Korean Hana Kimi Adaptation To the Beautiful You Finalizes Cast for August Premiere

After percolating for the past year, SM Entertainment has finally finalized the cast for its adaptation of Hanazakari no Kimitachi e (Hana Kimi) which is called To the Beautiful You. The cast is a combination of two idols in the lead, Sulli from f(x) playing the role of Ashiya Mizuki and Minho from SHINee as Sano Izumi, plus two young actors Lee Hyun Woo as Nakatsu Shuichi and Kim Ji Won as the token second female lead. This looks and feels like a potential Playful Kiss, which I personally loved, but tanked so badly with domestic ratings in Korea. I don’t have a great fascination with Hana Kimi, despite watching the original J-dorama version (not the atrocious 2011 remake) because of my adoration for Horikita Maki and finding Oguri Shun strangely okay, but really it was Ikuta Toma who stole the show (plus the remaining gaggle of cute J-boys). What’s worse for Beautiful You’s prospects is that it’s going up against Nice Guy and Arang the Magistrate, and younger themed dramas continue the trend of getting low ratings. Wishing this drama good luck probably won’t do it much good.

I have no clue about this Minho feller but he looks solid enough to convince me he’s a star athlete. Sulli is adorable, and she was a child actress (she was young Princess Sunhwa in Seodongyeo, my first K-drama ever and I loved the child story in that drama) so I have faith she’ll do just fine. She’s about as convincing as a boy as Maki was, so believability isn’t exactly a requirement in Hana Kimi adaptations (though conversely Ella and Maeda Atsuko both looked like boys in their turns). I’m actually tuning in for the second leads in this version, though tuning in doesn’t sound right, since I’ll be slavering over Arang to really pay attention to other things. But I am curious to see how the K-version stacks up to the other three remakes.

Also joining the cast is L of Infinite (who folks think looks like my Shin but I only see a vague resemblance) and Hwang Kang Hee (of ZE:A). For the adult characters, supposedly Ki Tae Young has signed on, and rumors have Jang Dong Gun’s wife Ko So Young in talks to join the cast. Beautiful You premieres in August on SBS following Ghost. It will be directed by the PD who did Boys Over Flowers (Korean Hana Yori Dango), Witch Amusement, and My Girl, and written by the screenwriter for High Kick 2 and 3 as well as Once Upon a Time in Saengchori. If you are one of the rare folks out there who hasn’t seen one of the existing three Hana Kimi adaptations, it’s the story of a girl cross-dressing to join an all-boys boarding school to encourage her star athlete crush to regain his sporting mojo. Hijinks ensue.


Korean Hana Kimi Adaptation To the Beautiful You Finalizes Cast for August Premiere — 55 Comments

    • Fixed it. See! I told you peeps I know nothing about K-pop. Other than if my babies like Lee Seung Gi and Shin sing.

      • You have become more familiar with K-pop idols than you might think, Mrs Koala. Remember Super Junior’s Si Won, Donghae in Skip Beat and Heechul in Bad family (luved your entry on this cherished drama btw)? Let’s not forget Shinhwa’s Eric (mine mine mine ^_^) because of Spy Myung Wol or Que sera sera. 😀

        Fyi, L already displayed his interesting acting skills in Shut up flower boy band as the “Hyun soo” character. ZE:A’s Kanghee’s tentatives in dramas weren’t quite as promising.

        And just for the record, I am not looking forward to the drama. No offence to the cast but the premices are not my cup of tea plus, well, I kinda have a grudge against SME.

  1. I loved the J and T version a lot. For some reason, I’m worried since I heard we would have a remake done by SM Ent. I will wait to see what people have to say about it. I will be glad if it turns right but…
    Maybe I’m also too old for those cross-dressing stories anymore. Always the same tricks.
    Why not a guy in a female community? That would bring a bit of fresh air.

