The thought of someone thinking it would be a great idea to remake yet again another version of Die Sterntaler (also known as White Romance or Heaven’s Coins) gives me a headache. One of the granddaddies of all second-male-lead-gets-the-girl stories was the 1995 J-dorama Hoshi no Kinka starring Osawa Takao, Sakai Noriko, and Tanenouchi Yutaka. The heroine is a deaf mute poor girl living in Hokkaido who falls in love with the kind do-gooder doctor from the big city who goes there to work. They get engaged and he returns to Tokyo to tell the folks, only to get into an accident and lose his memory. The heroine travels to Tokyo to find him and meets with his playboy younger brother who takes her in. She tries hard to get her fiancée to remember their promise to each other, during which time the younger brother falls madly in love with her. The original J-dorama was addicting but ridiculously makjang, but the ending mollified me somewhat since she ends up picking the younger brother (she would have to be deaf, mute, and blind not to pick Takenouchi Yutaka).
Japan later made a sequel that made me want to poke my eyes out, so the less that is said the better. Korea remade this story in 2005 as Spring Days starring Go Hyung Jung, Ji Jin Hee, and Jo In Sung, which also ended the same way. Apparently this story is like a zombie that won’t die, because CTI has just announced that it will be airing the Taiwan version next month on Sundays after Once Upon a Love ends to go up against Miss Rose and Waking Up Love. Starring Rhydian Vaughan, Nikki Hsieh, Sphinx Ting, and Reen Yu, the drama was filmed on location in Hokkaido and looks to follow the exact same storyline. This might be the only version where I’ll actually ship the heroine with the older brother, because Rhydian is beyond adorable (perfect Chinese, speaks English with a yummy Brit school boy accent) and I’m shallow like that. Hey, maybe the ending will change in this version thereby justifying the remake. I can only hope.
Teasers for Die Sterntaler:
Press conference for Die Sterntaler: