MG VS HYD VS BOF – Part 5: The Last Words

27 03 2010

So where were we?

*flashback*

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Oh yeah. That’s right.

So does this mean that Meteor Garden is indeed my favourite of the three adaptions of the world’s most celebrated fangirl Asian drama? After nearly an entire decade, after 96 episodes, after all the crazy sleepless nights, after this grueling comparative breakdown I (semi) coerced myself through, does it all add up to mean that Meteor Garden is actually number one in my heart… does it ? Does it really?

*closes eyes in deep thought* * opens eyes up again*

No. Nuh-uh. No way.

It’s Hana Yori Dango.

If there’s anything anyone should get from all this, it is this one simple fact:
Love knows no reason (yeah yeah it’s all v. sappy >_>;)

Consider this; if logical reasoning ruled, our Weed Grass Heroine surely would’ve ended up w/ our Autistic One, right? He is the “ideal” guy, the sensitive one who is always there to support her, he is her soulmate. But it’s not that kinda world. In the end, ultimately her heat beats for our Arrogant Leader. That’s just the way it is.

And if I think about it, Meteor Garden is, in a way, like my first love. Although it wasn’t technically perfect, there were so many other things about it that just felt so naturally right. I laughed & I cried along every step of the way. No question it will forever remain close to my heart & I will forever love the Taiwanese F4.

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[ Possibly my fave F4 pic ever ^^ ]

But Hana Yori Dango is like the one drama series that I had been waiting for all my life. It came along & swept me off my damn feet, unexpectedly & foolishly. It’s everything I ever wanted- & more. If Meteor is my first love, then HanaDan is undoubtedly my most loved.

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[ Rui, it’s okay. I’ll secretly go out w/ you (!) ]

Boys Over Flowers is like the series that came along & tried to take my heart away. In the end though, it only left me reminiscing the greatness of its predecessors. I don’t mean to offend the many avid supporters of the series out there when I say that overall, for me, the story did lack. I didn’t feel the same level of satisfaction, I didn’t feel the same wave of chemistry & I never really felt that empathetic towards any of the characters (bar one or two.) Most certainly, I don’t think it was as great as many of the new age fans have made it out to be. It’s barely even close to being the best Korean series ever so how the heck can it be THE best series ever??

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[ Props to BOF though, for naming Ji Hoo‘s horse Rui. Homage paid <3 ]

By now you’re probably more than likely thinking that I fully despise, hate on & want to spit all over the BOF situation but truly, I do not. This is what I want to clarify. I did honestly enjoy watching it. I seriously kept crying “I want my own Ji Hoo sunbae!!!” so much I may as well have had that as a slogan inked onto my body. But did I fall in love w/ the series? No.

Maybe it’s simply a case of my heart already been given away.

For me, it’s HanaDan number one & forever <33

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*puts on Jeff Probst accent* My blog has spoken!

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P.S. For those who have managed to endure all five posts, thankyou!! I hope you enjoyed reading it ^_^





MG VS HYD VS BOF – Part 4: The Other Bits & Pieces

22 03 2010

The props, the setting, the costume design, the music score, the etc. the etc. the etc. … little (usually) golden statues aren’t created around the world to award excellence & achievement in such individual categories for nothing, you know.

It’s about making it all come alive.

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BATTLE 1: The Necklace

GOLD: Meteor Garden
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The Romance Factor: 10/10
Importance to Story: As big as some random asteroid ☆彡
Why we remember it: For the scene on the balcony. Dao Ming Si invites Shan Cai for some lovin’ star gazing at midnight hour & gifts her the meteor from the sky in the form of this super puuruty necklace… who could forget that moment *SIGH* Telescope, anyone?

SILVER: Boys Over Flowers
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The Romance Factor: 8.5/10
Importance to Story: As huge as Goo Joon Pyo‘s ego (not quite that big lol) er, perm.
Why we remember it: Not that I understood or felt an overwhelming amount of emotion from Joon Pyo‘s presentation speech (I prefer the Moon / Star talk in You’re Beautiful much, much more instead xDD) but the charm itself was pretty. And it did play a significant role in working the love triangle btwn Joon Pyo, Jan Di & Jae Kyung. But I despised the font of the JJ engraving on the back of the pendant (yikes.)

Scene-wise, I didn’t like that she just dropped it (I think it def would’ve been more impactful w/ the guy tossing it away instead ala MG & HYD ) but I did like the desperation Jan Di showed as she was trying to retrieve the necklace from the bottom of the pool. Although girl, you need to stop drowning. Or get Joon Pyo to hire you a personal lifeguard. Speaking of whom, did anyone else think he looked like he was about to drop her as he was carrying her out the water ><;; ???

BRONZE: Hana Yori Dango
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The Romance Factor: 8/10
Importance to Story: Seventh planet scale, baby (btw, are all things from outer space automatically deemed romantic??)
Why we remember it: Makino chasing after it along the river stream T_T But… I have a confession. I personally didn’t LOVE the look of the necklace (see, I am & can be objective!) Quite honestly, if someone gave it to me as a present, I’d be hoping they’d kept the receipt (actually, it would make a decent phone charm lol) But I do like the reasoning behind Domyouji‘s choice in getting it or at least the way that he tried to explain it (#^_^#) Actually… I’ve changed my mind. I would accept this necklace. But only from the hands of Jun-kun xDD

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BATTLE 2: The Cookies

GOLD: Hana Yori Dango
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The Love Factor: 10/10
Importance to Story: As big as Domyouji‘s ego xD
Why we remember it: Well, apparently they taste like love *cue Hikki‘s Flavour Of Life* Even after 365+ days when they’re half-way to mould-city, my dearest F4 leader still makes them look like they’ve walked straight out of Martha Stewart‘s oven. But I do think they have the greatest silly resemblance- like, they just feel like him.

SILVER: Meteor Garden
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The Love Factor: 9/10
Importance to Story: It’s a Kodak moment ^U^
Why we remember it: It’s truly the thought that counts because seriously, Shan Cai, guuurrl, these cookies ain’t too pretty. However, the most important thing is that the receiver loved them ^_^ Ah Si‘s expression when he opened up the bag of them was just gorgeous. Why they framed it, I don’t know but it is kinda sweet (albeit slightly creepy.)  I must also mention the part when Hua Ze Lei just takes a monster bite out of the DMS cookie head (^O^) I so wish I was in that bed xDD

BRONZE: Boys Over Flowers
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The Love Factor: 7/10
Importance to Story: Meh.
Why we remember it: All the freaking icing! *licks lips* Out all 3 versions these were undoubtedly the most stylised. Yes they were presented gloriously (perhaps too much extravagance actually… what was up w/ the black-faced/white hair cookie?) but as soon as my dearest Ji Hoo took a bite out of one of them, they were pretty much all but forgotten.

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BATTLE 3: The Fashion

GOLD: Boys Over Flowers
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The Lust Factor: 10/10 (but even so that doesn’t describe how much I wanted it.)
Importance to Story: Runway grade, girl!
Why we remember it: The fur (!), the blazers, the hooded mufflers, the vintage scarves, the layers upon layers & all the rest of designer goodness. Whether you liked the fauna carcasses or not, you can’t deny the BOF peeps were stamping serious fashion statements left, right & centre. Really, if you took out the fashion, the series definitely wouldn’t have been nearly as close to what it was. That’s how important I think it was.

SILVER: Hana Yori Dango
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The Lust Factor: 8/10
Importance to Story: I think it screams for itself.
Why we remember it: Firstly, the series was a few years ago. Secondly, it is Japan. And I don’t mean this in a bad way! I’m just pointing out the sublime, distinct craziness of it all :)) I think the character styling was most spot-on in HanaDan. You could most easily pick the F4 member just by looking at their wardrobe.

BRONZE: Meteor Garden
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The Lust Factor: 6.5/10
Importance to Story: Hmm.
Why we remember it: I have 3 fashion-related memories from Meteor. Firstly, the groovy, multi-coloured polka-dot shirt Mei Zuo wears in the opening credits in MGII (seriously, I don’t know why but iHEART.) Secondly, the hideous black, grey & purple swirly shirt that Dao Ming Si had on in Barcelona in ep1 of MGII. Lastly… just how Shan Cai could afford a new Emily The Strange/BAPE/Paul Frank t-shirt every day of her life??? Please explain.

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BATTLE 4: The Mansion

GOLD: Hana Yori Dango
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The Grand Factor: 10/10
Importance to Story: As huge as the house??? lol
Why we remember it: I remember the sheer length of the dining table. It was very much a literal & metaphoric symbolism of the disconnection between the Evil Mother & her children. I also think the exquisite, classic British style really distinguished the class of the Domyouji family & their power status in Japan. I also got the feeling I did not want to touch ANYTHING in that house in utter fear of soiling the damn property.

SILVER: Boys Over Flowers
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The Grand Factor: 9.5/10
Importance to Story: Confusingly undecided.
Why we remember it: For the prettiness. I would so live there^^ (that said, I want to live in Ji Hoo‘s house more *evil fangirl smirk*) The flowers, the luxurious textures, the ambient lighting, every single last detail that was meticulously crafted… I love how much emphasis Koreans spend into making things so indulgently easy on the eyes. But the feminine nature of the home kinda detracted from the fact that the Evil Mother was meant to be an undomesticated, animalistically business-minded person.

