“You’re not a fan… You’re a special person who sings my songs.”
Ikemen desu ne
Genre: Romance, music, comedy
Starring: Takimoto Miori, Tamamori Yuta, Fujigaya Taisuke, Yaotome Hikaru
Genre: Romance, music, comedy
Starring: Jang Geun Suk, Park Shin Hye, Jung Yong Hwa, Lee Hong Ki, Uee
I hesitated a lot before watching these dramas—silly, really. My dilemma: which one to watch first? I prefer jdramas, but the kdrama came first. I ummed and ahhed for months, until I finally put my foot down.
And began with Ikemen desu ne.
But the real question is: which is better?
Miko/Mi Nyu is a nun-in-training. One day, she is accosted by a man who begs her to help her twin brother. Mio/Mi Nam is to sign with a big record label to become the fourth member of popular idol group A.N.Jell.
The problem: he’s gone to America for surgery.
His agent begs Miko/Mi Nyu to pretend to be her brother for the contract signing. She agrees to the charade to fulfil her brother’s chance at fame, which could realise both their dreams: to find their mother.
But once she meets the other band members, things get complicated.
Cast preference: tie
Miori has an angelic singing voice. It’s a shame we only really hear her sing one song (that religious one not counting). You know, she actually reminds me of Toda Erika in the face… Anyway, her cuteness works well for playing both female and male characters.
Shin Hye was a good choice for Mi Nyu. Her voice is beautiful, and her acting skilful. My only criticism for her is that she looks unattractive in this role. Her hair doesn’t suit her, her face looks a little chubby, and I think she really needs a touch of eye makeup to bring out her eyes. So visually, Shin Hye playing a male character didn’t sit as well with me as Miori.
Warning: there is some serious eye-candy in the male department.
Tamamori Yuta of Kis-My-Ft2 fame plays Ren, and oh, does he play him well. That icy look sits wonderfully on him, but when he smiles… >.< I think he portrayed Ren perfectly.
Jang Geun Suk plays Ren’s counterpart Tae Kyung in You’re Beautiful. It took me an episode or so to warm up to his looks. Something about him was just off. But I quickly fell in love with him—and his eyeliner. His thinking out loud is brilliant, as are his expressions, and his voice is simply breathtaking.
The next member of A.N.Jell is Shu/Shin Woo. Taisuke (also of Kis-My-Ft2) gives an outstanding performance as the third wheel in the main relationship. I usually hate love triangles, as I never really like the other guy, but I really empathise with Shu/Shin Woo. He is such a compassionate character, and both Taisuke and Yong Hwa capture this wistfulness. However, Yong Hwa is much nicer to look at!
Yuki/Jeremy is the fun member of the band. While Hikaru (Hey! Say! JUMP) plays his character well, I think Hong Ki steals the role. Not only does he sparkle physically, there is just something in his bouncy portrayal of the drummer that makes him stand out.
Music: Ikemen desu ne
This is actually a hard point to judge. The songs used in You’re Beautiful are reused in Ikemen desu ne, just with a language change. I think this was a good choice; the songs are so beautiful, they deserve to be kept. ‘Alone’ is without a doubt one of my favourite songs.
The reason I choose the jdrama over the kdrama is because You’re Beautiful practically bashes you over the head with A.N.Jell’s songs as background music. Every time there’s a sad moment, Geun Suk’s voice croons that tear-jerker song… It gets quite tiring when you’re watching all 16 eps in one hit.
If this happened in the jdrama, I have to say, I didn’t notice.
Another point to note here is a disappointment with both shows in general. Since these are dramas where the main characters are in an idol group, I expected them to perform heaps of songs throughout. But to my everlasting disappointment, they only sing a handful. What’s up with that???
I’ll admit, the whole nun-in-training thing seemed a bit weird before I watched the dramas, and I still don’t see any real justification for it, but it doesn’t really affect the viewing. If anything, it adds another layer of humour.
You’ll be guaranteed a good time with either drama. I was interested to see the similarities and differences between the two dramas. For the most part, they are the same, with only the occasional new scene, or a different way of doing a scene.
I liked Miko’s aunt better than Mi Nyu’s, because she was less annoying, while I liked the addition of Jeremy’s dog Jolie (yes, named for the lovely Angelina). I found the kdrama’s A.N. Entertainment staff to be more entertaining and preferred the nasty diva Yoo He Yi over NANA, but I liked the jdrama’s fans because they were less intrusive. I also liked the inclusion of Ren’s mother’s health issues in the jdrama.
I absolutely love the stars analogy seen in both—Miko/Mi Nyu refers to Ren/Tae Kyung as her star. My heart simply melted. And then there’s the Pig-Rabbit thing… So cute! ^o^
Both dramas evoke strong emotions; they make you laugh, they make you cry. You just have so much fun.
Decision: Ikemen desu ne wins
I warn you, don’t take my opinion as gospel. I can’t be sure that I’m not being influenced by my own preferences, rather than viewing the dramas objectively.
I prefer the Japanese language, so I naturally lean more towards the jdrama. And since I watched You’re Beautiful immediately after Ikemen desu ne (that was a good idea…not!), I was easily distracted during the kdrama.
This could also be attributed to the lengthy episodes, and the greater number of eps. Maybe.
Either way, despite the awesomeness of You’re Beautiful, I think Ikemen desu ne is my favourite. They improved on the story presented by the original kdrama, making for a more entertaining show.