympathise with him. I’m not going to lie, his very innocent personality, despite how he comes off, is very adorable. Especially in the anime because even though he’s such a big-shot. He’s still a virgin that has zero experience what-so-ever. And good for him! If you haven’t already figured it out, the anime is definitely much more explicit compared to the drama spin-offs, I guess they wanted to water all of it down a little bit in the dramas.

4. His violent and almost animalistic nature                                                                                                                                – Of course, in the dramas, Domyoji is violent. He beats people up for basically no reason. Somehow he has incredibly strength and has no intention of ever controlling it. He’s the biggest bully, not only at school but in the streets. In the dramas, this was not believable at all. However, this was very convincing in the anime. He’s tall, big-sized and he’s just all-round crazy. In the anime, he was definitely very progressive towards Makino. On account of almost raping her. (Don’t worry, I was freaking out too, however after Makino cries he backs off and tells her not to worry.) After that he just grabs her and kisses her a lot. Which is still very shocking for me because I never really thought that Domyoji would be the the aggressive-kissing-manly type of guy. They definitely cut this off in the dramas. However, I’m not going to lie, it brings a whole different dimension to his character which kind of appeals to me.

Tsukasa (Anime) VS. Tsukasa (JDrama) VS. Jyun Pyo (KDrama)

Okay, let’s do this.

Prior to watching the anime version. Jyun Pyo definitely won me over. (Not that it was very hard to, MatsuJun was a wimp) Lee Min Ho (Jyun Pyo) is tall, is relatively stronger than MatsuJun and he’s definitely better looking. And naturally I gravitated towards him more. I do not hate Matsumoto Jun. I have a very deep past with him. I just don’t quite agree to him being an actor. Especially since, I’ve only seen him play roles that were definitely not cut out for him. He’s also not very good at interpreting characters. For me, I feel like the only time he was actually able to accurately portray Tsukasa was when he was embarrassed and even then, it felt a little forced. Honestly, you can’t blame him for not being able to fill the role. His body type wasn’t capable of portraying the tall and muscular Tsukasa. Matsumoto Jun, is definitely destined to have a career as a singer despite his somehow successful acting career. Damn him for being considered the sexually charismatic guy in ARASHI.

Lee Min Ho definitely fit the physical criteria. So he definitely did come off as intimidating whenever he got physical. (However, I do not agree with all that crap of him being afraid of insects and swimming, that was definitely not in the original one and somehow it felt odd that a man of such power would be afraid of swimming. He owns so many islands, what does he do with them if he can’t even swim?) That wasn’t Lee Min Ho’s fault though. Come on you Korean scriptwriters! Step up your game!

Out of the two dramas, Lee Min Ho’s interpretation of Tsukasa was more believable and so, he takes this round.

However, compared to the anime version. He still loses. I also don’t really like the hairstyles of Tsukasa in the dramas. Both of them didn’t shave the bottom of their haircuts and so… it really looks weird.

In my opinion, if they needed a tall, muscular and tanned man for the job. They should have gotten Rain Bi (A Korean actor/ singer/ dancer), he’s an amazing actor. He has played two action movie roles in America and even got himself up in the the Time Magazine for being in the top 100 of the most influential people in the world. He’s played great roles in many other Korean Dramas. For me, it’s Full House, where he starrs as a man that is very wealthy as well. (Of course, nowhere near the wealth of Tsukasa but still) In that role he was very egoistical as well. He would have done an amazing job, especially since he’s a very physical actor, on account of having to go through all that hard training when he acted in Ninja Assassin. Some may argue that he’s way too old for the job but he still looks relatively young. Especially since everyone in the Korean adaption looked way too old to still be in high school. Don’t even get me started on Jan Di.

Moving on!

