To the Beautiful You Episode 1 Review

Synopsis

This is a Korean version of Hana Kimi which has a great storyline and interesting characters. Kang Tae Joon (Min Ho) is a gold medallist in high jump but is in a slump due to an injury. Jae Hee (Sulli) disguises as a boy and transfers to an all-male high school so that she can help her idol, Kang Tae Joon.

Episode Recap

In the year 2010, Kang Tae Joon (Minho) is in the Youth Olympics high jump finals. He gets himself ready for his third and final jump attempt. If he succeeds, he will take the gold medal. He sets off with a strong determination as he approaches the bar. He jumps, soars into the sky and succeeds in jumping over the bar. Tae Joon punches into the air in victory with a huge smile on his face. On the other hand, Gu Jae Jee (Sulli) watches the screen while focusing on Tae Joon. At Tae Joon’s victory, a single tear falls from her eyes. Later, Jae Hee gets a pair of scissors to cut her hair. Her friend asks her not to do this but she insists that she’s doing it. She cuts her hair.

Jae Hee arrives at Incheon Airport in her boy version style. She stops and smiles at a poster of Tae Joon with his angelic wings.

Cha Eun Gyul (Lee Hyun Woo) does a butterfly kick to the ball and wins a goal for his team. He passes by all this teammates and his coach for a hug. Instead, he takes a selca and post it online for his fans.

The fangirls are waiting outside for the handsome guys at the gate of the all-boys high school, Genie High.
Tae Joon’s manager, Director Jang, tells him about an upcoming CF where he’ll need to do a high jump but Tae Joon assures that he doesn’t want to do it. She doesn’t understand him as he is already out of rehab. Tae Joon puts on his headphones and not listens to her constant nagging. Suddenly, the fans surround the van and causes Jae Hee to be press against the window because she is caught in the mob. Tae Joon brings down the shade.

The track coach, Baek Kwang Min (Kang Kyung Joon), immediately handles the situation and stops Jae Hee from entering the school. Jae Hee shows up her guy mannerisms and saying that she’s a guy but gets a whack on the head. She introduces herself as a transfer student but Coach Baek didn’t believe her since he heard such excuses before. She shows her documentations as proof. He sees that the documents are in English. Thus, he saves his embarrassment by letting her through. As Jae Hee walks in, she sees a few fangirls sticking by the van as it drives along the school.

Jae Hee struggles to carry her heavy suitcase up to the stairs. Without knowing, the locks pop open which leaves a trail of clothes behind her. She quickly picks up her clothes when she realizes and she sees another student’s presence. She is surprised to see Tae Joon. Tae Joon holds out a Winnie the Pooh underwear and comments that she has a unique taste. Jae Hee falls into her suitcase when she attempts to grab it. She starts to skid before Tae Joon stops her by stepping on the handle. However, it breaks and he watches her in shock as she zooms down all the way down along the stairs while screaming. She bumps at the tree and waves at him that she’s fine. Without noticing, she is waving with her underwear. She smiles as she finally meets Tae Joon in person. Then, she continues to slide down the hill again.

Jae Hee is warmly welcomed by the Korean language teacher, Lee So Young (Lee Young Eung). She’s impressed with her athletics anility while Jae Hee thinks in her head that all these are based on women’s standards.

After dressing up in her new school uniform, she walks into the classroom where her new classmates are doing their own things. They didn’t even look at her while Jae Hee tries to introduce herself. Suddenly, a student throws a banana peel at her face. She stands there while others are laughing at her. Eun Gyul points her to an empty seat next to his. They exchange smiles as she sits down. Song Jong Min (Kwang Hee) goes up to Jae Hee and asks whether she’s aware of the Genie High initiation. She doesn’t but she is willing to try it out.

In the end, she’s in front of a dog house which is surrounded by warning signs. Jae Hee cautiously approach and look at the signs. The dog growls when Jae Hee approaches to the doghouse. The dog jumps out of its house and Jae Hee falls back in shock. At the classroom, Jong Min laughs that the dog has probably half-eaten the new kid by now.

However, Jae Hee get the dog kisses. She crawls inside the doghouse and grab the ball. Suddenly, he hears Tae Joon’s voice. He bends down to say hi to the dog, Sangchu, while smiling. He tells Sangchu about the upcoming CF and asks whether he should reject the offer or give up high jumping. Jae Hee shouts that he can’t do that and asks why he won’t jump. She checks whether his ankle is alright. He recognizes her from the stairs scenario and tells her that it’s none of her business whether he’ll continue to high jump or not.
Jong Min and his friends stare in shock that Jae Hee brings back the ball without getting bitten by Sangchu. She casually tosses the ball in her hand before slamming it on his desk and blows her hair from her eyes. Eun Gyul looks on as he is impressed with her. Jong Min gets angry as his buddy comments about the new kid’s pretty looks.

She is happy to see Tae Joon is in the same classroom as her and he’s sitting behind her. She turns back and stares at him leisurely but he signals her to look forward instead.

