Read my original review here: http://vfourvictory.net/?s=hana+kimi
Perhaps I’m a tad tired of watching dramas with similar plots: boy meets girl, girl is poor, boy is rich but arrogant and, through some miraculous turn of events (or, in other words, 10 hours of footage later), they end up married.
Hana Kimi takes only one element from that equation: boy meets girl. Or actually, in this case, it’s boy meets boy. In short, Ashiya Mizuki is a Japanese-American girl who impersonates a boy in order to get into an all-boy’s high school in Japan. Why? She idolizes Sano Izumi, one of the school’s star high jumpers who suddenly quits after getting injured while trying to save Mizuki (he was at a track meet in California). Mizuki thinks it’s all her fault and decides to cut her hair, ditch her parents and fly to Japan – just to convince Sano to jump again.
Sounds crazy, right? Perhaps. I thought so too until I finished the 12-ep series. And I must say, with conviction, it’s my favourite drama so far. I’ve already seen it twice.
Though the plot sounds a bit fantastical, the actors make it so worthwhile. First, it’s a fun teenage drama with both serious and comedic scenes that alternate fast enough to leave you wanting more. It’s never too funny nor too sappy and romantic for too long.
As a viewer, you can really witness Sano’s transition (thanks in part to good acting by Oguri Shun) and though the series is short in comparison to Taiwanese dramas, Sano and Mizuki’s relationship develop at a good pace. And I absolutely adore Mizuki’s best friend Nakatsu, who falls in love with her, still thinking she’s a dude.
Horikita Maki, who plays Mizuki, is by far one of the sweetest on-screen Asian actresses I’ve seen. Though she portrays a fantastic boy, her subtle but feminine mannerisms shine through, making Nakatsu and Sano’s affection for her seem much more believable.
The three dorm heads and their rivalries give the series its comedic relief. Without the randomness of their activities, I don’t think I would’ve enjoyed it half as much. Plus, the three dorms always find a way to make up.
The best scene in the entire series, for me, was the opening ceremony, when the high school boys did a cheer dance to Avril Lavigne’s Girlfriend. That three-minute scene sealed the deal for me. I give this drama a 9/10.