Opinionated Comparisons

… compare and contrast

HYD Cast: Taiwan versus Japan versus Korea

Posted by MAaP on January 27, 2009

You guys didn’t think I was going to abandon this blog, did you? I haven’t written anything for more than a month, after all. But that’s just because I’ve been keeping tabs on new topics to discuss in here. Alas, I have something new!.. But it’s about something old; old in a sense that the original was made years ago and there’s just this new version today that has brought up the addiction for the series to new heights.

Hana Yori Dango / Boys Over Flowers / Meteor Garden

Hana Yori Dango / Boys Over Flowers / Meteor Garden

Hana Yori Dango still remains as one of the most popular manga serials of all time. Since the Asian audience have been pampered with live action versions of the manga, brought out by Taiwan first and Japan second, it was only a matter of time before South Korea brought out a version of their own.

I once made a post comparing Meteor Garden‘s and Hana Yori Dango‘s cast. South Korea has brought out their HYD cast counterparts, though, and there has been a lot of talk on which country has got the best cast for the Boys Over Flowers TV series.

Barbie Hsu, Mao Inoue, and Koo Hye Sun as Makino Tsukushi

Barbie Hsu, Mao Inoue, and Koo Hye Sun as Makino Tsukushi

Xian Cai versus Makino Tsukushi versus Geum Jan Di

Ladies first. Who among the actresses represented the manga’s heroine the best? Taiwan’s Barbie Hsu played it well, and Korea’s Koo Hye Sun acted a little exaggerated at the beginning of the series. Both progressed in acting out as the willful Makino Tsukushi as the series went on. But it was Japan’s Mao Inoue who really made a lasting impression on the HYD fans. From the beginning of the series till the end, she was constantly the weed known as Makino Tsukushi.

Jerry Yan, Matsumoto Jun, and Lee Min Ho as Domyouji Tsukasa

Jerry Yan, Matsumoto Jun, and Lee Min Ho as Domyouji Tsukasa

Dao Ming Si versus Domyouji Tsukasa versus Goo Joon Pyo

As for the arrogant leader of the famous F4, I’ll have to admit that while he’s a very prominent actor, Japan’s Matsumoto Jun is the last of the three. This is mainly due to the physical appearance. Don’t get me wrong, he really did great in his acting. But comparing him to the bigger Taiwanese and Korean Domyouji Tsukasa, he’s been overpowered. Taiwan’s Jerry Yan and Korea’s Lee Min Ho also didn’t lose out on the acting skills so this would leave us to base our verdict on their charm as the male lead of the series. And when it comes to this, I think Lee Min Ho wins — the looks, that air of arrogance, that masculinity, even Domyouji’s stupidity.

Vic Zhou, Oguri Shun, and Kim Hyun Joong as Hanazawa Rui

Vic Zhou, Oguri Shun, and Kim Hyun Joong as Hanazawa Rui

Hua Ze Lei versus Hanazawa Rui versus Yun Ji Hoo

For the silent bishounen and the third end of the love triangle, all three actors managed to mix well with their role. There’s the silence, the stare, the clipped words, and the awkwardness. All three actors really showed smooth awkwardness. Acting-wise, I also can’t compare them much. There is this line between acting awkward and real awkwardness, though, that can sometimes be seen through the acting. Japan’s Oguri Shun has the advantage here because Boys Over Flowers was a first in acting for Taiwan’s Vic Zhou and Korea’s Kim Hyun Joong. Taking that into consideration, I can only surmise that all three are just about on the same level. I have to say, though, regarding physical appearances, Kim Hyun Joong is the perfect Hanazawa Rui.

Ken Zhu, Shota Matsuda, and Kim Bum as Nishikado Sojirou

Ken Zhu, Shota Matsuda, and Kim Bum as Nishikado Sojirou

Xi Men versus Sojirou Akira versus So Yee Jung

To act as a playboy, you should also have the looks of a playboy. Taiwan’s Ken Zhu was a little mature-looking to be one. His acting was also a little dry. Nothing about him sparked to me as a playboy. Japan’s Shota Matsuda focused more on his tea ceremonies than on his playboy charms. Korea’s Kim Bum, though, is being brought out to be both. His love story with the Korean counterpart of Matsuoki Yuuki is also being built more in the Korean series, so there’ll definitely be some growth to the character. We can conclude then that Korea’s Kim Bum wins the battle over the Sojirou Akiras.

Vannes Wu, Tsuyoshi Abe, and Kim Joon as Mimasaka Akira

Vannes Wu, Tsuyoshi Abe, and Kim Joon as Mimasaka Akira

Mei Zuo versus Mimasaka Akira versus Song Woo Bin

Now this is hard, mainly because this character doesn’t really have a lot of airtime in the series. How can we deduce who’s the better among the three? I have yet to see Korea’s Kim Joon‘s performance. Japan’s Tsuyoshi Abe didn’t really have that much of an impact. Taiwan’s Vannes Wu, among the three, looks to be the best for the part. He went along with the character’s happy-go-lucky attitude and at times also brought out some maturity. As the Korean version continues on, i might be able to see more of Kim Joon’s performance. But for now, Vannes Wu stays on top of the three.

