Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Hana Yori Dango (Boys Over Flowers) Movie

Genre: Shoujo / Romance
General Audience
Credits: (c) Toei, Kamio Youko, Shuueisha, ABC. Screenshots courtesy of this page.

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Thundersenshi's Description:
Makino Tsukushi dreams of one day getting the lead role on stage. But between a budding interest in famous composer Hanazawa Rui, facing up to the arrogant male lead Doumyouji Tsukasa and ignoring snide comments from the female lead Sakurako and her cohorts, this dancer-in-training seems to be having a hard time believing in her dream. But when a curious twist in events happens, she may just prove her worth...with help from someone she least expected.

What happens when the cast of HYD is thrown in an alternate universe? >>> by thundersenshi
Reading the summary, you can probably already guess that this movie takes place in an alternate universe--same characters, totally different setting. But did you expect anything like the cast being dancers in a major stage production? I know I didn't. I should have known there was more to the TV series' opening sequence than the creators let on. This is the untold story of "Fuutsu no Nichiyoubi" ...

The movie is short and sweet, similar to the extra installments other shoujo series' had (such as Marmalade Boy the movie). This, too, could've served better as a special TV episode, as it isn't really a cinematic thriller the likes of Escaflowne's or Rurouni Kenshin's (or even Sailormoon, which is also shoujo) that run for over an hour or so. In fact, I wouldn't recommend this to someone unfamiliar with the HYD series. This installment does not explore much detail on the characters, neither does it give much thought on plot (what plot?). So you see, it is actually no more than fan service at best, placing the characters on a different situation to spark a solid fandom's interest. And it is curious, how they managed to place all these characters we've come to know in the manga and TV series in a setting such as this, while retaining their personalities.

No, this movie isn't half your life, far from it even. But for curiousity's sake, wouldn't you like to see Doumyouji in leotard and tights?

Individual Rating: Art: 7, Story&Plot: 6, Characters: 9; Sounds: 7; Overall: 7

Not a bad idea actually >>> by firesenshi
I always thought that the creators of this movie had a good concept in mind when they thought of this one... or at least in the best interest of the characters and fans of this popular shoujo anime. So when you place the characters in an alternate universe, the idea is that the very theme of the original Hana Yori Dango series would never change. And it didn't. The character designs didn't change, their personalities didn't change, their status didn't change... only the setting and roles changed.

Set in one of the most artistic cities in the world, New York is the best place to have the story of a struggling dancer in training in the hopes of dancing her way to fame until she catches the attention of the top male dancer in the studio. Three guesses on who's playing those. From the original 'rags to riches' concept in the Hana Yori Dango series to the 'zero to hero' formula in this alternate universe, the formula is definitely predictable. The HYD series however proved that the 'soap-opera' themes would work as long as it broke the norms in shoujo. This movie didn't give us a chance to know more about the characters because they didn't provide ample background nor plot (like the above review says, 'What plot?') on the characters. They simply introduced a 'What if' scenario.

And yes, I'm sure fangirls have been imagining what Tsukasa looks like in tights.

The idea would've been okay if they were just a teensy bit industrious enough rather than just distorting your ideas of the characters on a whim. The result: who would've thought that the cool F4 would be cheesy? My other rant was that for a movie that was to be like Center Stage, the dance moves reminds me so much of like the '80s dance movie Flashdance. Somebody please remind them that the aerobics fad is sooo over.

Individual Rating: Art: 7, Story&Plot: 6, Characters: 7; Sounds: 7; Overall: 6

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