To The Beautiful You will be the fourth remake and the Korean adaptation of the popular Japanese manga Hanazakari no Kimitachi e. To those who do not know what this is about, it is a young girl who idolises a high jumper ever since she saw him on television. However, because of an injury, the high jumper broke away from his career. In order to encourage her idol to jump again, she disguises herself as a boy to transfer herself to his all male high school.
Having seen only the Taiwanese version, this drama will bring up some very interesting comparisons for me. And what’s not to enjoy about this drama with a full breathe taking ensemble cast? *wink, wink* Ahahahahas!
What a brilliant opening ep! It did a wonderful job establishing the characters but I guess I already get the gist of this since I have seen the Taiwan one. Ahahahas!
It’s the 2010 World Junior Championship and our hero high jumper, Kang Tae Joon (Choi Minho), is jumping for gold. Our heroine, Goo Jae Hee (Suili) watches her television screen (in the US) with a solemn face as he succeeds.
And the next thing that occurs is her friend telling her that he doesn’t have to do this. She tells her that she has to do this and snips off her long and beautiful locks. :'(
At long last, she has arrived in South Korea, dressed as a boy.
Cha Eun Gyul (Lee Hyun Woo) is a soccer enthusiast is at soccer match while Song Jong Min (Hwang Hee) and other fellow teammates cheer him on as he kicks in a splendid goal. But the first thing he does is not celebrate it with his teammates but to go and tweet a picture of himself. (Show off much? Ahahahahas!)
Meanwhile, a group of fan girls (especially the trio) is waiting excitedly outside of Genie High School to stalk their oppas.
Tae Jon’s manager, Jang (Lee Ah Hyun) informs him that he has to film a high jumping scene for a commercial. However, he quickly answers no to it. Though, she does not understand his reluctance since he is out of rehab now.
Back on the other side of town, Jae Hee is trying to get past the group of fan girls to enter her school. Unfortunately for her, she is caught in the mob as Tae Jon’s van arrives. And, she gets crushed into the side of Tae Jon’s window.
Finally, Jae Hee makes her way out of the mob and into the school but not before she is stopped in her tracks by teacher Bae Kwang Min (Kang Kyung Joon). He questions her for heading into the school but she has come all prepared with some documents in English. Yeahhh…he totally understood it and lets her through.
Heading up one long staircase with a suitcase is sure to bring on some accident. Her lock breaks open and her clothes fall out. As she goes to retrieve them, her idol appears holding her teddy bear undies. He tells her “You’ve got…unique taste”. She explains that it is a handkerchief and goes to take it out of his hand but she lands in her suitcase and skids down. However, Tae Joon stops her by stepping on the suitcase but that soon breaks and he just watches as she skids down fearing for her life. She gets stopped by a tree and happily waves to him, with her undies in hand, that she is fine. He just walks away as she introduces herself.
Jae Hee heads to the teacher’s office where she meets her homeroom teacher, Lee So Young (Lee Young Eun) who is very impressed by her track record. Jae Hee tells herself that they were all in the female division.
Jae Hee goes to introduce herself to her class which is under no control whatsoever. One of her classmates even throws a banana peel right to the centre of her face. However, Eun Gyul is the friendlier of the class, showing her to a seat beside him. Jong Min then tells her that the school has an initiation that all new students must take. She agrees, not knowing what is to come.
She has to head to the doghouse that is surrounded by warning signs everywhere and bring back a tennis ball. Easy, right? Yeah, it is. A large but adorable white dog, Sang Chu, comes charging at her causing her to back in fear. However, the two quickly become friends as the dog starts licking her. (Cute!)
She heads to the kennel to retrieve the tennis ball when Tae Joon comes, calling out to his dog. She hides in the kennel as she listens to him telling Sang Chu if he should ditch it and just give up high jump altogether. Jae Hee makes her appearance telling him not to. She asks him why he wants to quit, is it because his ankle has not heeled yet? He harshly tells him that it is none of her business.
Jae Hee has passed the initiation and boy, are Eun Gyul, Jong Min and all of the other classmates shocked, though shock does not mean Jong Min is impressed. She takes to her seat and happily smiles as Tae Joon sits behind her. She turns around and tries to make conversation with him but is quickly closed off.
Jae Hee is at the cafeteria and takes a huge scooping of everything that the school has to offer. (Mmmm, yummio!) Everyone is finished before her as she takes small feminine bites while the others just gulp down their food.