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40 Responses to “HYD Cast: Taiwan versus Japan versus Korea”

  1. basd said

    I agree with you .But his acting was little wired at the start. He looked little uncomfortable at start i heard it was his first drama.But later in the drama he was really good. Best part was that he looked little evil.BUT korean rui was definitely the hottest.

  2. jamed said

    Don.t know who is better but korean rui is the hottest.

  3. Grace said

    LMAO Even you know nothing can beat HYD japan

  4. Rachie said

    I’m almost finished with MG, and I’ve only watched bits of the other two.. therefore this post is going to be veryyy biased xDD
    I can say, in terms of what I’ve seen (and what I presume) that I think:

    – the best Makino was probably Inoue Mao. She seems very believable/ solid. I watched Goo Hye Sun expecting she would be very cute, but her voice is SUPER deep and she pulls the most ridiculous expressions… >____<” so far though, my personal fave is Barbie (I have seen more of her, and her fiestiness) She’s not as great an actress but she has good chemistry with both of the leads ♥ Sometimes chemistry alone can be enough~

    – the best Domyouji was Jerry. He had the charm, the bullying personality and the imtimidating glare.. there were moments when it seemed he was struggling for his lines, but his expressions, grand gestures (and muscley arms XD) really made me believ he loved Shancai. But who knows, I might change my mind after watching BBF

    – the best Rui = Vic Zhou hands down. Even I know this. He captures the dreamlike, silent brooding type easily, possibly because Zai Zai is like that in real life ^____^ The Japanese Rui is also very good, only he was not as handsome (told you it was biased!) And from what ive seen, Kim Hyun Joong is an awful Rui. Even from his appearance, I dont see the dreamy quality Rui is supposed to embody. He seems rude and a bit of a bully, plus him and Goo Hye Sun do not match AT ALL… no no NO!

    – the best Sojirou, I am liking Kim Bum. At least he looks cute … unlike *cough*.. Ken. He looked too old, too geeky and reserved to be a player. His laughing and smiling scenes seemed very forced to me

    – the best Mimasaka, Vanness fo sho. He turned what was definitely the most limited F4 part into something memorable. He had the playboy, cheeky personality and I thought he was soooo funny!! I think he and Ken should have switched characters.

    To conclude, this is only my opinion. Don’t take it too literally, this is as balanced as I can be right now. Maybe I will change my mind after watching more BBF and HYD 😉

  5. theswit said

    Korea HYD
    NEGATIVE:
    -Changed all the names which was really disturbing and difficult to differentiate who is who(by reading the subtitles).
    -Their acting sucked too, with no feelings or either their acting is too fake.
    -The pace of the show is going too fast..
    -Everyone of them is too fierce and rude (I think its Koreans nature though)

    POSITIVE:
    -The actors are all pretty and handsome (however I think tht Jun Matsumoto & Mao Inoue won over the Koreans).
    -The scenes are very pretty with very clear shots.
    -Everything is very glamorous.

    Japan HYD
    Wins hands down, with great scenes and great actors not draggy too..pace is good. Nothing much to complain.

    Taiwan MG
    POSITIVE:
    -Jerry Yan acting was good.

    NEGATIVE:
    -Too draggy.
    -Actors acting pretty fake espc Vaness and Ken.
    (Cannot blame for the scenes and shots quality since its way long ago..)

    I still prefer Japan HYD over others.
    I only watched a few ep of Korean HYD only though..

    To acting based on characters I still like Japan HYD best..Jun Matsumoto& Mao Inoue acted really good..Jun was very funny + childish. Jerry was too sensible. Lee Min Ho was too fierce and rebellious IMO. Barbie acting was too act-comical, Koo Hye Sun was too fierce as well and she have very strang expressions (I find her eyes too big, maybe is because of over plastic surgery?). Mao acting was good and is very real, not overacting too..

    Thats just my 2cents worth though.

    • shiftee said

      @theswit

      -Changed all the names which was really disturbing and difficult to differentiate who is who(by reading the subtitles).

      They have to. It’s Korea’s version, after all. Taiwan did, too. 😀
      Other than that, you’ve made quite good points here.

