Reviews and random thoughts brought about by various movies, series, music, books, travels, social behavior and what not...

Monday, November 21, 2011

You're Beautiful (Minamishineyo v.s. Ikemen Desu Ne)

I have been watching the Korean drama "You're Beautiful" (or Minamishineyo) again and again for some time now. And with the recently concluded "Ikemen Desu Ne", which is the Japanese remake of that popular Korean title, I got to par them side by side.

Primarily the story is about a nun whose identical twin brother got the chance to enter into a very famous boy band. Unfortunately, the brother got into an accident and the boy's manager desperately seeks out the twin sister and get her to pretend in place of her brother for a while. A common plot material in the story is the lengths the sister has to go through to hide the fact that she's a girl. And if found out, it would be the end of her brother's career. Her relationships within the group also develop as her pure and naive nature made her endearing to all, ultimately becoming quite a mess to all the people around her. The story is both funny and heart warming, which is why it is a favorite of mine.

A premise present in both versions of the drama is the name of the fictional band (A.N. Jell), which is said to be very popular in East Asia. And the way the twins are named are derived from the main phrase 'Beautiful' in their native language (,ie "Beautiful Boy": Mio (Jap.) Mi Nam (Korean)), although the Japanese uses a play on Kanji pronounciations to get the name.

Although the Japanese version remain faithful to major climaxes seen in the Korean drama, some of the circumstances that lead to it are sometimes changed. They stay true to the plot and the various climatic or pivotal scenes within it, but sometimes injects a little something here and there to make the storyline more Japanese.

The timeline in the Japanese version is compacted to the essential scenes... so missing a bit may lead you to be lost in the moment. Which is good for me since I like it like that. I hate loooong series...I mean, get to the point dude, my attention is wandering off because they were focusing on the crying lead actress for an extra 10 minutes.

Production-wise, I vote for the Korean version. You can see that they spent a lot of time, effort and money to get the scene just right, a play on focus and space. The Japanese version left me a bit claustrophobic in some scenes or something is just not as grand as it should be. I do like the cameos in the Japanese version, since I only know Japanese actors and artists.

In terms of looks, its a deadlock. I made a quick survey with my wife and her cousins, they bring up a lot of intresting points on who's the better looking bunch. With my quick survey I concluded that the younger audience think that the Japanese actors were better looking. Aside for having the looks, being young, energetic and being emo are the qualities that they seem to look for in a boy band. Mature audiences prefer the majesty, grace and adult charm the Korean actors project.

As for the main protagonist, we compared their transformations from girl to boy, and vice-versa. With Park Shin-hye, her transformation was very obvious, even in boy mode, you can tell she's a girl. But her girl mode was gorgeous. Miori Takimoto, on the other hand, sets herself up as a convincing boy, but her transformation to girl mode could use a more styling up...her look is too plain. Nevertheless, both actresses did a very good job on their potrayal.

The plot and story of this series appeals to a wide range of people. And I won't be surprised that if in the near future, a Filipino version will hit the small they did with other foreign telenovelas and such.