To the beautiful You- My Expectations Vs Reality

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Before the drama “To the Beautiful You” started airing I had a few expectations how the drama would be different from the original Japanese version. I has posted an article here at “Hallyu Guru” focusing on my hopes and expectations.

To view that article click here. (Please do read the article to get the full blast of the current article)

Now I have finished watching the whole drama and it doesn’t matter whether my expectations then were met or not because my hopes for the drama was not definitely shattered. Then why bother to write them?-Because who doesn’t like to muse about our predictions, right?

First things first, my sincere hope for volumed up romance between the main leads was met! THANK GOD! After all this is Korean Drama we are speaking about and people expect chemistry.

And when I say romance, it is strictly limited to passionate glances, heart-throbbing back hugs and chemistryless kiss. But I am not complaining- I think the director toned it down a bit to make it look genuinely high school. But there was a little bit creativity in the romance too-credits to the bicycle kiss:)

I thought there will be only a female rival(I was not sure whether I would like  it-but it was good- she was not a total vixen kind we normally see)but the scriptwriters have gone for a male rival too. 100 points for that! They were not just mere rivals who jumped in to the scene for plot sake. Bot the rivals have a strong relationship background with the leads. Seol Ha Na(the female rival)has been Tae Joon’s friend and follower like forever and Johnny(the male rival) likes Jae Hee so much that he forged the documents for her to enroll in Boy’s school.This kind of value addition helps in the better plot development. What romance is interesting without rivals and jealous-factor?

Other than the romantic rivalry- the professional rivalry was also better in this version. There the rival just acts like an ass while inside his heart he likes Sano. But here Min Hyeon Jae is in the same school, always considered second to Tae Joon(though inside his heart looks up on him),has less sofisticated economical background etc etc which gives him more solid reasons for not liking Tae Joon much. But after the turn of events he comes to like Tae Joon which reminded me how high school really can be. Sometimes the ones you hate would end up becoming your best friend.

I was hoping with my fingers crossed that the doctor charecter would be gay in Korean version too(there were speculations that he would be straight). Well he was, but he was not very much used in the gay humor like in the original. But at least I got my wish! Yay!

Eun-gyeol’s character was was pretty good. The way how he gets to know that he likes Sulli was all neatly placed but he did not quite make the cut of the Japanese “Nakatsu”. Maybe it was because Eun-gyeol’s character was a bit more serious or maybe because in this version he senses Sulli’s feelings for Minho and gets jealous in contrast to the original.But even with all this in my head  Eun-gyeol is my favorite in the whole drama.(Nakatsu is my favorite in Jap version).

I can proudly sat Min Ho pulled off Tae Joon’s character brilliantly and better than Japanese Sano. Sano was all about looking hot and athletic- But Tae Joon’s charecter did much more than that. As for Sulli- she has skills but I couldn’t even point one single frame in the whole drama where she looked boyish enough to pass for a guy. Casting a foreigners for Sulli’s brother and her BFF was really great. Making Sulli’s brother a doctor(foreigner probably adopted by Koreans and speaks good Korean) and changing the way how he finds out she is enrolled in a Boy’s school turned out to be more interesting. Daniel oppa is given more importance role-wise in this version.

The inclusion of a mother sentiment as a reason for Tae Joon giving up High Jump was much more powerful and moving than the original(where Sano would be injured while trying to save mizuki;but he would say that was not the reason he gave up- It was a little confusing). I was surely not expecting a “mother character”. Using the mother feelings to connect the male leads – in the scene where both of them watch a movie Tae joon watched with his mother together was heart warming.

But I missed two characters very much from the original dram- the playboy guy(Nanba) who was nowhere to be seen and the girly gay guy with feelings for the play boy- there was actually a guy who keeps wearing lip balm but his character development was not much in this version.

Good thing the script writers did not completely stick to the original plot! Hats off for the script writers for completely whitewashing all the logical loopholes in the plot and giving us a proper logical plot. The ending was feel good but not very creative-toooooo predictable. I mean,c’mon I am not eight anymore and anyone over eight can predict it.

Shinee dazzling us by “Dazzling Girl” – Their first original Japanese Single

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After all their exhaustive Korean to Japanese singles remake process,our ShinEE boys have finally released a raindrop-pure Japanese single. This new single is a definite feast for the Shawols- the boys are looking Sexy and Slick!

The Song

The song kicks off with a  mid tempo piano and in about eight seconds electronic beats overlaps the piano. Through the mid-way the piano and the beat stops sharply and there is clapping sound and the pitch of the vocals is raised too. This was the bit which brought the DJ party feel to the song. Then there was the usual- a chorus and a rap bit. Then there was another piano bit with the vocals paced slow but high pitched so the party atmosphere of the song is not broken.Then out of nowhere the chorus “dazzling girl” slips in,which I felt,was somewhat not simultaneous.

Final verdict-A party hard kind of song- catchy,with piano, electronic beats , drum beats and clapping sounds in the background. It reminded me the early 90’s party music a lot.

Song Rating- 4/5

Concept:

The MV has a simple brief concept -fashion makeover. Yes! the same kind we find in chick flicks(like the Cindrella story with Hilary Duff). A pretty girl is hidden behind baggy dress, bad hair and a big round glasses until her fashion god mother comes and gives her a complete makeover and turns her into a princess. Only in this case we have 5 ShinEE fashion godmothers. Feisty!

Min Ho taking care of the girl’s hair

Taemin attending her make-up

But this whole makeover thing happens only in one dimension. In another dimension- which seem to be the stars’ stage the boys are dancing as the ShinEE. The entire story line is how the girl gets makeover in the first dimension and enters as the dazzling girl into the Stardom dimension. Well this has always been my dream; your dream too, right?

The final dazzling Girl

Cliched Kpop concept not  lost

Yeah! Yeah! The same old concept of the boys dancing for a picture perfect choreo with each of them with their glorious solo shots. The development of a storyline has not seemingly affected this good old kpop concept.

Lyrics and Concept intersection?

NO! It would have been great if the lyrics synced with what the boys were trying to express through the concept. Plus the lyrics had nothing new per se. Another one of those “loveaholic guy falling for a girl” kind of lyrics.

MV concept rating: 3/5

Choreo

I would call the whole choreo peppy; I am not complaining because fitted perfectly with the song’s feel and beat. I especially loved the choreo bits for the chorus- “Dazzling girl”. They have delivered what was expected of them.

Choreo rating: 3.5/5

Fashion:

For all the ShinEE fans who love to see the boys’ fashion at its best- you are in a great treat. With Keita Maruyama(for those who don’t know he is a reputed Japanese fashion designer) at their disposal the boys dazzled their way all through the MV. I am not entirely sure about their outfits in the “Stardom” dimension; some people might feel they had too much fur on them. I am no blue cross so I kinda loved the outfits. The furs were definitely funky but had a hint of classy attire in them. The outfits in the other dimension- No complaints there. It was perfect- not flashy but not too casual and to the top of it- they were blue- the boy colour!

Fashion Rating- 5/5

Lots of Fur? I don’t think so!

Now that’s what you call perfection

Overall Rating for the MV- 3.8