February 20th, 2009

jorge's library

hana kimi

i'm a sucker for impossible plots---that is, when they're carried out with panache such as in 花ざかりの君たちへ (Hanazakiri no Kimitachi e), better known as Hana Kimi. Heehee. I saw parts of the drama when it was first aired in 2007; they had a special showing in the afternoon that i managed to see. however since i was busy with my dissertation then, i sort of missed it. sad. once i finished my dissertation however, i rushed over to tsutaya (a video rental store) and tried to rent a copy. but they told me that it wouldn't be available until next season. sad. i kind of forgot about the series when i got busy again, but i chanced upon a video when i was surfing youtube last year and got hooked again.

the story revolves around the adventures of mizuki ashiya (played by horikita maki), a japanese girl based in the states who comes to japan to meet izumi sano (played by shun oguri---heart!), the high-jumper she's always idolized. she enrolls in the same school he goes to, but here's the clincher---its an all-boys' school. wahahaha! ever since mulan, some friends and i have been talking about how possible it was for a girl to disguise herself as a guy. i mean, a lot of guys convincingly dress up as girls, so why can't it work both ways? but ever since i came to japan, i have been immersed in a sea of pretty boys, and a pretty girl passing herself off as a guy has never been more believable. dyosko. maganda pa ang kilay nila sa akin.

the plot of the story in the drama differs a bit from how it was originally portrayed in the manga (comics) but basically sano quit the high jump and mizuki is constantly trying to get him to jump again. i love love the cast of characters. one of my faves is shoichi nakatsu (played by tomo ikuta) a soccer player who finds himself attracted to mizuki. but he's holding himself back because they're both supposed to be guys (ore wa homo janai!). he totally stole some of the major scenes. another quirky character is the school doctor, hokuto umeda, a gay guy who was the first to discover mizuki's secret. and seiko matsuda (yes, the singer!) plays the school principal. i just love how the lighting softens when the camera turns her way. heehee. pampabata effects. asus. other characters include the three dorm heads (namba-ryocho, tennouji-ryocho, and oscar-ryocho), the manic school photographer (here akiha is a girl, but is originally a guy in the manga---think how scary that would have looked on screen!), a weird vice-principal (who always quotes from crib notes sent by the principal-not in the manga), the girls from st. blossom's academy (hibari four! e bakit five sila?), kagurazaka (a rival high jumper),  a gay guy lusting after namba (hugs nakao!), a guy who can detect auras (kayashima), a guy who invents weird machines (noe---but in the manga he's a cosplay addict), as well as a full cast of multi-faceted characters, and last, but not the least, yuujiro, the dog ;-) all this set within a thousand and one school activities including pageants, talent contests, group dates, tanabata festivals, fireworks, a trip to the beach, a treasure hunt, and a school festival. man, do they even have time for studying?!

but its a real fun watch, especially if you've got a yen for the ridiculous. the episodes are well-paced and always leave you wanting to see more ;-) just remember, fiction desu ;-)




in the drama, osaka high is supposed to be a school for hotties (ikemen), but in the manga, its supposed to be well-known for athletics and academics. all the students live in dormitories, two guys to a room. i love love this scene (above), one of mizuki's first nights in the dorm, and she's having a bit of trouble adjusting to "how boys do it."

this one includes the full cast of characters, and the upbeat themesong of the series ;-) PEACH!!! by otsuka ai


and i found this dubbed version via youtube. wahahaha! apparently it was shown in the philippines last year. man, there's really a lot lost in translation ;-) there are some things that just don't quite carry over. heehee. naaliw ako. i swear mizuki's dad has got a bulakeno accent.

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hehehe. i just bought the whole 23 volumes of the comic from amazon ;-) it's for my nihongo review dayo ;-P

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btw, for fans, here's the fuji tv site. its all in japanese, but it has a lot of fun stuff, including a whole "map" of characters ;-) enjoy!

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