  6. shiftee said

    So far, Japan’s HYD wins over all.:D Inoue Mao definitely wins the female lead role. All the Domyoujis did a great job, we’re really having some trouble figuring out who’s the best. The Ruis… hmmm.. it must be because of the character that I find it hard to choose among them; I mean basically the Ruis were all emotionless and blank so what are we to do? Kim Bum is winning as Soujiro.. perfectly understandable. Mimasaka? Due to the short scenes and dialogues, it’s also hard to tell.:D

  7. theswit said

    Shiftee: Taiwan didnt…they used back the same names but in diff languages..Thanks (:
    I think tht for Soujirou: Kim Bum and Shota definately won over Ken. Hrm…I just dont like Ken, he’s old and the least good looking one in all x:
    Ha, I think tht Kim Bum is damn cute though. He looked like the younger version of this guy..
    http://wiki.d-addicts.com/Leon_Jay_Williams

    • shiftee said

      @theswit

      My bad.. sorry about that, I don’t know how to translate a Japanese name to Taiwanese and Korean, you see. Thanks for the add’l info! This’ll be one more topic for me to tackle when I get on with my Japanese lessons.:D

  8. Grace said

    Alright my mind. Japanese wins in everything

    Makino/Mao Inoue : Mao was Makino in everything. She is a Good actress (she convinced with her acting and role in First kiss were really different). Goo Hys SUN FAILED to me and Barbie acting was not to good but better than Goo Hye Sun.

    Domyoji TSUKASA/ Jun Matsumoto : SADISTIC, MEAN, HEARTLESS, VIOLENT, POWERFUL, INTIMIDATING, CHILDISH, FUNNY, LOVING, LOYAL, SUPPORTING, ELEGANT, EVOLVES… Jun absolutely nailed it. I forgot his physical appearance Thank to his acting. His chemistry with Mao SHINED (for they are the best onscreen asian couple I have ever seen). Sometimes I felt he stole the show of Oguri Shun and Mao with his funny lines, his violent attitude and the way he intimidated people.
    LMH may have the look but too much UNDOMYOJI for me. Jun’s Domyoji would kick his ass no matter his heigh.
    Jerry yan (even in his new projects) can’t act.

    Rui/Shu Oguri : Rui is not my fav character of HYD but KHJ can’t act and VZ is second after Shun.

    Soujiro/Matsuda SHota : look at the acting of KB when he tries to act charming and charismatic playboy and you will see what I mean. I mean Matsuda Shota WAS soujiro but I fail to know what or who is KB. He may look cute but he is right to stick with Ga Eul because he CAN’T ACT WOMANIZER FOR NUTS !

    AKIRA/Abe Tsuyoshi : Abe was mature, was a womanizer (and you understand why), I could really feel his family Background (what lacked with MG Akira) and he had a lot chemistry with the other F3, epecially Soujiro (what F4 korean lacks). People would vote WB to support him but he showed NOTHING!!

  9. You made a lot of points there that I absolutely agree with. I’ve been exposed to Taiwan’s MG and Japan’s HYD (got obsessed over them like any fangirls would), but in comparison HYD wins by an incomparable scale. I felt the actors’ acting skills and the chemistry between them were so much more believable – especially Makino and Domyouji. You really feel connected to the characters in HYD compared to the other versions. Inoue Mao just NAILED it with her portrayal of Makino. Barbie Hsu was a little too brooding for me, and her eyes are too beautiful for Makino/Shan Cai lol xD As for Matsumoto Jun, his physical features did not matter at all. He was in every single aspect Domyouji in my eyes – he portrayed Domyouji perfectly, and he had an easy transition between the cold-hearted character in the beginning, to the “more human” traits later into the drama. Jerry Yan never really shine out to me =/

    And don’t get me started on Korea’s BBF. I’m so sorry to all the fans, but I despise it. It’s probably stemmed from my aversion to the mainstream Korean dramas. I watched the first few episodes and they were painful. Goo Hye Sun really exaggerated in acting out Makino’s character, the plot was really draggy (just like MG except MG was more bearable), there is just no chemistry between actors enough for me to believe in the story, and 3/4 of F4’s acting really turned me off. And there is this one scene where K-Makino’s brother (I can’t remember the characters’ names in Korean) looked up some news on a laptop in their living room. The family is supposedly poor, and they have a laptop?! Unless laptops come with a cheap retail price in Korea… it’s preposterous.

    Although, you gotta give them credit for having an eye-candy of a cast xD

    @Grace: OMG, I SO agree than MatsuJun’s Domyouji would so totally kick Lee Min-Ho’s ass. Even with the height difference.

  10. sweets0me said

    I agree to almost everything shiftee said…

    mao inoue is the best among the three and the cutest…koo hye sun didn’t really have the fighting spirit maybe because her attitude in real life is the shy type (based on the behind the scenes, interviews, and the sang sang plus interview i have watched)

    i think lee min ho is the best..same as your reason, matsumoto jun is not masculine enough:)) but his acting skills are good.Though lee min ho has a resemblance with jerry yan i still think lee min ho is hotter…and younger.lol.!^_^

    well, the Hua Ze Lei versus Hanazawa Rui versus Yun Ji Hoo part i found it hard to decide too but i still have different thoughts about it..vic has more silent look…based on appearance what i don’t like about oguri shun and kim hyun joong is the hair color but i saw kim hyun joong’s hair in some SS501 MV his hair is black and it’s his first time acting so he is still not that good though so they all are kinda on the same level but the silent look i have to go to vic.

