The 6-Degrees of Manga Adaptation Leads

If Kevin Bacon is the center of the Hollywood universe, I’ve yet to find his equivalent in the Asian entertainment world. Since we’ve been on such a Playful Kiss high lately, let’s spend a few minutes with the two young men who have breathed life into the character of Irie Naoki, Joe Cheng and Kim Hyun Joong, and then follow me for more curious case of the guys who played famous manga leads meeting in real life. 

Lots of you probably have seen the picture above, which was taken back in 2009 when Ariel Lin and Joe were giving actor awards by Yahoo Asia, and SS501 and Kim Hyun Joong won group and individual awards, respectively. This was way before Kim Hyun Joong was slated to play the same character made famous by Joe, but now this picture looks so prescient. I’ve noted that Kim Hyun Joong is quite tall in PK and towers over his leading actress Jung So Min, but I never really understood exactly how tall Joe was until I saw them side-by-side.

As a bonus, let’s make this six-degrees of separation even cooler. Joe was actually the MC at Lee Min Ho‘s Taiwan fanmeeting, and above are some pictures from that event.

Again, Lee Min Ho is one of the tallest actors in Korea, and Joe still has an inch or two on him. In addition, I’ve snuck in a picture of Lee Min Ho and Kim Hyun Joong doing an ad campaign for god-knows-what. Finally, recently Oguri Shun met up with Kim Hyun Joong in Korea. This ties together our actors from the most famous manga-to-drama adapation genre, each of whom have or will have played two famous manga leading men.

Lee Min Ho was or will be the Korean versions of Domyoji Tsukasa in Hana Yori Dango and Saeba Ryo in City Hunter. Kim Hyun Joong played the Korean versions of Hanazawa Rui in Hana Yori Dango and Irie Naoki in Itazura na Kiss. Joe Cheng played Taiwan versions of Irie Naoki in Itazura na Kiss and Hanatashiki Aoi (Chinese character name Han Kui) in Bara no Tame ni (drama title The Rose). Lastly, Oguri Shun played J-versions of Hanazawa Rui in Hana Yori Dango and Izumi Sano in Hanazakari no Kimitachi e.

So all  four of these guys have really made a mark in the manga-to-drama adaptation world in their respective countries. (I was going to throw in some Wu Zun goodness, who is now about to tackle his third manga character in the Zettai Kareshi re-make (after doing TW-HanaKimi and Tokyo Juliet), but that’ll have to wait). If Korea ever dared to remake Hanazakari no Kimitachi e, maybe someone else ought to join this distinguished group. Maybe my Moony?


The 6-Degrees of Manga Adaptation Leads — 36 Comments

  1. Chingoo,you never cease to amaze me with your vast knowledge…please remind me NOT to play Jeopardy &/or Trivial Pursuits with ya…kisses

  2. as much as i love hanakimi (the manga exclusively… the japanese version was super fun but wacky… shunnie was dashing though and that boosted toma’s career so i guess i should be grateful for that but i didn’t LOVE it… the tw version.. lots of eye candy but um.. wu zun speaks for himself.. as for ella. love HER, dislike her acting)
    and honestly, although i enjoyed all the cross-dressing dramas airing right now and previously, i think i need a break from them… but yoonie as sano would be really good… i want to see THAT. i wonder who would fit nakatsu’s role…

    and i had the exact same remark about their heights when i saw that pic.. haha…
    pretty boy meets pretty boy meets other pretty who meets pretty boy…
    so many pretty boys…

    • oh… and wanted to add something about wu zun.. remember, he was in tokyo juliet as well… it’s been a while ive read that manga but i remember his name is akira or something… i remember it because of NwP

      • aishh… at first i thought it was my mistake.. that i was pressing enter but everytime this is the second time the comment is submitted without me wanti

      • wanting it to… am i the only one having this problem??? TT sorry i didnt want to spam.. just wanted to say that i didn’t like the first 2 adaptations of wu zun much so i w

      • as wondering how the 3rd would fare… TT. what’s happening??? ockoala. feel free to delete my comments.. why do i have this problem

      • ok… i’m trying again to see if this works… it looks like it’s working. YES! it’s working. phew. I really thought my computer went beser

    • v

      I’m sorry, but your computer glitch problem causing you to keep posting before you were done writing, yeah, that was hella hilarious. Hope it’s fixed, but I had a good laugh at your computer’s expense this morning. I think it woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

      • i finally found out what the computer leak was about…
        my “enter” key was partially stuck… it got me worked up the whole morning (TT) but glad you got a laugh out of it.. XD

      • lol.. my roommate just told me the key is not called enter.. hehe.. i’m computer blind. it’s called the left-click button. -_-“

  3. hahhaha nice links 🙂 KHJ looked so small next to Joe Cheng

    speaking of Wu Zhun… now his acting is one of the most awkward thing i’ve ever seen hahahaha! But I haven’t seen anything from him lately, maybe he improved like KHJ did

    • My thought was more like: THAT is Oguri Shun?!?

