When talking about Asian dramas, a wide variety of shows will come into mind, but one thing’s for sure, every country has their take on the bad boy meets good girl love story.
One series, however, is legendary. It’s almost impossible for Asians to not to know what Meteor Garden is. The whole drama is based on the Japanese manga, Hana Yori Dango (Boys Over Flowers) which was released in 1992.
The story revolves around five students of a prestigious school that mainly caters to elite students. The school is dominated by four rich and handsome but arrogant boys called the F4. On the other hand, the fifth main character is a female student who came from a poor family. The conflict starts as the leader of F4 takes interest over the female protagonist for she is the only one that doesn’t take interest on their group.
In 1995, the first live action film based on the manga was released. Hana Yori Dango was first shown in 1995 starring actress Yuki Uchida and actor Shosuke Tanihara. A lot of characters from the manga, however, were not present in this version.
Six years later, Taiwan’s Meteor Garden started and it was a massive hit. This adaptation starring Barbie Shu, Jerry Yan, Vic Zhou, Vanness Wu, and Ken Chu became such a phenomenon that it was dubbed in several languages.
Although it was not the first version, its popularity was undeniable.
Hana Yori Dango was remade into a Japanese series in 2005. Unlike the first two mentioned, which put their own spin on some parts and details of the storyline, this version followed the original story of the manga. Then of course, who can forget the oh-so-handsome Jun Matsumoto?
Almost paradise! Probably one of the reasons behind the boom of Korean Dramas in Asia is Boys Over Flowers. After Meteor Garden, this adaptation of the manga is another reason why the sensation is still remembered up to this day. Lee Min Ho became a household name by the time it aired in the Philippines as he played the role of Goo Jun Pyo.
Continuing the legacy is China’s own version titled Meteor Shower. Although it wasn’t popular across Asia, it gained a huge recognition across mainland China. On the contrary, the producer clarified that the series wasn’t an adaptation of the manga and that it was just simply inspired by it.
The phenomenon also reached America as Boys Before Friends got released in 2013. This adaptation, however, unlike previous versions, followed the main leads throughout their journey in a performing arts graduate school.
In 2014, India’s Kaisi Yeh Yaariaan gained extreme popularity among young Indian audience. It was dubbed as the No. 1 Youth Show in the country during its run.
17 years after the original Meteor Garden was released, the same producer decided to do a fresh new remake of the drama. It stars young actors such as Dylan Wang, Darren Chen, Connor Leong, and Caesar Wu. The producer described it as the “fuller—and flashier–adaptation of the books”.
It began airing on July 9 and has been number 1 in ratings since.
What a great nostalgic feeling I’m having right now! I can still remember the days when I rush home just to tune in to this pretty addicting TV show which became part of my refined childhood memories. And now it is being shown again nationwide. I am to a certain extent convinced that this will once again give its audience, most of which belong to the teenage category, a bamboozling and remarkable feeling of infatuation, excitement and curiosity. Yes, I am talking about Taiwan’s “Meteor Garden”.
While the “Meteor Garden Fever” still exists up to this day which is something that I can’t argue about since I can see posts and comments about how eager people are looking forward to this show, let us not forget that Meteor Garden once had its rival shows produced by other countries like Korea and Japan namely, Boys Over Flowers/ Boys Before Flowers and Hana Yori Dango in that order. You can also find China’s version of the show but I am only going to mention the top three versions that I know. All of these were deemed as an adaptation of a Japanese shoujo manga called Hana Yori Dango (Boys Over Flowers) printed and demonstrated by Yoko Kamio. His work of art set the record for the bestselling shoujo Manga in Japan of all time which really deserved to be portrayed in front of the big screen.