BRONZE: Meteor Garden
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The Lust Factor: 7.5/10
Importance to Story: Proportional to the amount of white & space.
Why we remember it: For all the blinding whiteness lol But in analysis, this starkness represents the missing warmth & the minimal decor indicates the lack of time & attention dedicated into creating a home. I do shudder to imagine how difficult it would be to keep everything so freaking white though. Poor housemaids~~ The family must have shares in some sort of bleach company somewhere.

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BATTLE 5: The Red Card

GOLD: Meteor Garden
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The Fear Factor: 10/10
Importance to Story: Do not open your locker or really, you will be dead.
Why we remember it: For the moment when Shan Cai charges into the cafeteria & forcefully pins the Red Card onto Dao Ming Si‘s forehead. Golden moment! The card is kinda ugly & at first you might be thinking it’s a joke but you soon realise it most definitely is not. I could actually sense the banded power of all four of the boys behind each delivery of the card. You so would not wanna be the lucky contestant.

SILVER: Hana Yori Dango
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The Fear Factor: 9.5/10
Importance to Story: Do not mess w/ guys w/ perms.
Why we remember it: The simplicity of it. Not much to look at which is good because you’ve saved yourself some time to get the heck outta there (!!) By contrast to the Taiwanese version though, I kinda felt like whenever this card was issued, it was more a Domyouji thing rather than a joint group effort. But still, just get the heck outta there.

BRONZE: Boys Over Flowers
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The Fear Factor: 8.5/10
Importance to Story: Skull it, baby.
Why we remember it: I do like the skull. I like that it kinda shows that although it’s serious business, the boys are just boys after all & the skull is a playful reminder of that. Which also in a way works against the effect. To me, it felt like they were kinda sending it out as more of a careless game but the abrupt violence that often came along as an aftermath & the lack of control they seemed to have over it just disgusted me.

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BATTLE 6: The Soundtrack

GOLD: Hana Yori Dango
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The In-Your-Head Factor: 10/10
Importance to Story: The size of a planetarium (please excuse all the lame jokes throughout this post. And all my other posts for that matter. Gomen A(^_^))
Why we remember it: Well, I came thisclose to placing BOF as the gold medal recipient, but then I remembered just how badly Otsuka Ai‘s squeaky high-pitched vocals in Planetarium consumed & infiltrated my brain at the time of watching S1 of HanaDan. Yet, I can’t help but love it. And also, Flavour Of Life = Utada Hikaru perfection. Every time I hear these 2 songs, glowing images of Domyouji+Makino frantically flash inside my head.

I think they managed to work the BGM most effectively, too. They didn’t just use instrumentals & broken down renditions of the title songs but there were actual BGM pieces hunted down &/or composed to schematically stir up particular emotional responses for particular situations. Remember when your blood would boil, your tear ducts would kick in & how goosebumps would pop from your skin w/o you even really knowing… it’s all in the power of the BGM!!! Kinda felt like I was bopping around in a manga at times (#^_^#)

Oh yeah, & a couple of Arashi tracks don’t harm either xDD

SILVER: Boys Over Flowers
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The In-Your-Head Factor: 9.5/10
Importance to Story: K-Pop is love.
Why we remember it: ♪♫♪Almost paaaradiiise !! ♫♪♩ I totally remember chanting this, anthem-style ^O^ And SS501‘s Because I’m Stupid was concreted as my phone’s ringtone for heaven-knows how long. I think I must’ve youtubed every single live performance of that song that ever existed as well (oh, why does Australia cap bandwidth ><“)

There is no question that part of the great success of Korean dramas lies within the burning force of brilliant K-Pop catchiness. And when a series manages to release not one, not two but two-pointfive (!) official OSTs, you know we are all digging the tunes (btw, why did they not include Kim Hyun Joong‘s acoustic version of I’m Stupid somewhere in those 2.5 albums is still beyond me. Plain rudeness.) Now excuse me while I go & plug in my iPod *scrolls to Boys Over Flowers OST folder*

BRONZE: Meteor Garden
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The In-Your-Head Factor: 9/10
Importance to Story: Importance to story? How about importance to the Asian boyband world? Frkcn 1243890713498719374 (*cough*) Fahrenheit degrees, darling ^^;;
Why we remember it: ♪♫♪ Oh baby baby baby / My baby baby / Wo juen bu neng shu chu ni ♫♪♩ Can’t Lose You was the first Mandarin song I learned, word for word. No pretending-to-simulate-the-syllables situation here. I totally knew what every word meant. And I don”t even speak Mandarin >_< I’m glad it is such pure boyband golden goodness as the sequel really needed all the help it could get lol

And heya! Harlem‘s Qing Fei De Yi !! It has such an easy-going, “let’s swing side to side” kinda vibe about it but the man’s hearty vocals brings the perfect mass & style of sentiment to the song & the series.

***Actually, can we please just tie all three countries for this category??? <<( -_-)>>

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BATTLE 7: The OP

GOLD: Hana Yori Dango

Nominated Vid: opening from S1


The Wow Factor: 10/10
Importance to Story: Very. It is a warning of the tunza fun of a world you are about to enter xDDDDDD
Why we remember it: For the school-girl hand scribble in the notebook serving as the credits to the cast & their characters. For Rui‘s wink *fangirl melt* For the way Domyouji tries to keep Rui away from Makino. For Makino‘s play-punching at her OTP. For Jiro‘s oh-so-swervy sway. For Akira‘s head-to-toe brown leather look (v^ー°) For the way they all just gape their mouths as wide open as possible & scream at the top of their lungs. Arashi. WISH. I make myself sick when I say this but pfft– I shall say it anyways. I truly get uncontrollably happy when I watch this vid xDDDDDD

P.S. I would also like to shout out to the opening sequence for S2. The opening bird’s eye view of the five of them snoozing on the lawn & the final shot of them all bowing & then looking up at us altogether also makes me grin mad crazy. Love is so sweet ^^;;

SILVER: Meteor Garden

Nominated Vid: opening from MGII


The Wow Factor: 9/10
Importance to Story: “Pretty OP! You’re here to save me??? Thank gaaawdd !!” cries MGII.
Why we remember it: The rose petals!! The damn rose petals floating poetically across our screen!!! And the lush green scenery of some random vineyard in Spain. And!! Of course, Vanness‘ hip polka dot shirt xD Ooohh, & Vic‘s manga-esque, super intense, pensive gaze. Gorgickerous.

BRONZE: Boys Over Flowers

Nominated Vid:The first (& only?) one.


The Lust Factor: 6/10
Importance to Story: FF►► button taking a workout (・_・;)))))))
Why we remember it: Well, I barely did. No I’m not on another “Let’s attack Boys Over Flowers” rampage. It wasn’t bad… it just wasn’t anything… spesh. It was semi-glitzy, it was pretty (kinda girly actually), Ji Hoo was pretty, they flickered a few scenes here & there but overall as a clip, it just doesn’t really embed itself into your mind. It seemed merely a way to establish who was playing who & that was about it for me.

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BATTLE 8: The School

GOLD: Hana Yori Dango
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The Prestigious Factor: 10/10
Importance to Story: Frckn huge.
Why we remember it: For F4‘s lounge. The simple fact that it was elevated over the area where their little minions hang during their breaks & how grand the staircase was leading up to it, speaks volumes.

SILVER: Boys Over Flowers
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The Prestigious Factor: 9.5/10
Importance to Story: Frckn huge.
Why we remember it: The school facilities! Well, really, the pool. I thought it was quite funny when Goo Joon Pyo immaturely empties an entire litter truck into the pool knowing that Jan Di was going for her swim. I also loved the moment when a very deep-in-thought Yoon Ji Hoo was poolside by himself & sets free a paper boat into the water, watching it sail away from him. And course, when Jan Di has to give up her swimming & her precious sunbae is there to console her Y_Y

BRONZE: Meteor Garden
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The Prestigious Factor: 7/10
Importance to Story: Frckn huge.
Why we remember it: I remember alot of stairs. Alot. And alot of old-style stone-based structural fixtures. I liked how they elected to set the storyline against a university backdrop as the actors def looked more legit as tertiary students (as opposed to high school kidlings.) But somehow, my main memories of MG don’t really revolve around the university. Well, except for maybe for the balcony.

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BATTLE 9: The Balcony

GOLD: Hana Yori Dango
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The Wish-I-Was-There Factor: 10/10
Importance to Story: Shh, *puts on best tennis official voice* “Quiet please.”
Why we remember it: Because Shun made it look like he actually owned the joint lol I don’t know, the thought of him in a secluded dark-ish stairwell just makes me wanna… [to be continued] (; ̄ー ̄) Alot happened here. I think it brought out a side of Rui we didn’t get to see elsewhere.

SILVER: Meteor Garden
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The Wish-I-Was-There Factor: 9/10
Importance to Story: Well, we practically never heard Ah Lei speak outside of this zone ^^;;
Why we remember it: This was basically where we see Ah Lei open up his soul to Shan Cai. Without the balcony, these two would never have developed the bond that they did.

Oh. I would also shut myself every time I saw Ah Lei sit on the damn edge… don’t people realise just how high the freaking building is???

