Which Hana Yori Dango Live-Action Adaptation Is Your Favorite?

Fervent manga fans are not so thrilled about the Hollywood remake of Ghost in the Shell. More worries ensue as Netflix releases the trailers for its adaptation of the psychological thriller, Death Note. In contrast to the cynical reactions towards Hollywood remakes or reboots, Asian adaptations receive more favorable responses. Such was the case when the producer of Meteor Garden announced the upcoming reboot of the popular Taiwanese television series based on the well-loved shoujo manga, Hana Yori Dango.

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Hana Yori Dango revolves around Tsukushi Makino, a determined young woman who manages to enter the elite Eitoku Academy, an exclusive school for the wealthy. She tries her best to not stand out and just finish her studies peacefully. This all changes when her best friend Endo Makiko accidentally offends Tsukasa Domyouji, the feared leader of the F4. F4 members belong to the richest and most powerful families in Japan and that gives them the privilege to have a free reign over the entire school. This incident leads to Makino becoming the target of all their assaults. She is also ostracized by everyone except Rui Hanazawa, the introverted F4 member who, at times, even steps in to save her. Tsukushi falls for the quiet violinist Rui, while she wages war against the almighty Domyouji. Domyouji finds her plucky attitude both amusing and attractive and as a result, Makino finds herself in the middle of a romantic triangle between these influential heirs. The other two members of the F4 are Akira Mimasaka, the cool peacemaker who prefers to date mature women, and Sojiro Nishikado, the charming and relentless playboy.

Hana Yori Dango is written and illustrated by Yoko Kamio. The manga’s original run started in October 1992 until September 2003. It was followed by a 51-episode anime adaptation in 1996. It then became one of the most popular mangas to have been adapted so many times in different countries.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane and look back at some of Hana Yori Dango’s main live-action adaptations.

Hana Yori Dango (1995)

The first live-action adaptation of the manga is a Japanese feature-length film of the same title. Released in the year before the anime came out, the movie stars Yuki Uchida as Tsukushi Makino, Shosuke Tanihara as Tsukasa Domyoji, Naohito Fujiki as Rui Hanazawa, Koichi Hashizume as Akira Mimasaka, and Kensaku Saeki as Sojiro Nishikado.

Yuki Uchida as Tsukushi Makino dons a Single White Female-like hairstyle and unlike the other fawning female students, she confidently walks past the F4 without giving them much attention. Instead of having a friend involved, it’s her direct confrontation with Domyouji that earns her the dreaded Red Card. This super spunky version of Tsukushi is the one who started the whole mess when she slapped Domyouji for no reason so it’s hard to sympathize with her. The movie is fast-paced, overacted, and the F4 members sadly lack charisma.

Meteor Garden (2001)
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Taiwan’s Meteor Garden starring Barbie Xu, Jerry Yan, Vic Zhou, Vanness Wu and Ken Zhu, is Hana Yori Dango’s first live-action television series. This version alters the main characters’ names into Shan Cai, Dao Ming Si, Hua Ze Lei, Xi Men, and Mei Zuo. A few more minor changes include making Shan Cai into an only child, moving from high school to university, and giving more screen time to Xi Men and Mei Zuo.

Compared to the first Japanese movie, the characters in this version have more distinct traits that enable the viewers to easily tell the F4 members apart. It also gives us a strong and principled female lead worth rooting for. Despite the obvious low-budget and the awkward acting from then-newcomers (like model Jerry Yan who began his acting career that year), Meteor Garden became a runaway success and started the Asian drama phenomenon in several Southeast Asian countries. The series’ theme songs also became a nationwide earworm. In 2003, F4 even held a live concert in the Philippines. A few years later, the launch of the drama reruns still generated a lot of buzz all over social media particularly on Twitter and Facebook.

Meteor Garden was followed by a supplementary mini-series entitled Meteor Rain, which featured three stand alone episodes focusing on each F4 member except Hua Ze Lei.

Meteor Garden II (2002)

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In the following year, the main cast reprised their role for the sequel, Meteor Garden II, which tackles the events that happened after their graduation from Ying De University. The setting is moved to Barcelona, Spain where Dao Ming Si attempts to propose but a car accident changes his supposed happy-ever-after with Shan Cai. As a result, Dao Ming Si suffers from memory loss and ends up in the care of the other accident victim named Ye Sha. Shan Cai asks the other F4 members to help her find her missing lover. However, when Dao Ming Si learns about his past self, it makes him wish to continue forgetting about everything and just live peacefully as a new person with Ye Sha. Will Shan Cai’s love be strong enough to bring him back?