Basically, these three adaptations follow the original Manga’s plot of flow of the story in which it revolved around Eitoku Academy, a school where the country’s most influential and powerful people’s children were being sent. Only a selected few or should I say the cream of the crop were allowed to be in that academy. It just so happened that the central character, Tsukushi Makino – a diligent and charming girl who came from a poor family. Unfortunately, she came across with the academy’s elite group called F4 ( short for “Flower Four”) I just found its meaning as kind of inappropriate though since I’m expecting something like “Fearless Four” , “Furious Four” or “Freakish Four” LOL.
She was bullied, discriminated and insulted by the F4, by the way aside from its members being overly rich and prominent individuals, their handsome and elegant looks are something which can’t be denied and they were the apple of the eyes of all the girls inside the academy. Then add a bunch of drama and love story twists, and we’re going to have a wonderful TV series which will definitely captivate its audience of all ages. However, some of the details were modified according to each show’s production and management’s choices.
Now let’s take a look at each show’s main characters and decide which among them are the most suitable ones to portray the famous Manga, Hana Yori Dango’s characters. ( Although the manga was made in Japan, we should still not be biased and not immediately lean towards Japan’s own adaptation though ) Peace!
Jerry Yan – Dao Ming Si
Matsumoto Jun – Domoyouji
Lee Min Ho – Gu Jun Pyo
Barbie Xu – Shan Cai
Inoue Mao – Makino Tsukushi
Goo Hye Sun – Jan Di
Vic Zhou – Hua Ze Lei
Oguri Shun – Hanazawa Rui
Kim Hyun Joong – Yun Ji Hoo
I will not be going over the details of these actors’ performance and how well they portrayed the characters that were assigned to them since you probably already knew if they did well and if they went above or below your standards considering the fact that most of you guys have unquestionably watch these three series before if you are a self anointed avid fan.
The best thing that I can do is to give you a short clip which contains all of these characters and it’s up for you to decide who to pick among them.
My question is, if you will be given a chance to make a “Dream Team” or a fantasy cast of characters to portray the Hana Yori Dango manga wherein you are only allowed to choose between the actors above, who would you choose? Mine will be ( Lee Min Ho, Inoue Mao, Vic Zhou, Kim Bum and Vanness Wu )
Pinoy Adaptation of Hana Yori Dango
All I can say is “Why not?” Since there have been many adaptations being made by other countries which became major TV hits, why don’t we make our own version of it? Who knows, we might even break the popularity that these three TV shows have attained before. But first, we have to figure out who will be the possible actors which will star in our very own Filipino version. There have been a lot of attempts to finally make a Pinoy version of the series. It was even said to have already been finalized way back 2011 and it was supposed to be called “Brat Boys Beyond” (awful name…ugh!) starring Sarah Geronimo and other quite unknown starlets. Good thing it didn’t push through and ABS-CBN managed to get away with having the guts to face embarrassment because I am pretty sure that I will surely flop.
Now another hot topic resurfaces as this cute and amazing Pinoy version of the viral craze will be composed of Coco martin,Matteo guidicelli,Daniel padilla,Enchong dee and Sarah Geronimo. Do you think this will work out? If not, then who do you think suits each characters more? Feel free to suggest. =)
I love Hana Yori Dango, http://ilovehanadan.tumblr.com/
Sharon, Meteor Garden/ Hana yori Dango/ Boys Over Flowers, http://sharonsnowflakes.blogspot.com/2012/07/meteor-garden-hana-yori-dangoboys-over.html
Charmedlass, Meteor Garden vs. Hana Yori Dango vs. Boys Over Flowers, http://charmedlass.wordpress.com/2009/06/11/meteor-garden-vs-hana-yori-dango-vs-boys-before-flowers/
TAGS: Adaptation, Barbie Xu, Boys Over Flowers, Chinese, Coco Martin, comparison, Daniel Padilla, Dao Mingsi, Enchong Dee, Filipino, Gerry Yan, Hana Yori Dango, Japanese, Korean, Lee Min Ho, Manga, Matteo Guidicelli, Meteor Garden, Pinoy, Sarah Geronimo, versus, Vic Zhou