    Xi Men versus Sojirou Akira versus So Yee Jung: definitely KIM BUM!!!!!! suuuuuper cute! i love him! though back then when taiwan was first to release their version i loved Ken way way back then but when korean version went out i definitely have to say KIM BUM KIM BUM KIM BUM!hahaha.lol.:))kim bum!

    Mei Zuo versus Mimasaka Akira versus Song Woo Bin….it’s hard on this one too. i have too agree with you their scenes are limited so it’s hard to tell. but if you are going to look at the appearance it’s definitely KIM JOON! he is in between cute and handsome.lol.:)) but vaness really did captured the happy-go-lucky look. but i really have to choose KIM JOON! hahaha…so cute/handsome.lol.

    i have to add…Chu ga eul versus matsuoka yuki versus Xiao Yu
    i have to say Kim So eun is the prettiest and the best! i love ga eul and yi jung love team!!!! though i love rainie yang dramas but since she was just new when meteor garden aired her acting was not good back then it was exaggerated . Aki Nishihira is not bad though.

    to sum it all up..
    Meteor Garden will definitely be the original though..but who would’ve known back then that it could be made better.:P
    Hana Yori Dango male lead and female lead were really good though male lead appearance did not suit the role.lol.
    Boys Over flowers actors and actresses were all handsome and pretty..even gu jun pyo’s mom is pretty and has the fiercest look above all male lead mothers:)) and even jan di’s mom was prettiest among the female lead’s mother..Ga eul ♥ yi jung love team, the best! hahaha..

    i really love taiwanese dramas the stories are so cute and funny but i have to reconsider it now after watching boys over flowers.. i have watched korean dramas before it’s just that the some taiwanese dramas are just damn good! hahaha..japanese..i’ve only watched a few about…8 i guess…so don’t really care that much.lol.

    i’m still confused wether it’s boys BEFORE flowers or boys OVER flowers cause in drama wiki and mysoju it’s boys BEFORE flowers but here, and some interviews, sites, press con, etc it boys OVER flowers so i guess majority wins its boys OVER flowers ^_^ but Boys BEFORE flowers makes more sense.

  11. Grace said

    Well said Tachiichan LOL

  12. eva said

    ok so i’ve seen all 3 (i havent finished the korean one though)…and i have to say HYD still comes out on top for me. the korean version was all deja vu for me…i thought it followed the japanese HYD too closely…might just be me. also the english in this series (the ‘yo yo yo wassup” etc) makes me cringe. is it really necessary? lol. one person i was impressed with though is Lee Min Ho’s portrayal of Domyouji…i think he’s doing an excellent job…he might slightly better than matsumoto jun.

    as for the makino role, i agree with everyone…Inoue Mao wins hands down. i find the korean actress (i cant remember her name, sorry =[) overacts in A LOT of the scenes (and dont even get me started on her family – lol). anyways there’s my 2 cents

  13. lurker said

    Female lead = Inoue Mao, 2 thumbs up!
    Male lead = Jerry Yan, best lead, tho a little old for the character =)
    2nd guy (silent) = Kim Hyun Joong, bec of his looks hahaha… tho all actors skill, silence & the stare, all the same
    3rd guy (playboy) = Kim Bum, the best!!! hahahaha…
    4th guy (back ground)= Vannes Wu, portrayal is good, tho Kim Joon has more exposure at the latter part of the story…
    scene/plot/fashion = Boys Over / before Flowers! (maybe because this is the newest of the 3 ^.^)

  14. joy_07 said

    Well… Ladies first….
    Hmmm… For the role MAKINO TSUKUSHI… BARBIE doesn’t look like a girl who could fight bullies. The Korean actress (I don’t know her name) is too exaggerated when it comes to acting. She don’t have chemistry with Jun Pyoo (Korea’s Tsukasa). As for INOUE she fits the role very much and her acting is great also plus the fact that she and Jun have superb chemistry and she also looks good together with the rest of the F4 of Japan. Therefore, Inoue Mao wins here no doubt about that!!!

    For the role DOMYOUJI TSUKASA, JERRY YAN I think is a bit too old for the character, no offense there, and his acting is not that good too. The Korean counterpart, LEE MIN HO, well let’s just say he is indeed good-looking and he may have the physical attributes that may fit the role but I don’t think he acted well. He also don’t have good chemistry with the lead actress. Now, for JUN MATSUMOTO, he may not have the looks (I don’t agree with that part though, I like him really) and he may not have that body or height that you could say fits the role of a bully but he is really a good actor. He can be annoying, fierce, hard-headed, bad-tempered, naughty but he could also be romantic (esp. in his lines), childish, and kind-hearted (i really liked him when he helped makino’s brother). He fits the role and he have great chemistry with Inoue and the other F4. Also, even though he may be the smallest of the F4, he can still be a good leader.. So, in short, I prefer Jun Matsumoto than the other two!!