The sequel uses the amnesia trope but the strong bonds of friendship and the likability of the characters totally make up for the hackneyed plot.

Hana Yori Dango (2005)

Following the success of its Taiwanese counterpart, Japan finally launched its own Hana Yori Dango series starring Mao Inoue, Jun Matsumoto, Shun Oguri, Shota Matsuda, and Tsuyoshi Abe.

Mao Inoue and Jun Matsumoto both debuted as idols: Mao as a member of U-15 (junior idols) in 1999 and Matsumoto as a member of Arashi, one of the best-selling boybands in Asia. Out of all the Hana Yori Dango versions, they are the only lead stars who are romantically paired in real life. After a number of paparazzi photo leaks and denials, the two finally revealed that they have been in a long-term relationship. Mao Inoue and Jun Matsumoto’s genuine and unparalleled chemistry totally captured the essence of the manga.

Oguri Shun, who plays Rui Hanazawa, is a scene stealer, too. He exudes mysterious, swoon-worthy and a bit of devious vibes that make him the perfect personification of Rui. This role established Shun as one of Japan’s most versatile actors and favorite leading men.

Hana Yori Dango was followed by its sequel, Hana Yori Dango Returns. Just like Meteor Garden, the setting takes place overseas, this time in New York, with a storyline that includes revenge and amnesia.

Hana Yori Dango Final (2008)

This film is the last installment of the Hana Yori Dango Japanese live-action trilogy. Domyouji announces his marriage plans to the public and shows everyone a picture of Makino stuffing her face with ramen as a way to introduce her as an unconventional and memorable fiancée.

Makino receives an expensive present from Domyouji’s mom. The Smile of Venus is filled with precious stones that represent eternal love but it gets taken away by a masked thief. So the couple sets off on a trip to Las Vegas and Hong Kong to find the culprit. The three F4 members follow and help them in their mission to retrieve the missing tiara. The former Rui Hanazawa actor, Naohito Fujiki, makes an appearance as hotel businessman Kazu Kaburagi.

Boys Over Flowers (2009)

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The main cast of Boys Over Flowers (Kkotboda Namja) is comprised of Lee Min-ho as Gu Jun Pyo, Ku Hye-sun as Geum Jan Di, SS501’s leader Kim Hyun-joong as Yoon Ji Hoo, Kim Bum as So Yi Jung, Kim Joon as Song Woo Bin, and Kim So-eun as Chu Ga Eul.

The Korean storyline has major differences from its original source. Geum Jan Di witnesses a suicide attempt that takes place in the prestigious school. She enters the school after Shinhwa Group offers her a scholarship in exchange for covering up any negative scandals following the incident. The characters start in high school but the F4 members move on to Shinhwa University in the latter half of the show. So Yi Jung and Chu Ga Eul’s arc gets more screen time and becomes the secondary romantic plot.

From fashion to fancy cars, the South Korean series is the most flamboyant adaptation but exuberance and eye candy can only do so much. It cannot compensate for some of it’s actors’ lack of acting skills. Fortunately, the Hana Yori Dango magic works on its male lead as the series propelled Lee Min-ho’s career to superstar level.

Meteor Shower (2010)

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The Chinese version that aired on Hunan TV is an unofficial adaptation unauthorized by Hana Yori Dango’s publication, Shueisha. It stars Zheng Shuang as Chu Yuxun, Hans Zhang as Murong Yunhai, Yu Haoming as Duanmu Lei, Vision Wei as Ye Shuo and Zhu Zixiao as Shangguan Ruiqian. The first season follows Chu Yuxun’s entrance to the prestigious Aliston College and her encounters with the four richest students who lord over the school. Some parts of the second season take place in Singapore when Murong Yunhai loses his memory of Chu Yuxun.

The producer claims that this series is simply inspired by the manga. Even though this is an unlicensed adaptation, Meteor Shower still became one of the most influential shows in China bagging several Most Popular Awards at that time.