  2. I actually like Hana kimi the original j-version because of the cast… the tw-version is ok for me … ella was so convincing and did look like a boy.. and jiro was cute as Nakatsu Shuichi… i actually like the 2nd male and female leads.. i think Lee Hyun Woo will be a good shuichi… but i will probably watching my LJK.. been missing him…

    i guess the rating will likely be low due to other shows but the k-version sounds like fun for the young casts… after all hana kimi is really just a fun drama.. not so much about plot…

  3. idk how good either of the leads are or care ‘cuz I ffwed through every scene that was about Maki and Shun in JDorama…and of course they would cast the only interesting cast member (Lee Hyun Woo) to play my favorite Nakatsu….i like Kim Ji Won a lot too but that only makes me peeved that they are casting her as second lead, not that I should’ve expected anything else from a drama that is being produced by SM…this drama doesn;t really stand much of a chance going against Arang and Nice Guy and I really dislike the BOF director so i don’t know if it will be any good…but then again the only way this will work for me is if they took themselves as seriously as Hana Kimi did..which is to say not very much…plus I’ll always have this to cheer me up if it sucks : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMeYK_6S3gk

  4. Honestly, I loved the manga to bits and read it from cover to cover so many times I can’t remember. I hope they will add some new spins to the remake. There have been way too many remakes already; if there’s nothing new, I doubt it’ll take my attention away from Arang. Too little time.

  5. Shun Oguri is one of my favorites, so I watched J version, started with Taiwanese and quit after 2 eps. Now to watch the same drama on Korean oooo, no,no..I’ll probably check it out, it’s s’thing stronger then me, but enough is enough.

  6. The original J version was a very strange creature. Most of the time it was manic and grating and I endured it with a nervous laugh and a cringe. But once in a while, tucked in there, would be a moment of real feeling. Usually brought on by Oguri Shun or Ikuta Toma (when he wasn’t being manic). I’ll never understand why people keep re-making this, it is so peculiarly J in its OTT whack mixed with flashes of sensibility.

  7. Ok, I am a huge Hana Kimi fan. I have all volumes, the art book, the japanese tv series, and the taiwanese series. I have been looking forward to this series being remade by korea ever since they remade hana yori dango cause they did one hell of a job. Having said all that, I am a bit disappointed with the look of the cast. Sorry!

  8. I liked the J-dorama version for exactly the same reason, love Horikita Maki and find Oguri Shun strangely compelling. Hated the TW version though.
    Will be watching this one purely because of my love for Minho, that boy can’t act from what I’ve seen so far, but I adooore him and I like the rest of the cast.

    • That’s why I get mad at the entertainment industry in Korea. Yoo In Na can’t get a lead role on mainstream stations, but idols with horrid acting skills are being given leads after leads. It’s very very frustrating. I am sure it’s frustrating for Yoo in NA.
      In a sane world Lee Hyun Woo would be the lead on that drama.

      • The upside of this is I’m expecting LOTS of cameos from SM, guess it’s worth tuning in for the eye candy along. Will just have to fast forward the bad acting.
        I think what made the J-dorama version work is how wacky and outlandish the boys are (aside from Oguri Shun, who’s too cool for school), not sure the same kind of wackiness would work for a K-drama.

  9. I don’t understand… don’t we have enough young actors? Why idols…? Sure they are nice to look at, but Hana Kimi is one of my favourite manga series… I just want to cry. I’ll give it a go, but not getting my hopes up

  10. If anyone’s watched Dream Team, they’d know that Minho is an insanely good high jumper, so this fits him to a T. I can’t think of a better fit for this, actually… at least for the athletics side of it. 😛 From what I’ve seen of his acting, however, he’s pretty wooden. Ah, well, you can’t have everything, I guess.

  11. So is Ki Tae Young going to play the Teacher? Who is going to mizuki’s helper in hiding her identity? Or we going to see him as another teacher??

    No mention of the gay teacher so curious who that is going to be since the young actors (the slew of them in this article so far) are pretty much boyband and girl group members, quite a glamorous group.. wow.. Anwyays.. I hope this turns out good since this series was basically done over in pretty much in Japan (TWICE!) and in Taiwan already.. now its Korea’s turn.

    Thanks for posting!

  12. Gonna watch this even if it might not be as good as Jdrama version.. no expectations here coz they’re idols.. but i so looking forward to watch L…. Squeeeel….

  13. That’s why I get mad at the entertainment industry in Korea. Yoo In Na can’t get a lead role on mainstream stations, but idols with horrid acting skills are being given leads after leads. It’s very very frustrating. I am sure it’s frustrating for Yoo in NA. .
    In a sane world Lee Hyun Woo would be the lead on that drama.

