Kap’s Overview of Hanazakari No Kimitachi E (2007)

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Troll faces.

If someone were to ask me the magic of this version, I would say the magic lies in the charming supporting cast. That means minus Oguri Shun and Horitaki Maki, everyone else was spot on in their characters no matter how ridiculous and illogical the scripts asked of them. Don’t complain since they warn you about it in the 1st episode. Suspend your beliefs and enjoy the view.

The Plot

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Chant with me: “You’re watching nonsense makes sense. Totally.”

Sano: I’m gonna sulk for the first half of the drama! My ankle was injured but that’s not the main reason why I quit high-jump. Mizuki shouldn’t know this.

Mizuki: Oh no! My super idol quits high-jump because of me! Me! Clearly, there’s only ONE solution to solve this dilemma! I’m leaving my high-school life behind and join an all-boy school! AM NOT A STALKER! Just a supportive FAN! That’s the foundation of love!

Writer: Remember, your hair must be short. That’s the only requirement to BE a boy. Your soft voice is fine. Cause the boys are dumb.

Mizuki: What about my growing curve?

Writer: Let’s not flatter yourself kiddo. Your acceptance to the school promises ensuing hijinks!

Kaptain: Uh, sad to pop your bubbles, Writer. The boys here don’t need additional stimuli (Mizuki). They don’t sit around and wait for Crazy to come. They bring insanity to the table!

The Characters & Performances

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Sano Izumi is played by everyone (mine too)’s favorite actor, Oguri Shun, and I’ll say this – he was pretty much sleepwalking in the first half of the drama. I didn’t see life in his eyes until episode 6/7 when he began showing signs of concern in regards to the blossoming friendship between Mizuki and Nakatsu. Needless to say, Sano is one of my least favorite characters. He’s the popular kid at school, however introverted he may be, a champion in high jump; someone who isn’t worry of being friendless because other students swarm around him all day and night. His character design is the type I dislike because the connection doesn’t work both ways. Whenever he’s in trouble, countless hands would offer to help and yet when it comes to the strong bond shared between the classmates, I didn’t see it from him. Thus, my indifference towards Sano is due to his lack of involvement with the students on campus. Heck, his friendship with Nakatsu was barely there.

Some moments where Sano’s not busy being a grumpy couch:

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Silly, silly boys.

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Thanks to Nakatsu, Sano isn’t completely boring in my book. He finally has someone to play off with.

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hehehe Oscar doesn’t look forgiving. ๐Ÿ˜›

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The Maid & The Nurse: Front View

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Back View Photobucket

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Horikita Maki portrayed Ashiya Mizuki and the acting made me wail in despair. Oh Maki, Maki. I adore you, I really do. Ever since I saw her in Atashinchi no Danshi, I loved that she doesn’t overact. But apparently, that has become a dangerous trait because her characters are usually unmistakably her, the star everyone loves for being proper and quiet. I found myself restraining from grabbing her shoulders and screaming, “Bring some life into your character!” It’s fitting in Nobuta wo Produce where she portrayed a lonely and cynical teenager. It’s not a sin to be a boring person in real life (she said so herself). However, as an actor, she needs to immerse herself in the role and bring the paper personality to life. If she can’t bring chops to the acting plate, prepare to be served cold on that plate instead. Harsh, but true.

The other problem is…she can’t emote. She can’t make me feel for her characters (unless she’s being bullied and I’m manipulated by the situation, not her acting). It’s the same case for Mizuki. Maki is flat and bland in this role. She didn’t even try to act like a boy, which is essentially the source of comedy for her own character. Is the original heroine in the manga this dull? Because in every scene she was with another actor, 99.9% of the time, I was staring at the other actors simply because they breathed life while she was occupied being the stiff Maki. The other insignificant .1%, I was observing the trees, birds, and you know, the environment. In short, her character just doesn’t stand a chance against the others. You’d think the writer ought to spice up their female lead to avoid the case of Double D (dead & dull), but they didn’t, sadly.

Someone please reassure me that she has improved in recent projects.

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So not as a surprise, I didn’t care for her and Sano’s nonexistent romance. In one particular scene when they were giving each other the supposed “electric flirty” eyes in front of the class, I mentally checked out briefly because it didn’t make sense with their turtle-paced development. Her constant worries about him quickly became irritating and provoked eye rolls from me. She transforms into a naggy girlfriend who wants to interfere with every aspect of his life.