BRONZE: Boys Over Flowers
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The Wish-I-Was-There Factor: 8/10
Importance to Story: Not very. I barely recall the balcony when I think of Ji Hoo & Jan Di.
Why we remember it: Ji Hoo doesn’t actually look like he would choose a random balcony from a fire escape stairway as a personal hangout spot per se. I don’t think he was as much of a loner as his Taiwanese & Japanese counterparts. I think spending time w/ the older &/or the younger generation who he didn’t know &/or didn’t know him was more his style (e.g. his Grandfather’s clinic.) But alas, we still have a fangirl moment; the part where he shields Jan Di from seeing Joon Pyo & Jae Kyung going it at. I think the look in Ji Hoo‘s eyes were like lethal laser beams trying to take down the biatch of a fiancee.

☆Speaking of fangirl moments: In all the versions, I loved the scene when the Autistic One goes to sketch the Arrogant Leader on the balcony. It pretty much just ends up being an expressionless lump. He asks the Weed Grass Heroine to take a geez, she does & she chuckles, she takes over & draws out all the Arrogant Leader’s silly traits, she pauses, she tears up, he looks on. He can only look on.

Man, I gotta get me my own balcony & dodgy stairwell now.

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BATTLE 10: F4

GOLD: Meteor Garden
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The Please-Stay-Together-Forever Factor: ∞
Importance to Story: About the same as the number of Asians in this world lol
Why we remember them: If it weren’t for the Taiwanese F4.

You could argue (& very likely win) that these four boys revolutionised the boyband scene across Asia. And the Asian drama scene as a matter of fact. When a cast becomes so popular that they actually form a band according to their title in the series, you know they did something quite infinitely friggin’ amazing. Individually, they each represent a distinctly endearing character that most girls would want to date at some point in their lives. As a group, they truly seem like they are good friends. And they look good together. But it’s not like they’re taking attention away from one another either! They just look like they were meant to be together xDD That is what F4 should be about. Seriously, I think so much of them that I will not even crack a single joke here lol

SILVER: Hana Yori Dango
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The Please-Stay-Together-Forever Factor: 8/10
Importance to Story: Apples, my friend, apples.
Why we remember them:  Well, aside from the apples (^_^;) I definitely rated the metro-sexual fight the four boys conjured up on the night time streets of Tokyo. Even though it got bloody gory (& semi-laughable -_-), the friendship was oozing out from every orifice of their bruised & battered bodies. For me, the series was probably a little more about F2 than F4 (compared to MG at least) but whatever. Every Jun+Shun moment is unquestionably one for the keepsakes box. And I will take every one I can get xDD

BRONZE: Boys Over Flowers
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The Please-Stay-Together-Forever Factor: 7/10
Importance to Story: Important but lacking memorable moments.
Why we remember them: I think for the length of the series, we def weren’t spoiled enough w/ F4 moments here. And when they were together, I never really got the feeling they hung out by will as much as the other versions (Yi Jung seemed the most at leisure when he was licking the delicious hands of French patissiers >_>) To me, most of the time when they were together, it was as if they were there because they had to be.

I did like the part though, when Joon Pyo was at Ji Hoo‘s place & they are watching a foreign movie together for the nth number of time. At the end it it, they say something along the lines of this-

JH: I don’t know how many times we’ve seen this film together. Nine or ten times maybe?
JP: Eleven times. We’ve seen this eleven times together. If you really valued our friendship, you would remember it.

I must say, a rare moment of respect for Goo Joon Pyo shi for me (/–) (btw, I don’t remember the exact numbers either. Someone please feel free to correct me. I guess I don’t value their friendship either lol) Had there been more of these kinda moments, who knows how my feelings towards the Korean F4 (& the entire series even) would’ve been like. But instead, I ended up thinking these guys were competing more than anything else. Was Ji Hoo truly happy for Joon Pyo & Jan Di in the end? Frankly, I’m not entirely convinced.

And seriously, put Woo Bin in the scene already. That one emo friendship flashback was so not enough ( ̄□ ̄;)

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There it is! The final blow-by-blow comparison installment! I’m really exhausted! I tried to rank the things here based on their weight in the series, how meaningfully it was used. Tougher than what it sounds xPP

Now, tally time! Do we dare?? How many GOLDs? How many GOLDs??

*drum roll*… *squints in fear*…

Taiwan: 16 Japan: 14 Korea: 5

Darn it, I tried to rig it (no, I did not ^^;;) for Japan but failed lol

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Next installment: The Last Words.

(I need this for closure. )

Read the rest of this entry »





MG VS HYD VS BOF – Part 3: The Scenes

12 03 2010

Where amazing happens.

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BATTLE 1: The Declaration Of War!

The low-down: The Weed Grass Heroine has been quiet for too long now, she can no longer tolerate the outlandishly egotistical mannerisms of the Arrogant Leader With The Bad Perm. She winds up & takes a swing at him, in front of the other F4 members & knocks him down to the ground. She knocks him down good. GAME ON, she declares.  She will not be backing down now.

GOLD: Hana Yori Dango
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When I first saw this I: totally did a Z-snap. You go, girl.
What made it: Everything. They filmed it all too well. The build up of Makino‘s anger, Domyouji‘s sweltering arrogance, the bounce in Makino‘s step, the wind up, the peak in the BGM… & finally, the KaPOW! Man down! Domyouji‘s facial expression as he looks up while it clicks inside him what just happened is Mastercard priceless. Boy, you are so in luuurrve xDD

SILVER: Boys Over Flowers
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When I first saw this I: LOLed
What made it: Jan Di‘s grit. It was a little overacted but I guess that was part of the charm. Her powerkick =  Tae Kwon Do EPIC (I would not mess w/ the early Jan Di if you gave me a million dollars >O) It was hilarious & a true joy seeing a 6ft+ giant who completely believed he was tops swatted flat to the ground. F4‘s reaction here is also gold-gold-golden.

BRONZE: Meteor Garden
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When I first saw this I: had to rewind it.
What made it: This was the most realistically played. It didn’t have the same theatrics as it successors & it was kinda an “over before you know it” situation but it got me cheer-leading for Shan Cai nonetheless. Xi Men & Mei Zuo‘s “Err… what the heck just happened??” reaction here was thoroughly awesome xDD

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BATTLE 2: The First Date

The low-down: The Arrogant Leader With The Bad Perm has plucked up the courage to ask the Weed Grass Heroine on a date. He makes it clear that he will not leave until she meets him. Not fully believing his commitment (after all, this is the grand old selfish one) she goes shopping with her Vanilla Best Friend all day long. It starts to rain (or snow if you are in Seoul) & she begins to wonder what if, just what if he is actually still waiting for her? No way. But no, wait… what if ? She finally decides to go & ZOMG ! He is there! Waiting for her in the stark nakedness of Mother Nature’s elements. She can not believe it. They go to get coffee to warm him up but end up getting trapped in a stairwell/elevator/cable car all night long. He fevers up (because he’s been waiting in the rain/snow, remember?) She tends to him until the wee hours of the morning & they fall asleep together. The only thing hotter than his fever now is their feelings for each other.

GOLD: Hana Yori Dango
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When I first saw this I: wanted to buy a red umbrella. And a red+white stripe scarf w/ miniature pom-poms on it.
What made it: Shall we take a moment of silence to appreciate how good Jun looked in purple here??

Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock.

Okay, moment served. Ahem >_>  So, what made it, you ask? Everything (again.) The random fist he serves into that guy’s face who was badgering Makino about movie tickets ^O^ The bright red umbrella amidst the moodiness of the weather. The perfect millimetre amount of rain. The stance of the Star Couple. Seeing Domyouji still trying to act all kakkoi even though he was shivering his butt off (or lack thereof <3) in the icy rain. His bear hug thrown at Makino when she finally arrives & her genuinely stunned expression… you could feel her heart being moved. Who knew that beneath the cold, arrogant exterior was a man who stayed so honourably true to his words?? And of course, the magic that happened in the elevator. And the kiss the morning after.

Oh I want that scaaaaarrf!!!!!!

SILVER: Meteor Garden
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When I first saw this I: couldn’t stop fantasising (about being in Shan Cai‘s position, that is.)
What made it: Ah Si‘s child-like face (or was it merely mediocre acting? xPP) His innocence really shows through here & you realise that all along, even though he was acting a little like a jerk, he was just a little boy lost. Shan Cai‘s strength, her inborn caring, protecting-those-who-are-weaker nature also shines through here. The part where he is coming at her & she threatens to bite her own tongue off is amusing, too :D

BRONZE: Boys Over Flowers
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When I first saw this I: kinda wanted to grab the nearest (good-looking) man & go for a ride in a cable car.
What made it: I liked the cable car thing, I liked that it was night time, I liked the graffiti (a teeny tiny bit childish but sweet nonetheless I suppose) I LOVED Jan Di‘s outift but… I did not like the snow. Yes, snow is romantic & all blah blah blah but come on. Waiting in the SNOW??????Just doesn’t have the same ring. And the snow wasn’t even heavy. AND!! Goo Joon Pyo, you were wearing how many layers there??? That coat & that scarf looked mighty cozy to me!! Am I really supposed to buy that the (light) snow is going to hurt you as much as a downpour of rain??? Yet somehow you were perfectly fine wearing half as many layers rushing out into the blizzard of the century to search for Geum Jan Di. Funny isn’t it.

