When I first heard about Korea adapting the Japanese manga Hanazakari no Kimitachi e, I groaned, especially because it was going to be produced by the K-Pop idol breeding machine, SM Entertainment. Don’t get me wrong, I love many SM artists but I knew they would be using green idols for the drama and as a fan of the Japanese live-action adaption, I couldn’t help but be cynical.
I was especially afraid of how over-the-top the production would be, considering the source material and premise- a cross-dressing girl attending an all-boys high school. But with this teaser, my fears have been eased somewhat. It’s amazing what a good soundtrack could do. The background music brings an edgy but youthful feeling to the drama. We got such short glimpses of the actors so I can’t say anything about the acting, but if we can base the drama on this teaser, it seems the tone will be nicely understated. I was going to check out this drama no matter what because I loved the Japanese version but now I’m actually excited about it. You did your job, teaser.
To the Beautiful You is directed by Jeon Ki Sang who also helmed the other Japanese manga adaption, Boys Over Flowers. That might cause some alarms to go off for some people but I thought the problem with BOF was more with the writing than the directing. So no alarms with me.
The writer is Lee Young Chul who was part of the team for the popular sitcom, High Kick 3: Counterattack of the Short Legs. By all reports, the sitcom was both thoughtful while being comedic, so I’m hoping that the writer will also bring that kind of vibe to this drama.
I love the uniforms!
As for the actors, Sulli of the K-Pop group f(x) plays Mizuki, the cross-dressing girl; Minho of SHINee plays Sano Izumi, the high-jump champion that Mizuki idolizes, and Lee Hyun Woo (God of Study) plays Nakatsu, the soccer player who becomes Mizuki’s best friend at the school. Minho is known to be athletic so the role of a high-jumper won’t be too much of reach, although I have no idea about his acting ability. As for Sulli, no opinion whatsoever. Lee Hyun Woo is an actual actor so I’m happy that he is playing Nakatsu, since Nakatsu is my favorite character. I also like how the Korean version actors actually look like that they could be high-schoolers unlike the Japanese version. But still, this teaser makes me miss Shun, Toma, and Maki.
To the Beautiful You will be a 16-episode drama, premiering August 15 on SBS, after Ghost ends. That week is going to one hell of week with Faith and Arang and the Magistrate also premiering. I guess the we’ll get to watch the drama olympics after the real Olympics ends. Let the games begin!