Usually, we all say that the original or first version is always the best. But with the quality of the remakes of hit Asian dramas especially of Korean versions can't be belittled (and I'm not biased when I said this).
I quite don't remember the Taiwanese and Japanese versions very well since they were aired a very long time ago and I haven't downloaded them yet for second opinion so my judgement might not be favorable to those who loved those versions than the Korean. Even though I don't remember their story line, I remembered my reactions after watching the two versions so I'll base my review on those reactions.
Hana Kimi (Taiwanese Version)- Since it's the first version, everything was perfect except for the actors, because they were too old for their characters who were high school students. And as expected of Taiwanese dramas, it looked a little bit like a sitcom; comedy is a must with Jiro Wang there!
Hana Kimi (Japanese Version)
- I can only remember the episode when they were trying to know who was the girl by letting everyone pass in a "metal-detector-like" equipment, then someone pulled the plug for the equipment to shut down during the female lead's turn to be checked, luckily she didn't get caught as they thought it happened after her turn; and the last episode, when the main female lead was bidding her farewell to her classmates and friends while on a cab/car. Since this was after the Taiwanese version, and where Japan is its point of origin, I thought this version was better, but after watching it, I was disappointed. Maybe because I wanted more between the main two leads which didn't happen.
To the Beautiful You (Korean Version)
- At first, I didn't like watching this version because I am not a fan of Sulli and Minho, whom were the main leads of this version. But since I have seen both Taiwanese and Japanese versions, why not watch this one to see which one was the best. Before, Korea made their own version of 'It Started with a Kiss' under the title 'Playful/Mischievous Kiss', but the result was not as good as the original version, it wasn't well liked by the Koreans, but for me it's good there was still excitement in the drama. Maybe the reason why Koreans didn't like it because they know the story already or the pairing was not good even though Kim HyunJoong was there. This is what I also thought about TTBY. I'm not sure how Koreans accepted it, but for me, it was also good and exciting. And I think there was a reason why it was Sulli and not any other SM artists was put in the drama. I think it was because of her innocence that made the drama more exciting. What I liked also in this drama was that the love story of TaeJun and Jaehui was continued which the other two versions didn't.
After watching each version, they surely have their own charms but which one is the best?
For me, it's a tie between the Taiwanese and Korean version. But maybe I need to watch the Taiwanese version again to be clear about which is the No. 1. Though I enjoyed watching each version, I'm very sorry to the Japanese version of Hana Kimi, they just didn't reach my expectations, that is why it is the last on my ranking.
Before I end this review, I want to say that I liked the Power or Authority of Dorm Leaders. The leaders from different versions all have the same impact, that they are powerful and that they have the ability to decide for their school before the faculty or board of school acts on it.