Sheesh, I need to stop bagging the Joon Pyo man.

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BATTLE 3: The Chair Smashing Scene

The low-down: In Japan there is an evil girl, who thought cosmetic surgery could change her life for good- but it didn’t & she is pissed. In Taiwan & South Korea, a guy w/ cruel intentions returns to seek some good old-fashion revenge for himself & his twin brother, respectively. They kidnap the Weed Grass Heroine to lure the Arrogant Leader With The Bad Perm. “Do not retaliate or I will hurt her,” they say. So even though he could probably take the entire crew on who is beating his ass up, he keeps his hands by his side. The Weed Grass Heroine can not do anything as she is tied up. She can barely watch. The evil one finally lifts a chair up to smash the living daylights out of the guy to finish him off for good but the Weed Grass Heroine instinctively dashes over, taking the hit for him. The evil one can not believe their own eyes. The human race wasn’t meant to have such selflessness & compassion but the Weed Grass Heroine was proving them wrong. F4 arrive & take care of the rest. She asks him why he didn’t fight back. The Arrogant Leader simply responds, “If I did, I wouldn’t be able to protect you” (or something to that silly effect.) Gaaaaaahhh.

GOLD: Meteor Garden
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When I first saw this I: cried (yes, I can be sappy. But you gotta earn it baby.)
What made it: When I think of Meteor Garden, this is one of the first scenes that come to my crazy, deluded mind. I actually believed that Dao Ming Si could take every single one of those mummy’s boys all at once by himself but he didn’t for the sake of Shan CaiShan Cai‘s tears of helplessness, & the heartfelt emotions boiling over helped made it, too. This moment convinced me they had fallen in love, whether she knew it or not. Shan Cai‘s instinct to dive in & take the blow of the chair & the glare she gave to the delinquents afterwards was by far the best & the most intense.

SILVER: Boys Over Flowers
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When I first saw this I: thought, “Damn, girl, you should’ve just let it hit him” ^^;;
What made it: All jokes aside, I was genuinely mortified by the violence in Boys Over Flowers (say, also during the scene when she is circled & gets gang-attacked at school.) Here, I was scared. Yes, we’ve established that I’m not crazy about you, Goo Joon Pyo, but I certainly don’t want you to die!! I think the fact that this incident resulted in Jan Di having to give up her swimming really impacts to the scale of the scene. Perhaps she may have loved him after all.

BRONZE: Hana Yori Dango
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When I first saw this I: wanted to get in there & shave off Sakurako‘s mane ><”
What made it: Sakurako‘s evil face twitches! It was like she was on crack. She really freaked me out. I like this scene because of it’s manga-esque-ness, but in comparison to the rest of the series, there were more memorable, heart-wrenching moments.

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BATTLE 4: The Makeover From The First Love

The low-down: Well, isn’t the Weed Grass Heroine a trusting person (or is it naive or gullible?) Credit to some zealously jealous ugly-step-sister-like school mates, she ends up at the poshest of all parties dressed… well, not very posh at all. But kudos to her for not running away! She is our legitimate Weed Grass heroine after all ^U^ If I were her, I would’ve shot outta there like a rocket. Or I would’ve buried my face in the closest dessert. But she hangs in there, gets played by the haters & it all pays off. The First Love comes to her aid. The First Love calls for the Autistic One to come to her aid. She gets the makeover of her lifetime & gets to slow-dance w/ all but one of the F4 hotties. Cinderella, eat your freaking heart out.

GOLD: Hana Yori Dango
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When I first saw this I: wanted to slap Hanazawa Rui (the “You are kawaii” comment just made me puke.)
What made it: Makino‘s transformation was my favourite. I wasn’t crazy about the dress (something about the boa feathery trim *shuts eyes*) but she still looked so pretty! All the white, the camera slowly panning up from her shiny silver shoes, everyone standing around in a semi-circle & their gasping expressions, the BGM working it (again)… it is a true “Ugly Duckling to Swan” moment, daaahhling.

SILVER: Meteor Garden
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When I first saw this I: could not stop looking at the midriff area of Shan Cai‘s dress… WHY ze hole???
What made it: I don’t think black was the right colour for the circumstances but I do think Ah Jing genuinely (man, I am liking that word lol) put her heart into the makeover (you could tell by the way she was combing Shan Cai‘s virgin hair~~) & I also think the effect of the Plain Jane to special-looking thing worked. BTW, the bling on Shan Cai‘s left middle finger… *DROOLS*

BRONZE: Boys Over Flowers
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When I first saw this I: did the one eyebrow-up, one eyebrow-down look- Min Seo Hyun, you clearly do not excel in styling other people’s hair… or was this sub-consciously intentional??
What made it: I had a problem w/ Jan Di‘s facial expressions as she was getting her make-up done *rolls eyes* I surely felt a “Yeah  baby, this is my moment!” attitude from the girl & that irked me worse than what I thought of her actual makeover. Speaking of… To Min Seo Hyun shii: it’s slightly obvious you didn’t want to be upstaged. Your choice to cover up the poor girl up in shaggy white teddy bear fur over a sickly marshmellow pink sequin dress certainly makes people wonder. She was meant to show a teensy bit more flesh! I mean, how else are you meant to trigger certain peeps’ hormones?? And to top it off, you gave her a curly hairdo to rival Mr Ultimate Bad Perm himself, Goo Joon Pyo. But I will say… I did like his reaction here. The “Aoish !” sound he made after failing to win a first dance w/ his destined lover was rather endearingly cute (Wow, I can say something nice about him ><;;)

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BATTLE 5: The Piano Scene

The low-down: Pretenders alert, attend your piano lessons now!

Somehow, the Weed Grass Heroine has found herself at yet another upper-society gathering. Surely you can only humiliate yourself so many times in a lifetime, girl. This is starting to get ridiiiculous.

Major thanks to the brains of the F4 boys, The Weed Grass Heroine is having to fake her family background. But you know the Evil Mother is there & she can see through it all. She requests vocally in front of all the guests for the Weed Grass Heroine to kindly play a piano piece for them all. After all, if you are the daughter from an affluent family, your parents surely would’ve used all (torturous medieval) means to get you to take music lessons from an early age, right? But oh yeah, that’s right! The Weed Grass Heroine is faking it! But she still steps up to the plate. Another wonderous display of courage *salutes*

GOLD: Meteor Garden
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When I first saw this I: totally gave out one big giant standing O.
What made it: The speech!

Firstly, F4‘s reaction afterwards = another pure gold moment xDD Back to the actual scene- when Shan Cai was clanking the crap out of the piano keys, I was cringing so badly for her… but then slowly, a soft, delicate musical tune starts to seduce everybody’s ears & Shan Cai, telling some story of a famous philosopher’s view on women who trip on personal power, delivers the speech of a lifetime. She indirectly but quite in-your-face-ally downs the face of Dao Ming Feng.

That is what I am talkin’ ’bout, girlfriend.

SILVER: Boys Over Flowers
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When I first saw this I: got a little weepy (wait, do we sense a compliment coming on??)
What made it: Now that we mention it, there is actually one Joon Pyo & Jan Di moment that I didn’t mind (!!!!!!) *impish laugh* Sorry. Yes. I did like how they used Jan Di‘s piano-playing & singing to express her feelings here. Not that I think Joon Pyo deserved it, nor did I rate the emotional mess that Jan Di had turned into, but looking at the scene individually, I can’t deny it was touching. Maybe Ji Hoo‘s expression helped persuade me but nevertheless, this was a pretty devoutly delicate moment.

BRONZE: Hana Yori Dango
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When I first saw this I: was waiting for a turning point… but it didn’t come!
What made it: Well, all I felt was the humiliation for Makino. Seriously, girl, why did you even get yourself up there? If it were me, I would’ve darted over to Rui & let him deal w/ it. Let him save my day! Is that not what he was born for??

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BATTLE 6: The Autistic One Saves The Day

The low-down: The Arrogant Leader With The Bad Perm has issued an order to some (what I can only label as) losers to make life hell for the Weed Grass Heroine but they misconstrue his intent. That, or their hormones are overriding their limbs. Oh the powers of puberty. These losers corner the Weed Grass Heroine, she puts up a fair fight but she is simply being physically overpowered & outnumbered. But… the Autistic One just happens to be in the vicinity. He speaks up, steps in, tells the losers where to go. And voila, they’re gone. The Weed Grass Heroine is in tears but it’s all good. Lifeline number one given by the Autistic One but so many more to come.

GOLD: Meteor Garden
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When I first saw this I: fully fell for it.
What made it: Hua Ze Lei‘s personal tip to Shan Cai– “Whenever you feel the urge to cry, just do a handstand & your tears will go away.” So what do we all go & do??? Stand upside down. Damn it, you lie to me, pretty boy.

I always felt like this was the first moment where Ah Lei begins to open up. In a way though it was kinda like, “Whaaat??? You can speak??” lol Shan Cai‘s crying here was super believable, too.