Awkwarddddd! Jae Hee has to make her way to the male toilets. As she gets out of her cubicle, Jong Min trips her and she pulls down a muscular guy’s pants as she falls. Oh, not good. The muscular guy is not impressed and embarks on a fight with her. Everyone watches as Jae Hee takes down the muscular guy with a toilet-plungy-thingy. The guy is not prepared to lose but luckily, Ha Seung Ri (Seo Jun Young) breaks up the fight, dispersing all the students. Eun Gyul stays back and compliments her skills.
Eun Gyul is walking Jae Hee back to the dorm and questions if she really retrieved the ball from Sang Chu’s kennel because Sang Chu is not fond of males. Uh-oh! He tells her that she is tall and flimsy and then goes to touch her chest saying that she is very strong. She freaks out but he manages to give her an easing point saying that she must do chest exercises.
Eun Gyul then explains to her the dorm organisation and that each of the dorms are very competitive with each other, especially at sports with the upcoming sports competition. Dorm 1’s leader is Jo Young Man (Yoo Min Kyu) who specialises in taekwondo, dorm 2’s leader is Seung Ri who is the leader of the athletics club and dorm 3’s leader is Na Chul Soo (Kim Ian) who specialises in figure 8 skating. She then asks him if Tae Joon will be participating but he informs her that he has not exercised since his injury. He nicknames her Squishy and tells her that she has asked a lot about Tae Joon but she tells him that it is because they are classmates. Song Min watches this with jealously.
Manager Jang is apologising to the photographer on Seol Han Na (Kim Ji Won) tardiness. She finally arrives – late because she overslept – and pours her aegyo on the photographer which he buys. She throws a tantrum and leaves when she discovers that Tae Joon is not participating in the shoot.
Jae Hee is fascinated by her beautiful dorm number 303 but will be even more surprised when she finds out her dorm buddy is Tae Joon. In the meantime, she just smiles as she thinks about her encounters with him.
Manager Jang has a meeting with one of Tae Joon’s endorsers who are considering to reconsider their contract with Tae Joon. Manager Jang assures him that Tae Joon has fully recovered from his injuries. The endorser agrees to give him another chance if he jumps in the next CF. (Would someone like to tell me what CF is? Commerical?) Oh, and before she leaves she tells him that the company didn’t pick Tae Joon, Tae Joon picked them.
Jae Hee heads to class to find that everyone is making their way out of class. Eun Gyul informs her that it is swimming time. She claims that she didn’t bring her swimming suit but Jong Min is more than happy to lend her his one with a hole. She refuses and he even tries to strip her but luckily, Eun Gyul saves her. Then out of nowhere, actually out of the locker, the trio pops out taking pictures of Eun Gyul. They run with Jong Min chasing after them.
Eun Gyul sees Jae Hee fully clothed and asks her why she isn’t participating in swim class. She claims that she is allergic to chlorine. (Umm…I thought her reason was she didn’t have a swim suit?) She asks him where Tae Joon is and he points out that she is always looking for Tae Joon. He calls her a Tae Joon worshipper.
Tae Joon goes to meet the school doctor, Jang Min Woo (Ki Tae Young) who immediately closes his image of Bae Yong Joon on the computer and tells Tae Joon that he may appear to be fine but he needs to get a clearance from a larger hospital.
Tae Joon is at the hospital when his manager calls him to inform him that that he has to jump and he will want to do it because a famous coach, Coach Holten, will be there.
Jae Hee carefully pack away her belongings and clears out Tae Joon’s photos to make space for her things. LOL! She also tapes a picture of Tae Joon to the wall. She then goes to take a shower unaware that the door did not lock properly. Tae Joon is outside Sang Chu’s kennel and stares at a ringed necklace asking what to do. He then receives a call from his father who is not very happy when Tae Joon tells him that he does not want to jump tomorrow. He enters the house and realises that his roomie must have settled in already. When he sees the picture of himself he immediately rips it off. He notices the broken suitcase and realises who his roomie is. He then heads to the bathroom and is surprised to see her there. She – who has hastily wrapped herself in a towel – tells him that she is his new roomie.
All dressed, she comes out to catch that Tae Joon is going to be high jumping again. Unhappy to be sharing a room, Tae Joon kicks her out.
Meanwhile, there is also another high jumper, Min Hyun Jae (Kang Ha Neul) who is practising his jumps. He fails a few times but clears every other one afterwards. His locker has an article on Tae Joon which is surely where he gets his persistence from.