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Ikuta Toma as Nakatsu Shuichi

One episode in and I was asking myself, “Who is this kid?” because he brings light and fun into every scene. Toma played this role, a confused and hormonal teenager, to perfection. I couldn’t imagine Hana Kimi without Nakatsu; that’s how crucial his role is. I went in as a fan of Shun and Maki, but flew out a big fan of his. Frankly, he’s not that handsome or pretty, so looks clearly isn’t the hook element here. (I was paying attention to…um.. Hiro!) What I liked most about his performance is he didn’t try to be cute. His smooth actions, goofy expressions worked well together and in sync with his outrageous thoughts. He didn’t mean for them to be cute but we interpreted them as so because the intention behind is sweet and adorable. (Accepting his homosexuality, imagining a child with two fathers, trying to solve the said dilemma.) I died several times and killed my rewind button. All his monologues crack me up. The best ones CANNOT BE DESCRIBED IN WORDS! See them below in actions.

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“I’m not HOMO!!” —————————————————> “IKE IKE GO GO ORE GO! GO!”

My only gripe with Nakatsu lies in the writing. Isn’t he a passionate soccer player? For the life of me, I couldn’t recall a scene where he actually kicks a ball!

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His romance with Mizuki: To be honest, the romance between them is generated mostly because of Nakatsu’s crazy imaginations and devotion. Mizuki does not give him even a glance. There was this moment where the writer could’ve incorporated and built on their friendship – that scene where she decided to leave in episode 7 like no one else mattered in her decision. He asked her to stay but she just stared blankly at him until Sano made his grand speech which convinced her to stay instantly. You know what? Her bland self can go marry Sano for all I care. There, I said it! I was rooting for Nakatsu and the girl from the high school across from theirs. If memory serves me right, her name’s Komari. She is as cute as a button!

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That was the worst dance ever in the history of high school dances. Nakatsu is a tree, while Mizuki is a log. While still stiff, the tree still has burning desires to love and conquer, but a log is just…. lifeless. I still remember how she neglected him right after the dance to go and violate Sano’s history with his dad. Photobucket

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Mizushima Hiro as Nanba Minami (Dorm #2 Leader) & Kimura Ryo as Senri Nakao

Hiro, this man is so pretty. His most attractive feature to me, strangely, is the button-like pinch on his chin. It gives his pretty face a unique edge, singling him out from the slew of other boys. But boy does need to eat. Actually, they ALL need to eat. Since I know Annette love Hiro, some screencaps of him for her: Click. Click. Click. Click. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I really loved the chemistry between Nanba and Nakao, and the forbidden love the latter often shows despite the former’s dismay. I appreciated that however biased Nakao is towards Nanba, he isn’t afraid to let him know if he’s misled. There’s this beautiful scene in episode 5 where Nakao posed a big question, “Her happiness or your own happiness…Which one will you pick?” It’s such an important question for youths since they’re mostly about themselves. And I was glad Nanba displays more maturity than we gave him credit for. Choosing to congratulate his ex-girlfriend allows character growth, in that wishing her happiness, he’s become the bigger person. Photobucket

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Ishigaki Yuma as Tennoji Megumi (Dorm #1 Leader) & Kyo Nobuo as Oscar Himejima Masao (Dorm #3 Leader)

The actor who played Tennoji looks muscular but still manages to exude a favorable amount of likability. Favorite moment is when he consciously squeezes his chest, powers up his arms, and yells, “BABY!” And that classic adorable scene of him holding an elderly woman’s hand and taking her to the beach-flirting contest. If Nakatsu is an energetic ball of hormones, then Oscar is the resilient human form of Over-the-top. And kudos to the actor because he played Oscar unabashedly without holding back. A shy actor wouldn’t have made this role look effortless.

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Yamamoto Yusuke as Kayashima Taiki & the Doc Kamikawa Takaya as Umeda Hokuto

Dude, I think Yusuke is stalking me! Or maybe it’s the other way around, almost all Jdramas that I have watched, he took part in. In here, he’s known as the Ghost Boy, another oddball, in charge of detecting aura around the school. I wasn’t surprised to find out he knew Mizuki is a girl. Probably the smartest character of them all.