SILVER: Hana Yori Dango
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When I first saw this I: wanted to raid every science lab / home-ec. looking classroom in this world.
What made it: Rui. Rui. Rui. Seeing him suddenly emerge from lying so mysteriously across the chairs w/ an open book over his sleeping face (seriously, how do you look so good??) & stand oh-so-tall… I am quite sure my eyes did that glistening thing like you see on anime girls xDD Quick character check: Doesn’t like trouble. Man of few words. Likes to sleep. Hot. I think Oguri Shun pretty much encapsulated the character right here. Hanazawa Rui, daisukidesu ^U^

BRONZE: Boys Over Flowers
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When I first saw this I: had to look away (before being reeled back in by Ji Hoo‘s voice xD)
What made it: I was yet again a bit distressed by the graphic violence showcased in this scene (someone pls dial 911!!!) I could not believe how seriously these loser guys were taking their special assignment. Then, when Yoon Ji Hoo entered the scene, I was even more confused. Hotcakes? Honestly? Could you be any more random? (although, feel free to make me some, ah, one morning perhaps *evil thoughts* xDD)

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BATTLE 7: The Airport Scene

The low-down: The First Love is jetting off to the City of Lovers! But there is so much love in the airport already… do you really need to go? F3 & The Weed Grass Heroine are there to see her off, meanwhile craving for the Autistic One to show up & chase after his First Love. But his face is nowhere to be seen! The First Love vanishes past the gates & they’re convinced it’s all over. But da-da-daaaan !! He is here! With a ticket in his hand! Congratulations. He goes over to thank the Weed Grass Heroine, before taking off, by kissing her on the forehead. She has given him so much already apparently but little does the Autistic One know how much he is going to sacrifice to her down the road. Bon voyage !

GOLD: Hana Yori Dango
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When I first saw this I: barely even saw Makino.
What made it: The apple. The big glossy apple! This was a fundamental missing element in the Taiwanese & Korean versions of the scene. The apple isn’t simply a snack for the road here, it represents so much more.

Yeah Rui‘s kiss on Makino‘s forehead made me go a little giddy but the sheer display of friendship btwn F4, more specifically Domyouji & Hanazawa Rui, was really what made me drop to my damn knees & count every one of my fangirl blessings. Akira & Jiro, knowing that Domyouji can not express his feelings, go to give him an apple (how so quickly & where from I don’t understand, but whatever.) The misty-eyed (but still trying to act tough) Domyouji hurls the apple to a doe-eyed Rui (who, in all honesty to me, looked like he was scared of breaking a nail as he caught it but… still kinda cute though xDD) who catches it & knows. He knows what the apple means. And then as they watch Rui‘s plane take off, Domyouji screams “Rui! Ganbatte !” at maximum volume whilst waving beserkly like an Arashi fangirl *gush* Bro-mance is my new favourite word xDD

SILVER: Meteor Garden
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When I first saw this I: prayed for Winnie Qian to just shed her darn wig.
What made it: Ah Si‘s sudden words of wisdom, causing Shan Cai to look at him in a new light for the first time. I have to say though, her crying didn’t completely work for me here but the F4 friendship thing again was the real shining splendour. Mei Zuo‘s cool American-accented English & Xi Men‘s “Even I salute you” comment make for some great Hua Ze Lei lovin’. And then Ah Si doesn’t even say a word to him… but you can still totally feel the connection. The bond between the four of them is beyond words.

BRONZE: Boys Over Flowers
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When I first saw this I: thought to myself, “Is that it?”
What made it: Apart from the impeccable exhibition of winter fashion here, I didn’t really get much out of this scene. There was barely any attempt at showing the closeness between the Korean F4, much less between F2. For the love of mankind, you guys have grown up w/ ea other since you were fashion model midgets & now, hello, one of your members is flying away to Paris, returning indefinitely! At least mimic like you may miss him. Min Seo Hyun‘s expression as she departed was the best thing about the scene (Ji Hoo, where are you??) but the friendship factor I felt from those boys was a big fat zilch.

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BATTLE 8: The Double Date Punch-On

The low-down: “A commoner’s date??? No way he will agree to go on one!!!” the Weed Grass Heroine tells her Vanilla Best Friend. “But, a double date will be so much fun!!” the Best Friend replies. So the Weed Grass Heroine pleads w/ her new boyfriend. At first he looks down on the idea but eventually agrees because, well, he is willing to try anything for her. So they rock up but the Vanilla Best Friend’s boyfriend is like the epitome of a tool!! The Arrogant Leader puts up w/ all his tactless blabbing all day long. He sucks up all the ridiculing comments, well, again, because of HER. However, he soon finds out that this tool is two-timing the Vanilla Best Friend. And this tool thinks it’s perfectly fine. What a tool. The Arrogant Leader can’t take it anymore so he missiles a fireball of a punch at the “guy.” I say, beat him up some more, darn it.

GOLD: Meteor Garden
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When I first saw this I: wanted to be there, hanging off Jerry‘s arm.
What made it: The amusement park setting! Aaaaahh, I don’t know why but I am embarrassed to say, dates at amusement parks make me grin. And it was nice seeing Shan Cai naturally acting more like a girlfriend around Ah Si. The accumulation of Ah Si‘s aggravation was built up logically & the punch he finally struck was undoubtedly the most righteous feeling one of them all. Team DMS FTW!

SILVER: Hana Yori Dango
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When I first saw this I: gasped in horror at the dead animal dangling around the collar of Domyouji. Eek.
What made it: I would’ve thumped try-hard gangsta boy Nakatsuka in the face as soon as I saw him so for His Royal Highness Domyouji to resist for that long… I truly applaud him d(^_^)b

BRONZE: Boys Over Flowers
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When I first saw this I: thought to myself, why are all these bystanders just standing there, pointing & staring but doing anything at all??
What made it: Again, I hearted Jan Di‘s outfit. This girl sure rakes it in in the fashion stakes (although how she affords to produce a different but equally trendy ensemble every single day remains something for a tandem like Mulder & Scully to decipher.) And I didn’t mind the whole ice-skating theme. The lights diffused against the night backdrop was romantic. But I didn’t like how much of a scene Goo Joon Pyo created as he was continually hammering down the poor boy. Come on, one punch should’ve been sufficient. And it’s not even a fair battle anyways! Anyone w/ eyes can see you are easily able to own that skinny-ass.

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BATTLE 9: The Comeback At The Ex-Boyfriend

The low-down: The Vanilla Best Friend has been two-timed & reduced to next-to-nothing levels of self-esteem by some random toyboy who thinks he is actually God’s gift to women (which he most definitely is not.) The Playboy sees her lowly state & swears to help her seek revenge. He vamps her up (but still maintaining her class) & takes her out to a hot spot, knowing that the ex-boyfriend would be there. The ex-boyfriend sees just how hot the Vanilla Best Friend has become & of course can not control his manhood & tries to get close to her again. The Playboy intercedes, he asks the Vanilla Best Friend if she knows him & secretly prompts her to say no. This was her chance to get back at him in front of everyone. She takes the deepest breath of her life & squeaks out a resounding “No.” The Unlikely Couple walk out together leaving the ex-boyfriend humiliated in front of about a million onlookers.

GOLD: Meteor Garden
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When I first saw this I: wanted Ken & Rainie to be together forever.
What made it: Xi Men‘s perfectly executed, step-by-step revenge plot. And all the skanky ladies’ in-awe reaction to our most treasured playboy made me chuckle exhaustively. Oh yeah, give me five honey!

To add to the effect, the ex-boyfriend here actually looks like a qualified playboy himself, esp in comparison to the other versions. He was a jerk but he was still a man. You could understand why the women did flock to him (not that I was personally attracted.) The Japanese dude was a little too Yo! Wassup my homey-G kinda looking & the Korean boy was… well, that’s all. A boy.

SILVER: Hana Yori Dango
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When I first saw this I: contemplated, maybe I could fancy Matsuda Shota xDD
What made it: Jiro‘s pow! “If you make my girl cry again I will rip out your guts through your ass.” I didn’t know Shota-kun had that side to him. But I kinda dig it. Oh would you please invite me to one of your tea parties, baby xD

BRONZE: Boys Over Flowers
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When I first saw this I: shook my head @ the Kenny G-ness.
What made it: I liked this scene until Yi Jung started playing the saxophone. How lame & how wrong was the look. It’s a real shame really because everything else was planned out so prettily (pretty is the word to use whenever I am talking about the… SoEulmates…urgh, I said it. I don’t like that term but I said it ><“) Her make-over was cute, he looked pretty cute, & he actually looked like the manlier being for once (although it’s kinda automatic standing next to the toss-pot wannabe playboy of an ex-boyfriend. And this dude actually looked like the biggest toss-pot out of all 3 versions -_-; ) And when they continued on to play boyfriend/girlfriend after leaving the club, that was such a pretty sight to behold, too.

But seriously, shame on the sax.

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BATTLE 10: The Scene Where His Memory Returns

The low-down: Of course no fairytale would be complete w/o a case of amnesia of some description! Who is the (un)lucky nominee? The Arrogant Leader With The Bad Perm (duh)!! In Taiwan, his memory has been CTRL+ALT+DELed for good but in Japan & South Korea, he has just had the one file erased- the love of his life aka the Weed Grass Heroine, that’s all. But the Weed Grass Heroine has full belief that even though she is not in his memory at the moment, she is still in his heart. She openly fights for his love for the first time w/ some dippy, nit-witted girl who is just plain-ass relentlessly in the frckn way. It was quite a battle but of course, in the end, true love prevails & his memory is restored!!!!! Never can the Star Couple’s love for each other be driven out of their body & soul.