    RUI HANAZAWA… VIC ZHOU I think is too old for the role although I like him more than the Korean actor (I don’t know his name). OGURI SHUN I think played the part much better than the other two I actually feel sorry for him because he did not end up with anyone. One thing I really like about Shun is the way he call Makino.hehe…

    NISHIKADO SOUJIROH… Well, my comment is getting longer so I’ll get straight to the point, I don’t like the Taiwan counterpart. The Korean one on the other hand looks handsome and cute but he also looks too innocent to be a playboy so I prefer MATSUDA SHOTA.

    MIMASAKA AKIRA… This part is a bit hard to decide but I’ll go for the Japanese one.. I don’t know why but I just choose him!!hehe..

    • Takiko_hje said

      hyd japan hands down. no other adaptation wins and all ur favourite characters out of the three different version are the same as me. maybe the japanese are not the best looking, but their chemistry is instant and understandable. it sends me chill to my skin. you got all the point well versed, Joy_07!

  15. ixxi said

    My choice would be Boys Over Flowers since it’s so damn good. Meteor Garden would always be my personal favorite. I’m not that sure about Hana Yori Dango..yeah..it was shown here in the Philippines but it really didn’t have high ratings and I haven’t watch it only the first episodes..and Boys Over Flowers is starting to have high ratings here..wohoo!..
    HYD’s F4 aren’t handsome..that’s the first thing i’ve noticed..yeah,their acting was very good but in what i know..The F4 should be physically HANDSOME..which HYD lacks..MG lacks “richness”..come on..the cellphones, 3310?..*cough*..

    ranking(my opinion)

    1st – Boys Over Flowers
    2nd – Meteor Garden
    3rd – Hana Yori Dango [haven’t finished it..sorry]

    • Elizabeth said

      @ixxi: the reason HYD Jap didn’t have high ratings here is because the channel who got them was the one that sucks at promoting their dramas. i didn’t even know it was aired here and i was so surprised just like any other filipino fans. i think another fact is that most filipinos prefer eye candy cast, you know that. eventually after a year they’d lose interest. i’m glad i’m one of those who doesn’t just look at appearances. in my opinion someone who prefers good looks is never a true fan…

  16. denisa said

    love HYD Japa
    the J version so creative to made the different scene with the manga but still same meant n still interesting. Different with MG that so same with manga in began but at the last being so different. KOrean version just copy too much scenes from HYD n but still bored.
    JAP acting are really good n natural
    and… chemistry btween mao n jun sooo strong n real. Not like MG n BBF which looks too forced to made click btween JANDI & JUNPYO

    THAT’S MY OWN OPINION

    I KNOW K version have gud looking

    same with MG

    But… they acting not as great as jap version

    PIECE

  17. I think Taiwanese version is best. because it ‘s realliest version but that ‘s so good !!!

  18. Kirsty said

    Overall the Japanese version is the best, but the Taiwanese version is my favourite, mainly because they’ve got 2 eye candies in Jerry Yan and Vic Zhou. Anyway what’s the point of obsessing over F4 if they’re not handsome. Matsumoto’s Domyouji is more faithful to the original, but Jerry Yan’s interpretation works as well.

    Korean version- halfway through, not too impressed, none of them can act, and they’re so loud. But the boys are “pretty” though.

  19. Rain said

    Korean Boys Over Flowers: Well, if you guys want to know Lee Min Ho (Korean Domyouji) got plastic surgery and so did Kim Hyun Joong (Korean Rui).
    Even though that shouldn’t affect their acting, I can’t help but cringe at their plastic faces.
    So they may “look” nice, but honestly for me their plastic faces affects the way I see them.
    Anyway yeah, the Korean version kind of ruined everything for me. Lol, now I don’t even want to watch Boys Over Flowers anymore ’cause the stupidity and the bad acting sucked.

  20. yumeko said

    i like Hana Yori Dango, I like Meteor Garden, and I like Boys Before Flowers…

    I Like Shun Oguri..

    I like Vic Chou…

    but I love Kim Hyun Joong as korean Rui….