The doctor is Mr. Hotness. *ring bells*

The Ending

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Oh lordy, I hate goodbyes from now on. Seriously, after the third set of students, I was ready to let her GO! Nakatsu’s short speech kept me attached. Once again, Toma proved that he can do both wacky and emotional. Just look at the way his eyes droop down ever so sadly and those bright eyes of his brimming with tears. *Heartbreak* Nakatsu, along with the 3 dorm leaders, is a joy to watch.

Recommended? Photobucket Heck to the YEAH! “BABY!” Although there are holes in the friendship card between Nakatsu and Sano, the overall bond shared between the supporting cast is strong and palpable. I loved these shameless kids. They’re the real scene stealers and every episode is a riot. True to its simplistic storytelling, the angst was kept at bay, not exaggerated or overplayed. Watch if you want to see actors carry out outrageous expressions and idiotic actions. The pure reason why it’s enjoyable is because it’s ridiculous. Don’t try to understand why they do what they do. Embrace it and you’ll be entertained.

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“High School – You hate it while you’re at it, but in the end – you wish you caught every moment on camera.” Nostalgia hits me. *right here*

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You’re sure? Photobucket

  1. 22 thoughts on “Kap’s Overview of Hanazakari No Kimitachi E (2007)

    It was refreshing..the moment u describe here were the hilarious and final goodbyes were emotional..It has been a year I have watched this drama…and yet its hilarious..funny and ridiculous at its core but light and the characters played by casts is damn good..
    Thanks for this..it made my day

  2. 22 thoughts on “Kap’s Overview of Hanazakari No Kimitachi E (2007)

    LOL! the gifs are really cute!! maybe i should watch this version after the disappointing TTBY, despite all the pretty and PRETTY SM produced, it didn’t capture the essence of the manga.

    SHUN AS A GIRLLLLLLLLLL CRACKS ME UP!! let me not be rude and say this: I’m so glad you were born a boy! lol!

    the dude who played nakatsu must be good. have heard good things about him everywhere.

    Maki is Maki. despite her mediocre acting, japan loves her. i guess they love their girl proper and docile. that’s the impression i have of Maki. whether she improves or remains stagnant is hard to say. heard many neutral reviews about her Sensei drama this year. /Shrugs

  3. 22 thoughts on “Kap’s Overview of Hanazakari No Kimitachi E (2007)

    Alice am so glad you did this! It was nice looking at it and bringing back the memories – Oguri Shun as a girl was so unexpected – didn’t go that far!

    You’re spot on with the assessments of the lead actors – as you said this drama got lucky cos of the supporting cast. Biggest reason TTBY was lacking – they concentrated on the pretty like it would distract us from the lack of talent, charm etc. I’m sure they were trying to create their own version but the producers of TTBY should have read the synopsis in its entirety not just the part “girl poses as boy and goes it all boys school for the boy she likes” – its like they ignored everything but that part.

    I really missed the dorm leaders, the crazy/psychic guy – just everyone! lol! if anyone want to have a real Hana Kimi experience they need to watch this one and/or the TW version – on second thought not too sure of the TW version cos i didn’t finish so it might (most likely) have gone south

  4. 22 thoughts on “Kap’s Overview of Hanazakari No Kimitachi E (2007)

    Yeah ~~~ one of the japanese dramas i liked ~~~
    And Yusuke ~~~~ he made me feel the goosebumps ……
    Thx for the recap ~~ ^^

  5. 22 thoughts on “Kap’s Overview of Hanazakari No Kimitachi E (2007)

    ohmigosh! Brings back so much memories! Still the best Hanakim amongst all the versions!

    Nakatsu my favourite character both in this version and across all 3 versions. Heck yeah! The entire cast, with the exception of Sano and Mizuki, is definitely my favourite across all 3 versions.

    It’s true how they exude the kind of emotions and lifeliness that jumps right off the screen!

    and no, Nakatsu (Ikuta Toma) is definitely good looking on my record!