      I needed to verify his identity multiple times. That man is not aging….in the right way.

  4. It almost looks like Hyun Joong is standing in a hole in that picture. I know he is taller than Young Saeng and Hyung Joon and only an inch or two shorter than Jung min and Kyu Jong but he looks like he is the shortest in that picture.

    It really is a small world with how all of them are connected in one way or another. Very interesting how things come full circle sometimes.

  5. Am I the only one who’s still waiting the kdrama version of Zettai Kareshi?!?

    Joe’s outfit at LMH’s fanmeeting? *scratches head* And speaking of LMH, I don’t know why, but even though I know he’s tall, whenever I see him on screen, I keep thinking he’s not.

    • Nope, not just you. The problem with LMH is that he doesn’t fill up the screen like other guys who are equally as tall: Jung Woo Sung, Cha Seung Won, Lee Chun Hee, et. al.

      LMH has also lost a lot of weight, in PT he looked like a wind would blow him away, and when he turned sidedays sometimes I couldn’t see him anymore.

      Hence, he doesn’t project his real height as well as the other gigantors in the industry.

      • isnt being skinnier should project him taller? eg BiDam and his longggggg suave body.

        I think it’s a case of proportions, LMH doesnt have a cd size head, same w/ Joe Cheng, so they do not appear as tall.

      • Okay, twinnie mookie is right again. LMH and Joe both had rather large leads. Joe is not as skinny as LHM so it doesn’t seem as disproportionate. Either way, these guys can use a sandwich.

      • LMH is as hot as JWS, CSW and so on? WHAT?!? See? See? It’s happening again. It’s like my brain refuses to believe the evidence.

        LOL yes, he really looked like the wind could blow him away in PT.

        LOL you guys crack me up. I would have said that LMH’s problem is his new unfortunate clothing style, with the short pants, same kind of pants that the oh so hot KNG was unlucky enough to wear on Bad Guy and btw, KNG looked shorter with those things on, too, imho…

  6. great connection ockoala!

    joe cheng is really tall, thats why in ISWAK ariel lin looks like a grade schooler against the towering height of joe cheng.

    who would have thought that kim hyun joong and joe cheng who just met in 2009 would be giving life to the same character, Irie naoki.
    good thing both of them have different approach in playing the part.
    and both of them did well in their own way.

  7. OMG!!!!!! Yoo Ah In for Sano…(O..O) god, ockoala, you’re fueling my inner moony fangirliness!!!!! i agree, though with v (lol with your comp prob…hope it gets fixed), cross dressing roles should be put in halt in the meantime, like until the 2nd half of 2011, i can handle that much…yab, coffee prince, painter of the wind, and skks- all i’ve watched and loved but its getting tiresome already…but if it was Moony, (evil laugh), i’d be first in line…hehehe

    on another note, i’m amazed at myself that i’ve finished romantic princess and hana kimi, hahaha, but that was when i’m still wearing the wuzun-blind love goggles, however i remember ella annoyed to no end in hana kimi…

    • that’s why i’m even more amazed at myself to have finished hana kimi even though ella had been a total mess all through out the series (or even until today), she almost made my hair burn in frustration with all of her OTT antics…and i think what help me get through that was the wuzun goggles, hehehe

  8. fun fun fun! o I did look up how tall Joe was reportedly… 188cm so we can also play the Rain ht. game 😉

    Funny is I just dug out an old Xman to brush up on the TVXK boys. it’s an episode i’ve seen and forgotten (ep94) it has our PK KHJ, SKKS Micky (and of coz Xiah) AND HwangBo the other half of our lettuce couple.

    in case u wanna check out the funny:

    • I was watching this an dying with laughter! I even dreamt of it last night. I can’t get over how YOUNG all of them looks, especially KHJ and Mickey. Thanx, enabling love of mine.

    • wow… it’s been such a long time… i’ve missed xman!! it’s one of the best shows out there…kk…
      the reason i watched this episode at first was dbsk… then i rewatched it for ssangchu couple. and now, im rewatching it for the rain-height game… kk
      this is fun!
      what’s next?

      • i’ve just watched the first part… but i couldn’t really compare the height because they weren’t too close… until i reread ur comment and realized the vid was separate.. haha… silly me.
        oh well, ill just rewatch it anyways…

    • Oh sweet Lord I almost forgot all the love stories on this show.

      And yes, yes, they’re all soooooo young. Gah, I feel old now

  9. it is just a co-incidence or what? what a small world in Asian showbizness! I’m so impressed these actors met! I can’t wait for Wu Zun to be the absolute bf!
    thanks for sharing this!

  10. Ahaha, I remember how Joe’s height was such a big deal!
    One of the things I remember back when the drama was airing was everyone commenting how tall he was ^^

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