Jae Hee decides to camp out with Sang Chu when Seung Ri arrives and gets her back her share of the room. She is just happy that he is in arm’s reach and that she might even be able to see him jump. Tae Joon wakes to find sticky notes from Jae Hee everywhere with everything prepared for his comeback. She even goes to sleep with Sang Chu so that he won’t get made.
Doctor Jang is just really up himself. Ahahahahas! He tells Tae Joon that the results came out faster than expected and it is…he successfully recovered from his injuries! However, he doesn’t seem so happy. Doctor Jang asks him to get a signature of Seol Han Na for him since they are close. Tae Joon tells him “If I see her again.” Oh? She is part of his injuries?
The boys are playing soccer when Hyun Jae ‘accidentally’ trips Tae Joon. Tae Joon tells him he is wasting his time worrying about the opposing team. He tells him that he can never win against him because he spends his time thing about too much useless crap.
Tae Joon tells Jae Hee to move out of his room by tonight. She tells him that it is unfair so he gives her a chance, if she can score a goal he will consider it. She takes on the challenge.
Manager Jang is good at English! She is talking Mr Holter to the venue with Han Na who has skipped school to come along.
Eun Gyul makes a switch from goalie to a player and helps Jae Hee to score a goal while showing off his excellent soccer skills. She was so close but missed out by a centimetre. Everyone is amazed by how fast Eun Gyul is. A jealous Jong Min tackles her causing her to faint. Tae Joon and Eun Gyul comes rushing to her side. Eun Gyul goes to inform the nurse while Tae Joon carries her to the doctor’s office. It’s okay, she has only fainted. Tae Joon gets a text from his manager telling him to come to the gym. He holds his ringed necklace and says that this might really be the last.
He is one famous high jumper with cameras to his left and right. Even his father comes to watch.
Jae Hee wakes and doctor Jang confronts her. Meanwhile, Tae Joon makes his all important jump and fails.
First off, I am so sorry for the low quality pictures, it is quite difficult to find a good quality eng sub version of this. Sorry! And extra apologises for late recaps because subs take some time to come out.
Where is the opening credits for this!? If my memory serves correctly, why does no Korean dramas offer opening credits? I’m not sure, but I think that opening credits will add to this drama. It will help to give it some umph and power. LOL, I don’t know, I really would have liked to see some opening credits for this. On the topic of this, this is one big difference from the Taiwan one.
Anyway, I can’t help but compare this to the Taiwan one. There are so much similarities yet so much differences. Not the plot, it is very consistent throughout the drama but just little twitches here and there. One big difference is that Tae Joon is a celebrity high jumper unlike Yi Quan who keeps a low profile. Anyway, this drama has a brilliant cast, all very hot guys. Ahahahahs, I can’t wait to see more of the classmates! But yeahh, I am having trouble keeping track of this huge list of characters.
Compared to the Taiwan version, this first ep lacked the power and chemistry that the Taiwan one gave. From the first ep of the Taiwan one, you could feel that Yi Quan already cares for Rui Xi whereas in here Tae Joon seems to keep his distance from Jae Hee. I just don’t get the soccer match here. It didn’t fit in the line properly. He was the one who challenged her to the match so there is only a sense of guilt there. However, in Hana Kimi, Yi Quan showed that he cares for Rui Xi, genuine care.
What’s with Tae Joon’s injury? It seems to more of a physical injury than a mental injury. I wonder how this will affect his career and his determination for jumping. In Hana Kimi Yi Quan entirely gave up high jumping until the encouragement of Rui Xi whereas here Tae Joon is still jumping…
The chemistry between the OTP is almost there and I praise them for doing so. I think we just need to see more of them and the chemistry will definitely grow. It just isn’t there yet.
Oh Eun Gyul! I am loving him! I root him and Jae Hee! Ahahahahahs! LOL! He is handsome though I am not very fond of his mushroom haircut… Ahahaha! He is so cute!
Wait, wait. If I remember correctly, the dorm leader is supposed to have the obsessed lover not Eun Gyul/Xiu Yi… LOL
In terms of acting I think Sulli did a decent portrayal of Jae Hee. It wasn’t spot on but it is good. I liked that she didn’t try too hard to pretend to be a male. She still retains the feminine side of her which I enjoy. Ahahaha, I think that Ella portrays Rui Xi differently to Sulli. Ella has that cuteness to her that I guess you could say makes her seem more relaxed when portraying her role. Sulli is quite stiff with her character.
Hmmm, I wonder what the next ep has in store. I saw a hug!