  14. Honestly, if this gonna be the next Playful Kiss, then.. I’m definitely NOT gonna watch it. There’s nothing worse than ‘stiff’ acting. *cough* Hyung Joong
    Plus, BOF director? Ermmm.. Nahhhhhh
    I think it’s going to be the next Love Rain. Super famous casts but boring story.. I guess the main audience for this drama would probably be the fans of both main actors since they’re famous K-pop idols. They’ll probably be the next Jang Geun Seuk and Yoona. No offense there! And we’re talking about SM here. They don’t care about quality as long as they get their profits. Yeah, I’m not a SM fan. I hope it won’t flop terribly! I love the Japanese one, it was really cute and playful. The TW one was ok. At least Ella is believable as a boy. Sulli would probably be the super cute flower boy! I don’t care cuz I’m obsessed with BIG! Go Shin!

  15. Righto, tht’s what I think!
    That’s ikuta who stole the show, though I love how horikitty plays Ashiya (much more than Atsuda plays her)

    I have confidence in Sulli-or that’s what I hope so-, and watching KwangHee personality in Variety Show, I think he’ll act like himself, flashy oscar, flashy…

  16. perhaps they picked sulli because of her acting experience, but i really wished amber from f(x) was picked instead. she would’ve pulled off the girl-in-disguise look so well, just like ella did.

    • Actually, in Hana Kimi manga, Mizuki (the main character) was considered so cute and pretty that she was often mistaken for a girl at first glance. So the girl had to be pretty girly anyway, despite the disguise.

      As for Kwanghee, I think I have an idea of what character he may take on, (forgot his name) perhaps the talented sunbae with all the histronics and flashy clothes.

  17. I was such a fan of the manga when it came out and of course the dorama with Maki, Shun and Toma. But yeah, Toma stole the show, he was hilarious I mean I laughed so much watching the episodes and was hooked the whole summer.
    Mizuki was never supposed to be a convincing boy after all she was a girl but I do still think
    the jdorama will still be my favorite especially because of the cast and the “bromance” between Maki, shun and Toma that developed afterwards.

  18. Gosh where to start: (

    Hana Kimi (JAP version) is one of my favorite dramas of all time, so when I heard that Korea was going to do their own version, honestly it was like a slap in my face, because the Korean versions of Japanese dramas have been disastrous (no offense) such as Hana Yori Dango, Playful Kiss and now Hana Kimi nooooo

    And worse is SM who produces it, a company known worldwide for caring more about money than quality of the product, and I’m sorry if I offend fans of that company but that is what I think, and seeing the cast sincerely I want to scream.

    Off topic: why Korean companies, seeing how other dramas featuring idols, it goes so badly, why not hire actors with real talent, god this makes me sick

    • Exactly! There are so many young actors that acts really well and yet they went for the idols.. It’s SME after all.. They don’t value quality as long as the money keep pouring in.. I’ve seen Minho in Salamander Guru, I guess his acting is passable.. I don’t know about Sulli though since I’ve never seen her act. Nevertheless, I love the series, I just hope they won’t ruin it! I don’t care if they’re famous idols. If they can’t act, then don’t ruin everything the series. That’s all I’m asking! Plus, seeing they hired BOF director, I don’t really have much faith.

    • Very well said!

      I just wanted Korea to stop making remakes of favorite Jdoramas. Isn’t ruining Hana Yori Dango enough? Come on guys, stick with your own story! Besides, NOBODY and I really mean NOBODY can do a better Nakatsu Suichi other than my beloved TOMA IKUTA! 🙂

  19. The Japanese Hana Kimi is hilarous. The T version isn’t as hilarious as the J one but Ella is great. Not sure about the Korean version though. But I love Potatoe Boy (Soedongyo) so I might check this one out just to see the how Sulli is doing.

  20. I think Minho is perfect as Sano. I think I saw an episode of Dream Team where he had to high jump (more like jumping like a flying squirrel XD) but I think that was years ago and he’s athletic. Well I just hope Sulli can pull it off like how Maki did. I think Maki had the best ver. of Mizuki. While Sano.. I think I’ve fallen in love with Nakamura Aoi’s Sano (and I’m not OK with though it’s obvious that he didn’t do the high jump himself.

    But if it’s to compare the former 3 ver. I really like J 2011’s version cuz it has more serious tone in it unlike the prev one. I only hope K version includes more of the romance between Sano and Mizuki (manga fans: remember the door kiss? *fans self) which Korean drama capable of doing, and please do not appease to viewers like Boys Over Flowers (thank goodness not the same writer, but PD.. but!) let it stay on its course.

