Sunday, May 1, 2016

Hana Kimi (花樣少年少女)

Bring it all in on a fine Saturday night!

15 Episodes
1 hr each
2007 CTS
Gender-Bender, RomCom

Rui Xi idolizes Taiwanese highschool high-jumper, Quan, so she boards a plane to Taiwan and enrolls herself in the all-male school, Ying Kai. There, she must stay under the weather, all while a new friend is conflicted with his sexuality and Quan resigns from the track. 

Starring: Ella (from S.H.E.), Wu Chan, Jiru Wang, Danson Tang and others.

First of all, besides being the first TV adaptation of the hit manga series, this adaptation retains most of the elements and an actress who has a "decent manly face." If looks are the only expectation of a viewer, please turn to the Korean adaptation. The cast is a mix of the guys you saw in high school- dorky, the snickering dirty-minded, the cute hedgehog face, the athlete. Another mix-up in the series is there is so much 'occasional' going on. Only a couple times is Rui Xi's gender questioned, only a few times is there a kiss, and only a few generous times does the second male lead get some screen time (and those moments, viewers don't really get an opportunity to root for the second lead). 

The episodes are paced pretty sluggishly. Really, you could skip half an episode and the previous events can be comprehended. Barely any humor is through dialogue, but rather Rui Xi's moments of stupidity and the silly things we do when we're in love. Seriously, it's a crazy second life, thrown in with ordinary activities that we cherish with that special someone. Human bonding is really one of the greatest joys anybody can ever experience. 
Speaking of the magic of love, once again, like any Taiwanese drama, Hana Kimi teaches that love is supporting and walking alongside someone you care for.

Rui Xi's two-year journey is questionable as this chick picks up all sorts of information about her idol via (spoiler!) one journalist's articles. (I know, sad times). I'm not sure if she's slightly infatuated or desperate, but I couldn't brush off the fact that such an ordinary person could get so much help to escape from partaking in all the exclusively-men activities. This girl was luckier than she would've ever thought. Sometimes I wonder if she's braver than a good lot of girls [in America, have at it.] As for Quan and second lead Xiu Yi, how did society fog up the possibility that men think about love, too? Okay, maybe it's not society's fault~

The Japanese adaptation provides only a small glimpse into Sano's admiration for Mizuki and the Korean version showcases Tae-Joon's considerable overprotection of Jae-Hee. The Taiwanese adaptation presents much more prospects through the eavesdropping, observant tabs placed by Quan. Nothing wrong with looking out for your girl, unless you think all those friends of the opposite sex are former lovers or 'in an affair' with yo' girl. 

Playful soundtrack- especially background music, respectively. The series had some open-ended subplots and the final 15 minutes-- what was that?! The ending could be considered to have fallen flat on its face, but it wasn't rushed, straightforward, or briefly conclusive.. nothing of the sort. Perhaps an extension of two or three episodes would allow the series to be of satisfactory viewing. 

Ability to be Binged8
Theme Song/ Animation is Present7
Personalities Differ Among Characters6
Alternating Viewpoints/ Camera Work8
Nice! There's Character Development5
Title 7
Suspense/ Surprise4