  6. 22 thoughts on “Kap’s Overview of Hanazakari No Kimitachi E (2007)

    for me, personally, this is the best hanakimi version.. and my fave actor is he who acted as OSCAR! and those senpai(s) are hilarious too.. ikuta and maki are cute together, ooooppsss… i do love shun but i thought he’s better with ishihara satomi.. ๐Ÿ˜€ (sowry… just RMPW effect ๐Ÿ™‚ )

  7. 22 thoughts on “Kap’s Overview of Hanazakari No Kimitachi E (2007)

    Welcome Enchantress, glad I made your day. My day is better too because of these goofballs. โ™ฅ โ™ฅ โ™ฅ

    Oh Frea, I’m glad he was a boy too. hahaha XD You should give this version a try when you’re not busy mooning over Shane West. NIKITA starts this FRIDAY!! “BABY!” :DDDD < --- how happy I am! Annette, no doubt about the prettiness of TTBY. I know people who watched it purely for aesthetic reasons. Can't blame them since we have different preferences! But yes, YESH, supporting cast is a win. HANDS DOWN! jacklin123go, tell Yusuke to stop stalking me! ๐Ÿ˜› I've watched 4 dramas of his already. Starting Tumbling soon. ro, looks like Nakatsu is fans' top favorite character across the board, regardless of any version. What to say, he's the perfect, hormonal teenager who wears this heart right there. If you showed me a photo of Toma before Hana Kimi, I wouldn't call him handsome. To me, he's charming and handsome because he got the talents and charisma. Yui, Oscar crackkkkkkkks me up all the time. Over-the-top and flamboyant is him. (>โ€ฟโ™ฅ)

  8. 22 thoughts on “Kap’s Overview of Hanazakari No Kimitachi E (2007)

    Sekime! Iยดm missing Sekime. Poor boy, nobody remembered his name properly.

  9. 22 thoughts on “Kap’s Overview of Hanazakari No Kimitachi E (2007)

    I’ve had my DVD of this hilarious drama for a while and it’s my go to drama whenever and whatever. You are right, the main couple were very much sadly lacking in emotion and therefore chemistry but I love it because of the whole ensemble. I was curious what TTBY had to offer aside from what I knew was nepotism at its worst, since practicaly the whole cast and the ost would all be from SM. TTBY definitely has less of the whole ensemble thing going than Hana Kimi but I was totally surprised and now absolutely love the smaller active ensemble composed of the lead couple, the second lead actor, the head of their dorm and the the lead actor’s co-trainee in the high jump sport. (I will not burden you with their names since I understand all of you do not share my view). The acting was just spot on. This version of Hana Kimi has definitely less of the funnies but more of the emotional connection. I will definitely keep my J-Hana Kimi for my go to funnies but now I plan to have K-Hana Kimi and a hot coca to keep myself warm and cozy in my bed when it’s cold from the rain or snow. Sigh..I can’t wait!

    • 22 thoughts on “Kap’s Overview of Hanazakari No Kimitachi E (2007)

      oh my friend! don’t worry about it. we are different people so of course we have different opinions and preferences. no one’s going to condemn you! our kaptain here will be the first to shoot them down! ๐Ÿ™‚

      and you’re very right – the korean version is good at creating the emotional connection/chemistry between the leads. Much better than Shun and Maki and i appreciated that. but again, korean dramas have been known for creating palpable romances so im not surprised by it. sulli was great in the beginning before she gone down the damsel route, just waiting to be saved – that i didn’t like. other than that, it was too angsty for a teenage dramas (it’s also korean writer’s expertise to drag out the angst). plus, hana kimi is about the whole crazy ensemble…the korean version didn’t do that well in that area and that’s essential.

      *up to episode 7 now* should i watch the J remake in 2011?

  10. 22 thoughts on “Kap’s Overview of Hanazakari No Kimitachi E (2007)

    LMAO~ I like all your pics selection very much Kap’n.

    If any of you haven’t watched all 4 versions of Hana Kimi, then let me tell you this much… TW version came out in 2006 so JAP 2007 original ran parallel with practically the same script, except the JAP version had an extension to the ending. Last but not least, JAP remake 2011 ran parallel with KOR 2012 version just that the JAP remake did a livelier job than KOR focusing on the whole crazy ensemble but they both ended same way.