Hanazawa Rui (Anime): Hanazawa Rui is the silent type. He plays the violin, he’s wealthy and he has a crush on this beautiful model. Though things get slightly out of hand. (Let’s just say she ditches him and runs off and marries a French man. Talk about being fancy.) In the anime, he looked very stoned to me and I couldn’t really warm up to his character, especially ever since Oguri Shun was the first Hanazawa Rui I had ever met. (and fell in love with) Honestly, I didn’t like that non-approachable feel to him. After awhile, I kind of …. “No wonder Todo Shuzuki left him!” … you know?

Hanazawa Rui (Anime) VS. Hanazawa Rui (JDrama) VS. Ji Hoo (KDrama)

Let’s begin!

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Let’s get this straight first, Oguri Shun’s Hanazawa Rui is hands-down the best. No one can compete. I don’t know how he did it but I think… It’s just him. He IS Hanazawa Rui. He’s silent, stoic but also adorable. Ji Hoo’s portrayal of Hanazawa Rui really made me feel like grabbing him, shaking him and then punching him. That long hair, with the long fringe and urgh…. I can’t even go on. Don’t even get me started on his pre moustache stubble that always clashes with his overly brown hair. It was… fake. I don’t know much about the actor, (I don’t even know his name.. so I’m just going to keep referring to him as Ji Hoo) but he seemed to do a pretty okay job of playing Irie from Itazura na Kiss in the Korean adaptation: Playful Kiss. However, he just looked like a very tacky mess in this one. It just wasn’t right.

Now, I understand why I didn’t like the way he acted, I guess he was just trying to follow the anime version by being stoned all of the time. He didn’t bring any character to the role at all and frankly, the love triangle completely collapsed because he was not believable at all.

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Back to Oguri Shun’s version.

Oguri Shun filled the physical criteria completely. He was tall, and very relaxed. Throughout everything, it didn’t feel like he was acting at all, it was completely natural. Of course, I fell in love with him. Who cares if I was eight? That’s just how good he was. After doing some research, I have come to realise that Oguri Shun is just that silent, tall and slightly adorable type. Because he brought this personality with him when he acted in the Hana Kimi Drama. (I didn’t really like him in that role because he was a little too silent. But I’ll save that for another day.) For me. Unlike the Korean adaptation, he definitely pulled off the brown hair. It definitely didn’t look unnatural on him and it was a nice shade of brown that complimented his features. And to top it off, he looked comfortable with the violin. Definitely not out of place.

I also like how Oguri Shun brought certain qualities to Hanazawa Rui. Hanazawa Rui in the anime doesn’t smile as often as Oguri Shun does, he doesn’t say “Makino” like Shun does, and he definitely doesn’t make my heart flutter as much. All those little things that Shun did, those nice little ‘Makino’s whenever he called her, how he always smiled at her  (Except when he was really supposed to be serious) and how he was just so naturally charismatic.

(Not to mention, he saved her getting raped like three times. Does he have a radar that goes off every time or something? How does he move so fast from one place to another so quickly?)

I can’t express how much Shun has brought Hanazawa Rui to life for me.

I definitely rooted for him over Tsukasa in the Drama.

(I’m actually going down memory lane so much, I’m falling in love with him all over again..)

Back to lightening up the mood.

Shun’s depiction of how pissed off Hanazawa Rui would act was great. I loved how he didn’t give any other girls the time of day (Other than Makino and Shizuku) and he instantly weeded out the bad girls from the good ones. He was definitely the man that conveyed what the audience was feeling. And I really appreciated that. Without him in the picture, I may have very well dropped the JDrama series from all of the misunderstandings and drama.

Hanazawa Rui JDrama Oguri Shun sitting in chair with tea
Hanazawa Rui is tired from having to go up against stupid people.

In this round, Shun’s Hanazawa Rui trumps both the KDrama one and even the original anime version. He improved Hanazawa Rui and for that, I am thankful.