Jae Hee explores the school. Later, she needs to go to the toilet, steps into the boys’ toilet, and head straight into the stalls. She trips over Jong Min’s foot on her way out, falls down, and accidently pull the boy’s pants down. She looks up at that student (cameo by rapper Sangchu) whose pants are now at his ankles.
The bully shoves Jae Hee to the wall by the collar. The students including Eun Gyul have gathered in the toilet. She evades the bully’s punches and tries to escape. She gives the bully a final warning to stop or else she has to defend herself. She uses a plunger to fight against him. However, she gets a kick from the bully. He cheers in victory but Jae Hee surprise him by putting the plunger in his mouth. The bully gets even angrier and readies to give a big hit on Jae Hee. The mysterious hero calms the bully and whispers to Jae Hee that she should be careful from now on. He tells the students that the fight is over and asks them to leave while Jong Min is frustrated.

Eun Gyul asks Jae Hee if she’s alright and tells her that the saviour is their dorm leader and captain of the fencing team, senior Ha Seung Ri (Seo Joon Young). He asks about her fencing skills and she says that she learn a few basic skills from her older brother.

On their way to the dormitories, Eun Gyul is impressed about Jae Hee who fight against the bully and going through with the initiation. He wonders how she managed to go through with it since Sangchu hates guys. Jae Hee gulps. He tilts his head with a curious look. He confirms by placing his hand on her chest which she freaks out. He laughs while thinking that she must be doing a lot of chest exercises which she keeps it so stiff. She changes the subject and is happy to hear that Tae Joon is in the same dorm as her. They will be in Dorm 2.

Here are the details about the three dorms in Genie High. Dorm 1 students rely on their strength and power. Their leader is Jo Young Man (Yoo Min Kyu) who is specializes in taekwando. Seung Ri is the Dorm 2 leader and this dorm consists of almost anything. The Dorm 3 leader is Na Chul Soo (Kim Lan) who is a figure skating major. The dorms have a strong rivalry at each other and are equally competitive. They are ready for the upcoming athletic competition. Jae Hee wonders if Tae Joon will be jumping but Eun Gyul replies that Tae Joon hasn’t been involved in sports since his injuty. He points out that Jae Hee talks a lot about Tae Joon and Jae Hee says that it’s because they’re classmates. Eun Gyul teases her by calling her ‘squishy’. Meanwhile, Jong Min shows a jealousy look while looking at Jae Hee and Eun Gyul.

Seol Hanna (Kim Ji Won) apologizes for being late for her photo shoot because of her beauty sleep. She throws in the aegyo which softens the photographer’s heart. She finds out that Tae Joon has pulled out from the shoot at the last minute. She gets angry as she claims that she came early today to see him. She refuses to continue and storms off.

Eun Gyul drops Jae Hee at her new dorm room and tells her that she’ll be using the loft. Jae Hee wonders who her roommate is and he tells her that she’s better not know. At the door, we can see that her new roommate is Tae Joon.

Director Jang has a meeting with one of the endorsements who is unsure about the contract with Tae Joon after his injury. She assures him that he has nothing to worry about since Tae Joon is fully recovered. He will reconsider it if Tae Joon high jumps in his next CF. She leaves him with her final words that Tae Joon chooses him, not him choosing Tae Joon.

At school, the boys get ready for swimming class while Jae Hee is flustered. In the locker room, Eun Gyul asks if she isn’t going to change into her swimwear and she lies that she forgot to bring. Jong Min lends a spare one, which has a hole, and gets angry when she declines. Eun Gyul tries to pull open his gym locker and finds fan girls coming out and taking photos of the boys’ half naked bodies. He finds Jae Hee sitting with fully clothed. She lies that she is allergic to chlorine. Finally, Eun Gyul notes that she’s always looking for Tae Joon.

The school doctor, Jang Min Woo (Ki Tae Young) immediately closes the Bae Yong Joon pictures to an X-ray when Tae Joon arrives. He comments about Tae Joon’s great Achilles’heel. Tae Joon looks that he’s fully healed but Doctor Jang needs to make sure by suggesting to get a checkup at a larger hospital.

Tae Joon receives a call from Director Jang as he waits to get a checkup in the hospital. She tells him that he needs to high jump for the next CF including the fact that a famous athletic coach will be there to see his high jumping abilities. Thus, it’s up to Tae Joon’s decision. Later, he holds onto a silver necklace while thinking what he should do. He gets a call from his father who is disappointed to hear that he is not going to jump for the CF. He reminds his son that those minor records are pointless after his injury.

He returns to his dorm room and finds that theirs is another roommate in there. He takes the photo of himself of the wall and notices a broken suitcase in the loft. He hears the running water from the bathroom while Jae Hee sports a person from the crack of the bathroom door. She quickly grabs a towel to vero herself before he walks in. They are surprised to see each other. He demands to know what she’s doing and she replies that she showers but he gets pissed off.

After she’s dressed, she overhears Tae Joon’s conversation about his plan to jump. He wants her to get out of his room because he doesn’t want to share. Jae Hee stands still that she doesn’t want to move. In the end, she is being kicked out of the room.