Boys Before Friends (2014)

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The worst adaptation is the American series Boys Before Friends. It has unpopular actors and is filled with behind-the-scene controversies. The female lead character, Zoey, is a dancer who gets accepted in the Grad School for the rich and powerful. The funniest episode is when she gets a makeover and literally comes out as a different person. Then, news about the lead actor getting fired surfaced all over Twitter. The show changes both leads while the drama is ongoing. As more cast members leave, the producers announce that they have filed a lawsuit against their own actors. After six episodes, Boys Before Friends went into hiatus. With low budget, bad camera angles, cringe-worthy acting, and a whole lot of off-screen drama, I wonder why they even bothered to release this disastrous series.

Hana Yori Dango has also been adapted exclusively in countries like Indonesia as Siapa Takut Jatuh Cinta, in Turkey as Güneşi beklerken, and in India as Kaisi Yeh Yaariyan.

Have you seen these live-action adaptations? Which version is your favorite?

In spite of the highs and lows experienced by these Hana Yori Dango live-action films and dramas, fans can’t get enough of the age-old love story and still get all hyped and nostalgic with the announcement of a 2018 Meteor Garden reboot. It’s been exactly 16 years since the Taiwanese series aired and its creator, Angie Chai, reveals that the upcoming 48-episode series will be fuller and flashier with a budget that’s 30 times bigger than the 2001 drama. The actors have not been officially decided yet so there are many speculations and suggestions as to who should play the famous female lead and the legendary F4. The project is still at the screenwriting stage but it will be amazing if it includes a cameo from its original stars.

How do you feel about this reboot? Who do you think should play this generation’s Tsukushi Makino and F4?


HiGH&LOW The Red Rain

The Amamiya Brothers prove why they are the hotshots in the HiGH&LOW universe as they boost the action and deepen the drama in their spin-off, The Red Rain.

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Just like HiGH&LOW The Movie, The Red Rain goes for adrenaline rush right on the onset. Takeru, Masaki, and Hiroto Amamiya show off their motorcycle riding skills and hand-to-hand combat as they obtain some important items in exchange for cash from a dubious gang. Despite the success of their so-called mission, Takeru leaves on his own and his two younger brothers are left bewildered. A year goes by and the Amamiya Brothers are still in search for their aniki (the Japanese honorable term for an older brother or a superior). During those times, they get involved with some troubles at the S.W.O.R.D district while following a tip that Takeru is in the Nameless Street. That explains why Smoky is familiar with him (Not because they worked together in Criminologist Himura and Mystery Writer Arisugawa). Masaki and Hiroto search at the Rude Boys’ bomb-stricken terrority but Takeru is nowhere to be found.

On the day of their parents’ death anniversary, they expect to be reunited with their aniki. Instead, they meet a woman who is being chased by a group of white-suited gangsters. Aika Naruse has some clues about Takeru’s whereabouts.

After Mugen defeats Hyuga Group and the gangs of S.W.O.R.D. protect their land from Iemura Group; this time, The Amamiya Brothers seek justice and take revenge on Kamizono Group – another gang that’s affiliated with the powerful Kuryu. With a little help from a female hacker and the boys of Sannoh Rengokai, The Amamiya Brothers try to expose the illegal transactions of this dangerous syndicate.

Some scenes in the movie were filmed in my country. The action-packed opening sequence took place in Manila’s historic Walled City where the university I graduated from is located. The other familiar locations include The Manila Cathedral, Manila Central Post Office, Binondo (Chinatown), and Manila American Cemetery located in Fort Bonifacio which is only 30 minutes away from my current residence. Regardless of the time of the year, the heat in this city always goes beyond 30 degrees Celsius. So, while watching this flick, my thought goes from “Why did I not stalk them when they’re filming nearby?” to “They must’ve felt so uncomfortable, wearing suits and leather jackets, in this temperature.” the entire time.

Some shots are impressive but not quite as stylish as the Korean movie Master which used some of the same filming locations.

The Red Rain is a part of EXILE TRIBE’s comprehensive entertainment project so no wonder it ticks a lot of items from the list of action movie clichés.

  • Explosion

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The opening includes an explosion because that’s just what legit badasses do. Masaki and Hiroto walked away from the blaze in a bit of a slow motion providing viewers some ample time to swoon at their handsome faces.

  • Tragic Backstory 

Fights are meaningless without anything emotionally at stake so the spin-off gives us a glimpse of the Amamiyas’ good ol’ days with a revelation that I actually did not expect. The main actors’ teenage counterparts (Tatsuomi Hamada as young Takeru, Akira Onodera as young Masaki, and Taiyo Yoshizawa as young Hiroto) effectively showcased the brothers’ backstory, and as expected, it’s an adorable but tragic one.