    Oguri Shun didn’t portray Sano good enough for me, at the time (love him in RMPW so far how little I’ve watched). The guy in 2011 remake looked more like an athlete as do TW & KOR versions actors. If I have to pick one Sano, then from all considerations (script, chemistry, performance, etc) then I like most to date is Sano 2011. As for Mizuki, if I have to choose who played her best to date then the actress in 2007 original… she may have been perfect if only she carried a better contralto voice type. I didn’t like their voices in both JAP versions. At least Ella (in TW version) and Sulli (in KOR version) tried to deepen their voices when called for, but that’s all they got; if it wasn’t for Ella’s comedic performance or Sulli’s perfect impression of Taemin (of SHINee) then I wouldn’t last to the very end for their versions. If y’all haven’t figured it out by now I am pro-Nakatsu all cross 4 versions; nothing bad to say about all 4 actors playing his role. I loved every interpretation of his character for sentimental reasons. I liked Dorm #2 Leader in JAP 2007 (love-LOVE-love him in BECK!the movie), Oscar in JAP 2011 (he looked a lot like Gackt.. kkk~), the Doc in JAP 2011 although TW 2006 came in close to a tie for odd reasons, the Dog I want is SM’s furry friend (he was in EXO’s MV too) so KOR 2012 (reminds me of a white pomeranian I once had)… and yada-yada… this can take a while… in short, if you gave KOR version a try but haven’t seen the other 3 versions then YOU MUST WATCH THEM!

    @frea ~ You already watched the KOR version, well, some parts, might as well give 2011 remake a chance (it’s way better). So, yes, please watch it.

    • 22 thoughts on “Kap’s Overview of Hanazakari No Kimitachi E (2007)

      Oh gosh Keane, your words have convinced me to give the 2011 a try. I should also watch TW for Ella’s performance. hehe. Plus, more doses of Nakatsu is never a bad thing…

      Be. Back. Later.

      These Three. ๐Ÿ˜†

  11. 22 thoughts on “Kap’s Overview of Hanazakari No Kimitachi E (2007)

    Omg, I remember watching this some time ago. I was so totally in love with it. Laughing all over XD I watched Nobuta wo Produce as well, and it was equally good. Still have the eps ๐Ÿ˜› I totally lose the files for Hana Kimi though ๐Ÿ™

  12. 22 thoughts on “Kap’s Overview of Hanazakari No Kimitachi E (2007)

    I loved this series BECAUSE of the ridiculous, over-the-top comedy. I went into it because I enjoyed the manga (or rather, my inner thirteen year old self enjoyed the manga) and I was a devoted fan of the Mizuki/Sano pairing. Maybe because it was manga that I felt more attached to it. I loved every character in the story and especially the cliched romance.

    Then again, this was a long time ago before I discovered just how many times that particular romance cliche is rewritten and replayed in almost every single rom-com known to man. I’m not talking about the “girl cross dressing as a guy” cliche (because that one never gets old for me). I’m talking about the “cheery, optimistic and cute, yet extremely helpless girl who gets protected by her perfect knight in shining armor” cliche. In Hana Kimi, the manga, I thought the love line was really sweet. But the more I saw other rom-coms around (K-drama, Taiwanese drama, other manga) the less I thought it was as unique and as special as I had taken it for in the first place. Granted, Hana Kimi will always hold a special place in my heart because Hana Kimi is where a lot of my entertainment discoveries took place. But I have to admit, the manga’s original story line itself is extremely flawed because, yes, Mizuki DOES go wandering around an all-boys’ school carefree and acting like the girl that she is thinking that she can get away with guise by acting like her normal girly self. I can only conclude that the boys of Osaka Gakuen were very, very oblivious or just plain stupid (in the manga). In the J-dorama, I think they just kept themselves occupied with all their craziness enough not to really notice Mizuki’s strange behavior…

    When I first started watching the J-dorama version of Hana Kimi, I did a lot of cringing in the first episode because of the ridiculousness. But after the first round of cringing, I jumped to the complete opposite extreme and was laughing myself silly (and very loudly) at just about every scene with all the boys together. All hijinks and strange occurrences that made absolutely no sense at all… I LOVED ALL OF IT! I gladly overlooked the non-logic of the series simply BECAUSE it was so hilariously played out. This is by far my favorite remake of Hana Kimi and one of my favorite Asian drama series (well, if we ignore a lot of the monotony to do with Sano’s trauma and Mizuki’s… well… I don’t even know what her deal was and am starting to rethink my devoted love to this couple… sigh…).