Please, don’t even hate on me for not liking the Korean one, did you see that Ji Hoo handed Jan Di a paper towel instead of proper handkerchief? I mean seriously, how rich are you? You can’t even give her your handkerchief? And what kind of rich guy even carries around a paper towel? And just one sheet? Are you kidding me? And do you also lack common sense? Have you never cleaned in your life? How in the world is one paper towel sheet supposed to clean all of the flour and egg off? You can’t even wet it without it tearing! Let me just smack him, please!

Trust me, just go back to episode one and watch that scene again because how do you expect to clean anything off like that?!

Next One!

Makino Tsukushi (Anime): She’s practically the only commoner in Eitoku Gakuen (Eitoku High School). I don’t remember the exact details but I think that she was only able to snag a placement into such an expensive school because of how intelligent she was. (And she needs to graduate from this school to pursue her dream career of being a laywer?) However, I don’t really understand how she’s so smart if she never really studies. In all of the anime episodes she’s just thinking about boys and all of the drama. I really don’t like how she’s so completely loose in the anime. She lets any of the guys kiss her, she really does string Tsukasa on by allowing him to kiss her and it’s just not very appealing. I found it extremely hard to sympathise with her at all. I’m very pleased and grateful that they pulled that quality out of Makino in the dramas.

Makino Tsukushi (anime) VS Makino Tsukushi (JDrama) VS Gum Jan Di (KDrama)

For me, I finally understood why Makino was slightly annoying in the Japanese Drama. It’s definitely not Inoue’s fault at all, she was just doing her best to follow the original Makino in the anime and manga. I definitely agree with the casting director with this choice. Inoue definitely has a resemblance to the original Makino, be it the haircut to her body build. I’m very happy that they chose a girl that looked like a teenager, who wasn’t extremely thin. If you compare Inoue to the anime version, you can definitely see a resemblance.

The Korean choice on the other hand…

Wasn’t very good. They chose a woman that definitely did not look like she was in high school at all, she didn’t even come close! She looked old enough to be Jun Pyo’s big sister. She could easily have been passed off as a thirty-year-old. It also wasn’t convincing watching her play the ‘poor girl’. Especially when she was telling all of the rich girls off for having gone under the knife. Because the actor herself has definitely been under the knife, be it for her eyes, her nose or even her cheeks. Her hair was another factor that didn’t click right. The very essence of Makino would be her signature braids. Which was not even included until the very end…it’s just plain stupid. Plus, what is with her becoming a doctor? You can’t go around changing things like that!

In this round, Inoue as Makino Tsukushi takes the win. She looked like the anime version without all of the super annoying traits and so for that she gets an extra gold star.

Proceed!

Now for Akira and Soujiro, we’re just going to be super quick with it.

I actually really liked Soujiro in the anime version, he looked good and he was a great friend. Now, I’m not sure if I can ever get over Akira’s long hair, but he wasn’t too bad in the anime either.

For both the dramas, I would choose with the Japanese casting for Akira and Soujiro, they just stayed really true to the character and truth be told, they look pretty accurate. Except for Akira maybe, but I don’t think you could give anyone’s Akira’s hairstyle while expecting them to remain somewhat presentable. So I’m choosing the Japanese Akira because the Korean one’s face pissed me off.

Don’t lie, it pissed you off too.

I was initially pretty upset with Soujiro’s hairstyle in Hana Yori Dango 2, however after watching the anime, I understand that they just wanted him to look like the original one.

Sojiro-anime

All in all, I like the casting better for the Japanese one however, I like how the Korean one attempted to stay true to the events that occurred in the manga/anime. Aside from Jan Di becoming a doctor, Jun Pyo being afraid of insects and swimming, Ji Hoo being afraid of driving and Korean Soujiro making pottery instead of tea. You know what SCREW IT! The Korean one butchered it up too, and maybe even more..

Let’s not forget that no one in the Korean Drama looked like they were actually still students

You can’t just get a whole bunch of old farts to play High School students! That’s just not how it works!

All in all, the Japanese Drama wins!

I’m tired now.

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