30 Day Asian Drama Challenge – Day 2

This post is kind of redundant when you think about it since the first drama I ever watched was a Japanese drama… But, I will faithfully try to do every day of the 30 Day Asian Drama Challenge

Day 2: First Japanese drama you watched?

A: Hana Yori Dango.

Hana Yori Dango jdrama castSo…yes, my Asian drama obsession started back in 2007 after I had graduated from college. That summer while I was frantically searching for a job (at first to try to save enough money to move to Indiana for grad school and later just to support myself when I realized I couldn’t go to grad school), I stumbled across mention of the 2005 live action version of my favorite manga.

I have no idea why, but this really excited me and I sat down and marathoned the entire two seasons. I didn’t leave on the drama bandwagon at that time, though. But it got me hooked and kept me interested enough to sample what other dramas there were out there.

Thus…since I used to be a voracious reader of books and manga, I started looking at dramas which were based on the mangas I loved. Hence why I watched Hana Kimi (that and it had Oguri Shun from HanDan) which led me to like Horikita Maki which led me to her other dramas and it just become this daisy chain that can all be traced back to me learning about Hana Yori Dango.


  • I ended up having this same issue of repeating for my day 4 – I ended up doing my second TW drama instead 😛

    • I should have thought of that 😛 Oh well. I’m racking my brains already for the questions that come after what was the first drama of what kind. Soooo hard to choose.

  • Ah, the nostalgia of seeing the Hana Yori Dango picture. *w*

  • Hana Yori Dango is such a common first drama, but I don’t really know why. I mean, the reason it became my first drama was because i saw someone tweeting about Boys Over Flowers and thought it sounded interesting, but instead of watching that version, I read the original manga and then watched Hana Yori Dango, lol. What is it about Hana Yori Dango that have so many people saying it’s their first ever Asian drama?

    • I should’ve written this on your post about your first drama, lol, but it’s still relevant 😛

    • I really don’t know. It’s shocking. And if it isn’t HanDan, then it’s Meteor Garden or BOF. They are gateway drugs for some unknown reason. LOL. LOVED the manga. I own both the Korean version, Taiwanese version, and Japanese version (with the movie, too), plus some of the anime series and I haven’t managed to complete the entire manga collection even though I have read it all thanks to the interlibrary loan system.

      • I tend to read most manga online, because i can’t be bothered going to the library, lol. I haven’t seen the anime, so i must get onto that at some point. I think i kept putting it off because it’s so many episodes, but i feel like i should watch it to complete the lot. The only one i actually own on DVD is Hana Yori Dango because that’s my favourite. I won’t watch the others again so i didn’t bother buying them, but with Hana Yori Dango, I get sudden urges to watch it, and i’ll marathon it. It helps that it’s broken up into seasons. And even with two seasons, it’s still shorter than the other two versions, lol.

        Domyouji is such a frustrating character. I remember when I was reading the manga, and through everything that he was doing in the beginning, I kept thinking “how is the writer going to make us like him?” Like, he was such a cruel guy. Not even just school bullying, it was actual “you should be put in jail for that” cruel. But then, somehow, you end up totally loving him anyway. It’s something i dislike about us as audience members in general. Those characters, the mean guys who are in every drama. We shouldn’t like them. We should actively dislike them, and want them to have nothing to do with the main girl. But… we don’t. We want to see them change, we want to see them become a better guy. And for some reason, when that happens, even if it’s only a slight change, it’s like we just think “well hey, you did cause her to be almost sexually assaulted but she likes you and you’re a good guy now so that’s all fine”. Pfft, how does that even make sense in our minds?

        • I read most of my manga online now, too. This was back before I even knew of scanlations, so I read a lot of manga through interlibrary loan. Plus…I’ve worked in libraries through my high school and college days, so it’s not a bother when you go in every day for work 😛

          As far as animes go, HanDan isn’t all that long compared to the multi-season animes. Ah, Inu Yasha… So, I recommend it. Netflix does have the entire series on DVD. I will finish it one of these days. I have the first two DVDs of the anime.

          When I first read HanDan and came across Domyouji, I just couldn’t get that he was supposed to be the one Makino ends up with. What is so likeable about the guy? Sure, he had his childish and cute moments, but he has a heck of a lot more crazy and cruel moments. so…how to ship them as a couple? But then it happens. That crazy twist where you want the two to end up living happily ever after and you wonder why you think that way when he was such a horrible person to the leading lady.

          I will admit that when it came to dramas like Secret Garden, Jam Luey Rak, and Sawan Biang, the way the male leads were, I really couldn’t be happy that they end up together. The violence (or verbal mistreatment in Hyun Bin’s case) just turned me off, so even when you know they have a reason for behaving as they do, what they did to the main leading ladies just was too much to forgive. And then you have other dramas where it’s okay because it’s not as bad and the horrible male lead really does have a good heart. It’s twisted.

          • There was one scene in Secret Garden where they were on the bed, and she was trying to get up and he just used his strength to keep her down. Writers really need to avoid scenes like that. While i get that they’re kind of saying “but she doesn’t really mind because she likes him so she wants to be close to him”, even if that’s true, she didn’t want to be there at first, that’s why she was struggling to get up. Even if she does eventually fall asleep and not hate him for it, that doesn’t mean that we haven’t seen him doing that.

            So yeah, things like that, if we still remember them and still have an issue with it years after the drama aired, that means it shouldn’t have happened.

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