Min Hyun Jae (Kang Ha Neul) practices the high jump. He fails twice but he succeeds the third time. An article about Tae Joon is stick inside his gym locker and he gives it a little tap before closing the door.
Jae Hee shares her problems with Sangchu until Seung Ri finds her and brings her back to the room. He scolds Tae Joon for kicking her out. Hae Hee happily jumps into her bed and is happy to be closer to Tae Joon. She dreams about Tae Joon’s high jump, flying over the bar with angelic wings into a bed of flower petals.

The next morning, Tae Joon wakes up and finds little notes posted throughout the room. He feels annoyed and rips off each one of them. Jae Hee is sleeping in the doghouse with Sangchu.

Doctor Jang dramatically informs Tae Joon that he’s fully recovered but Tae Joon is not excited about hearing the news. He leaves but Doctor Jang asks if he knows Hanna as he asks him to get an autograph from her.
It’s soccer time for the guys. Hyun Jae purposely tackles at Tae Joon’s ankle but luckily he miss it. Hyun Jae sarcastically apologizes and helps him up. They have a ‘nice’ conversation and Tae Joon tells him it’s a waste of his time to worry about the other team. Hyun Jae tells him that the money must be good. Tae Joon replies that the reason why he could never beat him is because he worries too much about useless crap.
Jae Hee asks Tae Joon to remain as roommates and asks that if there’s anything she can do to let him accept her. Tae Joon suggests that if Jae Hee scores a goal, he’ll reconsider. She agrees and tells him to keep his word. Tae Joon assures that he does not back out including promises.

Eun Gyul is the goalkeeper. He asks Coach Baek to let him play but he doesn’t allow him to because he is the soccer star. Eun Gyul doesn’t listen and asks for changing players. Jae Hee’s first attempt hits at the goalpost. Eun Gyul comments that he doesn’t want to lose after seeing her run. He kicks the ball to Jae Hee and she runs down to the field to receive it. On the other hand, Eun Gyul and Coach Baek are surprised to see that Jae Hee runs and zooms off pass the boys. Suddenly, Jong Min catches up and purposely pushes her to the ground.

Tae Joon carries Jae Hee into Doctor Jang’s office. He left after receiving a text from Director Jang about the CF. He is asked to come to the gym. All the staffs, reporters, Hanna, Hyun Jae, and his father are looking forward to Tae Joon’s performances. Director Jang asks whether he’s ready and Tae Joon nods that he’s ready to jump. He breathes in and then runs off but he failed to jump over the bar. He sits as he wonders about his first failed attempt while the cameras shutters continue to click as the audiences look on with shock.

Jae Hee wakes up with a headache. Doctor Jang tells her that she had fainted in the field. He walks toward her and look her in the eyes. He asks her what a girl is doing in an all-boys school.

Point of View

The first episode catches my attention that makes me want to watch even more till the very end of this drama. You can see the wonderful settings and the focus on the characters from different angle shots. The good point about this is at least there are some similarities on a few plots from Hana Kimi which I have not much to complain about it. The characters of this drama is quite similar to Hana Kimi but the main casts like Min Ho and Sulli presents their own character through acting skills which I’m quite impressed with it. Also, unlike Hana Kimi, Tae Joon is the celebrity of the entertainment world.

Since we get to see the main characters of this drama, I’m sure there are plenty more of them as the episodes come by. I’m guessing some stars will come into the drama as cameos. Since this is sort of my first time knowing about the adaptations from Hana Kimi, I get to know the characters more starting from the introduction to their storyline and character development. Although I did watch almost the half of Hana Kimi, at least I need to know the whole thing in To the Beautiful You. That means I need to start from not only the storyline but the characters. This is a good thing for viewers who haven’t watch Hana Kimi or read its manga or watch the Taiwan version of Hana Kimi.

It’s a great use of filming technology that was used in this drama including the 360 degree camera. However, since SM is part of this project, why didn’t they use it right in their music video. On the bright side, for the SM Entertainment to shine, SM artists are part of it by singing soundtracks, which I like them, for this drama.

Now for the two main characters: Jae Hee and Tae Joon. Sulli puts in a lot of effort on being the boy and she reminds me of the main actress from Hana Kimi. When I first see her in this drama, I am impressed on how she portrayed Jae Hee really well through her easy-going and confident personality. Sulli fits really well in Jae Hee’s character. On the other hand, there’s still much story to tell about Tae Joon other than the fact that Tae Joon is not going to high jump after going through rehab. I’ve seen Min Ho’s acting in ‘The Pianist’ and ‘The Salamandar Guru and his Gang’. He did well in his acting which is why he’s my favourite K-pop idol. Not only as a singer, rapper, and dancer but I also admired him as an actor. His acting skills will start to improve from time to time. Since it’s just the first episode, I’m sure Tae Joon’s character and Min Ho’s hardwork effort in acting will shine as the upcoming episodes come by.

Since it’s just the beginning of this drama, we’ll just have to look forward to the exciting storylines and more characters to be develop so that we’ll not only love the characters but we’ll also love the drama. I’ll do the same.

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