GOLD: Hana Yori Dango
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When I first saw this I: dreamt about elevators, snow blizzards & cookies.
What made it: “For me, love tastes like that lousy cookie you made me.”

Everything that happened up until now, everything that Domyouji & Makino experienced together over the last how-ever many years, every gift, every word & every feeling exchanged… it all came to full circle in the last couple of episodes.

I loved the addition of Toda Erika here & the despise Rui showed towards her character, Nakashima Umi– but his attitude was all w/ good reason. The girl was a shameless biaatch. But she totally came into good use lol Thankyou Umi-chan for your jumbo flop in the cookie making department ^O^!!

If it wasn’t for her, our beloved F4 leader would not have recalled the taste of love. He would not have dashed out into the blizzard w/o thinking to be the hero for our dear heroine (Hanazawa Rui, step the heck aside.) We would not have been able to re-live the glorious elevator scene again.

This is THE way it was meant to be <3

SILVER: Meteor Garden
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When I first saw this I: let out the biggest for-eff’s-sake of a SIGH ever: “FINALLY.”
What made it: Well, the sequel was no where near the same level of brilliance as the first but at least they tried to make the memory loss situation somewhat more life-like. Whether or not this was a good thing, I will never know but I was just friggin glad that Ye Sha was about to be scooted out of the picture *claps hands HARD* I liked how they played the moment, how he reaches for the coin underwater & all the images of him reaching for the (gorgeous but obviously cursed) meteor ring in the car in Barcelona rushes through his head. Then he wakes up in the hospital bed & the sunshine is peeping through the curtains onto his face. All his memories of him & Shan Cai flash like a movie reel before his eyes. He reaches out to the girl lying asleep beside his bed thinking, hoping, imagining it was Shan Cai. Of course it wasn’t but it’s okay, because yippee!! Dao Ming Si is baaack.

Hmm, & Jerry in a swimsuit works miracles, too.

BRONZE: Boys Over Flowers
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When I first saw this I: flinched, “You can not be serious, girl.”
What made it: Visually, I think it was a beautiful scene. Everything else, I explicitly would not recommend ^^;;

You could argue that Jan Di had so much love & trust in Goo Joon Pyo that she was confident enough to lay her life on the line. And actually, sometimes I almost coax myself into believing her decision here was a courageous thing but… no. I mean, come the heck on, I hope nobody thinks this is the role model of what love should be. For me, in essence it conveys the message, “I can not or will not live w/o you” & I just don’t agree that it’s within the Weed Grass spirit to do something like this. She should be someone who can live on by herself irrespective of everyone & everything around her. Instead, Jan Di elects to inhale copious amounts of chlorine to the degree that I actually started to worry that she may end up w/ brain damage (although, there seemed to be something wrong w/ her head already anyways >_>;)

And Earth to Ji Hoo sunbae! You damn well should’ve dipped into the water & changed up the ending for me! You had so much time to do it, too!! But like your other fellow Autistic Ones, you sacrificed yourself for good. Fine. I’ll take you.

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Far out. This was by far the one of the most strenuous things I have ever done. Has anyone who can’t read Chinese ever tried to look for quality pictures & screencaps of Meteor Garden over the web?? Well, don’t. Because they do not exist.

But I did enjoy re-watching all these scenes v. v. muchly xDDDDDD And there were many more scenes that I could’ve stalked, rated & compared but ten is a perfect number. So I chose the ten that I felt had the most meaning (to me at least.) Alright, alright, that was a semi-excuse. It was actually really tiring trying to work out which episodes every scene came from ^^;; Dùi bù qĭ/gomen ne/mianhaeyo. Forgive me.

I did want to talk about the moment when the Autistic One earns his own money for the first time though as it is one of my favourite moments ever but… I couldn’t recollect if & when they played that scene in Hana Yori Dango *hangs head in shame* T_T

*looks up again* A full re-watch is definitely in need! And I would love to hear what everyone’s favourite scenes are btw :)) Please share!

Okay, to the current GOLD tally >>>

Taiwan: 13  Japan: 8  Korea: 4

What is going on here..???

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Next installment: The Other Bits & Pieces.

(^This one shouldn’t take up nearly as many brain cells. Which is good, because I don’t have many left.)





MG VS HYD VS BOF – Part 2: The Couples

6 03 2010

Chemistry. Sometimes you just have to be born w/ it.

For me, chemistry is the be all et end all in all series & movies that come under the romance genre. Just because it says so in the script doesn’t mean jack if you don’t show it through the way you behave. That’s correct, jack.

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BATTLE 1: The Star Couple

GOLD: MatsuJun+Inoue Mao
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Chemistry factor: 10/10 (& then some…)
In a word: Destiny.
Fangirl moment: The elevator scene in S1. From how Domyouji was peeing to how icked out Makino was when she had to hang onto his unwashed hands so she wouldn’t fall to the bottom of the elevator shaft, to the way she nursed him all night. The bird’s eye view image of them sleeping harmoniously side by side together is freaking fangirl iconic.

SILVER: Jerry+Barbie
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Chemistry factor: 10/10
In a word: Fairytale.
Fangirl moment: The bus scene where Ah Si chases a million blocks after Shan Cai who is running away from him on the bus but eventually she realises she can’t suppress her heart anymore. She gets off & runs back to him. They smile, they tease, they hug. It’s all gooooood. I would also like to mention episode 1 of the (totally whack) sequel. They’re in Barcelona, sharing a slice of cake, Ah Si steals the only strawberry & Shan Cai playfully gets grumpy.

SC: You’ll have to make up for it!
DMS: Don’t worry, I’ll spend the rest of my life making it up to you

Then they wipe cake off each other’s faces. Disgusting (>_>;)

BRONZE: Lee Min Ho+Goo Hye Sun
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Chemistry factor: …
In word: Let’s not even go there.
Fangirl moment: If I have to rack my brains… probably the declaration-of-war moment when Jan Di does a massive roundhouse kick right into Goo Joon Pyo‘s noggin. I did remember laughing out loud. Truth be told, that moment was golden. Actually, did anyone else think they only had chemistry when they were hating on each other in the beginning?

☆Allow me to ramble on a bit: The reason why I couldn’t stand the sight of Joon Pyo+Jan Di was because they made it look so callously dire when they were around each another. It was like falling in love was the biggest burden ever cast upon them. Jan Di‘s moments w/ Joon Pyo involved so much more pain than joy & content. When they fought, you could see it cut her deep. This was never the case w/ Domyouji+Makino or Dao Ming Si+Shan Cai. Even when they fought, it seemed like they were enjoying it. It was their way of showing affection for each other. Never, ever did it seem like they were ashamed or regretful of their love. Joon Pyo+Jan Di however, often made it seem like, “You know what, maybe life would be better off w/o you.” That, my friend, is not a good thing ( ̄□ ̄;)

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BATTLE 2: The Couple That Could Never Be

GOLD: Vic+Barbie
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Chemistry factor: 10/10
In a word: MARS <333333 (thank goodness for a redemption series, woot!)
Fangirl Moment: The scene when Shan Cai is searching for the meteor necklace in the water that Dao Ming Si tossed away to mark their “official” break up. Ah Lei sees her from afar & asks what’s wrong. She frantically pleads for help, he hops into the water (w/o even rolling his pants up!) to join the search party. He stops for one moment to look up at her & this is when he KNOWS. We all know. My heart broke for both of them but in two very different ways. Oh Hua Ze Lei, you silly complex human being.

SILVER: Hyun Joong+Hye Sun
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Chemistry Factor: 8/10 (all from Ji Hoo‘s end really.)
In a word: Pfft.
Fangirl Moment: Many. When he was busking on the streets of Macau & then the piggyback ride home after her heel snaps (I wish I timed things more conveniently in my life like that.) When he goes to find her hiding at his Grandfather’s clinic mopping her troubles away. When he wipes away her tears after she finds out she has to give up her swimming. When he shields her from seeing Joon Pyo pash Jae Kyung in the stairwell. When he tries to give her his mother’s ring. When he cuts her freaking hair. When he plays the guitar/piano/whatever-the-heck-else for her. The car-washing together. The window-cleaning situation. The moment at the art gallery w/ the whole lotus thing. Him taking his beanie off to put on her head to keep her warm. Seriously, pfft, is about right I reckon.

BRONZE: Oguri Shun+Inoue Mao
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Chemistry factor: 7.5/10
In a word: Domyouji.Rui+Makino were probably alot cuter together than what I remember but the lasting impression of Domyouji‘s pursuit of Makino burned into my deepest of fangirl hearts overshadows everything (but I still heart you, Hanazawa Rui.)
Fangirl Moment: Everytime he said “Makino” xDD Seriously.

Scene-wise, the bit after Makino & Domyouji break up at his house, Rui sees it all & runs after her. He gets halfway up the bridge & stops. Something goes off inside his silly head & he decides not to go after her. Instead, he just watches her back fade away before he turns around & walks back, the bridge forever separating them. I will never forget Rui‘s expression here & me lashing out at him on the TV screen, “AARGH! Why did you stop! I hate you! I hate you!”