  21. Eka said

    I have seen Meteor Garden firstly… Then i fell in love with that drama…. After that i have seen Korean… it was boring and tooo longgg and too much complain…. Then at last i have seen Japan version… Wow… I think Japan is best.. It was fantastic… I love it… Japan Tsukasa is best… But i still love it Thaivan DauMinSi…

  22. andrea said

    I have seen the three version, and the anime.
    Let`s take it into real, the one who is closest to the manga is HYD. Best acting, for HYD. Inoue was superb, there is no other words for her acting, she was just born for this role and jun perhaps isn`t as handsome as LMH, but his acting and chemistry with Mao was perfect. for the other roles i still prefer the ones from HYD, they just got into the characters. It is true that KB (korean) is so cute (i wanna hug him as a teddy bear)…..but to be “cute” isnt enough for being a womanizer…if have to chose, i`ll melt for shota(so sexy. he need to be less concerned about “tea”, u r right) and for Akira..i think it was a good character that could have been developed a little more by the scripter.
    Talking about Rui…well, there`s no much to say. Oguri is softer than Hyung Joon, still more handsome without any plastic cir. (u think that`s not important? yes, it is important)
    i like Barbie but she is just NO Makino. and Vic Z…well, i have watched all his acting including the last one B&W, but i must say that he got the aura, but oguri put magic into it.

    aigoooooo…
    keep commenting..in the meantime i`ll be watching hana kimi(Taiw.version) to see which one is the better one: Jp or Tw.
    kugs!

  23. Elizabeth said

    I only saw bits of MG and of course HYD Jap so:

    Makino Tsukuhi:
    Barbie Xu (Taiwan)
    – I think she did ok and she’s very pretty.
    – I thought she was funny.
    Inoue Mao (Japan)
    – the simplicity of her beauty makes her even more beautiful
    – owned the character
    – chemistry with jun (male lead) was superb
    – acting was very convincing (i really felt her pain)

    Domyouji Tsukasa:

    Jerry Yan (Taiwan)
    – he was very popular here in the philippines but it took me several glances to really accept that he’s actually a handsome guy. i don’t like or dislike him as an actor. i think he had some cute parts in MG.

    Lee Min Ho (Korean) (haven’t really seen BOF but…)
    – the first time i saw him was on a poster together with the f4s and i didn’t know about them then. i thought he was the most handsome among the 4. but when i saw him on screen with the CM that he made with dara park, i realized that he’s not that handsome after all. he’s always acting cute. he’s not confident enough to look weird on tv.

    Jun Matsumoto (Japanese)
    – i didn’t find him handsome the first time i saw him on episode 1 of Hanadan. i actually decided to focus on Shun Oguri (Rui) instead. But oh my! he grew into me. It all started on episode 2 and then all the episodes after haha! He acted so annoying at first that you’d really hate him, was a lil scared when he ordered the rape/kidnap attempt on makino, then he was so adorably cute when acted weird and stupid and vulnerable when he started liking makino, he was also strong and was really good @ acting! twas very convincing. He has this kind of charm (for me that is)that got me searching for all his dramas and his tv shows and is still rooting for more. He is not the masculine type but he’s adorable, his height never bothered me, he’s not tall but he’s not short either. his lean body makes him appealing and handsome and neat. he’s my number 1 asian actor now! ^_^v

    Hanazawa Rui:
    Thought VIC Z was very handsome. I liked him better than Jerry Yan actually. But I always thought that he had features that made him look as pretty as a girl hehe. His acting was a lil dry though. SHUN OGURI is a lot better. But I don’t think he looked his best in hana yori. Not saying that he looked bad but blonde just doesn’t suit him. But he’s one of the best actors of japan.

    Shuojiro:
    Ken I think, was the least among the MG F4, i think, he just didn’t have any impact. Matsuda Shota, Jap actor, acted really well. my favorite was on the part where he cried..it was so real, i never thought he could pull it off but he did, i involuntarily sobbed.

    Akira:
    Vaness, I think was cool during his time but didn’t see the gangster in him. Mimasaka looked out of place at first among the F4 japan but his chemistry with the rest were so good that i and eventually liked him.

    Good thing about MG and HYD though is that each F4 has been given their own identities. But japan has a lil more impact because I really got to know the power of each characters. unlike in korean bof, it seemed like lee min ho is the only powerful one and the f3 were just his followers.

    So…

    of course HANA YORI DANGO JAPAN absolutely wins for me!

    MG was very good during their time but I don’t have the urge to watch it again. Maybe a replay of some scenes will do and to listen to their soundtrack but to watch the whole drama??…naaah. I can’t even be bothered to watch the Korean version. I’m hesitating with the fact that the casts are too pretty. It’s not realistic for me. I also don’t like the female lead. But someday, I probably will watch it, i just hope it’s not as draggy as many claim it to be.

    Hana Yori Dango has scenes that will have epic impact on people. every ending of each season plus the movie had such impact on their fans that we’d like to watch it all over again and fall in love again and again with a big smile and a flattering on our hearts everytime!

  24. cg said

    HYD was the best.

  25. i already watched the three version and the anime…
    but i like much more for the BOF and MG than HYD…
    _huhu ^_^ sorry for that…
    when it comes to role playing:
    Lee min ho is the best for playing doumyuji
    Vic zhou for rui…
    Vaness wu for akira (i agree for what you say…hes a easy go lucky type)
    Kim Bum for soujirou coz he is much more play boy looking than the two..
    )0opS sorry for that(
    For me Mg is much better for acting while BOF is much more detailed you can really feel that your on a elite school…maybe because of their banquet in cafeteria >>>

  26. I love both Meteor Garden and Boys Before Flowers. If I were to choose between the two I would definitely choose Meteor Garden because it is the TV series that introduced me to Asian dramas. I think the Taiwanese F4 is the hottest though right now I think Kim Hyung Joong is hot too.