  • A Woman Is Involved

Related imageThere’s always a girl waiting to be saved and Hiroto’s tsundere-ness is no match against her charms. The pink motorcycle rear seat is just too cute and I just went “aww” at the scene when he hugged her and uttered the exact same line that his older brother once said.

  • The One-Liner

“Use your fist to protect things that are important to you.”

Takeru mentioned this line several times as if trying to justify his decision to take the violent route.

  • Chase, guns, and glasses

An action movie is not without an exhilarating pursuit while firing guns at the same time but Kamizono’s armed members have such terrible aim, they make the defenseless leads look like they’re impervious to bullets. On top of this comes a poetic revenge that requires an entrance by shattering window glasses.

  • The Villain Survived (or did he?)

Even though the brothers spend their entire life wanting to kill the bad guy and they spend the film’s entire plot chasing after him, in the end, he only gets beaten to a pulp. The movie doesn’t totally cross the gangster genre and tries to retain its yankii genre by not allowing its main characters to commit a crime. As Takeru said, he should be the only one who has to get his hands dirty.

  • The Cliffhanger

After risking everyone’s lives to obtain the evidence that could take the villains down, they don’t hand it over to the proper authorities. Instead, they pass it to a “trustworthy” person who will continue the fight.

Directed by Yudai Yamaguchi, The Red Rain stars Takumi Saito, EXILE TAKAHIRO, Sandaime J Soul Brothers’ Hiroomi Tosaka, and Miyu Yoshimoto.

With two of EXILE TRIBE’s most powerful vocalists on-board, the movie comes with both energetic and dramatic theme songs.

Undeniably melodramatic and a tad old-fashioned but visually satisfying with its impressive action scenes and the fierce presence of its lead actors ( I die every time they do a close-up shot of Omi’s side profile); the movie pays homage to the long-established action genre and solidifies the Amamiya Brothers’ status as legends in the world of HiGH&LOW. The Red Rain paves the way for two more upcoming films called End of Sky and Final Mission.

조작된 도시 (Fabricated City)

After starring in the successful action series Healer and The K2, Ji Chang Wook plays his first lead movie role in the big-budget action-crime-thriller Fabricated City and as expected, he takes it all the way to the top of box-office rankings.

The movie begins with an explosive opening scene as the Captain and his highly-skilled team enters a war zone head-on. Time is ticking but as they get closer to defusing a bomb, the Captain finds himself in a position where he has to make a choice: to go on by himself to clear their mission or go back to save a cornered comrade. He chooses the latter and his teammates are both shocked and impressed with his loyalty and craziness. The team accomplishes their task at the expense of the Captain’s life. Fortunately, these are just scenes in the virtual world.

Ji Chang Wook plays Kwon Yoo, an admirable leader of an online video game combat team. His real life, however, is not that impressive. He is a former national athlete who is now spending his days at a PC Bang (internet cafe) without enough motivation to get a decent job. His life completely changes when he answers a call from a phone that’s been left behind. The woman who claims to be the owner asks him to return it. He finds it troublesome but the 300 dollar-reward changes his mind. Kwon Yoo arrives at the place where the woman is but he doesn’t get to see her face. He simply returns the phone, takes the money and leaves.

The next day, he wakes up to the sound of the arrival of armed officials who barge into his home, cuff him, and take him away for raping and murdering a child. He doesn’t have any recollection of the crime so he refuses to admit it but all concrete evidences point out that he’s the culprit. Hence, he gets the guilty verdict- a lifetime in prison without parole. Things happen in a flash and before he can even make sense of it all, he finds himself aboard the vehicle to hell. I mean, prison. Well, they’re pretty much the same.

Ma Deok Soo (Kim Sang Ho) is the big shot in the penitentiary. Even guards look the other way when he violently welcomes the newbies but Kwon Yoo is not the type who yields. This makes Ma Deok Soo uneasy and Kwon Yoo becomes the target of daily beatings. The never-ending abuse pushes him to despair and his life hits rock bottom when he loses the only person who believes in him. So on his own, he vows to clear his name.

Following the advice of an old prisoner (Hey, it’s Defendant’s Miryang!), Kwon Yoo finds a way out of jail. While trying to avoid a nationwide manhunt, he takes refuge at the hideout of a techie social recluse.

The woman turns out to be one of his video game teammates. Yeo Wool (Shim Eun Kyung) uses her incredible hacking skills to help their Captain. One by one, their other teammates arrive. Together, they find out that Kwon Yoo is a scapegoat to cover up for an influential person’s son. And he isn’t the only one. There are other innocent people who are being used to pay for these wealthy people’s crimes. The Captain and his team revolt against their powerful chaebol adversaries. Will these marginalized online game players be able to survive this real-life deadly chase?

I am totally surprised at how much I enjoyed the movie. Probably because the last Korean action film I saw was Master starring Lee Byung Hun, Kang Dong Won, and Kim Woo Bin. It’s a slick flick but it’s a pretty dragging hackneyed police procedural. Fabricated City’s framed murderer main character is very typical too, but the execution of the story is more stylish and fast-paced with a spectacular Hollywood-like opening sequence.

Despite Fabricated City’s overall generic qualities, it manages to give us a hero to root for with a lead actor who perfectly plays the part. Ji Chang Wook covers theImage result for lee sun bin 38 task force whole action genre with impressive shooting, intense hand-to-hand combats, and exhilarating car chase scenes. He also proves his versatility as he cries in some heart-wrenching moments. His charisma is perfect for romance but Ji Chang Wook and Shim Eun Kyung have zero chemistry. (I wish 38 Task Force‘s Lee Sun Bin played the female lead instead. She can totally match Ji Chang Wook’s oozing sex appeal.)
Oh well, since the movie doesn’t give enough emphasis to the romantic angle anyway, the nuances in Kwon Yoo’s facial expressions make his implied attraction to Yeo Wool even more heartfelt.

The antagonist’s identity is so easy to predict. Good thing they have versatile actor, Oh Jung Se, who can portray the role effectively in spite of being a two-dimensional character. His “secret room with a floor that turns into a giant tablet” is even more impressive than The K2’s “Cloud Nine”.

Director Park Kwang Hyun’s Fabricated City is action-packed, gizmo-filled, and romance-free. If it weren’t for the lackluster humor, it would have been a perfect popcorn movie.

김과장 (Chief Kim)

Cha Tae-Hyun was first offered the lead male role for Chief Kim but he declined. Although he is one of my favorite Korean comedy actors, I am thankful that he made that decision. I think Chief Kim will not be the big success that it is now if it weren’t for Namgoong Min.

Namgoong Min plays Kim Sung Ryong, a Math genius country bumpkin who manages the financial books of shady gangs and small businesses in Gunsan. He works in a shabby office with his cute and perky secretary Oh Gwang Sook.
TQ Group is one of the country’s biggest conglomerates. Estranged couple Park Hyun Do and Jang Yoo Sun leads the company. Their son, Park Myung Suk, is the stereotypical good-for-nothing chaebol. When TQ decides to open its application to anyone who is qualified, Sung Ryong takes the opportunity and gets hired as Chief Kim, the manager to replace Chief Lee as the head of TQ Company’s Business Operations department. This small team (made up of Choo Nam Ho, Yoon Ha Kyung, Lee Jae Joon, Won Ki Ok, Bing Hee Jin, and Sung San Tae) is often looked down upon by the haughty members of the Accounting Department. Their office is located at the stuffy basement maintained by the cleaning ahjumma who (literally) holds the key to the company’s financial secret.
The smart and stern Seo Yool quits his job as a prosecutor and quickly gains a high position in TQ. His presence is a threat to one of TQ’s executives, Jo Min Young. Prosecutor Han Dong Hoon may not be as sharp as Seo Yool but he is determined to investigate and uncover the corruption that is going on behind TQ. To do so, his colleague, investigator Hong Ga Eun, enters the company in the guise of a nerdy intern.

Whenever I summarize a drama plot, I usually write about two to four main leads and some notable major supporting cast. This is one of the rare times that I try to include as many side characters as I can. This just proves how much the drama’s scriptwriter has given enough attention for character development in the show. Chief Kim is surprisingly character-driven despite looking shallow, full of slapstick and sarcasm, on the surface.

On one hand, there’s the exaggerated acting and some parodies; on the other, there is the dark side of corruption and an instigation of murder that sends the former Business Operations Department’s manager into a coma. The drawings at the end of each episode evens out the silly and the serious aspects of the show. The crazy scenes make you appreciate the deep and emotional nuances all the more. It makes me feel like I’m watching a live-action adaptation of a webtoon.

There’s no clear distinction between good and bad. The characters in Chief Kim are all flawed but clearly, their decision in life is what makes the difference.

