Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hana Kimi Stole My Heart And Social Life

A year ago today, an obsession was born.

For lack of something to do, I decided to watch the DVD of this TV drama that a friend lent me. He first told me about this two weeks prior on our friend’s house blessing.

Friend: Do you like Japanese shows?
Me: Well, I watch anime.
Friend: Are you familiar with the human tetris?
Me: On youtube? Yeah! I’ve seen those!
Friend: Hilarious, isn’t it?! How about jdramas?
Me: Uh, no…
Friend: Good! I’ll show you something! Tell me if you don’t like it, but really, it’s awesome!

And then he made me watch on a portable player the first few minutes of the drama. It featured this cute girl dressed in a boy’s uniform trying to sneak in at a popular all-boys’ school.

Me: She’s a she, right? What is she doing there???
Friend: *smiles mysteriously*
Me: Right. I’m supposed to watch to figure it out.

I got until the part when the girl met the tall, somewhat arrogant athlete ("she disguised herself as a boy for this guy?!?!") when we were cut off by our friends. He promised to lend me the DVD so I can watch the full season. I was curious enough to find out what happens next so I said yes.

So – a year ago today, I watched. And watched. And watched. And finished all eleven episodes in one day. Didn’t I say that it was the start of an obsession?

By the way, that little drama that changed my life? It was called Hanazakari no Kimitachi e, or Hana Kimi for short.

I have to admit that it wasn’t obsession love at first sight. The show was weird! Why was it called a “drama” when it’s so anime-ish? How can the students of this exclusive school for handsome boys - them of the raging hormones - be so blind and stupid they don’t realize there’s a girl in their midst? And why is that girl so attracted to that jerk when the awesome Nakatsu is so willing to go gay for himher? It was crazy. It was full of crack. And OMG I love it.

The biggest reason for this mad love was Ikuta Toma. I didn’t know a thing about him before Hana Kimi. I didn’t even like him the first time I saw him on screen. But Toma’s turn as Nakatsu was so memorable and so lovable he ended up stealing the drama from the two leads. I couldn’t care less whether Mizuki and Sano hook up, I just want to see Nakatsu do his crazy monologues or walk around half naked looking for the damn shampoo. His homo janai dance was epic. I was flailing so hard when he decided to pursue Mizuki and damn if it makes him gay! I was flailing equally as hard when he discovered that Mizuki was actually a she and damn whatever her reason was for hiding her identity! And then he got rejected, and I love him for taking it like a true gentleman.

I ended up re-watching the jdrama for almost two months. I figured I could limit my jdrama intake in this lifetime to just Hana Kimi. And then other dramas and other Japanese boys happened.

Hana Kimi and Toma led to Hana Yori Dango and Matsujun. Hana Yori Dango and Matsujun led to various Matsujun dramas and Arashi. Arashi led to irreversible addiction on my part and bewilderment on the part of my friends and families. So far, my JE-fandom is limited to just Toma and Arashi, but I’m getting to know the other JE boys bit by bit. The sheer amount of media available (on Arashi’s part, especially) was scary at first, but I’m trying my best to catch up. It’s a long way to go for me, but I learned to just enjoy each TV show/drama/concert that I could watch, and not worry about the others I haven’t seen yet.

I love that this obsession of mine led me to this LJ-fandom where fans are friendly and helpful, where fans don’t have strange or crazy expectations from their idols, where the obsessives mock and poke fun at their idols at regular intervals (and not be accused of loving them any less). I may not be able to convince my RL friends to get into either Toma or Arashi, but I’m glad I get to meet others who are bigger fans than I am.

Happy anniversary to me and Toma and Hana Kimi! :D

No comments: