내일도 칸타빌레 (Naeil’s Cantabile)

It’s finally here: Nodame Cantabile’s highly anticipated Korean adaptation.

I’m not totally into remakes of Jdorama to Kdrama and vice versa, but this one made me a bit excited because I know for a fact that Joo Won is one damn good actor for his age.

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Joo Won’s got big shoes to fill since Tamaki Hiroshi was such an amazing Chiaki senpai. But as expected, he nailed the Koreanized character Yoo Jin sunbae. This doesn’t surprise me at all. Compared to his previous roles: the haughty Gu Ma Jun, the historical anti-hero Gaksital and Savant syndrome doctor Park Si Won; this handsome prince musical genius typical heartthrob leading man would be a piece of cake for him. So not only was Joo Won able to match Tamaki’s kakkoii-ness, he was also able to give Yoo Jin a more fleshed-out characterization especially since this is a drama presented in his point of view.

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Shim Eun Kyung looks like a young Kim Sun Ah. Her Naeil is awkwardly childish compared to Ueno Juri’s sweet oddball Nodame. Even when I try to erase Ueno Juri in my mind,Shim Eun Kyung’s portrayal still didn’t work for me. Her actions also make her look like Yoo Jin’s little sister instead of an eventual love interest.

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Ryutaro Mine is my favorite. This character’s the one who got me into the whole “I love Eita” circle in the first place. Eita doesn’t have to try so hard to show that he has some “rock star” vibes going on. And just like Ikuta Toma’s Nakatsu in Hana Kimi,the original actor’s just too perfect that no matter how much Go Kyung Pyo tries,his performance is always going to be weaker than Eita’s.

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Korean pervy maestro looks more normal than the parody version of Stresseman in the Japanese live action.

I can’t wait to see Masumi Okuyama. There aren’t a lot of openly gay characters in Kdramas, so I wonder if the show is going to adjust the homosexuality the same way they toned down the manga slapstick. I’m actually glad that “Gyabo!!!” part has been changed. There’s still a bit of the fan-hitting and shoving but not as much as punching or throwing til the lead girl’s face hits a rock. It’s the kind of humor that probably only the Japanese appreciates. It’s funny when you see them filming it (I watched the BTS and NG clips), but in the actual series and films, I also had a hard time trying to get past the exaggerated slapstick before I was finally able to enjoy the show. Naeil’s Cantabile didn’t completely lose the comedy. Who wouldn’t love a shirtless Joo Won and laugh out loud at the Kim Tak Gu reference.

It’s only the first episode and I know it’s going to be difficult for me to not compare it with the Jdorama. That’s just inevitable for a remake but so far, I like what I see. Naeil’s Cantabile is okay and more decently-acted than Hana Yori Dango and Hana Kimi‘s Korean adaptations.

For some reason, I am just bothered by the editing. I think it makes it quite obvious that Joo won and Shim Eun Kyung were not actually playing the piano. Still I’m looking forward to their version of S-Oke’s Beethoven No. 7.

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This episode in the Japanese live action always leaves me teary-eyed no matter how many times I watch it. If Naeil can generate the same “feels” as Nodame, then that’s when I’d finally get to say that this a good remake.

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