  21. errrr not really fond of SM artists…i love the japanese version and i cannot see anyone will play nakatsu’s character better than ikuta toma. he nailed that one! SM will have to fill in a big shoe for this drama to be successful. A BIG GOODLUCK is what they need!

  22. Why idols? Why? I like them on stage and in variety shows, they’re cute and giggly and all that. But when acting is required? I do wish them good luck.

  23. i am glad they got an actual actor to play Nakatsu because it takes quite a bit of acting range to perform the character correctly without being over the top. I am probably not going to check this out even though I do like the secondary actors mostly because Minho cannot act and I really liked the j-version (original, not the 2011 one).

  24. I love the J-Version so much. And honestly, I don’t think this remake will be good enough. I watched Min Ho in Pianist and his acting was weird. So, this one isn’t in my radar. Haha…

  25. Ikuta Toma has ruined all other Nakatsu for me :3 However, if Oguri Shun’s Sano was not so broody (the one in the manga is calm, sweet and a bit reserved, but never broody nor cold) I would have liked him more. As for Mizuki, nobody could hold a candle to Horikita Maki, though she and Oguri Sun are a mismatch.I dunno, plot wise, its nothing new, and very typical of shoujo manga(why doesn’t anybody adapt Habaek, or Bride of The Water God, a good manhwa remains a mystery) but another Nakatsu might make me watch this LOL

    • Wow I was reading all the comments and then I got to yours and I was like YES!! I agree and someone else has actually read Bride of the Water God! That story is a little hectic but it has so many complex turns and twists and the art really captured my heart… but it would probably costs a lot for that kind of production and I can’t see any actors’ or actresses faces when I think of the characters in real life.

      But anyway, Hana Kimi korean version…When I heard the news I was not all too happy especially because of rumors of SM wanting to use all idols instead actors and based on popularity votes as well (was not happy but glad that it did not turn out that way).

      So despite my mixed feelings of SM, I hope this drama adaptation goes well. Acting, plot, pace, ratings, and all other good stuff. I have not watch a drama since Skip Beat! adaptation so I’m looking forward (for now) for that first episode.

  26. I’m still having mixed feelings about this drama because of the character changes. I just can’t imagine Nakatsu as being “conceited and short-tempered” :/

  27. Oh Unni,
    Now that we know the cast, I’m so unbelievably excited about this cast. Directing (cringe) but have faith in the writers.

    We shall see!! YaY!

  28. As much as I think Minho looks the part… the boy can’t really act.
    Sulli I feel might be quite convincing as a boy because she’s quite tall, if not well at least we know she can act 🙂

    I’m not looking forward to this though because I loved the Original J-Dorama and the manga (TW not so much because of Wu Chun-Bot) and I really don’t think anyone can top Ikuta Toma as Nakatsu (It’s a bit like how I felt no-one could top matsujun in HanaDan despite Lee minho looking more like the manga character…)

    Anyway In conclusion, The chances of it being better than OguriMakiToma and the rest of the awesome J cast is unlikely and if they make it’s crap… I hope they don’t drag it out too long like they did with BOF, which I only finished for the second couple.. that was it… ><

  29. Hey,fellas…don’t be too negative here…let’s give this Kroean version of Hana Kimi a BIG chance. Enough of that dam ratings!

    I’m excited on the lead couple Minho and Sulli specially Lee Hyun Woo who will play the part of 2nd male lead. I have loved him since Queen Seodok and God of Study.

    To the Beautiful You…Checked! as in one of my Wish List Korean Drama this 2012!

  30. All people here….TALK TOO MUCH. oh she blablabla..oh he blablabla. watch the drama first and let’s see their acting. if U don’t satisfy U can complain as much as u want. well mostly SM antis here so i’m not surprised.

  31. some people here….TALK TOO MUCH. oh she blablabla..oh he blablabla. watch the drama first and let’s see their acting. if U don’t satisfy U can complain as much as u want. well mostly SM antis here so i’m not surprised.

  32. “it’s going up against Nice Guy and Arang & the Magistrate”
    ow..ow.. bad news. at first I really hoped this drama would have good ratings, but after I knew the competitors… seriously, it’s going to be hard.

    but I will, still, definitely watch this because of my unconditional love for Lee Hyun Woo!
    and the facts that I love the Japanese version “Hana Kimi”.

    ” but really it was Ikuta Toma who stole the show.” I agree with this!
    Hana Kimi was so much fun because of its second lead character.
    and I know I will fall in love again with the second lead character in “To The Beautiful You”

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