Series Review: Hanazakarino Kimitachi e — Taiwanese Live Action Version

I finally finished this series last night and it was good until the last two episode. This series follows the manga pretty closely and concluded with the photo shoot. It seemed, though, as if the screen writers didn’t know how to end the series, so there was a lot of filler and Rei Xi (Mizuki) and Shu Yi (Nakatsu) became louder, shriller, and more over dramatic as things wore on. I got so irritated with the actors that I fast-forwarded through a lot of the hystronics. I, also, still was bugged by the appearance of the actress who played Rei Xi. No matter how I looked at her, she was not cute. Her way of moving and her expressions were not that of someone who is a girl or of someone 16/17 year old. In the outdoor photoshoot scene I finally figured it out. She looks like a chubby cheeked ten year old, very much like the curly headed Coke-girl from about 10-years back. She also acted like a very loud and very hyper 10-year boy, which made it hard for me to believe that her character could feel romantic love — which may have actually been a reflection of the heart of the actress, because she had absolutely no chemistry with Jian (Sano) so the sexual tension the two experience while living together doesn’t get expressed (or rather it’s expressed one-sidedly by the actor that plays Jian, but comes off all wrong because of the Rei Xi’s actress). The actor that played Jian is very good and definitely looks the part. I felt so bad, though, that he had to act like he was romantically in love with a chubby-cheeked androgenous child. It felt more like a big-brother looking after little brother more than anything. I did like that they added the extra element of Shu Yi falling in love with Julia. I had hoped that that would happen in the manga and I was disappointed when it didn’t. It seemed that the way that they argued indicated an underlying attraction, or so I had hoped.

Anyhow, I think this version of the story really understood the craziness of the situation of both Mizuki and Sano holding on tightly to an illusion so they can be together, but at the same time using the illusion to protect themselves from hurt. I think it also dealt well with Sano’s internal struggle against himself with regards to high-jump, keeping Mizuki’s secret and how he uses her secret to toy with her. I think though, I would have like to have seen this actor go through the emotions of finally breaking down and his efforts to finally get he and Mizuki to move toward to confess their feelings. Instead, they left them in the illusion. I also like the way they handle the doctor and his gayness in such matter-of-fact and straightforward way.

I give this 5/5 for Jian and doctor and an overall 3/5 because Rei Xi wasn’t convincing and the last two episodes were really annoying. They really missed the point that Mizuki in no way looks like a boy or acts like one, but rather she cuts her hair, puts on boys clothing, goes to a boy’s school and convinces herself into believing that everyone takes her as a boy. And most everyone believes she’s a boy because they assume that a girl wouldn’t choose to go to an all boys school. It’s a circle arguement.

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