Seriously, I hate him (N.)

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BATTLE 3: The Unlikely Couple

GOLD: Ken+Rainie
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Chemistry factor: 10/10
In a word: Mike He, move over (not really one word, but meh.)
Fangirl moment: Their “Gimme five!” moment after getting back at Xiao You‘s ex-boyfriend. And whenever he would go to the cake shop & lean over the counter to talk to her *SIGH* If Ken+Rainie were a couple in real life I would be so happy xDD

SILVER: Kim Bum+Kim So Eun
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Chemistry factor: 8/10
In a word: Pretty (too pretty.)
Fangirl moment: Sadly, I must confess I did enjoy ogling at them when they were in New Caledonia & Ga Eul goes selca nuts.

Ooooohh, & all the pottery making. So not wannabeing Ghost at all (>.>;)

BRONZE: Matsuda Shota+Nishihara Aki
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Chemistry factor: 7/10
In a word: Half-brewed.
Fangirl moment: In the epilogue, when Yuki is shamelessly making it obvious she is after Jiro. I’m really beginning to adore what I see here but gah, it’s all too late!

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BATTLE 4: The Couple That Almost Got Hitched

GOLDJerry+Ke Huan Ru
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Chemistry factor: 8/10
In a word: Bubbalicious.
Fangirl moment: The ear-biting moment. Out of the three versions, I dig this one the most xDD To me, they actually look like they could be a couple. Their playfight moments were kinda cute.

SILVER: MatsuJun+Kato Natsuki
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Chemistry factor: 7.5/10
In a word: Crackalicious.
Fangirl moment: Whenever they were screaming at each other at the top of their lungs. This somehow entertained me alot^^;; The most overtly comedic, crazy-ass pair out of all three versions. I liked. Alot xDD

BRONZE: Min Ho+Min Jung
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Chemistry factor: 7/10
In a word: Get-outta-ma-face-alicious
Fangirl moment: Mmm… maybe when they were shopping at the supermarket together?? I guess I just like seeing glamorous couples do everyday mundane, domestic activities (although I must say, grocery shopping is actually alot of fun xD) To clarify my feelings for these two, I stand by that they were both selfish human beings but they did work pretty well on-screen together, looks-wise & acting-wise. I just didn’t enjoy watching them- it was like, “Would you just get over yourselves already?”

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BATTLE 5: The Couple That Never Really Was

GOLD: Vic+Winnie Qian
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Chemistry factor: 8/10
In a word: Surreal.
Fangirl moment: Probably… in the sequel, in Barcelona, when Ah Jing tries to hold onto Ah Lei but he makes it crystal-clear that his heart is w/ someone else *COUGH*Shan Cai* It was like finally he was strong enough to come out from under her wings & fly free himself. He was no longer afraid to be hurt.

SILVER: Kim Hyun Joong+Han Chae Young
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Chemistry factor: 7.5/10
In a word: Hotness.
Fangirl moment: When he kisses the billboard poster of her xDD I can not put it into words as to why I got so freaking excited. I also enjoyed the moment when Seo Hyun returns to Seoul & they totally hug it out in the airport w/ a million sets of enviously admiring eyes. Heck yes I wish I was wearing the white.

BRONZE: Shun+Sada Mayumi
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Chemistry factor: 6/10
In a word: Wrong.
Fangirl moment: I’m sorry but I didn’t buy these two at all (x_x) But I suppose I didn’t mind the scene where she is trying to palm him off to Makino, he gets sulky & then she goes after him in the rain (I think it’s the darkness & the rain that makes it.) And also, well, the billboard thing again. Can you blame me for thinking Shun looks really good whenever he is in a full-on brooding, gaze-on state??

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And there we go. The couples, done. Which brings us to the latest GOLD tally…

Taiwan: 8 Japan: 5 Korea: 4

What the, Japan is trailing? Honto??

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Next installment: The Scenes.

(P.S. This is really hard work, I must say.)





MG VS HYD VS BOF – Part 1: The People

3 03 2010

Because it’s all about the people.

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BATTLE 1: The Weed Grass Heroine
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GOLD: Barbie Xu
SILVER: Inoue Mao
BRONZE: Do we even bother?*

My 2+CENTS: V. v. close btwn first & second place. I love LOVE LOVE Inoue Mao‘s perfect high-school girl portrayal of Makino Tsukushi, her on-song comedic timing & her amazing chemistry w/ Jun-kun but Shan Cai showed me a more human-like fighting “weed grass” spirit that made me empathise & believe.

I really believed that Shan Cai was wholeheartedly loyal & compassionate & truly, truly put her family & friends before herself. She was righteous, just like her lover ;O I cried w/ her, I laughed w/ her, I actually wanted to be there for her. Out of the three, I also genuinely believed she was the only one who would be able to find a way to make a living for herself even w/ the whole world scheming against her. And as strong as she was in protecting her loved ones, she also had the same amount of heart to love. I totally got the feeling she could protect Ah Si as much as he could protect her.

*Do we even bother?: I never thought Goo Hye Sun was a bad actress but Boys Over Flowers has made me think twice about her versatility.

I guess to be fair, Geum Jan Di was a pretty lamely written character w/ pretty lamely scripted actions (but on a positive note, amazing fashion sense ^^ OMG I want those shiny patent Oxford shoes w/ the hot pink soles she donned in Macau & one of the heels broke & then Ji Hoo had to piggyback her… or is it the piggyback ride I want? Anyways, I shall continue…) I thought she really lost her sense of self once she & her “man” of destiny Goo Joon Pyo realised their (so-called) love for one another. And this sudden snap in character was pretty abrupt. All I did was blink & the loud, obnoxious but at least semi-entertaining girl from the hood had vanished before my eyes! What was left was a silly ass woman who wept night in & night out over some curly-haired idiot, all at the same time whilst playing serious mind games w/ my darling Ji Hoo sunbae. Totally unforgivable ><” (one thing I did like about Jan Di though was her passion for swimming. Her choice for a medical career however, certainly made me ponder…)

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BATTLE 2: The Arrogant Leader With The Bad Perm
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GOLD: Matsumoto Jun
SILVER: Jerry Yan
BRONZE: Do we even bother?#

My 2+CENTS: In a nutshell, MatsuJun PWNS.

Many will argue Jun didn’t have the physical build to pull off the character but IMO, he more than made up for it w/ his acting. He may be the lankiest & the least tall of the three (notice my choice of words lol) but to me he was def the manliest of them all- & I say this objectively (totally crossing my heart here.) Completely bought his bakaness, his passion, his temper, his innocence, his loyalty, his innate, primal need to be Makino‘s man. And seriously, if you ask me, anyone who renders the King Of Pop‘s fashion & pulls it off deserves highest glory xDD

I loved Jerry’s portrayal of Dao Ming Si as well. The acting may not have been of any great technical excellence but he had a natural righteousness about him I thought the character should have. (Unlike Goo Joon Pyo *pfft*) PLUS, his dimple xDDDDDD

#Do we even bother?:  I’m sorry… no wait, I’m not sorry. He should be the one who is sorry. I’m here to say what I want!

By contrast to Jerry‘s portrayal, I definitely felt evil through Lee Min Ho‘s depiction as the F4 leader. On top of that, in my eyes, Goo Joon Pyo was a certified coward. Seriously, when did you see him fight for his “love” for Jan Di?? Heck, he would’ve been married to Jae Kyung had that crazy woman chose not to action a last-millisecond dispensing of the bomb-head. While Domyouji & Dao Ming Si admittedly had pompous egos, it was still evident that ultimately their love for their girl was the one thing they most wanted to protect. I can’t recall one event where Joon Pyo made a proactive move that forced other people to see just how much Jan Di meant to him (I mean, come on, getting out of you car to pash her in peak hour traffic? How much guts does that take??) If you ask me, the thing Joon Pyo cared most about was himself & his nasty perm.

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BATTLE 3: The Autistic One
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GOLD: Spare Me
SILVER: Seriously
BRONZE: …I can not choose.

Get over yourself already: If there is ever a debate category in Asian drama land that divides my heart up the most, it’s this one, right here.

I want to say Vic because he was the first. He is the one responsible for propelling me into penultimate Asian drama infatuation, no return. Ah Lei seemed the most like a lost soul (some may argue zombie or wooden mummy) before Shan Cai entered his life. He was the one I most wanted to baby & he will be forever my Hua Ze Lei. I think he looks the most manga-esque out of the three. And he also looks like the best kisser xDD

I want to say Shun because he acted the role the best. I think the other two were more born naturally into their respective characters but in terms of the technical aspect & understanding where Rui stood in the scheme of the story, Shun had the best grasp on the role. You saw & understood Rui‘s character development. Plus, it’s Oguri Shun xDD

I want to say Hyun Joong because his smile is like the sunshine & he played not one, not two, but THREE of my favourite musical instruments in the series! *melts* He did too freaking much for Jan Di & genuinely did not expect anything in return. He was her true Guardian Angel. And he was actually the better man in Boys Over Flowers. And did I not mention his Burberry coat? xDD

So who??? Who?? WHOOO?? *pulls hair out*

Screw it, give me all three of them & a dark corner now.

