Remakes are always interesting because you see the same story (or at least the same aspects of a certain world) in a different way. If you’ve seen the original before the remake, you’ll most likely start comparing the two unconsciously. This happened to me as I was watching the 2011 remake of the 2007 Japanese Drama: Hanazakari no Kimitachi (or most commonly known as: Hana Kimi). As I have mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been watching and re-watching the 2007 version of Hana Kimi—basically for the past almost-decade (wow, I’m old); so I was curious (and honestly a bit skeptical) at the fact that there was a remake of it. At first, I was completely against watching the remake because—as I was watching the first episode—everything felt wrong. After thinking about it overnight, I decided to watch it completely—and I’m glad I did. While the essence and comedy are very much present in both, they’re incredibly different. SPOILER ALERT: There will be spoilers for both versions here. If you’re thinking about watching either one, you have been warned.
1-Mizuki’s Primary Goal
- In both versions, Mizuki’s primary goal is to have Izumi Sano do high jumps once more. In order to do so, she sneaks out of her home in America to enroll as a boy in Osaka Academy.
- Portraying a certain character with a unique personality is hard to pull off when you’re an actor—especially if it’s for a re-make; however the actors did an amazing job in giving life to the characters while also giving their own twist to them. In my opinion, I think Nakatsu’s character was the best since he does tend to exaggerate a lot in his scenes; so it’s not an easy role to play, but the actor who played him, did it perfectly. Not only their personalities, but I was also shocked with how the actress who played Mizuki in 2011 looked identical to the actress who played her in 2007.
- The re-make went the extra mile with the plot. In the 2011 version, Osaka Academy is going to close down in a few months and Mizuki takes it upon herself to do her best in making the most of her time within the Academy while also trying to change the minds of the people who are doing whatever it takes to shut it down. There’s also an actual antagonist in the 2011 version—which is good because I think all series should have someone (or a few people) who you love to hate. The 2007 version did have a plot, but I think that it didn’t really go in depth with things such as backstories with certain characters and there wasn’t a set antagonist (or antagonists).
2-The Big Reveal
- Mizuki being a girl is revealed in completely different ways and order in the 2011 version. For one, Sano finds out about her being a girl because he saw the back of her bra when her shirt got wet (2011) rather than him eavesdropping on her conversation with her older brother. Another is when Natsuki finds out about her being a girl after she falls from a ladder and unbuttoning her shirt (2011) rather than finding out after seeing her in the shower (he didn’t do anything, btw—he was looking for shampoo. He immediately got out as soon as he saw—she never noticed).
- Unlike the 2007 version, the remake never shows her family once. Probably because she never told her family she was attending an all-boys school—which was one of the plot holes that the 2007 version had (especially since her father and brother were against her attending the school in the first place).
- In the 2007 version, Nakatsu’s mother was a rather sophisticated woman who wanted her son to take over the family business rather than let him follow his dreams of being a soccer player. In the remake, his mother has a more comedic personality while also wanting him to get out of the school since she got a letter saying that they were going to demolish the school about a month or two early. Later on, she keeps insisting he go with her as a test to see how determined he was in making the most of his school life (or what’s left of it).
- Unlike the 2007 version, the remake gave more emotion to Mizuki’s goodbye. This is because she actually leaves at night in order not to say goodbye to anyone and make it a painful experience. She encounters the school doctor and he has a conversation with her and he asks her within the Radio Club what she thinks about the school. There, he records the entire thing and puts it in a tape that isn’t played until the boys were cleaning up the school. Later on, they brought her back to the school and said their goodbyes personally. In the old version, they do everything during the day and they all say their goodbyes before she heads back to America, only to come back a few months later to attend the Dorm Leaders’ graduation.
One thing that made me fangirl so much was the fact that they had two of the actors in the original Hana Kimi take part within one or two episodes (Hibari and Masao).
That’s it for today. There may have been a few things that I missed/ forgot to mention, but there are so many things that they changed in the remake that it would’ve probably have this post be incredibly long. I hope you enjoyed it! Until next time, keep your paws and bowls of ramen up, everyone! Nya! 🐾
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