  27. Estrada_ said

    Hana Yori Dango was the first asian drama i saw and fell in love right away. The reason was because i loved the manga and when i watched the drama it was awesome it’s my favorite drama still today and probably forever.
    Watched the Taiwanese version but i didn’t like it cuz it was toooooo long and i was expecting the characters to look a bit like the manga. I also felt like they didn’t act it right,thus didn’t finish watching it.
    Korean version was great i liked the beggining and middle, but ending was not the best, i think they could of made it much better. Even though the guys were good looking, i liked the hanazawa guy better than the domyouji guy.Also i didn’t think he portrayed Domyouji well especially the part of being childish,acting like a kid,and also being an idiot.
    Loved the Japanese version when i saw it, it really reminded me of the manga, and i loved the way Jun portrayed tsukasa when he was beinga spoiled brat,idiot,and so childish.About his figure- I never noticed his height until I finally read the comments!O_o Maybe because i was too into the drama or maybe i just never really thoght about it.
    For the girls, hands down it’s Makino, loved the performance and she was truly Makino, plus Mao is soo cute and the BEST COUPLE goes to Mao and Jun(I want them together in real life too :P) the others don’t look better than them.
    The Korean girl i didn’t mind her short hair(thou w/ longer hair she looked very pretty), plus the kick in the beginning was amazing!!! There were some parts i didn’t like her acting, but overall good
    Taiwanse -__- pretty, but didn’t like her for some reason
    LOVED ALL THE HANAZAWA GUYS,the were all handsome until i saw chinese version 😦
    Which by the way is not bad, it’s funny and cute but a bit too long still good thou,the only guy i didn’t like was the rui guy:(
    Lastly I pick Handan because that’s the way I meet Arashi(yeah i was jun-bait), so I’m very grateful 😀

  28. Lin said

    I’m for the manga. XDD jk.

    Anyway,Inoue Mao plus Jun Matsumoto plus Vic Zhou plus Kim Bum plus Vaness Wu= ❤

    Meaning, Jap HYD wins. XD (Though most of my childhood memories are in MG)

  29. mabelle said

    i love HYD!! they’re all natural at acting. They’re not that handsome compared to Korean f4 but at least they’ve not been in plastic surgery. Mao is so cuuuuute ( so kawaii ) and her acting skills is great compared to Hye-sun. She is so annoying and OA. She is so bad at acting plus the fact that she is one of those “MONSTERS” ( been in a plastic surgery). Koreans are really not that pretty and that handsome!! So yucky!!

  30. hyd major fan said

    Okay I totally agree with the analysis here (i could get the spellings wrong XD)
    Inoue Mao was the best Makino Tsukishi, she resembled the character of the manga perfectly in my opinion then Barbie Hsu or the Korean one.
    Matsumoto Jun I’d say i loved him the most from the whole Japan F4 he was the best only because of his apperance is why he ranks down though he is good looking but again as the writer said Lee Min Ho rules out as Doumiyoji Tsukasa
    Okay now Akira I agree Van Ness Wu on a more biased opinion of watching him in Autumn’s concerto though the Korean counter part is really good looking and seems talented too (I didn’t watch the whole Korean drama mostly Yi Jeong n Ga Eul chemistry)
    Soujiroh ahhh Yi Jeong is No.1 no doubt he wins.
    Raine yang is cute but Kim so Eun had great chemistry with Kim Bum. So was Yuuki cute at some parts.

  31. Fany said

    I’ve only seen HYD and part on the BBF. Havent seen MG.

    HYD winds HANDS DOWN for me. Its the first drama I ever saw and its still one of my very favorites, heck Ive watched both seasons 3 times already. HAha

    The Korean version dragged on too long, the girl was annoying as hell, goojunpyo’hair got on my nerves and KHJ’s acting was terrible! I also think they over exxagerated the richness(?), i guess you can say that it went to overboard.

  32. Sen said

    I disagree with you on the part of Domyouji. While Lee Min Ho had the looks, he wasn’t scary at all. Sure he may be arrogant and he carried the breaking down scenes very well but to me, he lacked the frightening violent air of the character. I NEVER saw him getting really violent and beating up other kids whenever he got pissed off. Jerry Yan had his scary moments too as Dao Ming Si; however, during the course of the series he did a full 180. It was like he was TOO gentle already that the essence of Domyouji was almost lost. I still think Jun Matsumoto was the most consistent actor. Even in Season 2 of HYD, he maintained that stupidity, egocentric nature and violent tendencies despite being in love with Tsukushi. The original Domyouji Tsukushi despite being more subdued than before, still showed and that’s what makes him the best person to portray him. Besides, Jun and Mao had the best chemistry among the three couples. Jan Di seemed too old for Jun Pyo; boy, were they dry in the romance department. San Cai and Dao Ming Si comes next to the Japanese version.

