Hana Kimi (Taiwanese Version)

This is an adorable story. That’s really all there is to say about it. Yes it is in Mandarin Chinese, so you’ll have to make due with subtitles. Trust me though, it’s worth it.  If you have some spare time and want to watch something overly silly, easy to follow, and not very complex, then this is the perfect show. I especially recommend this for anyone who is stressed with school exams and needs to wind down, or to entertain (and distract) kids from around 12-15.

Plot: 5/5
The story follows Rui Xi, a girl who moves from America to Taiwan in order to sneak into an all boys school to see her high-jump idol live. When she does get there however she finds herself as his roommate, and has some issues fooling people into thinking she is a he.

Eventually she meets codename Soccer Dude (I forgot his character name ^^), a very… effervescent and hyperactive and over-the-top guy who is also friends with Quan (pronounced Chan; high-jump idol boy). At first Rui Xi is confused by Quan’s apparent coldness and anger, but she soon learns that a car accident a year before left him with a broken leg and pushed him from the high-jump event.

It becomes Rui Xi’s mission to befriend Quan and encourage him to jump again, now that his leg is completely healed. What she doesn’t realize is that he hesitated on purpose when pushing a girl from before a speeding car- causing the injury (in other words, he wanted his leg broken so he wouldn’t have to face the pressure from everyone wanting him to jump). When Rui Xi is knocked out accidentally in a friendly soccer game with Soccer Dude, Quan carries her to the infirmary. On the way he accidentally touches her chest and realizes he is a she.

The rest of the storyline is a love story. Rui Xi encourages Quan to high-jump and promises to stick by him as a friend and support him the whole time. Quan enjoys acting as the protector and sometimes tormentor to Rui Xi, who doesn’t know he knows that Rui Xi is actually a girl. And then there is Soccer Dude, who decides he is gay because he falls for Rui Xi. Oh, and there is the gay school doctor who knows on sight that Rui Xi is a girl and becomes a highly unwilling mentor to her.

L-R: Jiro Wang (Soccer Dude), Ella (Rui Xi), and Wu Chun (Quan)

Acting: 5/5
There are many characters who come in and out of the show, and each of them is exceptionally well acted. Such Taiwanese acting legends as Ethan Ruan and Danson Tang have recurring roles in the show. Soccer Dude and Quan are played by band-mates Jiro Wang and Wu Chun (respectively), and Rui Xi is played by S.H.E. member Ella, who was said to have dated Wu Chun for a time in real life, and there is indeed great chemistry between everyone. My personal favorite is the school doctor, who does not hide his annoyance at Rui Xi for constantly coming to him for advice, but who helps her when he can. The best way to describe him is snarky, and I absolutely LOVE his character. Any scene he appears in is immediately funny, but in a more subtle way than the rest of the show.

One thing to mention about Taiwanese shows is that they seem to tend towards being slightly over the top. Compared to Korean dramas they use brighter colors and more exaggerated facial expressions. This also means a lot of the shows can be watched by kids. This show doesn’t have any nudity, and it is pretty clean humor wise. I think people who like younger styles of entertainment will prefer this series, but it is made for everyone to enjoy. It does dry up a little in the middle, but it recovers swiftly.

I would also like to point out that Wu Chun as Quan did a brilliant job. He is not actually from Taiwan, but from Brunei, and is not fluent in Mandarin. His Chinese comes out perfectly though, and you can tell he put a lot of effort into his role.

Show Link: Hana Kimi (Taiwan Version) [English Subtitles]

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