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BATTLE 4: The Playboy
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GOLD: Matsuda Shota
SILVER: Ken Zhu
BRONZE: Do we even bother?^

My 2+CENTS: Can’t really begin w/o bagging the crap out of a certain SYJ.

^Do we even bother?: So Yi Jung in the beginning = relatively charming. So Yi Jung in dramatic scene(s) = EPIC FAIL *runs & hides from Kim Bum fangirls* Case in point- the scene where Ga Eul takes him onto the rooftop to see the whole billboard thing that his ex-girlfriend had wanted him to see x number of years ago… Kim Bum totally butchered this scene. 100000.236% butchered it. I think he got confused thinking excessive wailing = well-expressed painful emotion *buzzer* WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. Overrated to say the least. Go watch Shota-kun’s version of the scene & you will actually feel what you’re supposed to feel.

I also feel Kim Bum‘s looks were too boyishly cute to play the role. Ken was a smidge too much of a man’s man- but I loved the feisty, don’t-give-a-fudge attitude he instilled into Xi Men. For me, Matsuda Shota exerted the perfect blend of playboy good looks & masculine suaveness, just what I’d picture Nishikado Soujiro to be. All the tea ceremony goodness made me believe he was someone who valued tradition, too (major plus points.)

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BATTLE 5: The Carefree Cougar Hunter
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GOLD: Kim Joon
SILVER: Vanness Wu
BRONZE: Abe Tsuyoshi

My 2+CENTS: I almost, almost picked my homeboy Vanness but I was swayed by (my personal) THEY SHOULD HAVE GIVEN WAY MORE SCREEN TIME TO WOO BIN (!!!) Campaign. There wasn’t much womanising action from him but still, I think Kim Joon was so, so, so COOL. As soon as he said his “Yo! Yo! Yo! Yo!” (followed by some pretty darn cute Engrish) in the first episode, that was me gone. Instant fan. He made the character what it was meant to be… an upbeat guy who valued friendship & loyalty & would stand up & defend his mates when they were in need. I would totally voluntarily be his right (or left) hand in fighting crime across the universe.

Argh, but I can’t help but feel bad for not saying Vanness was the best!! No wait, I really wanted to!!! In terms of the happy-go-lucky, older-woman-womaniser part of the character, & the silky, pan-straight, beautifully lustrous hair, he got it right (even the hair flicks were phenomenal^^;;) Probably the one thing Mei Zuo lost me on was his impetuousness. I simply preferred Woo Bin‘s, well, cooooolness.

As for Abe-kun… well, not his fault. His character was virtually a complete non-factor in HanaDan. Not his fault (did I say that already??)

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BATTLE 6: The Vanilla Best Friend
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GOLD: Kim So Eun
SILVER: Rainie Yang
BRONZE: Nishihara Aki

My 2+CENTS: This role is difficult to pull off w/o getting on the nerves of a modern-day female (truly, feminists of this world, look away.)  Aki-chan’s effort was a little too unfocused for me. Rainie was too painfully little girl. I would say I liked Kim So Eun‘s interpretation most. Ga Eul was every bit the girly girl but she didn’t turn into a colossal loser when she lost in love (I adore Rainie but remember Xiao You miserably roaming the streets of Taipei before plonking herself into a dismal squat on the side of the street after she got played?? *shakes head in disgrace*) I found Ga Eul to be quietly strong (esp for Jan Di) & genuinely chaste- w/o being irritating. This could be more a case of just being naturally right for the role. Kim So Eun‘s pure, innocent looks definitely working to her advantage here.

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BATTLE 7: The First Love
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GOLD: Winnie Qian
SILVER: Han Chae Young
BRONZE: Sada Mayumi

My 2+CENTS: Oh Winnie Qian, oh Winnie Qian, why are you so pretty? You gave Tang Teng Jing such a refined, ethereal aura that we all know not just any man would be able to stand within a 100m radius of you.

Oh Han Chae Young, oh Han Chae Young, why are you so pretty? You carried Min Seo Hyun w/ such a glamourously expensive air of elegance & made her the type that all powerful, wealthy hoteliers would fight to be-wife.

I chose Winnie as my favourite, partially because she was the first, but also because I really think she captured the clean grace of the character. She definitely wasn’t the type to just mingle w/ anybody but she wasn’t someone who looked down on those who were socially &/or economically lesser fortunate than herself by any means. And I truly believed she was the one who had guided Ah Lei to where he was now.

Sada Mayumi is a very pretty girl but I didn’t buy her as the successful but (apparently) down-to-earth Todo Shizuka. To me, she totally came off as fake. Like, I-know-you-secretly-enjoy-filthy-rich-men-showering-you-w/-gazillion-dollars-worth-of-pearls fake (>_>)

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BATTLE 8: The Kick Ass Big Sister
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GOLD: Kim Hyun Joo
SILVER: Mary Hsu
BRONZE: Matsushima Nanako

My 2+CENTS: Lusciously even battlefield here!! Easily could’ve been a 3way tie. I think all three ladies were perfectly cast. I had an enormous girl crush on Kim Hyun Joo prior to Boys Over Flowers as it was anyways but her enactment as the super-duper-sassy-cool Goo Joon Hee made me love her even more. I suppose I most relished watching her execute some major ass whooping on the fool that was Goo Joon Pyo. I also enjoyed Mary‘s role as Dao Ming Zhuang for the same reason- her punches & kicks were amazing (am I closet sadistic??) Domyouji Tsubaki was a little more muted in her violent behaviour towards her brother but nevertheless, she was still extremely elegant, extremely graceful & extremely charismatic.

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BATTLE 9: The Crazy Monkey Fiancee
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GOLD: Kato Natsuki
SILVER: Ke Huan Ru
BRONZE: Lee Min Jung

My 2+CENTS: Well if it wasn’t for the Mike Tyson diet monkey girl. I think this is more a matter of who grated my nerves the least. On this accord, Lee Min Jung definitely loses. For the love of mankind, Jae Kyung wasn’t even a person you could empathise w/, she was just downright childish. Tell me it’s friendship you are really missing, girl & I will regurgitate right now in your face. I thought Jae Kyung was definitely a spoilt princess who always wanted what she couldn’t have. Her face came first. Even when she “gave up” on Joon Pyo, she did it at the altar in front of EVERYONE. Humiliation to the max. If I were the parents I would’ve smacked her down on the spot.

On the other hand, both Kato Natsuki & Ke Huan Ru were able to express the lonely, isolated side of the character much better. You could see that deep down, they were just a little girl lost. And you couldn’t completely hate on them! I give Natsuki-chan’s Shigeru the slight edge though because she showed a very formidable maturity & genuine appreciation for her friendship w/ Makino & also because she was just too kawaii ne.

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BATTLE 10: The Evil Mother
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GOLD: Zhen Xiu Zhen
SILVER: Lee Hye Young
BRONZE: Kaga Mariko

My 2+CENTS: I think I had nightmares for weeks after looking into the eyes of Dao Ming Feng (…is someone spying on me, still??) I think the very elegant actress Zhen Xiu Zhen absolutely nailed this role. Bona-fide one woman empire. She exuded the utmost discriminating self-composure & you knew w/ her every glance, she was mentally crushing everyone & everything she deemed to be unworthy of her presence. If looks could kill, you’d wanna stay the heck out of this woman’s way.

I liked Lee Hye Young‘s interpretation as well but I don’t think her Kang Hee Soo quite had the suffocating presence of Dao Ming Feng *still shivering* I like Kago Mariko-san but somehow I can sense a warm, underlying friendliness to her face. To me, she seems too much like the dear little oba-chan who would eventually let you get away w/ doing something naughty after much loving pleading, cuddling & adorning ;D

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Whoa! I made it! I actually hurt! Quick GOLD tally (because we all know, you don’t win the silver, you lose the gold^^;;):

Taiwan: 4 Japan: 4 Korea: 4

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Next installment: The Couples ^^





Quote It: Yoon Ji Hoo

4 01 2010

After running into THIS blog by chance, I’ve decided to make a regular section on my own page where I can share my favourite quotes from the Asian dramas & movies I’ve seen (maybe from some songs, too.) I must begin w/ the quote which has really stuck w/ me from the moment the words danced off the lips of some gorgeous human being w/ golden ginger hair who just happens to be dreamily adept at piano, acoustic guitar & violin…

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” Some things are only visible through faith ”

Yoon Ji Hoo (Boys Over Flowers, ep15)

<3

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I can’t explain exactly why I love this quote so much, all I can say is my heart just feels at peace every time I think of it (corny! but it’s the truth #^^#)





Boys Over Flowers Wallpaper

25 11 2009

I’m too lazy to generate new content at the moment (translation: I’m too busy fangirling J-doramas xPP) so I’ve dug out some Boys Over Flowers wallpaper I made earlier this year (just to keep this blog semi-rolling I suppose.) Please do not hotlink or  re-post w/o permission but most importantly, please enjoy (*´▽`*)

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By the way, just in case you can’t tell, I am a hardcore Ji Hoo sunbae fangirl <3 Out of  the Taiwanese, Japanese & Korean live-action re-enactments of this classic story, the latter one was the only version where I felt like the Rui character deserved the girl more. But sigh, screw the script, Jan Di gambles her life drinking up chlorine & ends up w/ douche bag Goo Joon Pyo.

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