  33. Yin said

    I watched the whole HYD, and part of MG and BBF + read the manga. To me, the japanese one was the best, both the plot and the chars.

    The plot: haven’t really watched much of Meteor Garden, so I don’t have anything to say. Just that it started airing on April 2001, and in 2000-2001 the most popular and glamorous mobile phone was Nokia 3310 *in reply to a post above*. BBF was slightly better, but so tiring to watch. Everyone was really goodlooking, ok, I can admit that much. And there’s more violence/bullying compared to the japanese version.. yet I couldn’t take it seriously at all. Maybe it’s cause Tsukasa/Jun Pyo was too soft&nice. Makino/Jan Di’s family was supposed to be poor.. yet her brother was costantly surfing the internet with a LAPTOP, and her house was too big. The japanese version was so much better. The characters and background had much more consistency. And it stayed more true to the manga ~.

    -Inoue Mao/Makino was just perfect. Not only her acting, even her looks, there’s just nothing i can find to complain about. (Maybe her boxing pose was a bit exaggerated, but lol.) She had awesome chemistry with both Tsukasa and Rui. Nothing to say about Barbie, and well Jan Di.. was such a loud person. The way she ate was way too dirty; she’s just a poor person, that doesn’t mean she has no manners. I couldn’t really feel her love for KHJ either. They were both so blank.

    -As for the male lead.. I think Matsumoto Jun/Tsukasa wins. He was arrogant, manly, stupid, had a quick temper, yet his arguments with Inoue Mao were just SO MUCH FUN. I do feel the korean version did better with the kissing scenes, but what to do, japanese dramas are more conservative. Lee Min Ho/Jun Pyo’s acting was too soft, too sweet. he never got violent/scary -I agree with Sen- Guess it’s partly the plot’s fault: gosh, he takes her to a bar all understanding -and she gets drunk- after the yacht party, that was really too OOC, that’s not something Tsukasa’d ever do. I’m not saying I didn’t like him, he was really cute :). When he put a bunch of ducks in the swimming pool, i couldn’t help but chuckle, ahaha. But that’s not Tsukasa.

    -OGURI SHUUUN. Hands down, Oguri Shun’s Hanazawa Rui must be my fav drama’s char e.v.e.r. The other two were just too blank. KHJ might be more handsome *that’s up to your personal taste* but he really couldn’t compare (nothing against him, I loved him in Playful Kiss.. it’s just that his acting in BBF didn’t convince me). I loved makino&rui’s emergency stairs scenes, they were so intimate. I really got the feeling: that’s their exclusive place. And the way he called her Ma-ki-no was just so perfect. His love for Shizuka was much more evident. The way he hugged his pillow, or sit near the window, everything about him screamed: I’m Hanazawa Rui.

    Japanese versions of Nishikado Soijirou and Akira win as well. I disliked how they made my fav tea cerimony guy become a ceramic artist in BBF. Kim Bum’s cute but..Shota Matsuda is sexy. Might not be as good looking&glamorous.. but definetely conveyed the playboy feeling better. His relationship with Yuuki might’ve not been as sweet, but well, I’m a fan of the manga dumdum, and not everyone can have a happy ending.

    Akira- Akira’s been shamefully overlooked in BBF. Japanese Akira wasn’t nearly as cute, but I loved him 100 times more. He wasnt just a random background char, you could clearly see he had the “mother” role amongst the F4. They only had a 5-6 minutes appeareance, but we got to meet his mom/sisters – the reason he loves older women. He had a few cute scenes with the dango’s shop lady as well. (I found that lady annoying most of the time.. but the Santa Claus lover scene with Akira was quite funny! xD).

    In short:

    A: Hana Yori Dango
    B: BBF (A bit too OOC and draggy, still not that bad)
    C: Meteor Garden (but it really left no impression on me) 😦

  34. Kim Hyun Joong oppa is the best…
    saranghae.

  35. kimsanya said

    I watched all of them, MG first, BBF then HYD. As much as I love Yon Ji Hoo in BFF, but I never watch BFF for second time, the storyline of bbf really bad! HYD, I really didn’t like domyouji at first time I watched him, but then after watched his first screen with his mother, I felt really strong act of his eye. For me, jun’s acting really great! I fall in love to HYD, even the most I love of all vers because the story-line, acting, cemistry, music and everything just great! Though I don’t have any-favorite character in HYD like I love yon ji hoo in BBF.

    HYD win me over though hYD was the last ver I watched.

  36. chatsuki said

    There’s really no doubt for me who wins among the three. I have my only favorite asian drama and it’s HYD of course. The casts just don’t look so good but their actings are all so natural.

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