Numbers don’t lie. People do. As long as I’m honest, there’s nothing as clean-cut as accounting, but it’s not easy to live like that.

– Kim Sung Ryong

Kim Sung Ryong is named after the legendary Jackie Chan but he hasn’t always been on the side of the rightful as he already had quite a few trips in and out of jail. He only dreams of pocketing enough money to fly to Denmark until fate accidentally turns him into a hero and soon he realizes that he can make good decisions and genuinely become Mr. Righteous after all. The effectiveness of rooting for a character like this depends on the performance of its actor and it fits Namgoong Min to a T. He is silly when he is silly but he is scary when he is serious. And damn, he is swoon-worthy. Thanks for the short fanservice shower scene (Episode 7). Too bad this role is not enough to give him a Daesang. No chance since the drama is aired in the same year as Ji Sung who stars in a story as gripping as Defendant’s. Namgoong Min’s chemistry with Junho will probably get them an award though. Hwarang’s Park-Park couple should say goodbye to their hopes of bagging this year’s Best Couple Award because TQ Psycho and Gluttonous Sociopath are totally bringing it home. Luckily, Goblin is a cable drama so they don’t have to compete against its A-List stars’ out-of-this-world bromance. Chief Kim, apparently, is a fan of that show as it uses Crush’s song as background music and even recreates the famous Goblin-Reaper badass slowmo’ rescue scene.

Seo Yool once worked on the side of the law but truth and justice seems to get him nowhere. TQ is exactly the perfect avenue to exercise his abilities and profit from it. And before he knew it, he was unstoppable. Even Madame Jo gets scared of him. As the story progresses, he continues to side with the evil chairman but Sung Ryong successfully gives him a way out and help him regain his pride. Their love-hate bromance is certainly the biggest asset of the show.
Lee Jun Ho is a member of 2PM. I’ve seen him in the hilarious comedy, Twenty, but it’s hard to focus on him when there’s Kim Woo Bin and Kim Ha Neul. Here in Chief Kim, it would have been difficult for any actor to match Namgoong Min especially when he gets all serious and brings his Nam Gyu Man vibes out but Junho is equally charismatic and can seriously hold his own acting-wise which is a feat for idols-turned-actors. He didn’t show off his beastly physique but there’s no better fanservice than his awkward rendition of Twice’s TT.

The biggest character development goes to Park Myung Suk. I initially thought that he would be nothing but the typical caricature of a chaebol with very little screen time but I was wrong. Greedy Park Hyun Do is impenitent until the very end but Myung Suk decides to be the reason for his father’s existence. Unlike Kim Sung Ryong, Myung Suk’s changes are not because of fate or anything. They’re brought about by his own choices. His growth from silly spoiled brat to a responsible future chairman makes some of the most hilarious and heart-tugging moments for the show. At the very least we can thank “D to the O!” for bringing this adorable human being to the world. Dong Ha is such a revelation and I hope this young actor will get more inspiring dramatic roles in the future.

The disadvantage of inserting the romantic trope for the leads in a drama is that the characters have the tendency to eventually turn into some annoying starry-eyed noble idiots. What I like about Chief Kim is that it doesn’t exactly leave the romance angle out but it tries to stay as “realistic” as possible. Namgoong Min and Nam Sang Mi don’t have any romantic chemistry and the Kim Sung Ryong-Yoon Ha Kyung relationship is nothing more than friendship and mutual respect between colleagues. Sparks fly, however, between Yoon Ha Kyung and Seo Yool. For a man who got swayed by his own greed and has lost his way, an equally strong but principled woman is what he needs to keep him grounded. Putting on the first slice of pizza on Ha Kyung’s plate is the perfect metaphor for Gluttonous Sociopath’s growth. The implied happy ending that the second lead actually gets the girl is rare in Kdramaland and Chief Kim does it – sweetly and convincingly.

It’s only April but I already know that Chief Kim is easily going to be one of my top three favorite series for this year. With Introverted Boss and Radiant Office, it’s obvious that corporate shenanigans are the trend for this season but Chief Kim comes out on top as it breaks Kdrama tropes with its irreverent comedy and a one-of-a-kind protagonist. Loose ends are neatly tied up and if you’ve seen Remember: War of the Son, you’d know that Lee Si Un’s cameo is perfect for this bromance-filled show. Everyone ends up where they belong and finally, Kim Sung Ryong’s smug face totally looks like there’s a big possibility for a second season. Yes, please. ^^