    I totally agree with this review. Japanese Hana Kimi 2007 really DOES shine with the supporting cast because while I have a special place in my heart for the Mizuki/Sano pairing due to the manga, I didn’t care a lick about them in this series. The dorm heads were hilarious, the side characters were awesome, and I even loved the eccentric, arrogant, crazy Hibari more than I liked Mizuki. And then, I fell head over heels in love with Nakatsu.

    “Mizuki, you may have Sano,” I actually said while watching the series, “I shall take Nakatsu all for myself, thank you very much.” Although I’m sure I have an army of other fangirls to do battle with, which… well, Bring it!

    Anyway, after reading this review, I feel like going back and watching the series again and getting my renewed dose of Ikuta Toma.

    • 22 thoughts on “Kap’s Overview of Hanazakari No Kimitachi E (2007)

      Gotta agree with you that Hibari is heaps more interesting than Mizuki. Her dance practices with Oscar cracks me up! That flying kick. ๐Ÿ˜€

      I see a lot of shipping mvs for SanoxMizuki and can’t help but think it’s them shipping the actors together rather than the [bland] characters.

      HOMO JANAIIIII!!

      • 22 thoughts on “Kap’s Overview of Hanazakari No Kimitachi E (2007)

        I can’t help but laugh hysterically every time I watch this segment.

        Let’s put it this way, my bro-in-law had a pup named Hibari, but his younger sister wanted a pet so he gave Hibari away. XD Plus, my shiba inu pup, Takeshi, is way cuter than his mini doberman pinscher hence he gave all his love to Takeshi. Poor Hibari, there’s always another who takes your limelight!

      • 22 thoughts on “Kap’s Overview of Hanazakari No Kimitachi E (2007)

        LOL!! nakatsu is just too crazy for us. his total happy face when his heart beats faster merely because of panties…. does the korean version have this part???

        poor hibari!!

        even though i dislike mizuki…. some mvs of naka and mizu are really cute!

      • 22 thoughts on “Kap’s Overview of Hanazakari No Kimitachi E (2007)

        The K-version didn’t have this scene frea; their show was strictly Rated-PG dull with the least bit of satire. At least the K-version provides a valid soccer player for once to this story. XD

        I like the editing in this clip, but the music is too rough for their gentle relationship. The lyrics are good but I wouldn’t pick this song to represent their friendship.

      • 22 thoughts on “Kap’s Overview of Hanazakari No Kimitachi E (2007)

        i keep trying to envision lee hyun woo with a panty over his head….. that would so cute!

        nahh, me thinks the music is quite fitting since it’s taking nakatsu’s viewpoint as the person who goes through multiple inner turmoils to love mizuki, while she’s blissfully unaware, like the dense heroine that she is! and of course not their friendship….the song is “i love you” for naka’s unrequited love. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • 22 thoughts on “Kap’s Overview of Hanazakari No Kimitachi E (2007)

        Oh…the turbulence of first love and heartbreak of rejection. Tskkk tskk.

        This mv is my favorite of Nakatsu, the maker edit the scenes beautifully. I almost cried seeing his bawling face. ๐Ÿ™

        A more light-hearted mv:

        These people are so talented!

        Gonna start the 2011 version soon! Weeeeeeeee ~~

  13. 22 thoughts on “Kap’s Overview of Hanazakari No Kimitachi E (2007)

    i guess we all caught the nakatsu love bug! hana kimi is one of my top favorite jdrama just because of the cast especially nakatsu!!!! i have to admit, mizuki and sano were the reason why i watch this, the manga was so cute and adorable but i forgot about mizuki and sano after watching the first few episodes, especially sano who had that boring depressing look on his face 99% of the time.

    i have yet to see the korean remake….but honestly i have a hard it watching korean remakes, their just so…so boring and the characters are just there. i gotta admit lots of eye candies reminds me of f4. totally love their cast (except for goo hye sun, i think she was too old for the role). eye candies are good for our health but i rather be rewatching something i liked in the past rather than waste time on the remakes that i find too depressing.

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